Unstoppable: How Jason Boyce of Avenue7Media Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society with…

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Unstoppable: How Jason Boyce of Avenue7Media Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Please remember how you may have felt with a heavy flu. Very tired, achy, miserable and in pain. This is how ME/CFS manifests in many people. Please be empathetic and kind. One day it might happen to you.

As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Boyce.

Jason Boyce is the Founder & CEO of Avenue7Media.com, with nearly 20 years of e-commerce and Amazon Marketplace experience, He is also author of The Amazon Jungle. Avenue7Media harnesses the power of Amazon for product development, account management, and marketing on the U.S.’s largest e-commerce platform.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I grew up in the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, and moved to London after college to become a commercial real estate consultant. I was very ambitious and worked long hours. One day I contracted what I believed to be the flu and was very sick for two or three weeks. My work suffered and it soon became evident that I never really got over it. Fortunately, my wife got a job working in New Jersey, so we moved to the States where I worked part time from home, which allowed me the time to rest.

I saw lots of doctors, tried lots of medications, all to no avail. Almost every primary care doctor told me that I was depressed and that was the reason for being exhausted. They plied me with different types of anti-depressants, but they didn’t help my fatigue issues. The doctors simply didn’t know what to do, they told me to rest as much as possible. That was simply unacceptable to me.

Do you feel comfortable sharing the story surrounding how you became ill/ diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you” in life?

There was a ‘mental shift’ moment. This happened when I realized that my choices were to either live in my bedroom for the rest of my life and accept what the doctors told me, or to take affirmative action to change my life. I chose the latter.

Fortunately, I came across a chronic fatigue syndrome specialist, who officially diagnosed me with ME/CFS (ME is the medical definition of chronic fatigue syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). He told me about a range of different therapies I never even heard about. I did a lot of research over several years and tried hundreds of medication and therapy combinations. It took a long time, but I figured out what works and what doesn’t. I documented everything in a journal and came up with a combination of different therapies that can truly relieve chronic fatigue. It was soon evident that I needed to share this information to help people like me, which led me to writing my first book, Chronic Fatigue Gone! A Recovery Plan for COVID long Haul, ME/CFS, Lyme and Fibromyalgia.

Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your with Chronic Fatigue?

Chronic fatigue is a tough adversary! Can you imagine being exhausted 100% of the time? Trying to make a living, raise children and keep a marriage together? Somedays, just getting through the day without a mental breakdown feels like a major accomplishment. But the truth is you have to dig deep, grit your teeth and just get on with it. I decided to get back into real estate and start a property development company, which became a successful enterprise, but I had to heavily rely on some talented employees to become successful. Possibly my most enjoyable accomplishment was writing pop music, which I did as a hobby, but the music snowballed, and I was asked to write a song for the band Smashmouth (they decided not to put it on their album in the end) and I also got a song in a Netflix movie, which was a thrill. But my greatest accomplishment is finishing my book and getting it published and for sale on Amazon. It takes a lot of time and persistence to finish writing a book. I have already received messages from people whose life has been changed by reading this book and that makes every minute of tireless persistence worthwhile.

What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?

It may be difficult to accept a disability, especially if it is forced upon you later in life, but it must be accepted and dealt with in a positive way. At first, it may feel like you have given up on life or given up on your future but being in denial will only cause pain and frustration. Refusing to accept a disability may prevent you from moving forward or stop you from making changes that can make your life better. Don’t try and suppress your feeling or emotions. It is extremely important to communicate exactly how you’re feeling with your family or friends. Remember communication is the key to happy, balanced relationships and an unforeseen side effect of having a disability or limitation is the profound effect it can have on others around you, especially your spouse. In researching my book, I found that the divorce rate for the chronically ill is over 70%, so sharing your emotions and clearly communicating how you feel is vital for long term relationships and your personal happiness.

On this latter point, you may feel that happiness is out of reach for you, but the truth is quite different. In a recent study on happiness, it was found that we all default back to our baseline of happiness after 6 months after a negative or positive event. One study followed several people who had won the lottery and several people who had become paralyzed after an accident. The lottery winners were happier for 6 months following their win, but both groups fell back to their baseline of happiness after six months. Remember this if you are currently stressed or depressed about your current circumstances.

Whatever your disability or limitation, I promise you will feel a whole lot better if you try and help others like you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to volunteer at your local shelter or hospice (though that can be very fulfilling), but simply offer help, advice and support on various Facebook groups can make you feel somewhat fulfilled and supported.

Furthermore, it is worth bearing in mind that almost everyone has some type of disability or limitation. People who look fine may be dealing with chronic depression, grieving a loss or some other mental issue that may be debilitating. I always remember this Chinese proverb, ‘do not envy a wealthy man, for you do not know what price he has paid.’

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

Yes, I have been incredibly lucky to have my wonderful wife, Sarah, who has provided love, support and helped me through the darker days. She is an inspiration to me. I simply could not have achieved anything without her love and help.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

On reflection, I feel I have been insular and self-centered for several years throughout my illness. I guess chronic fatigue will do that to you. It is only in recent years that opening myself up to help others like me has given me a purpose and direction that has led to greater happiness and self-fulfillment. This book is helping hundreds of people with chronic fatigue and long COVID get back to living a normal life again. I’m very thankful to all those people who have made this possible. To find out more please visit www.chronicfatiguegone.com.

Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitation due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and why.

First people should realize that ME/CFS is not a made up or fictional condition. It is a post viral malaise condition caused by chronic autoimmunity and chronic inflammation.

People with chronic fatigue look fine. You cannot tell somebody is sick just by looking at them. I’ve had many people tell me that I can’t be sick because I look well! It is somewhat frustrating.

If you have friends who have fatigue issues (now becoming very common due to long COVID). Please be tolerant! They may not be able to make it to your dinner party or event. Remember, it’s not personal, sometimes they just can’t make it.

ME/CFS is a spectrum disorder, that varies with intensity from person to person. Some people are completely bedridden, and some can work 5 days a week (though usually completely crash outside of work).

Please remember how you may have felt with a heavy flu. Very tired, achy, miserable and in pain. This is how ME/CFS manifests in many people. Please be empathetic and kind. One day it might happen to you.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

It’s difficult to choose one, as I started off each chapter in the book with an inspirational quote, but few people in history have provided quite as many great quotes as Winston Churchill. My favorite one is, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

I’ve always admired greatness or genius in others and because I enjoy music so much, I would love to meet Paul McCartney, easily the greatest living songwriter. His limitless enthusiasm for music is compelling, he is still touring around the world, and he is almost 80 years old! He is testament to the old maxim, if you enjoy what you do you will never have to work a day in your life. I’ve got tickets to see him in a couple of weeks in Los Angeles and even my two kids are excited to go.

Unstoppable: How Jason Boyce of Avenue7Media Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society with… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.