Jesse Itzler is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, Emmy award-winning songwriter of the NBA theme song, “I Love This Game,” and former rapper. Jesse has written over 50 theme songs for sports franchises including the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He also co-founded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest private jet card company, and he owns The 100 Mile Group, LLC marketing agency. Jesse is married to Sara Blakely, the Founder of SPANX, and they have three sons.
LIVING WITH THE MONKS (Center Street, May 15, 2018)
Entrepreneur and bestselling author, Jesse Itzler’s next adventure takes him to a monastery where he learns to unplug, pray, and live like a monk.
Thinking all monasteries were like the ones he saw in the movies, Jesse Itzler arrived at the New Skete religious community in remote Cambridge, New York, with a shaved head and a suitcase filled with bananas. To his surprise, New Skete monks have most of their hair. They’re Russian Orthodox, not Buddhist, and they’re also world-renowned dog breeders and authors of dog-training books that have sold in the millions.
Wait, what? Jesse Itzler living with monks? And dogs? How could that happen?
Between his entrepreneurial endeavors, motivational speaking engagements, charities, and FOUR KIDS, plus running ultra-marathons and other assorted involvements and activities, Jesse doesn’t have a lot of free time on his hands. In his downtime, he’s more likely to be in a water balloon fight with his eight-year-old son than in anything close to quiet contemplation. But his daily turbo-tasking was catching up to him, and he found himself overwhelmed and underperforming. When he challenged his wife to a game of rock-paper-scissors during a friend’s wedding ceremony he realized he needed an adult time-out.
Most people would take a short vacation, cut back on some daily activities, or get a massage. Not Jesse. He came up with his unique answer to the building stress and dwindling time in his life. In LIVING WITH THE MONKS, the hilarious follow-up to his New York Times bestselling Living with a SEAL, Jesse takes us on a spiritual journey like no other. Isolated in a snowbound mountain monastery surrounded by German shepherds, an intern who walked right off a page from a Stephen King novel, and an odd but lovable bunch of monks who are a cross between Tony Robbins and Cesar Millan, Jesse finds the key to unlocking a life with less stress, more self-reflection (gulp), and greater happiness. (And, as he learns, the key to happiness isn’t running. Say what?)
LIVING WITH A SEAL (Center Street, November 3, 2015)
There is nothing successful entrepreneur and Emmy-winning producer Jesse Itzler won’t try. He brazenly pretended to be an established hip-hop artist Dana Dane to secure a meeting with a studio head—and it led to a record deal. He sincerely offered to run a 100 mile race in Spanx to get the attention of the beautiful founder of the company—and ended up marrying her. He even brought his own focus group into a meeting to persuade the decision makers at NetJets of a new idea—Marquis Jet.
His life is about being bold and risky. And it’s brought him plenty of rewards.
So, when Jesse decided his business and social life were drifting toward auto pilot , he hired a rather unconventional trainer to shake things up; an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be “the toughest man on the planet!”
Living With a SEAL is like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air meets Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-going as you can get. SEAL is…not. He even shows up at Jesse’s apartment with an inflatable raft just in case the Itzler family ever has to escape Manhattan by crossing the Hudson River.
Jesse and SEAL’s escapades soon produce a great friendship, and by the time SEAL leaves, Jesse is in the best shape of his life, but he gains much more than muscle. Hilarious and inspiring, Living With a SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.
PRAISE AND PRESS for LIVING WITH A SEAL:
This is 100% Jesse. Do it differently and you get different results. That’s the way he has operated his entire life and it has worked beautifully.
―Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, Head Coach Duke Basketball and United States National Head Coach
Most of us go through life on auto-pilot. New day…same routine. This guy beamed a “live action hero” into his living room for 31 days to shake up his life. Sometimes you have to have the guts to do something radical to get results.
―Dolvett Quince, The Biggest Loser
Jesse knows what it takes to succeed in business and in life – a Don’t Quit attitude! Our US Military embraces that attitude in training and survival, no one more so than the elite Navy SEALs. When my pal invites SEAL into his world, Jesse’s life is never the same again! The relationship between these guys is outrageous – it’s like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air meets Rambo! But with all the insanity there are strong life messages, hysterical moments, and great lessons to be learned. Like Jesse, this book is a HIT!
―Jake Steinfeld, chairman and founder of Body by Jake
George Foreman once gave me great advice. When I told him my husband ran 100 miles non-stop he said, ‘Sara, don’t try to understand a man like that. Just love him.’
―Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX, Jesse’s wife