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HGTV’s Tarek El Moussa joins John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast to discuss Flip or Flop, mental health and his book Flip Your Life.

Tarek El Moussa is best known for HGTV shows like Flip or Flop and Flipping 101, but he’s so much more. He’s a thriving businessman, two-time cancer survivor, and devoted husband and father.

Today, Tarek opens up about the transformative chapters that have shaped his life. Join us to hear about the peaks and valleys of how he navigated the distressing subprime mortgage crisis in the early 2000s, pivoted into the intricate dance of flipping houses and overcame multiple personal and health challenges along the way.

My friends, this conversation is so much more than real estate or flipping houses. It will inspire you to find opportunity in moments of struggle, to persevere through challenges, and to cultivate a mindset that transforms adversity into a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

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  • Grow through pain: As a child, Tarek experienced uncontrollable tics and was often ridiculed.
  • While Tarek recognizes the gifts ADHD brought him, he also sees that it’s brought him obsessive thoughts that have led to anxiety, a sleeping disorder and an alcohol disorder. In an effort to “fix himself”, Tarek began to self-medicate.
  • “Every single thing I got in trouble for growing up is the reason I’m successful today.” From creating a t-shirt company to being a waiter at Medieval Times, each of Tarek’s jobs taught him valuable lessons.
  • During his early days of real estate, a defeated Tarek finally closed his first deal… and splurged his commission check on a brand car, leaving him back at where he started without understanding how he could replicate his success.
  • “I’m a big believer in learning from people that have done what you’re looking to do.” – Tarek on the power of comps.
  • Flip or Flop: In building a successful real estate career, Tarek met Christina in 2006 just before the subprime mortgage crisis. Rocked by the crisis, together they decided to build a business flipping houses, and do it on television.
  • In the home video Tarek used to pitch production companies for Flip of Flop, he said he wanted to flip 100 homes a year, teach others around the world how to do it, and inspire others to believe anything is possible – all of which he accomplished.
  • From a viewer emailing Flip or Flop‘s production company, Tarek discovered he had stage 3 thyroid cancer. While in recovery from surgery, the then 31-year-old  learns he also has testicular cancer.
  • Are you hitting rock bottom? Tarek encourages you to write down the names of everyone you love, happy memories and future dreams.
  • Get a copy of Tarek El Moussa’s book Flip Your Life here.

Did you enjoy hearing from one of your favorite HGTV stars?

You’ll love my conversation with Erin and Ben Napier of Home Town. Using the motto ‘make something good today,’ Erin and Ben remind us that rehabbing isn’t just meant for homes, but also for our hearts, lives and towns. Listen to Erin and Ben Napier on ep. 116.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Section 8 Bible by Michael McLean and Nick Cipirano.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. I was happy a lot. I was excited about life.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Family photos? The car? Honestly, they're all just material possessions. As long as my kids are okay, I'm good.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. My grandpa. My dad's dad.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. If you practice, you can do it.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Go see a mental health professional.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. Started at the bottom and teaching others how to go to the top.