I am Dustin Plantholt, born on August 12, 1983 in Oceanside, CA—a coastal city in San Diego County on California’s South Coast. I was a wild, spirited boy who came from a family riddled with severe dysfunction and generational trauma. My father was equal parts loving and angry and when he wasn’t in jail, he was stealing cars, racing dirt bikes, or shooting guns behind our house. My mother left my abusive father, moved away and left our family when I was a mere toddler—barely 2-years old. In doing so, our single dysfunctional dad took over parenting us. That is where my story begins. As we say at Life’s Tough Media… “EVERY story has a purpose!”
Three and a half years after my mother left, she returned into our lives. We were in foster care, as my father was in jail at the time, and the state of California was ready to put my sister and I up for adoption, so they went searching for any next-of-kin. My mother’s reason she gave them for leaving us was “personal” and only known to her. We were eventually reunited with our mother—flying 2,000 miles across the country. This is where we would spend the remainder of our childhood—with her and her new family.
Then sadly in August 2014, my big sister Tennille died tragically. This began my personal journey of dealing with a devastating loss. Tennille, who had taken care of me in foster care, died suddenly of a drug overdose.
It was in losing Tennille that led me to discover my purpose and from where Life’s Tough Media was born. Our network of shows—anchored by my inspirational podcast, Life’s Tough: You Can Be TOUGHER!—proudly highlights personal stories of strength and perseverance and are listened to now in over 80 countries around the world. Our network aims to inspire and motivate each other towards personal fortitude, healing, growth, and empowerment. Together we share experiences, strategies and skills aimed at building better lives, healthier relationships, and a kinder society, as well as inspiring a world of emergent leaders.
Past guests on our shows include some of the most inspiring people on the planet: boxing icon Evander Holyfield; entrepreneur & Priceline.com Co-Founder Michael Loeb; actor & bodybuilding legend Lou Ferrigno; renowned religious leader Pat Robertson; celebrated recording artist John Tesh; ground-breaking host Jerry Springer; the 700 Club; the illustrious late Mary Wilson from the Supremes; military legend Colonel ‘Godfather’ Ferrando; celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich; Platinum Recording Artist Wyclef Jean; legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper; and many more.
Together, we are sparking a movement and changing the world, one heart at a time.
It’s life … life is tough … but YOU can be TOUGHER!
And remember… everyone has a story and every story has a purpose!