Make Your Comeback

5 Minutes Read

Episode 101

Nate Dukes is an author, coach, and speaker, but in his early twenties, Nate was a business owner chasing success while dealing with a secret drug and gambling addiction.

After constantly hitting rock bottom, hurting those close to him, stealing a car, and going to jail, Nate went on a journey of change which helped him create his own comeback story.

He soon discovered that there were others just like him who were stuck believing the lie that they’d never be able to change. Through his book “You’ll Never Change,” onstage speaking and personal coaching, Nate shares what he’s learned to help others make their comeback.

Nate opens up about his breakdowns and breakthroughs, so if you’ve ever doubted if a change is possible, this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the complete Episode:

  1. Nate shares his story of losing everything through his drug and gambling addiction.
  2. Discover his journey of making a choice to change after hitting rock bottom.
  3. Be inspired to make your comeback, going from hopeless to hopeful.

Episode Highlights

Who is Nate Dukes

    • Nate is an author, speaker and coach.
    • He has overcome a drug and gambling addiction.
    • He is passionate about helping people overcome the traps of failure, helping them become better versions of themselves.
    • Through sharing his journey of change which helped him create his own comeback story, he hopes to inspire you to make your comeback.

His upbringing

    • Nate comes from a low-income family.
    • His parents had broken mindsets that they passed down to their children.
    • Nate wanted to escape the chaos of his childhood.

Going to college

    • Nate wanted to create something with his life and he thought that college was the answer.
    • He took out many student loans and went to college at the age of 18.
    • He was introduced to the party scene at college and started experimenting with alcohol and drugs.

Why he experimented

    • Nate Dukes was not comfortable with who he was.
    • He was insecure and wanted to be accepted.
    • It was a way of feeling significant in a social setting.
    • What started as a fun weekend experience turned into a full-blown drug addiction.

His entrepreneurial journey

    • After dropping out of college, Nate moved back in with his parents.
    • He still had a burning desire to achieve in life, so he offered to open up a bar and restaurant with a friend.
    • It appealed to his entrepreneurial spirit and his love for the party scene.
    • They took a failing business and made it successful.

Out of control

    • With Nate having more access to money, his drug addiction ramped up, and he started gambling.
    • Over a year, he lost everything he had.
    • He began to use business funds to fuel his drug and gambling addiction.
    • When the time came to cut checks for employees, he had to come clean to his business partner.

The ultimatum 

    • His business partner gave him an ultimatum.
    • Sign over the business for free and walk away.
    • Alternatively, he’d get lawyers involved and press charges.
    • At 26 years old, Nate decided to walk away.

Hitting rock bottom

    • Nate hit rock bottom and fell apart after walking away from his life’s work and losing what formed a massive part of his identity.
    • He couldn’t hold down a job. 
    • He worked as a server in restaurants but stole, got caught, and fired.

Stealing a car

    • After being fired for the third time, Nate felt hopeless and had taken a handful of pills.
    • He was walking up to cars, looking for anything to steal so he could sell it.
    • In one of the unlocked cars, he found the spare keys and ended up stealing the vehicle.
    • He stopped at a gas station to get some sleep and woke to the sound of cops who then arrested him. 

Going to jail

    • Nate Dukes spent six months in county jail. 
    • It was a pod-style facility with sixteen bunk beds, three tables, two toilets, and no windows.
    • Once a month, there was an opportunity to get out of this environment by attending a church service.
    • While Nate was more interested in leaving the pod, he chose to go to church.

Amazing Grace

    • An old guy walks in, tunes up an old guitar, and starts singing Amazing Grace.
    • Nate looks around the room of convicts and sees tears streaming down their faces.
    • Nate felt an overwhelming sense of peace, like a weight lifted off his chest.
    • He cried out to God, saying, if it’s possible to change, he wants to.

Creating his comeback

    • Nate got two years of felony probation when he got out of jail.
    • He went on a journey to try and create his comeback.
    • He became obsessed with personal development and creating sustainable change.
    • Transforming his life and helping others to do the same.


    • Nate came to a place where he was humble enough to realize he didn’t have all the answers.
    • Sometimes, we need someone to coach and guide us.
    • It wasn’t until he was willing to reach out and accept the help that his life started to change.
    • Change became a choice. 

Hopeless to hopeful

    • It started with his relationship with himself, building confidence, being disciplined, and intentionally repairing things.
    • Nate says that besides his relationship with God, the most important relationship is with himself.
    • It makes him a better husband, friend, and leader.

The title of his book

    • The title of his book is “You’ll Never Change.”
    • He says it’s the lie we’ve been told all our lives and end up telling ourselves.
    • We are conditioned to think this way through our environment.
    • Nate proposes that a different version exists in all of us, but it requires us to overcome this lie.

Repairing the damage of the past

    • People in our lives know a version of us that may not exist anymore.
    • There’ll be those who don’t forgive you, and you need to be okay with this.
    • The best you can do is hope for the opportunity to reintroduce yourself and show the new version of yourself.
    • Nate says that letting go of shame and guilt is essential to move forward.

Good decision making

    • Nate Dukes says that his decision-making is now based on his vision for his life.
    • You need to get crystal clear on what you want in life and start to reverse engineer how to get there.
    • You’re building bricks to your empire, or you’re taking bricks and throwing them away.
    • Creating the life you want is a process, so allow yourself the time for your good decisions to take effect.

Make your comeback

    • Nate is committed to helping others create their comeback by repairing the past’s damage.
    • He is proud to share his message as he believes that our stories can change other people’s stories.

How does Nate Dukes want to be remembered?

    • Nate wants to be remembered as passionate and cares about helping people step into everything they have. Not because of fake encouragement, but because of the hard truth we need to hear.

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

18:28 – “I would go as far as to say this, the most important relationship in my life, besides my relationship with God, is the relationship that I have with myself. It’s more important than my relationship with my wife, only because when I’m good with myself, I’m a better husband, a better leader, and a better friend”.

19:32 – “So I had to learn how do I forgive myself? And how do I love myself again because unforgiveness is a prison we’ll keep ourselves trapped in. And it’s not until we let ourselves go and free ourselves from that, that we can start to experience a change in our life”.

23:38 – “Guilt and shame do not serve us. So staying guilty or shameful because of our mistakes or the damage we’ve done doesn’t help us help other people in the future. It doesn’t help us make an impact in the future or help us change the world and the world around us. So I do the best that I can to overcome guilt, and it’s kissing cousin shame”.


About Nate

Nate Dukes is passionate about helping people overcome the traps of failure, showing them that change is possible and change is a choice.

As an author, speaker and coach, he is on a mission to tell his story as he believes his story can change and inspire the story of others.

Nate is incredibly proud that he gets to travel and share his message at different events, both virtually and in person. He visits different rehab and recovery centers where he can give his book away for free through the help of partners who wish to pay it forward. He is working on his book becoming part of the curriculum at these centers.

If you’re ready to make your comeback, get in touch with Nate by connecting with him through any of the below resources.


Connect with Nate




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Thanks for listening,


Picture of Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.