The Joy in Goal Setting Podcast

Empowering individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals, and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation.

The Joy in Goal Setting Podcast cover

Season One Episodes

Episode 5:

Empowering Communities: Travis Smith’s Transition from Pro Basketball Player to Local Non-Profit Coach and Founder of the 20/20 Youth Organization

Travis Smith, Coach & Founder of the 20/20 Youth Organization

Following an impressive basketball career, discover how Travis maintains his passion in a manner that brings him enduring joy and satisfaction. He not only focuses on establishing purpose-driven objectives and aiding others in their personal growth, but his extraordinary dedication to both sustaining and actively engaging with his community is truly commendable. Travis stands as a caring leader, illustrating the art of living with a deep-seated sense of purpose. Uncover the essence of attaining significant milestones, and subsequently, persisting in pursuing your interests in a way that profoundly influences those around you.

Travis Smith, Coach & Founder of the 20/20 Youth Organization

Hutson 0:12
Welcome to the joy in goal setting podcast where we empower individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation. I’m your host Hudson DODDS. Today, we’re sitting down with Travis Smith. Travis is a former professional basketball player, co founder of the nonprofit 2020 youth organization, and Basketball Coach James Allen High School, we’re going to discuss how to utilize your passions to positively impact your community.

Travis, welcome to the show, man. I’m so happy you’re here. Yeah, excited to be here. It’s great talking to you. It’s been a while. Yeah, yeah. So we ask everybody, where are you from? What you’re currently doing? And I’m going to ask you your favorite place you’ve ever played basketball?

Travis 1:03
Oh, wow. Okay. Um, so obviously Travis Smith. I’m from Charleston, South Carolina. Right now, I do a couple of things. My main job is working at James on High School. I’m the Head Basketball Coach over there. And I also teach entrepreneurship and marketing. I am the co founder of the 2020 youth organization. And I also help out with several nonprofits in the area. Nice, favorite place that I ever played basketball. Was probably Brazil, for the liaison in Sao Paulo, but I didn’t make much money. But I have I had a great time down there.

Hutson 1:37
Brazil, what was your favorite thing you had to eat in Brazil? Oh,

Travis 1:41
um, it was simple stuff. Rice and beans and, and just really fresh. You know what I mean? Proteins and fresh

Hutson 1:50
meats? Yeah. Not all that dissimilar to grow up. And James. I don’t know, either. Right, which I took for granted. Let’s kind of get on that track a little bit. Tell us how did you end up in Brazil? Let’s walk backwards. Yeah, your basketball career? I know. For folks that don’t know you. Let’s let’s kind of get get get going in there. Yeah,

Travis 2:06
absolutely. I was blessed to receive a scholarship after graduate from Pedigo had a couple of scholarships. Finished up at Mercer University. I had two really good seasons, there Go Bears. Then after that I learned a lot really fast, was able to bounce around to a whole bunch of different countries. I didn’t have an agent for representation, which was a huge mistake, but was able to get us some countries off the off of doing putting on my game film, then bounced around, finally found a good situation in Germany. And play there for two years. I ended up getting hurt, then moved back to Charleston to rehab and just fell in love with being around adolescents and helping them through their journey. And the funny thing is they they listened to me when I started talking basketball, but then I’m able to kind of wiggle in some, some real life skills. Yeah. And some mentor again.

Hutson 3:00
Yeah. So in Germany or any other country for that matter. Being in a new place, being a new guy on the team, new squad, new languages, all those things I can’t imagine was all all rosy. I’m sure there were some moments that were tough. Can you think about some times that were difficult to kind of come out of that were? And then and what did you What did you use to help you get get out of those difficult situations?

Travis 3:27
My faith helped me a ton. My first situation right after I graduated, I went to China. And so I went to China thinking that I was going to be eating shrimp fried rice and romaine

Hutson 3:39
mama Kim’s Yeah, it was not that at all.

Travis 3:41
So, um, I learned a lot really fast. I was kind of looking back at it, I was immature. And I wasn’t really quite ready for that situation. So then I grew up from that situation and really took advantage of my next situation. And you know, there’s a couple of times where I was the only American on the team and the only person that spoke English as their first language. And so that was, that was an obstacle. But at the same time, I learned a lot about people and being able to read people and read rooms and figure out different ways to still communicate without it always being verbal. Yeah. And so those were those were some really good years, I got to see the world for free, got paid for it and doing something that I really loved and was able to bring a lot of that knowledge back to Charleston when I got back.

Hutson 4:25
Yeah, yeah. So you, I’m assuming from you know, little kid, the goal was to play basketball. Yeah. So you reach that goal, right? You you become a professional athlete, kind of reached. I mean, I’m assuming MBA will be pinnacle for talking pinnacle, but that’s still you know, that’s reaching your goal, professional athlete. All of a sudden, it’s no longer who you are. But was that experience like to come off of being a pro athlete to becoming you know, whatever next was so how did you go? What was that like? And how did you go from Pro athlete to the next step.

Travis 5:01
So great question. And I was, it’s tough. It’s really tough. I was lost for a while I got done, I was hurt. And so I was already kind of kind of not feeling so great. And then my contract situation was going to be very, very bad. And I ended up just saying that I wanted to start start from scratch in Charleston, but started from scratch, literally from scratch. You know, I didn’t have any work experience other than playing, playing basketball, and like you said, you worked so hard for a goal. And then, you know, you’ve reached a goal. And now it’s like, Alright, what’s next? Luckily, for me, you know, I had some really good mentors, John Pearson was definitely one of them. And he helped me through that tough time. And I found a lot of joy with working with some working with some kids in the gym, but I still didn’t have a job. Yeah. And so figuring out what I could do for work, what I would, what I like to do, and what my passion would be started grinding and was able to figure out through networking, and just doing the right thing and talking to people and getting a really good situation. Yeah,

Hutson 6:06
yeah. So what was next then? So you’re in Charleston, you’re finding yourself, you’re figuring out kind of who you are outside of being a pro athlete. And where do you land?

Travis 6:17
So I ended up I ended up coaching that Porter gal. And so that was through John Pearson And Larry Sally to get in the bulls, Eggleston, they gave me a really good opportunity to start my professional career as an educator, and an independent school. And so the segue was, once again basketball, I was able to work where guys out and bring a lot of energy to that program, the basketball program. And then during the day, I found a really good, really good job in the athletic department to get my feet started in the professional world. And it just kind of rolled from there. Started off in athletic department, then it segwayed into advancement. And so I learned a whole lot in the advancement field. And that’s taken me to the point where I was able to start my own nonprofit with two partners of mine, and was able to also help other nonprofits create and build and have a lot of change, and be able to help a lot of people in Austin. Yeah,

Hutson 7:18
so you find yourself working with students. Did you ever see yourself as someone who will be working with the youth

Travis 7:25
as funny? So my wife asked me out last night, right. So Katie asked me, How do you learn how to coach? Right? And she was talking to X’s and O’s, but I went on a long rant. So essentially, like I tell her what I told you, but like a abbreviated form. I was at Mercer. Well, first off, I had some really good coaches. John Pearson was phenomenal when

Hutson 7:48
you say good both x’s and o’s, but also teaching you how to be young man. Yes, yeah, yeah, he

Travis 7:53
invested a lot of time with me. And to my knucklehead phase when he could have easily given up on me. He didn’t know he just stayed in it with me. And that always, that always stuck out to me. And then I had some other coaches that were really good, excellent. Oh wise. And you know, everybody’s different. And so with that, I remember being at Mercer, and we had a team camp, and I was on the clock. And there was this guy, I can’t remember his name. But he worked at he was the he was the superintendent. And the head basketball coach in this small town in Georgia. Right. His name was Dr. Something, I can’t I can’t remember his name. But he was late to team camp like he was a day or two late. And his kids, they were still doing good. But they were being kids. They were running all around the gym, you know, horsing around horsing around. And all I heard the whole time those two days was wait until Dr. Sawyer so gets here. Wait until Darkshore. So gets here and I’m like, Who is this guy? Yeah. As soon as he came into the gym, like everybody, his coaches, players, the parents changed completely. Right. It was like, you know, his presence? Yeah, without him saying anything. It was like, Alright, we gotta we gotta get we gotta get right. So I remember talking to him. And he was telling me his responsibility as not just a just a coach, but as a mentor, and a community leader. And I was like, you know, what, that’s what I want to be. Yeah, I want to do that for for our community, I want to be that for our area, you know, not necessarily like, exactly like him. But taking that on and effecting change like that, where it’s like, through through this thing that I love to do, which for me is basketball. I can I can really help a generation of kids parents, and and other adults that are under me as coaches. I can help them be a better version of yourself. And at the same time, I’m helping myself because I’m holding myself to a standard that I’m holding him to, you know, which I thought was really cool and kind of resonated with me and I kind of put a pin in that I’m kicking myself because I don’t remember his name. But um, I kind of put a pin in that. And I was like, you know, like, that’s how I would love to, you know, I mean, that’s the profession I would love to hear. Yeah.

Hutson 10:10
Where do you think your sense of community and desire to impact community comes from? Is that a family thing? Is that something you grown into? Because community has impacted you? Or is it both?

Travis 10:21
Yeah. So you’ve been to James Allen before? Yeah. So I mean, we live next door to our family, right? Even on John’s Island, where my parents stay now. Like, I live next to my great grandmother’s house. And then next to my aunt. So I mean, like, family and community is everything, you know, they’re one in the same for me. And so being able to help my community is helping my family and vice versa. You know, I’m the youngest. I think I’ve told you this before, but I’m out of my office, my mom and my dad side, both of them are on James Island. Right. I grew up on James Island, their siblings are on James Island. I’m the youngest boy on both sides out of 61st cousins. And most of us were in Charleston. You know, so like, so like, I had a lot of cousins that raised you? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, a lot of people took took their time with me. You know what I mean? And I feel like, you know, I was able to, I was able to, I was able to play college basketball, there was a couple of my cousins that play college sports. And then I was the only one that was able to play professionally. Right. And so I wouldn’t have been able to do that without them. And so for me, it’s like, Alright, how can I take this knowledge and bring it back? To where I came from? Yeah, you know, what I mean? And how wide can that span and that reach? Go from? You know, what I mean, James Allen, throughout Charleston and throughout the whole country, and beyond.

Hutson 11:42
So is that the inspiration for 2020? Or where does 2020 Come in, in your life? And how did that come to be?

Travis 11:49
So when I was working at Porter go, train Maclean was my was the co founder. He’s the executive director. He came into my office, and I was working him out. He was just playing overseas in Russia at the time, he came back, and we were just talking. And we were talking about just different stuff in the community, and different ways that we could affect positive change, you know? And so he was really on me. And he was like, man, we should do this. We should do this. We should create this. And I’m like, yeah, like, like, let’s do it. Right? Yeah. But I was kind of like, halfway, do it. And so we met with another guy named Alonzo Simmons. He runs a community center downtown Eastside. And those three put our heads together. And as we kept talking about it, I was like, yes, like, let’s do this. Yeah. And so the first thing that it started with was, let’s do a basketball league. Right? Because once again, people listen when we talk about basketball, and your experts there. Yeah. Right. And so we started with a basketball league, we got some we got some really good sponsors to believe in us just offer word of mouth, we didn’t have anything tangible to handle. You know, we did all the research ourselves, to figure out how to become a, excuse me, a nonprofit organization. And then we created the league, right? And then a part of the league is in order for you to play in the league. And it’s 13 weeks, in order for you to play in the league, you have to do what we call real talk sessions, where we go over character building and go over academic achievement, everything that you need to be able to go and play college basketball, or beyond, but also just things that you need life skill on life. Yeah. And so the first year was at, then we moved to 180. And last year, we had 250 For our third year. And so, but the thing that we noticed and we weren’t ready for was the other things. Right? Like, there’s kids that need mentoring. Outside of the court. Yeah, there’s kids that need academic assistance. Right? There’s kids that need coats, right. And school supplies. Yeah. And one thing that there’s always school supplies at the beginning of the year, but the one thing that we realized just from talking to different parents and being in a community was like, you know, my, we got we got small children, or we got, you know, middle school aged children. They grew out of their shoes in their, in their uniform, quick, like Christmas time. Yeah.

Hutson 14:09
In time, and then what it’s for Yeah, so

Travis 14:12
like, am I gonna give them? Am I gonna give them uniform clothes for Christmas? Or am I gonna give them toys or a new video game? Right. And so we offer a service to, you know, so it’s just these little things that we were able to start creating and coming up with that filled a lot of a lot of voids, you know, so we went from one program, where we feel the need to be able to fill you know, I mean, seven needs working in working in Title One schools and doing all type of stuff.

Hutson 14:41
Yeah, it’s incredible. So it’s grown and it’s continuing to grow every year. What are some goals you and Trey have to see for 2020?

Travis 14:51
Yeah, I mean, for us, it’s a it’s it’s growing, growing our village right, allowing, you know, at this point It started off with with me and him doing a lot of the work. And then we had we created a really nice board of five. And now it’s like, Alright, how can we? How can we empower more people to do what they’re good at. And we back up some, and allow, allow more people to be involved in, in this organization

Hutson 15:23
with the hands of the community, because now you have the community coming alongside, and putting themselves back into the community and impacting it. So now you’ve you’ve taken something that’s going to help you think that you’re just helping over here. But in reality, these folks are also getting help,

Travis 15:36
yes, creating a ecosystem, where it’s like, you know, the kids that we started off with, they’re about to graduate high school, and now there’ll be the kids, there’ll be some of the new mentors, or there’ll be the coaches or, you know, so I mean, the big thing for us in the next three to five years is, you know, really building building to that next stage, you know, we’re only three years old, and we’ve covered a lot of ground. Yeah, so the next three to five years, as we approach, you know, I mean, your five, and eventually your 10, is getting just getting more established in the community, continuing to be consistent, filling the needs of the community. And you know, beyond that, just being able to empower more people that’s in a similar situation that I was in, you know, we got a lot of athletes, a lot of athletes, not just basketball players, but after they get done, they’re lost. Hopefully, we can be a haven for them, to not only make a little bit of money, but enjoy what they’re doing. And then we can help do our connections, we can help them find their next career, while they’re helping and giving back to kids with the knowledge that they’ve gained while leaving Charleston and coming back.

Hutson 16:41
Yeah. So with 2020. You work that takes up time, your husband and a father, you’re coaching at James Allen, you’re teaching classes James Island got a lot lot on your plate, how do you how do you balance all of these things? And how do you how do you set goals and work towards them? So that you’re not heavy on one of them? Or do you find yourself sometimes in seasons where it seems like you’re spending too much time over here? What does that balance look like? And how do you if you’re in, in a rut, how do you get out of it?

Travis 17:20
Life is definitely about balance, and juggling all those all those things that you that you’re saying is, it’s tough sometimes, but I’ll be honest, like, I went, when I first met Mark, we sat down and talk and if you ever I know, you talked to Mark, whenever you talked to Marcus, like, you know, a bunch of different ideas, all at the same time. And I’m, I’m I was I’m sort of like that, but I don’t have as many I’m not as creative as Mark. But, um, then I met Dave. Right. And I went through the framework. And before I went through that, like I had, I had everything that I wanted to do written down. I had it all up here. Yeah, but it made zero sense how things connected how I could like, how I could balance my time. It was like it was it was never ending. And, you know, after after doing the framework and going through to deliberate practice, and, and concentrating on one thing at a time. Yeah. And really prioritizing what, what matters the most. You know, things got easier. Yeah, you know, now I say that my wife will probably kick me because she’ll be like, it sounds like you’re trying to add some more on anything else. No, seriously, man. Like, I think I think that was a huge blessing in my life at the time that it came. Yeah. As I was able to organize and really get more goal or goal oriented. Yeah. For that time of my life and that season. So

Hutson 18:57
yeah, well, I mean, you’re someone who has done a lot and achieved a lot and had a lot of success, I mean, at the highest level, right? So you clearly are goal oriented, but what I’m hearing is that there’s a difference between having an up here, and that’s it, and then looking at other areas of your life and having goals over there as well. Because your goals were centered on athletic achievement, professional achievement, right. And now what I’m hearing is that it’s, it’s helped you to set goals in the areas that maybe you weren’t quite spending too much time even thought towards. Absolutely. And seeing some successes and wins there to, you know, feed into your values.

Travis 19:39
The weirdest thing though, was like, was like the question of like, what did you learn? Right, what worked and what didn’t work? Yeah. And so like on a weekly basis, yeah, on a weekly basis. And so for me as a as a former athlete and a person, I was just like, you just got to get it done. Not to me that you win a game or you lose, it

Hutson 19:57
doesn’t really matter why you just Yeah, Yeah,

Travis 20:00
it’s like, What do you mean? Like, you’re okay with, like, it’s okay to fail, right? You know what I mean? Either you win a championship, you don’t already win region or you don’t win region, right. But even, like, that’s helped me as a as a coach and as a mentor to understand that, you know, especially on the path to the success, failure is not a negative thing. Right? You have to do that to grow. And that goes back to that growth mindset, right. And that’s something that my team hears every day. Like, we got it, we say, grow on 3123 grow. You know, what I mean? Our acronym is grow, goes right on, we the only way we can reach our goals is, you know, I mean, yeah, to each other, and we got to grow, it’s going to be painful. You know, so like, that was, that was a, that was a big key for me, where it was like, alright, don’t don’t, don’t run away from your failures. If you don’t, if you have a shortcoming evaluate why, and then figure out how to how to do better than next week, right? As opposed to being like, you know, we lost but we didn’t, we didn’t do because we didn’t do whatever x y. It’s like, it’s like that excuse. Right, right. As opposed to being like, alright, we lost this, would they did this? Well, we did. This is how we can improve, right? Let’s go attack it next. Again,

Hutson 21:18
even further, right of like, Yeah, we didn’t execute over here. But why was it during the game? Was it preparation? Right? Was it because we didn’t Scout well enough? Yeah, it’s more, it’s even the further back. And then you can really grow as a person if, but as an organization, even right, you can try to translate into your organization and say, like, what’s really going on here diagnosed on a weekly, quarterly monthly basis? And going that person would have been, yes,

Travis 21:41
transferable to all things, right. Like, even as even as a as a father, like, I’m not going to do everything perfect. You know, I could try as hard as I can, and then evaluate, like, alright, like, maybe I need to change that, or same thing as a husband or, you know, I mean, a head of household, just like, you know, there’s going to be those failures if you’re if you’re sometimes right. And if you are, if you’re transparent and honest with yourself. That’s what it girls comes in. Yeah.

Hutson 22:10
So you’re coaching? James Allen? Head coach. Yeah. So awesome. What What kind of goals do you have professionally, as it pertains to coaching? Do you have any? If so, what are they? Or are you there? What does that look like for you?

Travis 22:26
I mean, my goals for the most part, and it goes back to John Pearson, like I learned a lot from being from coaching under him for six years, and planning for him for five years. All right. Invest, invest in your kids in your program, from the earliest age all the way through. You know, I think one big thing is like, we often underestimate how, how impactful those teenage years are, and the people that positively impact your teenagers, right? So if I can be that positive influence on not just the kids in my program, but any kid that I come in contact with, like, I mean, just like just a sentence or a word or just showing that you care. Yeah, can change the course of somebody’s life?

Hutson 23:12
Yeah, I see. Yeah. So my mantra is impact intentionally. Okay. And so, comes from this one I used to travel I used to do you want every year and it was it was either a fueler or a sucker. And so the idea is that, as humans, we’re relational beings are always going to impact people. It’s never like you never interact with someone and it’s just like, it just nothing happens. And either they positively impact you negatively. And so as a human, we’re either sucking life out of people, or feeling life into people. I like to do that anyway, you know, you know, people in life it like when you leave the conversation, you feel fueled. And then people you leave and you feel sucked, like the drain. Right? And so, with the kids, I was talking about juice like you there’s no there’s no in between, like you’re one or the other. And one is self centered. No one is selfless. And so yeah, impacting people. I know that I’m going to impact regardless. And so I want to be intentional about it. And it comes back, like being specific, a little bit of like, just be nice today. Like that’s not No, I need to be intentional. Like today. I’m going to be nice by or I’m going to be patient with my children through this otherwise, we’re never going to hit it right.

Travis 24:34
It means a lot though. Yeah, intentionally doing it. Yeah. You know, yeah.

Hutson 24:38
And interesting doing with with, like you said, the next generation I think is huge key. Seeing role models, seeing seeing people who’ve done it seems to have been successful, and how they, how they live their life impacts them, and hopefully positively so we want to live and

Travis 24:56
I think I think a big thing for me and my this opportunity James islands Just you know, helping as many kids as I can get to school, you know, rather that’s for free or as close to free as they can basketball Avenue or also just give them the resources to be able to, to get to that next chapter in life because college isn’t for everybody. Right? Yes. Like, you know, being just that extra support system, just being a community leader as much as possible and being able to support support these kids in this community as much as I

Hutson 25:23
can. Yeah. Amen. Yeah, so

Travis 25:27
my mantras meaning meaningful connections. And it really, it really stood out to me, because I like to think of myself as a connector of people. And one thing that helps me with in the nonprofit space is being able to connect people that align, you know, and being able to connect on those visions. I think one really cool thing about nonprofits is everybody’s in it to help. Yeah, you know, I mean, more so than any other industry. I thought, like, the first day I was in advancement, I was like, you know, the competition isn’t really there. It’s like everybody wants from they genuinely want to make the world a better place. Right. And so, you know, just that mentality alone, is helpful. And then if I can connect those if I if I can play a part in connecting one organization to another or one person to an organization, or however that connection happens, I think is great.

Hutson 26:27
Yeah, no doubt. Yeah. Working, working in development working in advancement. And being from both of us in the athletic kind of background, you’re used to competing for self really? Yeah, I mean, we say team it is team, but it’s so that we I can win a trophy. Yeah. And then when you’re in the in the nonprofit space, it’s truly about others. And you’re happy to send people other other other other nonprofits, right. Yeah, give money here and go that space? Well, yeah, so from Porter gown? And then and then the James Allen and 2020, what are some what are some learnings that you had either failures or things you learned from unknowingly nothing really, about the development space of asset space? To then help you go and grow 2020?

Travis 27:19
Are they just being just being going back to that failure piece being more transparent, about you know, my strengths and my weaknesses? And allow myself to be vulnerable and look at those has helped with growth? Right? If you if you shy away or hide behind your strengths and ever address your weaknesses, you’ll never be you won’t grow. Right and grows growing is painful at times and frustrating and, and uncomfortable. But then on the other side of it, you become a better person. Yeah. And you’re able to help people in a better way. Yeah, you know, we’ll never be perfect. Nobody is. But if you continue to just, you know, be truthful with yourself. You know, it’s easier for you to navigate this crazy, crazy world. Yeah,

Hutson 28:11
I love analogies. I love I love nature. I think my growing is painful. And I love being in the yard. And being in the garden, I think about you know, shrubs, and let them grow wild, they grow kind of sparse, and you prune them back and cut them back and they grow back thicker and stronger. And it’s like how we are right. Like, if we do nothing, we just kind of like grow all over the place. But you kind of go back and become stronger.

Travis 28:38
I heard this crazy. I heard this crazy story, right? It was just just in that rabbit hole of Instagram reels. This guy was like, you know, you look at a look at a caterpillar. And you see it trying to become a butterfly or so is it a man that’s going through the woods or whatever it sees it. And he sees it trying to like bust out of his cocoon, or whatever, right? And he’s like, Oh, I’m gonna help them. And so they are I will it for him. They unravel the cocoon. And so the caterpillar spreads his wings, and they fall straight to the ground and dies. And I instantly notice like, you know, the struggle is necessary to grow frustration is necessary to grow because breaking out of that cocoon on its own, strengthens his wings, makes it mentally tough, mentally strong, and allows you to become the butterfly that it was intended

Hutson 29:35
to be right. That’s awesome. Yeah, man. I’ve enjoyed talking with you. I can’t wait to see what happens with 2020. We’re James Allen Trojans, go with the helm. And appreciate you as always, yeah. Thanks

Travis 29:45
for having me, buddy.

Episode 4:

Balancing Purpose and Passion: Tejbir Dhindsa’s Journey as an ER Doctor

Tejbir Singh Dhindsa M.D., Emergency Medicine Physician at Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Join Tejbir Singh Dhindsa, M.D., an Emergency Medicine Physician, on a journey into the heart of a career driven by purpose and focus. In this podcast, we dive into Tej’s pursuit of passion and meaning within the demanding realm of Emergency Medicine, as he charts his course forward. Discover how Tej gracefully navigates the complexities of balancing family life with the rigors of a medical profession, while also exploring what is next for him in his life’s pursuits. Tej’s story offers valuable insights for discovering purpose in your own career path.

Tejbir Singh Dhindsa M.D., Emergency Medicine Physician at Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Hutson 0:12
Welcome to the joy in goal setting podcast where we empower individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation. I’m your host Hudson dots. Today, we’re sitting down with Tadge denza, who is an ER doctor in Charleston, South Carolina, and is currently pursuing his master’s in business from Duke. We’re going to talk about how we got here, where he’s going and how that aligns with the person he wants to be.

As denza Welcome to the show, we’re so happy you’re here.

Tej 0:48
Thanks for having me.

Hutson 0:50
So I know you We go way back, but our guests don’t know you. So I’d love to kind of like, you know, help them get to know you a little bit. So why don’t you tell us where you’re from where you went to college? And what’s your favorite book you read this year? And why?

Tej 1:03
Sure. Like, it’s like I said, my name is Taj denza. I’m born and raised in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Currently, I’m a emergency medicine physician serving at Roper hospital at all six of our locations. And the last question was my favorite book

Hutson 1:19
every book this year and why that’s interesting.

Tej 1:21
This is probably not what you were looking for. But I’m a sucker for biographies, specifically, usually not autobiographies, because I think they’re usually self serving. However, I read Matthew McConaughey Hayes Greenlight, which was incredible.

Hutson 1:37
What do you think? Yeah, pretty funny, wasn’t it?

Tej 1:39
It was very funny I was, people had really sold me on the audio book aspect of it, but I had already bought it on Amazon, unfortunately. So I read the book and

was very pleasantly surprised one about just the way that the book read and listened to his story and

really finding that he has a character in himself on screen, but he’s very, very introspective, which you would think most artists are, but he’s to another degree, I didn’t realize that he had completely reinvented his career, which I think a lot of people think about from time to time, but he actually did it when he was already successful. So I thought it was completely enlightening. So you’re an IR er, doctor. I’m curious. Why did you get into medicine? Was that from my childhood desire? When did you know I want to go into medicine. So I don’t know if there was any epiphany moment.

A lot of people can talk about time to solve friends or relatives sick, I think it was a combination. I had a lot of exposure to medicine from a young age. My mother’s a physician, my dad’s a researcher. I’ve got a lot of friends and family in it. I kind of drew an interest to it. When I was in college, a lot of my friends are all physicians. Now. But we were all on the same track. I went to Emory. So I forgot to answer that question. Earlier, I went to Emory University in Atlanta, which is essentially a pipeline for business school and medical school. I didn’t realize that at the time, but it was, and I started gaining more interest in it, apply to medical school, got it and came back home to Charleston, and decided on emergency medicine. Because I never wanted to be the guy who’s on a plane, who they say we need a physician. And you say I’m sorry, I’ve been doing skin for the last 40 years. And I can’t help you, dermatologist, no offensive dermatologist. But when I think about being a physician in your role and your dedication to a community, I think you want to have a very wide spectrum to what you can treat and what you can attack when you think about disease processes. And that’s what drew me to that.

Hutson 3:53
That’s awesome. So I’m curious, when you decided at Emory, I want to go to med school. Was there ever a moment in time you felt yourself say I want to go to med school so that obviously a doctor but I want to be a doctor so that or if you didn’t have that kind of moment? Looking back? What would you say subconsciously? was the answer that question?

Tej 4:16
This is a little bit of a wider question for me because I wanted to do this because of a sense of community. And it really comes back to stepping back. My parents, both immigrants coming to the US. And it was always this interesting dichotomy for myself growing up where my parents tried to assimilate me into a community completely foreign to themselves, but preserve their culture. So doing so I really felt extremely involved in the community because They raised me along with my parents, right you know a lot of things my parents can teach me because just culturally wasn’t in India. I mean, American football. Easy one. I didn’t know how to play American football, didn’t know anything about it. I landed on the back of Solomon’s island with Kitt, Regnery. I mean, it was it was an amazing experience growing up in Charleston, and I, I felt like I went into emergency medicine, to help take care of the community that raised me.

Hutson 5:30
So you’re helping the community, you’re an ER doctor, now, you have a baby on the way. Congratulations,

Tej 5:36
thank you for the weeks. But pleasantly naive, as I like to say,

Hutson 5:42
almost a dad finished your first term at Duke working towards your MBA. So you are in a lot of ways he would look at your life and say montages on like cruise control this point, he’s married, he has an awesome house, Mount Pleasant. He has a baby on the way, steady, incredible jobs, you’re a doctor. And now you’re going to get your MBA. So talk to me about how that process happened. Why MBA, what’s going on with with that,

Tej 6:11
so the MBA is an interesting thing, because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I actually looked at some MD MBA programs when I came out of college. And I, I’ve always wanted to develop the business aspect of my life, I feel like it’s probably something I probably say I’m probably more innately leaning towards business than I am medicine, I just happen to like both. I’ve had a couple good role models, I think that’s an important thing that is really not talked about as much. And one of my great role models was actually a family friend of mine. He’s a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon in Philadelphia, he got his MBA, and he was very influential on me, especially when I was in college, going through this time of trying to figure out who I wanted to be. And he was always very adamant that I try and seek higher education in the business world, especially with medicine becoming more business related. So I had been in practice may partner two years ago, and I told Victoria, you know, that void that I think some of us feel when we have these aspirations when they’re younger, and we don’t fill them, I was coming to that point. And I said, you know, I think there’s something more out there. And luckily, I feel very fortunate, Victoria is very supportive of me. Because we’re also taking on to quite a bit of a financial obligation with it. But we decided to apply was fortunate enough to get in, and, you know, three months, and now we’ve had an incredible experience and met some amazing people. Really, you know, I think whatever industry you go into, you end up hanging out or only talking about that industry, right? And I’m sick of it, I am so sick of medicine talk. But all you talk with is if you talk with other ER doctors, you’re talking about medicine all the time, your patients, etc, etc. When I started this program, it felt like you’re in college again. And you’re 18 and the world is green. And you’re meeting people from all different industries, all different walks of life, and it’s okay to ask dumb questions. You know, as we get older, you have to be a little bit more quiet when you’re around people in other industries, because you don’t want to sound dumb or you don’t, you’re not really sure what to ask or what’s even interesting, right? It’s like, if someone comes up to me, like, Oh, you’re in the ER, you must see some crazy stuff. Yes, of course I do. But that’s not the interesting stuff that you’d think. So it’s been really, really amazing. And I now have a good, close group of friends that I’ve met. And it’s a very open forum, and we’re all talking about this. We always wonder, is it are we insatiable? Right. And I think that’s a tough thing to really figure out. Are you? Is there a difference between greed and being insatiable? Or is wanting to change a bad thing? And I don’t think it is. So that’s, it’s been a very positive thing for me so far. Granted, I have another two years so you

Hutson 9:27
said that if you were to like kind of put medicine on one side business on one side of the business might kind of like eke out medicine in terms of desire. So do you see yourself in medicine long term? Do you see yourself potentially in business in some ways? Is that undecided still?

Tej 9:44
Yeah, I think it’s pretty undecided right now. The I’d be dumb to give up the sweat equity I’ve put in to medicine at this point. I still really enjoy my patients. I really enjoy serving the community. Especially if I see someone I know Oh, you know, the issue with the emergency room is people are completely vulnerable, they’re there because they have nowhere else to go. And especially when they see someone they know, they feel like there’s an invested interest, and I want them to feel that it gives me a lot of sense of self worth, myself, knowing that I’m able to help these people, because I have a skill set. Now, the lifestyle of physician is pretty taxing, you know, we’re not always playing golf, even though we do quite a bit. But weekend’s holidays, you know, if hurricane comes, it has no bearing, I have to be here. You’ll miss kids, you know, birthdays, I, you know, I’m trying to get time off for my own child to be born. So it’s very tough because of our commitment to the community, it, we’ve really put the burden on ourselves. That being said, I’d like to balance that by still keeping up clinical duties, but having some sort of business entity that’s on the side that I can run and kind of develop a different part of my brain, you know, because some people get to exercise it when they own their own business and medicine. With my group, we’re not able to do that as much since we’re dependent on a hospital infrastructure. But I still think that there are other either medical adjacent or even outside of medicine, business opportunities out there, that would be very enticing.

Hutson 11:34
So I’m hearing two things coming from around here. But sounds like potentially, you’re looking for some options where the work life balance meets your ideal life, right? And there’s this sense of maybe some, there’s something more out there. There’s something I It sounds like you’re enjoying what you’re doing, because you feel like you’re part of the community, you’re giving back to the community. But at the same time, like it isn’t quite what you maybe hoped it would be for you maybe isn’t quite as satisfying as you hoped it might. What might be when you’re first getting into it in college, wherever it might be, it sounds like it’s not quite living up to what you maybe hoped it would be. Is that right?

Tej 12:20
Or I think I’ve always had this perception where I don’t think anyone is supposed to have the same job for 10 years in a row. Right? I think everyone should be able to switch industries completely change what they do. You only live once. I mean, I’m surrounded by death every day. And I can tell you, a lot of people feel unfulfilled. I want to have the opportunity where I maximize my potential. And sometimes I you know, I asked Victoria, this. Is there any benefit? What, you know, in my, when I go to business school, what am I looking for? Am I looking for? Just to have something on my CV, which I try not to think that the reason because at the end of the day, I could work my job, be, you know, stable financially, provide my family and upcoming child a good life. But it’s not going back to this not the ideal life. So what that is, I don’t know. I think finding out the path to it. I think it was always the goal. One thing I’ve always tried to do is ask myself, what’s the easy thing to do? What’s the hard thing to do right now and doing the harder thing is usually the right thing, even though it might suck? But I think that’s kind of what’s led me to this right now. Yeah.

Hutson 13:48
So if you’d be willing to, I’d love to, like dive a little bit deeper into in that thought of choosing a career or choosing a goal and aligning it with as with our framework with the I got this framework, I there is the ideal. And so when we talk about is is when we align our goals with who we want to be when like you mentioned, kind of like when we die like the end of life, and we can look back and say it’s unachievable goal, but it’s something that if I lived exactly how I want it to be, then that will be the ideal version of whatever life role we’re talking about. So it could be work. It could be family, Keith mentioned those two things. You look back at those at the end. If we work backwards, then then as we set up our goals, if they align with those, that when we achieve them, we aren’t left with the dopamine high and then it’s gone because we’ve achieved something just to achieve but if if, as we achieve them, they line up with who we want to become. There’s that lasting impact of joy. And you talked a little bit about that as you set a goal to be a doctor to help with to community because that’s who you are, you’re, you’re a communal person, and you love people, and you love helping people and you love giving back. And so there’s joy there. But there’s something else or something missing, whether it’s out of medicine or not, but there’s something else there. And so I think it’d be interesting if you’re up for it, to kind of maybe give this a go and think about exactly that. So if you were to look at yourself, when you’re on your deathbed, or even, you know, the next generation looking at at great, great, great grandfather, Tash. How would you want to be remembered as it pertains to that maybe you could do too excited for both of you. It’s kind of families coming up. And then and then work. So when we start with the works, you’ve been there a little bit, but what are some, what are some things that you’d want people to say about you, like as a eulogy, you know, they were just like TASH, as it pertains to his work life role as as whatever he was, what

Tej 15:58
if you had to boil it down to one word I would hope giving would be very high up there.

Hutson 16:02
In what way? So like, giving time giving energy giving knowledge like or does it consume all those? Like, what do you mean by giving for work?

Tej 16:12
If it’s pertaining to work, I hope that someone would say that he was a good leader. Now I know, that’s a very vague terminology. But I think it is somewhat all encompassing on certain characteristics. I think that’s probably what I would if you boil it down to a single word when it comes to, to work. That’s what I would have to be now the question is, what is that work? I don’t know. If you asked me what what my dream job is in 20 years. That’s a difficult one to say. And

Hutson 16:40
I don’t think we would need to do that. I think if we just think about not even just one word, but just like things, like, let’s say that I’m standing up, and I’m talking about you to people, I’ve never met you in your life. I can say that, and you will never achieve this. This is something you could never achieve. It’s perfection is the perfect work life. You had you were what? Were you someone that that mentored other people to where they can reach their full potential? Were you someone who invented things that never been invented that bettered mankind? Were you someone who does that make sense? Yeah.

Tej 17:19
So I think that ideally, I’d be able to bridge some of the gaps in the healthcare system with hopefully my upcoming business background. Whether that’s to more of the impoverished side or in the socio economic sphere or not, let’s

Hutson 17:39
go even bigger. So what that looked like, did you win Nobel Prize is doing that did you? Did you? Did you change the way that healthcare and across the globe was utilized? Like, think think bigger than you could possibly think? Like, Well, ultimately, not just achieving something, but like, this is unachievable, but would be perfect for you like, if you could? It’d be? It’d be perfection?

Tej 18:06
I don’t know if I have a great answer for that. One thing that comes off the top of my mind, just with conversations we’ve had before this would be that anyone who needs any aspect of health care, especially if it’s emergent that they don’t ever worry about $1, right? That is that universal health care, I guess, where that money comes from, I have no idea. But if you can figure out a Situ system where you can take out corporate greed, whether that’s pharmaceuticals or insurance and let physicians be physicians, treat people let them not worry about it. A lot of people that I see, unfortunately, delay their care, because they’re worried about the financial burden that they would incur when that things can be preventable. So in an ideal world, if you could see people and treat people appropriately without having to worry about financial burden, or any issues related to that, I think that would be a pretty ideal sense. Now, is that something I’m going to do? I don’t know. Is that something I want to do? It could be cold, that sounds like quite the mountain to climb.

Hutson 19:16
And that’s the point. That’s why it’s the ideal. It’s ideal. It’s not going to happen. But so we start there, right? And then what we do is we move backwards and say, Okay, if you let’s let’s, you know, be that was a crude way of doing it, we would spend more time but sure, like if the goal if the if you were someone they said Tez was someone who was so selfless that he spent his time working so that other people would never have to worry about money spent towards health care, and physicians could do their jobs and enjoy them and have work life. You know, and you drag that out a little bit more than now. We can begin to kind of see some patterns going on and the patterns that I’m Seeing or there’s a desire for people to not have to worry about one their, their funds, and specifically as it pertains to health care. And then in the healthcare world, like it’s changing a system, which Yeah, is massive. But now you’re thinking about, well, what does that look like from a business standpoint? Well, you can begin to kind of slowly start moving back and say, Okay, well, in my 80s, or when I have grandkids, like, where do I want to be with work? Right? Where do I want to? What is it? What is the dream goal? He

Tej 20:30
retired, hopefully?

Hutson 20:33
Because you’ve done what? Because you now, you know, whatever.

Tej 20:38
building the infrastructure. I mean, I think a lot of that comes around policy. Right. So that would be something that you would have to start with. Now, that being said, I think there’s a lot more brighter minds than my own, who’ve already attacked this. But like you said, it’s hopefully chipping away at that rock of inertia when it comes to that system. Yeah, I think, I’m not sure where you would even start when it comes to that.

Hutson 21:07
Well, sounds like policy is a big is a big space, you just mean, right? Like you would need you would need to have done something, you’re going in a way that that is not just working in the ER every day. Yep. Right. And so now you take a step back and say, okay, in three to five years in order to get to there, what do I What are even 10 years, what do I need to be doing? And you can say, whatever, maybe it maybe it’s, I need to, as I’m looking now at my MBA afterwards, it is lining up with something that’s more in politics, or maybe it’s in the world of, I don’t know, doctorate in medicine, and in business, how they, how they work together, and you do but I think now you can take a step back and say, to get to there and now you say okay, well today, like in the next year, while I’m in med school, start thinking about and you do this, you’re, you’re incredible at thinking about who what relationships 20 The leverage. But if they’re leveraged towards the end goal in mind, not towards the next year, or three to five years in mind. Now you’re aligning yourself with who you want to be. So we don’t want to happen with any of us. And many people probably feel very similar to you in the space of, you know, mid 30s. And everything seems to be going well, or maybe even not. And it’s like, well, what do I do now? I’m kind of stuck. Do I jump ship? Do I not jump ship? Even if I don’t? What do I do. And if the goal was not aligning with who we want to be at the end of our life, then the next 10 years, five years is in the same boat, because we’re not satisfied with who we are. Because we’re not becoming the person want to be, we’re doing the things we thought we wanted to do. And so what I’m hearing in there is is a sense of like, like you said in the gig it was community. Thank you have a great sense of purpose and community, which I would say is probably your your, your value statement, your value for work, as it pertains at work is like community.

Tej 23:15
You know, it’s interesting when I, we had moved to Louisville, as you know, for residency for three years came back in 2019. And we had a very purposeful discussion, Victoria and I did about, we’re back in town, this is where we want to live. This is where we want to die. We want to get involved. But what does that look like? I mean, obviously, I’m involved at in high school stuff. That’s you know. But what I actually did, which was very beneficial as I looked up the 30 535 or 40, under 40. I can’t remember what it was, and the Charleston city paper for the last four years. And I didn’t pick any of the ones that I thought weren’t going to be super interesting. No offense to them. But I picked people who were well who I thought were creative in mainly in industries that had no relation to me. And I met some incredible people. One of the people I met through that was this was a really young guy who’s the second in command or the CFO, I think of the African American Museum. And it’s funny, he picked this meeting. And I think I’m for four or five for five, on meeting with people through this and when I was emailing him, because I cold call them essentially. And he could not for the first 20 minutes of us talking figure out what my angle was because I think he thought that either I was requesting money from him or needing something from what I told him. I don’t need anything from you. In fact, I’m probably going to lose money because I’m probably gonna end up donating to your cause. But I want to meet interesting people. I want to meet people that will widen my spectrum that will widen the gamut that’s out there for me. Because like I said, we’re so insular when, especially when we come back and you’re just in that one mode of what you do. You don’t really expose yourself to other people. I can tell you, there’s a lot more interesting people than people in your industry, especially because they just think differently, what what, what they deal with on a daily basis, what you deal with are completely different. And I think getting involved with them, or understanding their paradigm is essential to really feeling the human connection more broadly.

Hutson 25:36
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think your your desire for learning their desire for learning from others, and our desire to therefore teach other people I think is innate, new, it’s who you are. It’s that community aspect. I’m curious to hear from you on, how do you think that’s gonna play into being a father? So family, obviously, is community, but it’s the it’s the closest knit community can have? Yeah, I’m just curious, like, how do you see yourself jumping into a whole new realm while in med school while being an ER doctor? Uh, well, in your, you know, taking your MBA, and then you add in a little one, how do you how do you see your desire for community playing out as a father?

Tej 26:25
Well, first and foremost, I’m going to be very proud girl, dad. But I’ve got good friends who’ve raised amazing children, like yourself, who will probably be calling every once in a while and saying, how do you deal with this? What do you do? And I’ve actually asked you that question. I told you one time I said, I think you’ve raised incredible children. And how do you do it?

I’m hoping you’ll give me the key at some point. I had a good friend of mine told me that

he was, you know, six months ahead of me in pretty much all our major life, goals or accomplishments, when it comes to being married and having children. And every time he’s told me that your paradigm changes when you’re young, when you’re 2025. You’re very egotistical, everything is about you. Even if you’re not selfish, just inherently, when you think about yourself, you’re thinking about yourself. What am I going to do today? Right? That’s it, you wake up and say, from what I understand, even now having a wife, I’ve already seen my paradigm changes, what are we going to do? Right? When you have kids, what are we going to do? And that gets bigger and bigger and bigger, depending on how many? How many people are involved. I’m sure it’s going to be harder balance. I think it comes down to support and I feel very supported at home. It’s funny, the one thing one of the only caveat that my wife said, before I started school was okay, I don’t want to be pregnant when you’re in school. I said, Sure. And of course, three months into me starting school, we’re gonna have a kid. So I guess that’s just how life goes. But there’s no easy time. There’s no easier time than the present. I don’t know, I don’t know if this quote really fits. But I was just thinking about that just now David Goggin, to I’m sure you’ve read a lot about his foot fit well, in this podcast, he read his book, not The Hurt Locker is called something along those lines. He has a really good quote in there that says, You don’t rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training. And that’s something that I always try and strive to, because we all want things. Everyone wants something. We all have fun to talk about what they want, but they don’t do anything. And unless you actually strive and fail, you’re not gonna get anywhere near it. So maybe I’m in my trial and fail series right now. But I’m hoping it’ll gain traction at some point and something will something productive will happen.

Hutson 29:08
Yeah, well, it’s an interesting quote. We talk a lot about deliberate practice and our framework and the difference between deliberate practice and come to practice as you add an A coach who can help you see your wins and failures. And as you said, when you fail, it’s only a failure if you don’t do anything with it, right? If you fail twice, then it’s a failure. But if you if you take the failure and you grow from it, and that’s a growth mindset, and to deliberate practice, something like you said, is it’s the doing, we can all talk about things, but we put it down on paper and we do it when it’s physically there. We can see it and someone’s holding us accountable. It’s very different. And that’s that deliberate practice aspect. And so I would imagine, as someone as busy as you are you proud We have quite a bit of practices to keep yourself on track to keep yourself going, I’m sure that you sometimes you hit them, and sometimes you fail. But I’m curious, what are some things you put in place to help you achieve what you’ve achieved so far, and continue to be a husband and a friend and make time for all the things that you love to do still, while still going towards

Tej 30:27
your goals, I think it comes down to discipline, right? Knowing what the right decision is, and being cognitive of it. So every morning I try and do the same thing, make my bed. Good boy, in that sense, I always like to get put back into the day with your bed when the day with your bed. But, you know, I’m not perfect by any means. There’s plenty of times where I’ll go, you know, weeks where I just completely feel like I’m in a whirlpool just spinning around, not really getting anywhere. One thing that routinely has helped me is simple. And as just putting your daily tasks on a piece of paper first thing in the morning, if I do that, I have a better sense of what I need to achieve, and I’m better at time management. Now, that doesn’t happen all the time. And some days, you know, scheduling if you know I just got off nights. Not this morning, yesterday morning, it’s hard to really try and seize the day. But that’s a small thing that I’ve seen paid dividends. over things that I do is I read the Daily stoic I feel like that is well publicized, really nice book to give you more of a cog, be more cognizant about your day, in its relation to greater humanity with different titles and themes, which are nice. Now, when it comes to balance, I probably now just thinking about this should be better about categorizing my my daily tasks, making sure that one always involves my wife, one, it always involves my child. And then I have my own personal like, you know, if it’s paying bills, or you know, going to the DMV, or whatever that is just so that I can knock it out, but be cognizant of different entities as well. I try and be, you know, it’s funny, Victoria, I never read it. But she read the book that was what is your love language. And it’s funny, because I learned from her what hers was, which I think is more important than her knowing and mine is. And hers was the time spending aspect. So I always try and be cognizant of that, especially in the afternoons when we go on golf cart rides and walks with the dogs. And that is much more important than us go into some fancy dinner.

Hutson 32:43
So you’ve achieved a lot in your life. In all in many, many aspects. Do you feel like there’s been times where you have set lots of goals at one time and maybe achieved? None of them? Are some of them? Or do you find yourself as someone who tends to set specific goals around? Sounds like a lot of work we’ve talked a lot about, but I know you’ve you’re a whole person. So there’s lots of other things are a little life roles to involve who we are. But do you? Do you feel like where are you on the goal setting side? Do you tend to set most of your goals on work? Or do you find yourself setting your goals around other areas of your life?

Tej 33:27
I would say probably more in other areas of my life when it comes to work. You know, medicine takes forever for you to train. And once you’re in a practice, usually the partnership, as opposed to law is very short. So make partner in two years and you’re kind of done until you’re all of a sudden you’re 31 and you’re like okay, as I said, and some people like I said earlier completely fine with that. I’m not. So I tried to really figure out what my goals outside of work are. And that’s pretty difficult because there is no rubric. Right? That’s the tough thing as this you can go anywhere with it. If you had a good mentor, which I think we’re all still striving to find, I think that usually helps because they give a sense of rubric where they’re able to bounce stuff off. Fortunately, my parents have been that for me, as well as some people in the community. When it comes to those types of goals, I think I have some short term goals. And then I have long term goals that I don’t think are necessarily feasible, but I just think would be cool. Anyone being the president of a college, something I’ve wanted to do since I was 18. And the reason is, because I feel like they get to deal with so many cool different aspects. They get local politics, state politics, they get young minds who are green who are really forming themselves at a really interesting transitional point in their life, you get camaraderie of university, you have sports, you have general academics as well. You’re also managing essentially a company, although it’s under a university name.

Hutson 35:17
So hold on, you told me not long ago in this conversation that if I asked what your dream job was, you’d have no idea. Well, and then you told me since you were 18, that your dream job was always been at the president of a university.

Tej 35:30
I think that I may have misspoken about, I must have misunderstood your question. Initially, I thought when you were saying earlier saying, what is an unattainable thing to do? Oh, for sure.

Hutson 35:41
But you still said, I don’t have a dream job. might

Tej 35:44
have said that. I didn’t mean to say that. I think I do have a dream job done. I also think another cool US ambassador, that’s also something I’ve always wanted to do. I actually looked at joining the Foreign Service, when I’d finished residency as being a Foreign Service physician. But the only issue is you don’t get to pick where you go. Wow, look, I’ve

Hutson 36:05
been ambassador. It’s an impossible task. But pretty tough. Yeah.

Tej 36:07
I mean, it’d be like stationed in Djibouti, and I don’t think you’re

Hutson 36:11
smart enough. I’m not I can. I could never pass a test. Yeah, I don’t think I could either. It looks it looks wildly impossible. So okay, so wait a minute. So you’re going to school for MBA? And you’ve already told me secretly on accident that you want to be a President of University? Has that not crept into your mind while even going to school at all?

Tej 36:32
Yeah, I don’t know if school will give me any higher leverage, if you’ll say to go down that path. I will say it is pretty interesting. If you look at who the heads of universities are. A lot of them are not career academic people. I mean, you look at Glenn McConnell, president of CFC or former president of CFC, you went through politics, Lieutenant Governor, and then came over President Su. He was more academic, I think he’s an engineer by trade, and then jumped into the academic sphere quickly came over. But I always thought it’d be a very interesting job. I don’t know, again, I think that’s a tougher one, because there is no general rubric for it. But I think it would be an amazing opportunity. One, I don’t think it’s generally feasible for me at this point. But if the job application comes open, I’d probably the lowest on the list. But no,

Hutson 37:28
but that’s, that’s perfect. I mean, that’s where, you know, with a framework, what we would say is, if that’s when that could be a 20 year goal, right? I mean, 30 year goal. Sounds like the perfect thing to then say, Okay, if that’s a dream job, for work would be like, what we call a dream goal is exactly that. It’s probably something you won’t attain. But if you work towards it, whether you attend or not, are you gonna become the more more like the person you want to be? Yeah, because you want to do community and all the things you just mentioned are exactly the stuff that you want to be involved in. And so then you take a step back and say, okay, in 30 years, I want to be the president of fill in the blank College. Then, in 10 years, what do I need to be doing to achieve that goal? What I need to hit in order to have that happen? Let’s play it out. What is something you think in 10 years in order to be the president university you might need to achieve?

Tej 38:26
I think you would have to have, I think you’d have to an easy answer. This would be you’d have to be a dean and some entity, right, Dean of, you know, whether to medical school, or or college, some subset within, I think that would give you some validation, and at least put you on that career path. How to get there? I don’t know, I don’t know how to make it a jump from private medicine to jumping in there. Also, don’t think that’s 100% necessary. I’m trying to think of other ways that you could do it. Tend to a lot of CFC basketball games.

Hutson 39:06
I think we really well, we do that. If

Tej 39:08
you show who you are in the stands. I think they’ll do it. Get the tap. Yeah, hey, come in, come into this. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know. So if, let’s say 20 years from now, if that was my goal. This is the difficult part for me, because I think a lot of people who are in medicine are the military. They look at life as a tiered system, right? I go from rank one to rank two to rank three during for when you have people who are outside of it, who are in a more nebulous space, whether that’s let’s say you sell insurance or you’re in private equity, or whatever it is. There’s a little bit more nebulous status of how do I get to a spot so it’s difficult for me to develop that part of my brain right now to say, right, how do I get there? Like there’s not a set point?

Hutson 39:56
Yeah, well, like you said, it seems that to be a president, you You need business acumen you need to understand politics in some way school spirit for sure. And you need to understand how schools work, obviously. So you’ve been involved with the high school forever. Have you thought about getting involved in Duke or you’re in school or Emory, you need to understand school you have back business acumen, you need to have politics of some aspects, you need all the areas you mentioned. And then you think about between now and then what what are some of those things that you should be getting involved with? Obviously, getting MBA, and making the leap from medicine to business world, whether you stay fully medicine or part time? If that’s the goal, yeah, Medicine at some point anyways, right. So there’s some step you’re gonna have to move?

Tej 40:51
Well, I think I’m already kind of a little bit in that transition. Right now I’ve taken my I’ve probably gotten down 30%, in my work this year, partly because of school and having a kid and whatnot. But other reasons are because of my obligations outside of the hospital, which provide me no financial benefit. In fact, I ended up, you know, like I said, donating money to these entities. One of them is the the Gibbs Museum of Art in Charleston, which is an amazing, amazing museum with incredible leadership and incredible board members, as well as constituents. The other is the high school. Porter, currently, the alumni, board, chair, President, whatever you call it, in that fills a lot of the Void about wanting to get involved in community, etc, etc. And I think, you know, once that term is done, I would like to look more at getting involved, whether that’s Emory or Duke, or whatever. I think that would be a nice next step. I’ve looked into it a little bit getting involved with the alumni office, we’ve actually got an upcoming event in a couple of weeks at the African American Museum. So I’ll, I’ll probably pick some people’s brains at that point and try and figure out, you know, how can I be of service? What can I do to help? Yeah? Because at the same time, you don’t, you don’t? Nothing you should do should be for your CV, or, or completely self serving, you want to serve these entities? How can you help it should be mutually beneficial? So I got to figure out how can I help with those two entities? Because I don’t think Emory has a very big presence in Charleston. Do I think as more of a national poll, but

Hutson 42:45
I don’t know. We’ll see. Yeah. And so you know, what we would do is we would do a little more deep dive into figuring out, what are the next kind of potential steps and it sounds like there’s already a few kind of percolating there. That wouldn’t make sense. Obviously, a jump into business make sense? And then what we’d say is okay, but not just business, let’s think about what business would make the most sense that one, you’d have, you know, passion for enjoy, but it’s going to help move you towards the presidency, or I think,

Tej 43:20
like we were talking about earlier, developing and failing, you have to start some times where I start anywhere. And right now, I’m actually looking at starting a consulting company, a medical consulting company can obviously talk a lot about it right now. But just to try and figure out, how do you start a company? How do you start? Where do you begin? That always fascinates me going back to the biographies, you have all these people who are super famous, who have done really well have what we view as complete lives, their idea lives. But what were their What were their points of change? Right? Because, you know, even looking at who you started college with, first day college, you are all technically the same, right? Or even medical school, whatever. There’s the plasticity within where you, you know, say this at school, or if you’re think of it as a bouquet of flowers. And right now we’re all at the stem. We’re all the same, we’re all the same, we’re all the same, and then we’ll jump out. So you can jump out any different ways, and you’ll bloom in different ways. But how, what was that change? So I think starting, you know, I don’t know what type of business to get involved in, per se, I have some ideas of what I’d like to start just from a self development standpoint of trying to answer this question of jumping into the unknown. Like I said, before, we’re in a lot of people who are in military and medicine, it’s A to B to C to D to E, and now there’s not that rubric. So how do you just jump in and figure it out? Yeah, I think that will will teach me a lot about myself and what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Yeah,

Hutson 45:05
well, and that’s exactly, you know, we don’t have a rubric for how to get the next job. But what our, our aim is, is to have a rubric for when we set those goals to make sure they’re aligned with who we want to be. So that whether you become the president or not, but as you move forward with your MBA, and as you move forward with your business life, when you do achieve that goal, you can look at and say, yeah, that is helping me become a person that could be the President of University, which means I’m going to care about community, which means I’m going to care about policy, which means I’m going to get all the things you’ve mentioned from you mentioned, all those things in the very beginning about an ideal work role, you said all those things, and it fits right into the presidency, which is funny to me, it’s like it is the exact next step. But beneath that, so whether you hit it or not, you’re becoming the person you want to be, which is why you take great pride and joy in meeting with people, which is why you take great joy in learning from them. And I think it sounds a lot to me also, like you love imparting knowledge.

Tej 46:15
I don’t have much to give at

Hutson 46:17
all, I would disagree. And that’s like the teaching side. That’s the school side. And I think that’s why you’re it seems like that’s why you’re drawn to colleges, you’re not drawn to be a president of a company, you’re drawn to be the president of a university that is all about teaching and imparting knowledge and bettering the community. What does exactly like medicine, but you see, it sounds like you see school as the best way for you personally, to have the greatest impact. Because like you said, at the end of your life, if you were able to change policy with medicine, and all those things like that very much aligns with that dream goal of being a president University. So that’s super, super cool.

Tej 47:01
Maybe I should just go knock on the President’s door. Go to CFC.

Hutson 47:05
I think that would be a great next step. How’d you get here? What do you recommend for someone who has has these desires?

Tej 47:10
Yeah, and I think it’s really important to do that, especially when you’re young, because asking those questions to people who are in those seats that you want to be in, because one there always, people like to talk about themselves, right, they like to tell their story, especially if they’re successful. But it helps give you an idea of where to go. And obviously, things are dynamic, and things are changing. And it may be difficult, or, you know, might be a one off on how they got to their spot, but surrounding yourself with those people will definitely help give you a better chance at figuring out how to get to where you want to be. Nothing is more frustrating than wasted potential. And I hope that we all try and maximize ourselves every single day, even though that can be tough. But I think setting those larger goals and realizing that just like when you’re setting a course we’re going across transatlantic, right, it’s it’s not a quick change here, there, it’s slow changes back and forth, that’ll get you there.

Hutson 48:16
Well, and you mentioned it briefly, when you said when you getting into school like and starting school was super exciting. And that feeling is is the pursuit of the goal. When you achieve the goal, when you achieve graduating from doing that it will be exciting. But it almost be less exciting than when you were first starting and running towards the goal. Right. And that and that we know, obviously the chemical that released of, of goal pursuit. And that’s why it’s so important to make sure that the goal isn’t just to graduate, which I know it obviously isn’t for you, but that it’s so that you can X so that you can do Y so that you can become the president of the university so that you can import, you know, your college can change policy so that people can never have to worry about how they pay for health care. And in the if you achieve that or not really isn’t relevant. I mean, you want to but What’s relevant is that you’re becoming the person you want to be along the way. And you’re in you’re impacting millions of people throughout the process, which is super fun.

Tej 49:23
That would be that would be an ideal situation. Watch nothing happened now. You Yeah, I think that would be it is it is very interesting when you talk about goal setting, because it’s just trying to figure out where to start. It’s never an ambition issue, I think with people because everyone is ambitious to some degree. But how

Hutson 49:46
far do we feel? Yeah, we feel stuck. Sometimes. I don’t know where to begin. And I think that some oftentimes, the UK Olympic athletes are a great example of this where it’s obvious where they want to go, but then it ends It’s not so that I can be what, so that I could be healthier so that I could, you know, swim with my children and their group and their children and their children. That’s why I’m swimming like, you know, in the Olympics. It’s just to win gold medals, period end. And then what? And I think it’s the same thing you talk about what work is very similar. So we get stuck in this mentality. But then even if we have the dream goal of I want to be a since 18. On the President University. What do I do today? And then you work. As we’ve worked backwards, we will continue working backwards to say I was set up a habit today that would help you become that person that would be a president. And that’s gets you out of there. Where do I start? Anything very small. I used to make your bed right. Well, what’s a small step? And I don’t do that today. But that will be kind of the ideas is what habits would you need, in order to be president that you could begin doing now is how we begin.

Tej 50:56
Wonder if that would be in this situation, just really getting at least early on with the first things I would probably do if I had? Well, I guess there’s a goal now that I’m more cognizant of, is setting up more discussions with people just making a attempt, every day or every other day of setting up a meeting on my days off, and just saying, Hey, can I pick your brain?

Hutson 51:19
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And that, and that’s a task that you would never want to stop. Right. That’s a habit that you would create that you would know. And that’s, that’s the the deliberate practice piece that you would do on a weekly basis where it’s just that much time. But what we find and have found that when you do that on a weekly basis, it your brain is rewarding yourself because you’re becoming who you want to be. So all of a sudden, the time to spend with your wife is opened up, because you’re more joyfully thinking about who you want to be not in a self egotistical way. But now all of a sudden, there’s that extra moment you find more joy in conversation, you find more joy in work, you find more joy at home with your wife, you find more joy in all of those areas, because you’re pleased with yourself. Well, it’s

Tej 52:07
funny, I think we all forget about benchmarks, right? Remembering where we were at certain points in our life, I think life is happening in front of us in the same way you might not remember or notice that your kid has grown six inches. But your cousin who comes into town, it’s like, Whoa,

he’s looking big, you know? And you’re like, Oh, I guess he’s grown. I didn’t really notice it, because I see it every day.

Interestingly, I, people always ask you to three people you want at your dinner table? Right? One of my answers has been, I would like my dad at my age. My dad is much older than I am. Obviously, he’s had me when he was 48. And he’s pretty reserved, doesn’t really talk about what he was like when he was younger.

And when I was 23, now, maybe 22. My mom gave me a journal. And so I write in there about things I’m dealing with. It’s not like an emotional journal about I’m broke up with whoever, it’s none of that. It’s what am I wrestling with? At that time in my life, I run it once a month. And it’s usually not super, super long.

In Louisville. If I said five years, you’re going to be back home and Charleston, couple miles away from your parents, you’re going to live in a beautiful house, you’re gonna have a beautiful wife, you’re gonna have a little girl on the way you’re going to be at the the number one job that you’ve wanted, and you’re going to be in business school, I’d say, wow. But if you don’t look at benchmarks, and you just see yourself now you’re like, Oh, I’m insatiable? I do. And what am I doing with my life? I need to figure out something yadda yadda yadda. But we don’t look at the progress we’ve made because we don’t set those benchmarks or really talked about what that benchmark is, at any point. It’s exactly right, that and that’s and that is where you have to set those timely goals so you can celebrate them and work towards them on a daily basis and celebrate the wins or the failures and celebrate those as you change and grow. But you’re right. If you’re not then you can never celebrate. And we constantly just live in a hamster wheel of where am I going? Where am I going?

Hutson 55:00
because you have never had a benchmark to say, I’ve reached this now, because it’s helping me go towards the next one, and the next one and the next one, the next one. And it’s not to simply achieve the goal, like we talked about. But celebrating those things is super important. But if we never set them up and write them down, we can’t celebrate. What

Tej 55:25
are people when, when someone achieves a large goal? If someone climbed Kilimanjaro, does anyone ever talk about the view from the top? It’s always about the climb to get there. It’s all we talk about. And that’s what we strive for in life, right? We complain about it like anybody else. Gosh, that’s really tough. Or man, this is harder. God, I don’t have any time for this or yada, yada, yada. Five years later, you’re like, Man, that was tough. But the process was amazing. Yeah. You do a major kayak trips or do whatever No one says, Man, how do you feel when you get there? You’re more talking about man, that must have been tough during the travel. Yeah, it was heart attack, but it was awesome. And I will do it again. Well, maybe not.

Hutson 56:04
Well, it’s just been a joy to be with you here today. I can’t wait to see where life takes you. And you know, when all I’m asking is when you become president of the university. I forget about me. The

Tej 56:15
Hudson DODDS baseball stadium is coming up for sure. I love it. Thanks, man. Thank you for having me. Thanks.

Episode 3:

Thriving Beyond the Fairway: Jana Peterkova Richter’s Journey to becoming an LPGA Golf Professional and Achieving Continued Success

Jana Peterkova Richter, Principal and Owner at Spiral Golf & Former LPGA Futures Tour Professional

Step into a world of unwavering focus and mental fortitude as we hear Jana’s remarkable journey where she hurdled obstacles and life-altering challenges as she continued to pursue her dream of moving to America and competing on the LPGA Futures Tour. Learn from Jana’s experience as she forged new aspirations, and unearthed an inner drive that propels her forward. This intimate conversation highlights a determined athlete who demonstrates how to navigate the intricate balance between career, physical and mental stamina, and personal fulfillment. Jana’s story provides inspiration and insights into what it means to never give up, and to continuously find that motivation to chase your dreams.

Jana Peterkova Richter, Principal and Owner at Spiral Golf & Former LPGA Futures Tour Professional

Hutson 0:12
Welcome to the joy and goal setting podcast where we empower individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation. I’m your host Hudson dads. Today, we’re sitting down with Jana Richter, former LPGA Tour player, golf coach and mother of two. We’re going to discuss her path the tour, overcoming obstacles, how goals and dreams change and how to support your children in goal pursuit.

Jana, welcome to the show. I’m so glad you’re here.

Jana 0:49
Well, thank you for having me.

Hutson 0:51
Yeah. So I’d love for you to tell me where you’re from, what you’re doing, and the favorite, your favorite golf course you’ve played and why

Jana 0:58
I am originally from Czech Republic. And he used to be Czechoslovakia. I am currently a golf coach at RIVERTOWNE COUNTRY CLUB. And a favorite Golf Course is a tough one. I from the top of my head, I would say maybe Palmer chorus in Berlin, Germany, or I play the World Masters when I was 20 years old. That was an experience for sure. Yeah.

Hutson 1:21
Yeah. So was it your favorite course? Because of the course? Or is the experience what led you to choose that?

Jana 1:29
Both the course was super need super special, beautiful. And just the whole experience of this tournament? Obviously had something to do with it, too.

Hutson 1:39
Yeah. So when did you come to the States?

Jana 1:42
I was 20 years old. When I first came to states. And what brought you here, I wanted to be professional golfer. And I needed to come here to learn how to speak English. Because I had my high school English and I just needed to perfect a little bit. Go through tests. As at TOEFL, we didn’t have anything like that back home. So that was the step to make it to college first and then eventually play pro.

Hutson 2:09
Do you remember a moment or a time when you said, When? When do you have that? Like I want to be a professional golfer? Yes,

Jana 2:16
I have a specific time and day one. This happened. I was 10 years old. I played with a friend of mine on the golf course and Karlovy Vary Czech Republic. We just played for fun. We usually were just thrown on the golf course because our parents played golf. And they said, Hey, four hours you do whatever you want. Sometimes we didn’t play sometimes we you know, goofed off, goofed off. And that day, that particular day, we played 18 holes. And I’m like, Well, we’re doing it. I’m doing pretty good. It’d be kind of cool to do this professionally. Why not? Yeah, I asked my friend. Her name was Monica. Hey, why don’t we like start practicing super hard, like harder than anybody else. And make it on the tour. Make it on LPGA one day. And she looked at me she’s like, are you crazy? Because there wasn’t at that time, I didn’t even know I was 10. I didn’t know that there was never ever a player from my country that made it onto the tour. At that point. Yeah, but I just Mike, why not?

Hutson 3:16
Yeah, were there other things in your life other than golf, that you’ve just gone all in like that? Or is golf from that early age? That’s what’s been your primary focus?

Jana 3:27
Definitely not. I loved volleyball, I played all the sports, I was fortunate to be athletic and kind of good at most of them. I really wanted to play volleyball, but I had a little injury. And at the time, doctors told me Hey, you cannot play volleyball for three years. So I was always very motivated. I always had big monastery, maybe personality of achieving something proving something to either myself or everybody else. And I guess that the Golf was the next step. Because my family blade we always were on the golf course. And it was a hard sport. It was challenging. And I said why not? What was

Hutson 4:10
the women’s game like growing up in at home? Well,

Jana 4:14
it’s difficult to say because like I said, I was growing up in communist country when I was little, my dad was a rebel. He’s gonna play golf. The golf was not allowed to play in Czech Republic at that time, because it was kind of a it’s like classes, they didn’t want anybody to be more than other everybody was supposed to have the same be the same. You know, we all have the same no matter what job you have. And you we all earn the same money. If you’re a doctor or somebody that takes our trash. They didn’t want that kind of difference. Government and so the Golf was actually forbidden to play and that like, Okay, I’m gonna play golf Of course, and there are other people pioneers that just love the game and the golf courses. Were there. From the First Republic before the Communists took over, so golf courses were there and few people, volunteers just kind of took care of the courses and played, like with all sorts of crazy equipment. I mean, we obviously couldn’t get stuff from outside. So they would cut down clubs or borrow smuggle things. And just it was very interesting time. And maybe dad, being a little bit of a visionary wanted us to play a little bit because he was hoping that this will end one day. And one day, when this ends, he’s going to have kids that know how to play golf. And there’ll be only a few kids in the country that know how to play ball. I

Hutson 5:40
got potentially, yeah. So then how was it? Was it like, training, to wanting to be a pro in a space where it wasn’t even allowed? Well,

Jana 5:50
I kind of decided that at 10. So so that was after the revolution. So the revolution happened in 89. So about a year after I was like, Okay, I’m all in.

Hutson 6:03
Got it. Got it. Nice. Yeah. And so then you came to the States and played in college, I

Jana 6:09
came to states and playing in college. I first was supposed to go, I didn’t know anything about the United States colleges, I didn’t know there’s a division one, Division Two, Division three. My dream was to go to California, I wanted to go to LA and hey, maybe meet a movie star. And who knows like that, that was the whole point of wanting to go to San Diego. And that’s where I ended up first, to learn English. I went to Berlitz English, like a full immersion into English language. And I visited a college there without being announced or anything. I just didn’t know how to do these things. With my resume. At that time I was the best player in the country had a lot of success in Europe as a European amateur golf player. So I had all this stack of papers with me and going to college from this language school like wanting to meet the coach and hey, like, will you? Will you let me come and play for your college and the lady didn’t have time for me. It was UCLA. And she’s like your you don’t have an appointment. So we don’t want to see you. But then through some friends, I found out that, hey, there’s people in Connecticut, they are willing to talk to you. I went over there like sure full ride. Come on, come on, like we would love to have you. And that’s when I made a lot of friends. Some people even like connected to college kind of helped me stay helped me go to Simsbury High School where I did my LSAT and TOEFL and get things started. But my brother was in Florida already in college in Florida playing golf as well. And it was kind of during the spring break. And he’s like, why don’t you come visit me. So I flew over to visit him for just a few days. And he’s like, I’ll take you to practice, you know, with my team. And the ladies team was there as well. And they’re like, why don’t you play with us and Mike, okay. They put me with their number one player and I had I birdied the first three halls and of coaches I like just please come here, like we give you everything you want, and just come here and play for for our university. And that’s what I ended up because I thought in my head, it just makes sense. Being here with my brother and my parents didn’t have a lot of money. So they’ll have kids at the same spot, we’ll share a car. And it’s kind of warm, the whole year round, I’ll be able to practice and play more, which was the main goal, I wanted to be God. So I wanted to buy and practice as much as I can and

Hutson 8:35
you find success pretty quickly and easily in college as a I

Jana 8:40
came with an attitude that I’m the best and I Yes, that was a number one player. I won many, many tournaments. I basically am in Hall of state Hall of Fame in Florida Southern College because in three semesters I was there our national championship twice in a row and our team won national championship twice in a row. In those three semesters, I was there. So I had a lot of success in college.

Hutson 9:05
And then from there, you took the leap to the tour. So we had

Jana 9:10
this number two tour like a nationwide for men feature store it was called then at that it changed names many times since but feature store came to Lakeland where I was the Florida Sun colleges in Lakeland between Orlando and Tampa. So I took a chance on like one minute to try to qualify for the tour. Like 350 players from all around the world trying to make it to the store. And I knew I had to be like 35 top to get a full status and play. I’m like, why not try and I played really, really well. And I made the full card for my first try. And I’m like okay, maybe maybe it’s time I can finish college at some other time. It just because I had that success and I had a lot of confidence going into Word. I went for it. Yeah.

Hutson 10:03
And so you get your card and you start traveling and playing. And there

Jana 10:10
was a little hiccup, unfortunately, what was the hiccup so, because I stayed and I was getting ready for this tournament, I overstayed my student visa. And I practice during the summer. And the qualifying tool was in the fall, I made it I stayed to work on my professional golf visa, because being from outside of the country, I can just stay on my student visa anymore. Since I’m turning pro. It’s a process. So I worked with my attorney at the time. And I left and September 11 happened, I left for Christmas home, and I was supposed to travel back in January to start preparing for the tour for my first year on tour. Unfortunately, because of September 11, there was this organization at the immigration services that they just an independent organization, and they could tell anybody and everybody to turn around and go back home without a reason. And on I flew back back to United States in January, I unfortunately met with a man that was convinced that I need to go back to Europe. And I’m not a professional player, because Czech Republic, people don’t have professional players. And he turned me around, put in my papers that I was inadmissible person. And I had to go back out of the country and I can never return. So that was my, my experience with coming back as a pro player first time.

Hutson 11:37
Yeah. So you have these dreams and goals to be a professional athlete, you essentially reach them and then are told no. How did you handle that? What did you how did you deal with that? What were the things you drew on to? And how’d you grow from it?

Jana 11:52
Well, I didn’t accept no for an answer. Number one, I knew it was almost impossible to overturn his decision. But it was just not the right decision. I didn’t do anything wrong. And I always believe that believe that in God that the truth will, you know, eventually come out the truth. So we fought with my attorney, it was a difficult time because I didn’t know what to do at home. It was cold and winter, I couldn’t practice. And I also lost a little bit of a desire to practice because I didn’t know if I’ll ever make it back. So definitely depressed. Definitely not knowing what to do with myself. So I started working in McDonald’s to just get my mind of it started, just like doing anything and everything just to keep busy. And luckily, I had an amazing attorney, and he proven to everybody that I didn’t do anything wrong. I had a professional blank visa, and somehow we overruled it. It was very lucky.

Hutson 12:54
How long was that process from January, you can’t come to now you’re back about

Jana 12:58
three, four months. And by the time I was flying back, not only I didn’t practice, but I lost a lot of turnout, you know, few tournaments at the beginning of the season. So now suddenly, I showed up at the third tournament, not being ready for it. So coming from like a confidence wise, up high. I’m somewhere. No different place. Yeah. Yeah.

Hutson 13:24
At that time, when you came to the States, and you were in that moment of probably frustration, but also thankfulness, all those things. Were there lessons that you at that moment had learned and and can draw from or looking back now whether some lessons you can, you can draw and say this is how it shaped me from who I am today?

Jana 13:45
Well, I think any, any difficult experience you had in life can make you stronger. And I don’t like to dwell on bad things. Because I think that it’s important to dwell on good things instead, because of what will come of negativity and sadness and depression, I would rather hope that things will turn around and change. So yeah, just like, really, I keep believing that if you really want something badly enough, and you don’t stop believing, and don’t you let you don’t let people tell you, you cannot do this. And you really, truly believe that it will, it will happen, you know, one of my or another. And

Hutson 14:27
so from there, you’re working. And I’m assuming success wasn’t quite as easy or was it as it was in college for you? When did you start?

Jana 14:36
So just because as you know, like any professional athlete, when they lose a little bit of confidence or anything bad happens in their lives, it affects their performance and their confidence and you do have to be confident and believe in yourself. So I did not have a great start that year. It took me almost the whole season to start making cuts. So it was the RACV but also like I was doing what I love doing so I was not the dwelling like I said again on everything. But it was difficult for my sponsors. There’s always pressure when it comes to money, showing that you can make it showing that you can, you know, return some back. So not the easiest first year for sure. Yeah.

Hutson 15:17
It’s a pretty incredible drive. It seems.

Jana 15:22
I’m stubborn, do you?

Hutson 15:24
Do you feel that’s innate in you? Is that something you were taught? And it’s who you are? Where do you feel like that drive comes from?

Jana 15:32
I think it’s personality, for sure. Yeah. Yeah.

Hutson 15:36
So you start making some cuts, having some more success? How long did you play on the tour for

Jana 15:43
I played 780 years. And it was up and down, there was some great highs. And I don’t know if I would recommend that life to everybody. It’s not for everybody. It’s, it’s very, very hard. It’s very mentally draining. But if it’s your dream, I mean, it’s worth a shot. So you have to be prepared to work hard, you have to be prepared to fail. It’s not fun, it’s not easy. And most people usually fail, there’s one winner, and there’s usually field of one and 44 players. So you’re gonna probably lose more than you win. Even if you’re top 10. You still gonna lose more. So, it is hard. It is hard to be professional athlete, but the highs are incredible, as well. So if you’re that kind of personality that seeks high and lows, it’s an you’re a fighter. Why not?

Hutson 16:42
Yeah, so you fought for it. You achieved your your ultimate goal from 10. Right? And you become an athlete, you become a professional athlete, you have good success, eight years, eight years on the tours, that’s a very successful career. And then at some point, it’s over. Walk me through that process. What was it like for you to find that moment? And then where did it take you afterwards?

Jana 17:07
I think it takes a while for people to realize when they’re done, I was not that happy towards the end anymore. And because I think that my dreams changed a bit. I wanted to have relationship, I want to have family, I wasn’t getting any younger. The life on tour, traveling for two months, at a time, constantly, somewhere else constantly on the road is hard. And I just started realizing I’m not finding any relationship that are worth my while I would have a boyfriend and I would leave and find out hey, couldn’t wait for me as another girlfriend or, you know, it’s just it was difficult to keep up a healthy relationship. Being a professional athlete, I know some people can do it successfully, I think you have to be a little lucky to find a partner that is willing to support you. And that time, I think I really believe it’s a little bit easier for men because women tend to be and don’t wanna like, say this is set in stone. But I think that women tend to be able to support the career of a man, maybe going back in time a little bit easier than sometimes men. It might be changing in these in these times. But yeah, so I struggled finding a relationship. And that’s I guess that’s what I started wanting. Because I wanted to have family. I wanted to have children. Yeah, so the last few years were not making me as happy. You know, like I started seeing I don’t know if this if this is an I also didn’t have a huge amount of success. Yes, I would make it to us open here and there. But I was not making caddy was open, I saw that I was not winning, terraforming quite the same as he used to Yeah, just or just, I had certain goals, and I was not reaching them. And I am like I’m running out of time almost. So to be honest, it’s very difficult to quit something like this being professional athlete and say, I’m done. I think it takes a lot of courage. Because especially if you’re young, and you have this dream, and that’s all you have, because most of these people have this wondering this is this is for my life, now suddenly are left with, gosh, what am I going to do with myself? I didn’t finish college and even though I might have some interest, which I always have. I didn’t study. I didn’t know what’s next for me. Yeah, it is a scary, scary space to walk into

Hutson 19:38
as an athlete, and as anyone has a big dream, whether it be an athlete or wherever your business takes you to are. Those dreams when you succeed in them, they become I would imagine your identity a little bit like you’re kind of saying absolutely.

Jana 19:50
Like you become you are a professional athlete. Yes, you’re treated a certain way. You come somewhere and it’s kind of nice to say Hey, I am a professional golf far. Yeah. And you identify with that.

Hutson 20:02
And then if that identity is gone, are you? Sure? So how did you how did you go from? Well, I’ll say two things. One, it seems like that’s what your identity was, and your values were wrapped around that. And then as you began to look around and say, this lifestyle, this identity is no longer matching the values that I have, which is family wanting to move more towards a family, or allowing for that, rather, then it began to shift that make it easier to begin to re identify with a purpose. Because it’s about identity, we think about purpose really, right. Like my purpose is to be an athlete, my purpose, whatever. Did that make it easier or still challenging? And when you did kind of make that leap? What was that? Like? Was it did you find yourself kind of down into depression? Or did you find yourself easy to make a next step into a new identity?

Jana 21:03
It was very hard, very depressing. And I did not even lose just the dream. But I lived in the United States for 20 years, and then became my home. So I also lost my home. Because being from another country, once your visa as a professional athlete is over, you are not able to stay and do whatever you want. So I had to move back to Europe. Now when decided my, my career as a professional golfer is over. So suddenly, I’m completely out of place. I’m going back to where I started, which feels a little bit like a failure. Yeah, so it was hard. Yeah, I can imagine. But, but like I said, I’m a fighter, and I tried to focus on positives. I like the adventure and suddenly going back to Europe, I’m like, wow, I didn’t know anything how to, like survive in Prague, and I need to learn how to use MetroCard. So it was all like, challenge and new. And I, I really enjoyed that. I met a lot of interesting people that that thought that I should teach because I know a lot about golf, which kind of made sense. And a lot of people welcomed me with open arms and say, Hey, you can teach at this facility in Prague, and oh, you can have my apartment in the middle of the city that overlooks the whole Prague if you give me a few lessons. So I had a lot of like, health that came out of nowhere, like new people that heard of me, being so successful in states, like Czech Republic, such a small country, and nobody has never accomplished as much as I have. So when I came back home, it was kind of a big deal. So they were making a big deal out of for me, but definitely was depressed. And how I dealt with it is I started writing, I don’t know, if I was never really a writer, but I just sit down and I started writing about my time on the tour and all the stories and things that I lived through. And I remembered and the people I met and funny stories about host families and, and have really, really helped to like getting it all out on the paper, and kind of reliving it in my head really helped. Yeah,

Hutson 23:17
I bet. And I’m sure looking back, you wouldn’t say that this was what you were thinking. But I wonder too, if it gave you a little bit of sense of purpose in that same way. And you know, you were an athlete, and you still are you always will be but also you kind of became a writer and sometimes that identity was the framework of identity statements. And just simply calling yourself a writer or calling yourself an athlete gives you that confidence of who I am and the person I want to become. That’s really, really interesting. And so you are writing and finding joy in that finding some joy in teaching. And then, and

Jana 23:57
then I decided I wanted to go back. And it was not very easy because I can just decide to go back I missed I missed the United States. I miss my friends. It was basically for 10 years, my life. So I started working on getting back writing to all sorts of golf academies. I knew I could think of my resume and I put like a really nice picture of me and better too. And I got a phone call back from Jim Mclean which unbelievably he called me to Prague and he’s like well, I can’t really hire you but this was really fun to get like Nice to meet you and good luck. And eventually David led better that I used to take lessons from and some people know me that knew me there and knew that I wanted to come back reached out and say hey, we would love to have you back. So they helped me out getting my another visa I needed to get which was like a trainee visa because I had to go through this mythology learn How he teachers kind of stay there for two years, and have a schooling and working at the same time. So that was my next visa next adventure going to learn how to teach golf. Yeah.

Hutson 25:13
And you, you mentioned that about dreams. And we talk about framework dreams. And we talked about dream goals, and how in some ways they can be similar. They are similar, we would say that they’re, they’re the same. And you have continued to reach your dreams and reach your goals and have those successes. Now that you’re back in the States, and you have a family, what do your dreams and goals look like? Now, I mean, they’re not to be a professional athlete anymore, which is grandiose and takes a lot of time. And a lot of commitment is in some ways, not selfish in a bad way. But it’s just about you, right? And now you have other people. So what are your dreams and goals look like? Now,

Jana 25:57
of course, it’s completely different. Now. I sometimes wonder how professional athletes can have a family and continue playing. Because you do have to be a little bit selfish. When you’re out there. It’s all about you. It’s all about, I need sleep at this time, I need eat these these foods. And this is my routine. And so it’s very much like self oriented to perform the best. So now it’s completely different. I, I feel like I don’t matter, even though I you know, obviously I do matter to my family. But it’s it’s mainly about my children that, that I love very much. And I’ll do anything for them to succeed in life and find something that they love to do.

Hutson 26:37
Yeah. So you, like I said, You’ve been very successful in achieving your goals? How have you passed on your drive or your whatever your goal setting framework has been in your own life, which may be just innate in you, but I’m sure there’s still something in the way that you operate to achieve your goals. However you pass it on to your children, do you see that being something that you do intentionally? Or what does it look like for you to be a mom,

Jana 27:06
I think it’s good to have dreams, I always encourage now, even my students, not just my children to have a dream. Because it’s amazing to have a dream. It gives you a lot of energy, it gives you purpose to work hard at something. And it’s just, it’s just wonderful to get some things out there that you’re trying to reach. I like to tell my kids stories about successful people in the fields that they chose. And so we always talk about, like, my, my son, for example, he loves tennis. So we go back and we talk about Novak Djokovic, how we came from Serbia and was during the war when you really struggled and nobody really expected a kid like that to make a number one in the world. And when 24 Grand Slam. So I tried to give them examples of successful people but but also show them that it’s not always easy, and they all have to, like overcome certain obstacles at times to make it to their destination. But like you said, the destination a lot of times may not be what makes people happy. But having a big dream, I like people having a big dream that doesn’t they don’t accomplish in a day or two, they can build up on certain things. And that’s something that kind of resonated with me. And in Mark’s book, where he talks about having kind of a big dream, right and having like steps in between, and you know that you’re doing these steps or these routines to towards your goal. And, and that’s important.

Hutson 28:40
Yeah, that the pursuit of the dream or the goal is just as satisfying, Chemically speaking, right and joyful as it is once you reach it. And so whether you reach it or not, if if those dreams are aligned with the person you want to be as you’re moving towards it, you’re becoming the person you want to be and so we’re rewarded for that chemically right and so we find the choice so with your students and with your children, do you find it challenging for them? To have a dream to have a big bit when I say dream I mean a big enough dream a big enough goal, or do you find it easy? And is it depend on the age?

Jana 29:23
I think it depends on the child and age for sure. Because when they’re little they want to be a garbage you know like they they love the garbage truck and they want to do that or they they see what the parents are doing or people that they love or they favor teachers I want to be a teacher I see that all the time but then eventually they find things that they like to do themselves and and I think that that’s the time when Stan maybe start telling them the stories about hey, you can you really can go very far you can go this beautiful Juilliard School if you practice your piano 30 minutes a day but I do not like pushing things into doing things, it’s more about inspiring them to really want to do it themselves. Because bushing to me is, if you push your child too much, I believe they’re not gonna enjoy the process, they’re not gonna like it. So I’m more of like an inspiration, hey, what could what could happen if you do at any, and obviously, you want to highlight that they have talent, and that you believe in them and support?

Hutson 30:26
Yeah, by support, not push

Jana 30:29
support means Hey, I, it would be good. If your children come to you and say, Hey, I, we have golf practice, please take me there, as opposed to, hey, you have golf, let’s go. It’s. And a lot of times, I know that kids don’t really know right from the start, we kind of watched our children from when they’re very little, and we knew what their talents were, or we could kind of tell, hey, my child, one of them is athletic, one of them is more musically inclined. So we kind of tried to introduce things that potentially help them deciding what they want to do, not necessarily deciding for them. This is the sport you’re going to do. And you’re going to do sport, because they all have many talents that they can do. But just kind of watching them observing them and see, hey, she really likes this. So let’s try a piano lesson if she and and just kind of finding and helping and supporting. And then obviously we support financially, and we take them there driving them and do all weekend hoping

Hutson 31:31
when you support what in what aspects Do you support through through goal setting. I mean, like goal setting is even like you do set like 30 minutes a day, because like, kids can love something. But if they don’t have a framework for how to practice or what that looks like to reach an or achieve a longer term goal than they’re never going to because they’re kids they have no they don’t know. So how have you helped your children? Or, or have you kind of learn that process, learn what it takes to to achieve a goal without pushing? Because that can be a challenge, right? Definitely

Jana 32:07
can be a challenge. I think that we all operate well, if you have a routine, I believe that. So if you write things down for your kids, like let’s say you make like a little plan, every day, you come from school, you do your homework, there’s 30 minute window for piano, then you have like, not necessarily every second of the day, but put down but like having Okay, and they come and do it because they see it. And that kind of becomes a second nature. And you don’t have to tell them, hey, you have to do I remember my let’s do a piano and the kids got me on the day, if they get used to

Hutson 32:44
come to become independent and routine. And through that they’re learning that if I want to achieve anything, this routine is necessary. It’s important. Yeah, all things not just sport at 13. But it can be whatever in the future. Learn that process. So interesting. Yeah, I, my kids are into soccer. And they’re, they love soccer. And you my wife would hit it off, we have a morning routine that the kids go through through all the things and they have to stamp and check it off. And, and we know from the framework side, when you do check those things off, there is a real release of chemicals, right? And we’re because we’re achieving those little mini goals. And so even in that standpoint, from a kid to learn, when I have a written out goal, even if it’s brushed my teeth, I still a goal. And I attached and I achieve it like I’m rewarded for that because I’m becoming the person I want to be which is someone who is healthy, or someone who practices hard at piano or fill in the blank.

Jana 33:43
I think it’s huge. Because I just putting something on their door in the morning, like, hey, brush, the teeth make the bed and they check it all out. And maybe eventually after all these checks, you can go and have an ice cream, like reward them for doing all that much less stressed. Because you know, in the morning, they go through their routine, they’re ready to go to school.

Hutson 34:04
Freaking out Yeah, they just

Jana 34:07
brush your teeth. Did you eat your breakfast like No, and they just kind of and they feel empowered to because they we’re not constantly telling them you have to do this, you have to do this. It has to come from them. They they’re going to be eventually adults, and we’re not going to be there telling them what to do all the time.

Hutson 34:23
That’s right. Well, we you make a really good point about dreams. And we found with you know, coaching people with the framework when they’re younger, it’s easy to dream and have really big dreams because you haven’t failed a ton and so of course everything feels within reach. And then the older you get in this will be seen often as it’s really hard to have someone dream about the life role. So dream about in 50 years, where do you want to be with your health or with your community with your family? It’s really, really challenging. And I’m wondering, I mean, I think Part of it is, the more failure we have, the more limits we put on ourselves. And I think what you said earlier, this desire and drive that you’ve kind of innately had I won’t take no for an answer is a is a growth mindset. It’s a mindset of when I, when I fail, it’s not a failure that limits me instead, it’s a failure that I can grow from, it actually enhances my opportunities. And then with golf, like you said, I’m I mean, lots of failure. Awesome, lots of failure.

Jana 35:33
And there will be obstacles in your way. Like, when I was 17 years old, I was one of the best players in the country. And we went to play tournament in Belgium. And we had a driver that crushed us crashed the car, I flew out of the window, he was going 85 miles an hour, and I destroyed every single, every single bone in my body, they didn’t think if I’m going to live, I’m going to die forever gonna walk. I was four months in the hospital, then the recovery took forever. I didn’t miss the golf season, because I was so stubborn. Within a year, I was the best player in the country. They told me I’m never gonna run marathon, I ran marathon because I don’t like people telling me what I cannot do.

Hutson 36:18
Or you understand, tell you what you can’t do? And then you achieve it? Yeah,

Jana 36:20
it’s just like, I don’t know, like, I don’t like people telling me or setting these limits or being negative about something. Because I really believe we can do anything like there are miracles happening in the world. And I think it’s good to think that good things can come out, even suddenly, then then living Oh, what if this happens? And what if? What if I don’t make this? I mean, like, why would you live and feed? Why wouldn’t you give something a chance and see what happens and then accept the result? And try? Try again, or try something else?

Hutson 36:54
So you mentioned Mark’s book and Mark’s book, he talks about Michael Phelps and Olympic athletes who like you said, they’re one identity and dream everything is to win gold medals, whatever. And then once they do that, there’s the huge decline in joy and depression, ultimately, because their identity is now gone. So I’m curious for you, you talked a little bit about this, but as a golfer as a professional golfer, which was, which was your identity? How did you how did you handle moving moving forward, and we talked touched on it, but I’m thinking more for the people that are listening, that maybe they’re about to reach their goals, or maybe reach their dreams? Or their 1015 years away? And how can we help them to not fall into that trap? Because you talked earlier about that? When you do succeed? It’s not all what you might think it might be is the pursuit just as much anything. So what are some ways that people can safeguard? What did you do? Or what did you learn from maybe not doing those kinds of things?

Jana 37:58
I wonder if somebody can set a higher goal like like, let’s say jurkovich kind of good has good say, tennis player, that he reached his goal number one in the world, he won the most grand slam ever tied with maybe Margaret court. So maybe he could be depressed kind of way, right? However, maybe you can set new goals that are, hey, I’ll make few more and see if I can be a single one out there with the most majors I don’t know, if you could potentially keep going. If you still love what you do? Or I don’t know, it is a hard, it is a hard question. Because if you like completely quit the sport that you identify with, for so long, it probably will take you a little bit to recover from it. I didn’t, I don’t know what. Maybe give yourself some time and slow down and look around and find find happiness and little things, read some books and maybe find other things that you might be good at, or you enjoy. When

Hutson 39:05
it sounds like you shifted your identity into being a coach. And then to being you know, a family person. And those things and so from and that’s a really good point, what we talk about framework wise is exactly that is if if your joke of it, and as a 10 year old joke of it says I want to have the most majors one. What we would say is so that what and usually the answer ends there. Well, I just want to have the most majors because that means I’m the best but if you in there, then that’s the depression happens if you reach it, but if we said okay, so that you could teach kids to play tennis until you’re 65 Okay, that’s an awesome goal. And so that why well then when I’m 95, I can play tennis with my great great grandkids, be healthy or whatever. Somebody does do that. He’s knows well, that goal was was really good. It’s a short term goal. And it was so that I could, when I’m 95 be here, it was a, it was a goal on the way. It was just like we said, a task of devotion my teeth every morning, it was another task. Of course, we celebrated. And of course, you get, you know, the the chemical release from that, but it doesn’t end there. I think you’re right. It’s a short, it’s, it’s too short term. And I wonder, you know, with the framework, we talked about, what what if we could help folks to rather than re set new goals afterward? Which of course you will, but do it from the earlier side. So when Djokovic did 10, someone could have said, alright, that’s great Novak but, but why? He probably would have to answer maybe even now and have an answer just because that’s what he wants to do. But then the continued moving forward afterwards, I think is where we continue to find the joy because we’re becoming the human we want to be not just simply succeeding, not just achieving a goal, which oftentimes, thing people have some relationship with goals that are hard, because they either don’t succeed when they do feel.

Jana 41:09
Now what, but luckily, like if you let’s say you have a successful career, and your goals, or dreams may change that they they’re constantly come, humans, especially like having family. So like he wasn’t, or, for example, he’s in the position that he has little children that he may be naturally is going to shift towards being more with the family, teaching them something, and his dreams might shift. Also being successful, there’s a lot of doors that will open to you, hey, somebody will come up with an idea, we want you to be part of it. Because you were successful. We want your face your name, to be on this product. And they they somehow find another interest.

Hutson 41:53
Right, exactly. And then when you do that, it’s not a failure at that point, because you’re moving on it’s it’s the it’s still your values still align your action, so aligns with who you want to become.

Jana 42:05
It’s kind of like, lead you there, right? I’m supposed to be here because of all this, this and that, and not just good things, but maybe sometimes even bad things help you to get to where you are, and you would hope that people live the life that they’re happy with. And they’re grateful and enjoy. Enjoy it.

Hutson 42:27
Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you so much for your time, your incredible person. Incredible story. I’m so thankful we had time to chat today.

Jana 42:33
Well, thank you so much.

Episode 2:

Discovering Fulfillment: A Journey from Manhattan Attorney to Business Entrepreneur

Sean Coughlin, CEO & Co-Founder of FaithStreet

After abruptly walking away from a promising career as a Manhattan attorney, Sean dove into finding new purpose and fulfillment. He found the courage to let go of goals that no longer served who he wanted to be as he worked to uncover the art of living in harmony with oneself, family, and faith, as he pursued a new opportunity. Sean’s story is a testament to the power of discovering what truly matters in life. His experiences offer a beacon of inspiration for those seeking a path of authenticity and meaning.

Sean Coughlin is the CEO & Co-Founder of FaithStreet

Hutson 0:12
Welcome to the joy in goal setting podcast where we empower individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation. I’m your host Hudson DODDS. Today we’re sitting down with Sean Coughlin, an entrepreneur, a surfer and colleague. We are going to discuss how short term goals lead to short term success. But to experience lasting joy these goals must align with the person we want to become after they are achieved.

Shawn, welcome to podcast. I’m so pumped. You’re here. stoked to be here. Awesome. So I’d love to hear where you’re from. Where you went to school and a hobby that you’re into?

Sean 0:57
Sure. I grew up in Gloucester, Virginia. It’s a farming and fishing town in Tidewater. Tidewater is a regional term kind of like low country. So southeastern Virginia.

I went to Harvard College for undergrad,

University of Virginia for law school, moved to New York practice law for a brief unspectacular period. Started a few companies started to invest in some companies, and I get to work alongside you sometimes.

Hutson 1:28
It’s been a pleasure. Yeah, fine.

Sean 1:29
I’ve learned a lot. Yeah, me too.

Hutson 1:31
Do you have any hobbies that you care to? You know, tell us about?

Sean 1:36
I’m an avid surfer. Sort of a wannabe skater. I broke my foot skateboarding. Doing something pretty cool. What were you doing? was trying to do a 180 ollie off of a ledge? Which is like a downtown inappropriate activity for like a 19 year old, not a 39 year old. Yeah. But But you felt good doing it. I felt like I was gaining the respect of the teenagers. And then I broke my foot.

Hutson 2:02
And then you lost it quickly.

Sean 2:04
I don’t know. I think there’s like it’s like, you know, you pay to play.

Hutson 2:06
Hey, go. Okay. Yeah. So you put it in? Yeah. Some scars and stripes. Yeah,

Sean 2:11
I went to a skateboard competition under the bridge at the bridge spot. Downtown Charleston

Hutson 2:18
during competition. No, no,

Sean 2:19
this is this weekend. Oh, nice. I saw a bunch of my buddies who I okay with. And they were like, What happened to you? So it’s just kind of like it’s part. It’s part of it? Yeah. It’s like you’re participating in the community by getting injured.

Hutson 2:34
I get that. So you mentioned that you had a, I forget how you put it, but basically not a, you know, amazing law time. So tell me about that story. So how did you get into law? Why did you choose to go to law school? Why do you choose to be attorney and what made it lackluster?

Sean 2:53
Yeah, I grew up in a small town, my parents very artistic grew up in the country. They both went to college and dropped out. And we were very like blue collar growing up, you know, lower middle class middle class, in a very working class town. But my parents instilled in me this idea that like, all you have to do is make A’s. You make A’s, you can do whatever you want. And they knew that I could, and so on, they expected it. And so I just think I was on that track for a long time. Like, what’s the best college I can get into? What’s the best law school I can get into? What’s the best job after law school that I couldn’t get? It was very, like a US News and World Report ranking.

Hutson 3:41
I’ll get A’s so that I can go to college. Yeah. And I can go to law school so that I can Yeah, do well or not just don’t even know I that’s just what I do. Yeah.

Sean 3:49
Like buy a vacation house and drive Mercedes. All those things, whatever. Right, which are all good things. But like, I think I had a very immature, like decision making framework previous to being like, you know, 29 years old. Yeah, probably a decade ago. And I was making decisions out of that framework, almost without realizing that that was sort of my How to know my, my, my approach. Yeah.

Hutson 4:17
And so law school, you became an attorney in New York. And how long did you practice law?

Sean 4:26
I practiced law for about a year.

Hutson 4:28
So just a year. what point did you realize this isn’t for me?

Sean 4:36
Probably about four months in.

Hutson 4:38
So do you remember was there like a moment that you can look back on to like, I remember in this place, or this restaurant or whatever, and I was like, This is not for me, or was it just like, around four months? Or like, what? Was there a time and if so, why? What was it?

Sean 4:54
Yeah, I think that during that fourth month, I build 100 hours one week, which means that I was at work for more than 100 hours. And I remember waking up at about 6:30am on a Saturday morning, and having the mid level associate who I reported to like, having missed like six calls from him, because I wasn’t like on the way to the office. And I just remember looking around at like, even the partners who sort of hadn’t made it, and thinking, this is a great life for them, perhaps, but it’s not for me. And I don’t want to be like, any of these people.

Hutson 5:36
So, so you did it for four months. And then you realized, this lifestyle from I’m hearing is like, for you, it doesn’t match up with the person that you want to be what you value in life. You stuck around for, obviously, till the end of the year. And during the following months, is that when you realize, like, what did you do? Did you do a kind of a deep dive, like, what I want to do next? Or did you just kind of stick it out and then just quit cold turkey? Like what? What did you do in those the following months?

Sean 6:07
I remember going into like the occasional get together. Like if I had the ability to kind of sneak out at 730 on a Friday night and go to a party. And people have asked me how work was going and I would just sort of say terrible, like, like the cocktail party conversation terrible. Yeah, which sort of takes people aback so used to saying, sort of like the obligatory near facade. And I got to a point where for a while, I was just sort of scraping the bottom, you know, and yeah, I just, I just left. One day, I told the people I was working with, and one of the partners who had kind of recruited me, you know, fantastic attorney, great person called me, she said, you know, let’s, let’s, let’s take a beat. And I said no thanks. And and that was it. And I don’t think that like, I had this sort of emotional maturity at the time, I think it was 25, to articulate like, why I’d made the decision. I don’t think that I necessarily made the decision in the way that I would if I could go back and do it again. But I think it was very much the right decision for me.

Hutson 7:18
And so you quit? Did you have something lined up at that point? No, you just quit in New York energy move. Stay in New York

Sean 7:27
State in New York.

Hutson 7:30
After you quit? Was there any moment where you were you kind of like reflected on how you got to where you were and where you’re going or to use? Can I keep going to get a job and then that helped shape who you are.

Sean 7:43
Now, it just got weird after that for a while. So I sort of still had that sense of like, well, what is a normal path? Right. And so I talked to friends who had gone into consulting into banking, I sort of started to tiptoe down those roads. I thought maybe the problem is that it’s, you know, I like to work hard. Like, it’s not the hours, maybe it’s not even the culture. It’s just the kind of work. So I started to tip down toe down those paths. I had some a nice chunk of money saved up, but it’s New York City, and it was 25. So that disappeared pretty quickly. So I need to get a job. So did all sorts of I tutored I bartended. I like I don’t know, this is not a flattering story. But I had a lot of friends who worked some in Charleston actually even some elsewhere, like in the food and beverage industry. So I just put their restaurants down on my resume. Nice. Yeah. And I sort of like, winked my way into a few like bartending jobs. tutored bartender did some other odd things, and just sort of made my way. And I pretty quickly decided what I wanted to do was start something. And it might have been like a big overcorrection. You know, when you do something that’s very extreme, you’re like, I have like three bosses. And they’re all really mean to

Hutson 9:07
me opposite. I own boss. My own time.

Sean 9:11
Yeah, that’s right. So I kicked around a few ideas, started a few things that were very short lived, and then started a technology company for faith communities that grew from like, two guys around a kitchen table like this to serving millions of users every month, sold part of that company. And that company still exists today. I’m still on the board moved away from the day to day recently. But yeah, that was I mean, that’s a whole decade long journey.

Hutson 9:39
Well, I want to give that a minute. But I want to go all the way backwards. And I mean, you’re familiar with the framework, of course, and I’m curious to know if you could be a magical genie and kind of see what life would have been like, had you in high school, still made A’s and still wanting to go to college ever? All those things? If you if you’re able to, to align where you went to college, and then even grad school with the values you talked about that you saw, I don’t want this, they don’t align with my values. But if you had an opportunity to outline what those values were, how do you think that would have changed your decision? What might you have gone to school to do instead? And

Sean 10:23
that’s an interesting hypothetical. Um, I guess the first thing I’d say is, I’m really grateful for my story. You know, like, I think that, like, God had a plan and all of it, like the universe conspired on my behalf, despite my best efforts, you know, because I feel like, by sort of gunning, you know, that’s the word we used in law school, like your gunner, you know, like, I was kind of like a undercover gunner. Like, kind of, like, cool on the outside, but like, really, like, you know, I’m gonna get the best grade. Yeah, like, I’m gonna win this. I’m still like, going out on the weekends and doing my thing, you know, but I think by going so hard in that direction, it was very clarifying for me. So like, I don’t have like, illusions or delusions about like, what that life is, which I think after, and for me, you know, that wasn’t the right path. But after I sort of realized that, I was able to kind of get on with my life. So that’s sort of the first way to answer your question is I’m grateful for, for what I did, even if I’ve had a more sort of mature decision making framework. Yeah. I think that the first thing that comes to mind is, I probably would have, like, traveled around the world surfing. Like, actually, yeah, like, I probably would have, like, gone and like worked on a boat or something. You know, like I was, I had a lot of adventure as a young kid, even moving New York Cities and adventure. I traveled a ton when I was young. But I think I would have like, taking it slower. You know, I think it wasn’t like it was like a young man in a hurry. You know? Yeah. And I think I would have slowed down, like, way down. And I have three sons now.

Hutson 12:13
I was gonna say, yeah, so let’s talk about that. So slow. How do you feel like that’s been incorporated? What you just mentioned, like, slowing it down, like adventure? Like, how do you see that playing out into like, your life role, maybe as a father and as, like, what does that look like? And does it show up? And if it doesn’t, like, how could it in? Do you want it to? Yeah.

Sean 12:36
Well, I think moving to Charleston was a big part of that, you know, I didn’t move to Charleston, you don’t move to Charleston to serve? You know, the waves are certainly, okay. Good, sometimes, like non existent, sometimes, okay, mostly mediocre most of the time. But a big part of the reason we moved to Charleston, was that I wanted the outdoors to be a bigger part of my life. And that has definitely come true. And I just think by bat, being able to balance things like travel and work and family, you know, I’ve been able to pursue some of that adventure in my 30s. You know, I’m almost done with my 30s. But in my 30s, even, in some ways, more than I did when I was in my 20s. And so that’s something I’d have to pass along to them. You know, when I was 2324, I felt like, I was in like, a competition, you know, but now at 39. I realized, like, it was so young, you know, and like, there was so much even more like adventure to be had. I’m grateful for what, what I what I have gotten to do. But I think that’s what I would tell that version of myself was like, you know, there’s this. This I’m spear Fisher woman. She’s a free diver in Hawaii, and she’s world class. And she says, when everything in your life is telling you to speed up everything around you, your your, you know, whatever, 50 feet under the water and it’s all like panicking. She said what you’re supposed to do that and slow down. And like that’s, I think that’s something you know, but it takes life to learn that. Yeah, you know?

Hutson 14:18
Yeah, yeah, well, and it sounds like your boys. Have an incredible opportunity to learn that from you and see that right and see what adventure looks like while slowing down. Sometimes, like you said, adventure can feel like things speed up. Whether you’re looking forward to the adventure, or during the adventure, you’re constantly thinking of all the things going on versus like being present and slowing down and actually enjoying it. And value wise, sounds like adventure. What is your mantra?

Sean 14:49
My mantra is abiding and action abiding an

Hutson 14:53
action is adventure, any of your values.

Sean 14:58
I mean, it’s in there definitely an in The statements that come from the seven roles. It’s in there a couple times. Yeah, okay. Yeah,

Hutson 15:04
they better be. Yeah. It’s a big part of who you are.

Sean 15:07
Yeah, and I think but I think the cool thing is like, you know, I’ve been married now for eight years, just celebrated eight years, a couple days ago. Congratulation, thank you. And then raising these three boys, like, being very, like local, most of the time, I do get to go on some trips. But like, there’s a lot of adventure in that, you know, like, a lot of risk. And a lot of like, it’s a deep while I’ve been, you know, like being like a committed dad and showing up for your family. Like, that’s, to me, like them kind of radical thing in some ways, right? Like, that’s the harder thing than just like, being a vagabond? So I

Hutson 15:47
totally remember that. Yeah. So we’ve touched a little bit on, you know, who you were, without kind of a framework, if you will, decision framework I think you used and obviously, working with us, you’ve utilized our framework, and I’m kind of curious to hear how that shaped you? What’s been the biggest impact for you? What have you seen it? How has it impacted your life roles and who you are as a person.

Sean 16:18
I think one of the really cool things about our framework is like whole person, you know, identifying these seven roles, I mean, it’s not perfect, and it’s not necessarily done, but it does a really good job of kind of, like, feeling like it represents all of your lived experience. You know, I think that’s really valuable. We were talking the other day about, like, which of the seven roles are you afraid of? Tackling, you know, which was, was really interesting for me and got into sort of things about my family history, and my grandmother, and it’s like, there’s a lot there, you know, but I think that having a framework where I can almost start to, like a top down thinker, but start to sort of almost inventory, like, myself, and my life and my, you know, the various communities that are participate in and vocation and those sorts of things like, that’s a real gift, you know, it’s really cool. Yeah.

Hutson 17:24
So you have this really interesting journey in your career. I’m curious now, do you have any goals as it pertains to work? If so, would you be willing to share what those are? And kind of what you’re doing to work towards this?

Sean 17:46
Yeah, I have a kind of a mixed relationship with goal setting, which is a funny thing to admit, that’s such a believer in, in so much of what we do, you know, I think, and I think it ties back to my story, I think, because I was so motivated to, like, get out of this tiny town. Like, that’s, I mean, I remember just being a little boy, and just being like, I know how to get out of here, it’s gonna take a while, you know, I’m gonna go to New York and take over or whatever, you know, I didn’t do. But I had a lot of goals. And I was like, good at, like, setting them and achieving them, like, what do you do I set goals and achieve them. And so I think that I feel almost like a reticence like a bit of a part of me wants to say, I want to be of service, I want to be useful, you know, I want to be present these very, like, sort of sort of values, you know, that are, are not about like, putting some, you know, target out there and then going toward it. But I think one of the things that the framework has helped me with is to maybe set better goals, and goals that are like more in line with find,

Hutson 19:07
so maybe it is not not bad, but actually, yes, aligning with who you want to be or

Sean 19:13
serves the whole person. Yeah. Serves not just a very narrow view of success. I mean, maybe somewhat traditional view of success, like I still maintain that, right, but also incorporates, what does it mean to be a great dad? What does it mean to be a great friend? What does it mean to be a part of a community and to be of service? Yeah, you know, and so, yeah, um, I think in terms of specific professional goals, like, I know, I’d love to, like build something again, you know, but I’m like something new. But I’m really enjoying helping to build this new thing. And a couple other things, vesting and a few things. I love like, early stage, you know, I love like that zero to one, you know, Uh, you know, I’ve always had that sense of like, well, you know, watch this should exist, let’s go make it right. You know. And so sometimes when Mark and I get to talking, or you and I get to talking or some other folks on the team, you know, those conversations around like, yeah, it would be great if this existed and like, that’s what we’re moving towards, you know, in fits and starts. And through there. Yeah. Struggle and challenge, right. Yeah.

Hutson 20:22
It’s like the excitement of there’s excitement, we know, right to pursue a goal and then pursue a product, which is a goal at the end of the day, right? The production of something, the creation of something, and then to go and then begin to see it like an action is really, really powerful. It’s really cool. Yeah. And as humans the same thing, like I think when we set goals, that seem as we talk about our dream goal, so we maybe can achieve it probably not. And then we start seeing the daily movement towards those goals. It’s same kind of feeling was like, Oh, I, I can it’s not much, yeah, towards the dream goal. But it’s something and it’s like kind of pen to paper, and then it becomes something and then all of a sudden, a year later, you’re like, holy cow. I just did that one thing. And now all of a sudden, I’ve achieved these big things, which align with who I want to be right?

Sean 21:12
Where you see, observe or hear about, like a breakthrough moment between a coach and individual. And like, you see that little fire like that. So it gets me excited. You’re like, oh, the magic. There it is. And I feel like that’s so much of what being like an entrepreneur is like, looking for that magic, looking for that new thing? Yeah. Where’d it come from? Yeah, like, oh, you know, like, that’s still like, it’s, it’s not any less hard or necessarily harder, so to speak, then being a contract attorney, or, you know, a financial services attorney, or, you know, a school teacher or any of these other like noble professions, right. But it’s just, I think, the one that I like, and I feel more sort of called toward,

Hutson 21:56
yeah. When you started the faith, faith based app. What was the impetus for one and being in the faith space versus anything else? To like, why tech? You went from a tourney to tech is? It’s always overlap, maybe? Not often. Yeah. Why? Why, like how those two paths

Sean 22:20
Yeah, my mom for many years was a secretary at our church. So I just always remember it both as like a place of community, place of potential transformation. But also, like a small and medium sized organization that like had like real needs. And I remember hearing about those needs growing up. And so there’s this idea, there’s a famous technology investor called Marc Andreessen, and his idea is like, software eats the world. And now he’s saying things like, AI eats the world, it’s this idea that like, where software hasn’t, like, led to some kind of transformational change, it will eventually. And so I just thought, you know, there’s a lot of opportunity for technology to be a force for good in this space. And this, this space, I care about a lot, and is the space where it has been under innovated, right under resourced. That was really true back then. And it’s still true to a certain extent. But it’s something I could wake up in the morning, and like, sort of just get behind. And that was a real gift to myself. Like, you know, I remember being an attorney and the other attorneys saying, you know, our deals are on the front page of The New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal, and like that, like, seemed like it should be motivating to me didn’t get you going, but I didn’t care. Yeah. You know, whereas, like, being able to help, you know, a church that, you know, you walk down the street and in Manhattan, or in Charleston, and you see, see it, right, whether it’s an old traditional building, or meeting a storefront or school or whatever it is, to think like, oh, our software helped them raise 25% more this year than they did last year. And I know about those, those families and those people that that really impacts that that really did it for me. And I think that comes back to my background. Like I’m like a rural working class guy, you know, not anymore, but like, that’s where I came from, you know, and that’s where my I have a friend who says, like, start something that pulls on your heartstrings. If you want to build something, start there. Yeah, like don’t start with something because he thought it was a good idea. Right? No, because like, it’s gonna get really hard.

Hutson 24:29
Law school was a good idea. Yeah, it didn’t work out. Well, I liked it. Right. It seemed like a good idea. Yeah. Right. To get you to Mercedes and your vacation home, right.

Sean 24:39
I have a 2001 Toyota Tundra. That’s pretty sweet. It’s

Hutson 24:43
pretty awesome. As the AC doing

Sean 24:46
Yeah, it’s, it’s hanging in there. It’s not too hot today.

Hutson 24:50
No, it is lovely. Yeah, it’s quite lovely. So pulling your heartstrings you’re working with us was awesome. I’m very grateful for it. And you want to build something new and I think be an entrepreneur, you have a bit of the that space with us. But I know there’s always a sense of like, on your own right. So is there anything that you’ve been tinkering on thinking about that you can share? Or maybe just even like the dreams of like, God, if there was this? And would it be in the tech space still or somewhere different? And what heartstrings? Would you move to next?

Sean 25:27
I don’t know, I think is the short answer. I think that I could, I could share some things that I know I feel really passionate about. I don’t know what that would look like in terms of application around a product. But But I think that that’s, that’s probably what I would, I’d be willing to share at this juncture. Yeah. I feel really passionately about being a dad. And have a great dad. And he not perfect, but great. And he is now a great granddad. And, you know, he passed along a lot of fantastic things to me. And I think sharing those things, like, with my sons, and being like a very, I don’t know, just like a, like a hands on, you know, fully engaged dad is really, really important to me. And I think relatedly I have a real sort of passion around maybe, you know, in the church context, we call it Men’s Ministry. But I guess what I would call it is just like guys being friends. You know, yeah. Which like, every week, there’s an article, or study, some research that comes out about like, how, like grown men don’t have friends. And it’s like, all of the bad outcomes that leads to. And so I don’t know what that would translate into. But those are two things that I’m just really like, passionate, passionate, like, pull on my heartstrings hard. I have a lot of other interests. But, but but those are two areas that that I think, really, and I think, just for me, sort of philosophically, like, in a place like Charleston. A lot of businesses are built around like serving. I mean, candidly, like, upper middle class to wealthy people, like I fit in that demographic today. Like, and that makes sense. Like, those are good businesses, right. I don’t think I’m ever gonna start that business. Like, I’m going to start a business that’s like, more democratic. You know, small d, remember? Yeah. Right. More more for, for the people. Yeah. You know, that’s just I just know, that’s what I get excited about. Just about. Right. Yeah.

Hutson 27:49
So you mentioned being a great dad wanting to be great dad. Yeah, President.

Obviously, that’s one thing is part of DNA, but it’s very well, it’s value oriented, who you are as a human. And so I’m sure you find time for that. But I’m curious. Is there anything that you do? That helps keep it intentional? That you do that might, you know, a listener might say, Oh, that’s good. I’m gonna, I’m gonna utilize that in my life, or is it just something that you’ve been doing it for so long? And it’s just who you are?

Sean 28:24
Yeah, I’ve only been doing it for five years. And I don’t think I am great at it. You know, I think I’m really naturally gifted at certain parts, but like, the parts around like, patience and gentleness, like not my forte, you know, I’m trying to get better. I think it comes back to that community piece, like getting together with a group of people, co ed or group of guys and just like sharing your life with them on some kind of regular, intentional basis. Yeah. Sometimes that just looks like Hey, me and this friend get together every month and have coffee. And just like really sort of, like, you know, move past the pleasantries.

Hutson 29:00
Okay, that helps with, like, both accountability. And just like, obviously being open Robles helpful, but knowing I’m going on a meeting with so and so. Not that it always plays into it, but just kind of like a reminder of like, probably an asked me about having if I’ve been patient this month, like is that helpful? In our framework, we talk about a coach, obviously not a coach, but friends and mentors can essentially be a coach in that way.

Sean 29:24
Yeah, I mean, I have one sort of dedicated mentor who like serves that role. And then I have a lot of friendships and relationships where they might be more sort of on the same level, so to speak. Or they might be more like, you know, a guy who’s 10 years previous to me, who’s going through those rites of passage as a 25 year old who’s evaluating Is this the person I’m supposed to marry, you know, those sorts of things. And for that guy, those things feel like the biggest problems in the world. And for me, it’s easy to discount them but the things I’m going through, you know, a mentor who’s maybe 70 feels the same way I can look at that and be like, Oh, that’s no big deal, right? Yeah. I think that’s a really healthy dynamics to have. Yeah. But I think that not, I feel very grateful to have them. Because I feel like that just, I think putting those kinds of like guardrails up in your life and having those kinds of coaches and sort of mentors and that kind of like, encouragement. It’s not I feel like in our culture, it might be like embraced as like a nice to have. But I think it’s more like a must have,

Hutson 30:31
as part of it as our made, right. Yeah, to be communal to be relational. So curious, do you? Those those relationships in many relationships? Are you? Do your kids know you have them? And if so, what does that look like? So imagine, like you said, being a father, to me a good father, you want to pass down, obviously, that like having friends is important. So how do you let your children know that’s important to you? And what does that look like?

Sean 31:02
Yeah, I mean, I think part of it is like, sort of letting them grow up around those people, you know, and the kind of like, letting them be influenced by those people. You know, and just expending real physical time, everyone together when it when, when possible. But another part of is like, okay, we’re driving to the beach, and a buddy of mine calls. And so I’m not going to talk to my kids for 15 minutes, I’m gonna talk to my friend about whatever he needs to talk about, you know, and I’m sure a lot of it goes over my kid’s head, and I might have to, like, edit some events. So I’m not talking about whatever adult thing this guy is talking about in front of my five and three and one year old, but usually to the beach. It’s just the vibe of the room. But anyway, um, you know, I think just, they’re like, who was that? And like, it was my my, but you know, like, and

Hutson 31:47
so bringing them into relationship instead of like, they want understand it’s not important keeping this up, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Sean 31:55
Man, but that’s, that’s, it’s a hard thing. To be a good, you know, that’s the hard thing. Yeah.

Hutson 32:02
So you mentioned coaching. So you took on T ball this year? Yeah. Tell me about that. How was that experience?

Sean 32:09
COACH T ball, Mount Pleasant league this year? The last game, I had to be kind of the adult on the field.

Hutson 32:16
Kind of, yeah. Well, I was getting

Sean 32:19
kind of worked up. So I’ll tell you story. The other team’s coach, I guess he decided that like, because the next year, some of his players are going to be in coach pitch. He was just gonna start throwing the ball. And like, I was on board with that. I was like, okay, man, fine. But like, it would just take some of them 15 pitches to hit the ball, you know, your baseball guy. And it’s also like, when they do hit it comes way faster, because there’s the kinetic energy of science, right, like, and so our parents, were getting so upset. There’s other cuts. And so I was just like, Guys, we got to not do this right now. Like, I don’t know who’s right. But like, there’s a lot of kids here. Right? Not about us. So these kids are four through six. So that was interesting. But overall great experience. Yeah, I mean, my dad was my T Ball Coach and just felt like a fun thing to do.

And that age is just funny. It is funny, like baseball is too much game for a four year old.

Hutson 33:25
I don’t disagree. Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot. But you mentioned that like the spark the fire that when a kid or an adult or whatever you’re coaching, but in this instance, like, kind of get to for the first time, as the coach is like, super empowering, right? Yeah, to be able to see them become it to say like, oh, kicking the balls to becoming the person they want to be, but in some ways it is because they want to be good. They want to progress they want to learn. Yep. And to see them get that is powerful. From the coaching standpoint, just as much of this from the recipient, right? Yeah. And I think that’s like, it’s cool to be able to be on both sides of the, you know, achieving or pursuing goals of like, the coach is just just as exciting to like, pursue the goal with someone. So I think as a parent, it’s kind of similar. And the tricky part is apparent, is not to not like the goal become your goal is to let it be their goal, let them seek after it, let them go after it let them try and achieve it and fail or not. But I find that my kids like i i tell them all the time. I can’t want it more than more than you. i This is your desire or not. But it’s not mine. Right? If your goal was x, I can’t want it more than you and that I think has helped in some ways I’m I grew up a little different, but I grew up with this goal set mentality but really just for sports. And I mean, I remember growing up in this squirreled where I think just as much to my mom, as it did to me, yeah, potentially. And it helped drive me for sure. And I will be grateful forever for it. But I really do. I want it to be theirs, you know, and it became mine, all those things. It’s all good. But I, yeah, I want it to be theirs. And like you said, as a father, you want them to grow up with learning how to set goals that are good. And goals that align with who they should be they want to be you were obviously really good at setting and achieving goals. And now you admitted it’s a little bit of a funky. If I go down that road again, what might happen kind of thing? Not really. But you don’t I mean? How’s that shaped with your children? How you, like how you talk about goals, or how you talk about achieving things? What does that look like?

Sean 35:54
Yeah, it’s been funny just to see, like, they all come like, kind of, with some wiring that you didn’t do anything to wire. They all come out with, like, just these particular preferences and these particular interests. Yeah. I think part of it is just sort of like celebrating those things. You know. But I also think there’s a part in which you can sort of say, alright, you know, like, I know that there’s an outcome that you want. And I can sort of play the role of dad or coach and sort of say, like, you know, be an encouragement and be a bit of a like, yeah, have a bit of a, give him a push. You know, I think that’s hard for me to know where that balances, though, you know, between like, being like the sort of the baseball dad or like the stage dad, or whatever it is, right. And like just giving them enough of like that kind of support and courage. Yeah, because when they

Hutson 37:01
given the resources, giving them the tools, helping them lost the ball not pushing in a way that is too much. And I think it’s

Sean 37:11
specific to the child too. You know, I have one son who do, he just needs to be reined in. Like, he’s 100 miles an hour. He’s like a force, right? And I have another who’s like, the most gifted like artist, like you could just see it thinks he creates. I’m just like, I couldn’t do that now. You know, but sometimes I feel like he’s super talented in a certain area, but at the same time is a little bit afraid of failure. And so how do you kind of guide him? Yeah, I talked about that, to that point of like, hey, just try just twice. Okay. Yeah. You know, if you fail, it’s awesome. Yeah, like, but we’re gonna learn together. You know, that’s, that’s, that’s the open question to me.

Hutson 37:54
No, it’s true. It’s, as we you know, we talk all the time about failure and about growing from failure and growth mindset. And teaching that is difficult, because even as humans, I mean, is it adults, as parents, we’re still learning for ourselves, like how to how to take in a growth mindset in all facets. You talked about the framework, being whole person, I think in certain life roles is easier to know how to accept failure thing grow from it, and other life roles. It’s much more challenging, I think can be challenging as a parent, wanting to accept failure. Right? And then do it publicly to kids, like I sorry, x, y, and z. I should have done that. You know, whatever. It’s, that’s, that’s tough. That’s tough, but it’s the best way to learn.

Sean 38:42
Yeah, people people say progress, not perfection. My mom was really good at that. You know, she’s I’m working progress. I’m sorry. Oh, like I got too mad about that thing. Yeah, I was like, and I think when I can lean into that with my kids is helpful.

Hutson 38:56
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So what other projects are you working on outside of the company, fun projects that are peeking your interest or that you’re enjoying tremendously

Sean 39:10
I’m trying to land a one ad off of a ledge without success.

Hutson 39:17
Next time.

Sean 39:21
Yeah, I’m working with another company’s doing something really cool in the like, at the intersection of helping busy families and extremely high quality, extremely clean, like meats and vegetables. So that’s a really neat thing that I’m working on right now. I started to invest in early stage companies through a couple of friends like funds, which I’m really kind of something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Once my wife was like, I want to do this. She’s like, What, what’s kind of what I’ve been doing for like, 10 years.

But um, but I’ve been doing that I’m starting to mark Actually, we have kind of parallel

church involvement right now, the senior Warden cathedral downtown, and we’re doing a big capital campaign and I’ve three more months left and my term and I’m excited, I’m ready to, to call the spirit of rotation. I’m ready to rotate,

Hutson 40:23
attack them out. But

Sean 40:24
I mean, but it’s, it’s, you know, I love I love the leadership I love, I love what we’re doing. And I think it kind of that’s, that’s one of the things to me that, like, keeps me keeps me busy, but also keeps me out of myself. You know, I feel like now to kind of do this idea of like, what’s animating your decisions? I feel like I was very much bought into this idea of, you know, up to the age of mid to late 20s of like, oh, like, what are my goals? Like, what do I want, you know, very, like self directed, which like, depending on what values you bring to the table can be good or bad or mixed, usually. But I think that this, one thing I tried to do is kind of put a lot of service in my life. Because otherwise like, I think he gets too self centered and too, like self directed too self reliant. Yeah. You know. So

Hutson 41:22
when it sounds like the service side effects, it just mentioned. Some ways, it’s like a safeguard from Yeah, it’s a deliberate practice and a way of making sure you don’t go down the rabbit hole. Yeah, if you will. Or you end up going down these paths that aren’t directed towards who you want to be. Yep. And the values you have. Yep. And that’s the community to add to that, that keeps you accountable. And

Sean 41:52
yep. You mentioned last book you read and it’s very on theme to our whole conversation.

Hutson 41:56
The last Yeah, what is what is your last book you read?

Sean 41:59
Well, I’m I’m, I’m about halfway through it. It’s called Raising emotionally strong boys. My wife gave it to me because she thought I could use some help raising you and raising them, I think, I don’t know. I’m not clear. But there’s this idea of creating like a space outside for them to like, release their physical energy. So we’re gonna get a kick pad. It’s like in kickboxing where there’s like a Oh, nice had where you can kick it and punch it and things. It’s an energy Yeah, yeah. Just go outside man.

Hutson 42:33
beat the crap out of this thing.

Sean 42:34

Hutson 42:35
I didn’t feel good.

Sean 42:36
I mean, I think I will. Absolutely. Well,

Hutson 42:39
thanks so much. It’s been enjoyed talking with Sean. Yeah,

Sean 42:41
man. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Episode 1:

Creating a Powerful Community

Jenny Fisher, Influencer & CEO/Creator of Get Salty Training App

In a world filled with constant distractions and overwhelming noise, Jenny Fisher discovered a unique path as she created a space for herself and built a thriving community online. Listen to her inspiring journey of transforming the challenges posed by the global Covid shutdown, into an opportunity that allowed her to pursue her passion and develop a niche that beautifully aligns with her love for family, self-care, and holistic wellness. This episode highlights that achieving a harmonious balance between family, career, and physical health is entirely achievable as Jenny’s dynamic approach seamlessly combines practical guidance with motivating narratives.

Jenny Fisher is a Fitmom Influencer and CEO/Creator of the Get Salty Training App

Hutson 0:12
Welcome to the joy and goal setting podcast where we empower individuals to discover their purpose, achieve their goals and experience a joyful life through encouraging conversation. I’m your host Hudson DODDS. Today we’re sitting down with Jenny Fisher during works in the dementia prevention space. She’s a wife, mother, and started her own fitness app. Get salty with Jenny Fisher. We’re going to discuss setting health goals, time management, and finding community as a woman.

Ginni, welcome to Show. I’m so happy you’re here.

Jenny Fisher 0:49
Thank you. It’s good to be here.

Hutson 0:50
So something I always ask is where you’re from, what you’re currently doing. And I’m going to ask you, either to your favorite place you have served or the best way you can remember you’ve served.

Jenny Fisher 1:00
Okay, so I’m originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, I’m an Army brat. So that’s where most that’s where we kind of stayed most of my life.

So I am in. I’m a consultant for dementia prevention, we I work for health IT company. So I help physicians get care plans for their patients that are not quite to dementia, but we want to prevent them from getting there. And then I also own a fitness app called get salty by Jenny Fisher. So I do that in the times that I’m not working. And then surfing. So the best place I’ve ever served was Costa Rica

in the Surah down there, and as far as the best wave I’ve ever served. There’s probably only about five of them because I’m not that great. And I love it so much. I love it so much. But yeah, Nosara Costa Rica would be no, sorry. west east coast. It’s going to Costa Peninsula. West. Yeah. Nice. I love Costa Rica is like, you know, one of my favorite places in the world. And the people are so nice down there. Yeah, food serve. Food is amazing. There’s so we use went to Hawaii, my family and I in July, which was awesome. Yeah. I don’t know. I’ll go again. It was extremely hard coming back. Like I lost a whole week. Yes. And then when I got back, I’ve been in Costa Rica, I don’t know, five or six times. And I looked at my wife and I said, and she has been to none together. I said, you know, I think we can do almost all the same things in Costa Rica for a lot less time. A lot less money. Yeah. Yeah. And of Costa Rica. Super cool. Hiking, surfing. It’s amazing. Yeah, we’ve been probably about 12 times and we haven’t taken our boys yet. I’ve got two little boys. So that’ll be that’ll be a fun trip. But you’re right. It’s so much cheaper and more accessible than Hawaii. But yeah, I would highly recommend that. So you have a fitness app? Is that something you always wanted to start? Is it like, How does someone start a fitness app? It’s a great question. When I was in college, my then boyfriend now husband talked me into personal training, because I just I had an affinity for fitness and from all of my sports backgrounds and everything like that. And I was pretty personable. So I started doing that in college, and I loved it. And then of course, you graduate college, and you have this degree, and you have this pressure to actually apply what you learned to a career. So I started in pharmaceutical sales, and hung up the, you know, the personal training and, but still always had that love for teaching and helping others and connecting with women and things like that. So when I got to a certain place in my career, where I could create my own schedule and things like that, I started filming little 15 minute workouts for my friends that they would ask me about fitness advice and stuff like that. So long story short, I created an Instagram page where I was helping moms just like little 15 minute workouts and I got such a big following. Then quarantine hit and all the gyms, gyms shut down. And I was in a magazine called strong Fitness magazine, right when quarantine shut us all down. And they said, Hey, why don’t you come on our Instagram page and teach some classes and I was like, perfect. And then I realized how much I missed teaching people. And then I had this opportunity to do it virtually. So in my mind, I’m going well, I can have the best of both worlds. I can work and I could teach virtually. So my husband and I decided to create my own app. And now I reach hundreds of women all over the world and it’s such a blessing. That’s amazing. Do you find that the people that are following you the people that interact with you, they enjoy that it’s women centric? Do they enjoy that? It’s short, what do you what do you think is my niches? Yeah, why why? Why do you think they’re attracted what you’re doing? I think that it’s geared towards busy people that want very athletic and efficient training. So a lot of them are people that are like, you know, I go to the gym and I know fitness but what I’m doing I don’t feel like it makes sense. And I don’t have a lot of time. And mine is very cost effective as well. So we I’m basically a personal trainer, I give you high high level training at a fraction of the price so you can build it into your own schedule. You can manipulate it, there’s over 500 different sessions so you can go on there.

and make it your own, or you can let me guide you through. So my niche has become very busy. A lot of women, I do have men, but a lot of moms that want that, that efficiency. However, my niche has kind of become X high school and college athletes. Because I think I have a certain way of motivating that comes across very coach like, so as you would have in college. Yeah. And I get that feedback going. I feel like I’m back on a team again. And so that I mean, that really fills my cup. I wasn’t intending for that to happen. But I think that’s just my natural personality bringing that out. So you mentioned team,

Hutson 5:35
do you have? Obviously the personal training is, in a traditional sense, it’s one on one? Yeah, there’s no real team or community aspect. Does your app or do you encourage more of kind of like the team community aspect? Or is it mostly just me and you on the on the phone, I have developed a community aspect because my app has a way to chat. So a lot of the people go on there. And it’s great, because they get to kind of bitch and complain about things. They’re like, I wasn’t able to, I’ve got to go and Redo last week’s sessions, because life got to me or I got sick, or I got hurt, or, you know, my kid got sick, and I had to be pulled out of it. And I love that because I am such a realistic person. And I want people to be very authentic, especially with your fitness people. A lot of fitness influencers get on there, and they’re like, no excuses, get it done. You have you have to have discipline and consistency, which is of course, true, but also not real. It’s it’s not. It’s not real for most people. And so what I do is I’m like, do what you can try to be as consistent as you can. But the discipline thing that comes with

Jenny Fisher 6:41
that comes with a consistency and a

looking at the Why did I start this, you know, know, your motivators understand your why. So I talk about that stuff a lot. And I like have grace, though with yourself when you can’t be perfect. If you can get some patience and some grace and consistency, you’re going to win. As far as fitness goes. That’s, that’s what I found that works for me. And so that’s what I get back to people. Yeah. From a business standpoint, obviously, it makes sense. You want to have community because we have repeat customers. And then from the customer standpoint, what do you think is so attractive about that part of the app, because not I use Apple fitness, there’s no community other than my wife and I doing my rings going off kind of thing. But it’s more me, I’m self motivated myself, but from your clients are your following whatever. What do you think is most attractive to them on that side of the app, I have gotten a lot of feedback. And people feel like so I call it the Assault Squad. So they call themselves they’re like, we’re part of the Assault Squad. And it has created a yearly retreat. So the ones that feel like they actually want to invest in themselves financially to come spend a week with me, it becomes this, this unifying thing, but it also bleeds out into the community where the people that couldn’t come still feel like they’re part of that. But it’s all about women’s empowerment. If you can build her up, you’re building yourself up. Or if you can build them up, you’re building yourself up. So I think that that message goes through, and people want to reach out to others, and they want to build that community. But to your point, from a business perspective, it’s really nice because word of mouth all I don’t spend a dime on on advertisement, I do it all on Instagram, which is free Facebook, which is free. And then I encourage people to bring their friends and bring their family members in and things like that. And that has been my my biggest source of growth. So if I can get them involved in this community, first of all, there’s accountability. So I know that they are going to succeed with my program. But then there’s also this sense of pride and loyalty and wanting to bring their friends in.

Hutson 8:45
So I talked with my wife this morning,

about I do an annual golf trip with some guys. And I was trying to encourage her to do like, you know, annual trip with some girls. And we’re talking about how many of the her friends and women that are moms of similar age kids feel less does there’s less desire, I think was she was mentioning, to go on these kinds of trips. The women that are going into retreats, are they mostly moms who are looking for this kind of opportunity, or are you finding there’s fewer moms and mostly people without kids?

Jenny Fisher 9:24
They’re almost all moms. So the really cool thing about my retreats are I’ve got moms with special needs kids that are like I need a weekend to focus on me. I’ve got a lot of moms that are starting to go through a divorce where they’re like I I need to be around other women that might get this. And the powerful thing about it is it’s about fitness and wellness. But it really is about strengthening other women up. And I’m getting emotional because I’m starting to think of the moments that were happening during the retreat but it You feel the pressure. And I’m Christian, I’m Faith based. And you can feel the presence of, you know, that energy in the room when you have all of these women connecting in that way and just dropping their shields down. So to answer your question, I think that might because I am so authentic in who I am, I bring a very authentic crowd to me. And, and I’m not just saying that that’s a feedback that I get in, I think that’s one of the gifts that I’ve been given is, I put exactly who I am out there. And sometimes it freaks my husband out, because he’s like, you share way too much. And I’m like, I know, I am an overshare. But I really want people to understand that you can, you can work hard, you can have a great job, you can raise very balanced children, have a wonderful marriage, have a side career, that’s very realistic, and your fitness and nutrition, all of those things can come together without killing yourself. But again, you have to have patience, consistency, and grace with yourself and in just in life. So that’s what’s worked for me. And I think that’s what attracts women to me, as they want to understand that.

Hutson 11:05
In terms of goal setting, for you mentioned, you know, the people that like discipline, you have to show up all those things. And then grace and we we believe in growth mindset, we believe in failure as a way to grow and be you know, more the person you want to be really Yeah. How do you how do you help folks set fitness goals that are both realistic, but also healthy? I mean, right now in the health world, the fitness world, there is a lot going on, and there always has been, but you can set very unhealthy goals. So how do you help bridge that gap between wellness? And kind of doing for the wrong reasons?

Jenny Fisher 11:42
Yeah, there are. There’s a spectrum of wellness. And I think that the people that are the most successful on Instagram are the ones that are the big extremes, right? Because people are like, I just take all my money, I want to figure this out kind of thing I’m done with my life, I want to figure this out. So those extreme programs are the ones that attract the most and I am, I’m in that balance lane, where it’s it’s tougher to get people to understand that they are already equipped with the tools, you’re already equipped, you already know what you need to do. So I try to educate on that. For example, I taught my mom yesterday about nutrition. She’s on the bone broth diet right now. And I’m like, Okay, and so I talked her through it and all that stuff. But we got to a place where she’s like, Oh, that sounds so much easier. Like imagine that your daughter is a nutrition coach. And okay, but to answer your question, so what I do is, and I have this on my app in a general form, so people can kind of build their own goals through that. But if anybody works with me one on one, what I try to do is understand how their life is I want to understand their ultimate goals. So if they want to drop 50 pounds, that’s an ultimate goal. What is your what is your goal right now? So I tried to use you know, the the SMART goal setting where you’re looking at something, what is a very specific goal, but it’s short term. So I look at like, every two to three weeks instead of six months, or four months, or the wedding that’s coming up in three months. Let’s look at this two to four weeks snapshot or something short? What is your goal for that maybe we’re going to look at lose if their goal was to lose weight anyways, let’s let’s just drop a pound or two every week. So what does that look like? What are the things that we’re going to do? So we want it to be measurable? We want to make sure that we can do something actionable, we want to time down, like I was saying about the two weeks and how often are you going to do it? So it’s measured in a time length? How often are you going to do it within that time length? How are you going to measure your, your metrics with it? And then what is the action you’re going to do? So it’s not like I hope I lose a pound, how are we going to do that. So your goal might be losing a pound. But we’re going to do that by maybe doing three hit and strength classes every week, with a with four short walks during that week. That’s what we’re going to do. So again, I want to understand their life. So if they’re like, well, Jenny, I work all day long, then I have the kids and all that stuff. So we got to figure out where we can fit these things in and how do we adjust. And if that goal is realistic for that person, it might not be realistic, and we need to pull it back. So setting realistic goals is probably where you want to start first. But yeah, to answer your goal, that’s that’s kind of how I approach it.

Hutson 14:30
Yeah, that’s that’s that aligns our framework and what we’ve what we found often is even though like 50 pounds, he called Ultimate, we try and say okay, but what about like, what’s after that even? It’s like what you said? The why like the we thought about pursuing purpose, the purpose of losing 50 pounds is really what? So that you can be what so that you can be the person you want to be eventually. Like you said ultimate, I think for us Ultimate is at the end of your life, how is that going to feed into who you want to be?

Jenny Fisher 14:59
I think that’s I think that is a great way to put it because what I am coaching ultimately is, and I’m very honest with people, and this is why I don’t put before and after pictures up of my clients is because there’s never an after work. We want it to be. This is just who I am now.

Hutson 15:15
This is who I am, you are an athlete or you are healthy. Are you all right? Yeah.

Jenny Fisher 15:19
And it really does go back to the why, yeah, you might want to lose weight for that wedding in three months. But then what’s after that? Do you just want to go back? No, we want to create these changes in our life that this is becoming a new you and it becomes a new you because of that, why you want to lower your blood pressure, you want to be here for your grandkids, you want to write have your, your mental health as strong as possible, stuff like that. So

Hutson 15:44
when you achieve the goal, and you do lose 30 pounds, it’s not okay, now wow. Like no, I’m even more excited than I would have been if I didn’t have the why. Because I know the ultimate goal is still in sight, I’m still I’m still moving and pursuing that goal, which is where the the joy really is. And of course you achieve it great. But it’s, as we said a little wins a little wins we experienced that continued. And it’s it really

Jenny Fisher 16:06
is it really is a journey. So one of my sayings is like if you can enjoy the, if you can enjoy the process more than the results, you know that you have figured it out, and you’ve become an artist. So with me, I call them athletes, I’m like, you know, you become an athlete, when you actually enjoy the process more than the results from the game. And I saw my story, when I was in my 20s I’d say before kids, I was a hot mess. So I had a degree in nutrition, I understand stood biology very well, I understood fitness very well. But I still have this mentality, I’ve got to be a size two, or I don’t have value, or I’m not pretty or something like that. So even though I was highly athletic, I could not get control of my nutrition. So I would do these binge diets, I need to lose weight for this, I need to lose weight for this. So it was always like you’re saying it was always that short term. And I would do it, I would I would wreck myself to do it. But I would do it. And then afterwards, I would binge I would it would just go back or worse worse than when I started. So then when I finally just somehow, something clicked where I just eased into this. And it was a very gradual thing. And now that I’m at such peace and balance, and I know I have become a new person that is at peace with who I am. And I understand I truly understand my why that I’m doing things. And like you’re saying it becomes a journey. So my journey, I’m in a place where my my Wait, is that a maintenance, my strength is that I maintenance. But I start going maybe I could sleep better? Let’s work on that. And then maybe I can work on. You know, my supplement game, you know, it becomes what’s something now that I can work on? Yeah.

Hutson 17:43
And the way that we describe that is deliberately deliberately practicing one thing like for a quarter, for instance, and poses saying, I’m going to sleep better, I’m going to eat better, I’m going to work out more, I’m going to be a nicer parent, we’re going to fit, we’re going to fail, maybe do some of those sometimes, but there’s no way we can do all those things at once. But like you said, if you focus on that for a time period, and that becomes a habit you are, then we can move on. And then we can and that begins. We talk about spillover, it spills over the rest of your life.

Jenny Fisher 18:10
It does, it becomes a positive flywheel with everything but I love that, like take it in baby steps because that’s that has been my entire journey since I figured it out. And I didn’t realize at the beginning of my journey that I was doing that. But I did I adjusted my portions and then I started eating more vegetables, but it was over like three months or six months, you look

Hutson 18:29
back well, holy cow, what happened?

Jenny Fisher 18:30
It was a stair step effect. And I have started that has started to bleed over into my career. So I’m finally at a place where my career is amazing. But I’m doing those stair steps with that too. And building.

Hutson 18:43
Well. Let’s talk about that then. So your mom, your wife, you own a company? I do. And you work a full time job. Just a lot.

Jenny Fisher 18:54
Yeah, it’s a lot. It feels like up totally. Yeah.

Hutson 18:57
So how do you maintain that balance? I know as humans, of course, we fall out of balance at times. So how do you a maintain it? And then when you how do you find when you find yourself saying, Oh, I’m out of kilter here, and how do you get back on track?

Jenny Fisher 19:14
So number one is, and I’ll give my husband all of the praise on this one. He’s really good at communication early on. So when he starts to see something going off tracks, he’ll want to talk about it. So because I’ve been married, so actually, on Sunday will be our 23rd anniversary. So congratulations. Yeah, thanks. Um, so because I have been with him for so long, we’ve grown together. I have become very preemptively communicative. But when I start to see that I am failing in some place and I need to pull back and readjust things. I’m very honest with myself and I do that and I and I honor that stress in my life. I don’t ignore it. I used to ignore it and it would just build and build and build to build and then I would implode. So now, if I’m seeing that, you know, things at home are just overwhelming, I will communicate that to my husband, I’m like, listen, I really need your help on this. And thankfully, I am blessed in this way not everybody is thankfully he understands that. And I think it’s that he values our marriage so much that he’s like she, she needs help here. If she’s asking for it, if she’s asking for it, she really needs it. So he definitely comes in and helps with that. But as far as work goes, so if I feel like I am being completely drained at work, that I will communicate that to my CCO, but I also am blessed with a CCO that knows if Ginni is saying she needs something from me, then she really needs something from me. So I guess when you boil it down, I take care of things. But I think people trust that when I’m asking for help, I truly need help. I’m never pushing that fire alarm if I don’t need you. But I also delegate things out. And I, one of my sayings is I don’t do anything. Now, I used to be awful. I used to be a people pleaser, and all that. And it would wear me out and draw and draw me thin. But now I only do the things that either fill my cup or fill my pocketbook, like my bank account. So if it’s bringing me money, I’m there for it. I will sign up as long as it fits into my life. Right? But it has to fill my cup otherwise. And if it does not fit those two buckets, I’m probably going to say no to you.

Hutson 21:26
Because saying yes means your thing or something else.

Jenny Fisher 21:28
True. Yeah. You only have so much time. Absolutely.

Hutson 21:31
So with dementia prevention, you’re doing Yeah. How does that fit into your fitness values and scope of fitness? Or does it? It does?

Jenny Fisher 21:39
That’s a wonderful question. So I worked for a lab service company. And it was fine. I was there to I was a natural people pleaser. So I loved the service industry. And I love the sales part of it. However, it just it was draining. It was draining. It was the best way I could put it, there was nothing that was filling my cup with that it was just a paycheck. So we partnered that lab partnered with a company called new method health out of the Research Triangle Park. And they had these care plans for patients that started to see memory loss, so not dementia, but patients that are headed that way. And these care plans were so holistic they looked, they look at over 50 Different factors for patient’s health. So it could be your blood pressure, your insulin levels, your diet, your lifestyle, all of this stuff. And based on a lab panel, the medication list and the medical history of that patient, we have a computer algorithm that gives a doctor or clinician a full look at this patient’s health. And they can guide them through so medication, reconciliation, everything. And I was selling this as a lab rat, because we did the labs for it. And I’m like, This is so cool, this totally holistic preventative health and it gives like, your values, it was amazing. And so I was so good at helping them sell that, that they eventually were like me like I’m like, you know, and and in agreement with everybody, I went with you method health. And now I’m just living my dream. Yeah, I’m able to do sales, I’m able to do the service part. But I’m able to give doctors this ability to coach patients through their health care. And it’s, it’s just yeah, it definitely fills my bucket.

Hutson 23:14
That’s cool. Do you find yourself talking to the women on your app about dementia prevention through fitness and wellness? Or is that something you keep pretty separate?

Jenny Fisher 23:25
I use things like preserving the sexy, which I have some women that train with me that are 70 years old. So you know, I’m like, I’m 40 I’m 41. Right now, my goal is when I’m 7080 90, then I’m able I’d probably won’t be able to do handstands and craziness like that. I might. But I want to be able to do as much of this as possible when I’m that age. And I consider that preserving your sexy what I mean by that is like walking up the stairs without breaking a hip maybe because I’ve been working on my core balance. And that to me is Aging Gracefully. So the whole Botox and everything and no hater shade to anybody that does that I used to. But I got to a point where I’m like, that’s not the important things, the important things are what’s what’s going on inside of me, not what I look like outward. Yeah, but I do. I’ll bring it up every once in a while. And sometimes I’ll talk about sleep on my app, I coach on all kinds of things that are that are very important, not just the aesthetic of what we’re, you know, the results from your training.

Hutson 24:21
Yeah. Do you take any of your clients? Or do they in the app? Do they provide you with? Hey, be really cool. If you did this, or I really love class on this, do you take those kinds of thoughts and incorporate them or they are, they’re more like, I trust you holy and whatever you’re doing, I’m all in,

Jenny Fisher 24:38
I’d say a little bit of both. When my app was early, I did get a lot of people going mad because I didn’t have programs. At first it was just, you know, sessions that I put up and I was like, have fun with those. And people like Man, I’d be really cool if you had like a 30 day program or have a four week program and I’m like, you know, I can do that. So then I started creating programs. That’s what we do now. So I use that feedback and I have a Those that are like man, I’m I don’t need to lose weight, I’d love to build my strength. So based on that feedback, this program that today was the very last session of this eight week program where I don’t know how I pulled it off. But it became the best program that I did. Because I was like, Listen, if your strength track person work, I need you to listen to this instruction. If you’re a cardio lose weight person, I need you to lose listen to this. So I was training to two different people for one session, and it kind of blended a little bit, but then they’d also have two different things they were doing. And the feedback I got was like, This is so much fun. Like I love that I can pick up a barbell and do deadlifts. And this person over here is doing a dumbbell sumo deadlift with squat jumps. Yeah, so it was it was very fun. But to answer your question, I do listen to advice. However, I make sure that it makes sense for what I’m doing. I don’t just bend to everybody. Yeah, sure.

Hutson 25:50
How do you incorporate? Or do you incorporate your lifestyle and fitness and all of that into your children’s lives?

Jenny Fisher 25:59
The kids. And I don’t know if it’s because my husband and I are so consistent with fitness and my kids here and can see me because my studio is basically my dining room that I’ve converted into a fitness studio. So my kids have full access to me filming every week. And last week, my wife, my sorry, he’s seven tomorrow, my seven year old, grabbed a five pound dumbbell and I was about to go live. And he goes behind the camera, and he starts working out and I was like, Hey, buddy, I’m about to go live. Like, I can’t have you there. And he’s like, I really wanted to work out you got your music go. And I said, You know what, go ahead, that’s fine. Do your thing. And he worked out on his own the entire time. And I ended up I was like, come over here and workout in front of the camera. So then he got a little bit in front of the camera. And he ended up motivating the people that were watching. But what I’ve realized is they asked me questions, and my husband and I are very informative and educational with them. So we explained to them why it’s important to eat their protein, what their protein is doing. They, they they’re like, Mom, this has a lot of protein, right? Like I see the fat on it, which is great. But it all sounds good protein. I’m like, Yeah, well, protein does what it builds muscles, it helps repair all that stuff. And then they also understand what fiber does. So these kids could probably teach a basic nutrition class, and dazzle people with the things that they know. So to answer your question, we are very educational, we don’t assume that they don’t understand. We don’t tell them, they should eat something, we tell them why it’s important to eat something. And it really has made a huge impact the way that we discuss food, it’s they have probably a dessert every night. And I’m fine with that. Because like you guys have done all of your sports today. You did all your homework, like Go ahead. It’s not it’s not a reward. But if you want a sweet, go ahead, it’s not off limits, because

Hutson 27:50
you’ve already taken care of your body. And you understand what all of the things Yeah, I think what’s so hard for parents I mean, for me, food is super interesting to me how it is fuel, it also is our medicine. It’s it’s, it’s it’s all the things right? So I’ve been fascinated by it since I was in high school. But I’m also very cognizant of the fact that kids are sponges, my kids, I have a 10 year old. And I want to make sure what you’re saying is true, which is like they understand the why. And I saying the importance, but also it doesn’t become all the negative things that eating disorders and not not having an understanding of, well, I can’t have this because it’s no, no, like, let’s talk about that. But it’s that find that balance is really tricky. Yeah. And it can be paralyzing in some ways where you don’t want to do anything, or you go HyperX. And then like the in between is really hard.

Jenny Fisher 28:39
Yeah, we don’t know, food is ever off limits. And we drink alcohol in front of our kids and everything. But we I talked about responsible indulgence. I’m like, go ahead, buddy, go get that ice cream. But make sure you put it down when you’re full. Like don’t don’t eat it just because it’s there. You can have some later it’s okay. And I think that they know that because nothing is restricted. It’s always going to be available. So my kids never overeat. And it could just be my kids, it could not have anything to do with the way that we’re raising them. However, I mean, both of my kids do the same thing. They’ll go get a snack, but they are not snack heads. Yeah. And also our snacks tend to be a little more on on the health positive side. But, you know, I think if you have that stuff available, and they understand the why. And my biggest thing is we don’t talk about food as calories or die. Like we don’t talk about it in that way we talk about it like you were saying, this is something that’s fueling your body, you’ve got to have the fuel. It’s also medicine, if you think about all the stuff that’s going in, that’s the stuff that’s repairing you and all that. So I think when you talk about food in a very positive way even the sugar I’m like sugar is good and Buddy like it’s that’s what’s giving you joy. That’s cool. I think if you talk about food in a very positive way, and explain to them if we don’t want to overeat something explained to them why like what it’s doing internally and things like that, but yeah, you know, I’ve got friends that are like oh, I don’t let my kids have sugar until Saturday or something like that. And that’s fine that works for them. But I just found in my family having zero restriction, but explaining why we eat certain things seems to be working for us

Hutson 30:13
what? Oh, and it seemed it helps them make decisions, learn how to make decisions and see the decisions backwards. If it’s a failure, if I eat too much ice cream, I’m gonna feel terror. I’m gonna feel

Jenny Fisher 30:23
bad. And my kids have done that. And they Yeah, absolutely. And they, they also take some pride and when they do choose foods on their own, they’ll tell them like we went to on vacation and my kid brought back his buffet breakfast. It goes, Look, Mom, I’ve got my protein here. I’ve got my fiber here. I got my this. I got like, they were pointing it out. I didn’t ask them to they just were excited to show me what they chose. Right? I’m like, that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah. And yeah, it’s, it’s really fulfilling for me as a mother, knowing that they’re getting it,

Hutson 30:53
or responsible indulgence is an interesting concept around food, but just in general, as kids grow up, and as adults, we think about indulging in things. I mean, that could be anything. I mean, indulging in a hobby, you can do it responsibly, it doesn’t take over your life, or your marriage or whatever. So it’s a really interesting concept. I like I like that I’m going to take that data back to my family.

Jenny Fisher 31:13
Yeah, I use response responsible indulgence a lot, because I do I indulge all the time. And I think that if you don’t indulge, you’re going to end up being very resentful. And like you’re saying, even if it’s a hobby, if you love golfing, and you know, you’ve got to explain to your wife or husband like, this is something that really fills my bucket, but I’m gonna balance it to make sure it’s not impacting us. But you’ve got to understand that that’s something that I need in my life. So yeah, I think that having that responsible ness to it to make sure it’s not affecting anything around you, but you’re still making sure that’s part of you.

Hutson 31:45
So what what are your curious your personal fitness goals? And your I don’t say your work your app fitness goals, like what are your goals? I have goals in this. Yeah.

Jenny Fisher 31:59
So my fitness goals, basically, I’m just, I’m just a maintenance. I’m trying to be able to do this in five years and 10 years. I have a lot of people in my life. And I’m sure you have to Oh, just wait till you have kids. Yeah, it’s all gonna turn to crap. Oh, just wait until you have a career. Oh, just wait until this. And wait until I’ve gotten that wait till you’re 50 Wait till you’re 50. Everything changes when you’re 50. So I feel like there are things that I’m just trying to be cognizant about. And now that I am in dementia care, that has now become a huge, you can consider that a fitness goal if you want to, because fitness is so so involved with that. So we’ve actually found that obesity in your 30s is actually very correlated to dementia later. And that’s not to freak everybody out. If you have obesity in your 30s. That’s not to freak you out. Because that doesn’t mean you’re going to get dementia. But if you can, yeah, and that’s that’s a big why like, Okay, why do I want to lose weight? It’s not just to get into a smaller size jeans, but maybe when you’re at 90 that might that might be something with their family. Yeah. And then the app. So my business, I think I have so many people are like, Why don’t you just make that your career? I could I mean, it makes enough that I could. The problem is, is that I don’t want to be shackled to something like that, where now my livelihood depends on that. I think that the fact that I can do it and not care and not able to anymore, it really is such a joy for me and I can I have complete autonomy over what’s going on. I don’t not that he would but I don’t want my husband going. Hey, like, can you give some more? Yeah, you dropped off this lesson. But I don’t want to have to answer to anybody. I just want it to be fun. And so my goal with it is to basically take it year by year. And is like I said, as long as it’s filling my cup or my bank account, I’m good. This one happens to do both. And so as long as I am having a good time with it, I’m going to keep it up. As soon as it feels like it is encroaching on my mental health. I’m probably going to hang it up. Yeah, but I don’t have to hang it up. Because there’s over 500 sessions, I could keep it up there and let it do its thing and, you know, like, let it just be in perpetuity as a as a fitness video app. So that is that is my goal with it. And I know that you have a lot of goal setting people watching this right now they’re like, I mean, but she has so much potential, I do have a lot of potential with it, it might come to where in a year or two, another company will want to buy me and put a lot of stuff behind me. Maybe I’ll re reevaluate that. But right now I’m so thankful for the job that I have my career that I have. And I’m thankful for this that I’m able to kind of do what I want right now.

Hutson 34:46
Well, I think it answers the questions that we talked about, which is ever you could make this your full time like you said you could and you could expand it all those things, but that that wouldn’t be fitting in the interior values. We talked about your values, your value statements, it wouldn’t It wouldn’t be that it wouldn’t take away from who you want to be. And therefore it wouldn’t be actually moving towards your goal, it would be just to make money. Yeah, just to do that, which is not what I’m hearing is not was

Jenny Fisher 35:10
not my goal. My husband and I are very cognizant about our future investments. And we’re doing very well with that. So we have a goal of being able to retire when we’re I think 60 is what our track is right now assuming the investments and stocks and all that do well. But we have that set. So as long as that is tracking, right, everything else that we’re doing, again, consistency, is what we’re looking at. And we are very blessed with the fact that he and I are both about balance, mental health, consistency and things like that, than we are about money and bigger, better Keeping Up with the Joneses. I’m very thankful that I married a man with the same values in that. But yes, if my goal was to have a house like this on the water, yes, I would be putting everything I could into that. But that’s not my goal.

Hutson 35:59
Yeah. You talked about what we’ve talked about cover kind of like, you have a full day, right. And then you also have hobbies. And I think there’s so many people that are probably listening and thinking, How in the world can you have hobbies? Can you be a mom? Can you be a wife? Can you own a company and work a job? How is that possible? How do you find time for your hobbies? What does that look like? How do you incorporate or not incorporate your your family in that to keep time for yourself.

Jenny Fisher 36:30
So my my kids both play two different sports, they play football and they do jujitsu. And those are pretty time consuming. So during the week, it Monday through Monday through Friday, basically and then Saturday football games, that is about work. It’s about consistency. And what I mean by that is work making sure that everything that I need to get done as far as my job is done. And my kids are doing practices, they’re doing their homework and all that stuff. But I also find little, little moments. So fitness is actually a hobby of mine. So I’m blessed in that way when I’m doing fitness that is an outlet for me. But I also love to cook so cooking is no longer a chore for me, that is a break for me. If I need to pause and meditate things like that, I do that during during that week. But then on the weekends, my husband and I do a date night almost every single week. So that’s very important to us. We make sure to schedule that in that is something we do we get a babysitter, it’s all good. We also have found because he and I have jobs where we can kind of build our own schedule. As long as we are doing our job. We can build our own schedule. So if the waves are great, and hurricanes come in, you know, yeah, if the beach yeah, there’s like, Okay, kids are on the bus at 6:30am. Which first of all, it’s too early, and it was 6:30am. We try to beat the bus out, we go surfing for two hours, we come home, we get back to work. So we find those moments of opportunity. And yeah, and then Sunday, yes, I’m building my app and doing all that stuff. But Sunday’s also when we’ll go to the beach, as a family, we’ll go to the pool, and all of that, I’ll be honest with you, I try to maximize every every waking moment that I have. I’m not to sit down and watch a TV kind of girl. I’m maximizing every single moment. And I know that some people don’t have the energy for that, truly. But that’s, that’s how I do it. And I love it.

Hutson 38:18
Yeah, well, finding the time. I mean, for some people that sitting down and painting or singing, or thinking and writing or watching TV, I mean is just as enjoying. It’s finding that time and balance is key to to our personal joy and our personal success, right? It is

Jenny Fisher 38:34
it’s very, it’s very important. If you aren’t finding those outlets, you’re going to be miserable. And to me, I’m thankful that fitness has become one of those outlets, because it is never a chore for me. And that’s one of the things that I coach people on is bridging the gap from it checking a box to coming to the mat and going yes, today I’m performing like this is my performance today. Or my this is my meditation, or this is my anxiety reducer, whatever it is, but um, yeah, that’s, that’s part of what I tried to push through on my fitness is let’s take the chores out of your day. Let’s make sure that what you’re doing in your day, again, is either filling your cup or filling your bank account or both.

Hutson 39:15
Yeah. Well, it’s been a joy to talk to you today. And yeah,

Jenny Fisher 39:18
thank you so much. It’s been a good conversation. I appreciate it. Yeah, so I hope that you know, what I was, you know, putting forward as far as goals and all that stuff makes sense. And I do run at a very high frequency. I understand that. But I think that when you boil it down and you just simplify things and find consistency. I think that everybody can kind of understand, understand that piece of it. Thanks so much. Thank you


Hutson Dodds and Lee Cohen
About The Joy in Goal Setting

Hosted By Hutson Dodds

Hutson Dodds is host of The Joy In Goal Setting podcast. Through his conversations, you will find inspiration and motivation to discover your purpose, achieve your goals, and experience a joyful life.

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