angel investing, business, confidence, COVID-19, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, family, fear, growth, leadership, learn, strategy, work-life balance
Isolation and lockdown can be tough as an entrepreneur. You want to go out into the world and find problems to solve—and yet, doing so right now could literally be self-destructive.
Dr. John Delony joins us on the podcast today to discuss mental wellness, the power of vulnerability, and why you need to prioritize connection—not communication—at home and in your community.
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Chris Graebe 0:00
All right before episode Get started today guys, I want to tell you about something special going on over at startup camp.com. You may be thinking to yourself, you know what, I could never be an angel investor. You’ve watched shark tank and you thought it’s cool to watch and you wish you could get in on a company just like that. What startup camp we’re trying to help everyday retail investors just like you get started in the world of angel investing, and we put together something for you that can help you get started. Absolutely and totally free today. If you head on over to startup camp.com slash Angel startup camp comm slash Angel we have a free gift for you and we’d love to help you get started on your journey towards angel investing. A lot of times it comes down to knowledge and all you need is just a little bit more knowledge take that first bold step. guys get started with angel investing today head on over Startupcamp.com/angel let’s jump into this episode.
Unknown Speaker 0:52
So the impulse we have to fight to go solve the thing is it can be a self destructive impulse right now.
Chris Graebe 1:01
Welcome to the startup camp Podcast where each week we’re going to bring you inspirational founders and angel investors. They’re going to give you the inside tips and tricks on how to build your business and become a successful angel investor. I’m talking about founders like Brendan Center, a co creator and founder of bear naked granola. Eli Crane featured on Shark Tank for his company bottle breachers Rachael Cruz, the creator of the Rachael Cruz show, and founder and author Simon Sinek, who wrote the book start with why we bring you interviews from inside the world of angel investing, interviewing Scott Belsky Paul Foley, and Jeff clavier. Just to name a few. It’s a fresh season. I’m your host Chris gravy and the startup camp podcast starts right now.
On today’s episode, we’re literally talking to a doctor guys I’m talking about dr. john Maloney. He literally is an expert in all things, mental health and wellness. Also, he is the newest personality on the Ramsey team with Mr. Dave Ramsey himself. Today we’re going to spend some time talking about how you navigate this wild world that’s shifting underneath our feet as a leader, as an entrepreneur, and some really practical steps you can take to manage your business and continue to move forward and find wins amidst the chaos of the shutdowns and all that’s happening in our world. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. JOHN is extremely wise and he shares so much good advice with us right now. Well, I hope you enjoy it. My friend dr. john Maloney
Well, john, buddy, welcome to the show, man. We’re glad you’re here. Hey, thanks. Good, man. Good to see you. All right, well, guys, I’m excited for you to spend some time with john today we’ve had the opportunity to get to know each other over the last few months. And he’s one of the newest team members, the news personality over at Ramsey solutions with Dave Ramsey and his crew. And so, john, before we kind of dive into what’s going on in our world, COVID-19 and Corona and how we can kind of speak to the founders and the entrepreneurs out there.
Someone says, who’s john, What’s your story? What do you do? What do you tell him?
John Delony 3:36
Man, I’m a husband and a dad of two little kids. And I spent the last 15 or 16 years working in colleges and universities in student affairs and doing crisis work. And I’ve got a PhD in education, another PhD in counseling. So I’ve spent the bulk of my careers working with people when things fall apart.
Chris Graebe 3:57
So from now on, I’ll just refer to you JOHN,
John Delony 4:00
you just call me john. My mama mom named me, john so that’s good.
Chris Graebe 4:05
All right, well, I’ll take that then. All right. Well, let’s, let’s just dive right into it, bro. I mean, you know, you work for one of the most successful organizations of the company right now I know it’s a new road for you. But you’ve been watching firsthand and really kind of been thrown into the fire when it comes to helping provide the message of hope giving people practical applications and things in the midst of this insanity. You’ve been kind of nestled up right next to Dave kind of right there with him. I saw that you were literally on the show with Dave. There’s a lot of founders and entrepreneurs out there listening right now trying to figure out how to navigate these waters. And so just I guess the first question here is, you know, what, when you encounter a founder or an entrepreneur or a leader, what are some things that maybe you’re hearing maybe some of the things they’re nervous about, or even some of the things that Dave has been sharing with other entrepreneurs that he encounters? Hmm,
John Delony 4:54
it’s a great question. I would say this is a it’s a pretty remarkable moment because The founder space the entrepreneur space is often they look at themselves as Mavericks. As us against the world, we see things that nobody else sees. We’re creating solutions and we’re looking for problems or vice versa. And there’s a lot of war metaphor. There’s a lot of fight metaphor. There’s a lot of cool slick sayings. And those work really well when everyone’s making money. And we forget that Churchill said, Never, ever, ever give up. Like when Europe didn’t exist much anymore, right? I mean, so we’re used to seeing some of those slogans half haphazardly, just kind of filling this stuff around. And so I’m watching folks realize, Oh, this is what this is, right? I mean, this is for real. Now. This is what you signed up for.
Chris Graebe 5:44
Yeah, it’s, it’s real. I mean, entrepreneur ship on its own is a is a wild ride. And you’re right. I mean, it’s always fun to have good times. But this is where people are really probably having a moment of self discovery, learning a little bit more of who they are and Okay, I see some life. I can’t just rely on a greater economy anymore. So what are some things that you would say if you’re sitting across from a founder, I know you’ve spent a lot of time with a bunch of different founders and entrepreneurs through your journey, if you’re sitting across from a founder, and they’re maybe in a self reflecting time or looking at their business, and maybe they have anxiety or worry, or what are some just practical questions, some things that they could be asking themselves as they’re trying to navigate these choppy waters. I think
John Delony 6:24
the first thing I would encourage people to do is slow down. And I’m going to say this, but I’m going to preface it with saying I’m an introvert from Texas. That’s where I was born and raised. My dad was a SWAT hostage negotiator. So I grew up in a family of studs, right? So I’m, I’m prefacing that with saying, this is a moment where there’s not a lot we can fight right now. But we’re being asked to do the solutions to the problems we have right now. We’re being told to stay at home and stay away from our loved ones to stay away from our community. And so the impulse we have to fight to go solve the thing. It can be a self destructive impulse right now. And so what I would encourage somebody to do is to sit down and be honest with yourself. And actually, this is gonna sound cheesy, actually write your feelings down, like what is going through your head right now, and then begin to process some of that stuff. And then that’s when you get an opportunity to be brave and courageous on the back end of actually sitting down and feeling what’s actually coming at you. That’s great. So what are you seeing would have been something that you know, you’re firsthand right there next today watching how this Titan this founder, this entrepreneur is leading his company with 1000 plus employees. What are some tips and tricks that you’ve watched from him lead in the midst of all this that you can share with our audience? I would say two of the biggest things is he is treating all thousand employees like grownups. And so every Monday morning, he’s getting with his we’re doing this, you know, streaming this but he holds a microphone in front of the whole company. And he says here’s our cash position. Here’s a The morale, if you want to leave, now’s a good time. If you ready to stay, this is what the road ahead for this week is going to look like. And that’s as far as we can plan. So he’s being super, super transparent. And the other thing is, he’s being vulnerable. When we were leaving New York a couple of weeks ago, before we realized how serious all this was, I’ll never forget us turning the corner and it looked like an apocalypse movie. There was nobody in downtown Manhattan. And that’s when he turned and said, Oh, man, you know, and so he’s also being a vulnerable leader. So you’ve got this total alpha, this, this internationally known guy, a large personality, a CEO of 1000 person company, who’s also a dad and a husband and a community member here in Nashville and saying, It’s scary, right? So he’s leading with clarity and transparency, but he’s also leading vulnerability, and I appreciate that. It’s a gift.
Chris Graebe 8:52
Yeah, that is that is huge. And I mean, so cool that you get to kind of sit next to that and watch that transpired unfold. Let’s Talking about the you know, the piece you just said the dad, the husband piece. There’s or even the wife, the spouse, the mom, whatever that looks like there are entrepreneurs listening right now, what are some things you would say? Because there’s this stress of like, okay, is my company going to make it right? You know, they’re asking all these questions, hopefully not making dumb decisions financially and leveraging yourself and all the things that can happen when you’re scared. What are some things you would recommend an entrepreneur to maybe do when it comes to conversation with their spouse or with their family, when it comes to kind of their emotions and having those conversations with their significant other?
John Delony 9:36
I love that question. So it’s a big deal that people know that communication is not connection. And right now, if you’re if you’ve got a partner if you got kids at home, we’re all working from home now. We’re homeschooling from home. We’re trying to figure out so many things and so it’s real easy to slide into. Handy Did you get the trash is hanging out classic So we’re we’re talking a lot, but we are not connecting, we are passing information along to each other. We’re running the house like a business. That’s we got to do right now. And so I think it’s critical for folks to slow down and to intentionally create moments that we’re going to connect. And that means saying, okay, school is off, work is off. If you can take each other’s hands and look each other in the eye and say, how are you doing? have moments where you’re touching and holding your kids and hugging your family and making sure you’re actually connecting. The other thing that’s really important is this. When we get scared, we start to look around and create teams. And we divide the world up into pieces and them and then we create them we then start looking for ways that they’re wrong and we’re right and then we start blaming and then when you start blaming, then you gotta have judgments right then you gotta have penances. That’s just a dark, dangerous road to go down. And so the thing that sounds cliche and cheesy the thing that stops the fear nonsense. cycle is looking somebody in the eye and saying, I’m scared right now. And I just want to put that out in the universe. Connection drives away fear vulnerability drives away fear. And it doesn’t, it doesn’t make the challenges go away. But it stops those alarms make us start dividing the world up and then go do stupid stuff.
Chris Graebe 11:18
Yeah, the world of entrepreneurship and being a founder, we’ve heard so many times the stats are insane of where they feel isolated and alone. And you know, one of the unsung or unspoken things, I suppose, in this community is there’s just a lot of like, depression and unfortunately, there’s even a high rate of suicide in the, in the, you know, entrepreneurial space because people feel like there’s no way they can’t share whatever. So in this season, we’re isolated and we’re kind of like told you can’t be around and then maybe this doubles down in our emotions and our feelings. What are some things you would say, you know, we talked about slowing down, maybe even asking some questions or whatever. What are some things you’re seeing across an entrepreneur who’s just like things are turned to the metal And maybe these are just general questions even there’s an entrepreneur out there who’s successful right now who’s, who’s actually winning in the midst of all this, and they’re feeling this, this still have the, you know, the dollar amount or the profits, those are nice and temporary. But those those feelings, those thoughts, those emotions, they’re gonna be there. They may be heightened when you’re when you’re losing, but they’re there. So what are you going to say when you sit across from a founder entrepreneur who’s just got deep anxiety, their fears are there, they’re there to the max, they’re depressed, they feel isolated, what are you going to say to them, what some things they can do to help kind of alleviate some of that stress?
John Delony 12:34
Your Community is blessed to have you asked me these questions. It’s so good. shortwave depression is fear and frustration with the past and anxiety is fear and frustration with the future. And so I’m understanding that most of the time, anxiety is just a fire alarm is just a signal depression is a signal that you are disconnected. And so again, I’m an introvert from Texas. We help We help perpetuate the myth of pull yourself up by your bootstraps. There’s nobody but you and you got to figure this out. And the deal is, man, it’s a lie. You’ve got to connect, connect, connect to have other people that you can be honest and open with. I have not met a significant successful leader that doesn’t have people that they can be honest with and be open with and be transparent with. And so, think about it man, the weapon right now is our community. It’s other people. That’s who we’re told to be scared off, don’t get too close to each other because they make you sick, you might get them sick, or they might not get sick. They’re gonna make their grandmother passed away, right? So our communities have been weaponized, and so we have no playbook for that. So it’s hyper intentional, a hyper important that we have to intentionally Connect, connect Connect technology. I’m started walking on the street dude, and I’m being obnoxious. I’m waving so big to everybody on my street, in the neighborhood, just so I can make eye contact you smiles at have a short conversation with somebody, but I’ve got to be intentional about it on my own. alarms on both sides on the depression alarms, anxiety alarms, they’re gonna go off and then once they set off, it’s really hard to put that, put that cap back. What do
Chris Graebe 14:07
you think’s gonna happen? I mean, you know, we can’t project what’s gonna happen, right? But I mean, you’re right, I look out my office window where maybe I see a person running or walking a few times a day. But I mean, the world is out right now kids are riding bikes, families are riding bikes, you know, unfortunately, the swing set were the playground was Saran wrapped. My kids kid going to swing, we have to walk to the creek and just play in the water, you know, down down the road. But I mean, people are out this has got to change this man. So from an entrepreneurial perspective, you know, just this idea of us being forced to slow down and kind of capture our thoughts and think about what’s important. What do you maybe see on the other side, I know you don’t have a crystal ball. What do you see on the other side for the leader, the entrepreneur on the other side of all this
John Delony 14:59
I I tend to see a barbell effect here, meaning there’s not going to be a lot of middle ground. And I usually don’t don’t think that’s the the outcomes most of the time. But in this case, I know zoom was a lot of fun. At first, it was creative. And the folks I’m working with who had were very forward thinking on how technology is going to revolutionize how we interact are never gonna have to leave our houses. I’m starting to see people craving to get back into human contact with one another. I’ve never seen a group of young professionals who are rock stars, who cannot wait to come to work back to the office, right? This was fun for a few weeks, and now it’s not. So it’s rethinking what I saw as a future for tech oriented connection. The other side of it is I’m a lo fi guy, like I, you know, when I’m doing Instagram, I have to load it onto my phone every time and I delete it right when it’s over. And so I also thought all this technology connection was full of crap and it was stupid. It was never going to work. And Dave and I have talked recently, like We’ve kept a thought and we they have kept 1000 member team running. And not only running, but spinning off new business ideas, creating new ideas, launching things that didn’t exist a few weeks ago that already successful in the marketplace because they’re real nimble. And we’re doing that via zoom, or whatever the technology is. And so in a neat way, I’m having to be honest with myself and say, and there’s a lot of connection that’s happening online, and it is bringing home for the rest of us. And I like having five hug breaks a day with my kids. And I like seeing my wife a little bit longer in the morning and us being able to go right into conversations in the evening. And I don’t like that commute that I was right so it’s it’s I can’t put that back in the bag. I’m getting to experience a slowness of life. I’m sleeping better right now, despite all the crazy going on. So I think it’s going to be a barbell approach. But like you see how I, a friend of mine was joking the other day that it feels like when he goes outside that the federal government demanded everyone leave their homes because There’s so many people out walking and riding their bike and being with their dog. And I have to believe that people are going to start slowing down a little bit, their heart rates are going to get slower the inflammation, inflammation in the body is going to get lower. And then all of a sudden, we’re gonna have to decide if we want to ramp that back up. And when the world turns back on,
Chris Graebe 17:16
yeah, it’s so good man. I’m hopeful that this reset has been good for all of us. I think, you know, in your lifetime I once met a guy he was he was in the military and he was in the place in Fort Worth. We lived in Texas for he was there for six months was was families back before they moved and I said, Dude, in your married life with your children, you’re not going to get six months by yourself. Like what is going to change in your life in the next six months? You’re going to read books, you’re going to work out are you going to start a business? Are you going to just you know what is it you’re gonna join a club, a hobby? What does this look like? Because you never get the shot. In our world. We’re going to look back and go remember when our kids were off school for five months in the middle of the year, and we weren’t really we were just had each other. So I hope that on the other side of this, people will get some perspective of what’s truly important. what’s what’s the thing that they need in their life? versus what were the things that were maybe driving them to a place of depression and chaos and anxiety and panic and all that. So well, john, thank you so much for being here. Man. We normally ask kind of three questions at the end, kind of entrepreneurial, but
John Delony 18:24
I this is entrepreneurial for me, I’m having to develop a brand I have to use the social medias that I’ve never done before be on the internet’s and all that stuff. So
Chris Graebe 18:32
the interwebs the interwebs so… we’ll talk to me about a book I usually say what’s an entrepreneurial book are but like, but what’s something that maybe like maybe there’s a, there’s some kind of book that’s, you know, that bridges the world of psychology and we think in entrepreneurship, what’s a book that you’d recommend
John Delony 18:50
this week I went back and actually dug through some books that I just got me and my wife for nerds, and so we got books everywhere, but I went and found Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for meaning to reread that book and he, you know, listening to him walk through like I was struggling at the beginning of this week. Monday, this wasn’t fun anymore, right? This was like this new normal, how long it’s gonna last. And reading his experience as an Auschwitz survivor was resetting for me, right? And then this idea that the trauma is not good, what we’re going through isn’t good. The choices we get to make on how we make meaning on the back end of this is all up to us. And so it’s both encouraging. It’s empowering. It’s devastating. There’s another side of this that you know, freaks me out when we come out of this when we start looking to somebody to blame for all this. Where we can go right and so it’s good to protect ourselves as I go, but it’s been a good it’s been a good book just to get back into
Chris Graebe 19:48
I love it. I totally agree. Man. I think people go like wait for an entrepreneur like fry four days ago, I had somebody was like, what books Should I and I that was one of the three books I sent him. I was like, you should read this cuz it’s It’s so good, so powerful. All right. The second question is if you’re going to start a business today, knowing everything, you know, usually these are serial founders who have started multiple companies, but what company would you start and why?
John Delony 20:14
I’ve been more convicted now, that technology, interaction that points me back to human interaction is going to be a valuable place to start. And so whether that is an initial counseling session, face to face that’s then going to drive somebody to a live face to face counseling sessions. We had somebody called a radio show the other day, and she’s a nurse thinking about starting a online lactation service for new moms. And it is struck me that people are nervous, myself included or were annoyed or frustrated. We don’t want to go into a shop. I know as a mental health professional, that’s the best thing for you. But how do you bridge that gap? And so I’ve been convicted over the last few weeks. Not that technology is going to serve all the problems solve all the problems, I just don’t believe it is. But I do feel strongly that it can serve as a great bridge to then some of these, it can help scale people and funnel them into these face to face services where real life change happens. loving man,
Chris Graebe 21:16
it’s great. Yeah, it’s gonna be real interesting to see what comes in the outside of this. And the last question. Is there a entrepreneur founder, maybe even an angel investor that you know that you think would be a great interview for our audience, a
John Delony 21:30
great entrepreneur right now? I think Jeff Bezos is looking pretty smart right now to deliver everything to our house. And if we call him an entrepreneur anymore, um, you know, the entrepreneur that I, I put together a team of 17 PhD in mental health professionals all across the country. When this thing kicked off, because they’re thinkers, they’re professors, they run the practices and I wanted to know what was going on in their hearts and in their lives and in their practices and the people Interacting with. And it’s a big deal to me and my world coming from colleges, it’s tons of smart people. And so you can ask them, Hey, what do you think about you know DEET and bug spray, they’ll give you this dissertation on why it’s so bad and how it will, you know, change your neuro chemistry and all that. And then I would ask you spray your kids with it, and they’re like, Yeah, I did that. So then I got to know what you really believe. Right? Right. So it was important to me to have these mental health professionals not only to give their advice, but I want to know what’s going on their hearts and minds and listening to them spin out. So I would point to you to Stephen Lynn Jennings in Amarillo, Texas, who had an extraordinary counseling practice. They saw traumatic traumatically abused children to the attorneys that were serving those case. I mean, everyone in between, and then all sudden, overnight. They’re small business owners at the end of the day, and then the government says you can’t see clients anymore, what do you do? And so their ability to pivot to doing their doing court cases Via zoom they moved their entire practice online but that ability to pivot and continue to offer that core service and still help people their mission is the same but their their method of operation is different. So that’s how I’d point you to is these mental health these social services providers who all of a sudden had to move everything they know online and make it happen and still take money still keep the lights on it’s been really impressive so I want you to steveland Jennings and Emerald Texas. Love it. I love it man. My man let’s do it. Well, bro, where can people find you? look you up kind of follow what you guys are doing in the midst of all this? I am you can find me at john Maloney d l. o n y and I think it’s facebook.com slash john Delaney. I think they’re they’re up there and then you can go to Dave Ramsey comm slash co for all kinds of resources that this company has just given away. Or charging like two bucks for to help people find things to do to bring them home in this messy, messy, calm,
Chris Graebe 23:54
love it man. Well, thanks for being here today. I know you’ve helped a lot of people who are maybe in the midst of of feeling The fields so appreciate what you’re doing, man. Keep appreciating we’re falling, bro. All right, brother. Thank you so much.
All right, I hope you enjoyed this episode. As always, we’re cheering you on over at startup camp comm if you have not come to our website, you’ve got to come check it out. There’s so many exciting things happening there. And hey, look, if you’re ready to get started in the world of angel investing, or even just learn about it, all you have to do is go to startup camp, comm slash Angel startup camp.com slash Angel. We’ve got a ton of great resources and some free tools for you to learn more about it and know how you can get started today. You can get started for as little as $100. Guys, this is an opportunity The door is wide open. I’m inviting you to come join this journey with me and thousands of others who have stepped in the world of angel investing and who are changing their life. Don’t forget the website is Startupcamp.com/angel Startupcamp.com/angel. Well that’s a wrap for this episode guys. We will catch you next time on the startup camp.com podcast.
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