Jon Vroman is an Alpha Getting it Right | Episode 29

Jon Vroman is an Alpha Getting it Right | Episode 29

Are you a father or family provider who feels stuck between wanting to work to support your family, and wanting to actually be at home with your family? What can you do to take a step away from work expectations? How can providers in families build strong relationships with their partners?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak with Jon Vroman who is an alpha male getting it right.

Meet Jon Vroman

Jon Vroman

Jon Vroman has been married for 10-years to the beautiful Tatyana, proudly served as a father for his two energetic boys, Tiger and Ocean, and founder of FrontRowDads.com, a brotherhood that helps men become better family men.

He hosts the Front Row Dad podcast, which focuses on thriving marriages, empowered parenting, emotional mastery, optimal health, and integrated living.

Front Row Dads is designed for high-performing entrepreneurial men who believe in being family men with business, not businessmen with families.

Jon has been featured on Today Show and Inc.com for his work in helping others “Live Life In The Front Row™”. He’s been requested to speak for the US Navy, Vitamix, Dove, Keller Williams Realty, Entrepreneurs Organization, and many others.

As the author of #1 bestselling author of The Front Row Factor, he shares inspiring stories, compelling science, and life strategies that challenge you to explore your values, establish priorities and reconnect to a higher purpose and deeper meaning within your life.

In 2005, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org, a charity that helps individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses, to experience the event of their dreams, from the front row.

Visit his website, listen to the Front Row Dad podcast, and the Facing Life podcast. Connect on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • How do you scale back?
  • 18 Summers
  • How can entrepreneurs make time for this?

How do you scale back?

Figuring out how to serve the families, live out their passion, and give back to the world without putting out the family is a big challenge that many providers and fathers face. Some of the ways that Jon Vroman addresses these challenges in his work through Front Row Dads is creating programs throughout the year that call in men’s attention to checking in with where they are at.

If you want to change the heart of a man, you want to change the direction of their life, you have to change the conversations they are having. Which, to change the conversation we’re having, we need to change the questions we’re asking.

They call up the men of asking big questions to make them really think about their lives, and that they are doing. The important conversation is thinking about how to get out of the intensity of working continually to get back in touch with the family.

Another big conversation is thinking about what the biggest focus is, the lead domino. What does my family look like on the calendar, what does my health and what will my vacation look like in the calendar and afterward working the business around these non-negotiables.

18 Summers

What this concept revolves around is the idea that we only have a finite amount of time, and a finite amount within each season – like with children, a couple of seasons with your child as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and as a teenager and so forth. It reminds you that every day is important.

It’s meant to say ‘look, this is important. Today is important. No time to fight, no time to complain, let’s just love, let’s respect, let’s listen, let’s have fun. Let’s do the best we can with what we have because we don’t have forever.

How can entrepreneurs make time for this?

There are moments where somebody is just deep within the storm. When somebody is in a situation where they have heavy expectations on their shoulders, they may feel stuck when they want to decide to do something other than work. Jon discusses thinking about, ‘what can I do with what I have?’

  • What can I do now with what I have?
  • What can I do later with a one, two, and three-year plan?

Working with those slow transitions can help you to organize the direction you would like to start going into. Challenge ideas with an open heart.

Books mentioned in this episode

Are you ready to find the freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Beta Male Revolution Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[BILLY]:
Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts seeking to change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Oh my gosh, guys, I’m so excited. We’ve got an alpha on the show. And a friend challenged me to reach out and have more alpha personalities and we found one, and we found one that’s doing it right. Ladies and gentlemen, we have Jon Vroman on the show today, he is the founder of frontrowdads.com. But first he likes to let people know he’s a husband, and a father. And today, that’s what his world revolves around. Cultivating and creating that is the most important thing. The role as a husband and a father is just his life’s work and its heart’s passion, and part of that is having a business too. He’s going to tell us all about that. And I don’t get anything from this but if you can go to frontrowdads.com and check it out, if their message resonates with you, they have a service you can sign up with, a group of men that support and help each other. I don’t pitch a lot on this but I believe in this work he is doing, and I don’t say that lightly. Man, the first time I met him, and I saw him, I thought, man, we’re worlds apart. And then he began to talk, and I began to talk, and I think we both had that and you’ll hear some of that in the interview. But there was this connection that was made over this desire we have to move all the clutter and distractions out of the way and focus on the one thing that matters and that’s home. Ladies and gentlemen, Brandy and that talk with Jon Vroman.

[JON]:
Guys, I’ve been looking forward to this ever since you brought so much value, so much entertainment, so much fun to our conversation. I was like, we need round two.

[BILLY]:
I can’t wait I can’t wait to dig into Front Row Dads, but first I know Brandy has some questions. She was talking about she’s actually nervous about this interview.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, you’re only, like, the second person I’ve ever been nervous with because I felt like our first interview, when we were on your show, went so well. It’s like the expectation is high and got a little jittery, which maybe it’s good. Maybe it’ll bring, like, maybe I’ll bring it today. I don’t know.

[JON]:
I love that. You know, I want to share this very quickly. When I was speaker, you know, when I was a keynote speaker, I would get really nervous going on stage. And I’d think that, God, I shouldn’t be this nervous going on stage. And then I remember hearing Tony Robbins tell a story one time, I think it was Bruce Springsteen – forget the names, the story is important – but he’s talking about Bruce Springsteen and another person. And the woman was talking about she was really nervous. And when she’s getting ready to do something important, go on stage, be live, whatever, her face would turn flush, her heart would start to race, her hands would start to sweat. And she’d be like, I’m so nervous. I just can’t do this. And then Tony said, and he asked Bruce Springsteen one time, like, how do you know you’re ready to go on stage? And he goes, I know I’m ready to rock when my face turns flush, my heart starts pounding, my hands start to sweat, you know? That was such a good story about like, what meaning do we give to all those nerves?

[BILLY]:
Yeah. I remember hearing a guy we follow some, kind of a spiritual guy, Rob Bell, talked about the butterflies in your stomach or what lets you know you’re still alive. And he said, he has that every time and he was getting on stage every night traveling around the United States. And he spoke to that, like, in a little pre conference. People were like, do you still get nervous? And he’s like, absolutely. If I didn’t, I’d be a little worried.

[JON]:
Yeah, yeah.

[BRANDY]:
Well, that’s a compliment to you, Jon, because I’m nervous, we’re excited nervous to get to speak with you, and talk about the alphas, and talk about Front Row Dads. But Billy was telling me about the first time you two talked offline, and I wanted him to kind of share that story first.

[BILLY]:
Oh, yeah. Well, I’d reached out to you, Jon, to be on the podcast through our mutual friend, Joe and we had a little pre talk. And so we had a little Zoom call set up and you pop on the screen, and you are shirtless out by the pool. I was like, I didn’t know that there was that kind of party. Do I take my shirt off too? I tell people my body is a bit of a protest against unhealthy masculinity. But, but no, I just… you told me you were there because you were taking time out of your workday to be with your kids. And I was like, man, right there. Then and there I was like, this guy’s a rock star. I want to know more about him and know more about what he does in the world. So tell us a little bit about Front Row Dads. What is that? Where did it start? I want to know about it.

[JON]:
Yeah, man. My favorite subject right now to talk about because it impacts my family. You know, it’s like I found this sweet spot between work and family life. And I feel like I hit the jackpot with this opportunity, to serve these guys. So let me take you back to where it started. So 2016 I’m on the road, I’m a keynote speaker, fifty presentations a year. Really, this was the dream, like, I was living the dream. I bought my house, I got the car, I was married, I had kids, I was a keynote speaker, I worked for myself, I had freedom, I was running the charity, Front Row Foundation. And then it became very clear to me that I talked about being a great dad for about six years, my son was six at the time, but I truly was not. It was always one more season to get through, one more project, just got to get the book out the door, just got to get, you know, and then it’s like, well, they pay me $3000 for a speech, but now they’re paying me five, I can’t say no. And now they’re paying me ten, and now they’re paying me twenty thousand to give a speech, how do I say no? This is what we worked for.

But I did that over and over again for six years. And then, you know, here I was. I read countless books on business, just a few books on parenting, and I realized that I was a business guy who happened to have a family. And what I wanted to be was a family man who had a business. And I said, what did I do in the past when I wanted help? And when I wanted to grow, and I wanted to advance What did I do? Like, I bought a book, I got a coach, I signed up for a course, I talked with my friends, I journaled about it, I made a plan, all the things, none of which I had done for parenting, none of which I had done for marriage. And I said, I need this in my life. It’s not on the calendar, it’s not on my desktop on the computer. I got values for my business, but not for my family. And that’s what sparked our first event in 2016. Got thirty of my buddies together, called it Front Row Dads because my whole world was Front Row Foundation up until that point, the charity that helps kids and adults who have a life threatening illness to go see the event of their dreams. And I started that just as a passion project, just for wanting to do some good in the world, for, you know, that was it. But it had gotten so much steam and momentum and my brand was Front Row and I said, Front Row Dads, guys who step up, guys who show up, guys that are close to their family. This makes sense, you know, being front row to your family, be famous at home, right? And so it just took off. It started as a group and then after the group got together, the guys were like, we should do stuff in between getting together, like, once a year. And I was like, yeah, maybe we’ll get on a call or something. And then somebody’s like, dude, you should do a podcast. And then that was the next thing. And here we are. We got a hundred and eighty guys in our private mastermind group, the podcast is out there, and I’m learning every day. And I said, I always tell people, I go, I started Front Row Dads not because I had all the answers, but because I wanted them.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Well, I know you have your mastermind group that takes people through how to build this life but just for our folks listening today, some takeaways and some ways to get from – and this is a selfish, self-seeking thing because, you know, I started a therapy practice to be a counselor and to help people. I didn’t know if anybody would ever come see me but it’s gotten to this point that it’s gotten super busy. And it is like you could add one more person at the end of the day, you could see people till six, I could add somebody till seven, that’ll be more income for my family. I’m rationalizing the reasons by which to be away from home more because it’s good for my family. But I’m realizing it’s not good for my family. So if a guy’s sitting at that point, like me, like this is really producing some unhealthy things. I’m talking about being a beta guy, an emotionally available father, but I’ve kind of found myself in that hypocritical stance at times that I’m talking a lot about it but all of a sudden, by talking about it has created a life where I can’t do that. How do you scale back and reposition? How do you stop the machine you built?

[JON]:
Oh, man, that is the question. You know, I think if you survey all the guys that listen to our show, and that are in our group, figuring out how to get it all done, how to serve our families and be passionate about our work and give to the world and take care of our families at the highest level, that is the greatest challenge. That is the challenge that we face. And some of the ways that we have addressed it. Um, you know, first of all, in Front Row Dads, we have six pillars. So these are areas of life that we want to focus on, from marriage, parenting, wealth and legacy, business evolution, how does it all work together? Our emotional intelligence, how does it all come together and work in harmony? Well, you know, we just create programs throughout the year to call guys attention to either checking where they are. I say it’s not always about learning something new, it’s often about remembering something true, right? So a lot of the learning isn’t like, oh, that’s a brand new, great idea. It’s like, let’s get back to the basics, or let’s get back to what worked for you. Some of the greatest advances, and I know you know this in your work, it’s like, well, what worked in the past? And how do we recreate that? How do we look for clues of where we had success? So a lot of this is conversation amongst men. I mean, listen, if you want to change the heart of a man, if you want to change the direction of their life, you change the conversations they’re having, which to change the conversations we’re having, we need to change the questions we’re asking. So a lot of what we do in our group is we ask big questions, we call up the men by asking these big questions.

I’ll give you some very specific ways that we’ve done this recently. So just last month, we’re in the season right now of our business evolution. And what that means to our group is, I don’t really care about having the conversation that helps you get from a million to three million in profit, or whatever it is, right? Like, your quality of life is not going to improve that much, especially for your family, moving from that level of income once you’ve met your basic human needs. But the conversation I do want to have is how do you get out of working tirelessly and feeling like you need to do that and being addicted to your work and hiding in your work, and get back to your family? So we brought a guy named Mike [unclear] in, and he ran a training call for our guys, and Mike built and scaled this mountain biking company, this really cool mountain biking company, taking people on these epic trips all over the world. And it was a big business, but it was eating up his life. I mean, it was crushing his marriage, it was taking away time from the kids, he had built a business that he wanted to own but it ended up owning him. And he then figured out systems, what do you need to put in place? What systems do you need to put in place in order to scale back your work?

A lot of guys want to work so hard. It’s like a badge of honor. And a lot of this is a paradigm shift for the men, and having the right tools and the right mindset gets them out of their business. So our men are learning what spreadsheets was he using, what systems was using with his staff, how is he running his meetings in order to not be there and be you know, the guy, right? To be the owner of a business, perhaps, but not give yourself the biggest job in the business. And that’s a conversation that’s repeatedly happening in our group. How do you do that? That’s a conversation I’m constantly having. And one of the things I’ll say, and I could go on for hours and hours about this, as you can imagine, like, we’ve done years of conversation around this, and it’s a lot, but here’s a brilliant one from my friend Jay Papasan, who lives here in Austin, wrote the book, The One Thing, very popular book, and it’s all about focusing, right? Like, what’s your one thing? And I think the question in the book is, what’s the one thing you can do that by doing it makes everything else irrelevant or unimportant? So it’s like, what’s that lead domino? That when you tip that everything else goes? And Jay, when he puts his calendar together, he doesn’t sit down and go, alright, when’s the business meeting, and when am I working? Alright, I’m working nine to five. Now, when do I want to spend time with my family? He sits down and he says, alright, what does my health look like on the calendar? What do I need for that? What does my family look like on the calendar? What do I need for that? When’s vacation? And then let me go build a business that supports the ideal family life. Where exactly the opposite is what a lot of guys do, right? They build a business and then like, ah, shit, like, what do I…? How do I squeeze my family into this? But it’s just built with the wrong priority in mind, which is why we say family men with businesses, not businessmen with families. So a lot of this is about, first of all, just making your non negotiables, like, carving out time on the calendar. And we’ll always find a way to get done what we need to get done. We just have to get more creative. Working harder is the lazy approach.

[BRANDY]:
I just wrote that down. That’s so good.

[BILLY]:
Well, and I have so many of these conversations with guys. But I love that you give a system and a framework to the conversations we’re having. Because I talked with a guy this morning, he’s like, you know, I just found out I could take this job on Saturday and make an extra X amount of dollars, but what’s going to be the trade off in not going to my kids soccer game. And I could put some more money in the bank account but what’s the emotional and connection cost gonna be? And I remember, I was listening to one of your talks and you were talking about a friend who has this thing about eighteen summers, and it just…

[JON]:
[Unclear].

[BILLY]:
Yeah, I mean, could you talk a little…? That wrecked me when I realized you gave the statistic on the amount of time that we spend with our kids after they leave the home is very miniscule, to the… it was like ninety percent of the time you’ll have spent during the first eighteen years. Tell us a bit about that.

[JON]:
Yeah, that was… who wrote that article initially? I think it was, let’s see… I think it was Tim Urban. And, yeah, Wait But Why is his podcast and I think it was called… I don’t remember the name of it but anyway, the article was basically talking about how his math led him to the understanding that about ninety-three percent of the time that he would ever spend with his parents happened before the age of eighteen. Anytime that we put things into perspective like that, to me, that changes the way I behave. I’ll take you all the way back to when I was, or when Front Row Foundation serves people with life threatening illnesses. And, you know, one day when I was sitting down to start this book process of writing a story of Front Row Foundation, I pulled out a journal, and I just wrote a dot on the left, and I wrote birth, I drew a line across the page to another dotnet that said, death. And I just saw it as, like, that’s my whole life on that one line, let’s say. And let’s say that I live to be a hundred, okay, just pick a number, right? I live to be a hundred. And then I wrote a dot on where I was on that timeline, which was about forty. And by visualizing that, by seeing it, and remembering that there’s an end, today became more important. And then I started noticing all these numbers, these videos, these articles, these comments that people would make about that same thing.

There’s a video on YouTube where a guy poured out jelly beans to represent every day of your life. And then he started taking away jelly beans, he’s like, this is all the time that you sleep, and took away a huge stack, like, one third of the jelly beans. That’s how much you sleep. And then he took away another stack of the jelly beans, like, this is how much time you spend brushing your teeth and doing personal hygiene or taking a shower. This is how much you spend your time eating. And all of a sudden you get down and you look at it and you’re like, oh my god, right? Or another guy had a bowl of marbles and he counted out if you live to be a hundred how many Saturdays he’d have left. And he put a bowl of marbles on his desk and every Saturday he’d move a marble over. And it’s this idea that like, hey, if in the summertime, you’ve got like sixteen weekends, well, all of a sudden that weekend becomes more important about what you do. We want to be more intentional about it.

So that’s where all that began, was this recognition that we have a finite amount of time and a finite amount in each season, right? Because you don’t just have eighteen years, you’ve got a couple years with your infant, a couple years with your toddler, a couple years with a teenager, a couple… right? Like, it’s just a couple years on each of those. And that’s not meant to put so much pressure that you get paralyzed. You’re like, I’m failing at everything. I’m just gonna give up. No, it’s just meant to say, look, this is important. Today is important. No time to fight. No time to complain. Like, let’s love, let’s respect, let’s listen, let’s have fun. Let’s do the best we can with what we have because we don’t have forever.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, you talking about the jelly beans and the Saturdays, like, that makes me hurt on the inside and my initial reaction is change the subject. I’m starting to feel pain and like starting to feel, like, my tears coming down because when you do put it in perspective, it makes my heart hurt and I don’t like that.

[BILLY]:
It’s that enneagram seven coming out.

[BRANDY]:
Probably. Probably. I run from pain, but it is this perspective. And Billy said it the other day, we were at home and he was telling me about the eighteen summers. And he said something about Christmas, doing something different. And I just looked at him, I said, no, we have eighteen Christmases. We’re going to spend it at home, and we’re going to do silly things with the kids, and we’re going to decorate even though we’re in the middle of COVID and nobody else is going to come in our house and see it because we have eighteen Christmases with these kids. And so I appreciate you sharing that. And the more I listen to you – and Billy brings up a lot of things you say because we are huge fans – the pain that you immediately go to in the struggles for dads. And I think this is such a fascinating conversation that we’re having in 2020 that we haven’t had these conversations in the past. They’re not traditional conversations. It was, you’re the breadwinner, you come home, you provide and that is being a good dad. And I am fascinated by the work that you’re doing because you’re changing the script, you’re changing the questions and the conversations. One of the conversations that is still big where we are – and you’re from Texas and we’re from East Texas, so we fight that traditional outlook on life a lot. What about these entrepreneurs that are in the middle of the rat race and can’t get out and they really do have demanding jobs, like surgeons, how do they make time for this? And I know you say like, it’s non negotiable. Working harder is lazy. So speak to those people right now that are listening and saying, I would love to do this, but I do not have the time.

[JON]:
Yeah, well, yeah, there’s no one statement that’s ever been said that applies to all situations across the board. Give me any quote, and I’ll show you how it can be wrong. Like, I’ll show you the part of life where that is hypocritical, you know, too. And so yeah, there are moments when somebody is just really in the storm. It’s just, look, you can build a bigger boat, you can choose where you sail, there’s a lot of choices we make. But sometimes you’re on a boat, you’re in the ocean, and there’s a storm, and all the planning in the world and all the intention and all the action’s not going to change your current situation because you’re in the middle of a storm, in the middle of an ocean, on a boat. And that’s where a lot of people feel that they are. So yeah, if somebody is a surgeon, and they’re part of a practice or part of a hospital chain, and there’s expectations upon them, well, that’s gonna be really difficult if they walk in one day and go, you know what, I’m only gonna work two days a week. That might cost them their job, right?

There’s an attractiveness to being an entrepreneur, why I chose that path because there is a lot of freedom in that role. And I think there are certain roles that you choose in life that don’t have as much of that freedom. But like most things, I think the question is always what can I do with what I have? Now I can always make choices, that surgeon can go do something else, that surgeon, which I’ve seen, can become a writer, an author, a coach to other surgeons because some surgeons, that might really work for them. Some surgeons, it might work for their family dynamic to do what they’re doing. There’s no judgment on my side about how many hours does a dad have to work in order to be a great provider, be a great dad. That’s all the magic that happens within their family. That’s a chemistry that happens within the family and what works for one won’t work for another. I just think that what it is, it’s about taking your current situation and saying what am I going to do now with what I have? And then what am I going to do later? And how will I look at that one, two, three-year plan? Start to make transitions.

[BILLY]:
Oh, yeah, that makes so much sense because I do have these guys coming in that are part of a bigger system like a hospital. And I’m telling them to slow down and they’re like, how do I do that? I’m on call. I’m a part of a practice. But thank you for giving that to us because again, it gives us a systematic way to break that down and do that a different way. I want to go a little bit of a different direction now. When we first talked, I think it was a bit of feeling each other out. Like, I was trying to figure out where you were coming from, you were trying to figure out where I was coming from. All I saw was like Front Row Dads. I’m like, is this just like a bunch of bros chest bumping each other telling them how great they are? And then I get into your content and I’m like, oh my gosh, we’re speaking the same language. We just have a different way to say it. On that first phone call you were like, what’s beta male revolution? Tell me a bit about that.

[JON]:
Yeah, well, I wanted to challenge… I wanted to challenge. I like challenging things. That’s not in my nature, by the way. I think I spent the first thirty years of my life not challenging things. I was very much a people pleaser, and just wanted to get along with everybody. My primary question was, how do I be liked in this situation? And that goes all the way back – Billy, you could do some counseling for me, I’m sure still at this point – but I was really short in high school. I’m talking four-ten, eighty-five pounds my sophomore year of high school. I was shorter than the short kids in junior high when I was driving a car to school. And I developed a, you know, because I didn’t have a lot of size, I felt small inside because my body was small on the outside. It didn’t need to be the case. It’s just the way I kind of chose to see my life, and that led to me being a really big people pleaser. And I think that what I’ve learned to do is, with curiosity, challenge ideas or concepts but with an open heart.

There’s like the contrarian that challenges things just because they want to be right, or just because they want to pick a fight, or have an argument, or whatever, and I just like to explore all aspects of things. I like to see and learn from all sides. In fact, I arguably learn more from people who don’t agree with me than do. And I say that because we don’t want a bunch of ‘Yes’ guys in our community. I think we want guys that are going to remain respectfully curious in the group. I post this in our private Facebook group all the time, that, hey, we didn’t start Front Row Dads to talk about the weather, or talk about what happened with sports over the weekend, or any of that. I mean, look, there might be a time and a place to talk about those things, but we really want to have the conversations that maybe are difficult to have in other places because, as we see a lot right now, people are very critical, very judgmental. The level of hate, right? And if we want this whole thing to work, if we look at what could potentially bring peace and solutions to the world that are regenerative, and where we can flourish as a culture and as a society, I think it’s a matter of you operate from a place of curiosity, and connection, and relationship, right?

We need to learn how to relate to each other. We need to learn how to respect differences. And so what I loved about learning about your world is that, like you said, sometimes you think somebody is totally the opposite because I would say we have a bunch of alphas in our group, so why would we have this conversation around beta? And then you realize that by talking to you, you’re like, man, this is so good. This is excellent. This is an incredible perspective that could help so many people, even all the alphas, right? And that’s why we needed to talk, and that’s why collaboration of these communities is so important. Look, competitiveness is great. Like, I got a buddy of mine, Larry Hagner, who runs The Dad Edge podcast, very successful podcast, very successful group. And he and I always joke that we’re like, we’re not really in competition, like, we love… I’m sure that there’s a bit of competition for fun, like a game, like a volleyball game on the weekend, but he and I are like, there’s three hundred million people in the US. I have a hundred and eighty in my group, like, I don’t think we’re… I think we’re okay. I think we’re okay. And we want to just all grow together.

[BILLY]:
Well, in those conversations, I loved your heart in the way you approach things. And even though you had a lot of challenging questions for me, it was done in such a way that it helped me evaluate the way I want to answer them, and so it was good for us to have that exchange. And I love that you’re bringing guys together. And I have a good friend, Ben Dubois, who challenged me early on – he’s one of my good buddies – to have different kinds of people and go out there and get some alphas on your podcast so y’all can have these conversations about how you’re different, how you’re alike. And I found so many more of our conversations being in line with one another in what we want for our families and what we want the outcomes to be.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah. And I felt like from the female perspective, a lot of what you said and what you do in the Front Row Dads very much aligns with how I feel. And I wanted to ask you, at the end, just that, because of that female perspective, what are the men that struggle in your group, and I even hate to use the word struggle, but what is the thing you’re seeing over and over again in the relationship piece?

[JON]:
Hmm. Yeah. Boy, it’s like, right when you said that I had a whole menu drop down in my mind of challenges.

[BILLY]:
Nothing difficult. Just an easy one.

[BRANDY]:
Well, I do respect the fact that you have a niche, you know, the fact that it’s Front Row Dads, and you’re working on being better dads and better husbands. And I like that you haven’t tackled the female. And I like that you haven’t gone out, but you’re sticking to the thing that you know, and you’re doing it well, and you’re growing it, and so I know these conversations are happening because, I mean, every marriage wants to work on themselves, right? Like, we want to get better. And so I’m sure you’re hearing things just like Billy hears it in the chair. I just wanted to know, what are some of the common themes?

[JON]:
Yeah, you know, I can share from a very personal perspective that one of the challenges that I’ve faced in my marriage is, boy, and how do I…? Right now I’m connecting dots of how to make this quick, right, how to how to make this quick. Because it’s a big one, right, like marriage and relationships. It’s such a big subject. But what I… here’s what I feel in my heart. The real challenge is – I think the work that John Gottman does articulates this really well – about whether our conversations are uplifting or they’re critical. And I think that what happens is that the real challenge that most people face in their marriage is that they get very critical of each other. It’s the tone, it’s the words, and that’s where the feelings get hurt. Because sometimes we… for many, the person who’s approval – because we want approval, security and control, right? That’s what we want, approval, security and control. And the person’s approval that we want, you know, from our spouse, the person we care about the most, sometimes delivers the biggest blows.

And I think that’s what has been my challenge in my marriage, is that it’s learning… it’s learning how we work together. That is the greatest struggle, is how do you work together? When you’re talking enneagram, you’re talking about what roles you play, I’ve studied Conscious Leadership with Jim Dethmer, and he talks about being the hero and the victim and the villain. When you understand how personalities collide, needs collide, or where it works, and where it doesn’t, that’s to me the root of the relationship growth and struggle.

I’ll tell you something that I think is so powerful – and Billy, I think you would love this for your work – and it was taught to me by one of our members, Dr. Kelly Flanagan, and he wrote a book called Loveable. You guys should totally talk with him at some point. He’s incredible. And he’s got a new book coming out so I’m sure he’d want to talk about that too. He’s got a really wonderful blog called Untangled. But he’s got a private practice. And when he was at one of our retreats, he shared this concept of the ego castle. And I want to share this because I do think this addresses your question, Brandy, about what’s one of the greatest challenges that men face, especially in their relationships? And here’s what it is: the ego castle is his way of kind of illustrating what happens with the ego. And if we all agree that the ego is this false self, right? So the ego castle starts forming when you’re a kid in elementary school. He says that you build an ego castle wall. And that’s like, you realize people can hurt you and so you put up a wall. And I look at that, like, the first time you understand name brand clothing. If I wear this clothing, you’ll think differently of me. That’s the wall, is the clothes. And then in junior high, you realize that the best defense is sometimes a good offense. So you mount cannons on your castle. And now you start cutting people down with your sarcasm, and your, you know, that’s that sharp arrow that you, like, you’ll get to somebody about the fact that they’re, you know, the kids do it to other kids about their parents splitting up, or whatever, right? They just say the meanest things. And so we kind of dial in our artillery. And then what happens is in high school, you start to develop your throne. And your throne is like when you start to get really good at something. So you get a competence in athletics, or academics, and all of a sudden, you’re like, I’m really good at this and now I get to be right; I get to be righteous. And so I get to sit on my throne and protect myself that way and project this righteousness to the world.

And at some point in our lives, and it happens at different points for different people, but you realize that your castle also has a drawbridge. And that’s where you can really be vulnerable, and you can really be honest, and you can walk out and be yourself. And understanding this ego castle, for me, was a really big breakthrough in my marriage and I think for a lot of guys, because my wife used to say to me, she goes, your ego is so big that I don’t even think you can see it. And the truth is that for many years, I rejected that. I was like, I don’t have an ego, which is really funny, right? But I really checked in and like, I’m good. And then through just enlightenment and illumination of great mentors like Dr. Kelly Flanagan in my life, I realized I have a huge ego. This ego has been, like, I’ve been captive. I have been hijacked by this. I’ve been living in this castle, didn’t even know it existed. I’ve been firing these cannons and was labeling them something else.

So a lot of my breakthrough and a lot of the breakthrough that our men have is when they start getting really honest, like, really honest. Saying things about their desires, their sexual fantasies, their feelings about their wife that we oftentimes hide behind because we learn… and I remember having this debate as a kid or a young adult where, you know, levels of honesty, like, how honest do you be? If your grandma says, do you like my hair and you really hate it, do you just say, yeah, grandma looks great? Or do you say no, I hate it? Like, what level of honesty do we want to have in our relationship? And you’re either in this place of concealing or revealing. And it’s not that I’m trying to say that one is right and one is wrong. But I am saying that what I’ve noticed with a lot of our men is that the problems come when they’re not being really honest. When they’re not just saying what they’re saying. It’s why we get so angry. It’s why we blow up, and why I’ve punched holes in walls before. And I might come across as the most loving, and peaceful… people are like, it’s so hard for me to imagine. It’s like, well, a lot of it is because I can sort of numb and medicate and go take a walk and do… if I just keep ignoring all the feelings and they just bottle up, then they explode. Then they come out in a rage at times.

[BRANDY]:
I mean, I’m listening to you and I am, like, totally relating, and you’re preaching to the choir. And I feel like I need to join Front Row Dads. Like, everything you’re saying. I mean, from the critical, from the bottled-up, everything. I’m like, gosh, I still need to do so much work. I still have so much work to do.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, maybe you need to start a movement, babe.

[JON]:
We all do. We all do. Yeah, maybe you do. Um, yeah, we do have Front Row Moms, that’s slowly taking off. But well, yeah, we just… one day, one day. But yeah, that’s… yeah, of course. And we all align with it on some level. That’s very important. I mean, I’ve been married to my wife for, gosh, twelve years, we just celebrated twelve years and we just, in the last thirty days, had a breakthrough in the level of honesty in which we’re communicating. And some would have said, you guys are radically honest with each other. But there were things that, I mean, I can show you a… Although she probably wouldn’t like it. I can tell you, there was a text message that she sent me last night which was… we were talking about honesty, and how revealing we can be and how much she trusts me. Because the truth is, she didn’t trust me with her truth. She didn’t think I could handle it. She thought if she told me really what she was thinking, or really what she was feeling, that I might just bail. And I thought the same thing for her. Do you guys want to hear something really…? Do you want me to tell you…? I’ll tell you something that I shouldn’t probably tell you.

[BILLY]:
Bring it.

[JON]:
That, like, nobody’s gonna leave the podcast now, right?

[BILLY]:
They’re in.

[BRANDY]:
The hook.

[JON]:
So, Tatyana had been struggling with this level of honesty and trust. And just, you know, she had her friend over at the house. And I have this camera, this camera that records stuff in the house. And her friend was over and I went and I listened to the camera to see what she said to her friend. Guys, does that sound nuts? I’m sure, by the way, that some guys are out there, some women are out there, going, I’ve done something very similar. I’ve looked at my husband’s phone, I’ve looked at his email, I’ve looked at a camera, I did whatever. And here’s why I’m grateful that I did that and what happened as a result. I’m grateful because it showed me that I don’t have a level of trust with my wife that’s not healthy.

And so I told my buddy that I did this and I was like, I’m really conflicted because I want her to be honest with me. But yeah, I’m not being honest with her that I looked at the camera. And then I went and told her. I said, I watched the camera. And so she wasn’t thrilled about that. But what it did is that level of transparency, guys, broke open a new level of trust and transparency for us. Because I was like, I’m gonna be honest, I’m going to be totally honest with you at the risk of the relationship. I want to see what’s on the other side of that transparency. I’m willing to risk this, I’m willing to risk her saying, I don’t want to be married to you because you looked at a camera. If that’s what happened, then okay, then that’s what happened. But the payoff would be so great if we could have that level of trust and that honesty. And I cancelled the camera service, because I was like, I don’t even really want to be tempted by that anymore. I don’t even want to tempt myself with that. I just don’t want to live in that space. But all that came from me being really honest with myself, that that led to me being really honest with her and then we had a breakthrough. And our relationship is better now.

[BILLY]:
Holy shit, that is so good. And I said, wow. And that’s not in a judgmental way. That’s like, wow, the amount of vulnerability and openness that you’re choosing to share with us is what people crave today because we’re all hidden in this shame behind our walls and putting on this armor when we go out into the world and aren’t having these real conversations and stories about… sometimes my ego’s out of control on one end. I think I’m the most awesome thing in the world. Sometimes it’s out of control on the other end, and I have profound insecurities and I’m wallowing in self pity. But it needs to come to the middle, where I’m just a right size human being full of good qualities and bad qualities and can be honest about them. Thank you so much for sharing that with us and oh, Jon.

[BRANDY]:
We could do this for hours.

[JON]:
Right. We totally could.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, I mean…

[JON]:
We’re just talking about life. That’s all we’re doing.

[BILLY]:
We are. I’m going to be going back and listening through because the previous conversation we had about building the castle and the ego, man, you’ve just opened up our eyes to so many things. And I’m so glad to be associated with you. And so tell us a little bit more about our people that want to get in contact with Front Row Dads, that have questions about the brotherhood you’ve created of men who are challenging each other to be better. Where can they find that?

[JON]:
Yeah, everything is at frontrowdads.com and thank you, by the way, for giving me that chance to talk about it. This, I do feel – and I feel the work you’re doing – is so important for the future of humanity. I really genuinely believe that. I don’t necessarily believe that I’m gonna change the world by whether or not I vote for Trump or Biden. I believe that the change is going to come from how I show up as a family man, and how I inspire my fellow brothers, how they show up, and how they inspire me to show up as a family man. I believe it’s going to happen with our kids. I think that’s where we’re going to make the biggest change, with our children, and helping other people with their children. That’s the future. That’s where we need to invest a great deal of our time and energy.

So, frontrowdads.com, check out the podcast, everything’s on the website. The podcast is free, and if somebody wants to go deeper then we have a paid membership where they can sign up right on the website at frontrowdads.com. It’s not for everybody but I think when you go to the site, or if you listen to a podcast or two, you’ll start to understand. We have a show dropping Friday where I wasn’t even the host. One of our members, Mike Higgins, hosted a conversation with two other guys in our group, Les McDaniel and Ken Wimberly, and they talked about the last one day online summit that we had. And it was so great because nothing makes me happier than to not be the one in control or, like, having other people leading in this group, giving men a place to step up and own a part of this, like, it’s not a me thing, it’s a we thing, for sure. Man, it’s really awesome. So listen to those guys. And if you like that energy, if you like that conversation, then maybe roll the dice and give the group shot.

[BILLY]:
Absolutely. You say it may not be for everybody, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t. I’ve already had a couple of guys in my office and they can’t sit in there all the time. It’s too expensive and it takes too much time. I’ve said there’s this thing, Front Row Dads, tune in, listen to the podcast. If you feel like joining up, join up because it’s just… there’s something… we heal in community, not in isolation. And so many men are isolated these days. They want to be better, they want to show up at home. They just don’t know how to and they don’t know how to get out of the thing they’ve created that was intentionally good, to help provide, but now insanity has creeped in. Thank you so much for joining us today, Jon. I can’t wait to just collaborate more with you in the future.

[JON]:
Guys, this has been great. Love the work you’re doing and grateful for our friendship.

[BRANDY]:
You too.

[BILLY]:
Alright. Talk to you soon, brother.

[BILLY]:
Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Speak Your Mind

*




,

betamalerevolution@gmail.com
(903) 336-3484

Got Questions?
Send a Message!