Jonathan Dwoskin – Founder of The Jon Dwoskin Experience and Author of The Think Big Movement

Episode 140

Jon Dwoskin overcame every possible life experience that could’ve gotten him stuck! He is the author of The Think Big Movement, and Founder of The Jon Dwoskin Experience. At the age of 18, Jon already knew what he wanted to do and that was to help people reach their potential. But at age 30, he was diagnosed with cancer. And in 2008, a month after getting into a C-suite exec position, the market crashed. In this episode, Jon shares how he leveraged each tragedy and managed to come out better every time.

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Kara Goldin  00:00

I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just sort of making sure you


will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked out. So your

Kara Goldin  00:14

the only choice should be to focus on what you can control, control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara golden from the Kara golden show. And I am super, super excited to have my next guest here. And I was actually on his podcast. And we are so excited that he agreed to come on mine, Jonathan Dworkin here and he is the founder of the john dwoskin experience where he coaches his clients to elevate way beyond the comfort zones and grow their businesses to not just big but very, very big, awesome, awesome companies. And he’s a keynote speaker and former C suite executive as well. He’s also a cancer survivor and elite trainer, he’s, we’re gonna talk about meditation, I think a little bit, we’re gonna just get into all kinds of amazing things that insights that he can share to inspire us. So anyway, welcome, john. So do you like being called john or Jonathan?

Jon Dwoskin  01:44

JOHN is great. Thanks for having me on the show. Yeah, my family calls me Jonathan. But most people call me john.

Kara Goldin  01:50

Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. So So john was just talking to me about the hint, my company and we had sent him a case that Kai, my assistant has been so great about saying, hey, you want a case? Yeah. and introducing people to it. And he was just saying, he and the rest of his family hooked on the hint. So we love that we love hearing that we love him too.

Jon Dwoskin  02:14

And the story I was telling you is my son had a couple of his friends over. And they went in the basement were in our basement, we have you know, water and ice are like just kind of a setup. And so we were kind of out of everything. And so they went downstairs and really, we had just a ton of hot water. And so they were a lot of the guys were like, what this is the greatest thing we’ve ever tried. This is so good. What is this hidden water that it added up? And so then they went out and bought some it was? So thanks. It was great. So it was you know, I appreciate you sending me some and I bought a ton of my own and I’ll instacart it as well. So it’s been great, right? Well, it’s funny, we, you know, we’re in the Bay Area. We’re in Marin County, and we couldn’t get into a lot of public schools over the years because they had contracts with you know, big soda companies, but the private schools we just started going in and, and saying just try it. And it was funny because a lot of the foodservice directors at the school said no, I don’t think the kids would like it. And, and kids started requesting it. And it was just this really interesting, you know, thing and now we’re, you know, we’re one of like two or three other items and really, the Gen Z generation has just kind of eaten the stuff up because they really do want healthier for you products. And particularly, you said your son plays a lot of tennis. I mean, the athletes want water, right? Or they want a product like the kit, which is unsweetened flavored water for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, so it is water. And yeah, yeah, so anyway, but so let’s go back to you. So childhood, so start their job, where did you Where did all the happy moments and hilarious times come from? You know, I, I grew up around a table where we had Shabbat dinner every Friday night. I’m Jewish. And so you know, we had dinner every Friday night, my family, my extended family. And my mom was like a comedian. She was hilarious. She kind of would hold court. And we had dinner every night as a family. And I would say if I as I kind of look back at, you know, the happy. I mean, there’s a lot of happy times, but those really stuck out for me a lot those moments around the around, around the kitchen table, with family, with friends sometimes, but usually, dinner was like kind of for family. You know, it was like, my parents would say you can have dinner and then you can go with your friends after. And those were great times. And we just talk about, you know, everything there was, you know, we just talked and then and then just sitting back and listening to my grandparents talk my aunts and uncles talk and just observing a lot of that communication and interaction and history and you know, I often Tap into kind of those, those moments, those memories, the energy of what that is, because many of those people have passed away. And so I miss it, but I feel like I, I feel like I can tap into it when I need it.

Kara Goldin  05:14

I love it. And you hold dinner for everybody as well. I mean, is it an every night situation for you at your house?

Jon Dwoskin  05:22

ish, you know, I mean, we try to have dinner as much as we possibly can together, but it’s so hard. My kids schedules My son is on the tennis team, my daughter’s on playing, you know, taking tennis lessons my son’s taking let you know, I feel like life is busier today than it was when I grew up. And so we do our best to have dinner as much as possible, I would say, three, four nights a week. And but it’s we’re always eating, but sometimes it’s kind of like we’re eating on the island together or you know, it’s not as formal. Yeah, it’s just harder for some reason. With an I totally

Kara Goldin  05:55

agree. That’s why I asked because that was something that as a kid, my parents, it was just we always had to be home by dinner. Yeah. And, and, you know, every once in a while there was one of us missing. I mean, I was the last of five kids. And so we actually didn’t have a giant table. So it was almost better when. Anyway, that’s another story. But you know, I totally agree with you with all of these schedules. It’s, it’s really tough, you know, it’s it, I started this ritual, really by accident probably 10 years ago, when we sort of stopped traveling with our kids, because it just became a hassle that we had to have four car seats on the airplanes, and you know, strapped. We were a scene, right? And I was just, and it was just because my kids were what I launched him, we had four kids under the age of six, and oh, it was a comedy, you know, like they would watch us and, you know, go from San Francisco to New York. And it was just crazy.

Jon Dwoskin  06:59

So we don’t care. I just want to say real quick. My son didn’t even get on a plane for the first time till he was, I think seven or eight because it was just too crazy. It was hard seconds, even, like, manage an airplane, you know, yeah, we

Kara Goldin  07:10

were refusing and, you know, to, to stop what we were doing. And we took our kids everywhere. And then finally, it just got crazy. And we just decided we’re not taking them. It’s just become more of an issue. But anyway, about 10 years ago, we started you know, everybody’s got all the kids had a reason for not actually taken off and going on, you know, the vacation. And they want you to know, someone has to do someone do that. And so basically, over really kind of the holidays and, and the Christmas break time period, I would I started planning these trips. And, and it was, you know, they were pretty significant trips because my kids also go away to summer camp. So I’d never even had a during the summer. And those two weeks. Where are always I mean, my kids still talk about those two weeks, because we eject them, I typically find places where they’re not going to know anybody because they’re, I mean for us, California to why my kids always no people in Hawaii, like it’s just it’s so you know, they’ll start texting, and then it’s all over with and then they’re like, I’m going to go to their house and you know, they’re gone. Yeah, but so I reject them. And, and it’s amazing. Just having that time, that dinner time. And those two weeks have really consolidated. So even if it isn’t the dinner, even the stories that come about and finding those rituals, so yeah, really, you know, you made me think about that. But

Jon Dwoskin  08:48

I find the same way that I find the same thing, though, because I’m so grateful that we’ve traveled with our kids, not internationally, but because they’re still they’ve still been kind of somewhat young, but we’ve taken them so many places, any chance we could. And I’m so glad we did now that the now that it’s kind of like reliving in the pandemic world, it’s not as easy to just get up and go and, and plan the family trips. And so, you know, I hear Yeah, those are key memories and moments.

Kara Goldin  09:17

Yeah, it’s crazy. I remember I just really quickly it was interesting. My 15-year-old was talking to me about this the other day that we actually went last holiday. We went on a huge trip I’d wanted to go. I had a ton of miles. And I had wanted to go diving in the mouth deep. So I wanted to go for 30 years. And I said we’re going and I didn’t I don’t tell the other thing. I don’t tell my family until like a few days before so they can’t like figure out how to get out of it. Yeah, so they were like Wait, how do we get there we flew through Dubai on the way there. And then on the way home. We went through Singapore and we had never been there. We were spending a few days in Singapore and running So that was the first place where I remember turning on CNN and hearing about the Coronavirus this the end of January. And it was like, and we were hearing about it. And then, of course, being in the beverage industry. I’m thinking I wonder if the corona family is a little upset about the Coronavirus? You know,

Jon Dwoskin  10:20

I mean, not absolutely

Kara Goldin  10:22

not good, right. And we were sitting there in Singapore, and they were talking about the Chinese New Year and how people were traveling. And it was amazing. We came back to San Francisco A few days later. And we started to really hear about it in Singapore, we came back to San Francisco. Nobody was really talking about it. And we and we really, and my kids are still like that those moments of saying, you know, and we were seeing, I mean, everybody was wearing masks in Singapore, they were really, it was super hot because it you know, reverse seasons and stuff anyway, but even my, like, they’ll never forget that. Yeah, they’ll never forget how different and they wanted to look on TV. And by the time it hit the US they was looking on at Singapore and trying to figure out exactly what was going on. And so again, it brings these experiences where they can really speak to it and you can anyway feel out. So okay, so getting back to you. So around the age of 13, many of your family members started to get sick. Talk to me a little bit about that.

Jon Dwoskin  11:32

You know, it’s a little crazy. I, there was a lot of turmoil. So as I was sharing with you a lot of laughter A lot of you know, you know, family, my family grew up very tight. But kind of from the age of about, I would say 13. So about when I was 25. Just It started with, you know, my grandma, which made sense, who, you know, I got brain cancer and then passed away. My aunt’s my mom’s sister, who died at 41 at a very young age, she had cancer and then my grandfather was healthy and that had his leg amputated and moved in with us and, and then he passed away and then my mom was sick. When I turned 13, she was diagnosed with a disease called alpha one antitrypsin, which is you’re born with a basically a protein not in your you’re lacking a protein. So you’re basically born Long Story Short with emphysema, but you don’t know till you’re 35 so she battled that for a while she passed away when she was 51. So it was like this, like this, like insane. 30 to 25 of just, you know, still trying to kind of keep the laughter up. And the fam my family was tight, but just a lot, a lot of turmoil. A lot of chaos.

Kara Goldin  12:53

Wow. And so what did you and so it was how many kids in your family it was, you know,

Jon Dwoskin  12:57

it’s, it’s me and my brother. And then and then I have a cousin who I refer to as my sister, but it’s really my brother and me Yeah,

Kara Goldin  13:03

wow. And so you’re 18 your dad gives you the Brian Tracy’s the psychology of success.

Jon Dwoskin  13:11

life changer, Kara absolutely a life changer.

Kara Goldin  13:14

And talk to me about that this is.

Jon Dwoskin  13:16

So I you know, it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s 3031 that I knew I was dyslexic. And school was scholastic. So difficult for me just the studying and the retention and the taking the test is was just so difficult. But I just kind of did what I needed to do. I mean, it was, you know, a while ago, so and about what but at 18 My dad said, Hey, I think I know you’re going to do well in college. If you get below a three-point you’re coming home, but I know you’ll do well in college. But I think you’ll learn more from these types of tapes and people like Brian Tracy than you will from college. And so little did I know that after when I was having the reason I’m fast-forwarding 3031 is when I took this IQ test, and I’ll get to in a second. It said it said that I always had I was more visual than audible or auditory. It said that I was primarily auditory. So I put these on my ears when I was 18. And I thought not only can I not only did it resonate the moment, but I also listened to the first couple of words, and I thought this is exactly what I want to do for a living. I want to coach companies, I want to write books I want to speak I want to help people reach their potential. But I could also retain what I heard at such higher rates, you know, so it was like I could read a book, Love the book. And then I could like summarize it in like a sentence or two, but I could, I could retain it. And then it would come to me like, I’ll be coaching now even and I’m a huge reader. I’m a huge audible listener and a huge reader. And I read a book and I’d be like, wait, what did I just read, and then I’ll be coaching someone and everything I need to know at that moment for that client will download to me at that moment. And so and it’s like all these 1000s of books that I’ve read even Sometimes it can retain him at the moment to like write a paper about him if I had to. But as soon as I need it, it kind of clicks right into me. And so I had listened from 89. Up until today, I listened every single day to something. And so I became obsessed with just self-learning all through college. I mean, all through college, I, I would be walking to class, working out listening to these tapes, I couldn’t get enough it was like a drug.

Kara Goldin  15:31

Wow. That’s, that’s amazing. Do you still recommend those tapes? Like what is it about those in particular that really had you

Jon Dwoskin  15:38

engaged as a business coach, I do my best to break things down to the simple and I felt like so many of the, you know, the people that I listened to the Brian Tracy’s the Jim Rohn, the the, the the Tony Robbins that I mean, I could go on and on and on. They all break things down to the simple. And it’s just kind of how I think, you know, I’m always kind of reverse engineering to the simple. And I yeah, and so to me, it’s like, things shouldn’t be complicated. The fundamentals of things. It’s one of my favorite sayings. sayings are, this is it’s so simple, it’s complicated. And so I see things intuitively down to the simple. I always, I always have. And so like when I’m in chemistry, and when I was pre-med in school, I ended up you know, dropping every pre-med class because I, it just, it didn’t make sense to me the classes I was taking, because I always felt like this isn’t simple like things should be somewhat simple. And so for me, it resonated with me, because everything that I was thinking everything that I was trying to process or put into a framework, it was doing it for me, and it was saying, Oh, this is simple. And you can actually make a business out of teaching people too simple.

Kara Goldin  16:51

That’s amazing. And so did you you didn’t know this in college that you wanted to ultimately do this, though, right? I mean, I

Jon Dwoskin  16:58

knew I knew when I was 18. I knew the minute I put it on my ears, I thought this is exactly what I want to do. I didn’t know the path that I would ultimately get to, you know, starting an internet company and selling that to the largest internet professional service around the world and doing real estate and commercial real estate. And, and, you know, doing all the things that I did the twists and turns to get to that point. But I always knew it was my landing. It was my bedrock of where I wanted to be.

Kara Goldin  17:24

So you so after school, you talked about pre-med for a second. And yeah, he decided not to do that.

Jon Dwoskin  17:30

And I think it decided not to do me more or less. Yeah, yeah.

Kara Goldin  17:34

Interesting. So what did you end up doing after school?

Jon Dwoskin  17:38

So I graduated, I went to Eastern Michigan, I graduated with a double major in journalism and economics. And I was going to I want to go into broadcast journalism, I wanted to be the next larry king. And Dan Rather read all their books, worked at the local CHANNEL SEVEN, at the intern at the assignment test for a year. And then I went to Israel for three weeks after I graduated college. I was at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. And I had to go to the bathroom and I walked by this conference room. And it stopped me dead in my tracks. And it was they were smoke. I mean, I’m gonna be 49 this year, they were I was, you know, 23 at the time, 22. And they were sitting there smoking and negotiating and screaming at each other and yelling, and this, and I just sat in the door. And I thought This is what I want to do. So I decided at that moment, I want to go I want to start a business and I had no idea really what that business would be. I came home from Israel did not get the job, the reporter job from Cadillac, Michigan, Channel Nine and 10. They turned me down, I made it to the final three. And my brother and a buddy of his were at my house talking about they’re gonna start this internet company. This was in, you know, early 1995. So I said, Listen, guys, I want to get into business. You know, I’m giving you the long story short, make me an equal partner, and I’ll do the sales. Right like it then who knew what the internet was in May? 1995. Right. It

Kara Goldin  19:03

was I did barely. Yeah,

Jon Dwoskin  19:04

you did? Well, you were at AOL, and right, so and so they said, Okay, so we each had kind of had our role. And we built a business to over 300 clients, but two dozen people. And two years later, we sold it to a company, which you probably remember, called our web. Yeah. So they bought our company and

Kara Goldin  19:21

tell the audience, what the name of your company with

Jon Dwoskin  19:24

the name of the company was an online marketing company, and we grew it to about 300 clients, and we’re getting a lot of recognition locally. And then they came in and bought us. They were at the time the largest internet professional service firm in the world. And we were partners in this group and I was 25 years old. And it was the most incredible experience and the worst experience because we went from this mind path field to this huge corporate elements and I loved it couldn’t have learned, you know, we talked about reading I couldn’t have learned anything I learned in a book, How to tape or anything. It was like real life, just like three Rolling right in the trenches. And I did that for a few years until my contract was up. And then I left and got into commercial real estate. Interesting.

Kara Goldin  20:07

Yeah, all these steps along the way. And I’m constantly I feel like our house is a house where there are so many Jen’s ears, and yeah, my kids don’t want to hear from me anymore. But their friends do. And so they’re always asking me these questions. And, you know, I, I just think it’s, it’s I’m such a huge believer in the journey. I mean, you talked about that job that you wanted, so bad. And, you know, and if it doesn’t work out, I just, I’m a bit Zen about stuff today, like it hurts sometimes. And initially, and but I also, you know, believe that you got to go back if you really want something, give it another crack. And you know, and sometimes it’ll work and sometimes it won’t, and then you move on. Yeah. And you. And it sounds like that’s sort of your theory as well. And absolutely, you know, a lot along the way. And so you get into commercial real estate,

Jon Dwoskin  20:59

when I just want to say one, I just want to say one comment on that, because my passion was always these tapes, and teaching and learning and growing. So I put that into my internet business like I was I lead the sales, I grew the sales team, I would implement things that I was reading and listening to every single day, I was the one kind of leading the way with our business plan for my business partners. And so I was I kind of took the piece of me that I really wanted to grow and put it into that. And then when I got into commercial real estate, I did the same thing. I thought and because my grandfather was in real estate, I grew up and idolized him. And he was in real estate. And so I always wanted to get into real estate. And then how that happened was completely by accident. I kind of by accident, I’ve been wanting to get into real estate for many, many years. And I was diagnosed at the age of 30. I was I got married nine months prior, my wife and I were ready to have kids. And I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And so I thought, Man, this is like not great timing. You know, we have kind of like this, like, you know, these plans and things to do. And, and so when I got my blood test, and I was waiting, I had a day and a half to find out what stage cancer I had. And at that moment, I thought, you know what I’ve been wanting to get into commercial real estate. It’s been a passion for a long, long time. And so, you know, praying to God, God, if I get just to make it good. Let me get through this. And then I’m going to get into commercial real estate. Turns out I had a stage 117 treatment radiation. And while I was going through radiation, a deal of my grandfather’s that he used to talk about all the time came back to life. This is now 30 years. 40 years later, some random person calls my brother and says, I’m the attorney on such and such deal. And my brother who is what, what are we supposed to do with this? I said, Call this guy that we both mutually know. They end up going to lunch. My brother says meet us for lunch. I said, Jeff, I have radiation treatment like right before I cannot meet you for sushi-like puke all over. Meanwhile, I did I went to radiation. And then I I ended up driving to the sushi restaurant, which even as I talked to you about this, Karen, it was almost 20 years ago, I still can like to smell it. It was gross. Anyway, the guy was in commercial real estate. And so he said, You should you know, you should get into commercial real estate. And I said, Well, you do lease and I’ve always wanted to kind of sell commercial buildings. And he’s like, well, that’s what I do. I just started a new company. I said, Oh, anyway, long story short, I interviewed I got the job. I was a broker for six years, I sold apartment buildings in Michigan. And then after six years of that, I got relatively rest as important. I wanted to start my business coaching business.

Kara Goldin  23:45

Yeah. And all that all the dots finally connected.

Jon Dwoskin  23:48

No, not yet because the universe wasn’t ready. So the guy who was running my office came into my office and said, Hey, I need somebody to take over this office. You want to take it over and then I’m going to get promoted. Long story short, I interviewed for that job. They gave me the job. I started on August 4 of oh eight, the market crashed. In September of oh eight, my office was just flatlined. And then over the next six years, I was able to take all my tools and grow my office to one of the Top Producing offices in the entire company. grew it back to 45 agents 60 some people overall, I was on the CEO Advisory Committee I was i was a national and regional trainer and I was able to really have a lot of autonomy to grow my office and do all the stuff that I love to do.

Kara Goldin  24:33

And what do you think was that allowed you to grow the office versus people before you well the guy before me did grow it and then the and then the recession flattened it. Right.

Jon Dwoskin  24:46

But I think what got me to grow it out of the recession because it literally our pipeline went to zero overnight. And September, you know, have a wait, but I think what got me to grow. It is all the training. I had done. I had two business coaches, I had a business coach and a communications coach,, and was in sheer resilience and a lot of prayers. It was the first two years that was the most anxiety-ridden stuff I’d ever been through. Because I had this office off of guys, who many I had to kinds of ask to leave, some had to be let go, if they weren’t going to work, I had to clean up the office for the people who were going to work and weather the storm. And some of these people raised me in the business, and now I’m running the office. And so I needed so there were people that, you know, I was friends with that all of a sudden turned against me, there were people that, you know, liked me, but they don’t want to listen to me because I thought I was too young, in my mid-30s, to even give them advice how to get through a recession. So the study the self, I got myself into a discipline of studying every single person every single day and creating a business plan for each person, I treated each person as their own company. And I thought, How can I grow my relationship with each person 1% every single day, and take all the tools I had been studying and continued to study. And then, you know, when I left because I wanted to, I left to actually start my business but ended up going in the house for a year to help turn around a company and then started my business. Now, six years ago, I said this, and I didn’t say this arrogantly or narcissistically at my lunch that they gave me when I my last day. But I said someone says me what’s one of the greatest things of the last six years, I said, when I first took this over, the market crashed a month later, four or five, six weeks later, there were some of you in this room that didn’t want anything to do with me. And some of you even hated me. And then, of course, I always had my supporters. But I said I leave here where you and I don’t say this, physically, you all really love me, we did this, we got through this together. And I really believe that I was a part in helping them all become better versions of themselves, and helping them and that’s, that’s what I love to do. That’s what drives me to get people just to the next step of their potential, and the pebble that’s in their way. Because a lot of times I can see what they cannot see, I can hear what they cannot hear. And I can guide them to their next steps. And that’s what I get to do now every single day.

Kara Goldin  27:20

I love it. Well, I think that just being at being a leader that actually shows interest in each individual person, as well as I mean, talk about simplicity. It’s just it makes, you know, such a key difference and actually understanding. You know, I think I’ve given many, many interviews about managing during a pandemic, because as you know, I still run a company and yeah, and do this for fun. But it’s, I feel like at times, I’m an I’m a den mother, you know, during this time and you know, even people who I thought I really knew well, prior to the pandemic, there’s just different issues that are breaking issues. So there’s, you know, some people have kids, some people don’t live with anyone, and it’s really lonely and, and you know, and it’s just really understanding what each individual is going through. And it’s not about, you know, the e-commerce team versus the, you know, customer service team, it really is about each individual. And, and I think that, that a lot of what you talked about really resonated with me for sure, because I think it really, no matter what the time is, I think it’s really, really key to really understand who are these people? Yeah, and, you know, what are some of the what are their stories, as well. So,

Jon Dwoskin  28:39

you know, what, also, I just want to say one thing on that, I think it’s also as a manager of people, which, you know, we both are have been, etc. not taking anything, personally. I mean, it’s, you know, people are going through their own things. And yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, you know, I, I think I had learned this lesson, my wife and I were reading Eckhart Tolle this book right before I got into management, new earth. And Oprah was having kind of weekly sessions at it. So we would read it, and then we listen to Eckhart and Oprah do it. And then I just happen to get into management. And one of the things that he talks about is really kind of rewinding and seeing yourself as an observer. And, and, and also, I’m not saying I don’t know if he said this, particularly, but at the same time, I learned the importance of responding, not reacting, which is and I think with people, it’s hard but as a manager, you have to respond and not react because you just have to kind of create a safe space for people to be in their element, but you have to kind of be you can’t you have to meet them where they are, but be a frequency above and vibration above. So not to fall into something that you have to take clean up and can never get your trust back again.

Kara Goldin  30:00

Yeah. Now I think that’s so true. I was on a talk yesterday and was listening to Kevin Mayer, who, you know, used to be the, I guess this most recent thing was he was the CEO of Tick Tock for a minute and was, but was at Disney for a long time. And he was a charge of m&a at Disney anywhere is really fascinating to hear something that he talked about different leaders that he’s met everybody from Steve Jobs with Pixar, and you know, and George Lucas, and what is the similarities and with these people, and Anyway, it was a super interesting conversation. But the one thing that really makes me think about that conversation, something that you just talked about, too, was that figuring out what these people care about, like, when Pixar was getting acquired by Disney, he was saying that the thing that Steve Jobs really cared about, was keeping Pixar email. Yeah, he wanted, I mean, and like everything else was negotiable. But he felt that that would be the end of the end. Yeah. And, you know, and he said that it’s figuring out on that other side of the table, like, who these people are, and what they really care about. And for him, it was about that the brand and the identity, and that you just that and you can see it without, right. I mean, it’s just it’s some it’s stuff that it’s the simplicity and the stuff that they care about, and everything else, you know, the price and everything. So once you actually know that, though, about a person, yeah, right. It just, it actually allows you to kind of tell your own story. I grew up with that person. But anyway, it was


no, I love that.

Kara Goldin  31:42

Yeah. Amazing. So so your motto is ready to get unstuck and grow your business big, very big. What do you think is the key thing when people are looking at, you know, they, they hear about you, you’re a great coach, they you know, want to sign up? What do you feel is is the challenge, right? that by the time you end up getting that email or phone call from somebody, what is sort of the first one, like, I don’t really need a coach. But

Jon Dwoskin  32:10

yeah, some people say that I will, by the time people call me, they typically know they need a coach. And I think the first step is just surrendering and raising awareness. Right? I’m a big believer that the same level of consciousness that got us where we are, can I get us to where we want to be. And so we all kind of move at a certain frequency or vibration, and we have to raise it up if we want to grow. And part of that is surrendering and, and allowing somebody to come in, ask you a lot of questions be really vulnerable, and open up. So you know, until you get to that point, and on top of that, be ready to do the work, then it’s not time for a coach yet, because a coach can be great. And you can you know, you can have the best coach in the world. But if you don’t take it and then execute and implement it, and you know that it doesn’t work. And so for me getting unstuck is I would say most people, most people call me and they say, John, I’m stuck. I’m stuck like I need to get unstuck. Because I’ve gotten to a certain point or, you know, I don’t have I, business partners that I can’t talk to, I don’t have anybody to talk to people that I’m managing don’t like me, my managers don’t know how to manage people. You know, they were, you know, one of the first questions I asked people are, you know, how many managers do you have? And did you hire them because they were good at their job, or because you interviewed them? as managers of people? Do they have experience? And a lot of times they’ll say, we hired them because they were good at their job. And now we’re in trouble. You know, a lot of times I find companies, they don’t invest in training their managers, they don’t invest in training their salespeople, they don’t invest in training, their leadership teams, their C level suites. And so all of these things kind of when it’s all happening, they bubble up, and then everybody kind of feels stuck. And then if you have a leader at the top, who is unclear with their messaging, and is unclear with the direction and isn’t living the values in the vision that is on their walls, then you run into a lot of problems because then everybody’s not only not getting trained, but they’re just trying to try to kind of just get through the day to make you know, the owner happy or the person they report to happy. And so a lot of times I’ll I will be working with C level suites, owners of companies C level, you know, the C level group, VP of sales, salespeople and managers, sometimes all of those groups within one company, and we say okay, as I tell everybody the exact same thing, I do no contracts, I guarantee my value. If at any time you don’t feel the value, don’t pay me to stop using me. And I guarantee what I do, and if within the first hour you don’t find ridiculous value, then don’t then be Can I just say our goodbyes? But to me the first hour that first step is I started asking them questions that open them up. And then I started pointing out things, and I can type as fast as I can talk. So I take a ton of notes when I’m talking to my clients, and I start diving into things and giving them direction and then reverse engineering an action plan for them to take simple steps to move forward.

Kara Goldin  35:24

So it really is about the organization. I mean, I think most coaches, it’s the same thing. It’s actually figuring out, you know, I think that that the interesting thing about you versus some of the other coaches that are out there are not totally dissing on the industry. But there are a lot of coaches that actually haven’t had C suite experience. Correct, right, and build organizations and, and build different types of organizations do at different sizes. So I think that that’s what’s, you know, you can talk about vulnerability and all of those things. And that’s important, and that’s fine. But I think that it’s also, oftentimes people really need to understand what they could be doing different lay inside of an organization and how they can be sort of the the instrument to go do that.

Jon Dwoskin  36:11

I say to a lot of people, you know, they’ll say, Well, what differentiates you say, Well, I’m a business coach has actually been in business, you know, I’ve had a business selling the business grow in other businesses. You know, I’ve sold my company, walked into a conference room two weeks after my mom died, where my boss said to me, your numbers are down, get them down, get them up. And I said, you know, my mom died. Two weeks ago, it’s been a little hectic. And he looked me straight in the eyes and said, I said, Get your numbers up, get out of here. You know, I’ve been in those situations, I’ve been in a situation where we sold our company, we then went public, we get a call that says, Get your numbers up, you know, X percent, within the next two weeks, we have to do, we have to report out to Wall Street, click right. And then you have to figure it out. And so you know, and I could name 1000 other instances that I’ve actually been in, I’ve been in an office like I was saying earlier, where I took over as a manager, and there was a percentage of people there that had no respect for me that I had to earn their respect, I had to be a value add to them, and I had to build it from scratch. And so I think unless you’ve been in those situations, it’s really, really hard to coach somebody because my coaching is custom for every single person that I coach. I mean, I coach one on one, mostly, but I also started some coaching groups as well, because I hate my father was a dentist, he never turned a client away. If somebody came to him and said, Mark, I need $10,000 worth of work, but I have no money. He would say pay me $20 a month for the next 10 years. And so I never liked when people come to me and said, I can’t afford you it. It bothered my soul. And so about three months ago, I launched a private coaching group that can fit into everybody’s budget. And, and it makes my soul feel good because I can, you know, I think there needs to be an energy exchange of money when if you’re getting a service. But now it’s something that I can do for people.

Kara Goldin  38:02

I love it. So going back actually to you’re also an avid meditator. Yeah. How does that fit into coaching? I mean, you talked about some real stressful conversations that can occur when you’re working especially and companies that are either high growth or going through a nosedive or you know, where they’re stressed. I mean, what do you see and being in meditation that has really helped you.

Jon Dwoskin  38:30

Meditation has been a game-changer for me, Kara. When I met my wife, I was about 2026 27 in Chicago. And I had to get through life, I got all these elements like I became lactose intolerant, I couldn’t eat certain foods, and yadda, yada, yada. And nothing I was born with. I just think stress kind of brought some of that stuff on. I’m not a doctor, I’m just making that assumption. And so I met my wife, she’s living in Chicago, she’s from Detroit, we meet in Chicago, I’m in Chicago with friends, I see her walking out of a restaurant, I asked her out, and then boom, I knew we knew me immediately leather meant to be. So I’m there, I would go there for you know, weeks on end, and, and stay with her in Chicago. And she said You got to come with me to see my holistic doctor. So I went through this whole this exactor who would realign my energy and then boom, I wasn’t lactose intolerant, boom, all of these things. He started kind of helping me heal. And so he taught me how to meditate. So and so he taught me how to meditate a minute at a time. Fast forward. Now a few years I’m meditating every day. And through meditation, I was meditating religiously. And I said to my wife, Joanna, I think I have testicular cancer. And I just had a physical and she said, Oh, you’re crazy because I was reading Lance Armstrong’s book at the time. And I said that I can just sense it. My meditations went black, something’s wrong in my body. So I went to a couple of different doctors and then I went to a new internist. I did I had testicular cancer. And I really believe that meditation saved my life that there was because I had given myself the space of quiet, I could tune in to my instincts at a much, much higher frequency. And so ever since I learned I’ve been meditating pretty much every day, and some days, it looks different than it does others. Because sometimes I have 20 minutes every morning, some days, I just have five minutes. But I’m incorporated through my days as well, the power of breath is so critical, we take about seven and a half million breaths a year. And so many people don’t take time to just study it and relax. But there’s nothing that can get you out of fight or flight faster than five deep breaths. And so I’m a big fan of starting every day with meditation,

Kara Goldin  40:50

how long do you do it? And do you use an app?

Jon Dwoskin  40:52

So I do not use an app, I do Transcendental Meditation. Predominantly, I also took a class many, many years ago on the silver mind method. So sometimes I’ll do that. And sometimes I just take 10 deep breaths, like sometimes I can’t get into space where, you know, tm or silver mind method just are not resonating with me in that morning. And I, I used to feel guilty about it. But now I just kind of, you know, respect to the the, the space I’m in. And I’ll take 10 1520 deep breaths, but always for I would say, a minimum of three to five minutes. But typically, ideally, I love doing a good 20-minute Transcendental Meditation every morning.

Kara Goldin  41:35

Interesting. Do you do that before you work out? Or so the

Jon Dwoskin  41:38

The first thing I do when I wake up at around five 530 in the morning is the first thing I do is meditate. And then I have a gym in my basement. And then and then I work out.

Kara Goldin  41:47

Interesting. So you’re not to Zen before you go and work out. It actually helps you center before you.

Jon Dwoskin  41:52

Yeah, it helps me love it. Yeah, I

Kara Goldin  41:55

love it. Good. Great practice. So

Jon Dwoskin  41:57

but real quickly, a common app that I do have that I bought for my family is called, which I think is a great app.

Kara Goldin  42:04

Yeah, I’ve seen all there. I actually I’ve tried calmly before. And I do like it. Yeah, I like it a lot. So it’s interesting. I mean, I I think in many ways, I I go out hiking, I live next my house backs up to 100 acres of woods. And, and so it’s my meditation Actually, yeah, nature and birds and seeing stuff. So yeah. But I, I really, I find in so many ways that if you don’t have that, I remember when I was living in the city, even when I was traveling a ton to it’s just turning on some of those different apps and, and just doing that really, really helps to center you. So I love that. So you host the thing, business podcast with the myriad of self-help and business education. How do you deliver? Like, what is the promise to consumers? Who

Jon Dwoskin  42:57

are the promises that you’re it’s going to be like a mini Master’s class every time I interview somebody, you know, the interviews are? I just asked a lot of questions. I don’t prep questions, because I want it to be an organic, real conversation as if somebody is sitting there. I’ve been there. Yeah, you’ve been there, right? I mean, and so I wanted to just be real. I love to listen to people and the feedback I get from other people is great questions, great guests, great content, people are really real, I do my best to bring out just great content from my guests. And I want people to not only think big but think forward and really think consciously, you know, I end with kind of a speed round. And some people are like, Oh, I wasn’t expecting that and this and the other. But I kind of want that because I don’t want the podcast to be perfect. I don’t want it to be scripted. I want it to be imperfect. And I love it. I love it. I do lives. Monday through Friday and recorded it’s a seven-day-a-week podcast and it’s a total passion project. I love it.

Kara Goldin  44:03

I love it. It’s so great. So before we part I’d love to discuss your book, The Think big movement, grow your business big, very big. And your book is awesome. It’s super, super great. And how do you know a fable was the best way to convey your message for Yes, it’s written not to give too much of it away. But yeah, it’s written in a very unique way. I love it.

Jon Dwoskin  44:27

Yeah. So I love the go giver by Bob Berg. I’ve had him on the show a bunch of times. I love the alchemists. I mean, those are two of my favorite books I’ve always loved you know, so many of the books that are written as as as as fables and parables that I just I wanted a business book that was easy to follow through the story. I think people learn really well through stories and lessons. My next book is not going to be a fable but this one I wanted to start had my first one as a fable. And I just wanted to tell a story I, the only way I can describe it is, you know, the books that influenced me, they just, I just felt like there was a story, a story that I wanted to share with the characters in it that I wanted to kind of bring to life. And the essence of the book is really about somebody who is stuck. And, and how you need to kind of be open to the universe. And if you are, all the guides that you need, will come by and help you. And they will guide you along the way. And so that, to me have been books that have been really inspiring to me, and keep the interest going. Because there’s always kind of a new character, and I think people can relate to, you know, all the names, like my best buddies in it, you know, are the names of who they are, are the names in the book, you know, so, and I just, I don’t know, I just, they’re gonna I think somebody who reads it will get unstuck, get ideas, there’s lots of business strategies and tactics in it but told and I think an easy to read way.

Kara Goldin  46:01

Yeah, no, it’s really, really terrific. And I love your choice of books too, because it’s those are some of my favorites, too. So everyone, if you love this episode as I did, definitely give it five stars. And thank you so much, John, for being here. You’re very generous and showing your authentic nature and so inspiring. And we’ll see everyone here every Monday and Wednesday. And before signing off. I want to also talk about fear. Everybody knows that that’s something that I’m a huge believer that we all need to kind of face and well, you can call people fearless late leaders I think more than anything, it’s everybody’s a little nervous. Right, and everybody’s scared. JOHN talked a lot about you know, just even people who get coaches are scared of things along the way. And they may not even realize right that they’ve got this fear living inside of them. And it as you know, john, my book on undaunted came out. And I’ve heard from so many people that such a great book, thanks. Yeah, it’s been really great to hear from people that it’s more than just how I built hints with my incredible team, but also talking about, you know, it’s not easy, and every day is a new challenge and puzzle pieces are missing constantly. And then more thrown on the table, as I always say so I think more than anything, it’s just about going out and trying and living your journey and doing you know what you enjoy. And that’s the biggest thing. So if you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator, to spotlight please send me a tweet at Kara golden and again, if you like what you’ve heard, please leave me a review on the Apple podcast as well. And you can follow me on all social channels at Kara golden with an eye. And thanks so much for listening, everyone. Thanks again, john.


Thank you, Kara.

Kara Goldin  48:02

before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head-on in order to move forward. This is where buy new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at Kara golden thanks for listening