Rich Jones, founder of Find More Balance joins the podcast to discuss his personal development journey. Rich’s career, mental and physical health transformation is inspirational, relatable and can be a case-study in how learning to cope with mental illness and dissatisfaction in life in a healthy way can make your dreams a reality.
We also chat about Rich’s journey to sobriety, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, getting back into track, and more.
In this episode you’ll learn more about:
- Facing your problems head-on instead of putting a temporary change bandaid over them
- Why considering others “behind the scenes” challenges is essential to building empathy
- How financial independence allows you to walk away from situations, take breaks + gives you space to “do it your way”
- Rich’s breaking point and what caused him to rethink full-time entrepreneurship + more
Check out the video to this episode on YouTube below or by clicking here.
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Jamila Souffrant 2:49
Hey, hey, hey, journeyers, Welcome to the journey to launch podcast today we have a special guest, Rich Jones, who is the founder of find more balance, a health and performance company offering coaching community and a collection of resources to help growth minded professionals thrive inside and outside of work. Beyond what he's doing. Now he is back into track and field. I don't know if you guys remember, maybe if you're a longtime listener, but Rich was on the podcast on episode 28. So rich, you were pretty early on as a guest in my podcast, that must have been 2017. And here we are fast forward years later, and you're coming back. And the reason why I invited you back is because you've had a transformation when it comes to your entrepreneurship path, your health path, mental and physical, and just life. And I thought it'd be interesting to share that. And even if you didn't hear Rich's Interview before, I just believe I'm gonna learn more about this beautiful display of pivoting and following your journey and path and taking the next steps in front of you. So welcome back to the podcast. Rich.
Rich Jones 4:02
Jamila. Thank you. Thank you so much for that introduction. And for having me. I'm really excited to be here, particularly in this season of life, as you alluded to.
Jamila Souffrant 4:11
Yeah. So I do want to go back a bit, even if someone hasn't heard of or knew of you before. Let's do a quick background of the Rich Jones that came on Episode 28, you were part of the paychecks and balances podcast, which was very, in my opinion, a great podcast, I loved it because there's two black men talking about career and money in the personal finance space. So it's definitely something that I was like, wow, that's a great platform. So tell me about the Rich then, let's start there. And how you have been transitioning, I know that's gonna take a lot more conversation and sentences. But I want to talk about kind of where you started from.
Rich Jones 4:49
I was gonna say how much time do you have? Because yeah, so I'll go back even a little further and I can do it real quick. So I've been building things online since 2008, I started as a blogger, then it's funny, I'm getting back more into writing now. I got into podcasting in 2013, after spending years writing about dating and relationships. So not only was I a blogger, I was a dating and relationship blogger. And I got into podcasting in 2013, particularly talking about career advice and personal finance, because when I was looking around for a show, a lot of the shows they either tucked over my head and made me feel dumb. They threw around jargon and terms that didn't make sense to me, or I honestly just quite felt like I was being talked down to. So I didn't feel like there was a show for people that looked like me, a show for people that had my type of experience. And my past CO hosts actually knew him from a blog that I wrote for that's how we ended up getting together. And it's interesting, because like going back, I've always been about personal development, that's always been the umbrella from when I started writing online in 2008. Relationships is one element of personal development, personal finances, as part of personal development, career advancement, you can even say as part of personal development in terms of what that's doing for you, as far as fulfillment, achievements, sense of purpose, even in terms of what your career is able to do for you financially, and the opportunities and things that might create, and I can talk a little bit about that, too. So on the surface, I was winning, award winning blog award winning podcast, eventually. And I had a few different shows. Now I know, we'll talk about that, too. There was a show before paychecks and balances, then paychecks and balances, and then pivoting to the mental wealth show, which is where I'm at now. And it's had the fewest episodes of all the podcasts that I've done. But there's even reasons behind that. But then there was also what was happening behind the scenes. And I know that's a whole separate diatribe. So I'm gonna slow down for a minute. But on the surface at that time, personal finance and career advice were topics that were really important for me, I was thinking I was at a point where I was worried, okay, if I have one thing go wrong, if there's one tough situation that could put me in a really difficult spot. And that's really what triggered it, along with some career stagnates. So that's what got me on this path. So there was what people saw, which looked great going to work at Google, all this award winning, people knowing me when they see me out and about, but they don't know about this other version of Rich that was there was also going on in the background.
Jamila Souffrant 7:34
Yeah, I think so different versions of ourselves that exist in this world, though the version we show other people the version that our friends and family see the version that no one sees, but ourselves in the mirror or when we are alone, you know, they're different. And I just think that's very relatable. Because I know of many, or just in my situation, while on the outside, it can look like Wow, she's doing like so many great things. And that may be true externally. But that doesn't mean that there's still not life happening. And all the things that created us or make us who we are, whether that's past experiences, and family dynamics, and relationships, like all these things, impact our lives. And you know, eventually it impacts our money. So I know it's almost like this trickle down effect, where this is why I like talking about who we are as people, when it comes to how we then make money, earn money, manage money, our goals about money, because it's all intertwined. Our relationships, if we're vulnerable or not, or trusting they're so connected. And so when we talk about finance, or career, and just silos without considering all the things that make us who we are, I think we're missing out a lot. So I think for you to share kind of that there were some things going on in background. It's interesting. But with that, what was going on for you, and then what was then the choices that you had to make to get yourself in a better position.
Rich Jones 9:05
So everything I'm saying now was pretty much in retrospect, these are all things that we don't realize at the time, even that some things happen when they're supposed to, I've started to believe that a lot more. Because over the years, there have been times that I wanted things even back then, even in the past few years, where I've really wanted things and they didn't work out. But now they're starting to work out to a point where I'm saying, Oh, that just wasn't the right time. And I think about so many of the things over the past really decade where again, where people on the surface, it looks like I'm winning but there were so many things that I wanted and so many things that I thought about that it just wasn't the right time for those things. And that's the way it was for a number of years. So what was going on behind the scenes when I look back in retrospect it was lack of confidence. The inability to take up space at times, lack of self esteem, anxiety, insomnia, averaging four to five hours asleep for years upon years upon years, the bending and molding to try and be liked and to fit in in different scenes and in different spaces, defaulting to other people who were in the room, being able to turn it on when I needed to, but then wondering what people thought or felt about me afterwards. Panic attacks eventually came later in the 2020s. So there was a lot of stuff that was going on behind the scenes that people didn't know about. And the one thing that I use to try to solve all that, was alcohol, and for most of my adult life, it was something that I struggled with, and I had phases where I wouldn't drink and then phases where I would fall back into it. But it even got to a point with previous iteration of the podcast, I was in such bad shape that I would be having a drink, for the show, just to get in a space where I could feel calm and feel comfortable. And it's interesting for people that have followed us for a number of years, you know this as a content creator as well. they see that evolution. And there were people who've said to me, I knew I hadn't seen the real you yet, I knew that there was something that was hiding, and people can pick up on that when you listen, you can tell when someone's being authentic. And it wasn't that I wasn't being authentic, I was being authentic in the way that I felt was authentic at that time. But when I looked back on the sentiment and space that I was in, it was so much focused on external factors. The biggest single question is, how can I be seen? And I don't mean that on a surfacey. Look at me, I'm out here winning level, but it was like a much deeper. It's like, do people like that person more than me? Like, do I need to be more funny? Do I need to do more of this or that same thing at work? Oh, people keep gravitating toward this person do I need to mold and be that way. And I did that for years. And as you can imagine, that's pretty exhausting. And so just cycles and cycles of that from, really most of my adulthood, I'm 40 years old. And so you could say for probably from the time that I was 18, or 19 years old to 36, I'm not sure what that will put me in 2021, When I quit alcohol, but there was a lot of internal turmoil, even being on a mastermind call and being intoxicated. I mean, there was just a lot of stuff that was going on behind the scenes.
Jamila Souffrant 12:29
And this is part of the story where you can look back and I can say, Well, you seem to still have been successful in your career, because you still were holding on a corporate job. And you have this thriving business on the side. And this is one of those things where you say to someone that yeah, you can still make it up the ladder, you can still earn money, you can still get a great job and be functioning with all of these things. But it eventually does catch up to you, or at least you're going to be forced to reckon with it at some point. So a lot of people I know are like well, I don't need to really, I know that I'm going through turmoil, I know that there are things I need to change, but I'm still seeing success, you know, I'm still making good money and or I still have friends like, so why do I need to change? I'm surviving. So at what point for you? Did you realize it was no longer about showing this face or this mask that was not you and coping in the non helpful ways? What was your breaking point that made you say, Okay, I can't do this anymore.
Rich Jones 13:33
I had multiple points that I thought were the breaking point that weren't actually the breaking point where I went on Facebook and made some proclamation, even talking about leaving my day job, my clock is ticking. I'm out of here. That's why I'm feeling the way that I'm feeling. That's why I'm having panic attacks. But the breaking point, some people think that it was when I decided to quit alcohol. But that's really not when the breaking point was. That was the beginning of let's say, the physical healing. But that wasn't the beginning of the emotional healing that I needed to do. I hadn't gotten to that part yet. But the real breaking point, was around the time that we're recording this two years ago, I started having panic attacks, where my heart would be racing, I'd wonder if I was having a heart attack. Am I dying? There'd be tears streaming down my face. I also felt myself isolating a lot more, having camera off during meetings, I would have panic attacks with the camera off during video meetings at work and nobody would know that that was happening in the background. It also became really difficult to do basic tasks, things like adding stuff to the calendar, following up on emails, things that someone at my level of expertise should be able to handle quite easily and I couldn't. And I got to this space where I knew something was going on. And what I actually thought that it was was that I needed to become a full time entrepreneur. I thought that what I was feeling was because I was shackled down by corporate America. And maybe if I got out and I got to do what everyone else was doing that I would feel the sense of freedom. I mean, if you think about it for the whole time that I knew you, and I've known everyone in the community I've had this day job. And all I've seen is entrepreneurship and all my peers are entrepreneurs. When people talk about peers, I think more so of content creators and people in the personal finance and now wellness community than I do people in corporate America. So I was seeing all that I'm seeing is what Instagram is telling me, I'm hearing about the five, six figure launches. And I'm like, man, you know what this job is keeping me from doing that. And I thought that's what the issue was. And I thought, that's what was leading to the panic attacks and everything else. But again, it turned out that it was something that was just a lot deeper than that.
Jamila Souffrant 15:49
Oh, let me tell you something, you saying that you thought your job was the reason or the source, but like leaving it, would it make you feel better and get you to this new life, I think it's something that a lot of people need to really sit with. Because what I found on my journey, even entering into the financial independence, space and wanting to reach it, it was also because I was unhappy with my job and my commute. And I write about this in my book that, you know, for a lot of people, it's okay, if you want to leave a job and you think that that's going to make you happy. And that's your reason for obtaining financial independence or some level of freedom, because you don't like where you work, you don't like the people or you think it's constricting. But in the same sense, it's leaving that and going into entrepreneurship or going to another job, if you do not understand really what the issue is or can't make peace. It's toxic, right? Like, you know, I'm not telling anyone to stay in anything toxic or unhealthy. But there's so many people running away from the external environment but it's still something internal, but they're putting it on the external environment and blaming that and thinking well, when I leave this job, but when I don't have that person as a boss, then I'll be happy only to find if they were to quit their job or go somewhere else, that it's the same issue it comes it seeps back in. I just think that's something a lot of people need to sit with. And it doesn't mean you can't make that a motivation to want to reach your goals and financial freedom or entrepreneurship, but you have to be real with what is the real reason that you want to do it. So for you. What happened? Did you quit your job? Did you become an entrepreneur? Did you find out that it wasn't that, how did you know that wasn't the case for you?
Rich Jones 17:27
I am so glad I didn't quit my job. I eventually did an episode that said that would have been the worst decision that I could have made. I said that in retrospect, because when I went out on leave, and I work at Google by day, so tech companies have these generous policies, things around leave, I basically was out for 12 weeks 100% paid, had access to everything I needed as far as all my benefits. And it was during that time that I also started the real healing and started the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. I'm like, Man, if I were trying to do this as an entrepreneur, try and not having these benefits and things to fall back on. And knowing that I was covered and being able to ease back into it, if I had to focus on going out and finding deals and creating business and things that were already stressing me out on a part time basis. I can't imagine what it would have been like to try to do that while also heal at the same time. In fact, I don't know that I would have healed the way that I have so far. In fact, I think people use work as a crutch to avoid healing. We stay so busy just working, working, working. And a lot of that is so that we don't have to deal with those voices that we're hearing that are saying those negative things to us or that issue that we find ourselves continuously coming back to we were asking, is it just me. And so we keep working, working, even vacations, taking a vacation for a week, it takes you three weeks to ease into the vacation, and then by the time you're in vacation mode, you gotta go back. And so the anxiety is, is already back. So there's all those feelings that come with it. But really, for me, when I went out, my single biggest thing was, what's the alternative? Because if I stay and my performance continues to dwindle the way that it is where it's not noticeable to anybody else right now at least that I can tell what happens when it becomes noticeable to somebody else, then it becomes a whole different conversation. But I was fortunate being able to take this break and not jumping into full time entrepreneurship because it gave me the time to finally start processing. And if I don't take this leave, I don't learn that I've lived most of my life with complex PTSD and just had no idea and so all of that stuff I described earlier. The alcohol the lack of self confidence, the shrinking the molding, the bending, that was all from living with complex PTSD. So I lived with that for the first 37 or 38 years of my life and had no idea that that was the underlying factor. And that explained why, despite me continuing to get what I want, I still wasn't happy. And so even whether it was the awards, whether it was new roles, like things have always again on the surface worked out. But I would get that thing and be like, I got it cool. Yeah. All right, like, what's what's next, like, there's gotta be more to it than that. And I realized that it was actually this mental health condition that until I started to untangle that web and get to the root of that, I wasn't going to be able to fully get to, ultimately where I am today and where I feel that I'm heading, so no, I didn't jump into entrepreneurship, I took time off, even spoke at the economy conference, while I was on leave. And that was at the very beginning, it's crazy to look at the space that I was in at that point versus even where I am today. So, for me, it wasn't about getting into entrepreneurship, it was about getting myself together.
Jamila Souffrant 21:03
And because you have that time. So that is I think the difference, if you're honest with yourself, or maybe even know what your reason is, and the unhappiness that you have inside. I think the fact that you had x amount of weeks to take off from work and to really do the work internally. And we could talk about what that looked like for you. I think that's the purpose of financial freedom and independence. Because hopefully, you know, you were fortunate to have a job that allowed you to do that and take that time, some people may have that as an option for their job, they don't know they need to inquire about it and see what that involves. But then also, that, to me is the real benefit of training, and starting the journey to financial independence. Because even though for me, I knew the job wasn't necessarily the issue wasn't that because whatever I, you know, I talked about like not wanting to have a boss, like I don't like people telling me what to do like, and even now as my own boss, I'm like, I don't even I don't like boss and my own self around, I just don't like doing a lot of things. You know, like, there's some things that it's still the same. And I've seen that, but I've had the liberty of taking a break or not feeling stressed because there was money as a cushion or because, you know, had a safety net. And I knew I didn't have to worry about bills. So I do feel like that is going to be you know, for a lot of people. The reason not just because you can quit your job, but because you can have financial security, or be able to walk away from situations or take breaks when you need them.
Rich Jones 22:25
Yeah, and that's the thing, even if I didn't have access to these benefits, I would have been covered for some period of time based off of money that I've saved also with the role that I have stock as part of the compensation. So I had looked at how much runway I had, again, because I was thinking I need to go into entrepreneurship, I'm like, Alright, I can get six months. And then if I negotiate severance, I can probably get like another seven months. So I had this whole plan in my head of how I was going to make it happen. But really, the way that it turned out with that time is that I ended up doing a whole lot of nothing. Which is exactly what I knew what I needed to do. Especially after I learned about the PTSD, I did a whole lot of nothing. And nobody tells you what it's like to be alone with your thoughts like that level of alone where you don't have anything else to distract you. i We don't have children. I dog doesn't really count. But just to have that time where I wasn't doing anything really on the pot. The podcast was on hiatus. I wasn't writing, I wasn't at work, I had just gotten back into training for track and field as a celebration of one year of sobriety. But for a lot of that time, I didn't do anything. I feel like it took me six weeks just to get to a place of of like, alright, like now what do I want? And then I and then that's just like, okay, like I'm in a place like what do I want my routine to be? I don't want to be scrambling around like I was before, like, how do I want to spend my day? And because I had that time off, I was able to spend more time training and able to establish a routine in terms of when I do my workouts, when do I have the highest energy being able to learn and except that I'm an early riser. So instead of fighting to stay in bed in the morning, why don't I move up my bedtime in the evening so that knowing that I'm going to wake up at 5:15am No matter what I do that that's what's going to happen and so even learning that energy management aspect is something that happened during the course of that of that time off and it wasn't till I got to what the time of going back where I went on site for a doctor's appointment. So yes, my doctor was at work, go figure. And so I went on site for a doctor's appointment. And then after the appointment I went to the cafeteria where there was the free breakfast lunch and dinner and I know this sounds privileged in first world but this is my reality.
Jamila Souffrant 24:57
Now you're you get hooked up at Google, my friends took me there one day for lunch. I was like, oh my god, this is like a full blown restaurant with Yeah,
Rich Jones 25:06
yes, exactly. So I had that. And then I went upstairs. And I saw the gym had everything that I needed for my training. And I had this realization, I was like man, work is actually helping me achieve my goals at work is enabling me to do the things that I want to do right now leaving isn't the answer. So that's like, what I like I come out of the league with the with the well actually, I kind of enjoy work and I'm in a different space. And what if I approached it a different way? And so now I move with the mentality of how can work serve me? And I think I thought that before, but now it's how can this role? How can this job how can this company serve me in meeting my goal, so I'm taking advantage of all the benefits, all all the perks, was talking recently about how I'm not even focused on promotion right now, because I have everything that I need and more responsibility and moving up the ladder, like isn't even like that, that's not even appealing to me right now. Because I like my life. But it kind of started with that realization, like, Yo, actually work is helping me accomplish my goal. So I need to lean more into this, because it's letting me do everything that I want to do right now.
Jamila Souffrant 26:20
It's an amazing how you, things are right in front of you that you just don't see or can't appreciate. Just because for whatever reasons, you know, internally, there's blockage, there's these mindset shifts you have to make, but to know, like, there's just perspective changes that whatever you're going through right now, there's someone who would like take that on and be like, This is the most amazing like life ever. Like whatever your life is right now. Or it's, it's different from the challenges that they're having. So I always try to keep that in mind. And remember, you know, how far I've come or how blessed I am? Because there's always going to be a pros and cons to each situation, whether it's entrepreneurship full time work, you know, and, yeah, it's really interesting, I'm hearing that, that switch for you to realize, you know, what, let me let me make this, the best it can be, if I'm going to be here and have it served me I love that.
Rich Jones 27:15
Yeah, it completely changed the way that I moved in the space, you go from a place of resentment and feeling stuck to feeling free, as cliche as it may sound, but it started to feel that way. And the other thing, so that was the one realization, the other big realization I had during this time off, this is so cliche person goes away, has time off and experience comes back with big realization. The other thing I realized, and this was really toward the end, like right before I went back was I do not want to feel the way that I felt when I went out. And I will do everything in my power to not feel that way again. And as a result of that, I got very clear on boundaries. And I got very clear on what I was willing to accept and what I was willing to sacrifice. So when I went back, because a lot of my work is client case based where I'm working with folks one on one, sometimes to some pretty challenging stuff. I work in the DEI space, which as you know is there's just a lot going on in that space. But I was very clear. When I went back to my work with my manager about my caseload, as far as my clients. I wasn't I didn't have any grand dreams of exceeding expectations or trying to get promoted. I was like, Look, this is what I need to have peace. Here's what I can take in terms of caseload, I was also a lot more intentional about the types of projects that I wanted to work on. Over time, I started to just take up more space. And by that I mean, just speaking up when I had something to say and finding like, oh, like when I speak up, and you would think I would know this as being a podcast and for years. But I was like, Oh, when I speak up, like, it's usually something that adds to the conversation. And people asked me to tell me more, and I find myself in these leadership situations. And so since I've started doing that, since I've created space through through boundaries, the game has completely changed at work. I'm in the best stretch of my career period. And so what does that look like the projects I'm getting to leave, I get to host a podcast at work about health and wellness for the DEI organization.
Jamila Souffrant 29:15
And you bought that idea, right? Like, how did that come about the
Rich Jones 29:19
days? Yeah, I brought the idea. They basically saw me because I use the fancy microphones for my work meetings. And they're like, Oh, you have a good microphone. Oh, you look like it. So it ends up being a good conversation starter, low key, it ends up being a good conversation starter. And we ended up having a conversation about it. And I'd gotten certified as a wellness coach Gmail did, there's just so much stuff. I gotten certified as a wellness coach, so that also played into it. But none of that happens. And even the track and field stuff. None of this happens if I don't create that space for myself. And maybe everyone can't take 11 or 12 weeks, but you can take a few minutes every day to maybe create space For yourself, some of us aren't even doing that. Because we're so wrapped up in all of the responsibilities and everything that's happening around us. And it's part of why do I still post on social media? I say that I've gotten out of the content creation game because I knew what I know what that game is like, and I respect and admire people who can do it. But what that was doing to me on a mental and emotional perspective, even how the trauma was tying into that where people were there was a stretch people were unfollowing Oh, people don't like me, oh, like, I guess I shouldn't share myself. The like fighting against the algorithm to be seen, like, it just got really, it just got really toxic for a while. And I decided, like, even with that, like, um, oh, you know, your content. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, I have a health and performance company, I coach people one on one. Now I build membership communities. Now, I bring the community to me, I don't go fighting to be heard on a platform that I don't own. And these are all things again, there are seeds that are planted from one creating space during that lead, but also creating space for periodic reflection over the past couple of years since that time.
Jamila Souffrant 31:02
That's why it's so important to hear people who are want happy or content in their careers. And then also even secure still building or doing something on the side, you have a talent, you have skills, you know, you still have a business on the side, but you're doing it in your own way, I think what we see because the people that we see are loud online, and not in a bad way. But they you see them more, because that's what they do. So if you're on Instagram, you're gonna see the people who are doing the reels who are more to the forefront. And if that is not what you want, or your personality, and the way you want to pursue entrepreneurship, it looks like that's the only way you can be successful. If you you know, do the dance too, and, you know, do stay on top of all the reels. But I think because there are people like you who are successfully, you know, happy in their lives, but you're not necessarily going to see it showcased all the time, where it's like, sometimes I'm like I forget, because you know, you don't post often. And so I might be like, Oh, wait, wait, like I'll see something, because sometimes just shows you like a person story or whatever. And I'm like, oh, yeah, rich, and then so it's not at the forefront of your mind. But there are so many examples. And you know, I feel like I'm kind of like in the middle of that, like struggling with my struggling, but because I also rather just live my life. And not necessarily need to, like, you know, I'll forget, like, Oh, Dad, like how did that person remember to take a reel of that moment, because like, in the moment, sometimes I'm just not thinking about that. But I also see the benefit, because I know there's something to be said for showing like, you know, a different type of lifestyle. And there are people who are gonna gravitate to you and who are inspired by what you do. But I just love that, you know, there are so many people who are doing it their way and are happy. And so just because you may not be seeing it all the time, just know that there's another way to build a business or to do a side hustle or live your life. It doesn't have to be always out there.
Rich Jones 32:51
Now that was I love that you said that because that was a grand, grand proclamation I made on social media. I said eff it, I'm doing this my way. I posted that on Facebook, probably probably like a year, year and change ago where I said, Yo, I'm not doing it this way anymore. Even even even like with the podcast game. And I had worked with a sponsor to start the year. And I quickly remembered why I didn't like that even though I liked the money. I didn't like the pressure of like, Ah, now I have to put out content, like I have to put out X number of episodes, I need to put them out. I'm like, I'm like even though I'm getting paid for this. I really liked the freedom and flexibility that I have to make money otherwise. And I like not having this commitment of needing to record. The podcast is coming back. It'll probably be back by the time people hear this. But even something like that, where I was like, I was like, actually, I don't enjoy doing this weekly, I had a lot of that just actually I don't like I can be funny, I can make a good real but I don't enjoy spending 30 minutes like stopping what I'm doing trying to get the camera right having to take most of it actually. Sometimes it registers on my fitness tracker, like my heart rate goes up and I'm like, oh, that's what I was trying to record content. And it registers as inactivity. I'm like, I don't actually enjoy that. And so now I'm going to space and I think some of the financial decisions, tying it back to that have allowed me to be in this space where things are going well at work, I know that I've got a certain amount of money saved and I am in a space where like if I had to leave work and do it on my own for a bit or go to another company like I I could do that. But like right now I feel like I have this space to explore, like and part of this whole journey is me discovering who I really am and what I really like and what I actually want. So a lot of these past couple of years. It's stuff where you may think that I've thought about it plenty of times, but now I'm thinking about it as the person that I am post alcohol, having healed from a lot of the trauma or healing from a lot of the trauma because I believe healing is forever Ever. And there's things from childhood that still get triggered today. And for a lot of us, we're walking around with things like Complex PTSD and don't even know it. And wondering why life is so is so difficult. So it's, it's, I can't say enough about the the importance of, of one not just like going to a doctor for your checkups. But we don't think to talk to our doctors about like the mental health stuff. We think, like we saved that for a psychiatrist. And it actually created some challenges when I went to take the leave as far as like the paperwork needed to be done. And my doctor was like, Wait, you're coming to me telling me you have this issue? How can we we never talked about this? And sometimes these things could be surfaced earlier, but we don't we don't think to have that conversation.
Jamila Souffrant 35:46
Yeah, you don't even know, especially if you're operating in a world where you don't, it's not. You don't see it as an example of someone taking care of their mental health. Because, you know, I remember meeting you, I think, first time I think I met you was at Podcast Movement, I had just started 12 and 17. I think that was my first Podcast Movement. And then we, you know, we saw each other at fin con a couple times. And you were always up for a good time, I was like, I can always count on rich, like, he's gonna be on the dance floor, he's gonna have you know, a little drinky drink, like, you know, it's like, you're fine. And I and nothing is wrong with a person who wants to have fun and it you know, enjoys because that's fine. But I just feel like there's so many people who like you don't know, they don't know if it's coming from a place of it's fun, or like, no, like, you're like it's masking something else. And if you're around so many people where no one else, no one is talking about mental health or really digging deep on why you're coping in this manner. It's just like, you just wonder how many other people even yourself, you have an issue that you don't know about, because you just don't know what it looks like. It hasn't been giving a name, you haven't expressed it to someone who can help you like your doctor, like you said. Yeah,
Rich Jones 36:52
and that's part of why now, even with transitioning to from paychecks and balances to the mental wellness show, like it's, it's been about showing people the importance of doing the work and what happens when you do the work, and also what the work is like, because you will hear about doing the work. It's like, well, what does that really mean? And like, well, that's going to it, they're not just going to a therapist, but going to a therapist, realizing something really difficult processing those emotions over days, weeks, months, maybe not fully getting through them. But getting to a place of acceptance, like that's really what a lot of this is, is is getting to, to a place of acceptance. And we don't we don't get there in those things, again, because we try to push and avoid and avoid. But for me, it's like, Yo, you're gonna keep and you said this earlier, you're gonna keep finding yourself in the same situation over and over again, it's going to take different forms, but you're going to find yourself in the same situation until you get to the root of the issue. And what you think is the root of the issue probably isn't the issue. And I use back pain as an example where, before I got into training, a lot back it had been bothering me and it still bothered me through training. And for years, I thought it was my back. But it actually turned out that it was from abdominal weakness, a weakness in my hips, so that my back was overcompensating for all the other weak muscles. But I felt the pain in my back. So I thought the issue was actually my back. But it turned out that it was something much deeper. And until I addressed those things, the back was like it, it wasn't going to matter. And I think that's where a lot of us are, but we don't we don't know that I feel like what I've experienced is what woke should mean, where you're like, Oh, this is like this is what's really going on. And that's a lot of it is just being able to like understand what's going on and like, Oh, this is why I'm responding that way. Or like, oh, you know what, for as much as I get on the microphone, I'm actually not as vulnerable as I thought. This is a different type of vulnerability than the vulnerability when you're talking to your partner and you have to really bear your soul and you don't know if you're gonna get hurt. Like there's just all sorts of stuff like that, that I've learned that's just lead to abundance in different aspects of life.
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Jamila Souffrant 39:57
I love when you talk just now about, you know, having a pain and not understanding how deep it goes. And so for you like, what's that going to physical therapy? Was that researching more? How did you find out that that what you thought was the initial pain, it was deeper. And this goes just to show people to like, how to go further than your initial assessment of something in general, because it doesn't just stop at what your first observed thought like it can be deeper. So for you, how did you go deeper into discovering what were the issues for yourself, whether it was physical or even like mental?
Rich Jones 40:34
I'll talk about the pain because you'll love this type of story. I mentioned on the podcast that I had back pain, and a listener, shout out to Andrew reached out on LinkedIn. And he's a strength and conditioning coach, a physical therapist, he's got a bunch of different things. And he said, Hey, I'd be happy to take a look. Or actually, first he gave me a tip. And then later on, I thought of him when my back got messed up again. And that's how it works, right? You you give something somebody remembers, and then later on, I thought to him, and I started working with this guy. And he very quickly did a diagnosis like it's, it's just like anything else going to a doctor or going to a therapist, he very quickly get a diagnosis was like, Yeah, abs a week. I'm like, wait, what? I've been doing crunches, he's like, yeah, you've been doing this, but have you been doing some of this boring stuff. And so by that, I mean, we think of some of the glamorous exercises, but like, it's the little boring ones that we absolutely hate that make the biggest difference.
Jamila Souffrant 41:33
Rich, let me tell you, because as you were telling that story, I was like That is me in certain areas. So after having my kids, I had to develop that I suspect I were at the separation of the abs. And as someone who's always been very fit, and always had pride in my nice little four pack that I had before my kids, you know, it's been hard just adjusting to my new body. Even though people see me as fit, I am fit my midsection, just because I have that separation, you know, it's present round, you know, especially if I just have anything, I eat anything, it just gets rounder. And there are things that I can do that help, right, not just the physical appearance, but also help with support, because there's some support issues. And all the things I need to do are these boring exercises, I know what they are, I know like to help, you know, strengthen the hips, because it's the hips, it's the soul ads, like all these things, I need to stretch and release my solo ads every morning. I'm like, Ah, I just want to go run and I just want to go lift weights. Like I don't want to do all that. But the small, boring things I know, like, again, these are things I know, I just have not, I don't know, there's something I don't do it every day. And I know I should. But I think this goes to a lot of things in life. Right? It's like the small little things that we just avoid, we don't want to do because we you know, it's like, rather get to the like what we want, but we don't understand like getting to what we want, whether it's the physical or the money, it takes a small things that some of us are skipping over and not doing.
Rich Jones 42:58
Yeah, and that's a thing I've learned whether it's stuff like this or anything avoidance never dissolved the issue, it usually just gets bigger. And so for example, egg doing me doing more squats, when it's like my abs, and it's like me trying to justify it in my head of oh, well squats hit abs to versus doing the annoying planks versus doing the bird dogs and the other boring exercises, I'm still not addressing what actually needs to be addressed. I'm doing what I like as opposed to what needs to be done. Which which is even within like the context, time management is another thing where like, where we know we should be working on one thing, but this other thing is a lot more fun or this other thing is going to give us a greater feeling of of accomplishment in the moment.
Jamila Souffrant 43:47
For you getting back into track, I talk about that. Because often think and find that some things that we did in our youth or what made us happy or where we excelled. And as we get become older, you know, that changes, we kind of shift our focus but you got back into something that you did when you were younger. So talk about that transition. And similarities between getting in shape physically and just in the other ways in life that you get in shape, whether financially or your Korea rise.
Rich Jones 44:17
The air so it's crazy because tracking getting back in the track is something that I've thought about every single day since probably my last meet in 2007 in some form or another I would think about it every single day. And there were a couple of times where I tried to get back into it when I lived in New York City but it's hard getting to an outdoor track and the subway. It was just a lot going on in New York City was also the unhealthiest four years of my life. The stuff is always open there was alcohol, just as always, there's just so much going on in in New York, moved to California and tried to get back into it pulled my hamstring and then that sent me into a spiral with Alcohol and just negative self talk like Cetus is what you get. It just just started saying really terrible things to myself. And over the next few years, I had these spikes in my track shoes in my closet from college that I hadn't got a guy in rid of, and I could never bring myself to get rid of them. And as I was approaching one year of alcohol sobriety, I had this realization, I was like, Oh, I finally have the space in my life to be able to do this. I am free from alcohol. So I don't have that restraint. I'm financially in a good spot, I've got the support network around me, like I'm finally in a space to be able to, to do this. So I set a goal in July 1 2021, to get back in the track and field to compete at the outdoor national championships for the Masters level, which is by age group in July of 2022. But I ended up making like a tour of it in 2022. To start out where, you know, I started out going to Colorado, and then I was in Arizona, and then I was in New York City. And so the things that it allowed me to do as far as getting the travel getting there, getting to connect with and meet new people be what training did just for, for my mindset, and just in the idea of living like an athlete, where people talk about downward spirals, but there's also upward spirals where one good habit leads to another. And so to me living like an athlete, it's like, Alright, I know that if I don't get enough sleep, I'm gonna get a crappy workout, that's going to affect my performance. Oh, for me to get enough sleep, I need to think about my bedtime. And if I need to think about my bedtime, I probably need to eat by a certain hour. Oh, by the way, I need to think about the way that I'm eating, because that's going to impact my performance. So everything kind of you just get into this routine. And you get into this rhythm. And there is something about at least for me, having something to look forward to whether it's the next competition or that big championship meet. And so and so that first outdoor championship, that was the emotional goal, that was the, when I think about achieving that this goal, like my eyes watered and I felt something and that's how I set big goals. Now, if I don't like feel like choked up, or I don't feel something thinking about the goal, then it's not a big enough goal. But for this, I felt that and at the Indoor Championships in 2022, things didn't go so well. I ended up like it. And it was looking back, it was crazy to think that after only training for six months that I was going to come back and be great at that point. Like it just didn't make sense. But at the outdoor championships that that year in Lexington, Kentucky, I came in last place in the long jump, just horrible performance just to think about things didn't go well. But then the next day, on the last jump, I won my first national championship a year back in the track and field in the triple jump for my age group. And like wow, I never thought in one year's time, I would go from where I was to being a national champion. And since then, becoming a two time national champion and most recently becoming a two times silver medalists and personal records hitting the All American Standard for my age group. I mean, it's been it's it's become a primary aspect of my identity. It really has and it's just been just seeing how it inspires people and people seeing that there's more. And the last thing I'll say seeing because this talks about like examples that we see for health we like we see examples of people winning financially but I haven't personally seen examples of like black men being older being fit to me, I think about getting older I thought about sickness death, because that's what a lot of us see. And so to go to a track me and see 60 7080 year old men, particularly black men in shape, see black men 5060 years old, running faster than me looking more in shape than me like that, that just opened that created a whole nother level of realization is I'm like, yo it doesn't have to be over. There's people here cheering for their grandparents share for their parents. I'm like, I want that. And so then that creates another emotional goal. I'm like, Man, I'm sitting here getting Misty because people are cheering on this 90 year old man running and I'm like, Yo, man, I want to inspire my kids like this. So it just, it just keeps on moving and my involvement in the sport is getting larger and larger because I find the more I put into it, the more that I'm getting back
Jamila Souffrant 49:30
at personal development or setting outside things you're interested in outside of trying to make money from it or doing it for the likes of other people. I think it's such an important thing especially as we get older because you know I haven't kids that are now starting to compete and do things you know they don't get it yet. You know, we we hope that they want to continue being competitive that it they'll start to really like live and get it and start to do it on their own. Like they get up on there and they start practice we don't you know, tell them okay, it's time to practice. And I think as we get older, a lot of us have the perspective like, like, my kids don't have that yet. They're so young, right. But like as they get older, as we get older, we have more autonomy, we have more control over our time, for the most part, you know, we're not like bogged down by work. But we have insight and I feel like to then still remember that we can create these personal goals, like we can still play a sport, we can still train, we can still, you know, if you're not into, you know, athletics do something else that you were interested in, or find a hobby, that you can meet other people who are doing this thing that you get inspired by, I think it's so important because fun and life and development doesn't have to stop because we're no, we're older now. And it takes sometimes as we I'm also 40. And so sometimes it feels, I don't think my life is nowhere, halfway done, you know, there's so much ahead of me. But it can feel like when you're looking back on your life, like oh, like all that was like in the past, and it's like you could start a whole new life, get a whole new hobby, get a whole new, you know, goal that you're training for, or working towards, that is tied to nothing but your own personal satisfaction that will make just your life so much richer. You know, like, there's no stopping you from doing that right now.
Rich Jones 51:07
Yeah, that's funny, I was thinking I'm like, I'm richer than pun intended. And that's, that's the way I was. So when I turned 40, I turned 40. And the birthday gift to myself was winning a national championship the next day, it was be winning a national championship. So I'm like, Man, the 40s are shaping up to be fantastic. And I won't lie, I dreaded it coming into it. I had a lot of stress and anxiety, even with all the therapy and everything else that was going on this concept, or relationship that I had with time where I've felt that time is running out. But that's been my fixed mindset thing is like I like I like rushing to get things done before times runs out, as opposed to understanding that there's a lot of time left like, No, this is a new chapter.
Jamila Souffrant 51:50
And I mean, and we're not, the society also makes you feel that way. In some regards. Because I've actually been I got contacted for two lists. They're all like, 40, under 40 list. And I'm just like, well, you know, I turned 40 already. And they were like, Oh, we're sorry. And I'm just like, really? Like, just because like what's wrong with it like being 40, or even 45. And like, and you can't make this list just because of your age. So you know, society also pushes that on us to about the age that we have to just let go. So when that happened, and they were like, Yeah, you can you because you just turned 40 Like you just you have would have to be 39 and younger. And I'm like so just because I'm like for you all accomplishment that you just said you wanted me for just don't matter now, like, but I had to also release that and say it doesn't matter. Like that list is great, but it's okay, if you didn't make it, and it's okay. There's a lot of things you have not done yet that you will do in the future. And you'll be way over 40. So you won't make that list in a couple of years either. So it was just interesting that I don't think it's in our head. Society also makes us feel like, Oh, you're getting older, like, there's not much left? Yeah, it's,
Rich Jones 52:55
it's a real thing. Even the commercials that I see now I'm seeing millennial generation focused commercials on TV with the artists who are getting featured in those commercials. As a man without hair, the you don't want to be like your dad bald or like like just like the things that I hear on TV or, or hearing them call, like a 37 year old NBA player washed up or at the end of their career. I'm like, that's a mind shift for me, because I'm 40. And I'm still out here. And you're saying that that this person is washed up. So that's, that's really tough. One thing, I don't know what triggered this thought. But one thing that I've also learned it's been really helpful, is most things have nothing to do with me. And by that I mean, how somebody else is feeling how someone responds to you a decision that's made, it usually has nothing to do with you. And that's something that my therapist has had to remind me when I'm thinking like, oh, this person is how people are going to respond. And it's like, they ain't thinking about you. They are not thinking about you. And so I've had to, in letting go of some things like things I didn't get like, but those lists used to drive me nuts, like trying to get trying to be featured in Apple podcasts and trying to get featured on this thing and like not being featured in the list and feeling left out and wondering what I did wrong. And like what I could have did differently and what I could do better. It's like yo, this is not being and that has nothing to do with you that says nothing about you, your talent, your your ability. You just You just dead person just didn't see you that person or that person saw you and said you weren't that fit. But still, what does that mean in the grand scheme of things, and I think that stops a lot of us from launching our thing, whatever it may be is like we're worried about what other people are gonna think and they're gonna see you fail and it's like, ain't nobody thinking Ain't nobody watching you like that. You are the only one watching yourself like that. And I found that realization will also be very freeing.
Jamila Souffrant 54:52
Yeah. How did your friends and family take on this transformation? So as someone you know, you spent decades As the rich they knew that was about having a good time drinking and presenting themselves a certain way. As you started to change, do you have to navigate those relationships differently? What was going on there?
Rich Jones 55:12
Oh, man. So that's the hardest part. So because right now I'm also in the throes of, of wedding planning, and thinking about who's going to be in my party. And it's interesting, because everyone who's going to be in my party is primarily from these last few years, there are people who have been part of the transformation. And that forced me to think about a lot of the relationships now I'm not doing that whole, like, oh, no, I don't roll it off. You know, I can't roll with all anymore. I still got you know, friends from from college, people that I've met over the course of, of, of work, but I've definitely become a lot more intentional in terms of how I spend my time and and who I spend my time with. Family has been tough, I'm I'm gonna be real about that. Because that's been part of the healing work is navigating childhood trauma, I won't go into all the details about it, but anything horrible, you think it happened, probably happened. And so I've been in this like, ongoing, that's part of what a lot of us do, we're operating. We're like going around and the kid version of us is operating. And we and we don't know it, we don't recognize it, that that's what's happening. But that's what it is. So it's the family part. There's other family members that I'm completely good with, but there but there are folks where, now that I see how they either enabled or missed or didn't pay attention to some really critical things that happened. And I'm aware of those things. It has changed how I how I see them, but I also have to accept like they only knew what they knew at the time. And also getting to a place of understanding like their own situation. Even my mom and my dad like coming from the south que que que had burned down my grandfather's farm, that's part of how our dad ended up in upstate New York, he would go on to have trouble with alcohol, he would go on to looking back had mental health issues. And people just said, Oh, that's just him being in it. Because nobody knew at the time, like that's why even when he was having a stroke, like my mom didn't know, like, what the signs were. And there were other things that people didn't like, at that time, just like, oh, that's just the uncle. That's just the person acting crazy. Whereas like now today, it's a completely different time. So a lot of this has been accepting that like, Yo, I can't change the past, my therapist has a quote, she always says forgiveness is letting go of any hope of changing the past. And I'm still I'm still navigating that with some things, but the family part has definitely been tough. It's the most challenging by far. But I also feel like I can, I can feel the growth, like even when I'm putting together my wedding list, like what that process would have been like before, versus what it's like this time and feeling good about who I'm putting on there. And making decisions based on what I want versus what family might think, I think is is another big distinction too.
Jamila Souffrant 58:07
Rich, tell us what you have going on next. So what's what's your next what what are you trading for next? What's the next thing that you're doing? Or you could be doing nothing, you could be just, you know, relaxing, enjoying life, but let us know what's going on next. And where people can follow your journey and learn more about you.
Rich Jones 58:24
Yeah, so of course, I'm doing more. So I have my last tracking fuel meat of the 2023 campaign coming up. So I'm super excited about that. And then I'm shifting my gears to growing the mental Wealth Track Club. So I've been competing under my own registered track club for the past couple of years. And so it's been cool to win or win or hear them say my name and then say the mental Wealth Track Club. And so I'm actually expanding the track club to anyone who wants to get back into track and field as an adult, anyone who wants to get into track and field or competitive athlete shape, even if they don't step on a track at natural meat. And so that's what I'm mean when I mentioned earlier that I was shifting toward building communities where I talked to so many people, even people in our world where I'm like, You can do this, they're like no, my knee, it's so funny hearing everyone's limiting beliefs. When I talk to them about getting back into check my knee, my family, I don't have time, I'm like, No, you can do this if you want to get into it. So I'm gonna um, by the time this comes out, I'll probably have a one year challenge started for anyone who wants to be competing or in track and field shape by a year from now I want to have a team assembled to compete at the national championships in 2024 in Sacramento, so you can learn more about that at NW track club.com And then everything else even though you can find it on find more balanced.com I'm launching a private membership community for busy professionals who are ready for change. I believe a lot of growth can happen through community a lot of my growth has happened through community. So I'll be getting that off of the ground as well. And what's crazy about that is it's something I thought about a decade ago that Now wasn't the right time then. But now is the right time to finally make that happen. And then the very last thing is I started a newsletter on LinkedIn. That's, that's off to off to a pretty strong start where I've went back to even the way that I used to write as a blogger. I'm like, wow, it's interesting how it comes full circle where where I started as a writer is like, right back to what I'm starting to lean into more now. So I'm really excited about growing both these communities and and also getting back more into writing. I'm finding I really I really enjoyed that process.
Jamila Souffrant 1:00:33
I love that and you're on Instagram as well. Your Instagram handle.
Rich Jones 1:00:37
Oh, that's right. Oh, yeah, that part at rich runs track on on Instagram on threads on X slash Twitter on LinkedIn. So So yeah, so so you'll find me as yeah at Richmond's track across all the platforms.
Jamila Souffrant 1:00:58
Alright, well, I'm going to link all that we'll put all that in the episode show notes, you can follow rich and get in touch. But thank you so much for coming on Being vulnerable, sharing your story. I love this conversation. So thank you.
Rich Jones 1:01:09
Thank you so much for having me and for giving me this space. i There are. It's important people know this. I've thought multiple times over the course of this journey about hitting you up about coming on the podcast. So when you reached out to me, it felt very serendipitous, because I thought you want to talk about a literal journey to launch. I'm literally jumping I'm like, like this is a journey to launch if you want to talk about wine. So I'm so glad I'm so glad that this worked out.
Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers
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