The Epic Dad Podcast

EDP 014: Living Life in the Front Row

January 28, 2020 Jason McCleery / Jon Vroman Episode 14
The Epic Dad Podcast
EDP 014: Living Life in the Front Row
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The Epic Dad Podcast
EDP 014: Living Life in the Front Row
Jan 28, 2020 Episode 14
Jason McCleery / Jon Vroman

Our guest this week is a husband and father, who also happens to be the founder of FrontRowDads.com and host of the Front Row Dads podcast.

His mission is to help high-performing entrepreneurial men be family men with businesses, not businessmen with families. 

In addition to his business and family, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org in 2005, a charity that that creates unforgettable moments for individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses. 

10-years later, he published The Front Row Factor, to share “everything you can learn about living life from those fighting for it.”

Show Notes Transcript

Our guest this week is a husband and father, who also happens to be the founder of FrontRowDads.com and host of the Front Row Dads podcast.

His mission is to help high-performing entrepreneurial men be family men with businesses, not businessmen with families. 

In addition to his business and family, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org in 2005, a charity that that creates unforgettable moments for individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses. 

10-years later, he published The Front Row Factor, to share “everything you can learn about living life from those fighting for it.”

spk_0:   0:00
Why do Chicken keeps only have two doors? Because if they had for they would be chicken sedan.

spk_1:   0:06
This is the epic Dad Podcast Episode number 14 today I want to talk about creating front row Moments. Welcome to the epic dad podcast. I'm your host, Jason Cleary, and I'm here to help you create better relationships, better health and an all around amazing. Each week, I feature interviews with experts to deliver inspiration, motivation, tools and tricks to create the life you love. Epic Dad Podcast is here to help you become your best self as a parent, spouse and all around you want to remove yourself from the drift and start taking intentional steps to become the epic dad you always wanted to be in this podcast. Welcome of Dad's I'm your host, Jason. Clearly thank you so much for listening. I am immensely grateful that you are here for yet another episode. I hope everyone's week has been epic is always I have a great episode for you today. But before we get into that, I wanted to make you aware of a new guy that I created over on their website. I have put together a nice little resource guide for you that has a few of my top recommendations for books and podcasts in the areas of marriage, parenting and personal development. Take a look at the recommendations and even find links to those Resource is straight from the pdf To find that, just head over to the website at Epic dad podcast dot com and putting your name and email, and it goes straight to the guy. As a bonus, you'll also be added to receive a reminder when new podcasts are released. And once again, I want to encourage you to subscribe to you the podcast so that you don't miss any of the great contact that is coming your way soon. Also, if you're looking for a group of like minded men who leave their egos out of the community and help each other grow to you become better fathers, husbands and all around epic men, Then be sure to check out our epic dad community over on Facebook, confined it at Epic Dad, podcast dot com slash community or search for epic dad community in Facebook on the podcast this week I have an incredible conversation with John Roman, host of the front row dad's podcast and founder of Front Row Foundation. What I really like about John is that he isn't afraid to let you know that he is still in the learning process of everything as well. We have an amazing conversation about sharing the value of giving within the family and how to create epic moments, even if those moments don't feel epic at the time. You want to get for fair warning on this episode that we get just slightly a little bit. PG 13. And so while most of our conversations really aren't meant for kids, anyway, this is probably one you don't want to listen to with the little humans around. So with that note, we'll get right into it right after this quick note about today's sponsor. As per the usual, today's episode is brought to you by Audible Audible is giving listeners to the epic that podcast, a free audiobook download with a free 30 day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. As always, I've been digging deep into you a couple audiobooks. I really broke out of the norm this week as I started listening to Ah fiction book, which have not actually listened to in many, many, many years. Probably given that I'm a bit of a fantasy nerd, I have got into the Witcher episodes on Netflix and made me want to go find the books. So I am in the Middle of the Last wish, which is a Witcher guess. Collection of short stories by an dres Sepp Kowski. I'm totally pushing his name, by the way. But yes, it's the set of novels that gave way to the video game and now the series on Netflix. So if you are interested in that or any other audio books, you can go for your free trial at audible trial dot com slash epic dad and now on with the show. Hello If Dad's Our Guest this week is a husband and father who also happens to be the founder of front row, dad's dot com and host of the Front Row Dad's podcast. His mission is to help high performing entrepreneurial men be family men with businesses, not businessmen with families. In addition to his business and family, John founded front row foundation dot warg in 2005 a charity that creates unforgettable moments for individuals who are braving life threatening illnesses. 10 years later, he published the front row factor to share everything he can learn about living life from those fighting for it. Please welcome to the epic Dad. Podcast, John. Roman. Hey, man. Thanks for having me, Jason. Yeah, absolutely. I think I've been following you for quite some time. And one of the things that really drew me to you and your community in general is this philosophy that, you know, you are a family man. First, that just happens to have a business versus a businessman who also has a family. So with that, before we get into anything else, tell me about the Roman household. What? What you looking like these

spk_0:   4:59
days? Well, that's Ah, that's my favorite thing to talk about. It is always an adventure here. Ah, and so what it looks like now is that my beautiful wife, Tatiana and I've been married for 11 years. We have two boys, a 10 year old and a five year old tiger and ocean oceans just about to turn five. And it's a full schedule, you know, they're both in school right now, which is wonderful time of year way all celebrate the fact that they get so much love and attention in there in those learning environments. And we love our time with, um, I'm I'm hard at work either on the charity or with the dad stuff during the day when they are off to school. And my wife, Tatiana, does a lot Thio to serve the family. She's sort of head of health care in our house, all this food and, ah, literally, you know, she's in Dahomey, apathy and all sorts of natural ways to heal the body. So she's usually studying or whipping up some magic potion on dhe. It's a lot of fun around here.

spk_1:   5:57
That's very with that. You know, I just wanted to One of the reasons I want to bring you on was, uh, the idea of charity and service is a big foundation of, you know, our family and the epic dad community. And so I wanted to bring you on to talk about your foundation, and you know how it got started and why it became such a big focus for you. Well,

spk_0:   6:21
you know. Ah, the charity started back in 2005 and the reason that that became a huge focus was on. I give all the credit, too. Um, Tony Robbins event called Date With Destiny. Yeah, which it was six days, and I was there and just looking at your life. And I had achieved some success when it came to, you know, my business. I had made a certain amount of money and bought a house and had a car in the girlfriend and felt like I had checked some boxes. You know, you're kind of on a quest for that. At least I was as a young man and and then he just brought up this no really obvious point now it seems, but it wasn't so obvious to me at the time, which was What are you doing to give back what you doing to give to the world? How are you contributing? And so I just sort of playing with the question, and there's a couple of things that happened in my life all around the same time. That kind of led to the birth of that one was I was at a concert in the back row and noticed the difference between the front row in the back row and just was fascinated by that. The energy right, the people that were participating in the front row and having an extraordinary experience and other people that looked like they didn't want to be, and they wanted to be anywhere other than there. I thought, It's not fascinating part of life. That same thing could be happening. Same concert, same song. Same whether you know that we're all facing or whether it's inside or outside, whatever it is. And it's like radically different experiences in life. Just kind of walked away and said, I want to live life in the front row and that was lingering in my head. And then my buddy challenged me to run a 53 mile marathon. Uh, I said, Well, let's raise money for charity as we did it And then that question from who do we raise money for? It turned into If we if we created our own charity, what would that look like? And I was just a playful question. But then the more we played about it played with it and we came up with the idea Front Row Foundation. What if we help people who have a life threatening illness to go see the live one of their dreams from the front row. And then what if we take our training in the personal growth space? Like all about mindset, we bring it to them and teach them the tools that a lot of people don't have access to. It was only a couple 1000 people Tony Robbins event percent and millions and right billions around the world. So I said, How can we expand that the reach there? And then we started and that was it. We sent out a letter, we raised some money and we just kicked off and people was asked me like How is it how you start a charity? And I'm like, That's easy. Starting one is easy, Ah, running one for, you know, for an extended period of time. But that's different because it's hard work. It's like people like I love cooking someone open a restaurant, all right, Not the reason to open the restaurant. You have to let you have to love running a business to run a restaurant, not cooking. You could be a chef. So anyway, we started a charity. It's been a great ride and it's been wonderful because it constantly keeps me asking the question of What can I do to help? Right?

spk_1:   9:00
So that's obviously been driven in you and been a big part of your family values and those kind of things. What What steps are you taking to make charitable giving and service to your community? Such a high value to your kids and your family?

spk_0:   9:15
Well, that's an interesting one, and I'm still playing with that. Like I'm still figuring that out. I don't know the answer. I don't have a silver bullet there, but what I think is important is just exposing your kids to things simple. Is that right? It is literally the metaphor of it's a buffet. Let him try everything. And I'm a big subscribers like I will make you try something. I'll let you decide, right? That's kind of my philosophy is you know, Tiger didn't want to play basketball and I was like, I insisted that he go to the first couple practices is that after you do this 1st 8 weeks session, you can decide And of course, at the end of eight weeks he's like, I love it. I'm so grateful I did it. My job is to sometimes not say What do you want to do? It's to say this is what we're going to do. Yeah, and then let him decide, Right? So I do the same thing with with all parts of life, including charitable stuff. It's like, this is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to help. I'm gonna write this personal letter. We're gonna donate money in a certain way. I give you a practical example of how this shows up in the Roman family. So I'll take my kids to the arcade, right? So Dave and Buster's whatever and I'll give him a or the one that we have near our houses. There's, ah, give this big cup full of coins. Okay, the laser tag place and I will say, For every game you play, you have to give away one token to another kid in the place. My kids look at me like I'm insane when I say this because there's an awkwardness. There's an uncomfortableness, and it's even more interesting that is, that when they do start giving them away to other kids, kids will look at him like there's all sorts of reactions. One kid will look and go. No, thank you. Like I don't know what you're right. Like like you're That's weird. Nobody gives away their coins here, they walk away. But that's actually an experience adults have in life to where? Just because you want to give a gift to somebody doesn't mean they're gonna receive it wonderfully. Yeah, right. Which I think is a really important lesson to learn in life. Some people are so blown away. I've had parents walk up in the comment to Tiger comment to me and say, Oh my gosh, your son is amazing, right? Like that's incredible what he just did. And now he hears that right? And I've created a situation that was uncomfortable for him at first. But then he gets those those that recognition, and then I start to see it show up in other areas like, for example, were walking through the streets of Philadelphia one time and my son's got a balloon, and he sees this other kid who is crying. My son unprompted, walks over and gives that kid his balloon stops crying, and the parents just like, just bestow all sorts of love to tiger, right? Like just You're amazing. Oh, my gosh. Like now. Years later, he will look back at that dango. Remember that moment when I gave that kid that balloon? And it's like those experiences are how we we learned. So my goal is just a try to create a cz many scenarios as possible that can allow that to occur. And I fail all the time. By the way, I teach all the wrong values and demonstrate wrong behaviors. And just to be clear, here I am a massive work in progress, right? So I always say, I didn't start front row dads because I was crushing it, and I wanted everybody to do what I was doing. I started it because I was getting crushed and I wanted to learn and on to get answers. So I said, I'm gonna start interviewing people and learning with guys, and that's what we did.

spk_1:   12:21
Yeah, and I think there's so many different perspectives on a lot of things out there that you know, being able to talk to so many people and getting you know, I'll take a little bit of information from this guy and I'll take a little bit, but every information from this guy in this area of life and all kind of mix and match it and see what works for me. I think that's something that, um, a lot of that's gonna really gather from your both the podcast and the work that you're doing.

spk_0:   12:46
Yeah, yeah, it's I think it literally is like it's not a one size fit off the conversation about Is it public school or private school? It's both. It's Where is your kid? Thrive. It's not about spanking or not spanking. In my opinion, it's not. I think it's literally about what is your philosophy. And does it work right? You can't parent every kid the same way you can't. You can't treat every woman the same way or every partnership the same way. You cannot treat every business the same way. There are principles. There are core values, of course, that can transcend from one to another. But ma'am, we've got to be dialed in enough to know what's going on here, right? People will say, Well, hey, what age should I talk with my kids about that? And I'd say, when you when you really really know your kids, you'll have a much better sense of what to do. I find that the times that we asked that question of what's appropriate here is when we're just not plugged in enough. I still ask the question when it comes up less, Yeah, right, Because I'm plugged in. I'm like, No, no, I I know my kid. And I know this is the right thing at the right time. Yeah,

spk_1:   13:52
for sure. And you know, you've been kind of prompting these, um, helping your kids find charitable ways and service of ways. And you talk a lot about including your family and your kids in your work. Are they involved in the charity? It'll

spk_0:   14:11
So we have this campaign that we do, uh, which we call fan mail. And so when we have a recipient, I'll give you a great example. So just last week, there was a woman named Valerie who you'll will will put out her interview her show. We interview her prior to her experience and after and then we release it on. Our second podcast is just called facing life and so on. The facing Life Podcast War will release Valerie's by the end of September early October. And she is. Ah, Mom of two had battled very intense cancer. Breast cancer was told at one point, you know, she had you recorded video for your kids, right? This is And she said, You know, I'm gonna fight. I'm gonna win. I'm gonna battle here, right? I'm This is not going to get me. And she has a beautiful, brilliant story. So we introduced people like Valerie to our community, which we call our front row family. Right? All the people that support the charity and we ask those people in the community to write letters of love letters fan mail to Valerie. So Valerie, and you could see this in the video that we put online. She'll open up a box. It's got hundreds of letters, pictures from kids that they drew. And it does. It doesn't have to Some. Some of the letters are really simple. Hey, heard about your story. My family is deeply inspired. We all just wanted to send you some love and well wishes and, you know, sign the whole family. Sometimes I write the letter. Sometimes we record videos is actually a couple of videos online with me and my boys. And we are sending a video to the recipient that our team plays on the day of the event. So, like, they're this woman was going to go see the Backstreet Boys, right? She and her girlfriends have seen the Backstreet Boys since they were 30. Team. They love him. And so she was gonna go the Backstreet Boys. Well, we send in videos from our team with kids and all sorts of stuff. And, hey, Valerie, it's a great day today. We're all just sending you lots of love. Have an awesome time. We're thinking about you from Austin, Texas. Gone. And I teach my boys about the power of those words in the power of showing up for somebody, even when you don't know that because it's the right thing to do. Not because Valerie can ever do anything for you. Not because Valerie's gonna say thank you, but because giving to another person right is an important thing to dio. Selflessly giving without any recognition, for a percent are hoping that you'll get an accolade er an award like just for the sake of giving, that's it. So we just try to include them in all those different things that we d'oh and I view contribution. Not just as looked, some of people view it is 501 c three. Ah, we're not giving any 501 c three nonprofit. There's a lot to waste to give if your neighbors in need and you go over and mow their lawn or bring them cookies or whatever. That's wonderful contribution, Tiger. Learning to take the trash out right or help mom with the dishwasher. That's wonderful contribution That does not have to be. We don't have to go to the normal places that people think. Like if your kids haven't volunteered at a you know, animal shelter or a homeless shelter, you're not failing as a parent right now. Can that be great? Sure, it's wonderful. It's a great experience. But I also think there's lots of ways to give in the world. There's lots of people that need hope. There's lots of grand parents, especially in this country, that get left behind and put him in a nursing home and forget about him like they don't exist, right? Teaching a kid to care for a grand parent is a wonderful thing, not just like once year showing up for Christmas and like there's Grandma or Grandpa. No, it's like it's more than that,

spk_1:   17:48
Yeah, I think that, you know, teaching Children that you don't even necessarily have to leave the home to contribute and service to the people who matter to you. I think that's that's a great thing to have been. Still,

spk_0:   18:00
Children, Some people are contributing at a level 10. They think they're not. And I'm like, Hey, that's a contribution. Like, Oh, actually, I am contributing at a high level. Go Exactly. Sometimes we just need to change our perception of what we're already doing. Yeah,

spk_1:   18:13
and I think that's something me personally, I have to be veterinary, rewarding or at least acknowledging to my Children that Hey, thank you for doing that, because that really helps our family in this way and this way in this way. So thank you. You know, so that that piece is sometimes missing, but is definitely

spk_0:   18:32
important important in our house. We don't call him chores. We calm contributions. Yeah, Yeah.

spk_1:   18:37
Some parents, especially of the kind of preteen teen age range, might be starting to get a little bit of push back if they're trying to get their kids involved with some service projects or some of those kind of things. Are you? You already mentioned a little ways of how your kids they're starting to just display those values already. But you have any suggestions on how parents might be able to? I don't want to say coax, but you know, I get it. Help their kids get the the idea right? I

spk_0:   19:09
think there's a couple of pieces here where somebody just needs to take inventory, right? So dads need to be honest with themselves and need to give an honest rating number one of like, how much volunteering have your kids seen? You do know how many third service projects have they witnessed you doing right? So it's like what? We wonder why we tell our kids to get off their phones and stop watching TV and read or do art or all those things. And I'm like, When's the last time your kids are your reading? When's the last time they saw you doing heart? When's the last time they saw you on your phone? What what behaviors air we modeling for our kids our families like our businesses, they have cultures, right? And what culture are you creating? What values are you clarifying to them and bringing to the surface right? Like one of the a great book is called Culture by Design, and this book talks about fundamentals. And the man who wrote the book talked about in the companies that he is built as these fundamentals, which our values and then how those values are, uh, how they show up. What does it look like to live out that value? What is an action? That's an example of you. How does it look specifically? Okay, so you value respect? Well, lots of people have different versions of what respect looks like. No right, you value giving. But lots of people have different versions of what Israel giving right and so defining them in your family is important talking about them, talking about your values, living them. If you create a culture where that is happening, it's less likely that you're gonna have to bribe coerce whatever your child to or your teen or whomever it is to get involved. And sometimes changing or creating culture takes time. So first of all, If you've done no contribution, no service projects, you have never seen you do it. You haven't been talking about it that all of a sudden you're like you should do this. Don't be shocked if you get pushed back and just be patient with the kids and just realize that culture takes a little time to change. And it might not be this year. It might be next year. You look at it is your lung project to say these were the things I want to start demonstrating. These were the things I'd like to start doing as a family. And yes, you might need toe like insist. If our If our kids start watching more TV or playing more games and they build up a bad habit and we see it, we're like, we got to cut that off. We go through screen time detox in our house, and, uh, it's always a very difficult thing when you make a transition, but it will get better over time. Eventually, we've had 30 days at a time when we did zero screens and by two weeks in the kids aren't even asking for it. They don't even don't even like they ever existed. Just took two weeks of withdraw, right? It's like a drug addict on you're going through withdraw. When we make massive changes, it's bound to happen. So sometimes, yes, you need to insist. Sometimes you need to take a look at yourself and ask What is your culture of your home? And I think those are good places to start. And

spk_1:   21:50
is that something you've done with your family? Intentionally sat down to talk about? Hey, this is what we value in our family, and this is how we demonstrate.

spk_0:   21:58
And here let me be so let's be honest, right? Like, this is not me pitching ideals, things that I wish I did, things that I did once in my life. These are things that I regularly struggle with. Let's be honest, right? Like we start. How many times have we done this? We're like we get a great idea. Were like Right here is we're gonna do every night at dinner. We're gonna do like this, this and this, and then we do it and it lasts a couple weeks, right? Yeah, right. And then it falls off every night. We're gonna journal it. Dinner right, and it's like we start that and it happens for a couple weeks, then it falls off. We all do it. It happens, right? And some of it's an experiment. You're like, Hey, we're gonna get this shot. It sticks sticks. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Some of it's like we need toe circle back to that ritual. We need to bring it back into focus. That's why I teach in front row Dad's. It's not always about learning something new, its about remembering something true so often times in our lives. It's not always about adding the thing. I never knew the thing I never learned those were exciting, But it's about just like men that usedto work when we used to go around the table and talk about our failure on our front row moment or our peach in our pit or are high in our low. Or however you want to say it right. Those were great moments. We got away from that. Let's bring that back right. Let's let's let's bring that back. Hey, you miss a couple days in the gym, bring it back right, like it's all about bringing into focus these habits so, yes, we do it. We've experimented with lots of different ways. We keep bringing it back. We've written on bathroom mirrors. I've had moments where I said a word of the week. I wrote it on the bathroom here, and every time Tiger was brushing his teeth would talk about that word. We'd spell the word. We'd sound out the word. We would talk about the word. Where did that show up? Tell me a story of where you saw somebody being respectful today. Where were you respectful this week to your mom? You know what I saw? I saw you being respectful the moment you did this. So we would do that. We'd write it on the bathroom mirror, right? There's other ones where you put him on index cards and we rotate one through every Friday. We have. Ah, you know, Ah, time when we pull out a card, it would be like he'd selected. I fan them out like card deck and he pulling out. And there was the card, and it would say a word. And we talk about that word place and sometimes informal to where you can literally just you think of something and you go, You know, I really feel that our family values this and just fried away in that moment. You just bring it up, You guys, How would you define? Um, compassion? How do you guys define it, Tiger? How do you define compassion? Ocean. Have you ever heard that word? Compassion, right, Mama? How do you define compassion and we just talk about it and it just literally spur of the moment, right? Those air ways, in order to constantly bring these values into the conversation. But if we're not doing the work on ourselves, our families, they're not gonna reap the rewards because the leadership starts with us if you're not getting what you want in your family, Um, and I'm not talking about creating little, many use, right? I'm not talking about miniature versions of you, right? They are their own people, right? So we want to make sure that they become their own people. But But if you are not literally pursuing excellence yourself if you're not growing, if you're not clear as a dad, then your family, just like your business, would be Iraq. No. And

spk_1:   25:05
I think that's part. You know, they talked about the doings on there for a couple weeks and then and then falling off. And I think, when way see this all the time with dad, Zeal, fitness, health, whatever it might be. But e think that a lot of guys think that. Okay, If something stops or I forget to do something for a short time, then I Well, it's just done.

spk_0:   25:26
Absolutely. Yeah, That's how we treat a lot of things. Yeah, I am, You know, alcohol. Not gonna you know. And then all of sudden, we have a beer, like, Wow, I won 10. Exactly. Yeah. So the idea

spk_1:   25:39
of creating you know, front row moments within your everyday life is really interesting to me to, um what types of things are you doing as a family to create front room moments within the family? And not just, you know, these big events and those kind of things. Because in my mind, you know, these these little things, all these little epic moments, right? Can really add up to an amazing childhood for your kid's amazing life. So what kind of things are you in stealing your family to make these small front row moments?

spk_0:   26:13
Yeah, that's me. And that's such a great question for all of us to explore. And I wrote a book on it, and I'm still exploring. I'm still figuring it out right? There are moments when I feel like I'm a better moment maker for people of my charity than I am for my wife. Yeah, right. So a lot of it is being honest with yourself, and it's it's having the awareness and the, you know, the courage to address currently where you are with that, Um, I think the beauty is in the little things. I think it is in the, you know, it's it's underestimating at times the power of playing Tickle Monster. You know, with my boys where, uh, look, do they love going to the the You know the huge jump zones will not do. They love going to the water park. Do they love going to Disneyland or any right? Do they love travel and all they dio they love going out for ice cream. They love going out to eat dinner. They love all that stuff and those air you could go as big as you want, right? Disney's pretty big right for a lot of people. That's pretty big trip lot to that lot of magic in there. But what I love man is I love that we've been biking lately after dinner. I love that, you know. And by the way, I gave up alcohol year ago and I have to tell you, alcohol was ruining my life, and I was not. Anybody would look at me. They wouldn't be like He's an alcoholic. He has a problem. Like I never had a d. U. I was never any. That alcohol was ruining my life. Alcohol was stealing moments away from my kids. Um, and it was me. I He's out there and they're like, I enjoy a beer and I'm not gonna give it up. And I'm like, No judgment, Great. Everybody you do. You write like I'm just saying, Honestly speaking, this was killing my life. I would rather have a beer after dinner, then go for a bike ride with my kids and I prioritize. I would find myself wanting to put my kids down quickly to go to bed because my beer was getting warm. Yeah, I was like, That's messed up, man. That's messed up, and I had to call myself out on that right? I had to get Riel about what was going on. And now we've been spiking as a family after dinner and I'm like, This is so easy. But it's so cool that we're just getting this time together. Yeah, I've been playing more games, more board games and thanks to the guys in Front Road, as our brothers are the members, we have these monthly chats. And then we have these bands, these small groups of four guys that get together. One of my band mates, you know, is we say, band like band of brothers and also literally like a rock band, right? Like we have. Ah, we have a band name, right? And and, uh, I'm the front man of the band. That's the leader of the band. And you get together once a month for two hours. We do it in person every single month. We never miss. Actually, I take that back. Let me rephrase that. That is not true. We didn't miss one month. We were all out of the country for the entire month. But But we doing virtually right and Ah, but I'll tell you one of our band members plays games with his kids almost every night. Now. My bar was like if I played board games with my kids once a month, I was like a great dad because that's kind of the model I grew up with was my dad. Once a month with plot aboard, Give him play with us House like, damn, you play every night with your kids and just created this new possibility for me. And I'm like those air magic moments, right? I remember. Remember, Tiger, being like you never play games, I'm like, That's not true. It played with you last month on right, and although I know that they will probably never be satisfied with the amount of time, I guess they always want more that I recognize there's another level there for me. So board games, bike rides, um, you know Ah ah, little moments Where playing drums as an example, turning on music and dancing in the in the house. And I hate dancing, really just being silly, the tickling with the kids, all those things to me. It's like, what are the love languages of my Children and my wife and how can I do little fix? My wife just got back from a two week trip to Russia. And Ah, this is both the success story at a failure. By the way, I should mention I got flowers. We went to the grocery store. We bought her favorite coconut water. We bought two bars of soap. You know, my little one picked out soap, and we had a new iPhone for her and a little cup of tea with Camille, And she was getting at midnight. We were all gonna be sleeping, and we set it out and we wrote notes. So Ocean wrote a note that was like, Hey, after the long flight and I helped him write the note. He's four going on five that, you know, after a long flight, he signed his name on the back. Um, you probably want to take a shower here. Some fresh soap, right? Hey, we probably realized after a long flight you might be dehydrated. Here's some coconut water in the fridge. We thought we killed that, right. Like that was a great moment. I got my kids involved. We went shopping for it. We set it up. Those are little things that here's the failure I forgot. Gifts are not my wife's love language. So she she actually didn't like, thank me enough for it in my mind, and I felt a little hurt by that. And then one of my buddies is like, Well, yeah, but his gifts, her love language. And I'm like, No, and he's like, Oh, right, there you go, Right. That's that's an example of both a front row moment and also a failure in the process of doing that,

spk_1:   31:04
huh? Well, I love that you can share your your failures as well. A couple things I wanna kind of impact in that, uh, one, you know, going back to the for my dad's. The group's the band's. Um, I think a lot of our society is missing, that the male adult male relationships are not as prevalent as they used to be, in my opinion. And it's much harder to to gain those after college say right? Yeah, I had Ah,

spk_0:   31:39
is it harder? Uh,

spk_1:   31:41
correct. Yeah, I know, but I think from, um Or

spk_0:   31:48
maybe it is because you're not in proximity. Is that what you mean? Like

spk_1:   31:50
college? Same place, right? Exactly. you're, like, stuck in your house or the job. Yeah, you kind of go from. I mean, you have your work buddies, and then you go home, right? Um, for most guys. And I think finding those those places where you can be vulnerable and open with guys, you know, fully vulnerable with other with other males is is

spk_0:   32:15
a little far, you know, between these days, but yeah. Can we talk about that for a second? Yeah, absolutely. I think this is huge. And let me I mean, it's gonna maybe a little soap boxy here, and I apologize because I don't like getting into, like, the preachy mode, But let me not let me let me actually catch myself before I d'oh and say, Here's my experience Two years ago Give you a specific example. Okay. Two years ago, I didn't have a band. Now I d'oh, the band is once a month, two hours in person. We have four guys and we have established this is no business talk. This is family only. Has your marriage house. What's up with your kids? What's going on now? There's something really with your business that's dramatically hurting your family. life. You talk about it. But this isn't like how to grow business by 10% is not gonna make a difference to your family, right? Kids aren't Don't care about that. You could pay the bills, put a roof over their had. Great. Here's the thing. Uh, this band has changed my life. I I believe with all of my heart that there is nothing in my world that has been more impactful on my marriage and my ability to be a great dad than these. This small group of men. Now I lead a big group of men, right? But this small group of men that we meet with regularly we have established that in that relationship, we're gonna talk about what's working and where we need help and that we have trust on that. We could talk about it openly. Now, do we have to say everything? No, this isn't a requirement toe. Reveal your deepest fetish and you know, like what your wife did. And I think here's thing sometimes we do right, it's very openly talk about sex. We talk about it. Here's the two years ago. I now know I sucked at sex. My wife did not want have sex with me because I sucked at it, right? I didn't have the technique. I didn't have the stamina. I was doing things wrong. And I thought I was doing him right. I had a big ego. And now I know because my boys called me on it because I was explaining how we have this communication problem. And we realized it wasn't communication problem. It was a bedroom problem, right? And, uh, and this is huge. Their effort. A book. I read a second book. Uh, you know, I I learned they referred me to a podcast and all these things all of a sudden my sex life is amazing now, amazing. And my only Not just for me I'm talking about my wife would tell you the same thing. Objection. Telling all of our friends. She's like, I don't know what happened to my husband like last year became like this sex God in my life. And I'm like, that feels pretty good. It feels pretty. But here's the thing. I was not having really conversations before that we hadn't created a platform. We hadn't created a container. A space with permission to have this because look, I got buddies. I'm going over their house watching. Whatever UFC having a party. You do whenever it's very difficult to be standing in the kitchen to be like your hand house. Wait, How's your marriage, right? Like, honey, are you guys having good sex? Like some people are like? That's exactly how I talked to my buddies. Like even with my buddies that were really open with that. The space to have those conversations was so very important. So I think the most important thing a man could do no matter what you do it doesn't have to be through a group. Doesn't have to be through front row. Dad's is not to be. You literally get three of your buddies together two hours a month, right. Each guy leads 1/4. So guy number one leads Q one. You picked the location. You set the time you send out the calendar, invite you determine what's gonna go on in that meeting, you determine the agenda. It is your meeting for three months And it guy number two. He leads the next three months. He picks the location, he determines the agenda. He leads everything he owns that meeting for the next three months and you rotate through and at one of your very first meetings you establish How are we gonna show up for each other? What is going to make this unique? What is the culture of this brotherhood or this band, or whatever you wanna call it right in this group? What? Why are we here? What do we all want? How honest do we want to be with each other? If we have a problem with each other, how do we bring it up? If one guy in here thinks the other guy's got a drinking problem, how do you bring that up? Like we could say, We want to be honest, but do you really, really want me to be honest? Like some people like? Tell me what you want to tell me everything and I can handle it, and then they can't handwrite. You know, that's what then there's nothing more important than that. I genuinely believe that. I think

spk_1:   36:22
it's a great idea and the way you have it set up, I think it's amazing. Um, I think what a lot of and one of the things that I hear a lot when I talk to other guys about this kind of thing is that they don't quote unquote have time. And for me, anybody, Any time anybody says, you know I don't have time for that, it's It's always I don't have that as a priority tiling. And so you know, or they feel guilt for And I know a lot of lot of Dad's that do this. They feel guilt for taking either time or resource is away from their family so that they can do something for themselves.

spk_0:   37:03
Yeah, and yeah, I totally get that. It makes sense sense. I say that when I talk about the retreat, I'm like, I get the get the irony here, Yeah, I'm asking you to leave your family to be a better dad. When the whole thing is about, I need to be home or we'll look. There is a balance toe. All that And if we've ever grown anything like a business, we always know that there's working on your business and in your business, right. And if you take a step back and read the book, get the idea, get the research, get the strategy, ask a better question. If you take some time to plan, then it's that it's the sharpening of the axe analogy or metaphor or whatever, right? That's well told story, right? You keep banging on that tree with a dull axe and the one guy takes a step aside and sharpens his and right that that's exactly it. We have to have that time. How much time you got to decide that? Right? Everybody is to decide. How much time is that? But most men I meet have read 500 books on leadership and zero books on parenting. Yeah, they read all about how to be more productive with their time, right? Or or be more effective in their world, they've got bio hacks coming out the ass, but they don't know where to lick when they get in bed with their wife. Like, truly like, we think we're somehow born great at sex. We think we're born and you know what else? That here's a big grape of mine. We did. I hear you guys like all you got to do is show up and love your kids, right? You just gotta show up and love your kids are like. No, that's not it. That's a baseline. You gotta start there. Yeah, you should love your kids. But beyond that mean there's so much more. We've got to be involved, right? We got to be involved. We have to realize that our it's not like we send our kids away to get educated and then they come home to us. You are their primary education, and you send your kids away for secondary education for supplemental education. Well,

spk_1:   38:51
I think if you're, you know, being more involved, you can You can spot these things that there note either Really good at we're really interested in. And then you can find ways to cultivate that and grow those interests to something that is, you know, maybe they want to start a business or whatever it might be. And you can find ways to insert yourself into their life and help them

spk_0:   39:13
grow exactly it. This isn't engaged. This is showing up. That one. What's the biggest thing you gotta show up? That's a starting place is gonna be there. You gotta be involved, right? And I'm Buckley out of buddy in my band called me out on that. He says You know, you talk about being a great dad, but, you know, and that's basically what he was saying. You talk about being great, dad, but when it comes to like putting right rubber to the road making it happen, spending the time doing the things, there's a disconnect there. I was like, You're right Like I talk about family first, but it's not actually happening. Yeah,

spk_1:   39:49
well, John, thank you very much for your time, man. I know we're getting a little long here and I want to be respectful of your time. But where? How? How couldn't my listeners learn a little bit more about, you know, and get involved in both the front of foundation and front row dads and kind of go from there?

spk_0:   40:06
Everything's online. There's one main website. You can kind of reach it all out. His front row factor dot com, straight to the dad stuff would be front row dad's dot com. Considering your audience here in front row, Dad's dot com is the place, and we've got a podcast to shows coming out a week, and I think your podcast is great. I think wherever you're going to get content right Yeah, Try it out. Take a listen. See what you vibe with and like, You know, I have a buddy who's in a couple buddies in the dad space, and one of the things we laugh about is that for us, it's like we just wanna help each other because we realize that this is not about Well, there's hundreds of millions of people, right? And I have 120 in my group. This isn't about scarcity. This isn't a competition to grab market space in that right? This is This is about Look, we we need to not only leave a better world for our kids, we need to live better kids for our world. Both are important, right? Uh, I I do believe that we are. I think this is important, and this is sort of a call to action is that if you really start paying attention, doing some basic math if you happen to have not been hearing this recently, is like we I believe, and I subscribe to the fact that we're in the middle of what is the sixth great mass extinction of our world. I believe that. And all you have to do is look at the numbers. You look at the collapsing oceans, you look at the reports that are being issued, um, about the state of the planet, how in the next 10 years they'll beam or weight of plastic in our ocean than there will be fish thes air bit thes are These aren't like conspiracy theory, things these air like that's a fact, right, that many are not disagreeing with these air like just fax. And you go, uh, these are things that are concerning. All right, What is the big What is the threat to your family? If you're a protector and a provider for your family, what is the true threat? Right, if you can. If you can pay the bills and put to the roof of the roof over their head, what's the true threat? It's not terrorism. It is not. It's There's other things. It's actually the food we're putting in our mouths. It's environmental issues, the things that ah and we share them talk about this in the group that, you know, these are the things we need to be thinking about. So I just I say all that because I commend you and your community for stepping up and doing the heavy lifting here. This isn't about, you know. Look, can you make millions? Sure, Should you grow big? Business is great. All that's fine, but not at the expense of our family. We have to show up there and you're doing such great work in that space. And I thank you for that. So I think you appreciate you, but it

spk_1:   42:33
humbly thank you for that and thank you for everything you do in the front row. Dad's I Like I said, I've been listening to your podcasts and started now and phenomenal. I love everything you're doing, so I definitely appreciate you being on the show. Thank you very much, John. Have a great day. Thanks, buddy. Today's podcast was once again sponsored by Audible Get a free audiobook downloads and 30 day free trial at www audible trial dot com slash epic Dad with over 180,000 times to choose from, you're gonna find one for your iPhone android Kendall or three player that you'll love. Thank you for listening to this week's podcast. All the leaks for John and the Front Row dads for around Food Front Row Foundation will be available on the show. Notes for the episode at Epic Dad podcast dot com slash 014 You'll also find links to our Facebook community if you're looking for a place to connect with other dads who are working towards making their lives epic head over there or two epic Dad podcast dot com slash community, and you'll be sent straight to the group page, where you can request access on next week's episode. We talked to Justin, vet of the Daddy Saturday Foundation, so that is a great, great conversation we had about making yet more for a real moments as a dad epic fashion. So be sure to check that out, and we will see you next week. Remember, if you want to support what I'm doing here, head over to Epic Dad podcast com slash review. To subscribe and leave a review over on I teams and also do the same stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts weed from So until next time, haven't epic day