Foodservice for Thought

Jason Wange - The Struggle and Success is REAL (Part 2)

March 14, 2023 Karey Clements & Justin Olivares Season 5 Episode 10
Jason Wange - The Struggle and Success is REAL (Part 2)
Foodservice for Thought
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Foodservice for Thought
Jason Wange - The Struggle and Success is REAL (Part 2)
Mar 14, 2023 Season 5 Episode 10
Karey Clements & Justin Olivares

THE Foodservice for Thought Podcast is back and we've got a humdinger of a two part return episode. Jason Wange of the Foodservice Power Plant and a million other things, joins us to talk about some real stuff...his journey, his struggle and how is helping bring people in our industry together. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want some meatballs.

Link to IG - podcast -

Justin IG -


Produced by FH&W

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast. 

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast. 

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast.

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

Show Notes Transcript

THE Foodservice for Thought Podcast is back and we've got a humdinger of a two part return episode. Jason Wange of the Foodservice Power Plant and a million other things, joins us to talk about some real stuff...his journey, his struggle and how is helping bring people in our industry together. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want some meatballs.

Link to IG - podcast -

Justin IG -


Produced by FH&W

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast. 

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast. 

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

Forbes Hever & Wallace, Inc. produces the Foodservice for Thought podcast.

Please rate, follow and share the podcast. Help us introduce the characters and characteristics of the foodservice / restaurant industry to others.

What does people plus food service plus conversation equal? The food service for thought podcast produced by Forbes, Eva and Wallace and hosted by Carrie Clements and Justin Alverez. The bimonthly podcast connects the food service industry through in depth conversations with chefs, restaurant equipment suppliers, food service establishment owners, and so many others that make up our wonderful industry. If you like food people and great conversation, we think you will enjoy the food service for thought podcast.

Unknown Speaker  0:58  
We you know, Shannon, my wife Carrie right before I met you, I actually I joined the board and I was

Unknown Speaker  1:06  
voted on to the board and July of 2016. And my first Mopsy board meeting was supposed to be December of that year, I think in Atlanta. And in November, my wife Shannon had two heart attacks in three days. And so I couldn't make that meeting. And,

Unknown Speaker  1:23  
you know, that was one of the hardest things we've experienced, of course, as a family and Shannon and I.

Unknown Speaker  1:30  
And it was a wickedly hard period of time. I'm not gonna lie to anybody and say, oh, yeah, we coasted 30. Can me it was brutal. Yeah. But I went into it saying,

Unknown Speaker  1:42  
This feels devastating. I don't know what it means for Shannon, I don't know what it means for us or the kids. But we are going to find a way to be closer together coming on the other end of this. I don't know what that looks like. But that's what we're going to do. And that looked like therapy for CNI. It looked like therapy for our daughter who experienced that moment really, really heavy and painfully. It looked like us. Instead of eating dinner around the dining room table, we ended up eating it in the living room playing games for about two and a half years.

Unknown Speaker  2:16  
And so there was I don't know if that answers your question. You know, it's when I was unemployed, when COVID hit, I was leaving my rent firm. That's our peak. And because of that, because the energy that I needed to give there, and to my crew here at home, I wasn't able to sustain both anymore. And I went to my partners and I said, you guys, I don't know, Shannon to come to me, and said, You know, I appreciate everything you've done for us for 12 years, but it seems like the business often comes first. And when when when did we come first? And it was a wonderful question. And I went to my partners a week later or two weeks later, we had a partners meeting. And I said, guys, I don't know what I'm doing next. But I know it can't be this any longer. We've put in a lot of time, it's been wonderful. And

Unknown Speaker  3:02  
I just need to move where my energy is. And my partners were great. But we you know, so I was we planned like this eight month transition, I think it was, and then the last day I was going to be there and getting ready to come to Carmel was March 20 2020. And that's COVID has started kind of the week before. So all of a sudden, I'm unemployed and I was unemployed for 10 weeks.

Unknown Speaker  3:24  
And you know, the positivity to me, there's an element of I could have asked a question that says, Man, why does my luck suck so much? Why do I have such crappy timing? Why does why does this stuff happen to me? Or?

Unknown Speaker  3:39  
And there's times where I do that.

Unknown Speaker  3:42  
But that moment in time, I thought how do we make something go to this?

Unknown Speaker  3:48  
Like, what's the opportunity here and you know, what the opportunity ended up being? I got 10 weeks at home with my family.

Unknown Speaker  3:57  
I got to start sharing, I had energy and space to share my story with with the industry and offer some tools and and that's been quite life giving for me and us. I really enjoy getting to relate to my industry friends on a little bit more personal level and get to care for people. So I hope that answers your question. I don't know if it does. Yeah, it does the the idea of always look at the bright side, you know,

Unknown Speaker  4:29  
you know, whatever. I'm on the right side of the grass. Go ahead, Justin. Yeah, no, exactly that I think I think people associate positivity with trying to manifest a bunch of make believe or fake positive things in your life. And I think the start of positivity can be just the absence of negativity, right? You don't have to try to sell yourself that everything is great in your life and everything is perfect, but you can at least stop with some of the the negative

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
self talk that we all have in our head, and just the negative outlook on everything and kind of if you can slow that down a little bit, then I think you can open up the yourself in your world to just the kind of organic positivity as it happens. And it doesn't come in balloons and champagne, popping and everything. It's just sort of little moments. And maybe it's stuff you'll look back on and reflect. But I try to, I try to view that as you know, you can't fake positivity, but you can slow yourself down from the absence of negativity. Yeah, great. I love it. Justin

Unknown Speaker  5:38  
Carey. I'm thinking of the Grinch where his heart grew to sizes right now listening to you?

Unknown Speaker  5:48  
Well, if it's any, if it's any consolation, I still hate everything about everybody.

Unknown Speaker  5:54  
I don't like I don't like anything. I

Unknown Speaker  5:58  
just, I think it's a beautiful point is.

Unknown Speaker  6:02  
So often we all have those voices in our head, about what we're not, or the ways we haven't become enough. Or, you know, I could give you a million examples of how I'm a crummy dad at times. And, you know, I mean, I've been I told Shannon recently, like, you know, to middle schoolers, I feel like I'm in a place as a parent, where I always say the wrong thing at the wrong way at the wrong time. And you do,

Unknown Speaker  6:25  
everybody? Yeah, I probably do. I think I do. And, but, and I acknowledge them. But there's also a beautiful moment, like lots of beautiful moments that I'm learning through with our children and learning how to listen more and learning how, for me, sometimes it's better, I'm learning to keep my mouth shut, and just be physically present, just kind of sit next to them with our shoulders, touching on the couch or snuggling in bed before you know all those kinds of things. To be present and acknowledge. So you're right half the battle. And that is just finding a way to release those negative voices that tell us what we're not or the ways we feel I like I like those words. What is mindset mean to you? Mindset, to me is kind of, it's a part of what we just addressed. To me mindset is in any moment I'm given.

Unknown Speaker  7:17  
Usually, it's the question I asked myself, to prepare me for what's next. So in a moment of so let's take that COVID happens. I'm unemployed, I don't know, you know, I don't know where paychecks are coming from. And you know, I don't know what's next.

Unknown Speaker  7:32  
The, I want to create a mindset that fuel some level of health growth connection. And if I was asking myself, gosh, why does this crap always happen? To me? The question I'm asking inherently demands an answer that's negative. Why does why no harm moments always happen to me? Right? Or what's wrong with me? The answers we get are almost always in line with the questions we ask. And so in moments of good or in challenge, if I asked myself, what can I even a moment of that feels like failure, right? Something didn't work out. Or I, I'm, I don't feel like I'm a great dad with kids or I don't you know, I maybe I snap at someone at work, whatever those moments are all these different things.

Unknown Speaker  8:13  
Instead of why am I such an idiot or such whatever? What can I learn from here?

Unknown Speaker  8:19  
You know, what can an apology bring? Or what can what's the opportunity in this moment of pain in this moment of challenge? If you talked about earlier people that might have been carrying things for years that they don't know what to say?

Unknown Speaker  8:33  
It can feel scary to acknowledge that but what's the opportunity to connect with others by me being vulnerable?

Unknown Speaker  8:42  
So does that make sense? It's the question I asked off. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it does. Thank you. That's helpful to me. So lucky. There. It is.

Unknown Speaker  8:55  
I don't have to have the answer. But what what kind of question it was, like, my, my, for me personally, my default question is, what can I learn? You know, what can I learn?

Unknown Speaker  9:09  
Sometimes I learned that the only thing that will help is eating a whole shareable bag of peanut m&ms By myself.

Unknown Speaker  9:19  
And sometimes it's texting a friend I am in no mood to talk text me something funny. There's a there's a great phrase I don't know where I learned two years ago, but it's a part of kind of the, what we say in the foodservice powerplant work. You always find what you're looking for.

Unknown Speaker  9:34  
We try to look for the good. Yeah, if you're looking, if you're looking for,

Unknown Speaker  9:40  
to beat yourself up, you can beat yourself up. You can, I can find plenty of ways that I failed in and I'm justified in that. But if I'm looking for like you said, What can I learn? What's the opportunity? How can I grow? How can I connect? That's what you'll find because that's what you're looking for. Justin, what is mindset?

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
mean to you?

Unknown Speaker  10:04  
I don't know. I'm just ready for getting

Unknown Speaker  10:07  
your your Jason your point about kind of what do I need to ask myself to get to get this figured out or, to have a better understanding, I think that is, is critical and looking at it from this is going to be me talking on both sides of my mouth, but looking at it from an analytical perspective, but not from an analyzing perspective. So you can have analysis paralysis, and get yourself into anxiety and doing all that by overanalyzing everything. But if you look at it from an analytical way, maybe the way a business would approach something, or from a more data driven. So for example, one thing I have struggled with my weight for since the beginning of time.

Unknown Speaker  10:51  
And it's very easy for me to slip into negative self talk, and over over a pizza by myself, and then further negative self talk and whatever, right? But if you step back and look at it from like, well, you consume this many calories, and you could have gone for a walk or could have worked out. So maybe if you did the other one next time. So I think if you if you are okay with asking those kinds of questions, I think it kind of focuses you on looking for the right answers to your point, Jason, as opposed to just sort of wallowing in the in the self negative stuff about it and analysis, paralysis and everything. I don't know if that makes sense. It's a lot of words, word salad, little croutons on top. It does make sense. I think it takes the judgment out of it.

Unknown Speaker  11:41  
There you go. Yes. You just said it in three words. And I said,

Unknown Speaker  11:46  
good on you. I appreciate it visiting. No, I'm just kidding. It's judgment and shame, are things that keep us you know, I talked about AI, as opposed to my 20s. Now, I've got many more tools to get me out of those moments of doubt. And Justin, I have the same voices in my head, just so you know, we all do we all have those, those voices. And so if we can release the judgment, and someone once said, you know, approach it with curiosity,

Unknown Speaker  12:12  
you know, judgment, it just gets us stuck. And when I judge myself, I stay there a lot longer than when I'm curious about why I chose Option A or Option B or or whatever that is, and being willing to know that we're learning in both there's, you know, something I learned from Canfield a long time ago, there's there's feedback, right? We we often rely on we rely on feedback. So we ate the pizza, how do we feel about ourselves, and there's, there's positive feedback. And there's negative feedback, there's things we do and we get celebrated, or, you know, you, you take the walk instead, and you feel confident, you know, if that's if that's for you, and there's negative feedback, I don't get the sale, I might feel down, but we can learn from both. And the idea of all those feedback is to move forward and to grow. And if we can stop taking the negative feedback, the moments of maybe pain or frustration, or we beat ourselves up and say, okay, and I can learn from this, and then we move forward as opposed to staying there. It all can be helpful to a degree as long as we don't stay there too long. Well, and Carrie, I think you have great perspective on a lot of stuff with and I don't think I'm betraying any confidences here. And if I am, well, too bad.

Unknown Speaker  13:22  
But you've you've you've mentioned before, that you do some journaling. So I'd be curious to know how you think maybe that plays a role in kind of navigating through this. I have so many journals, so so many journals, if you're not doing journaling, it will never hurt, it will never hurt to journal, Justin, I may or may not have shared but you know, there's quite a bit of childhood trauma for that, and me and my little sister's life. And so oftentimes, I've heard this from so many different people to think about yourself as a young, you know, in that trauma, and then write to that child. It's like shuffling the deck. It just puts things in order for me. And more times than not, I have the answer, or that's my prompt for the next day. I have a question, Jason, for you with going along with that. So I think I can infer that if someone like Carrie or any of us are going to be journaling or writing, you're sort of present. You're there. You're with your thoughts. That's what you're focused on.

Unknown Speaker  14:28  
There's not much of that going around these days with our phones being wired to our faces and social media. And I think part of burnout can be attributed to literally just you are always on there was always a screen in front of you. There was always information in your face, you are always consuming some type of content. And I'm wondering if you can speak to that or if you've had previous conversations about how there needs to be a balance of that and how that can potentially affect mental health and just

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
Is all of that if that sort of makes sense what I'm kind of asking. Yeah, holy smokes I and I deal with that it can be easy to be on screens all the time. You know, whether it's email or I'm on the road and it's phone and you can you know, I get into a routine or at night I was on Zillow, I love looking at houses, right like before bed, you should just go back to reading books before bed, you know? And what are this one in Vancouver? 9.7 million? I'd rather buy it for eight. Yeah, I know.

Unknown Speaker  15:27  
You know, that was like my, like my just kind of chill time, I guess. I don't know what it was. But

Unknown Speaker  15:34  
I am a huge, I'd say all the time, like I can't, like I'll know I've made it when I can. When I graduate to a flip phone again. Gosh, bring back the Flip Phone man. Because it's, it's, it's always there. I've read studies about how even in like if, if I'm working in here on something on let's say something that work but, or even work. But in my phone is in the room, I am less focused, I am less present, just by having a phone in the room and turned on it. No music needs to be playing, I'm not looking at it, it can be on my desk like it is right now. And so there's levels of simply moving it out or turning it off, just turn off your phone for periods of time. And yet the other thing that I have found is helpful, that I do more and more is really scheduling blocks of time. There's this idea of block scheduling where in your computer, so you know, someone said once if it's not on the schedule, then it's not really happening, then you don't really mean it or want it. So you know, if Justin, let's say it's journaling for you, or let's say it's going for a walk or let's say hang with the kids, whatever that is, if you put that in your calendar from three to four, and you're say this is this is what I'm doing. And I'm not checking emails, and I'm not looking at whatever thing on my phone or I'm not the ICT for me that that tangible thing in my schedule frees me up just kind of in my headspace to say I'm only dedicating this hour to this.

Unknown Speaker  16:57  
And you can figure out ahead of time what your priorities are, you know, so Okay, here's what matters to me today, it's a date with my kiddo, you know, we're gonna go to drive with the Jeep top off or whatever. That's how Hayley and I kind of connect, oftentimes, we blast music and we just take the front of the Jeep, or, you know, or Liam and I are going to run or I'm going to go for a walk, or I'm going to run or I'm going to read a book right now I'm reading tipping point, great, whatever those things are, oh, gosh, amazing. And so putting it in the calendar helps me feel like it's real. And prevents me from getting bombarded by a lot of other things. And then putting I put my phone in airplane mode a lot.

Unknown Speaker  17:37  
When I'm not on it, just because so I know nothing can get to me, right now it's on airplane mode. Or if I'm working on a project for work, and I've dedicated an hour and 15 to it, put my phone on airplane mode, I can call people back is done. But that way I can be present and focused in whatever it is I'm doing. If you if you read a lot of different whatever time management, blah, blah, blah, you know, different different things. I think managing your energy, knowing when your energy is high. Is is good. How many people don't even ask themselves, what do they want? What do I want? 100%? Yep, that's such a great point in question. And I'll say two things to that. There's a phrase I learned two years ago was by a guy named Brennan he passed away but Brennan Manning, and

Unknown Speaker  18:25  
he said, don't shoot on yourself. Anytime you are shooting on yourself, you are creating a level of resistance. by just saying it should I should be doing this I should be doing, you're automatically going to resist it a little bit. And so to your point, Justin, like I learned a while ago, like whatever that is, those elements of health or exercise, in this case, do things that create life in me, if I'm going to do something that's going to create some level of stress, like breathing hard, or, you know, working muscles are whatever that is in version of exercise, do it in a way that I enjoy or, you know, or or create enjoyment in it. So like when I run running became a thing for me and COVID and that kind of became one of my deals. So I listened to a podcast when I'm running or, like awesome playlist that my daughter made for me or whatever it is. So you can kind of increase the joy. I don't inherently love running but but I love what happens after the fact. And and I love what I can learn or listen to or thoughts I can create when I'm doing it. You know, the second thing you said is why don't we ask what we want. There's this I think, I think that is one of the most underused questions and in all of humanity and one of the most important and you know there's this in the in the food service, power plant stuff we do. There's this. Sometimes when I speak I went and gave this talk at a buying group. And it was about what do you want to create the the whole idea was there's, we lose energy, right? People are tired, there's a level of exhaustion, and we lose energy in times where we feel powerless.

Unknown Speaker  19:57  
In the world we're in we don't feel like we can change what

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
We're what's happening to us.

Unknown Speaker  20:02  
And there's we also lose energy when we don't have a compelling future version of ourselves

Unknown Speaker  20:09  
that we're working towards. I forget who I learned that from might have been Brendon Burchard, or Tony Robbins or Canfield but, and I think this is huge. Our energy today is often tied to when I look in the future and exciting version of me that I'm working towards. If, if when I look, three years into the future, I don't like what I see in my current life. It's really hard for me to generate energy now to create something that three years from now I think is going to suck. Yeah. And so it's like, what do you want to make, get something that's excites you, that gives you some level of hope. And that creates energy today to start moving in that direction. The times when I didn't take some of the steps of health I needed to wear the times that I couldn't see a version of me I was excited about a happy version of me when all I that's the part of the problem with depression. You can't see light at the end of the tunnel, all you can see is darkness. And it's hard to get the energy to do the work you want you need to do right now if all you see is darkness. And so depression is one of the hardest things where we tell people all the time, just keep moving, even if you can see. And then when I got to a place of relative health when I was okay. And I could dream that one of the things that changed my life. I read this book, I was in a place of okayness and I read this book success principles I wanted at a white elephant gift Christmas party. You guys saw that and talk and, and it said create a vision statement for your life. And this was something I had never done. And I dreamed as big as possible. Okay, I dreamed of me waking up happy. Kind of on my own. I dreamt of a home okay, we I had grown up with my mom in my folks had split when I was young and lots of great reasons for that. And they both did it wonderfully. The divorce process and both loved me really well. But it was hard as a kid and my sister and I lived with my mom in a third floor teeny apartment in a senior citizen community from the time of seven till I graduated high school.

Unknown Speaker  22:07  
And I never believed

Unknown Speaker  22:11  
I believed I would be poor forever. Like I just I like you know they say broke is not having money. Poor is believing you can. And I was poor. I didn't believe I would ever own a home with a yard. I didn't think that was possible for me. And at the time when I dreamt this Shana and I lived in a duplex that we bought in an affordable housing program. And so I dreamt of a home and I went big, it had a deck. And it had a backyard and it overlooks craigan.

Unknown Speaker  22:40  
It overlooked open space, right, I live outside of Boulder and I could see the mountains and I drempt it and there was an office like there's a hole

Unknown Speaker  22:48  
in this house. And then in the bedroom there was actually a little like I jumped up and look like a reading area where we can have a little couch I love reading. And so I could just wake up in the morning and put on a robe Not that I ever put on.

Unknown Speaker  23:00  
And I could go sit on this couch and read. And this was

Unknown Speaker  23:06  
and I also jumped off. I was like I'd like to, I'm perfectly fine with anyone being on any mental health meds they need. There's times right now where I can sit. I wonder if I should be on anti anxiety meds again.

Unknown Speaker  23:18  
But But I was like, I wonder if I can wake up without them. I had been on them for so long. And there's side effects to all these things that aren't always fun, right? And I was like, I wonder if I could not have those side effects. So that was January 2009.

Unknown Speaker  23:31  
In July of 2009, probably around July 11, I think was the last day I taken a medicine for my mental health. We my psychiatrist and I worked weaned ourselves me off for about six months. And an August 18 of that year, you guys, we bought that house. We walked into that house in like June, we walk in, and within 30 seconds, I start crying. And Shannon looks at me and starts crying. She goes Jason, this is the house that you dreamed up. This is the house that you said

Unknown Speaker  24:05  
you wanted. Wow. Oh my gosh.

Unknown Speaker  24:10  
And it was we had to like beg borrow and steal to make it happen. Right? Like Like when we had the choice. Hayley was really young. And it was like do I pay for heat or buy a $30 blanket, we bought the blanket or like we'll stay cold and just get more blankets we can get them from, you know, mother in law.

Unknown Speaker  24:25  
But when I saw that happen, and it blew me away, and it create an energy to create those things, and I started dreaming in all areas of life who I could be as a dad, I mean that those 10 years of depression had me feeling weak. I didn't believe strength was possible in me or I could ever be strong for anyone because I woke up most days crying. So it was like for me to be get to be a strength for other people. For my spouse, my wife Shannon or for the kids. It wasn't something that was possible. I started dreaming of what that could look like. And I'm certainly you know

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
I've had plenty of false, but generally, I feel like I get to be a strong human, for the people in my world.

Unknown Speaker  25:10  
And whatever I'm walking through or working through in levels of health, so. So anyway, in this when I, when I speak at times one of things I love mental health is an aspect of what we talk about. But on the other end is this area of growth and of generating energy. And what does it look like to be alive and to dream and all this kind of stuff. And the first, there's this foodservice power plant framework where I said, you know, like, creating energy in our lives. And success is a lot like when a chef makes a meal.

Unknown Speaker  25:38  
The first step a chef has to do is they've got to decide what they're going to make. And for us, it's all about vision. What do we want? Carrie? That was your question, what do I want? Do I want to be healthy? Do I want a house with a reading area after and whatever it is.

Unknown Speaker  25:50  
And I think that's the foundation. There's a whole bunch of other steps. But but that's the pillar, food service. Power Plant. And I know it's brand new, but it's, it's taken such a hold over everybody, when you're having conversations, just the people that are making comments that you get to watch on the on the live record. Well, even I mean, it shows up in the comments as well. But just to watch it and see who's on and, and so talk about how that came to be. It came to be because when I was that last day of work, march 20 2020, I was leaving my firm was supposed to be vacationing with family for a couple of weeks, then I was gonna go work at Council. And then of course, COVID happened. And in that I got the list. So that first night, I realized we weren't going to go on vacation, I was going to be home. And I'm not great at just sitting in like watching television or what I don't know why I've got to be creating something or, and or woodworking or whatever My hobbies are. And so I thought to myself, and I've had all these conversations with industry, friends, and the general expression was anxiety and fear is what people were conveying. Right? It's a scary time, we none of us have any idea what's coming next. And I thought, well, I've built up all these tools over the years that I had to build up to get through my pain,

Unknown Speaker  27:16  
and my fear, and so I thought maybe I'll just start offering them as a way to give is a way to get back. There's a phrase I learned years ago that says oftentimes, our greatest passions or contributions are born of the place of our greatest pain, for sure. I like that. And

Unknown Speaker  27:35  
our greatest contributions and passions are born of the place of our greatest pain. And it makes sense if you think I think about like Alcoholics Anonymous, you know, the the mentors, I don't know what the word is. What's our sponsors? I think the sponsors in AAA are people who had been alcoholics at one point in their lives, and they had to work through that greatest pain. And now it's a place that they can serve parents who serve in, you know, cancer wards at hospitals oftentimes had kids that experience that right, or they've experienced some thing with cancer, that was really powerful enough. So they want to give back to that community because they know what it feels like. Mark is Calvary, who went through cancer, who's with Cassius, he was the DSR Of The Year this year, he dialogues with lots of different people experiencing cancer, because you walk through that pain, he knows how hard that is. And for me, it was fear. So when all of a sudden, people were afraid, I was like, Well, I've gotten this whole like tool shed of stuff, maybe I'll just start offering to change, give people a different perspective, or some happy chemicals to change them from super stressed into maybe a little hopeful. And so that's how the initial I just put out videos, I like recorded myself on a on a computer, I'd never done that before, and just started putting them on kind of emailing into customers. So that became the positive mindset tools. And then not long after that, I was talking to a friend who was in a high rise in Chicago, and she was all alone. And she's like, I can't go see my parents. I can't go to any industry things. I'm all alone, even walking on the sidewalk. At that point in time, people would walk away from each other, you know, like we're afraid, who's got the plague and they get it from them, you know, whatever. And she's like, I'm so alone. And so I thought how do we create community in a time when we can't get together and that's how the Facebook group started. So we have a Facebook group called the food service powerplay number we have about 2100 members in it. And it was a way for us to kind of come together there and support each other and encourage and throw some positive mindset tools on there in a way to create a sense that I'm not alone.

Unknown Speaker  29:33  
And then you know, the three words tied to the foodservice powerplant I work on our website or connect, inspire and grow or inspire, connect and grow I forget which direction the Grow was the positive mindset tools. The Connect was the Facebook group and doing that and then inspire is I'm a huge believer that the greatest inspiration comes from story that that I can tell you carry in your pain all day long. You got this carry on.

Unknown Speaker  30:00  
Justin, you can, you can get outside and work out, you can do it. But until we see someone who's lived it, and who tells the story about how it changed them in some profound way, it's not as meaningful story is the great motivator. And so we started inviting leaders on, and to tell their story. And part of the deal is they tell the hard parts of their story, and the doubt in their creativity, and the habits and the disciplines and all these things. Because the hope was that, if they're willing to be honest about their story, and anyone watching who's struggling, says, wow, they went through something hard. And here's the things they tried to get out of it. Maybe if I try those, then then I can get through my heart stuff. And so that was that's why we tell those stories. And those we do them almost every Monday night we do them live, which creates incredible anxiety in me, because you never know when the Wi Fi is gonna go down. So we do these conversations live so that everyone watching, you know, this is happening right now. There might be 10 2050 Other people watching right now along with you, you're not alone, and people commenting in real time, so you can see their comments, and we answer their questions. So that anyone watching who might feel alone might feel a little bit more connected.

Unknown Speaker  31:12  
So that's, that's how it all came to be. So here's my question to you, though, on a personal level, on a personal level, what is success gonna feel like? Yeah, I already live that it's,

Unknown Speaker  31:27  
it's not being afraid to be honest about where I was, at one point, I was afraid to tell my story, thinking I would be written off. Well, now I've now I've shared my story, and what I went through,

Unknown Speaker  31:41  
and not only getting emotional again, you know, not only did people not kick me out of the industry, or,

Unknown Speaker  31:51  
you know, say I shouldn't have shared that, or we don't talk about stuff like that at work, you know,

Unknown Speaker  31:58  
the opposite happened, where I now people stop me in conferences, and they share things with me about their life. And it's a level of freedom for them. And it's, I feel grateful to know, to get to be a place of safety for people. And I feel grateful to get to be honest with my experience. And hopefully, in doing so remove that level of shame in them of that they've been holding, right, keeping it a secret, so that they might move forward. And

Unknown Speaker  32:28  
you know, so yeah, I get to experience the success of that, right now. It's really not a future thing. That's who gets to do that. And we all can, we all can. This might sound silly, or cheesy. Years ago, I was at a conference, I you know, that book success principles was really profound in my life, Jack Canfield to work and I got to know his community. And I went to a few of his conferences, and I volunteered at them. And the first conference I went to was the summer of 2016. And maybe they'll maybe it was 2015 2015. And they have you do this thing, this passion thing, where like, what are you passionate about? And what do you love to help figure out like, kind of who you want to be curious, like you said, like, what do we want, and we go through this whole exercise. And at the end of it, I concluded, okay, if I could find a way in my career to just be a really good friend. Like, if I could build a career being a really good friend, that's probably my sweet spot. And I felt like such a goober, I was, like, beating myself up like, Jason, this isn't the real world. Like you don't, that you're, I was really shaming myself for coming to that conclusion.

Unknown Speaker  33:37  
And, and here we are, seven years later. And I will tell you that I mean, I have a I work at Carmel, I travel, I do shows, and I work on deals, and I sell product, and it's all life giving to me. But the bigger picture for me, I feel like I get to live out that thing. I drempt in 2015, I kind of feel like I just get to be a good friend, to a lot of people. And that that's a that's a role I get to have in the industry. So that thing I wanted, you know, I kind of feel like I get to live it. Congratulations.

Unknown Speaker  34:12  
Yes, and in case either of you want to know what success looks like, for me, it's standing a little closer to that glass of bourbon, next couple of minutes. So we gotta go.

Unknown Speaker  34:22  
But we want to make sure that people can can access you can understand where to find you, your information, your groups, all that. So before we get out of here, can you share? What's the best way for people to be able to connect with you, your group, all that good stuff. Thanks for asking the certainly you can come find me on LinkedIn, Jason Wayne's W ng or the FS power

Unknown Speaker  34:45  
Fs power, which is where you can actually click the link and connect to the Facebook group if you'd like. Where you can see all of the conversations are there. There's a bunch of resources on there both from a mental health side but also a personal development side in terms of positive mindset.

Unknown Speaker  35:00  
Tools. I've got different coaches on there that I've worked with in the past, who I like and respect that if people want to work with someone, you can go work with some of these folks. If I really enjoy getting to speak in, you know, in the industry and offer positive mindset tools to bring teams together, help create energy, if it's a mental health conversation that you know, more and more of those conversations come up. I love getting to do that in the industry to go support people in that way. So yeah, probably Fs power Or if you're just on Facebook, and go search for foodservice power plant network, and then you click to join. I think it asks a question like what you know, what do you hope to get out of this?

Unknown Speaker  35:38  
And then we'll welcome you in on YouTube or on YouTube, your YouTube. Yeah, all of the conversations are on YouTube as well.

Unknown Speaker  35:46  
So I'm not like I don't know how to use YouTube very well, other than that's where we put them. But you can certainly you can certainly subscribe to the router with power plant page, I think it is or something on there.

Unknown Speaker  35:58  
And then it really all kind of comes together in that Fs power

Unknown Speaker  36:04  
Thank you for listening to the food service for thought podcast. We hope you enjoyed it. And a big shout out to Forbes, Eva and Wallace and everyone on the team for producing the first ever food service rep driven podcast. Please subscribe rate and review. Oh, and go eat out at your local restaurant or grab some takeout or delivery even if you are just in the mood for some apps or dessert. Every bite helps