0:00:00.0 ANNOUNCER: The financial views and opinions expressed by the host and guest on this program do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of 107.7 The Bronc, Rider University or Certified Wealth Management and Investment. The material discussed is not designed to provide the listeners with individual financial, legal or tax advice.
0:00:25.8 ANNOUNCER: It’s time to grow your bank as 107.7 The Bronc presents Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional with Certified Wealth Management and Investment. Kurt and his team of financial guests will help you turn those singles into seas of green and plan your financial future accordingly. Now, here is your money managing host for the hour, Kurt Baker.
0:00:52.9 Kurt Baker: Do you wanna gain a new perspective on health and wellness? Would you like to learn how to improve your health through long-term sustainable behavior change rather than crash diets, gimmicks or fads? Joe Villegas, the founder and CEO of Paragon Well-Being, a health and wellness company serving individuals and businesses to optimize their health and overall well-being will share with you a series of frameworks and actionable steps you can take to not only improve your own health, but the health and well-being of those around you. With over 10 years of experience working with individuals and groups from all walks of life, Joe will help you feel empowered, in control and at ease about how simple it is to make a significant change in your life. That’s awesome, man. So I know just my own little journey, it’s like, I know what to do, but I’m not always doing it. [chuckle]
0:01:41.5 Joe Villegas: Sure.
0:01:42.4 Kurt Baker: So, [laughter] it’s like the brain is not connected to the action, so to speak. So you wanna tell us a little bit. I guess let’s start off a little bit with, how did you get into this?
0:01:50.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah, no doubt. Well, first things first, thank you for having me today. This is super cool. So, I appreciate it.
0:01:55.0 Kurt Baker: Thank you.
0:01:56.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah, so I actually fell into coaching. I had no desire or [chuckle] any sort of dream of becoming a coach, and truth be told, I was never even an athlete growing up. Like, I did T-ball and that kind of stuff, but I was a band kid, man. I was a drummer, did all that through college, and when I got out of college, realized that I put on a freshman 15 every year that I was in college. So it was time to turn that around. And yeah, I started working out, joined a local CrossFit gym in Princeton, and the owner approached me and just said, “Hey man.” He’s like “You’re here all the time, people seem to like you a lot, and I need coaches. Would you be interested in getting certified?” And I just jumped at the opportunity. I was like, “Absolutely love to,” and that was actually almost 10 years ago to the day, which is kind of funny that here we are talking about it.
0:02:44.2 Kurt Baker: That’s great.
0:02:45.0 Joe Villegas: Or a little more than that, actually. And so, yeah, I got into coaching and really didn’t know much outside of the certification that I got, so it was a lot of doing your homework and working with people and just trying to learn by experience. And that grew into friends and friends of friends asking me, like, “Hey, I can’t come to the gym, but can you write me a program or can you help me with my diet or whatever?” And I didn’t wanna turn anybody away, I wanted to help them out, and so it just kind of blossomed into, “Okay, now I have my own sort of side thing, I’m helping people remotely with their stuff,” and then that grew into other opportunities as well. So I was very fortunate to go work with a lot of amateur fighters like MMA and Muay Thai and things like that, a lot of fighters out of Philadelphia. And that led into working with some of the guys from the UFC, which was pretty cool, helping fighters cut weight in a safe way before their fights and all that, helping to re-hydrate them and those sorts of things.
0:03:35.5 Joe Villegas: And then that led to going in and doing some speaking gigs. So I would go into companies and speak to their employees and talk about like, “Hey,” like you said, “You know what to do,” but how come you don’t do what you know? And how to actually implement that. And then that sort of blossomed into doing more of the corporate side of stuff, which selfishly I like doing. I like talking to groups. I like meeting with groups and having an impact there, but yeah, that’s how it all kind of blossomed.
0:03:58.4 Kurt Baker: I wanna go back to your personal just a bit…
0:04:00.1 Joe Villegas: Yeah, no doubt.
0:04:00.6 Kurt Baker: Only because you’ve had two conversations offline here, and I gotta bring it up.
0:04:03.7 Joe Villegas: [chuckle] Sure.
0:04:03.8 Kurt Baker: One is, I started talking about things that you do, and I go, “I don’t even know what it’s called,” but, I don’t know, I call it throwing the trees across the thing where they get in the kilt and they… What is that called?
0:04:11.9 Joe Villegas: Yeah, Scottish Highland Games.
0:04:13.0 Kurt Baker: Scottish Highland games, and we were talking about it, he goes, “Yeah, I’d do that,” and I go, “Wait a minute. You literally pick up what looks like a utility pole and you throw it across the yard?” And I go, “Okay, that’s cool.” And then jokingly, before we come on the air, we were supposed to workout together, but you couldn’t do it. And I was talking about how I was so happy I’d done my 265 and barely made six, and I hurt myself a little bit, just a little. And then I go, “Yeah. You must be doing over 300,” and you said, what?
0:04:38.6 Joe Villegas: Yeah, so my best deadlift is 625.
0:04:41.7 Kurt Baker: Okay. So you went from band to 625, so obviously, there were some steps in between.
0:04:47.3 Joe Villegas: A lot of steps, yeah.
0:04:49.8 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause I’ve been there, ’cause in my 40s, I didn’t workout at all.
0:04:51.9 Joe Villegas: Sure.
0:04:52.7 Kurt Baker: And then I had worked out when I was younger, like a lot, craziness, but it was all like cardio. And then I didn’t workout at all, and then I worked out a little bit after that. And then I just recently, a couple of years back, four or five years ago, started getting into the weights ’cause I realized as you get older, you gotta do more of the resistance stuff.
0:05:05.3 Joe Villegas: 100%
0:05:06.1 Kurt Baker: So this is my own personal quick story.
0:05:07.8 Joe Villegas: Yeah, yeah.
0:05:08.3 Kurt Baker: How did you go from band, I know the 15, to actually taking it really seriously? What was kind of the back and forth that went through you?
0:05:15.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah, no doubt. So joining that CrossFit gym was really pivotal. So if anybody who’s listening has done CrossFit before or you’re interested in doing it, obviously recommend it. It’s a great gateway to a lot of different types of activities, so everything from running, rowing, lifting, body-weight movements and such. And so when I joined up, it’s not just the workouts, there’s a very big culture and community component to it as well, so you’re in a class setting. I’m sure you feel the same way with your classes that you go to.
0:05:46.0 Kurt Baker: Oh, absolutely. I love the class. I have to have somebody else yelling at me, so to speak, I say jokingly, but it’s great to have peers kind of guiding you, and they help you from hurting yourself too. They tell you to do it right, ’cause I did a lot wrong, still working on it.
0:05:58.4 Joe Villegas: Sure.
0:05:58.9 Kurt Baker: And that’s a key part of feeling comfortable about doing it.
0:06:01.9 Joe Villegas: Yes.
0:06:02.7 Kurt Baker: And then seeing the results, obviously, is awesome. So the CrossFit started and you got the camaraderie and you learned how to do it right, I guess?
0:06:08.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah, exactly. And part of that community is going beyond just showing up for class, so it’s learning about things like your nutrition, how to improve that, to some degree, right? So when I first started out, yeah, was a recovering band kid. [chuckle] I forgot.
0:06:23.0 Kurt Baker: For kid. [chuckle] So funny.
0:06:25.2 Joe Villegas: And I was, truthfully, weak as a bird. I could maybe deadlift 185 lbs, for one. It really wasn’t anything, and actually, funny, truth be told, I had bought a weight set prior to joining, did a 185 lbs deadlift in my basement and hurt my back.
0:06:39.9 Kurt Baker: Oh, okay.
0:06:40.1 Joe Villegas: So, literally starting from ground zero.
0:06:42.3 Kurt Baker: Okay, that’s awesome.
0:06:44.4 Joe Villegas: But yeah, so I got into it and really it wasn’t anything like, “Oh, I wanna deadlift 600 lbs.” That wasn’t my goal. For those of you who haven’t met me or are listening, I have a big frame to begin with. I’m a big guy, like I’m 6’4, so I’m very tall, and I gravitated more toward the heavy lifting components of CrossFit, because doing all those pull-ups is tough when you’re that big. [chuckle]
0:07:03.0 Kurt Baker: Yeah, you got a lot to pick up, right?
0:07:04.5 Joe Villegas: Yeah, yeah. [laughter] So actually, I gravitated more toward the… Strongman’s my primary sport. That’s my favorite sport, and so I gravitated more toward those types of workouts. And then strongman, obviously, is a very niche sport, right? You’re picking up rocks and cars and weird stuff. But from there, I actually got into Highland Games, which is, they say like, heavy athletics or heavy throwing, which I obviously had no track and field history growing up in high school or anything. But that is where you’re throwing some weird stuff. So like the caber, that big telephone pole, yeah, that’s where that comes in.
0:07:36.7 Kurt Baker: Okay, okay. Alright, gotcha.
0:07:38.9 Joe Villegas: Launching heavy stones, hammers and things like that, but I always just had a lot of fun lifting heavy things, and so, for those who are listening, if they’re like, “Oh, they wanna start working out, or they’ve tried workouts and just hasn’t stuck in the past,” I always say the best workout you can do is the one that you enjoy doing because you’re more likely to stick with it. So, quick [chuckle] story, I had a buddy in high school who, you know, when you hit that point, like sophomore to junior year, everyone’s like, they’re growing, they’re getting taller, whatever. And I had a friend, he was heavy set and I remember him showing up the first week of school, junior year, and he had lost a ton of weight. And we were like, “Brian, what happened to you? What’s going on?” He goes, “I got the answer.” We’re like, “What is it?” And he goes, [chuckle] “DDR.” Remember that video game, Dance, Dance Revolution?
0:08:23.8 Kurt Baker: Oh, my God.
0:08:24.5 Joe Villegas: He literally played that every day for two hours straight, and would just sweat his butt off in his parents’ basement, and that’s how he lost the weight. And when I think back on it, I’m like, “Yeah, that was the answer for him, because he liked it and he stuck with it and he did it every day for two hours.” You know what I mean? So for me, does running a marathon get me excited? Not in the least. But if you say, “Hey, we’re gonna go deadlift or we’re gonna bench press or whatever,” I’m like, “I’m game. Let’s rock and roll,” so that appeals to me. So, to wrap it up, I got to that point of deadlifting that much, because I just enjoyed it and I was willing to do it all the time, basically.
0:09:00.6 Kurt Baker: Okay, that’s awesome. So really, when you’re working out, it’s key to find out what you like.
0:09:03.0 Joe Villegas: Yes.
0:09:03.1 Kurt Baker: And you have all that history where you developed that into a profession now, so let’s touch on that a little bit, right?
0:09:08.0 Joe Villegas: Sure.
0:09:08.5 Kurt Baker: So once you got it down, you’re obviously motivated, you became a coach, you started training other people. So, then what? Kinda take us past that a little bit.
0:09:18.4 Joe Villegas: Yeah, yeah, so in the CrossFit stuff, I was there coaching at least three nights a week, weekends, that whole thing, and it’s all class-based for the most part, which I really enjoyed ’cause you’re in the front of the room and you’re sort of performing in a way. These people, they get off work, they’re tired, maybe they wanna be there, but not that bad. They might wanna go home and just relax, and it’s up to you to kind of bring the fire a little bit and put it back into them. And I always use the analogy of like, it’s sort of like the Santa Claus analogy, right? When you first start training, it’s like you’re a little kid and Santa’s… I don’t wanna ruin it, spoil it for anybody listening, but Santa’s really exciting, whatever. [chuckle]
0:09:53.9 Kurt Baker: Right, yeah, yeah.
0:09:54.6 Joe Villegas: And then eventually, as you get older, you’re kinda like, “Ugh, you don’t maybe still believe in it so much anymore.” But then when you become the parent, you have to instill the magic again. And that’s kind of how I always approached coaching, was, “Alright, I’m running this class. There’s some people who they look like they wanna be here, and some people who obviously look like they maybe don’t wanna be here right now. They got other things going on.” And so I always felt like it was up to me to sort of make Santa real again and bring the magic and excite them about the class and get them into it. So I really enjoyed that aspect of it. But like I said, I had friends and family and whoever else who were asking me to help them outside of the gym. They couldn’t make it, or they didn’t live near Princeton or what have you, and so that’s when I started doing more of the online training piece. My entire company now is online. We don’t have a brick and mortar location. We do it fully remote, through our app and all that stuff, but I like that a lot because I’m not just with that person for an hour. I can correspond with them all day if they needed to, and get them the answers they need.
0:10:49.7 Joe Villegas: So like, routinely we’ll have clients who reach out and say like, “Hey man, I’m going out to dinner with these people. Here’s the menu for the place. What should I get? I don’t know what to do,” whatever. And we’re right there. We can get back to them and help them out. So it’s pretty cool. If they weren’t in the gym, I wouldn’t be able to do that for them at that time. So I like the fact that there’s a very easy avenue to get in touch with your coach all the time, so that’s what appealed to me, was like, “I’m able to help people more often and at a deeper level, ’cause they can connect much more with me.”
0:11:18.0 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s really awesome. Yeah, we’re gonna take a quick break here and when we come back, we’ll talk a little bit more about this. You’re listening to Master Your Finances.
0:11:27.7 ANNOUNCER: Yeah, you’ve got loads of money, but it’s all about how you manage it. Let’s get back to learning how to grow your green with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment only on Master Your Finances.
0:11:40.7 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening to Master Your Finances here with Joseph. We’re talking about really just being healthier and doing what works for you, and I think that’s a real key that I know I’ve found in my life, because when I was younger, I loved to swim and I still like it, but I enjoy the class, I enjoy working out with other people, so I like the camaraderie of getting together, so it’s really about that. And if you get tired of one thing, you switch it up, and some people say, “Well, I do this, but I’m not gonna do that.” Well, do something else. Go biking, go walking, whatever. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing some good for yourself.
0:12:15.1 Joe Villegas: Totally.
0:12:15.2 Kurt Baker: So you’ve found your passion, what you love to do yourself, and you’re obviously good at teaching others. So, you enjoyed that. Now, you’ve incorporated that into a way to really reach more people in multiple ways, so you’ve got the online part of it, plus they can communicate with you. So how did you go from, you’re coaching as a CrossFit person, and doing stuff outside? And now, you built up an app. I mean, there’s a lot involved here. So, how did you go from that?
0:12:41.4 Joe Villegas: Yeah, yeah.
0:12:42.8 Kurt Baker: I mean, there’s a lot of coaches out there.
0:12:43.7 Joe Villegas: For sure.
0:12:44.3 Kurt Baker: But not everybody started a company that does what you do. So, how did you transition into this, “I really think I need to do this?” Why did you think you needed to do it, and then how did you take those first steps to get it done?
0:12:53.4 Joe Villegas: Yeah. Great question. So I’ll just preface this with, this is certainly not an overnight thing, just like your body, this isn’t a 12-week program, [chuckle] it’s not like that. I mean, this is built over the last decade. So there were times where things were too busy, like I couldn’t keep up. And times where things were really quiet, but it was in those times where I was actually pushing to grow and do different things. So, really started with, and I joke around, like I was doing online coaching before it was cool, like before it became a big thing, obviously pre-pandemic and all that.
0:13:24.7 Kurt Baker: Oh, there we go.
0:13:25.8 Joe Villegas: But it was, I mean, quite literally, spreadsheets and stuff, I would just put together for clients and we’d email, correspond back and forth. And that was how I did it for a long time. And those folks, they just have my number and they would just text me. And I had my little schedule in the day, and I’d stay on top of them and keep up. And it actually wasn’t until just before the pandemic, like 2019, where I had done a series of talks with companies. So I had a couple of clients who were more like higher power individuals at different companies and such. And they asked me to come in and do talks. And I asked myself the question, I said, “You know, it’s really fun to do the one-on-one thing, to coach folks individually, online, that’s great.” I was like, “But I really like doing the talks and the seminars. And I love to be around longer than just an hour and help these people.” And oftentimes, when I go do these things, I’ll just hang out until they get their questions answered, make sure they get what they need. But I’m like, “How could we set up a program where an employee can just hop on, and just follow along and get the help they need and ask a real coach and that kind of thing?”
0:14:27.7 Joe Villegas: So that’s what led into the technology piece of it. And so there’s no way I could do that myself with a super large group. And I had, at the time, a couple of coaches that were sort of contracted out with me, they were working for me. And they thought it was like the coolest idea ever. [chuckle] So I started doing some homework and some research. And we have our app now, but that was multiple iterations, you know?
0:14:51.4 Kurt Baker: Okay. No, I get it.
0:14:52.9 Joe Villegas: So it’s like there are apps out there that trainers use, for sure, and some of them have their… Well, they all have their pros and cons. And some of them are better suited for the one-to-one thing, some are better suited for the group thing. But we do both. So it’s, how do you actually handle both? And there was a period of time where we were working with a company that basically, it’s like they give you the lego pieces to build the app and you just put them where you need them, and then you try and go from there. And that was like, I mean, a lot of late nights and early mornings trying to figure that out.
0:15:20.8 Kurt Baker: You’re not a programmer too?
0:15:21.6 Joe Villegas: No, no, [chuckle] that’s my brother. He’s the programmer, he’s the smart one. But basically, we ended up scrapping it all after a year and a half of like, “Okay, it does 7 out of 10 things, but these other 3 are real important.” We just scrapped it. Or like, can I get a… Eventually gotta know when to pivot. And that was something where I needed that input from my team to say, “Hey, this isn’t really cutting it for us. We gotta ditch this thing.” So we scrapped it and moved on to a different platform. We paired up with a gentleman down in Florida. I randomly came across him online, I just found his website and we started talking.
0:15:56.6 Kurt Baker: Really?
0:15:56.9 Joe Villegas: Yeah, and it’s just like this conversation now. Like, I met you because I went to a chamber event and all these things. And I’m always fascinated with who you meet along the way in your journey and the role they might play in your life. I’m just fascinated by that. So, Chris is the guy’s name. And so we got together and he basically was able to white label his entire platform for us and do this whole entire thing. And it’s perfectly suited for what our needs are and how we handled individuals and groups. And so, it wasn’t like I woke up one morning and had this amazing idea for an app and then put it together. It was lots of time put into apps that didn’t quite make the cut, and then pivoting and pivoting and pivoting, and all of a sudden, this popped up and it worked out. So I’m a big believer in like, if you’re listening to this and you have a dream and you have something you’re iterating on, you’re playing around with, like, you gotta go out and swing the bat. Those cool opportunities only come up when you’re out there playing. You’re not gonna get it just meditating on top of a mountain, and you’re not gonna get it sitting still. You have to be out there playing the game, and that’s what turned up for us. So, I know the question is kind of loaded, like I could be here all day talking about it.
0:17:03.3 Kurt Baker: No, it’s cool. And one thing I keep hearing, you just said it was, essentially, a lot of people think, “I don’t wanna start doing this project ’cause I don’t know all the answers.” So as long as you can start something that makes some sense, the networking it on the way is getting exposure, because what happens is when you get exposure to whatever it is you do, my business is the same way, you get feedback and you get suggestions. As long as you’re communicating with people and you’re listening to what they tell you, then you can keep modifying and modifying. And before you know it, you’re pretty darn good at what you do, because your customer base and the people you meet along the way are assisting you, ’cause they want to assist you, ’cause they want you to succeed. Because if I’m on the other end, I want the app, I’m gonna tell you, “Hey, look, this is all good, but this is not.” And if you listen to them and try to figure out a way, if that seems to be a consensus, to solve it, eventually, everybody’s gonna stick with it, ’cause they like that kind of thing.
0:17:54.2 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause you met one of your clients who was a corporate person. So that was having a good relationship with your clients, connect you to the corporations, and then you went out and found the app wasn’t working, you realised that, you recognised it wasn’t solving it, and then you found this other person. Chris worked out well, so that’s amazing. But yeah, the networking aspect in life is just huge, whether you work for a corporation or whether you’re an entrepreneur, networking is number one.
0:18:15.9 Joe Villegas: Yes.
0:18:16.5 Kurt Baker: Right? So anyway, I just thought I’d touch that.
0:18:18.3 Joe Villegas: No, it’s a great point.
0:18:19.4 Kurt Baker: Because that’s an amazing part of being successful.
0:18:21.8 Joe Villegas: Definitely.
0:18:22.2 Kurt Baker: The more people you know, the more you’re gonna get done.
0:18:23.8 Joe Villegas: Yeah. Like they say, your net worth is your network, right? Or vice versa, right?
0:18:27.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah, it’s true.
0:18:29.2 Joe Villegas: But another point to what you said, Kurt, was, “Don’t get so wrapped up in the how.” People worry about like, “How am I gonna do this? How am I gonna do that?” The how is really none of your business, you know what I mean? ‘Cause things are gonna pop up into your frame of reference that you couldn’t predict. I’m not even gonna attempt to quote it ’cause I’ll mess it up, but Steve Jobs has a good quote about connecting the dots behind you, but you just have to have faith going forward, basically. So you guys can Google it.
0:18:54.5 Kurt Baker: I found out that he was never a programmer.
0:18:56.6 Joe Villegas: No.
0:18:57.2 Kurt Baker: I didn’t know that until years after he was successful, and I go, “What do you mean?” I just assumed he sat in his basement and was programming this stuff.
0:19:02.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah, I did too.
0:19:03.7 Kurt Baker: He didn’t know anything about it. All he knew was he knew what people wanted before they knew what they wanted.
0:19:07.5 Joe Villegas: Right, right.
0:19:08.2 Kurt Baker: And he found the people to actually build it.
0:19:10.0 Joe Villegas: 100%.
0:19:10.7 Kurt Baker: And I was like, “Well, that makes a lot of sense when you think about it.” But I just assumed he was a tech guy.
0:19:15.7 Joe Villegas: No. Richard Branson is the same way. He always says, he’s like, “I’m not the smartest guy. And if I am, I’m in the wrong room.” Like, you gotta bring in the right people.
0:19:20.7 Kurt Baker: Yes. Well, I just saw when he goes, “I’ve been an entrepreneur for… ” Entrepreneurship, I’ve been involved in for, I don’t know whatever, 40, 50 years now.
0:19:29.0 Joe Villegas: Sure.
0:19:29.1 Kurt Baker: And I still have a hard time pronouncing it.
0:19:30.7 Joe Villegas: Right. [laughter] I can’t even spell it. You’re fine.
0:19:34.8 Kurt Baker: I was like, “That sounds like it, right?” But yeah, the idea is, you just go. And if you get the right people along the way, they’re gonna help you realize what your vision is, right?
0:19:43.4 Joe Villegas: Yeah, exactly. And so I think that’s kind of some of the fun in it, right? And it’s tough, because a lot of people cling to certainty, like they like to know how things are gonna play out, whatever. But imagine if you knew every single thing that was gonna happen every minute of the day, you’d be bored out of your mind.
0:19:56.9 Kurt Baker: True.
0:19:57.6 Joe Villegas: So when I look at this sort of entrepreneur journey, there’s adventure ahead and I’m gonna meet cool people, and I’m gonna run into problems, and that’s all part of that river of life. You have to be okay with the bends in the river, and you just gotta kinda go with it. And so it took me a long time to get comfortable with it, and there’s certainly times where I need to remind myself to get comfortable with it, but the more I do, I find I notice these really cool things that pop up that I would have missed had I been so concerned with, “It must go my way, and it must be the way that I planned it,” Your plan doesn’t really matter, because if something better could come along, so you’re gonna stick to your plan when a better opportunity shows up? Probably not. So there should be some flexibility there.
0:20:38.1 Kurt Baker: You absolutely have to be flexible and stay ahead of the curve, so to speak. So now that you got your app, then you got your white label app from Chris, you got it done. So now, what happened next at that point?
0:20:48.1 Joe Villegas: Yeah. So that happened. And then really, it’s like we’ve talked before is, the push to just get in front of more eyeballs, right? And so we have, basically, a campaign now where, and this is, I guess, for anybody listening, if you’re working at your company, or you run a company, and you would like us to come in and just do a free seminar. We’re doing free seminars for groups, really, ’cause they may not already have an existing wellness program, maybe they have one and they need to freshen up a little bit, but it’s just getting good quality content and information out to folks that can take it that day, and go do something with it and better their total well-being. So that’s a big thing we’re doing right now, along with like, we do a lot of team challenges and stuff like that with groups, which we have a lot of fun with, ’cause it gets, not necessarily super competitive or anything like that, but it just brings a lot of camaraderie to groups, and it’s really kind of fun to play out.
0:21:39.1 Kurt Baker: I’m competing against my boss, I’m cool with that, right? If you’re gonna make me do something that, maybe I can put him down a notch or two to spite him. [laughter]
0:21:44.6 Joe Villegas: Right, right, right. Yeah, show Deadlift in front of him, or something. Yeah, exactly. Show him what’s up.
0:21:49.1 Kurt Baker: Yeah, so that’s really cool.
0:21:49.9 Joe Villegas: For sure.
0:21:50.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah, and we got a lot to get into here. So I’m gonna take another quick break, but we’re gonna get into what you’re doing now and how it’s all structured, and why you structured it the way you did.
0:21:58.3 Joe Villegas: Absolutely.
0:21:58.5 Kurt Baker: You’re listening to Master Your Finances, we’ll be right back.
0:22:02.1 ANNOUNCER: We’re not just doing this for money, we’re doing it for a shitload of money. If you want to learn how to make and manage that kind of money, turn the volume up as we get back to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:22:17.3 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Joseph, and Villegas, right?
0:22:21.1 Joe Villegas: Villegas, yeah, yeah.
0:22:21.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, exactly. This is just amazing, ’cause just a little bit of my background, and my non-profit side, we deal with mental health, suicide threats and things like that, and so I have a little bit of knowledge about this, and I remember several years ago, I think it was a little bit before the pandemic in ’18, or ’19, roughly that range, where the cost on a corporate level, the cost of mental healthcare, exceeded the cost of physical care, right? So if you break your arm, that’s the physical, right? But if you have an anxiety breakdown and you have to go to the hospital, that’s mental health. And companies are now realizing, at least I think, that you have to pay a lot more attention to the employee health, because when you do, whether it’s physical or mental, you actually get more productivity, you get higher satisfaction with your employees, better retention, just all the numbers go up. And sometimes companies have a hard time understanding, that “If I spend more money here,” they don’t see the other number immediately, and they don’t grasp it, ’cause they’re not sitting in front of a spreadsheet where you can’t just say, “If I’m gonna spend X over here, I’m gonna get Y over here.” But now, larger companies have started to really understand that through these experiments that they’ve been doing. So can you kind of explain to me a little bit why this is so important and how this fits into that overall care of the employees?
0:23:35.6 Joe Villegas: Yeah, for sure. And so I think it’s worth noting like, the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? So it can be hard quantitatively to sit there and say, “Well, if we pay X dollars for wellness program now, are we gonna make Y dollars back in the long run?” And obviously, I have a bit of a bias opinion, ’cause this is my whole world, but there are more markers than your insurance premiums that you can factor in here. And so a big piece of what we look at, are things like, like you said, retention, right? So especially I’m in the millennial class, right? Like millennial folks are looking for…
0:24:10.4 Kurt Baker: Oh, you’re one of those, huh?
0:24:10.9 Joe Villegas: Yeah, one of those, right, right, right. [laughter] Exactly.
0:24:13.8 Kurt Baker: One of those, yeah.
0:24:14.2 Joe Villegas: But they’re looking for more than just a paycheck, right? There’s a lot of companies that offer a lot of cool benefits, and they’re taking a lot of the employees’ share, but it’s like, what can you give your employees today that you’re genuinely trying to help them beyond just their bills? So retention obviously being a big one. Also too, is things like discretionary effort, at least that’s what we call it. So folks who show up to work that have more energy, are just going to do more stuff.
0:24:39.4 Kurt Baker: Discretionary effort.
0:24:40.1 Joe Villegas: Yeah. Yeah, they’re gonna try harder, right?
0:24:41.7 Kurt Baker: They’re gonna just, “I’m just not coasting.”
0:24:43.4 Joe Villegas: No, exactly.
0:24:43.8 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause I don’t wanna be coasting my way through the day, right?
0:24:45.1 Joe Villegas: No, and that’s another, like you hear the term engagement thrown around a lot, it’s like, “How do we increase engagement at our company?” And it’s a real problem, right? You have folks who come in, and they just kinda punch their eight hours and they leave nine to five, whatever. That’s fine, but there’s studies that show companies that have higher engagement rates are actually 21% more profitable than those who don’t, and companies who have lower engagement rates, I think it’s like 31-50% higher turnover.
0:25:13.7 Kurt Baker: Wow!
0:25:14.2 Joe Villegas: So it’s everything to try and increase the engagement of your employees. How do you do that? So that’s, for us, our angle is through health and wellness. And so in going to a lot of companies and doing talks and working with people, even individuals, engagement, from our viewpoint, is low, because of folks coming in to work with low energy levels, low vitality. If someone comes into work and they are just exhausted mentally, physically, what have you, they’re not gonna jump out of their seat to get that report done for you, you know what I mean? They’re not doing back-flips to attend another meeting, or get on another Zoom. But if you’re helping them to balance their lifestyle out, if you’re helping them to optimize their mental health and wellness, or optimize their physical health and wellness, or both, they’re gonna have more energy, they’re gonna try harder, they’re gonna appreciate the fact that you’re taking care of them, or at least attempting to in some way. And those things increase engagement.
0:26:08.3 Joe Villegas: We also, through our programs, focus a lot on like inclusion. So I know that that term’s thrown out a lot. Inclusion as it means to us, at least in this example is, making sure that our programs speak to everybody at the company, right? So, you know, you might have somebody who’s a crazy CrossFitter at your company, does a ton of stuff, like they don’t need to be convinced to go workout or start getting their steps in, but you might have someone who’s never worked out in their life and they’re three years from retirement and they’re like, well, why am I doing this now, you know? So the program needs to have something, it’s like, what’s in it for them, right? Needs to have something for everybody. And that’s what we try to do, is sculpt it in a way where not only is it, the people who don’t need convincing can get into it, but the people who are like, maybe they’re not sure, they wanna dip their toe in and try it out. It speaks to them. It’s not intimidating, it’s something where they can join in, have fun, again get their questions answered, get the information they need to be successful at their level. They don’t have to go from zero to deadlifting a million pounds, right? They can just do it, what speaks to them.
0:27:02.6 Kurt Baker: And I think that’s a big part of this, is that these are small steps. And I know me personally, all I can do is go back to myself and think.
0:27:07.9 Joe Villegas: Sure. Sure.
0:27:09.0 Kurt Baker: One was, I just woke up one day and said, I feel like crap, I gotta go do something. I didn’t know what it was, like let me get back in the pool, start swimming, I did it. And then the next phase of this whole operation was, I still wasn’t, ’cause swimming unfortunately, by itself or even weight lifting, you’re not gonna lose weight. So I needed to lose weight and I’m hypertension, you know, on the borderline. So my weight is a key part of that. So I said, I really gotta cut it down to those, I’m gonna have to go on medications. I don’t really wanna do that.
0:27:31.9 Joe Villegas: No.
0:27:32.9 Kurt Baker: So that became the next part. Now the diet cart comes into it.
0:27:35.4 Joe Villegas: Yes.
0:27:35.9 Kurt Baker: So you wanna talk a little bit about how you can kind of step in this slowly? ‘Cause the problem that I saw is that, anybody I’ve known including myself, if you kinda do everything at once, you’re just gonna be like, I don’t like this, it’s so uncomfortable, I hate this.
0:27:47.7 Joe Villegas: Yes.
0:27:48.5 Kurt Baker: So how do we do like these little steps on either side, because it doesn’t really matter where you start?
0:27:52.9 Joe Villegas: Right.
0:27:53.6 Kurt Baker: One, both, either or, it doesn’t really matter. Just do something if you’re incrementally better, long term, it doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or you’re 80. It all, the two years from now, how do you wanna feel? You wanna feel better or worse? Right?
0:28:06.6 Joe Villegas: Yeah. Yeah.
0:28:07.7 Kurt Baker: So if you wanna feel better than you would’ve at 80 or 82, you might as well start something now, right?
0:28:11.5 Joe Villegas: Yes, exactly. And that’s a great point, right? It is. Oftentimes programs are like, six weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, you take that body and that brain with you everywhere you go, forever. So it’s great to make the investment now. So a couple of quick frameworks that we like to work off of, and actually I got these from a guy named Alex Hormozi, he’s like big in the gym space, but he talks about this concept of like a skill ladder. And so if you picture a ladder, right? The two legs on either side, so one leg would be like, they represent like the beliefs you have about yourself or the world or like your ability to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. So let’s say, the goal is to lose weight just for same example. The other leg would be your personality traits. So like, are you punctual, are you disciplined? You know, things like that. But the rungs on the ladder are skills. And the more skills you acquire, the higher you can build this ladder, and its strength is determined by your skills, your beliefs and your personality traits. I’m very much in the camp that, you can build belief in yourself and you can build personality traits through skill acquisition. Okay? And then you’ll see where I’m going with this in a second.
0:29:15.8 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:29:16.2 Joe Villegas: So for somebody just starting out or somebody who feels like they’re stuck, like maybe they are working out and they feel like, “Oh, I’m just hitting plateau after plateau, what do I do?” There is some skill in there that you’re not mastering yet, and if you can master that skill, whatever the next thing is. So in your case, you were saying, “All right, I started working out, but that wasn’t enough to like really tip the needle on the scale, so I need to focus on my nutrition.” Well, that’s like your next skill, you need to figure that out.
0:29:40.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:29:41.3 Joe Villegas: And how do we do that? So, you can go Google things and whatever. You know, what I would say is like, work with a coach because you have somebody who has years, ideally years of experience and they can condense the timeframe for you into a matter of days, weeks or months. So the more skills you stack over time, right? The more proficient you are at achieving whatever that goal is. So for me, like I said before, like I fell into coaching, I didn’t become a coach ’cause I had some crazy dream of becoming a coach. I acquired skills myself when I first started trying to lose weight. So I learned how to workout, I learned how to prep my meals, I learned how to count my calories, so on and so forth. I got into coaching. So I had to learn how to run a class, I had to learn how to run individual stuff, I had to learn how to write programs and so on and so forth, to the point where now I run a coaching business. But it all stems from these skills I acquired over time. So if your goal is to lose weight, you need to look at all the aspects that come with that. So it could be your nutrition, exercise, improving your sleep, reducing your stress, hydration. And yes, it sounds like a lot and that’s because it is. So how do you go about doing this? One step at a time, right? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
0:30:51.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:30:51.7 Joe Villegas: So in this case, what I typically focus on with folks first, is their food, is their nutrition, because you’re gonna be eating regardless. Like you might workout, you might not workout.
0:31:01.7 Kurt Baker: Let’s hope so.
0:31:02.0 Joe Villegas: Yeah, right? And you know, like food is usually the biggest one that we need to work with. Like even like psychologically, it can be very challenging to curb that. But even, truth be told, every seminar I go and do, actually the first two things we always talk about are sleep and getting your blood work done. So you understand like what’s going on under the hood and then we get into food for a good portion of it. So that folks understand, like, it’s not the diets that you’re picking that are gonna be the answer for you. There’s underlying principles that those diets adhere by, and that’s the reason you’re losing weight. So like, any diet could work as long as you stick with it. And when it stops working, you’re violating some of these nutrition principles. And we probably don’t have a ton of time to get into all of it on here.
0:31:43.7 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:31:44.1 Joe Villegas: Maybe we can.
0:31:45.3 Kurt Baker: A little bit.
0:31:46.5 Joe Villegas: So once you understand those principles, then you can get into understand like, all right, what do I need to do, playing by the rules that works for me? So some folks, they might say, oh, I wanna weigh and measure everything, I wanna do this, I wanna do that. But their brain isn’t ready to handle all of those things at once, like you were saying, like, you could do all these 50 things at once. Like the new year’s resolution folks, right? “I’m gonna do it all in January 2nd, when I’m done with the hungover.” “I’m gonna get after it.” But your brain is not, it’s not ready yet to handle all that at once. So just pick one thing. So for instance, this is an example for the listeners. A habit that we actually focus on with folks first, a lot of the time, especially if they’re newer is to try eating slowly.
0:32:27.2 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:32:27.7 Joe Villegas: Just eat slower. Like how many people listening when they’re eating, like they’ll just eat an entire snack during a commercial break of a TV show, or something, you know what I mean? They’ll just chow down, because maybe they’re in a rush, maybe they’re busy, whatever the case is, but when you slow down, you’re much more mindful about what you’re eating. You start to ask yourself like, “Do I really need to have this entire plate right now, or actually I’m starting to feel full, I don’t need to finish this, because I feel satisfied?”
0:32:52.9 Kurt Baker: Gonna take several minutes from the time you actually put it in your system, and you actually know that your stomach realizes, ’cause one of the things I’ve heard over the years is, like you put your fork down between each bite, you just wait a second and take a breath or two, and before you know it, instead of eating in three minutes, it might take you 10, or whatever, right?
0:33:08.7 Joe Villegas: Yeah. Exactly.
0:33:10.9 Kurt Baker: But during period of time, you might get full at maybe seven or eight.
0:33:12.9 Joe Villegas: 100%.
0:33:13.7 Kurt Baker: You’re like, “Ah, that’s enough,” and then you know when to stop, right? It’s okay to take the rest home. The old, clean your plate thing, is not…
0:33:20.2 Joe Villegas: Yeah, I grew up in that household when it was like…
0:33:21.2 Kurt Baker: Yeah, a lot of us did. It’s like, “Oh, here it is. There are people starving overseas somewhere.”
0:33:25.4 Joe Villegas: Right, right, right. Like, “Okay.”
0:33:27.3 Kurt Baker: Like, “Well, how’s that gonna help them?”
0:33:29.4 Joe Villegas: Yeah, I can’t deliver this thing.
0:33:31.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, so that’s awesome. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, we’re gonna take another quick break.
0:33:35.6 ANNOUNCER: Do you want to prevent this from happening to you? And it’s gone, it’s all gone. Listen closely as we now return to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:33:48.4 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Joe, and yeah, this is cool stuff, ’cause I’ve kinda gone on this journey myself, so I really think this is really important. Yeah, the different traits that you wanna make sure that people learn. And I think part of this, at least for me was, not to put too rigid of a timeframe on it. And if you slip a little, that’s okay, as long as you kinda stay the course. It’s kind of like you’re on a boat, and if the tide, if the current takes you a little bit off to the side, as long as you kinda keep that goal, and have that place on your radar where you wanna head to, you can just re-correct. Just keep chugging towards. Every once in a while you’re gonna make a setback, so as long as you kind of focus on it, I think that’s good. And you touched on one thing that I think is really important that at least I notice, is that when you’re eating right, a little bit better, even if it’s just a little bit better and exercising a little bit, just a little. It doesn’t have to take a ton from what you’re doing now, you will sleep better, which I find that’s critical. And then you’re more efficient when you go to work, and I think sometimes people misunderstand. I work really, really hard, and I’ve known many, many people that work an eight-hour day that are far more productive than people that work a 12-hour day.
0:34:54.2 Joe Villegas: Yeah, absolutely.
0:34:55.3 Kurt Baker: Because there is a diminishing return on this, and so you need to really put your mind and your body are connected, so when your body is healthier and is running better, your mind is gonna be healthier and run better, which equates to better relationships, it equates to a better profit line down, bottom lines, things like that. And I think people are starting to understand that, but I bet you’re having some resistance. I know on our non-profit sides we get resistance, even though we know what this stuff works. So what are you seeing as far as how people are receiving this in their response, and how do they say, “Yeah, you’re right, maybe we need to do something for our employees?”
0:35:26.0 Joe Villegas: Yeah, definitely. And so, typically when I go into those conversations, we sort of fall into one of two camps with people. You either get the HR manager, or the VP, or CEO, like they workout, they get it. They’re like, “Yes, we know this is important,” and then we might have a different discussion, whether it’s budget-related, or what have you, which I would argue like the way we run our corporate stuff, it’s actually not expensive at all for them to implement a lot of this stuff. But when we do have conversations with folks where it’s not on their radar maybe personally, or otherwise, I think a lot of the times they get hung up on like, “Well, what’s the ROI? What’s the ROI?” That kind of stuff. And that’s fine. I would expect that, because that’s the world that they live in. But, when it boils down to it, like I said earlier, there’s stats on companies with higher engagement rates are gonna be 21% more profitable. So if I said to you, “Okay, let us come in for six months. Let’s do a program with your team for six months, and if you see a bump in your productivity, ultimately your profitability, would that be worth it to you”? Right? Like, “What is 21% to your company?” Like, “Give me the number. What does that mean?”
0:36:33.7 Joe Villegas: And I say, “Okay, our program’s gonna cost 2% of that, Is that worth it to you to?” That kind of thing. So do I push it that hard down their throat? Absolutely not, we’re not here to do that. But it’s more of them understanding, like you said earlier at the beginning of the show is, it is a long-term play. And it’s a long-term investment in your people, and that’s really what we’re going for here. It’s not, like again, and if anyone listening’s picked up on this, I’m sure they have is like, my approach, my coach’s approach, how we approach everything, whether it’s one-on-one, or with a big group, it is a long-term play. And if you’re going to make these behavior changes, or these culture shifts in your company, it’s not gonna happen tomorrow. And it’s not gonna happen in two months. It’s gonna happen over a long period of time, but we are here to help them guide that, and we’re here to help them build that out, and create essentially the vision that they had, probably when they started the company how ever many years ago, and then helped to evolve and cultivate that. So that’s really, we get at is, to help them build that culture and build that community and that camaraderie in their group, and it just benefits everything. When we say, “When you improve everything, everything improves,” right?
0:37:37.8 Kurt Baker: Correct, yeah.
0:37:38.5 Joe Villegas: So that’s really kind of, that one.
0:37:39.8 Kurt Baker: And one thing that just struck to me when you were talking about that was, that not just for your current employees, but then if I’m gonna go out and I need to… ’cause a lot of employers are looking to hire, right? So if I’m gonna go hire somebody, if you have this aspect to it where they’re actually helping you take care of your health, I think more and more people think about that, ’cause obviously, healthcare is a big issue for everybody. They worry about it, whether now or in the future, ’cause at some point in your life, that will likely be one of your biggest expenses, especially when you age.
0:38:06.3 Joe Villegas: But we say, “If you don’t make time for your health now, you’re gonna have to make time for illness later.” Period. So whoever’s listening to this, you don’t have to sign up with us, that’s not the point. The point is like, “Do something, do anything.” And if you’re someone who works at a company, and you have the power to make a decision, make that investment in your people, whether it’s with us, or not. Like do, I would say, “Do the right thing and help these people out.”
0:38:28.5 Kurt Baker: So how does the program work? ‘Cause I kinda think, I wanna get into it just a little bit, because it’s the last segment and we only have a few minutes left.
0:38:33.9 Joe Villegas: Yeah, absolutely.
0:38:35.1 Kurt Baker: But yeah, just ’cause I know you’re doing this and you’re encouraging people, so how do you actually get people, let’s say we’re doing a six months, “Let’s try it out and see what happens,” so what are some tools you implement for these people have maybe done nothing, and they’re resistant? They’re like, “Ah, I don’t wanna do this.”
0:38:47.5 Joe Villegas: For the company, I mean?
0:38:48.3 Kurt Baker: Yeah, just company-wise.
0:38:49.0 Joe Villegas: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:38:49.7 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause some employees are gonna be like, “Yeah, this is great.” Other employees are gonna be like, “I don’t wanna do that, that’s baloney.”
0:38:53.3 Joe Villegas: Yeah, right.
0:38:54.2 Kurt Baker: Right?
0:38:54.5 Joe Villegas: Hopefully not, but yeah.
0:38:55.2 Kurt Baker: “I got other things to do that are more important.”
0:38:57.0 Joe Villegas: So we do surveys, quite a bit of surveys upfront to see what’s even relevant to the employees themselves. So if everyone at the company, let’s say, is really into mindfulness, well, coming in and doing a talk about nutrition, it’s not really gonna resonate. So really kinda look for that in, that topic that resonates with them, and we start there. The beauty of it is, is like, we’re able to kinda mold that into other aspects of wellness and make it a more holistic approach over time. So we’ll begin with just a general survey. And obviously, we’re outlining this with whoever the person is at the company, generically speaking. So we’ll get an idea of what’s important to the staff, maybe where some gaps are in their own health, like, “Hey, where do you struggle?”, like that kinda stuff, and get a real broad sense of the group. And then from there, we’ll usually kick off with a seminar, so they get to kinda see us, hopefully in person, if we can swing it. But they kinda get more acquainted with the group. So it’s not like, “Hey, we have a wellness program now,” and like, “Go do this thing.” like, “Wait, wait, I know the Paragon guys. We saw them already. They’re cool.” You know? So that’s kind of like our icebreakers; we’ll come in and do a talk about that relevant topic, get them excited.
0:39:57.0 Joe Villegas: Then from there, we’ll go… Well, at the end of the seminar, we’ll announce, “Hey, we’re gonna do a 21-day or a 30-day challenge with you guys. Here’s how it’s gonna work.” They get the rundown. So it’s a way to kind of like bring us in. It’s not threatening to the group; it’s like a fun, new event. “Hey, we’re gonna do this challenge to kick it off.” Get as many people into it as we can. And then once that challenge is done, if the company decides to go beyond that, we have our continuity program, so every month, they’re getting fresh content, essentially, in our app, when you hop into it, each employee is gonna have, you know, a little habit or two to do each day. It’s stuff where they can literally hop on at any point in time; they can hop on the train or off the train whenever they want. But they can hop on and just follow along, and it’s gonna help them to optimize their overall health and wellness. So then throughout the year, we’ll run other webinars, other little challenges and stuff like that. But that’s generally how it’s structured. It’s sorta like a couple of cool, big events upfront to really get them going, and then they’re on the longer program where they still get those events and they have fun, but it’s something like a good, big, strong kick-off to get that engagement and really drive it while they’re really excited in the beginning, and then we try to keep that going throughout the year.
0:41:00.3 Kurt Baker: So how do you get ’em excited? You keep saying they’re getting excited, so Could you describe maybe what you do to get… ‘Cause I’m thinking of like… I know a lot of people like this. They’re like, you know, “I don’t really wanna do this.”
0:41:07.0 Joe Villegas: Sure. Oh, yeah, yeah.
0:41:08.3 Kurt Baker: You gotta kinda get them to buy-in to something they really probably haven’t done either ever or for a while, at least.
0:41:12.6 Joe Villegas: Yep. Yeah. So, some of the things we do there is, we’re very big on communication with the users. So it’s everything from, obviously emails or whatever. But one of the aspects we have with our technology in the app is a company group. So think of it kind of like a Facebook group, like a Facebook feed of just your company. So it might say, you know, “Sarah did a 20-minute walk,” or “Joe did a 10-minute meditation,” or whatever. And you can comment and like and high-five and do all these cool things to kinda build the camaraderie. So we do get folks who are like, “Hey, at first, I wasn’t so sure about this thing, but it’s pretty cool.” You know, they convert down the road. But on top of that…
0:41:48.6 Kurt Baker: So you have your own virtual water cooler?
0:41:50.1 Joe Villegas: Kinda, yeah, exactly. And then, what I think really differentiates us is, the company is paired with their own coach. So there’s an actual human being on the other side who reaches out proactively, and they’ll say, “Hey, Kurt,” like, you know, “Saw you did the 10-minute walk yesterday. That’s really great. How’d it feel? How are you doing? Do you have any questions?” And they interact with the staff. So you get people who are like… You know, every once in a while, ’cause we can track all the compliance and who’s participating and who’s not. And we found like you get those folks who, they’ll do the activities, but they’re not gonna go and post; they’re not gonna participate out loud. But then when we kinda get them on their own and we direct message with them, they open up and they get into it. You know, humans are very tribal animals, you know what I mean? Like, we’re definitely pack animals for sure. So as the group gets more into it and gets more engaged, they actually tend to pull people in with them, because everybody’s doing it, right? Like, if you’re in a room of 100 people and 99 of them walk out, you’re gonna follow wherever they’re going. You know what I mean? You’re not just gonna stand there and like…
0:42:48.5 Kurt Baker: For good or bad.
0:42:49.2 Joe Villegas: Yeah, and see what’s going on. So that’s kinda part of it too, is like if we can get to sort of that tipping point, like 30% or so into it, generally speaking, you’re gonna pull in a lot more people in that. And we have really, really strong engagement rates. So a typical wellness program at a company might be like 15% participation, 20%. Routinely, in our challenges, we get over 50%. We average about 60-65%. We’ve had groups up around 90%, which is insane.
0:43:15.8 Kurt Baker: That’s insane. To do anything; you can’t get 90% of everybody to do anything.
0:43:19.6 Joe Villegas: No. But we do. And some of it’s how the challenge is structured and how we incentivize the group and that kind of stuff. But we find once those folks who maybe were skeptical in the beginning do it a little bit and they participate and they have some fun, it’s a lot easier to bring them on to the longer-term program, to go from there, now they’ve tasted the food, you know what I mean? They’ve had some fun, they’ve enjoyed it, they’ve done it with their peers, they see it’s pretty cool, and they wanna continue beyond that.
0:43:46.3 Kurt Baker: So once they get into it initially, now you got ’em on board, you got up to 90%, I mean, 30%, 50%. All those are great numbers; I just know that. So how do you keep ’em motivated long-term? Because this is not a 21 or 30-day process; this is a forever process that we need to get into.
0:44:01.2 Joe Villegas: 100%, yeah. Great question. So we have kind of like our evolving calendar throughout the year, we’ll focus on certain topics, we like to use the world health topic, so like January is heart health month, and things like that, just to bring awareness to certain topics; keep some variety in there. But what’s cool is, employees can actually work with a coach beyond just the corporate program. ‘Cause like I said, we have that one-on-one aspect, so if they decide, “Hey, you know what? I do need a little more help with my nutrition,” or you know, “I’m struggling with stress, and I wanna kinda figure that out,” they can literally just direct message to the company coach, and we’ll work with them to get signed up, and they can go get that personal attention and care beyond just the regular program. So we go really wide; we got a big group in there, but we can go really deep as well to give that personalized care.
0:44:44.5 Kurt Baker: So it’s very customized based on what each individual person needs, right? ‘Cause we’re all different. That’s one of the key issues that you have, and that’s probably why you’re having a higher success rate, ’cause it’s not like one-size-fits-all.
0:44:54.4 Joe Villegas: Exactly.
0:44:54.6 Kurt Baker: And that’s a big difference. So yeah, we’re running out of time. Any last words, or you wanna sum this up for us? What’s the most important things people should be thinking about now to get moving ahead?
0:45:03.4 Joe Villegas: Oh man, that’s a loaded question. I would say wherever you are, whether you’re starting, going back to that sort of skill piece, if you feel like you’re stuck, you don’t know where to start, is just either trying to identify the skill that you’re not strong with yet, so it could be your food or exercise, what have you. And if you haven’t started, is just start doing something. Just like if you were to invest a little bit of money each month, or put a little in your 401k or what have you. This is an investment in your physical and mental well-being, and it’s going to compound over time. So go for a 10-minute walk after you eat your food, or sit down and just have five minutes to yourself if you can make that happen. You know what I mean? Do a little something for yourself each day, and you’ll find that that opens the floodgates to you doing more and being okay with doing more, ’cause now you’ve made a little bit of time for yourself, so I would start there.
0:45:46.6 Kurt Baker: Awesome, Joe. We really appreciate it.
0:45:48.2 Joe Villegas: Yeah, my pleasure.
0:45:48.3 Kurt Baker: Thanks for coming on, Joe Villegas. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. Have a great day.
0:45:54.4 ANNOUNCER: That’s all for today’s episode of Master Your Finances. Missed Kurt Baker’s biggest money managing tip or even a full episode? Head on over to masteryourfinances.us or 1077thebronc.com/masteryourfinances. Look for Master Your Finances on Anchor, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts. We’ll see you next time, only on 107.7 The Bronc.