Jon Dwoskin is a business coach, mentor, executive coach, and speaker that helps entrepreneurs and companies find their flow, get them unstuck and THINK BIG(GER). He’s also the author of The Think Big Movement and How to Think Big, and the host of the THINK Business podcast, which has more than 1,250 published episodes. Jon Dwoskin has been called the “business whisperer“ thanks to his ability to see & hear what others can’t when it comes to improving companies, and he does so by offering crucial advice for making the next pivotal business choice. He’s a go-to solution specialist that businesspersons look to for guidance, high-level planning, training, and accountability to grow their businesses and themselves.
The Audiotapes That Shaped Jon Dwoskin’s Future
The defining moment in Jon Dwoskin’s life came at the age of 18 when his father gifted him with a set of tapes by Brian Tracy called The Psychology of Success. Jon was just starting college, but when listening to Brian Tracy’s tapes he realized that’s what he wanted to do: helping people grow. Listening to Brian Tracy’s audiotapes surely was the How’d It Happen moment for Jon Dwoskin, as it laid off the foundation for his future, also for another reason. Jon, in fact, realized that he could retain information way better than he did when reading, and several years later he was discovered to have dyslexia.
Jon felt naturally pulled to being a business coach, but it took him some time to actually make it happen. During this time, Jon Dwoskin gathered a lot of experience that will later prove to be essential for being a business coach. After graduating college in 1995, together with his brother and a friend, he founded an internet company that was selling websites. Those were the very first years of the internet, and the company grew rapidly. So much so that in just two years it was sold to USWeb – the largest Internet professional service firm in the world at the time. After battling cancer, Jon got into the commercial real estate business for over a decade, and after serving as Chief Operating Officer of The Hayman Company, he founded The Jon Dwoskin Experience, something which he had envisioned 25 years prior, where he helps businesses grow big.
And now here’s Jon Dwoskin.
[2:53] How’d it happen for Jon?
[4:48] Who is Brian Tracy?
[7:30] On his dyslexia
[15:43] What it was like growing up for Jon
[20:50] On getting older
[25:42] What took all the time before deciding to start his business
[32:47] His cancer diagnosis
[37:31] How he decided to start being a business coach
[38:37] His first engagement and where his business is now
[41:03] On how he helps his clients
[45:20] Why do people get stuck in their businesses?
[49:38] How to connect with Jon
Full transcript below
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Podcast with Jon Dwoskin. The Business Whisperer – How to See Clearly, Think Big and Perform Best.
business, people, commercial real estate, brian tracy, called, thought, coaching, company, coach, john, typing, clients, evolved, years, managers, office, grow, tapes, talk, corporate america
Mike Malatesta, Jon Dwoskin
Mike Malatesta 00:05
Hey everybody, welcome back to the How It Happened Podcast. I’m so happy to have you here as I am with every episode. Before we get started today, I do want to remind you that my new book Owner Shift – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck is available on Amazon, or, of course on my website, Mikemalatesta.com. It’s getting really great reviews. And I’d love for you to pick it up and give it a whirl and let me know what you think. I don’t think you’ll regret the decision. And I would really appreciate the feedback. And yeah, and the feedback, the feedback. Good. So, enough of me, you’re not here to listen to my story today. You’re here to listen to my guest. John Dwoskin joins me on the show today. John, welcome to the podcast.
Jon Dwoskin 01:09
Thanks. Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it, Mike. It’s good to be here.
Mike Malatesta 01:14
So let me tell you a little bit about John so that you can get as excited about him as I am. John Dwoskin is a business coach, author and speaker and he’s been a founder and entrepreneur, and an executive at the highest levels, is think business podcast with over 1200 episodes. That’s I thought I had a lot at 240 something or whatever this is John is blowing, blowing me away. But 1200 episodes, it’s remarkable, provides one to one in depth and soulful conversations with executives, managers, and salespeople who are making a difference in their company’s communities. And in themselves, John’s books, the Think big movement and how to think big 10 strategies to get unstuck today, put in writing the wisdom tools and strategies he uses to coach and inspire high level performers, get them unstuck, and have them become the biggest and best versions of themselves. John can be found at John Dwoskin. That’s J ondwoskin.com. And on LinkedIn at John Ruskin, same spelling, he’s known as the business whisperer. So let’s lean in and learn. John, let’s get started. How did it happen for you?
Jon Dwoskin 02:39
Yeah. You know, as I sit here, you know, thanks so much for having me on the show, as we sit here, December 15, recording 2021. I’m 49 I’ll be 50 next year. And when I was 18 years old, Mike, my dad gave me a set of tapes. That’s right before I went to college, and he said, Jonathan, I think you’ll do really well in college. But I think you’ll learn more from these from these people than you will school. And it was Brian Tracy psychology of success. And the moment I put it on my ears, I knew it is it was exactly what I wanted to do for a living, I wanted to it just resonated with me on such a, such a deep level, almost maybe like a past life level. Like it just everything made sense. It the way everything was simply put it just I just got it. And I thought this is what I want to do. I want to I want to at that point, you know, make tape sets, you know, I want to write books, I want to speak I want to help people grow. And, and and I didn’t start my business till I was 43. But the business plan started when I was at
Mike Malatesta 04:02
the coaching business unit coaching
Jon Dwoskin 04:04
business. I’m talking I started a business out of college, but my coaching business which is which was planted at that age, I have been building the business plan for decades.
Mike Malatesta 04:18
And Tom for those of us, I do, but for those of us listening who do not know who Brian Tracy is, or was I can’t remember if he’s deceased or not, but still alive. Yeah, yeah. So who is Brian Tracy And what about what Brian Tracy was saying in those tapes? You know, clicked with you. Yeah.
Jon Dwoskin 04:39
Brian Tracy is a I guess back in the day you would call him a motivational speaker. But you know, maybe today inspirational speaker and he’s, you know, written books like that, you know, such as the psychology of selling and Eat That Frog and the success handbook maximum achievement and the art of closing like all of these things, and when I. And so he’s, he’s great. And what what what I loved about him was he just seems to break things down to the simple. Everything he talks about just seemed simple, you know, scholastically school was always very difficult for me. And so I didn’t know I was dyslexic till I was 30. But, so I could, it was always hard for me to retain and do well in school. But when I listened to these tapes, everything made sense. I could retain it, I got it, I understood it. I understood how to execute on it. And it was it was just basic, basic stuff that was maybe so simple. It was complicated to others, but very simple to me. And when I started a business out of my business out of college with my brother and a buddy of ours, there is a thing locally called, yes, a positive network where they brought in every month, a different speaker. And one of the speakers they brought in, you know, I think I saw for sure, two, maybe three times, one of the speakers was Brian Tracy. And so I would go to, I remember, it was a four or five, six hour seminar, and then we would go and buy all of his tape sets, right, and then listen to all of them. And, and, and it was great. It was great. And every time. And it’s interesting, because now at this age, you know, you know, I’m listening to tapes, 1819 2021 22 I still do. But it wasn’t till I was 30 that I after a test I took to find out I was dyslexic, that I was actually an auditory auditory learner. That was my primary way of learning. And so it made sense to me how I could retain so well, versus reading a book. I read a ton, but I retain more when I listen. So to me, Audible is one of the greatest gifts of all time, or the way of learning today, you know, YouTube, Audible, watching, you know, Masters class, I mean, I could go on and on, that the way to learn from me today is great.
Mike Malatesta 07:11
And, and this dyslexia thing, you said you took a test when you were 30. What was Did you think that there was something wrong? And then, you know, this test just became available? Because I know, they’re I don’t know, what the tests are called. But I guess I’m curious, a ways
Jon Dwoskin 07:27
test, you know, I called I, you know, I, I, I was having trouble retaining things that I didn’t feel like I should have, I was in commercial real estate, I was selling apartment buildings in Michigan. And after a year, year and a half of like, just, you know, working 12 hour days and pounding the pavement, I got $100 million worth of listings in like a week, and five different apartment buildings. And I knew them like the back of my hand. I mean, I had been, you know, studying them and underwriting them and, you know, doing proposals and pitching them to the to the sellers. And when they hit the market, I was doing a conference call to my Chicago offices. And I couldn’t remember when people were asking me questions, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t remember with the answers. I couldn’t retrieve some of the things. And so I called my therapist at the time, Dr. Kay, and I said, Something’s wrong with the way I’m, I’m learning it doesn’t make sense. And I couldn’t retrieve certain information that I know that I’ve spent 100 hours. So I took a five days I think it’s called the ways W a is tests. And it was like a five day test two hours a day. And, and he said, you know, you should buy the book, Living with dyslexia. So as for who he’s like for you, right? And so for me, I don’t necessarily read backwards or things of that nature. But from a, you know, for me, where it really sits in is from a retrieval standpoint. So what I learned how to do, Mike is I learned how to prepare differently. And so what I when I looked at the back of the situation that I told you about, I left the office on Friday, you know, didn’t look at the deals again, until Monday morning, didn’t even look at them because I figured I knew them for the Monday morning call. I think it was like at eight o’clock or 830 in the morning. And you know, that weekend I had probably toured properties with less than the other but too much time had gone by for me to retrieve it off the top of my head. And so what I’ve learned to do is create cheat sheets. Make write everything down glance at my notes because then it pops right back into my memory. Or Or I can then speak to it. And even in my business now I can type as fast as I can talk. My dad when I was in high school was mandatory to take two semesters of typing and my dad would He said, whatever class you pay attention to pay attention and typing, it’ll serve you really well. So I can type almost as fast as I can speak. So when I’m talking to clients coaching, and I’m coaching them in a very customized high level way, and I’m allowing things to kind of come through me and speak to them in real time, I’m also taking notes as I coach and think in real time, because I can type in real time. And so it allows me to go from for the client to have a full review of what we just talked about. But also for me to go back and refresh my memory, oh, we talked about this, this was and then I can get right back into the energy of that, but I don’t have to rely on my brain to retrieve things. It’s just too much energy for me. And so I I evolved skillsets, where, you know, I turn those weaknesses into, you know, I neutralize them.
Mike Malatesta 10:57
And that’s it. That’s really interesting that you take notes and typing notes, because a couple of things, one you had mentioned, you know, audible and audio and YouTube were sort of gifts, right, that that you could then, you know, get information that way. And then I hear I’ve heard people say, lots of people say, you know, when you’re, when you’re typing, it’s hard to remember what you’re, you know, the notes as opposed to writing by hand, you know, because a hand is connected to your brain and that kind of thing. I just, since you brought it up, I thought, Well, you’re the year of business whisper to so what, how do you?
Jon Dwoskin 11:33
Well, for me, I can think ahead. So I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve, I’ve always loved businesses, I can think ahead and I can forecast and I can, I can see, you know, what’s what’s about to happen, reverse engineer, and then set course. And so for me, as I’m coaching someone, I’m like downloading things, and I’m typing them almost as if it’s like a blackboard in my eye frame. Okay, so it’s hard to explain, but it’s just kind of how my brain works, right? So someone will say, okay, here, I’ll say, Okay, tell me what’s tell me what’s going on. And they’ll tell me and I can, I can process to kind of, and I can start to kind of hear what they’re gonna say before they say it, and then see, like on a blackboard, so I’m kind of typing what I hear and see in my head. Okay. Yeah,
Mike Malatesta 12:28
and Thanks for Thanks for answering that. Because it’s, it’s you just have a unique perspective, given you’re given the dyslexia and the typing skill, which is
Jon Dwoskin 12:37
sort of add to it was like, you know, you, you, you, you create the tools for yourself? Yeah. Because you, I hate saying this, it’s like, you know, like people say, Well, you don’t learn, you know, like the normal or average person or this, I don’t know, what’s average and what’s not average, I know, everybody needs to figure out no matter if you have dyslexia or not, everybody’s got to figure out how they learn. And then what tools and what tools they need to I was gonna say tricks, but I don’t like that word, what tools they need to accelerate. It’s no different than, you know, there’s things I’m not good at, I find somebody who is and I hire that person. You know, I’m a business coach, I have eight virtual assistants, all throughout the country, doing things that I’m not good at, that I don’t want to do. So I can spend time coaching and being with clients and doing the stuff that I love, why exert energy and do something that I am not good at takes me way too much energy, way too much mental energy. And if it falls into anything that that the dyslexia affects, I don’t want to do it. I hire it out.
Mike Malatesta 13:49
Right. Yeah, that’s, that’s great advice, too. We had Glenn reed on the podcast, I don’t know if you know him or not, but earlier, and one of his things we kept saying it over and over is like, maximize my strengths. Hire all my weaknesses, Max, Max,
Jon Dwoskin 14:02
hire all my weaknesses, right? Yeah. I don’t even consider them weaknesses. They’re just things that are not my highest potential. They’re not that they’re not What is there not things I’m good at. That doesn’t mean it’s a weakness. It’s just, I’m not good at it. I don’t like to do it. But it’s a but you have to do it. I don’t like bookkeeping. So I have a bookkeeper, right. I don’t send out invoices to my clients. My bookkeeper does I don’t want to do it is no interest to me. I I don’t need to learn QuickBooks ever.
Mike Malatesta 14:34
Yeah, yeah. And even if you’re right, even if you’re great at it, you may not like it. And if you don’t like it, it doesn’t give you energy. And if it doesn’t give you good energy, then you’re
Jon Dwoskin 14:42
correct. And it’s not a good use of your time. You know, it’s like if you’re billing out at X amount, you know, per client, and you’re doing 2535 40 $50 An hour work just doesn’t make sense. If you just look at your life at an hourly you know, what’s your total I’m worth, you know, I look at always, what’s my time where it’s, you know, people always say, I order, my wife and I order, do a lot of Instacart. And, you know, and with the kids, sometimes we’ll order GrubHub and this and people say, Do you know what the fees are? And I have no idea. I never look at the fees. What? I just saved an hour and a half that having to go grocery shopping. Like that’s priceless to me.
Mike Malatesta 15:21
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Good point. Yeah. So you so your dad seems pretty wise. You know, the typing, getting you introduced to Brian Tracy tapes? And what was what was it like for you? You know, growing up? I mean, what did what do your parents do? And what were you thinking about doing before? You had this sort of epiphany? Listening to Brian Tracy?
Jon Dwoskin 15:44
Yeah, well, you know, that’s when I was 18. And then when I went into college, I changed my major about five times, you know, I, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. But in college, it’s not like, I wanted to do it. But it’s not like I even knew how to do it at that point. You know, I had no experience, it wasn’t like, I could just, you know, today, I feel like the world is such that you could graduate high school or college and become a coach of some type, right? It’s just like a different world. But you know, 30 years ago, it wasn’t with the APA, the thought wasn’t even like that, you know, so. So I changed my major. I was pre med for a year, I was an actuarial science major for a year, I was just trying to figure out what I enjoyed. I ultimately ended up double majoring in economics and journalism. I thought I would be a journal journalist, I wanted to be the next Larry King at one point, you know, so I kept on changing my major, almost every year of school. And once it didn’t, you know, fit. I was, oh, well, maybe this is the major and, and, and so, yeah, so that was kind of, you know, how that road but as far as, you know, growing up in my house, I mean, that’s a little bit of a loaded question. But it was filled with a lot of laughter. You know, my mom was hilarious, really funny, and my dad worked his ass off, was a solo practitioner, Dennis had an office, the people who worked for him, you know, worked for him for 30 plus years. And he was always home for dinner. And we were a close family unit, you know, and there was, you know, stuff. But, you know, the older I get, like, the more I look at it, and I say all the stuff for the drama, or this, I really look at it with eyes of my parents did the best they could with the tools they had, they did the best they had, they did the best they could, you know, they they provided for my brother and I. And, you know, they were there for us when we needed them. Are there instances where I would have wanted them more? Yes. But they, they were at capacity, they were at capacity with certain things. And so, you know, I spent a lot of years in therapy, and I kind of, you know, the older I get, the more I get them, you know, both my parents passed away, my dad passed away. It was, I think, six, seven years ago, and my mom passed away when I was 25. And so I don’t know. So the journey of understanding some of their decisions and them as human beings and them as parents and them as just people is always evolving is I am married and have two children. And my son is now a freshman in college. And my son is as I mentioned, my son is a freshman in college, my daughter is a sophomore in high school, I just I start to get them more and appreciate them more and expand the wisdom with, with with new perspective, as I get older as I continue to get older, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m about to be 50 You know, in my 20s I was pissed, or I my 20s I was happy in my 30s I was pissed and my, you know, at certain things in my 40s I was evolving, you know, from under to understanding, but as I as I, as I kind of get to 50 I don’t know, I just kind of I just see life differently. Now. You know, and I don’t look at the I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. So it’s funny to ask this question. I don’t look at all of the stuff that I want for you to sad or negative or this. I kind of view it as like those made me who I am. Those are solid lessons. Those are those words. opportunities to, that are helping me now in my life. And if I didn’t have those, I wouldn’t be able to almost be the type of husband or be the father be the coach in my business that I can be they’ve infused so much, you know, so many emotions and so much perspective. And so many lenses that I don’t know, I’m just kind of embracing it versus being angry by it.
Mike Malatesta 20:31
As you were talking your way through that, I was thinking to myself, because I’m 56 I’m a little older than you. But when you were talking about the older I get, the more I get them. I I know, for me, the experience has been like, the older I get, the less sure I am that I know anything for sure. Yeah.
Jon Dwoskin 20:55
Yeah, no. 100%. Right.
Mike Malatesta 20:57
So when I was younger, and coming up when I thought I knew everything, of course, I could make judgments and correct my, how my parents handled this, or that, or how my friends handled this, or that, or a co worker handle this or that, because I always thought in the back of my mind, even if I wouldn’t say that what I was thinking was right, right. Right. Thinking, right, wrong. But, um, but I’ve come to believe that, you know, I, I’m not sure, you know, I heard a person say that person say, you know, there’s no such thing as truth with a capital T. It’s all the stories you tell yourself. And I think, you know what, I think he’s right.
Jon Dwoskin 21:33
Right? There’s a lot of truth to that, right. It’s like, you know, to i, the older I get, also I understand about what being present means meaning Yes, I have no clue. All I know is today, you know, an exercise that I started doing, Mike was, at the end of every night, I write down three wins three gains from the day, three wins that I want for the next day. And one thing I’m grateful for, because my brain will go to the dark side, my brain will play out a negative something or I will even like, you know, just you hear a song and then something happens, then you’re triggered. And then you remember something when you were 20 that your parents did. And it’s like, it takes you down this like road. And so I find that from for me from my brain, I have to remind myself every night, hey, this is what I did. These are some wins, these are gonna be my wins for tomorrow. This is what I’m grateful for. And, and that’s how I go to bed. Right? That’s how I end my night. That not that I’m like, I do it. And then I fall asleep immediately. But that’s, that’s how I’m trying to rewire my brain is to not get stuck in the gaps of things that are simply a perspective of only mind based on only me. And I like you said, I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. Because I find the older I get, the more my perspective, my perspective evolves. So, so if I, so why get lost in you know, I try to I try to kind of almost zoom out and be an observer of myself and an observer of the past when that happens. Yeah, and try to look at it almost like a movie and be like, Okay, I kind of I kind of get it now I can pull a new nuance lesson from a from a moment, or I heard a long, long time ago. I don’t remember what’s in a book or a podcast, I listened and read so much I forget where I kind of get things from, but they said, Can you change the past? And the answer was yes. Because you can change your perspective of the past. And I thought that was that really. So I always try to kind of remind myself, and then when I get irritated at something or someone growing up, we had one of our, our neighbors were this family called the Sherry’s and the mom of you know, they had six kids, they were the greatest. You know, they were this Irish Catholic family. We were this Jewish family. I mean, it was the best, you know, we would go there and have like chocolate milk, I mean, milk and chocolate cake and ham sandwiches, and you know, and we and it was the greatest I didn’t have that type of stuff. So, but the mom was an absolute saint, she was an angel. And, and the story her kids always say is when they were irritated, she would say, Pray for them. Right? And so it’s something you don’t think about that, you know, so, but I often try to put myself in that. If I’m irritated. I try to get out of myself and say, Okay, I kind of channeled in Peggy to Sherry and say, Pray for them, and a grant and, and that being on top was trying to take myself out as being an observer of it. It’s like 98% like it helps so much. Yeah.
Mike Malatesta 24:57
And what you said about the You know, the gains and the winds, not, not just for today, but for tomorrow, it reminded me of this whole stock thing. What’s the reason that entrepreneurs and leaders get stuck? Yeah, well, because they’re not thinking about the gains and the wins that they had right thinking about the losses, what they’re considered to be the losses, right. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll get more into that. Because yeah, but but but I’m wondering, you made a comment about coaching, and you said, you know, now, you can become a coach, you know, say right out of college, you can become a life coach, for example. And I laugh that I shouldn’t laugh, because maybe you can maybe some people are that evolved. But you, you just said that that sort of wasn’t done. You know, when when you came out, and you had this long period of time from 21 nights or so when you got out of college? 243 said, when you started? Yeah, this is even though you knew when you’re 18, that this is what you want to do, or something like it? Yeah. So what took all the time for you to finally get to the point where you’re like, now’s the time. Now’s
Jon Dwoskin 26:12
the time. You know, I graduated college, and I started an internet company in June of 95, with my brother and a buddy of ours, and in June of 95, the Internet was brand new, you know, we were selling websites. And I was the sales guy grew the sales team. I was kind of the business plan guy as well. And, and we grew that company. We sold it two years later to the largest Internet professional service firm in the world. And then we were partners in that company. And so after a couple years, when my contract was up, I left that took a little bit of time off. And then I always wanted to be getting into commercial real estate. My grandfather was in real estate, and it always was an appealing business to me. And, and kind of I felt like fate played a role in getting me into commercial real estate. When I was 30, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And so I had to go through about I can’t remember it was 12 or 17 treatments of radiation. And my brother at this deal of my grandpa’s came to life that he always used to talk about it. My brother said, what do we what do we do about this? And so, so we’ll call such and such, which was this kind of mutual friend that my brother and I had, who was in real estate? And so he said, alright, well, we’re gonna go immediate, we’re going for sushi. You Why don’t you meet us there. And I said, you know, I can’t meet you there. Because I had a, an appointment to get some radiation treatment. And then I was just nauseous for like, months, you know, I couldn’t and the idea of smelling sushi. So anyway, long story short, I ended up meeting them in the parking lot. And the person that we met, said, What are you doing? I said, I’m just kind of, you know, taking a break right now. And but I want to get into commercial real estate, I want to sell, you know, buildings. And he said, oh, you should come over to my shop. I said, No, you your leasing guy, I want to be an investment sales said no, I just moved to this new shop that, you know, recently opened up in Detroit. It was a, you know, national company. So I interviewed and got the job and started selling apartment buildings. And so I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved getting been in the commercial real estate space, the energy of it. But then after six years, I just got restless of that I was became one of the top conventional guys in my office. I was just bored. I wanted to so then I thought, You know what, I’m going to start my own. I’m going to start my coaching company now. And then they offered me the opportunity because the guy who managed their office was getting promoted to a managing director. So he said, Hey, if you you want to manage this office, so I interviewed got the job. And they said, you can start August 4 of oh eight, well, I thought, Alright, I’ll do it. And if I don’t like it, I saw my database. I can go be a broker or I don’t even I didn’t, I didn’t care. I was I had nothing to lose. Or I’ll just start my coaching business, right? Like that was my mindset. Well, I started August 4, wait, the market crashed in September of Oh, eight. And then my office was just flattened. I mean, it was just like, annihilated if you were in that, you know, if you remember that time, it was just devastating. I remember. Anyway, long story short, I grew that office to be one of the most profitable offices in the company. I grew it to 45 agents, 60s, put some people, I was on the CEO Advisory Committee, I was a local, regional and national sales trainer. They would send me into troubled offices to kind of help figure out what’s going on. I was very kind of ingrained. And, and and just this kind of coaching element of it like granted, it was commercial real estate, but I was kind of in a way doing my coaching thing. I was hiring, training, retaining, you know, speaking, you know, doing all this fun stuff. Well, in about four and a half, five years, I started getting a little restless again, right. It was getting a little monotonous. The company was ramping up to go public, and so it was getting really corporate and, and, you know, I had kind of an autonomy, I they left me alone and then all of a sudden it was kind of like, it just was getting suffocating for me it was losing the creativity for me. And there was a lot of things I wanted to do that I couldn’t do. And so I thought, I want to start my coaching business now. So as I was getting ready at around six years to resign, I had an opportunity then to go in house to a 50 year old company, and help restructure them for a year. So I resigned, gave three weeks left on a high note, went in house to a company for a year helped restructure this 50 year old company. Then I started my business, which is now six and a half years ago, as we record this. So it was a it was a it was a it was a little bit of reinvention, a little bit of following the universe. And and and now I’m a business coach, that hat is basically been in business, right? So I’ve started a company sold a company restructured a company built an office been through recessions, right, you know, so I have perspective on things that I don’t think I could have. I could have done it but I don’t know if I could have done it as well as I can do it when I sit with it since I started the business.
Mike Malatesta 31:18
Right? You couldn’t you couldn’t do it. For real. When I’m what I mean by that is for real meaning you have real experiences. You could do it from listening to Brian Tracy or whoever today’s you know, Tony Robbins, direct today’s Brian Tracy is but you couldn’t do it. For real. That’s what I think that’s what I’m hearing well,
Jon Dwoskin 31:39
also, right. So as a coach, I mean, it’s up to you. But as a coach. I mean, I I customize everything I do for every client. I mean, I keynotes and I do a lot of group trainings and keynotes. But most of my coaching is one on one. And so I’m listening, I’m an active listener in my clients world. And I am able to ask questions, so that they can activate something they cannot activate on their own. Yeah, right. And they cannot access it. And then we reverse engineer it and provide tools for them to do. And so that is that’s, that’s a gift, I can take everything and customize the simplicity of what they need to do in buyable pieces,
Mike Malatesta 32:23
right when they’re making it when they’re making a complex for their brains making it complex. John, when you did did the and I don’t I don’t know the exact timeline here. So I’m going to ask was, was the resignation from the company that bought your internet company? Was that tied to the cancer diagnosis? Or was just No,
Jon Dwoskin 32:41
I know, and I was 23. I started my business I sold when I was 25 and then left that company when I was 27. Okay, I got into commercial real estate. Had a I worked for a company called Quest communications for a year, just because I wanted to get some experience in a corporate world as an employee. Then when I was 30, I right before I got into commercial real estate, I was when I actually wasn’t even working. I had taken some time off. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And then I thought, okay, as long as I get through this, and I had a stage one, it was no big it was it was a big deal, but the best of what you could want, you know, I was able to have children and I mean, everything was a blessing. I thought, Okay, once I get through this, I’m going to get into commercial real estate. And then I got into commercial real estate. Now, during my commercial real estate time. When I was 40, I think it was when I was 40. I can’t remember outside my head. But yeah, it was when I was 40. Because I went for my 10 year checkup. And long story short, I will make a long story. I’ll make a long story short, they called me and said, Your blood came back you have cancer, it’ll to your body. We’ve never seen anything so bad. You got to get into our office, they were ready to start chemo. They were ready to like, they basically told me I was gonna die. And I and I said to them, I don’t believe that. The first time I knew I had cancer, I could just sense it and feel it. I’m not sensing it. I’m not feeling it. I think you’re wrong. They said the odds of us being wrong are one in a million. So I said okay, we’ll take some emergency CAT scans, ultrasounds bloodwork, etc. So they did and they thought I was crazy. They fought me to take the test. And they then called me a day and a half later, so for a day and a half, I thought I was gonna die. And then my wife thought I was gonna die. It was horribly traumatizing. And they call me and said, You’re right, we botched your blood, you’re fine. And so at that moment in time, that moment in time when I really was kind of faced at death’s door I really not but for what these doctors were telling me a couple lessons Since from there, one, you always have to be your own doctor, you always have to get a second or third opinion, you always have to listen to your instincts. But that moments made me realize I’m going to do what I love to do, period, the end. And so that kind of stamped, I felt like I had this, like, Get Out of Jail Free card of like, losing my fear of death because it was so, you know, being told to me, and you can’t believe everything you hear right? Now, I think a normal person would have taken that gone through chemo and be dead today. Right? You have to, you have to be your own doctor. And so, you know, fast forward. You know, this is I’m now 49 After I started my business, my dad went to New York never sick a day in his life. 71 years old, went to New York had a stomachache dropped dead in New York. And So had I not It was horrible. Had I not started my own business. And I was in corporate America, I would have quit corporate America the next day. Because it just another, you know, another example of Life is short. And for me, not everybody, but for me. I wanted to be fulfilled in my career, and love what I do, period. And for me, it wasn’t in corporate America. Right. It was having my own business where I could control my time, my freedom, my creativity, and be in my highest potential and love what I
Mike Malatesta 36:34
do. Yeah. And cancer free now. jazzer
Jon Dwoskin 36:38
Frey? Yeah, I mean, it’s been almost 20 years. Yeah.
Mike Malatesta 36:42
Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. So when you by the way, I love how in your bio, in my book, I have a chapter that first chapter starts when I was four. And I love in your bio, you have like, when I say these, these milestone event, remember when I was 18? When I was 21? When I was 30. When I was 31? Yeah, it’s it’s it’s a real nice way to sort of segment your life into pivot. Yeah, moments or shift moments, whatever, whatever they are. Anyway, just as an as an aside, thank you. So you decide you’re going to get started. As a business coach, how do you get started?
Jon Dwoskin 37:19
Just start, you make a plan. I built a 60 page business plan. And I built a plan with every metric packages, pricing values, mission vision, pages of q&a of questions that reporters would ask me and how I would answer them. I mean, every nitty gritty detail, I created a plan before the company even was started, right. I knew how I was answering questions to the media, you know, and I had big goals. And then I launched it on social media. And I launched it on social media, and I launched doing video tips and social media.
Mike Malatesta 38:02
Video Tips like what what were the what were the early ones like?
Jon Dwoskin 38:06
Yeah, hey, this is John Dwoskin. Here’s a quick tip to grow your business. yet. Okay.
Mike Malatesta 38:11
Just some simple Quick Sips. Yeah, okay. Yeah. Hmm. Cool. And your who your What can you tell me about? Can you remember what can you tell me about your first engagement, and then I want to talk about sort of where you are now, and particularly who you work with now? Because I’m assuming that over that six, seven year period, you’ve, you’ve evolved and figured out, you know, where you Yeah, provide the most value, right?
Jon Dwoskin 38:38
So I, yeah, I work with solopreneurs, to Fortune 100. Companies and everything in between. I work with C level execs, I work with leaders, I work with owners of companies, I work with managers, vice presidents of sales, and salespeople. I work with all of them everywhere. And, and and it doesn’t necessarily matter. I work with every industry you could possibly imagine. Some clients, I work with one of the different groups I just shared with you. Some of them, I work with multiple some of my work with all. And so it really depends. And the way my coaching works is we do depending on who I’m working with a one to five hour Deep Dive. And that’s usually over one to three sessions. And then we do 15 minutes a week or 30 minutes every other week, or sometimes an hour, a month, or sometimes 45 minutes a week, depending on the shelf life of what the of what the specific client needs. And we and we strategize for the upcoming week. We set plans, I can hear and see things that can’t, I can see things that are hidden in plain sight. I can pick up on opportunities that they can’t see or hear and, and then raise their awareness. Ask them questions to access areas that they can’t get to on their own. own, and then provide an action plan for the week or every two weeks for that. And again, I’m I’m typing or recording everything and drop, you know, his, you know Dropbox or however that is.
Mike Malatesta 40:12
Let’s so like me dive into that a little bit because the and I take take entrepreneurs out of it for right now because I’m not going to assume that an entrepreneur, the depth by definition has control over the actions that they would take based on your coaching, for example. But others who work in a corporate environment may have more limited, you know, ability to address what I call external forces that are impacting their growth or whatever they’re selling you about is their, how do you? Am I right about that? First of all, that can be a challenge. And I’m just wondering how you help people work around something like that, if it if it is,
Jon Dwoskin 40:55
yeah. Wait, can I ask you a quick question? I’ve got to the bathroom? Can we pause this for sure. I’m sorry. I’ll be back. Sorry. I’ll be back in one second,
Mike Malatesta 41:03
no worries. 321?
Jon Dwoskin 41:12
You know, I one of the key things that what you’re talking about is effective communication. Right? It’s all about how are you communicating? How are you messaging yourself? And how is your brand within the walls of an organization? Now something that a lot of times people don’t think about are, you know, what is my internal brand here at the company. And when you when you when you have a strong brand, you can do or ask much more than if you have a weak brand. Right? So in corporate America, if you’re, you know, if you’re over asking or, or showing up late, or, you know, not going the extra mile, or you leave it exactly five o’clock, and you get in exactly nine o’clock, I mean, we’re not in really that kind of world right now. But you know, what I’m talking about. And, and, and, and your brand isn’t that weak, then, you know, your, your your, I don’t want to say your your demands, but you know, certain things are going to be viewed a certain way. And if you don’t have effective communication skills, and you’re not doing things to work on those, there’s certain ways you need to talk and speak within a corporate setting. And you have to learn how to speak. You know, I mean, I’ve always I’m a business coach, I’ve always had business coaches, I have a business coach. Now at one point, I had two business coaches, a business coach, and a communications coach. And so I’m always working on my communication skills, because I’m talking to, you know, CEOs and leaders, and salespeople and managers of Fortune companies, as well as solopreneurs. Well, you got to speak to them a little bit differently. I’m not saying that Be yourself. But they, there’s certain words, and there’s certain ways of phrasing, there’s certain timeframes you have. And there’s certain ways that you have to tee things up. And, and so if you don’t know how I work with as a coach I work with sometimes a lot of people on, this is how you communicate up and down within an organization. And so it also is a lot of self responsibility to evolve that skill, which there’s so many resources on how to do that. Now, it also means in corporate America, you know, this is for all the people who own businesses or run businesses, you need good managers that allow people to come talk to them as well. The biggest obstacle I see with businesses are managers were hired because they were good at their job, but they don’t know how to manage people. And and then the company puts them in a very highly challenging position. They don’t know how to manage people, people, and they now have low support, and no training on how to do that I come in, I train a ton of managers from solopreneur companies, to Fortune companies, because they don’t know how to coach and grow and inspire and evolve people. And so if the manager is poor manager, and people and isn’t accessible, and people can’t communicate with that person, it’s downhill from there. And so it really begins at the top. Because whoever is at the top 95 98% of everything they do, walk, talk and say sets the culture for the entire company, and then spills down to the managers. If the managers are poor managers don’t automatically people. It comes it goes further down. And then people are scared of the managers and then scared of who’s above the managers. And so it’s not it’s equally the company’s position to create a culture of safety and approachability and accessibility as it is the employee’s responsibility to work on their communication skills.
Mike Malatesta 44:59
And when you’re working with, say, mid level managers or sales people or is so as the company, does the company is the one that I assume that’s hired you because they’ve recognized some typically and
Jon Dwoskin 45:13
typically companies will hire me. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Mike Malatesta 45:16
Yeah. And when when you’re talking about getting people on stock and thinking big, which I love, I love the Think big.
Jon Dwoskin 45:24
Thank you. It’s, it’s,
Mike Malatesta 45:26
I am 100% believer and think big, particularly for entrepreneurs, because so many everyone starts out thinking big, and then so many end up. Yeah, thinking small along the way. But what we talked earlier about how, you know, you do this wins for the day wins for the next day kind of thing and try to keep focused on on progress. Yeah, what are you? Is there is there sort of a couple of things that you see that tend to get people stuck in a place where they can’t see it? But you can see it? Sure. And other people can see it. So well. And what’s the reason for that?
Jon Dwoskin 46:03
Yeah. A couple of things. One, not necessarily disorder, people don’t ask for how, right, you need to be vulnerable, you need to have a growth mindset. And you need to be open minded. And you need to be accountable to what you do. And you need to be able to have somebody that you can talk to. So you know what, what gets people stuck is they don’t want to invest in themselves or in their people. Right? I’m a business coach, I work with many business partners who have business, many people who have business partners who cannot talk to their business partners, who cannot talk to their leadership teams. And so they have me to talk to you, they have me to work things through, right, they have me to teach them how to communicate with those people. And so asking for help having somebody to talk to not just talk to, but strategize with set a plan of action, right there. So there’s so they all they can see they’re so stuck in the forest, they can’t see the trees, right. And so and so with that, I can kind of zoom out and say, Okay, wait, you’re missing this. Oh, yeah, you’re right. Why didn’t I see that? Right? Well, it doesn’t matter why you didn’t see it. All the matters is now that you are you’re you’ve raised your awareness and your consciousness, you raise your frequency and vibration of it. Now, let’s be an observer of it. And let’s come up with that. Let me let’s provide the tools to get you to the next Milla step, right. Thinking big thinking big is is doing small things every day. Yeah, to that that compound over time to your big that’s it, right? Big isn’t like, hey, I want to think big and I got to do big every day. You can’t do big everyday you do small little things every day, that don’t go viral. That compound over time. And patience is the key. Yeah, that’s the key. Yeah. So and, and, and that is what, you know, what we all need to remember is that, you know, Rome was not built in a day. And there’s, there’s a company here in Detroit that had a sign, you know, they were building a building downtown instead of Rome was built in a day, we would have hired those workers. Thanks for your patience, right. And so and so it’s really, really important that, that everybody get grounded and get present in patience. Right? Did I do what I needed to do today? So we can grow today, and make an impact and grow tomorrow? Yes. Okay. Now, what am I gonna do tomorrow?
Mike Malatesta 48:37
Well, thanks for explaining that. Because it’s, so it’s so true. You know, if you’ve if, if you are looking at going from one to 1000, and that seems super scary. But one to two, doesn’t seem scary, but you go one to two, you’re closer to getting to 1000, then one to 10. Right then one to 15. And you just keep working your way there. And it makes the big very manageable, right? small bites you get there. But you get stuck. If you all you think is one to 1000 How can I ever Yeah. How can I ever do that? Yeah, correct. Well, John, this has been fantastic. I really enjoyed the chance to explore your story and share it and get to know you a little bit better as well. And it’s gratulations on your careers. Thank you multiple careers and on your health and on the impact that you’re making on so many executives, leaders and entrepreneurs. It’s your making the world a better place. And I thank you thanks for the work you’re doing. I told people how they could get a hold of you at the beginning. Zero other ways that you want people to connect with you.
Jon Dwoskin 49:42
Yeah, my cell phone is 248-535-7796 b i answer my own phone. I answer my calls. And, and my website is John dwoskin.com. My email is John at John dwoskin.com. No eight Jalen JLN Diaz and David W. OSKN. And, you know, if anybody’s interested in accessing their highest potential, if anybody’s interested in you know, you know, talking about coaching, give me a call. Or you can go to my website and download my books for free. I have tons of podcasts and video tips and ebooks and just tons of, you know, free everything.
Mike Malatesta 50:28
And I will attest to I connected with John on LinkedIn through through through a friends referral, I left my number, and he called me within an hour. So, yes, he calls, he answers his phone, and he calls and that’s something it’s a big deal, but want to hide behind a lot of stuff. No, I don’t. To get to me, it’s like super hard. Right? Right.
Jon Dwoskin 50:53
I’m very approachable and accessible. My clients know this too. I return every call text, email, same day, period. And, you know, it’s very important for me to be, you know, I was someone who was saying to me today, you know, you, you do your own intro and outro of your podcast, you should have somebody else do it, because it’ll make it look you know, grander. As I put, that’s, that’s not what I want. I don’t want that I don’t want, I don’t want to look grand and unapproachable. I want to look approachable. And because that’s what I am, it’s part of my brand is my accessibility. And that’s why I run my calendar, I returned my calls, I don’t have people answering for me. You know, I love helping and growing people and getting them unstuck. Because again, a lot of times it’s hidden in plain sight, they just can’t see it. And I work with clients who have been stuck on minor things for years. And then they meet with me, and they’ll say, Oh, my God, I can’t believe I’ve been doing I would have just met you five years ago, six years ago, 10 years ago, etc. I would be so much further than I am today. And so that is what I do. And I guarantee all my work. You know, I don’t do any contracts with anybody. I consider myself a month to month investment. I don’t like contracts. I don’t want people feeling stuck in a contract with me. And my bookkeeper sends an invoice the first of every month my clients pay right away. And if they don’t want to work with me anymore, so be it. That’s their choice. And if they feel I didn’t bring value, I always tell them don’t pay me. So I’m very, very confident my ability to be different than any other coaching experience anybody has ever had.
Mike Malatesta 52:30
Yeah, all bad. No risk.
Jon Dwoskin 52:32
totally right. Yeah, totally. Yeah.
Mike Malatesta 52:34
Yeah. All right. Thank you, John.
Jon Dwoskin 52:37
Thank you, Mike. I appreciate having me on the show.