Monthly Archives

July 2023

Neal Goldstein

By Author, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Philosophy No Comments

On this week’s inspiring episode, our guest, Neal Goldstein, discusses overcoming adversity and finding strength in the most challenging situations. Neal opens up about his childhood, marked by his father’s emotional and verbal abuse, and his early responsibilities as the primary caregiver for his mother diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Listen in as he reflects on how these experiences have shaped him, not just as an individual but also as a parent striving to create the family he never had.

This episode is sponsored by:

In this episode, you’ll be able to:

  • From Dysfunction to Success
  • Finding Your Tribe and Embrace Present
  • Assigning Motives and Finding Wisdom
  • Appreciating Ordinary Moments and Family Bonds
  • Discovering Authentic Advocacy Through Life’s Journeys
  • Truth and Success

In this episode:

(0:00:07) – From Dysfunction to Success
We talk about an abusive father, being an “oops baby,” mortality rate, and his surprise at his current life.

(0:15:08) – Finding Your Tribe and Embrace Present
Growing up poor, mental health, and having a supportive tribe are discussed, emphasizing a unique outlook on life.

(0:18:54) – Assigning Motives and Finding Wisdom
Phil’s mentorship, avoiding worst motives, and making ordinary extraordinary shape one’s outlook.

(0:25:36) – Appreciating Ordinary Moments and Family Bonds
Savour ordinary moments, find strength in adversity, communicate with children, and explore how experiences shape us.

(0:37:22) – Discovering Authentic Advocacy Through Life’s Journeys
Motivated by advocating for his mother, he pursued law school to become an advocate for those in need.

(0:49:49) – Truth and Success
We discussed truth, success, savoring moments, strength in adversity, and his journey to becoming a lawyer.


At sixteen, Neal Goldstein dropped out of high school. It was the last in a long line of defeats for an underprivileged boy, self-raised in a tumultuous home with an abusive father and a mother who was significantly disabled with Multiple Sclerosis. Neal did the only thing he could think to do: quit dreaming of a future, get a job, and look after his mom as well as he could. Once Neal could find the genuine relationships he was searching for, he allowed himself to take the courageous steps of getting his high school equivalency diploma and continued his successful journey. In the book, he shares his moving stories and asks the reader, through the lessons he learned, to look at their own lives through his action steps at the end of each chapter. Now, Neal Goldstein is a partner at the law firm of Goldstein and Bashner and lives with his wife, Gina, on Long Island. He loves to travel and spend time with his family.

Hunter Phelps

By Music, Personal Growth No Comments

In the midst of the gators and the quiet simplicity, Hunter Phelps discovered his refuge in the unspoken language of music. But as his talent took him from the small town of Niceville to the grand stages alongside country music stars, he faced challenges he never anticipated. The unexpected twist in his journey taught him invaluable lessons about the power of perseverance and the true essence of songwriting. Join us as we delve into Hunter’s story, unraveling the triumphs and tribulations of live performances and the art of creating music. Brace yourself for the unexpected twist that lies just beyond the horizon, waiting to be unveiled.

This episode is sponsored by:

In this episode you’ll be able to:

  • The unique experiences and life lessons only a small-town upbringing can offer
  • How your childhood hometown has evolved and developed over time
  • The sense of freedom and deep bonds forged in a small-town setting
  • Tackling live performance and songwriting challenges
  • The joys and trials that come with the transformative journey of parenthood
  • Candid shared experiences that paint a vivid picture of growing up in small towns
  • The nuances of urban development through the lens of our childhood hometowns’ transformation
  • The remarkable freedom we often overlook that underpins the small-town life
  • The heady world of live performances and enrich your songwriting process with our practical experiences
  • The heartwarming yet challenging journey of parenting, filled with many priceless moments
  • Meaningful experiences that resonate with a small-town upbringing
  • How your childhood hometown has transformed over the years, capturing the spirit of change and growth.
  • The undercurrent of unity and liberation that is integral to living in a small town
  • Enthralling accounts of dealing with the challenges that come with live shows and song composition
  • The fulfilling and stirring journey of parenthood with its myriad joys and challenges

00:00:05 – Bonding over Small Towns,
The hosts discuss the automatic bond that comes from meeting someone from a small town in the middle of nowhere. They mention their own small towns of Niceville, Florida, and Florella, Alabama.

00:01:12 – Changes in Niceville,
The hosts talk about how Niceville has changed over the years, with new places to eat and the addition of a Walmart. They mention that Florella, Alabama, the town where one of the hosts is from, has mostly remained the same except for the addition of antique stores.

00:03:01 – Missing the Saltwater,
One of the hosts expresses his love for being near saltwater and missing access to it in Niceville. He grew up on boats and being close to the bayou. The other host talks about growing up near Lake Jackson and encountering alligators.

00:04:44 – Alligator Encounters,
The hosts share their experiences with alligators. One recounts a story of a scout leader sticking his arm out to an alligator, while the other talks about seeing alligators run over by trucks. They discuss the food source and taste of alligator meat.

00:08:48 – Freedom and Small Towns,
The hosts reflect on the freedom and independence they experienced as teenagers driving to nearby small towns like Op and Clayton. They mention how country songs often capture this feeling of being in charge of yourself.

00:14:12 – The Challenge of Winning Over a Crowd,
Hunter Phelps discusses the challenge of performing in a small bar in South Dakota and winning over a crowd who may not know or appreciate his music.

00:15:07 – The Repertoire of Songs,
Hunter Phelps talks about the extensive number of songs he and his band knew and how they would play covers to win over the crowd when performing at Tootsies in Nashville.

00:16:37 – The Influence of Songwriting,
Hunter Phelps shares how his father, who wrote songs for artists, sparked his interest in songwriting. He also talks about the first song he ever wrote, inspired by a request for a jingle for a bar.

00:19:03 – Support from Hunter’s Dad,
Hunter Phelps discusses his father’s support for his music career, including being proud of his songwriting abilities. He also mentions how his dad helped him secure his first gig at the Mullet Festival.

00:28:26 – Controversy over “Breakup Sex” song,
Hunter Phelps discusses the controversy surrounding his song “Breakup Sex,” which received negative feedback from some parents. Despite the criticism, the song gained traction and helped propel his career in country music.

00:30:00 – Writing “Breakup Sex” on a retreat,
Phelps talks about writing “Breakup Sex” during a songwriting retreat with Ashley Gorley’s company, Tape Room Music. This was his first retreat experience, and he learned the importance of writing multiple songs a day to increase his chances of creating a hit.

00:31:42 – The impact of “Breakup Sex” on his career,
Phelps expresses gratitude for the success of “Breakup Sex,” as it opened doors for him in the music industry. The song led to more show opportunities, collaborations with other artists, and access to better writing rooms.

00:32:23 – The challenges of songwriting,
Phelps and the host discuss the challenges of songwriting, including the high number of songs that don’t get cut or become hits. Phelps emphasizes the importance of perseverance and building a vast catalog of songs, as success can come unexpectedly in the future.

00:35:11 – Triple play achievement and building reputation,
Phelps reflects on his rare accomplishment of achieving three number-one songs in a single calendar year. He credits his success to hard work, luck, and building his reputation as a songwriter. The host compares the achievement to artists’ paintings becoming more

00:43:26 – University of Florida Major,
Hunter Phelps talks about how he majored in building and construction at the University of Florida, which was influenced by his family’s background in construction. He also mentions that one of his buddies in college was the guitar player in his band, which eventually led to his music career.

00:44:47 – Fixing Things at Home,
Hunter reveals that he is handy around the house and does a lot of household repairs himself. However, he mentions that he would not mess with gas lines and knows his limitations when it comes to certain tasks.

00:45:50 – Dream of Building a House,
Hunter expresses his interest in designing and picking everything for a house but admits that he wouldn’t want to build it himself physically. He acknowledges that someone with a background in building construction, like himself, would have a more nuanced eye for the process.

00:46:34 – Background in Building Construction,
Hunter explains that his degree in building construction focused on commercial projects like hospitals, and his experience was more in scheduling and estimating plans rather than hands-on building. However, he still has a background in the field.

00:48:04 – Fun at the University of Florida,
Hunter reminisces about his time at the University of Florida and attending football games. He mentions that it was a fun school and recommends attending SEC football games at schools like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, and Florida for a great experience.

00:58:13 – The Joy of Parenthood,
Hunter Phelps discusses the joys and challenges of parenthood, emphasizing that the love for children only grows over time. He shares his desire to have more children and the unique ways parents interact with each of their kids.

00:59:34 – Siblings and Parental Interactions,
Hunter and the host discuss their experiences growing up with siblings and how their parents interacted with each child differently. They highlight the importance of understanding individual needs and personalities within a family.

01:00:22 – Future Music Plans,
Hunter reveals that he has new music coming out in 2023 and mentions the possibility of recording songs with his own vocals. The host encourages him to pursue singing and highlights his talent in that area.

01:01:12 – Family Time,
Hunter shares his plans for the rest of the day, picking up his kids from school and spending quality time with his family. The host wishes him a good day and looks forward to their next meeting.

01:01:24 – Farewell and Goodbye,
The conversation concludes with a friendly farewell as Hunter thanks the host for his time and expresses excitement for future endeavors. They bid each other goodbye until their next meeting.


Hunter Phelps was born and raised in Niceville, Florida, where he was introduced to songwriting at a young age by his father, who owned a small recording studio. When he wasn’t out hunting or fishing the bayous and bays of the Florida panhandle, he spent his days teaching himself to play the guitar and working at a local marina.

After high school, Hunter attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he began writing songs. He joined a band, started playing tailgate parties and bars around town, and quickly developed a loyal following.

Early in his career, he shared the stage with major label acts like Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Gary Allen, Keith Anderson and Michael Ray. Hunter moved to Nashville in 2012, before ever having visited the town and without really knowing how to break in to Music City’s circles. Armed with his guitar, he honed his craft in the honky-tonks of Lower Broadway and sharpened his songwriting skills in the writers’ rooms of Music Row.

In 2014, shortly after his self-released debut EP came out, Hunter signed a joint publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music and hit songwriter Ashley Gorley’s Tape Room Music, where his recent cuts include Florida Georgia Line’s “Wish You Were On It,” recorded for their upcoming album, Dig Your Roots. Hunter is currently writing and recording for his debut full-length album release.

Hunter’s website:


Tom Blake

By Fun, Mental Health, Music, Personal Growth No Comments

Imagine leaving everything behind and taking a chance on a new adventure with no guarantees. That’s exactly what Tom Blake did when he packed his bags and headed to California with just an MBA and a desire for something new. Little did he know, a phone call from a friend would change his life forever. Without any experience, Tom took on the challenge of managing the first Victoria Station restaurant, leading him down a path of unexpected twists and turns, unforgettable experiences, and cherished friendships. Discover how Tom’s leap of faith into the restaurant industry led to a life full of adventures in this inspiring story of taking risks and pursuing your passion.

This episode is sponsored by:

Habana Cuba (Be sure to use code “Gary20” to save 20% off your order!)

In this episode:

  • Embracing the new dating possibilities for seniors over 50 and the keys to making meaningful connections
  • His journey through the impactful life, career, and legacy of the one and only Johnny Cash
  • The rich history of the beloved Victoria Station restaurant and its lasting impression on diners
  • Expert marketing tips to skyrocket your restaurant chain’s success and expand its loyal customer base
  • The significance of socializing for seniors and its role in enhancing their quality of life

Timestamp of topics:

00:02:01 – From Airlines to Restaurants,
Tom shares how he transitioned from working in the airline industry to managing the Oakland Victoria Station restaurant. He also talks about the company’s growth and its decision to go public.

00:05:15 – Meeting John Denver and Johnny Cash,
Tom shares his encounter with John Denver and how he was mistaken for him by concertgoers. He also talks about his relationship with Johnny Cash and how he became the company spokesperson for Victoria Station.

00:08:29 – Why Did Victoria Station Work?
Tom explains why Victoria Station was successful, citing the need for quality prime rib and steaks. He also talks about the challenges the company faced during its expansion phase and the importance of paying attention to successful units.

00:11:22 – The Wiseman Trophy,
Tom shares the story behind the creation of the Wiseman Trophy, an award given to college football players by Victoria Station. He also talks about some of the notable winners of the award.

00:16:21 – The End of Victoria Station,
Victoria Station no longer exists as a standalone restaurant chain. There might be a spin-off chain in Japan, and a new restaurant being built in Virginia has artifacts from the original Victoria Station. Lifetime credit cards were given to notable figures, and the Wiseman awards were only given to eight people.

00:22:06 – Meeting Johnny Cash,
Tom Blake describes Johnny Cash as a kind and gentle individual. He tells a story of Johnny singing Puff the Magic Dragon to an 80-year-old woman on her birthday. Tom also talks about his experiences with June Carter Cash and how she was a pistol.

00:25:04 – The Highway Men,
Gary Scott Thomas and Tom Blake discuss The Highway Men and how they protected Johnny Cash from having to talk and laugh too much. They also touch on the relationship between Roseanne Cash and June Carter Cash.

00:28:51 – Johnny’s Gratitude,
Tom Blake shares a touching story of Johnny Cash inviting him and Bob Freeman to a concert at San Quentin Prison. Johnny expressed gratitude to Tom and always seemed to look out for those around him. Tom also shares a story about the inspiration behind Johnny’s song “One Piece at a Time.”

00:31:43 – June Carter Cash,
Tom Blake talks about the complexity of June Carter Cash’s relationships and how he had to be diplomatic about it. He found her to be a fascinating and remarkable woman.

00:34:02 – Roseanne and June,
Tom Blake talks about Roseanne Barr’s opinions on politics and how he cannot speak for her. He also mentions that the original mother cannot be replaced, but history has fondly looked back on Vivian, Johnny Cash’s first wife.

00:36:17 – Dating After 50,
Tom Blake talks about his column on dating after 50 and how the stories take on a whole new message as people age. He discusses the availability issue and how many seniors are looking for part-time relationships.

00:39:42 – Widowhood and Dating,
Tom Blake talks about the pain of widowhood and how it is a different thing altogether. He explains how dating at 75 and 80 is becoming more common for seniors, and many are looking for a lap (living apart together) relationship.

00:41:05 – The Bull Crap Barometer and Persnickety Daters,
Tom Blake talks about how the whole bull crap barometer goes way down as people get older and how dating at different ages has different challenges. He also mentions that seniors can get persnickety and peculiar with what they want.

00:45:38 – Finding Love After 50,
Tom Blake talks about his website,, and his newsletter on dating after 50. He explains that it is free to sign up, and there is no advertising except for him talking about being on the podcast with Gary.


Tom Blake is one of the most knowledgeable people in America on the topic of finding love after 50. Since July 4, 1994, when his first Finding Love After 50 newspaper column was published, he has written more than 3,800 columns and newsletters. Mature singles in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s are Tom’s audience.

For 16 years, Tom was a columnist for The Orange County Register in Southern California. In 2011, Tom began writing his On Life and Love After 50 column for Picket Fence Media, an Orange County, California, syndicate. His articles appear bi-weekly in the Dana Point Times, San Clemente Times, and The Capistrano Dispatch (San Juan Capistrano) newspapers.

In February 2016, Tom’s “On Life and Love after 50” article was added to a syndicate of six (Chester, York, Dauphin, Lebanon, Cumberland, Lancaster) newspapers in Pennsylvania called “50 plus Life ( His articles run bi-monthly in those publications.

He is the author of four printed books and several Ebooks. See his bookstore on this website. Tom was interviewed by Jack Ford and Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show as an expert on finding love after 50. He has written on every romance-after-50 topic imaginable, always with new information and a fresh perspective from the man’s point of view. To see Tom’s Today Show videos, click here.

Tom’s first book is titled, “Middle Aged and Dating Again.” His friend, country music singing legend Johnny Cash, endorsed the book by stating: “In the 20 years I have known Tom Blake, he has become an authority on dating and relationships.”

Tom’s second book is titled, “Finding Love After 50: How To Begin. Where To Go. What To Do.” John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” stated, “A unique relationship book that addresses an important and growing niche of singles—those aged 50 and above. Easy to read and informative. Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50.”

Tom also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, live in the NYC studio, interviewed by Diane Sawyer. The topic was finding love after 50, with a focus on Internet dating for singles 50, 60, 70, and beyond. Tom has been a speaker and panelist at multiple national AARP conventions. To see Tom’s Good Morning America interview, click here.

He is a native of Jackson, Michigan, and has a BA degree from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, and an MBA degree from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

You can find Tom at:

Kristen King

By Fun, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Philosophy No Comments

Kristen King’s story is one of overcoming perfectionism and anxiety, but what you may not expect is the unexpected twist that led her on this journey. Faced with the sudden death of her younger brother, Kristen found herself spiraling into self-destructive behavior. It was during this dark period that she realized the importance of confronting her issues head-on. Through perseverance and self-reflection, Kristen managed to find balance in her life and overcome her perfectionist tendencies. But the journey wasn’t easy, and she had to confront her dual nature of being both an overachiever and a fun-loving individual. How did Kristen manage to find that balance? Listen to this week’s episode of Here’s What We Know to find out.

This episode is sponsored by:

Beck’s Shoes

In this episode you’ll be able to:

  • The link between personal growth and flourishing relationships with others
  • The challenges of perfectionism and anxiety
  • The importance of establishing open communication and boundaries in your relationships
  • The influence of mental well-being on personal growth and experiences
  • The value of prioritizing self-care and finding balance in life

00:00:00 – Introduction,
Kristen King introduces herself as a life and business coach for the perfectionist woman. Gary shares his experiences with his wife, who is similar to Kristen, and how they balance each other out.

00:04:39 – Accommodating in Marriage,
Kristen and Gary discuss the importance of being accommodating in a marriage and how it can help balance each other out.

00:08:06 – Kristen at 16,
Kristen describes herself at 16 as a theater nerd who was a compulsive overachiever. She shares her balancing act between her goofy, performative side and her need for academic success.

00:11:27 – Where Does Kristen’s Drive Come From?,
Kristen attributes her drive to her love for a challenge, her intelligence, and her parents’ desire for their children to have access to education and opportunities they didn’t have.

00:13:15 – Motivation for Success,
Kristen shares her motivation for success, including wanting to meet her potential and enjoying the validation from doing everything right.

00:15:10 – Switching Career Paths,
Kristen discusses her decision to switch from teaching to radio after realizing that teaching was not the right path for her. She also talks about the societal expectations that influenced her decision-making process.

00:18:28 – Finding Joy in Work,
Kristen and Gary discuss the gendered differences in career choices and how societal expectations impact individuals. They also talk about the importance of finding joy in work and how Kristen’s past struggles have shaped her current perspective.

00:20:14 – Struggling with Anxiety,
Kristen opens up about her struggles with anxiety and depression, which began in fifth grade. She talks about the pressure to maintain a certain image and the tension between her serious and goofy sides.

00:22:57 – Coping with Tragedy,
Kristen shares her experience coping with the sudden death of her younger brother and how it destabilized her sense of reality. She also discusses her self-destructive behavior and how it served as a form of self-protection.

00:24:20 – Embracing Life’s Journey,
Gary and Kristen talk about the importance of accepting one’s past experiences and how they shape who we are today. They also discuss how past struggles can help us become better parents and individuals.

00:29:40 – Overcoming Fear,
Kristen discusses how she overcame her fears and learned to trust, even when it was difficult. She reflects on how giving into fear would only cause more harm and how trust is necessary for growth and progress.

00:31:38 – Dealing with Anxiety,
Kristen shares her experience with anxiety and how it affected her relationships. She discusses how she slowly overcame anxiety through therapy, peer support, and learning to let go of control.

00:35:35 – Letting Go of People-Pleasing,
Kristen talks about her realization that she doesn’t have to live up to other people’s expectations. She shares how she learned to let go of people-pleasing and live life on her own terms, even if it meant saying no and making tough decisions.

00:38:46 – Making Radical Life Changes,
Kristen shares the moment when she realized she needed to make a radical life change and how she went about doing it. She discusses the importance of listening to one’s desires and dreams, even if they seem impossible, and taking steps to make them a reality.

00:41:27 – Helping Women Thrive,
Kristen discusses the common themes she sees among women she coaches, including feeling like their lives are only for other people and not for themselves. She emphasizes the importance of aligning one’s life with their desires and not being afraid to make changes to achieve true fulfillment.

00:44:04 – Changing Culture and Frustration,
The conversation starts with discussing how women and men are experiencing different frustrations as compared to the past. Kristen King explains how women are socialized in a certain way that leads to having more stress and anxiety in their lives than men. They talk about how societal expectations and pressures can lead to burnout and low self-worth.

00:47:01 – Prioritizing Tasks,
Kristen King discusses how she helps her clients prioritize their tasks and create a “fluffs map” to identify what is essential and what is not. She explains how many people get overwhelmed by their to-do list, and there is often a lot of arbitrary items that do not need to be done. They also talk about the pressures of being a woman in Western culture and the expectations that come with it.

00:53:17 – Relationships and Boundaries,
The conversation shifts towards relationships, and Kristen King explains how everything in life is a relationship, and it’s the filter through which people operate. She says that people often try to control and manipulate everyone around them unknowingly, leading to anxiety and burnout. She emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and being truthful with oneself to create a healthy relationship with oneself and others.

00:54:48 – Letting Go of Control,
Kristen King shares a personal story about how she almost got divorced over the wrong way of folding towels, which led her to realize how much she was trying to control everything around her. She explains how people often try to control everything in their lives unknowingly


Kristen King, MBA, MPS, is a sweary life and business coach for womxn and femme folx who want to give fewer fucks. Her clients are sick and tired of having to be so freaking perfect all the time, and Kristen helps them reclaim their fucks so they can use them for the shit they actually care about — instead of spending all their time trying to be “good girls” and living up to other people’s expectations. She’s on a mission to help 10,000 womxn fall in love with themselves and their lives in the next 5 years. 

In addition to being a coach, Kristen is also a mental health and wellness facilitator who loves helping people find compassion and connection with themselves as they learn to hold space for their own emotions. Her specialties are perfectionism, people-pleasing, anxiety, overwhelm, and burning down the motherfucking patriarchy one reclaimed fuck at a time. 

She’s mom to 11-year-old twins (plus two cats and two dogs), wife to a hilarious husband who brings her coffee in bed every morning because he thinks she walks on water and an absolute karaoke QUEEN. Kristen is originally a Jersey girl and now makes her home in Leadville, CO, America’s highest city.

You can find Kristen at: