Category

Grief

Johnny Sirpilla

By Author, Faith, Grief, Leadership, Mental Health, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes our special guest, Johnny Sirpilla, an entrepreneur, founder and chief encourager of Encourage LLC, and the best-selling author of Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK. Johnny opens up about how he inherited not only a successful RV business from his father but also an ethos of hard work and integrity. He discusses how these values have shaped him into who he is today—driven, and perfectionistic, yet always striving to honor his family name. We also delve into the respective childhoods and parental expectations, highlighting both differences in upbringing and common threads such as love, support, and setting standards. This episode is filled with insights on personal growth and dedication towards family values. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Gary and Johnny share amusing anecdotes about their distinctive hairstyles during their younger years. 
  • Discover Johnny’s impressively long bio and wealth of experiences.
  • Discussions on full-blooded Italian traits lead to light-hearted banter about food preferences between Italy vs America.
  • Insights into how family expectations shaped and influenced Johnny’s decision to continue his father’s legacy while creating new avenues within the RV industry.
  • Hear about reflections on parental expectations, love, and support while also setting standards around honor, integrity, and a hard work ethic without spoiling children materially.
  • As a board member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Johnny shares his passion for football and his favorite player.

Quotations:

“The simplicity is what makes it so amazing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I kind of wanted to make my imprint in the industry the way that my dad did in the fifties as a pioneer dealer.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“(RV) It’s taking the comforts of home with you on the road, right? Why sleep in a hotel bed and a stranger’s bed that other people have been in when you can have your own? So it’s a great way to see the country for sure. And great family time.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I was driven at 15 and had some pretty high expectations of what I could achieve. So I always put a lot of pressure on myself, too much.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“What was awesome about my parents is there is no boundaries to the love that they would give and the support.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can truly say that I never felt spoiled by my parents because while there might be nice things, the expectation of how we acted in our character in representing our family name. you know, you had to be, you know, at your best.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“They wanted me to have and I bet your mom was the same way. They wanted me to have the life experiences that they didn’t.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I bet our parents were similar in terms of, you know, where they came from and then maybe hopes and dreams bigger for us. Maybe my parents, because they’re full-blooded Italian each that they just talk so damn much that they verbalized it more.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It’s been an amazing experience to volunteer for the great sport of football and the Hall is such a place of excellence that, you know, any service that I can give to honor the heroes of the game.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I wrote the book to really help people when life is hard because I do believe that life is hard. Even if you have a good life, there’s plenty of things that go wrong in a good life and life is hard.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“There’s gotta be some blessings and graces that come out of this experience that makes me a better man, a better husband, a better business leader, and hopefully someday a better father.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“Practicing gratitude could make a great day really bright and sunny.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“We were able to experience something that God gave us this gift of parenting. even though it was short, it doesn’t mean it was insignificant. It was incredibly significant. And so their lives were incredibly significant.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can reframe anything that happens in my life with my anxiety. I can reframe it to something that’s really a gift and a blessing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The gift of being a father, you know, it’s the greatest gift of my life.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The empathy and the mindfulness that I had for situations, that’s actually one of the beauties and maybe superpowers of anxiety. Anxiety makes you extremely mindful and extremely intentional because my mind has to work and think.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It becomes a really mindful way of living that produces a lot of joy.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

Bio:

John A. Sirpilla is a 1988 graduate of Miami University with a degree in Accounting and a special interest in Psychology and Finance, a 2000 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in Organizational Management, and holds a certification in Executive Presence and Influence: Persuasive Leadership Development from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

In 1992, Johnny became President of Sirpilla R.V. Center, Inc. Within a few years, he was recognized out of more than 3,000 dealers as the National RV Dealer of the Year for the best overall-run dealership in the country. In 2003, Johnny was one of the initial acquisitions by Camping World and sold his family business to become part of the executive team to attempt the first RV dealership roll-up plan in the industry’s history.

Johnny served as President of Camping World, a 140-store nationwide retail chain serving the RV industry, and was promoted in 2012 to Chief Business Development Officer for the parent company, Camping World and Good Sam with annual sales of nearly $4 billion. Johnny retired from Camping World in 2017 after a successful IPO.

His company, Encourage LLC, has various holdings in industries including leadership development, population health management, employee benefits, medical device innovation, e-commerce roll-up, executive leadership and consulting, fashion and interior design, and senior living communities, and has become an international best-selling author with his book, Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK.

Johnny has been married to his college sweetheart, Susan, for over 30 years, and they reside in Canton, Ohio, and Naples, Florida.  They have three grown children, Beau, Bella, and Stone, who all reside in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://johnnysirpilla.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnnySirpilla/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnnysirpilla/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnny-sirpilla/

Gold Medalist, Dr. Jason Richardson

By Education, Grief, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Professional Athlete, Sports No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

If you’re feeling frustrated and unfulfilled because you’ve been tirelessly pursuing your dreams with purpose, but nothing seems to be working out, and you’re constantly facing setbacks and roadblocks, then you are not alone!


This week’s guest is Gold Medalist Jason Richardson. After a catastrophic injury, he defied the odds and returned to his passion of racing. But what led him to become a psychologist and expert in sports performance? Join us as Jason shares his journey of soul searching, overcoming obstacles, and discovering the keys to success. But just when it seems like he’s found the answer, a shocking twist leaves him facing a difficult choice. Don’t miss this gripping story of resilience and determination.

In this episode:

  • Tackling hurdles head-on and paving a path toward true accomplishment
  • Igniting your inner fire and taking calculated leaps toward your dreams
  • Fostering an optimistic lifestyle and implementing restorative wellness strategies
  • Examining your core beliefs and determining your authentic ambitions
  • Embracing minimalist techniques to reach your objectives and prevent standing still

Meet Jason Richardson, a gold medalist in BMX racing at the Pan Am Games, who has transformed his life after a life-changing injury. With an MBA under his belt and a thriving career in sports psychology, Jason is passionate about helping others find their true desires and cultivate personal growth. As an author of “More, Better, Happier,” he shares his insights on overcoming challenges and embracing life’s opportunities. As a guest on the Gary Scott Thomas Show, Jason’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious, making him a friend you’d want to have by your side in your journey of self-discovery.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Check out Dr. Jason Richardson’s book It’s All BS! We’re All Wrong, And You’re All Right! for tips on improving mental health.
  • Consider seeking out a sports psychologist, like Dr. Richardson, for help with improving performance and mental health.
  • Practice avoiding the four things that rob you of energy: comparing, complaining, complicating, and worrying.
  • Focus on feeling your emotions and finding ways to be productive and helpful to yourself and others.
  • Seek help for clinical issues from professionals in the field.

Quotations:

“Having the intention of racing actually sped up and gave me great not just motivation, but a great intention to heal and get better and push myself.” ~Jason Richardson

“Gratitude is one of the biggest things that can help you not only get over a hump but actually take stock of where you are.” ~Jason Richardson

“If you are truly not happy with where you are or even who you are, what is the opposite of that?” ~Jason Richardson

“Comparing, complaining, complicating, and worrying, those are the four things that just suck energy out of us.” ~Jason Richardson

Contact Dr. Jason Richardson:

https://www.drjasonrichardson.com/

The podcast cover for Here's What We Know, with a picture of this week's guest Dr. Geoff Nugent.

Dr. Geoff Nugent

By Caregiving, Grief, Mental Health, Personal Growth No Comments

This episode is sponsored by: (Use this code to save on Oxtail!)

For the second week of our Mental Health Awareness Month series, I was joined by Dr. Geoff Nugent of Nugent Family Counseling Center. We dove into some great insights on mental health, parenting tips, and career success.

In this episode:

  • The value of therapy
  • Being present and validating someone’s feelings
  • Life is full of beauty, but sometimes we need help to remove obstacles
  • Learning the value of the dollar at a young age
  • How strong family values instilled a strong work ethic and helped with achieving higher education
  • Parents should teach children what values look like instead of just giving money
  • Adolescent struggles with mental health due to COVID
  • Setting boundaries with children
  • Finding joy and happiness
  • Controlling what can be controlled and focusing on the positive can influence others in a positive way
  • Parenthood and expectations

Quotations:

“So we’re taught that we are supposed to be able to rely on what goes on in our head, that the intuition, the thoughts, the logical aspects that come out, that we can use that information to help us manage in the world. But for individuals suffering from mental health, that is where that construction is misguided. It’s not used properly, and it comes across logically to them. Even though when you start to say it out loud or you start to work with somebody, it actually isn’t logical; it’s illogical. But because we’re stuck in our heads with the justification that we come up with, it’s there; it sounds real.” ~Dr. Geoff Nugent

“The statistics show right now that the average adolescent, the average has had at least six to nine suicidal thoughts during their adolescent gosh because of the things that go on around them, the struggles that they face, the relationships, and the issues that come up through them.” ~Dr. Geoff Nugent

“I think we use the word depression as kind of a common day everyday term nowadays where we need to separate it out from what is kind of an everyday type depression.” ~Dr. Geoff Nugent

“kids will pick up more of what we do, our actions, than what we say.” ~Dr. Geoff Nugent

Bio:

Nugent Family Counseling Center was founded in 2015 by Geoff Nugent, Ph.D., LMFT, LPCC, BCPC, CSPC, who had been in Private practice since 2009. The practice currently serves clients at three office locations in San Jose, Santa Clara, California, and Reno, Nevada.

The team at Nugent Family Counseling Center supports a diverse community of children, adolescents, adults, and families who are affected by conditions such as addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, and grief. They strive to provide clients with the tools needed to understand and acknowledge the effects that their emotions and behaviors have on themselves and their personal relationships.

Counseling sessions focus on reminding families what they love about each other and utilize a combination of individual, family, and couples therapies. The innovative therapy approaches offered include dialectical behavioral therapy, psychological testing, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, marriage counseling, and anger management.

They are also proud to offer neurofeedback treatments that are used as positive reinforcements for the brain and to teach the brain to change itself. These include positive effects on behaviors, attention, mood, and cognition.

Nugent Family Counseling Center understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to counseling. The team aims to get to know all clients on a personal level and work together to create informed care plans. They also recognize that clients evolve throughout the counseling process and ensure that sessions and techniques are consistently modified accordingly.

To receive further information about the counseling services offered by the team at Nugent Family Counseling Center, call or book an appointment today.

Lynn Abaté-Johnson

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

This episode is sponsored by:

In this brutally honest conversation, Lynn Abaté-Johnson gets candid about her journey as a caregiver and talks about how she was able to finally care for herself the way she cared for her mom in her final years. We also talked about her recently released book Out of Love where she chronicles her journey and provides resources and systems for caregivers.

In this episode:

  • Being a caregiver while juggling her career
  • Keeping it a secret
  • Turning her mom’s cancer diagnosis into a “business”
  • Why she put the book on pause
  • Removing the hustle mindset
  • Being a caregiver while juggling being a wife
  • Changing to a healthier lifestyle
  • When her mom realized she wasn’t going to beat cancer
  • Feeding stress with food
  • Incremental changes
  • How to squeeze gifts out of hard situations
  • How the book morphed into being about her

Quotations:

“If I didn’t take that [her caregiving journey] and learn from it and transform my own life in very personal ways, there would be no point in telling the story.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I went into production mode, and I did one of the things I do best, which is, I created–I jokingly said at times–we turned my mom’s cancer diagnosis into a business, and everything was documented. That really helped us with the emotional support we needed.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I was doing the best job I could for her, at the same time freaking out myself that my mom was gonna die. That was the whole first year. Pretty much I could say I freaked out about me. It was a very selfish perspective. Like, ‘Well, okay, you have cancer, but what am I gonna do without you?’ I didn’t say that to her because I didn’t want her to feel bad. But I had this panic about losing my mom all of a sudden.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I still believe that about every family member. We’re all doing the best we can. There’s a Ram Dass quote that I love that says ‘We’re all just walking each other home.’” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I used to say to my mom, ‘Mom, your cancer’s gonna kill me. Forget about you. It’s gonna kill me.’” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“It was a very different world in 2011 when we got the diagnosis to the point where I couldn’t really be myself; I just had to figure out how to compartmentalize and then just do my job and still be a rockstar at work.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I would go home, and I would fall apart. That’s when I would cry. That’s when I would curl up into the fetal position and be like my little girl self with my husband.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“You know, all of those things that sounded like criticism from my mom before, you never stop hearing that.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I used to joke that, damn, I keep hearing mom’s voice in my head telling me what to do. ‘Can you please stop?’ And it hasn’t changed since she died. I still hear her voice in my head, but now it’s more of a comfort.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

 “We didn’t really admit that we were control freaks until we got that diagnosis. And I’m perfectly willing to say I’m a recovering control freak.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“What am I really hungry for at this moment? So that’s a question I ask myself. Is it food? Is it really food, or is it something else? If it’s something else, then I have tools now that I’ve learned through all of my coaching and everything that I really can pull myself back into what’s really happening now.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“Truthfully, when I was in the trenches and in the muck of being a caregiver for my mom, I did a terrible job of taking care of myself.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“With all of the chaos swirling around, I have to believe that there is hope, and I have to believe that we are going to do a better job of taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other as we learn about our mistakes and, we just really try to do a better job, and doing a better job can be incremental.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I am really committed to honoring everybody where they are in this moment.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I didn’t die. I didn’t die when my mom died. I thought I would; I could not imagine being on this earth without her. And yet she’s still very much with me. Every time I see the hummingbirds, I say, ‘Hi, Mom.’ And it brings me a smile.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“It’s not my weight to carry. I can only carry my own weight, and I don’t want it to turn into me blowing up physically again or having so much inflammation on my body that I’m so miserable and I can’t function.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

Guest’s Bio:

After being a primary caregiver for her mother for over six years, author Lynn Abate-Johnson understands the typhoon of emotions and responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one. However, she discovered how to blossom through (and after) caregiving rather than let it drown her. 

By using her natural organizational skills and her solid work ethic, she developed systems and processes to help navigate the difficult journey of caregiving, which allowed her to go from “What am I going to do without my mom?” to “I know I can thrive after she’s gone–just as she would want.”

Like most caregivers, Lynn juggled caregiving duties with a full-time career. In her daily life, she’s a business consultant and global community builder. 

She’s been building businesses from the ground up from a young age, with her first business being a network of family roller skating rinks in the Detroit, Michigan metro area. She is currently growing the global community as “the voice” of the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), one of the world’s most respected leadership development and professional coach training organizations.

As part of her devotion to developing global communities that make a difference by connecting human beings, she speaks with cohorts of caregivers to help them discover they’re not alone, everything’s going to be ok, and there are tools they can use to ease the burdens they might feel as caregivers. Her book Out of Love: A Daughter’s Journey With Her Mom To The End provides care for caregivers by giving them the emotional and practical support they need.

About the Book:
Lynn’s words offer a uniquely personal glimpse into her journey as a daughter of a strong mother, along with her own transformation in the aftermath of being a caregiver.

Lynn’s approach removes the stigma of grief, Her expressive and often vulnerable ways of sharing help to normalize what many families may take for granted or miss in their often overwhelming and new experience as caregivers. There will be discomfort, shame, guilt, and layers of conditioning to discover in this book, with the goal of bringing light to the dark and peace to the soul.

These words are also interactive, meaning you will find practical, logistical tools and resources on the accompanying website: LynnAbateJohnsonBook.com.

Guest’s Contact Info:

LynnAbateJohnsonBook.com