Jonathan Shooshani & Sebastian Elghanian. They’re the founders of Joon, a super innovative health technology company and wellness solution for remote work. Jon shares how living a not so conscious and NOT so healthy past leads him to love and obsess over healthy food, wellness, people, technology, and how they all connect. Sebastian has a strong financial background and talks to us about their first startup, which was a wellness-focused debit card… and how a memory of a highly inspirational and serendipitous event in a taxi ride shifts this previous business into what Joon is today. I freakin loved spending time with these epic co-founders and conscious leaders and I’m sure you’ll love it too!
LISTEN to this pod right here by clicking play or choose your favorite listening platform below. You can also WATCH the video podcast below that! Check out the show notes at the bottom to get more details about the contents of this episode. Enjoy!
Show notes in order of appearance:
- Jon’s Oh shit moment lead into his Oh Yeah moment.
- Sebastian’s Oh shit and Oh Yeah moment
- How Jon and Sebastian met at a young age
- Drinking at Bar Mitzvdah’s and dating a girl with mono
- Jon is a yoga teacher now and co-founder of a health-focused tech company but he was living a life that wasn’t super focused on health.
- Jon’s journey into health
- Sebastian shares their first startup, the Avo debit card, and rewards people for voting with their dollars
- Finance and behavioral change
- Conscious banking
- The Avo card transitioned into JOON through a sparked memory of an infamous taxi ride.
- Iranian revolution
- Sebastian’s great uncle ran a conscious business before it was a thing
- Why do companies care about health? Is there a real shift in companies caring more?
- JOON is changing the game in HR through health-focused tech.
- Can Jon & Sebastian actually help shift some companies to actually care more about their employees or are they only catering to those who are already on board with a more conscious model?
- Flexibility as an important trait for a conscious leader to embody
- Tom Brady’s flexibility
- Feelings of gratitude and its expression and how that can shift leaders and company stakeholders
Connect with Sebastian on Instagram
Below is a transcript of the video podcast created by Seb’s Robot buddy, Zekton. He tends to make mistakes so please forgive him if you find errors or some funky sounding sentences. For the real deal, watch the video or click on your favorite audio Podcast platform above! Enjoy!
Sebastian Naum (00:09):
What up fam today’s show was not just inspirational and innovative from a business standpoint, but it was also really fun. We definitely laughed a lot. I interviewed Jonathan Shoshone and Sebastian Elghanian the founders of June, that’s june.io, which is an Epic wellness solution for remote work through technology. They basically make it super easy for employees to self direct their benefits. But the trick is employers get to choose from a plethora of wellness companies that their employees can cash in on such as Fitbit, the call map, whole foods and many others. Well, we’ll actually talk about more about the product itself in the pod, but John shares how living a not so conscious and not so healthy past leads him to love and obsess over healthy food, wellness people, technology, and how they all connect Sebastian, who, by the way recommended, I call him best through the interview to just try to simplify things a bit has a strong financial background and talks to us about their first startup, which was a wellness focused debit card and how a memory of a highly inspirational and serendipitous event in a taxi ride shifts this previous business into what June is today.
Sebastian Naum (01:24):
I freaking loved spending time with these guys. They are Epic co-founders and conscious leaders, and I’m sure you’ll love it to enjoy the show.
Sebastian+Jonathan Shooshani+Sebastian Elghanian (01:35):
What’s up guys. Welcome to the show. Hey Sebastian. And thanks for having us. It’s great to be here, right? Yeah. So for people listening out there, this is the first time I’ve ever interviewed another Sebastian. So just to make it a little bit easier, I’m going to continue to be Sebastian and Sebastian is going to be best. It was your request. Just want to make that clear. Yes. Perfect. Perfect guys. Well, uh, I’m excited to talk about some really cool stuff today. Uh, particularly how you guys are changing the game, how you’re bringing health and wellness, uh, to remote work. But first I’d like to start my episodes by asking a question. And, uh, I’m going to ask you, John, when, when was your last, Oh, moment. What’s the first thing that comes to mind. Oh, moment. Was, you know, I’ve been recording podcasts like yourself, or like I’ve been calling it the June founders series and it’s just putting myself out there can feel a little vulnerable, but it’s also a hell yes. Moment for me because I’m, it’s fun getting stuff out into the wild. That’s awesome, man. So it’s so funny. I actually, I follow up my question with what was your last hell yeah. Moment. And you did it right there on the same time. That’s awesome, man. I love that.
Sebastian Naum (02:55):
Yeah, that’s great, man. That’s what about you either? Or I think, I think
Sebastian Elghanian (03:00):
I had an old in it and a hell yeah. Moment at the kind of simultaneously as well. Um, this past week or so. Uh, my, my grandma and my grandpa were both, uh, both got COVID this morning. I got on a call with them and they’re both feeling great. So the OSHA was when I found out and the hell, yeah. Is when you know today I called them and they’re feeling a lot better, no symptoms. Um, they’re, you know, they’re feeling really good. So that made me really happy.
Sebastian Naum (03:31):
Glad to hear man, very glad to hear sending, sending love to them and good vibes and good energy and healing vibes. So glad to hear guys. So boys, you’ve known each other for a long time, long time, and now you’ve got a business together. That’s pretty crazy. Uh, any whoever wants to share how you guys actually met when and where
Sebastian Elghanian (03:53):
Jonathan Shooshani (03:53):
Probably at some farm it’s fall. And you know, he was in the one with, on one side, I was on one side out each other through the grapevine and you know, he was maybe dancing with my girl. I was dancing from there on out. We’d be your friends. Sebastian ended up becoming my neighbor. Um, just a couple doors down from where I’m where I am right now, my family, his mom. And we used to play a lot of basketball growing up.
Sebastian Naum (04:22):
Nice man. And so guys give me something like dirty. Like I want something like, I want like a pro. Who do you guys do? Any pranks on each other? I want like a good what’s like anything that comes to mind, like you guys were playing ball, like with someone bawling someone up, like I want something good. Do something dirty.
Sebastian Elghanian (04:39):
I remember John, I remember you at my bar mitzvah and you’re, you’re a bit of a bad boy during that party. Yeah. There may or may not have been some underage drinking involved there probably was. There probably was. Yeah. I think, you know, go ahead, John.
Jonathan Shooshani (05:04):
Yeah, I think, I think at one point I was had like a little fling with one of Sebastian’s best friends and remember Sebastian being a great wing man and just like a middleman from there. I knew, I knew we had some chemistry.
Sebastian Naum (05:20):
Yeah. Like John, I got you, man. I got you back. John I’ll hook you up with the girls. Love it. So John, actually, you’re a yoga teacher now and you’re a co-founder of a health focused, a wellness technology company, but your life wasn’t always like that. It wasn’t always focused on health. And so can you share that a little bit of that journey with us? Sure,
Jonathan Shooshani (05:43):
Sure. So I actually found an exercise book. Uh, my dad’s exercise book from the 1970s when I was probably 12 years old and it had some diets in the back. Um, and probably at like 13, I started my like low carb, uh, grapefruit diet where I eat three meals a day and was always into like health and fitness from like a more physical, you know, athletic perspective, but, and being conscientious of my diet. But at some point in college I’d hit a low point and kind of had this epiphany where I was like, I need to really take my health into my own hands. I was on the beach, watching the sunset with my friends, you know, had every reason and right. To, to feel happy and content, but just wasn’t. And at that moment I was like, there’s something going wrong in my physiology. And kind of just went on this journey of like taking good care of myself, surrounding myself with better people and with people who had similar interests and values taking my career more seriously. And a few years later I met Sebastian and it’s all history.
Sebastian Naum (06:52):
So John, and if you don’t mind me asking, um, is that just because you were just kinda like we’re partying too much, right. Like just having too much fun, drinking, whatever. Um, and like that’s what was kind of you think causing you to go that route? Like, you know, this is conscious profits unfiltered, so we get raw here. If you don’t want to share something, that’s totally fine. But I’m going to ask you, so is that kind of what was taking you down that path of feeling a little bit unfulfilled? Is that right?
Jonathan Shooshani (07:19):
Kind of what it was? Yeah, I think it was, you know, the podcast is called conscious profits. I just wasn’t living that consciously and I think was sort of in search of something bigger and better and just living in alignment between my intentions and my own behavior, you know, I wanted it to be a healthy person, wanted to be full of energy. My, a lot of my journey has been like, how do you optimize your, your energy in terms of like, just feeling as, as up as you pan. And I wasn’t always feeling that way. And that sort of was the, was the journey of like trying to figure out how to align those things a little bit more closely.
Sebastian Naum (08:01):
Nice man. Nice. I know bass, the other day mentioned something about Iowasca. Was there like an Iowasca journey involved in there?
Jonathan Shooshani (08:08):
Uh, there wasn’t. No, not yet, but not yet. Maybe someday, maybe someday when COVID calms down. Uh, we can all go to Topanga
Sebastian Naum (08:22):
Right on man. Well, thanks for sharing that, John, um, bass, um, share the story about the ABOs debit card. So, uh, this is obviously one of your first entrepreneurial, you know, one of your first little startups companies, maybe not, maybe it was like your 20th, but I love talking about those little, those beginnings. Um, you know, I, I like to call them sometimes micro failures because they’re not really failures because they get you to the next step and you learn so much. But tell me a little bit about the, the ABO debit card. What was that about? Just the, that was a combination
Sebastian Elghanian (08:56):
Of both John and I’s dreams coming together. So on the one hand, I, I come from a family of social entrepreneurs. I was always playing at the intersection of finance and behavior change and really how do I help people match their positive intentions with positive behaviors, kind of what John is talking about right now. And when John started to share his own life journeys, his own realizations and his yearning to create technology, to help people create greater access and affordability to a better lifestyle, we kind of built, brought those two things together. So I had this dream of building a conscious bank of building a socially responsible bank since I was like four years old. That’s just what I wanted to do. Um, and everyone laughed at me and thought I was crazy. I went to college for it. I studied it. I studied under, you know, some great behavioral sciences.
Sebastian Elghanian (09:55):
Um, and it was really when, when one of, one of the David scientists who, who we love and who’s, who’s an amazing, uh, teacher to us. Uh, Dan Arielli, he wrote a little, it wasn’t even an article. It was like a little snippet inside of a McKinsey newsletter that I randomly got from a girl in my econ class. And it just, it was titled how to turn consumers green. And the whole idea was around how it’s an entrepreneur’s responsibility to build an environment that helps people make decisions that add value to their lives in the world. So, so the idea started as let’s start a bank. Then one day I reached into my, my pocket and I saw I had this banana Republic debit credit card in my, in my wallet. I’m like, why do I have this car? Like, I don’t go to banana Republic. Like they conned me into getting this card. Cause I wanted a couple of t-shirts and they’re like, Oh, if you get this car, you’ll get, you know, half your t-shirts for free. And I’m like, okay. So I was like 16 years old. I didn’t know any better. I just got the card and that was it. Um, but now I’m stuck with this card and I constantly have to go back to Ben or Republic because they keep giving me discounts.
Sebastian Elghanian (11:13):
So I was like, wow, this is an amazing mechanism they have going on here where, but like, what if we did that for businesses that work good? Right. What if not saying there’s anything wrong with being a Republic, but they’re not necessarily change our world or moving the needle in, in climate change or, uh, you know, diets or anything like that. So sure. So John and I were like, okay, well, what if we created our own card that rewarded and incentivized people for making, for voting with their dollars for purchasing products and services that help fuel them and help build a better tomorrow. So we started that journey together. Uh, I convinced John to quit his job while I kept mine. Uh, but that eventually that eventually I, I assume left my, my work in real estate and all that and, and dove 120 200% into, into ortho. We made a lot of mistakes. We tested a lot of hypothesis and yeah, I mean, it’s, we wouldn’t have gotten to June and to wellbeing benefit if it wasn’t for all that, we would’ve never, we would’ve never thought I don’t, I don’t believe we would have ever thought about this. If we didn’t go through the trials and tribulations we did and starting an FDIC insured digital bank card.
Sebastian Naum (12:39):
I mean, yeah, that’s no joke. So how did that actually work? Like people actually getting credited for certain businesses they were spending money on.
Sebastian Elghanian (12:46):
Yeah, so we did, we had, we had two things at play. We had, uh, we had our, our brand partnerships with, uh, local and national brands that were willing to give cash back. And then we also had an internal, uh, cash back program that we, uh, basically would give you like 1% cash back. If you go to whole foods, even though we didn’t have the whole foods, we still would give you cash by incentivizing you to do that. Um, obviously the unit economics did not, uh, were not pretty, but yeah, it was, it was, it wasn’t very pretty, but, uh, again, if we had it take taken that risk and if the people who backed us didn’t believe in us and didn’t believe in our mission again, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Sebastian Naum (13:38):
That’s amazing, man. That’s, that’s really cool that you’ve learned you took so much from that. And as that transitioned into June, um, there’s an infamous taxi ride. You describe a little bit about it on your website. Tell me about this taxi ride.
Sebastian Elghanian (13:55):
Yeah. So the taxi ride actually didn’t happen between, although in June, the taxi ride actually happened when I was in college. Okay. And so it was, it was sort of a, it was a reflection when, as we were making the transition from all though to June, we were really looking at other companies and looking at like how Slack became Slack, right? Like Slack was, uh, the, the founder of Slack was before that he had created a video game company and yeah, he had transitioned. So, so I was really in search of what’s our story and, and why, why is this the right way to go? And I started to realize, we need to change our name from all votes to something else. Legally, we couldn’t keep the same name. And in this search for finding a new name, I remembered this story of a taxi driver was an Iranian taxi driver who picked me up one random night in Washington, DC, because I was going to a friend’s house.
Sebastian Elghanian (14:57):
And he asked me my last name. I told him, and immediately he pulled over to the side of the road with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. He looked at me, I was extremely puzzled, but he began to tell me that he had, he used to work for my family and Iran. He carried with him a punch card and that punch card was, was not only a way for him to clock in and out, but it was also a way for him to put food on the table for his family. Because on the back of the punch card, there was a number that number represented how many people were in his family. And every time he’d leave work, he’d go to the cafeteria they’d show. He showed the card, he’d get food to feed that many people that night. And, uh, that was just one thing that he recounted to me that that night that gave him the June to survive, gave him the June to keep going in June and Farsi.
Sebastian Elghanian (15:53):
It means love life energy. It’s also a term of endearment. So, you know, our parents call us Bassey June, right? June, Sebastian, June. So, uh, at that moment I realized, Oh my God, my family has been, has been doing well, has had wellbeing benefits before. That was even a term. They were, they were doing, you know, quote unquote corporate wellness, uh, because it was good business because it was because they were good people because they knew, I think to do not because it drove profits or anything like that. Uh, but they really fostered a community. And the people that, uh, were in that community that, that worked with them really felt that even 40, over 40 years later, they, they still recount that feeling of, of June that, that they had, they had gotten. So,
Sebastian Naum (16:47):
So this was your great uncle’s company and this random taxi driver had worked for your great uncle and also tells you, right. That essentially it helped him leave Iran and come to America. Correct? Yes. And if, if so, just a little tiny background for the Iranian revolution happened in the late seventies and, uh, late seventies or
Sebastian Elghanian (17:11):
Early seventies, 79. Yes. Late seventies. Yeah.
Sebastian Naum (17:13):
And, um, basically the only people that can really leave the country and like go get a better life, had to be the really like, really wealthy or really, really well-connected. So this man probably wasn’t either. So he got that help from your great uncle. Right. And so kind of mind blown, man. So you, I got goosebumps when you’re telling me this story and you think about like, you experienced this, but it’s crazy how you experienced it at a time in your life that you weren’t really ready for it. That tip basically, you know, or anything, or like, you know, turning into something. And then years later, as you’re looking at how to transition business, this comes back up to mind to remind yourself of what this is all about, what you really stand for. And now you start to transition into, into June. So, John, do you want to, um, jump in here and tell us a little bit about how kind of like where this transition was happening? Like what, what was the beginnings of June?
Jonathan Shooshani (18:09):
Sure, sure. So Sebastian and I don’t have always looked at how you can connect the dots, um, and make healthy living and well-being more accessible and affordable. And we even looked back into gym reimbursements from the 1980s and this concept of your employer or your health insurance carrier, subsidizing your health and wellness journey. And our idea of health and wellness has really evolved since those times, you know, we have a much more modern and comprehensive view of health and wellness. And now also understand the social determinants determinants of health, not just your physical health, but your mental and emotional health, even how things like transportation or food affect your wellbeing. And that was always our North star and thinking about how do we connect the dots between these people and align incentives in a way where everyone wins. And we started as a result of that sort of North star started to experiment with selling ortho B to B through employers.
Jonathan Shooshani (19:13):
And, you know, the dots sort of connected where we were looking at companies like Slack and Instagram and how they had basically cut parts of their products, cut their feature to really, to really focus on the core functionality of what matters. And for us, we realized that the card was creating extra friction, but companies were still interested in giving these funds to their employees and even carriers health insurance companies were interested in giving these types of arms to their policy holders. And we just followed that curiosity, curiosity and intuition is some of it was validated and created this card linked reimbursement platform where an employer could, or a carrier could fully customize a program by choosing the wellbeing categories that are meaningful to them. Health and wellness, food, family care and development could choose a monthly allowance, could invite employees to join. And then we completely eliminated the administrative burden for the employer because we realized that that was a bottleneck.
Jonathan Shooshani (20:18):
A lot of employers wanted to do this stuff, but it was a lot of their time and energy. And then for the employee removing the friction. And that ties back to a lot of the behavioral science and the behavioral economics that Sebastian has really studied and made me also a student of and thinking about if you’re trying to get people to change their behavior, removing the friction and, and nudging them, motivating them, pushing them in the right direction in order to make it easier to, to do those things because everyone wants to be healthy and wants to eat well, everyone wants to sleep better, but there’s things that get in the way, time, money, discipline, priority. And that has been our journey of like finding this problem, finding a better market for it, stripping it down. And then things just started clicking in a way where we didn’t have to like force it as much.
Sebastian Naum (21:13):
I love that man. So removing the friction and making it easier really is so key. Do you think companies really, I mean, are they, do you just see a big shift where there are more and more companies caring about their people and caring about health?
Jonathan Shooshani (21:31):
Yeah. I think, you know, you even look back to like traditional health care benefits and things like 401k that are focused on financial health. You know, companies have been doing that for, I don’t know, 50, 40, 50 years. And if you look at the healthcare system, so much of it has been focused on, um, on, uh, solving for like acute illnesses, rather prevention. So I think it’s companies care companies are now looking to align their values with their compensation and with their benefits. But it’s also thinking about in that evolution from, from like loving an acute illness to like prevention, who’s helping connect those dots. So I think there’s this market trend, but then there’s also like a gap in terms of how that problem is being solved and how, how wellbeing is being defined. And that’s where we’ve been able to see success and growth. That’s awesome. Hey guys,
Sebastian Naum (22:31):
I just want to remind you, if you want to find more content like this, you can visit Sebastian nom.com. That’s Sebastian N a U m.com. You can also get a ton of other marketing resources for myself and my agencies ranging from SEO to social media, influencer, marketing, branding, web development, and more again, that’s Sebastian nom.com. Thank you. And enjoy the rest of the show.
Sebastian Naum (22:51):
And so bass, how is this just, you know, HR can be a nightmare. How is this helping people like specifically, like how easy is it to do this? Is it just for like an HR director? Or is, can it work also for like a S like a founder of a small company? Like, can I do this? If I only have like five employees or even contractors, I was thinking about it. I was like a lot of the time, like my marketing agencies will use contractors for different aspects, but some of these people we contract they’re working like more than half their incomings coming from from us. So they’re not exactly employees. So I feel like this presents an awesome opportunity for me to also give back to these people that are in contracting for so many hours a month.
Sebastian Elghanian (23:33):
Yeah. Actually Joan was June’s first client. And the reason why we used it was because we had a contractor who wanted, we wanted to really give person a benefit. So we actually use June to do that. Love it. We couldn’t afford to give them health insurance. Uh, and as John was just saying, we really are big believers in preventative care. And in fact, we’re trying to really use this term called precision preventative care, which is really having that person understand what it is that they need and, and going through that journey together with them, and then providing that, that service of preventative care that they need. That’s, that’s more despoke to whatever journey they’re on at that time, because it’s going to evolve, uh, as you move on in your life. So, so yeah, I mean, we, we specialized in the beginning with the small companies, tens OT, small mochi company was, was actually our first client, um, who I’m sure you may have known from our cross-campus days. Yeah. And, and now we’ve grown to two larger companies, but we, we still really concentrate on that SMB market, which we also think they’re the ones that actually have, are priced out of other wellness benefits, or don’t have the resources that other larger corporations have. And I mean, I think it’s like 47.9% of the us workforce. It works for foreign SMB, small business. So that’s, that’s our target right now, very similar to how Gusto has really dominated that space for the payroll side of things. We’re really looking to do that for,
Sebastian Naum (25:17):
And for anyone listening to just like super clarify it. This is super cool and easy. Like I am an employer and I say, you know, these companies are businesses. I’m going to say that they are, you know, wellness, uh, you know, forward thinking or whatever. Right. And like, I’m like, let’s say it’s the calm app and whole foods or whatever, you know, healthy foods or healthy restaurants, uh, and potentially other apps that can help your mental health. So I’m going to add these to my list. And so then automatically if my employee or my contractor ties their credit card to June, they spend money on the calm app. I’m going to reimbursement. It, reimbursed them, whatever amount of money I choose for them. So super cool. It helps me promote something to my employees or contractors about something that I think could be great for them. Like, I, I seriously, I always try to like, not be so pushy, but I try to figure out a way to tell people that work on my teams to meditate and, and, or do yoga. And it’s like, it’s really tough to do sometimes because, you know, if you’re just not into it or not sure, it’s like, I know it’ll help you, you know, it’s like, but now if I credit, you know, let’s say $50 a month towards any meditation app. It’s like, well, I may as well use it, you know? So pretty cool.
Sebastian Elghanian (26:35):
Yeah. And we’ve seen that every, every single week, every month, we, you know, we send out these little nudges, these little emails that if someone has $10 left in their account will recommend that they spend it on a meditation app or another product or service that costs around that much money. Because when you take away the pain of paying it’s, it’s now all pleasure. Right? You can, yeah. You can make that purchase without the, without having to think about, Oh, can I afford this? It’s now covered.
Jonathan Shooshani (27:11):
And Sebastian, that happened to me like 10 years ago, I was working at a company when I was sort of struggling with my mental and physical health. And my company offered subsidized yoga. And that’s how I discovered yoga and subsidized meals onsite as well, subsidized therapy. And when the cost was taken out, I finally felt empowered to like really take my health into my own hands. But that’s not possible today in terms of onsite activities, especially because of the pandemic. And work’s becoming more remote and districts, your workforce is becoming more diverse. So how do you meet where they’re at in this world? And we’re trying to solve that question,
Sebastian Naum (27:55):
What a great way to instill health and wellness. I love it. Do you feel that, do you think that you guys are only catering to companies that actually care about people’s health and their employee’s health? Or do you think that you’re actually also creating a shift in companies and getting some companies to actually care more than what they did because you’re making it so easy and because it’s such an innovative way to do this.
Jonathan Shooshani (28:24):
It’s a great question. It’s a great question. I think, I think we’re doing both. I think today we’ve seen that company. We have customers that are doing, we’re trying to do this themselves manually and working. Maybe they were doing wellness reimbursements through Expensify, or they were offering the single subsidized service like ClassPass or Headspace to their employees, employees weren’t using it. They weren’t seeing as much uptake because employees are so different and everyone has unique needs and wants to start somewhere different. And then we have employers that are being proactive. They’re looking at the job market. They want to recruit and retain top talent and are looking ahead and saying, wow, you know, the past nine months have been insane. I want to be proactive about taking care of my people, making sure they’re happy, healthy, engaged, productive, comfortable at home. And they’re also reaching out to us and pulling the trigger. And I think we’ve started with a demographic of companies that are progressive and that care about these things, right? Dream is to work with larger companies that have employees that, that even need this more because they’ve been maybe putting their health and some of these things on the back burner. So Walmart, Costco target, uh, Amazon, if you’re listening to this podcast, which you should be, um, get us up. We’d love to work today.
Sebastian Naum (29:51):
Hey, I’ve got a good friend at HR, Amazon, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna have to do something there. Now. I love that guys. Cause it’s really like, that was one of the, one of the first questions that came to mind and it’s like, Hmm. I wonder if this is only catering to those people that are already doing good, the companies that already care, but it’s like, that’s like the bigger picture is really just kind of like actually you’re actually causing a shift because by making it easier, you’re really getting some people to consider something that they weren’t considering before. And what’s really awesome is, I mean, you guys are a conscious company. That’s actually creating more conscious companies. So you’re a conscious company to promote more consciousness. So pretty awesome guys. And let’s not forget though, like, you know, bass, I know you have a finance background.
Sebastian Naum (30:32):
Like, look, you have to scale a company. You have to make money. Like if you don’t make money, you can’t, you can’t create a difference. Right? So it’s like, I think that there’s this thing where a lot of people think that there’s like, there’s almost like this guilt of like, if I want to make a lot of money or I want to generate wealth, like that’s like not right. It’s not, I’m not really, you know, being kind, I’m not really being conscious. And I think that that’s such a wrong way, you know, to think about it because the more wealth and freedom you can generate, the more you can give back. And in this case specifically to your business, the more you can scale your business, the more, and that is mean doesn’t mean that you guys are making more money, but it also means that you’re also scaling more health and wellness to employees out there.
Sebastian Elghanian (31:15):
Definitely, definitely. I think, I think it’s important for people to really think about honestly, like listen to novel Robert Clark. If, if you, if your listeners haven’t heard about him before, like I highly recommend if you go to Spotify, just search him and listen to how he talks about, uh, create how, how money is, is the result of value creation and how it’s a credit from the world saying, here’s an IOU. You, you did something good. You provided value to these people. Here’s a credit. And you can use that credit to then gain value or gain time in your life. And I think capitalism itself has, has kind of become this bad word. Yeah. Capitalism has become this bad word and it doesn’t need to be, um, really the way, the way that we should be looking at capitalism is through a conscious lens is through the interest of all the stakeholders. And I think where it’s got a bad, bad name is that for many people, this idea of greed is good or being selfish is what gets you ahead is actually a self, self, self, a prophecy that would just end up you with less profits. Um, so
Sebastian Naum (32:37):
Too, it’s an old way of thinking. It’s an old way thinking that a leader must be, you know, uh, greedy and just basically have like, how can I say it? Like the only way to gain leadership and to gain progress is by instilling fear in people, because then they’ll just do what you say. And it kind of comes from this old way of thinking of leadership and it kind of transferred into business like a dog eat dog world. And I think we’re really starting to see a shift with companies like yourself and so many other conscious companies out there that are seen so much progress and success and wealth generation, and also giving back more and more. So, um, it’s pretty awesome guys. So you guys are both, um, awesome examples of conscious leaders. So John, what do you think are two of the most important traits that a conscious leader has to embody today?
Jonathan Shooshani (33:29):
Hmm. I think flexibility and flexibility has been a buzzword maybe during the last nine months during the pandemic. And it’s something, it’s a way that we describe our product because it meets people’s diverse and unique needs. Um, but I also think as a leader, you need to be flexible in terms of like wearing multiple hats, right? Like you’re sometimes we’re jumping between sales and product and fundraising, uh, all in one day. Um, it’s giving your employees the opportunity to have more flexible work schedules in this remote first environment where people might be straddling, uh, being parents and teachers, uh, with, you know, with their kids at home. So flexibility, uh, and I’ll also pays homage to my yoga roots. So get, get on the mat and breathe it out and get in, get into your head flexor.
Sebastian Naum (34:26):
You know, what’s great about that as like funny. So I’m not a Tom Brady fan at all. I’m a Rams fan. I’m going to state that out. They’re not a Tom Brady fan. However, the fact that Tom Brady is like 41 or whatever years old and still like the top of the game, he claims that it’s literally the a hundred percent mobility and flexibility. He’s not lifting weights. He’s not doing any of that stuff in a sport that you have, the strongest humans lifting all these weights. Like he just changed it. He knows that it’s flexibility mobility. So it just kind of going off of your yogurt thing and going back to business, flexibility is huge. I don’t think it’s a buzz, just a buzz word. I think it’s, it’s a thing like you have to flexible.
Jonathan Shooshani (35:03):
He’s also, he’s also amazing as it pertains to the diet and eating and a bunch in are on the top of the game.
Sebastian Naum (35:13):
Tomatoes, no strawberries, no inflammatory. Anyway, that’s a whole, we can just tell it’s another podcast. Um, bass, what about you? Would you like to share one or two traits that you think a conscious leader must embody today? I think being grateful and, and expressing gratitude is extremely important, uh, for the little things, the big things, something
Sebastian Elghanian (35:38):
That we do inside of our own company, uh, that’s been extremely powerful from the very, very beginning before John and I had a business, uh, uh, we, we do something called the weekly dose of G and every Friday. And this is, I got to really give credit to John here. This was, I don’t know how he came up with this, but it was a beautiful exercise that we still do to this day where a weekly dose of G the G stands for gratitude, uh, and on Fridays here’s the before Shabbat or right, or, or at night. But right before we go to bed, we express to each other what we’re grateful for that week. And it could come in the form of an email, a phone call, a voice note, a text, whatever, whatever you feel comfortable with. And that to me has been something that I never grew up with.
Sebastian Elghanian (36:29):
Something like that. My parents are both really tough, hardworking people. We don’t, they don’t really talk about their emotions or, or gratitude very much. Um, and John really introduced that to me. And then now to, to our culture and our company, and if there’s ever a fight or a disagreement or any tension, it’s all completely subdued, uh, and resolved on Friday. Um, and, and that, that’s something that you don’t need to just do on Fridays. It’s something that now it’s sort of embedded in us every single day, where if there’s a moment that you’re reflecting, you can reach out to that person, that team member and say, Hey, you know, I really love that you did this, or you really briefly like you, you don’t know, you don’t know that you taught me something, but you did by doing this. And that has been something that has empowered me as, as a, as a leader. And you know, it it’s been amazing. So
Sebastian Naum (37:34):
I love it because it’s not just being grateful or feeling grateful, but expressing the gratitude. And you guys took that to a whole different level, man, cause expressing it it’s, it it’s, uh, it’s got a whole different energy behind it and it inspires everyone else inside your company to continue to express that. And the more you express it, the more you feel it. And it’s this like snowball of, of gratitude. Yeah, really awesome. Guys. I love it. Um, working listeners get ahold of you, or should they follow a June on Instagram, uh, your website. I’m going to have all the links for anybody that wants to listen, obviously below here in the notes. But if you guys
Jonathan Shooshani (38:11):
Sebastian’s for number is all this text, those are LinkedIn’s, we’re pretty active there. If you want to get in touch. Um, Jonathan’s, nishani Sebastian will Ghanian. Um, our website is june.io. Um, if you want to just stay tuned with what the latest and you could subscribe to our newsletter or yeah. Or email, um, and just reaching out to say, what’s up, we’d love to, we’d love to chat Sebastian. We’re a huge fan of you and the work you’re doing from your agency to your, your podcast. And we look forward to getting together in person. Well, thank you, man. Thanks for the kind words. Thanks for being on guys. Seriously. Just keep doing you. You guys are awesome. Thanks so much.