Ep. 222: Solo Ep – Mental Health Check-In

“But I’m telling you the truth… I mean it. I’m okay! Trust me.” – I’m Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance.

Here’s the thing. I actually am okay! But when I opened up about some of my mental health issues three months ago, many of you reached out to me to tell you how much that episode meant to you. So I figured it prudent to do a check-in with you.

Once again I recorded this stream-of-consciousness without knowing exactly where it would go. So here we are three months later, and things are generally going well. That’s not to say everything is perfect, but that I’ve worked really hard to maintain a good mindset and good perspective.

I reference the movie Parenthood in this episode, and in particular, Jason Robards’ speech about how when it comes to parenting, you never cross the goal line, spike the football and do your touchdown dance. You never stop worrying about your kids. Well, the same is true of mental health. You never really stop fighting for yourself, and hopefully, over time it gets a little bit easier.

So enjoy this half hour, and I’ll see you back here next week with a brand new guest.

Ep. 213: I’m Back, Baby!

Straight from the heart, stream-of-consciousness to my mouth, and into your ears, here’s the episode where I re-launch the podcast. I talk what led to the show going on hiatus, my struggles with depression, my philosophy on business, toss in a few outdated pop culture references, use a ton of profanity (because that’s how my brain works when it’s at its most honest), and generally spill my guts about a ton of stuff for 25 or so minutes.

Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure what all is on here. What I know is that I owed you an explanation, wanted to be as truthful and free-flowing as possible, and then wanted to move on with my life. I recorded this, uploaded it, don’t really remember what I said, and don’t have any plans to listen to it again. All I can tell you is that I’m infinitely grateful for your support, your continued invitation into your life, and for the opportunity to continue to put out the best damn show in Denver. That’s what I endeavor to continue to do from here on out.

Feel free to pitch yourself to be on the show, shoot me ideas for guests you find interesting, or hit me up if you’re having a rough time. Everyone needs help, and I got a lot of it. I’m happy to pay it forward.

Love to you all. See you next week with a fresh show.

_ Jon

P.S. That photo is obviously not of me, but watching Jon Moxley debut at AEW Double or Nothing over the weekend, and seeing the joie de vivre plastered all over him, is the closest approximation I’ve found recently to what it’s like to have a breakthrough with your depression.

Ep. 181: Solo – Customer Service Spectacular!

Since I’ve been up to my ass in moving hell, and considering the subject of this week’s episode, I think it appropriate to drop a solo episode on you all.

When you move, you end up working with a whole slew of subcontractors and I suppose it’s to be expected that your experience with them will span the spectrum of satisfaction from excellent to terrible. And while we tend to focus on and remember the negative more intensely, it’s important to highlight the good as well. That’s what this week’s episode is all about!

I highlight my experience with four companies – two of them terrific, two of them pretty terrible. So tune in and find out what I have to say about Johnson United Movers, Comcast, AT&T, and Home Depot as I speak off-the-cuff for nearly a half hour.

You can download the show on iTunes, stream it on Stitcher, or listen at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

Ep. 134: Jon Eks Solo – Pain

It’s been a damn month since last I put up an episode. Why?

Well, in a word, PAIN. Four Saturdays ago I made the cardinal mistake of lifting my daughter out of her crib and felt something tweak in my back. From there, hot pain knives shot down my sciatic nerves and I ended up not being able to get out of bed for about a week. Cut to three weeks later and I still can’t feel my right foot fully and I’m dealing with near constant levels of pain (not nearly as intense as before, but still present).

So this week I talk about what that’s like and a bunch of other random stuff that crosses my mind. It’s another shot at hearing me unfiltered for 20 or so minutes, and this one is RAW. So check it out, and hopefully I’ll be back soon with new content.

Ep. 126: Jon Eks Solo – Westword Best of Denver 2017

This week it’s just me once again, and I go completely unfiltered. In a profanity-filled and expletive-laden 30+ minutes, I make the case not only for why you should vote for me in the Westword Readers’ Choice 2017 Best of Denver Awards, but why you should listen to my show at all.

Why does this episode include so much profanity? I recorded it after my youngest daughter was up from 12:45-4:15 the previous night and in the midst of dealing with it the following day by drinking. So, needless to say, my defenses are down and I have neither the energy nor the patience to bullshit you about this.

Why should you vote for me? Not because I care about winning awards – I don’t. But rather because I care about contributing something that’s good and worthwhile to the world, and I recognize that awards will help draw attention to whatever you’re trying to create. I believe this show matters, and I want it to stand in contrast to so much of the ugliness in our world today. I want it to build empathy, tear down walls, demystify the unknown, and help us understand our fellow humans. If that matters to you, take a minute and vote for me.

Just another quick word: My feature piece in the Denver Business Journal is no longer behind a paywall. So go and read it. Also watch the video where I reference Gale Sayers and Gracie Allen in the same two minutes.

The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and the Jon of All Trades homepage.

Special Solo Ep: Deft Wins, Cubs Win, Trump Wins

Check out that episode title… 2/3 ain’t bad? Nah, too easy a joke. But that’s what you can expect from this week’s special solo episode.

It’s a big week around here for our parent company Deft Communications as we preview a very special happening for the company here on the podcast. I’m not going to spoil it here, so you’ll just have to listen, but I’m very excited to do something with the company I’ve yet to have the opportunity to do. Tune in to the show, and then check back on Friday for full coverage.

Secondly, anyone who’s known me for a long time knows what a huge Chicago Cubs fan I am. And for a variety of reasons, I never got to write the Chicago Cubs victory blog post I wanted to. So, I use the time and space I have on this week’s show to share my thoughts on the Cubs finally ending 108 years of futility and winning the World Series. Pertinent link: Here’s the article and embedded video I refer to during this week’s show. Watch it and grin as big as the video’s subject.

Finally, I’ve been very quiet about the electoral victory of Donald Trump. There’s a lot of reasons for this, and I get into some of them here. Additionally, I give an alternate view of “draining the swamp” which I think as a concept as presented by Donald Trump, is largely insincere posturing and lame populist pandering. More where that came from.

And if you need one reason to tune in this week, maybe you’d like to find out the weird thing Grace calls me. It ain’t “daddy” and if my wife had her way, she’d call me this forever because it’s strange and adorable.

Join us on iTunes, stream it on Stitcher, or listen live right here on the Jon of All Trades homepage.

Special Ep: Jon Eks Solo – Parenting

It’s been awhile since I’ve forced myself to talk into a mic and talk stream-of-consciousness for half an hour, so let’s do that.

I went into this week’s episode with only one pre-determined question I wanted to address. It’s a question I get frequently both from parents and norms alike – “Is it harder going from zero children to one; or from one child to two?” And in my own circuitous, free-flowing way, I answer just that. And since there was a microphone in front of me, no one else around (a real rarity these days given my extensive professional obligations on top of my parental duties), and a style that takes me seemingly wherever the wind blows, here’s a snapshot of some of the things covered in this episode:

  • Why the new iPhone looks stupid and design choices in 2016 mostly suck (h/t to this article for inspiring this);
  • How writing that I get paid for is fucking up my writing-for-pleasure voice (or, alternately, “Why I Don’t Blog Anymore”);
  • How I’ve come to re-fall in love with the sunroof of my car;
  • Parents in breweries;
  • Why my kids listen to punk rock in the car, and why I find that important;
  • The real reason people’s marriages fail (at least, in my estimation);
  • And the search for authenticity in our jobs, our relationships, and how those pursuits all inform the search for authenticity in ourselves

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can recall off the top of my head. And I’ll be honest with you… I haven’t re-listened to this episode. I recorded it, tacked on the intro and outro, and left it alone. So let’s all be surprised together at my all-over-the-map style and see what shakes loose. Hope you enjoy it.

Available for download on iTunes, stream on Stitcher, or at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

Special Ep: Jon Eks Solo – 2015 Wrap-Up

Where the hell have I been?

That’s an important question, and one I answer in this week’s special episode, which, incidentally, is the last one of 2015. It’s amazing how quickly things can unravel when you’re producing a weekly show when you have a few scheduling snafus with guests, you end up traveling, the plague takes over your house and renders everyone incapacitated with the stomach flu, and, oh yeah, we’re in the thick of holiday season.

So we delve into where we stand with the show on this week’s solo adventure, what’s on tap for 2016, and, in true Unedited Jon Eks style, we also go all over the map. I rant about an Uber driver who tried to enroll me in her stupid Multi-Level Marketing program, talk about realizing my dream of washing off a crib sheet at 1:30 in the morning, recommend some beer in San Diego, and a shitload else.

When I talk off the cuff, I talk very circuitously, so strap in for this episode. I received feedback that you all liked my previous solo episode, so here’s another one. Download it on iTunes, stream it on Stitcher, or, as always, get it at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

Have a nice holiday season.

Special Ep: Jon Eks Solo – Severance Is Over!

When you get laid off, if you’re lucky, you get a severance payment. When I got laid off three months ago, I got just such a payment worth three months of my salary. That was April 7. I am now out of my severance payment period, and it thought it apropos to check in with myself (and you) to see how it’s going. So this episode features me, and me alone (an exercise I was not excited about undertaking).

As I approached this episode, I wanted it to be unvarnished, so I made the deliberate decision to do it in one take without any editing. If the episode sounds a little bit shaggier than normal, it’s because I didn’t do my normal clean-up job with it. I don’t edit my episodes generally for content, only for aesthetic. I opted not to do that this time because I was worried about censoring myself and I wanted whatever came out of my mouth to be genuine. As I type this, I have not even listened to this again after recording it, except for where I added my intro and outro music.

More importantly, this bizarre, stream-of-consciousness, all-over-the-place monologue gives you a good sense of both the way my mind works and my overall feeling about the world. And to summarize, I think I’d characterize myself as optimistic, but frenetic. Working for yourself is exciting, but sort of terrifying. And at this point, it’s hard to imagine ever going back to my previous life. That’s a good feeling.

So tune in and hear me as raw and unrehearsed as I’m likely to get. It’s not going to happen often – I’m a professional communicator, after all – so savor it while I capture a unique moment in my life. Thanks for being a part of the journey.

This episode, like all the others, is available on iTunes and Stitcher.