So honored to have former U.S. Secret Service agent and clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Mary Beth Janke. We discuss a number of topics, including her story in the USSS and her transition to psychology. We had a great discussion about elements of psychology and how it interacts with entrepreneurship. Incredibly enlightening discussion!

Go buy her book, The Protector, at Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734667109/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_39DMYRHYMVMJ9Q3VXWZX
To learn more about Mary Beth, go to https://drmarybeth.com


Aaron Spatz  00:00

You’re watching America’s Entrepreneur on Youtube. Welcome to the show. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And each week we interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers as a detail their personal and professional journeys. Before we jump in, hit the subscribe button and be sure to hit the bell icon so you’re notified every time we release a new episode. Thank you so much for tuning in to America’s entrepreneur, just incredibly excited that you’re here. And I’m even more excited to welcome this week’s guest and incredibly special guest and really a true treat, I cannot wait to share her with you and her story, you’re going to be absolutely blown away. So I’m excited to welcome Mary Beth janky. To the show, she comes to us with a with a really, really fun background. I’m not going to spoil all of it, I will just tease a little bit of it for her for you now. And then I’ll let her do all the explaining. So she spent some time United States Secret Service before transitioning out and then eventually began a career where she pursued a career in clinical and forensic psychology. It’s a career that she still maintains and practices to this very day. And thanks to her time, previously with with the US government now she she also does a little bit of freelance security consulting work on top of that. But most of all, maybe not most of all, but very notable, I would love to just point out her book to you, I would encourage you to pick this up the protector by Mary Beth and I encourage you to check it out on Amazon and anywhere else that you can get books, you’ll be absolutely blown away. So with that, Mary Beth, I just want to welcome you to the show. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, awesome. Awesome. Yeah. So it’s been, it’s been fun getting to know you, you know, off camera. And so we have to catch everybody up now. Yeah, our conversation so. And so then, like I said, I’ve read, I’ve read some of the book I and I know we want to tease some of this out so that people will buy your book. And I think they should. How, however, as as best or as comfortable as you feel I’m going to kind of I’m going to kind of throw a couple things at you questions that I already know just from reading your book, but we love just for the audience’s benefit to understand like, hey, just walk us through a little bit of your, your background, a little bit of your story, what what inspired you to join the US Secret Service?

Mary Beth Janke  02:16

Yeah, you know, I really believe I mean, you know, especially as a psychologist now i But I get how family plays into who we become. And so I’m one of seven kids. And I think that’s a huge factor, especially being the fifth of five right in a row. Just trying to distinguish myself from my siblings, it gets really tiring being compared all the time. And so that was part of it. And I knew after a class I took it was an elective in my junior year of high school was called criminal law. I think I was like, oh my god, I figured out what I want to do. And I said, I wanted to be a, you know, an FBI agent. And so I studied criminal justice in Indiana University in Bloomington, with a minor in Spanish, which has been very helpful in the law enforcement field and outside of the law enforcement field. And then one of my father’s friends that he worked with was a former FBI agent. So he was super helpful to make it seem all possible and real to me. I studied, like I said, Spanish for my junior year, second semester, in Seville, Spain. So what happened was when I graduated college, I was like, Oh, I think I’m going to go spend another semester or sorry, another summer, because I just want to be a little bit more bilingual. Well, that summer turned into three years. And after those three years of doing a lot of traveling and having a lot of fun, I came back to the States. And that’s when I applied to the Secret Service in the DEA. And I honestly, I would have gone with whoever called me first I’d be like 100% honest, it just so happened that they were pretty neck and neck along the process. You know, like when one was doing the panel interview, the other one was like a week later, the medical like a week or two. So it was really like I didn’t know, I really didn’t know where I ended up. And interestingly, when I you know, they have one part of it, you may or may not know this, but there’s a certain part of the process when you’re applying, when you heard a certain point, and they know they’re going to do a background on you that you get these, like these more and more forums, right. And one of the sections is, you know, all the places that you’ve traveled for, you know, because they have to check you out to make sure that you aren’t say, you know, talking to foreign agents, or you know, lying about some of your backgrounds. They said, Listen, you’ve traveled quite a bit, you’re going to have to expect to wait a couple of years to be hired. Well, about nine months later, I’m coming back from a trip to El Salvador, I was working for an organization in Washington, DC, doing a lot of travel to Central America doing election observation missions. And I decided to spend the weekend in Miami and I call this is pre cell phone, you know, pre whatever. So I call my office and say, Do we have any messages, right? And she’s like, Oh, yes, some guy calls you from the Secret Service, blah, blah, blah. So I call and he’s like, I call and he’s like, Hi, Mary Beth. And I was like, Hi he starts laughing. He goes, I’m calling to offer you a job as a special agent, the United States Secret Service, I nearly fell off the bed because it was only nine months, I really expected the two year nightmare, you know, like, yeah. And and again, just to share with the audience, I’m a realist, I don’t go Oh, since I was such a spectacular candidate, but in the sense that I was a woman. Okay, so in the Secret Service and in, in law enforcement in general, it’s really hard to keep us they it’s not that they don’t hire us. But we are truly the ones who leave to have babies to get married to go do something maybe more consistent, maybe a nine to five. So they did that. And plus, I was bilingual. So you know, and ended up being the only Spanish speaker in the entire Washington Field Office, which is just kind of ridiculous.

Aaron Spatz  05:47

And it was, that was one of the like, one of the parts from the book. I absolutely, absolutely loved how you got you got nabbed with that? Yeah,

Mary Beth Janke  05:55

it was it was crazy, because that’s the one thing you got to say about the US government, they can do some things really well. But sometimes they just don’t disperse their resources to because we have plenty of Spanish speakers. And the Washington Field Office is that pretty much the epicenter of the entire organization, right. You’ve got the president, the vice president, their family, sometimes foreign presence, foreign dignitaries coming left and right. And all of our headquarters and like, there I am the only Spanish speaker so I was one busy new agent.

Aaron Spatz  06:23

So funny. Yeah. It is funny. Yeah. Yeah, I’d say you’re just the the way that your story kind of played out, I think I mean, it’s really, really neat to see how and again, it’s funny because some people listening to this and watching this are gonna have no, not a whole lot of perspective when it comes to how technology has has just so grown. I mean, how you had to call for messages and like, yeah, it wasn’t like, there wasn’t. I mean, I remember when beepers pagers came out, oh.

Mary Beth Janke  06:52

Oh, yeah, there’s a part of me that still misses those, you know, by not having 24/7 access to somebody. Right.

Aaron Spatz  06:58

That’s it? Yeah. Yeah. And so it’s really cool. And I know you and I spoke about this offline, but like, I was privileged to live a few years in Spain also. And it’s such a beautiful country. And no doubt. I mean, that has been just an amazing experience for you and then be able to kind of tap I mean, obviously, it’s not the same exact Spanish, right from Spain to you know, South America. But, but, but it’s enough where you can like, get through it, right? Yeah.

Mary Beth Janke  07:29

Like you can at least communicate or word like, if someone looks at you, like, What are you saying you’re like, Okay, this is what I mean. You know, this is like, they it’s even funny, like just talking to my friends when I was living in Bogota, Colombia. And they say it it that they feel the same way when they go to another South American country. So it’s not just because I’m a gringo. And I don’t like have a great grasp of the language. It’s like, they have different words for like, even a type of Coca Cola. Like, I remember one of my girlfriend’s telling me how she took like, five minutes to get the frickin type of coke that she wanted ordered. Right? So you’re like, okay, so it’s not just me, it makes you a little paranoid when you’re a foreigner. But there she’s a native, so it made me feel like relieved, you know? Yeah, for

Aaron Spatz  08:09

sure. For sure. Yeah. Well, then so let’s so then let’s, let’s kind of fast forward and again, as much as you would like to fill in the blanks here. You know, but following your time with with the service, and then you transitioned out had several years where you doing a lot of other things, and then you’re and then you decide to pursue a career as a clinical forensic psychologist. And so like, Where Where did all that come from? Like,

Mary Beth Janke  08:33

where was Yeah, wow, that’s this is going to be long winded then Aaron, you know, put your stamp on? Yeah. Yeah. So and I know you and I joked about this, but I’ll say your audience if you want to know why my career with the Secret Service was so short, you’ll have to read the book. And I did transition into the woods, you know, would be considered the private sector of Have Gun Will Travel I, I really kind of bounced between protection assignments, and investigations. I literally always had a bag packed because again, the day of the beeper, if you didn’t have your paper close by and you didn’t call somebody because they were looking to put a team together, you you could lose the job like that, because oftentimes you want to play in that same day. And I loved that. I really did. I mean, I wasn’t married, I had a cat. I loved that. And, you know, I did, like I would do a protection assignment that I come back and do an investigation. It’s just like, you know, word got out that about different people, right. And I was unique being a female in that industry. So that was nice for me. And I would say after about eight and a half months of a contract, I was a US State Department contract that I worked in Port au Prince, Haiti. It was pretty rough. It was 10 Guys in me, it wasn’t rough in the sense of I like I got along with the majority of my teammates. Some of them weren’t too happy to have a female come in after they had had, you know, an 11 man team for a very long time. However, that sort of burned me out because Some of my teammates weren’t being very discreet, you know, happily married, but had concubines, local concubines local flavors of the day. Just like stuff like drinking like nobody’s business. And I’m thinking to myself, in a place where I didn’t feel super safe. I was like, in you’re supposed to protect my six like, no effing way. And I said to myself, one day I remember, and I hope this doesn’t freak out any of your audience. But one day, I’m sitting at the command post, and one of my teammates is like, oh, Wilgus that’s my maiden name. You know, come on, I gotta show you something. I’m like, Cool. So we go out to I think it was the West Gate. And there, they tossed. There was a a woman with four tires, over her doused in gasoline and being burned. Because Haiti is a country that practices both Catholicism and voodoo. And they had deemed her to be a witch. And that was like, normal. And it’s nothing we could do because was outside the gates of the palace that we were operating out of. That’s where command post was out of. And it wasn’t endangering the president. That was our contract was to present was to protect then President John Bertrand Aristide, and then his successor, Rene Preval. And then that night, I’m sitting in the command post, and I was like, you know, just writing what was going on, like you do in a command post, you just, you know, it’s all for the record. And it was like, you know, shots at the north gate or whatever. And I’m thinking to myself, you know, I’m writing all this down as if it’s normal as like, this is not effing normal. Like I, I just, I think it’s time like I, I think I just got to get out of this business and get back to the States. And finally go back and get my master’s, like I said, I was going to do eventually wasn’t like I’ve been putting it off, I really didn’t know what I was going to pursue. And so I came back to the States, and started looking into programs. And I decided to pursue a master’s in forensic psychology at John Jay College in New York City. And, again, dating myself here, but they didn’t have online courses. I did correspondence courses, because what happened was, I applied and I got accepted. But I was two classes shy since I didn’t major in psychology and undergrad, did courses, to have them correspondence and then worked in the meantime, that’s the Dallas chapter that you probably haven’t gotten to in the book. I worked that while I was doing those classes and studying for my GRE, and then eventually went back. So 10 years out of undergrad, I got my masters and John Jay College, and that was in forensic psychology. Kind of got out of the field of protection. This is 1999 by the time I graduated, okay. Two years later, 911 happens. And I’m all I got to do my patriotic duty. So I, I was not living in New York, then I after I graduated, went to live in San Diego. And I called the Red Cross to give to volunteer my services. I was gonna fly New York, just give them my psychological services. And they’re all Yeah, thank you so much. But we have an overabundance, like, try this agency. I’d call that agency. Thank you so much. But we have an overabundance try this agency, I’ve probably called five different agencies. And, and ironically, and I think this is so weird, like, I go over this in my head so many times, Aaron, the summer prior to 911, a former colleague that I had worked with in Haiti, called me and said, Listen, the State Department is moving their anti terrorism assistance program from DC, to a new academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I would love it if you would be part of the pilot program. And like, we’ll see what happens after that if they continue on. And I was all you know, I really wanted to kind of stay out of the business this time, you know, and I was like, Well, you know, I’m going to a wedding in the southwest. Anyway, I’ll swing by and check out the Academy. And I did, and I was like, What the heck, it’s only you know, five weeks. So it’s three weeks for the training, but two weeks to kind of gear up. And it’d be great money. And it’s kind of nice to get out of San Diego for a while. But I thought when 911 happened No way, because we’re supposed to train Bangladesh, as the first country, which is a little close to all the countries that 911 plotters, from SAS thinking nobody is going to happen. Well, it happens. So October of 2001, is when that started. And I after being rejected, so to speak by all those organizations in New York, I thought, Well, this must be the way I’m supposed to get do my patriotic duty is through this anti terrorism Assistance Program. So much to my mother’s dismay, I ended up back in the industry, but I’m not in danger, right. That was not dangerous. What ended up happening though, after a year and a half of doing that and training. Oh, God, I think it was about 20 different countries. Yes, sorry. I didn’t say that. The anti terrorism Assistance Program was geared towards what we called friendly foreign nationals, all vetted by the State Department. It wasn’t for us people that came from all these different you know, in theory developing countries, but there were some like Greece and Spain that you’re kind of like hi I wonder how they got in but okay, and we happen to train through five but I was There are three of them through five groups from Colombia, very unusual, usually only let one group from each country come because of this program in demand after 911. Well, about a year and a half into it, I was given an offer by the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, to go there and be what was entitled The US security adviser to the Minister of Defense and Vice President of Colombia. So under the auspices of the US Embassy, this position, which was pretty incredible. And it turned out when I got there, the ambassador who happened to be a female that time said to me, listen, Mary Beth, I know that the Minister of Defense who was also a female at the time, is it is a full time job. Do me a favor. So we had a guy that was there doing that he was covering the president, I was supposed to cover the minister of defense in the vice president, okay. And she said to me, Listen, I know that Marta Lucia, who was the Minister of Defense is a full time job working for a while, send me a cable, and I will get you a third advisor to take over the Vice President, and she kept her word. So it was a little bit crazy in the beginning, trying to keep up with both protect ease. But the really fun part for me, Aaron, was that when I showed up in Bogota, I had trained three classes of 18 students. So like I showed up at the presidential palace, and they’re like, they call me mighty bill in Spanish, they look mighty bad. What are you doing here? Oh, my God. And when I was training them, they tease me because I was always the person. It’s like, watch your six, watch your six. So they like oh, I’ll say is like, you know, we always think about, you know, watching the Sikhs. And so it wasn’t as difficult as it might have been, if I had been, say, a female who wasn’t known. Yeah, for chauvinist country, it still is. And so, but I already had some creds. And so that made it pretty easy. It wasn’t that I didn’t have my routers, but I’m always used to that. Um, and after two and a half years there, and you’re getting the idea about how like, I get bored real easily. And I need like, challenges because I could have been there six years if I wanted to, I was just like, because that’s how long the contract ended up being. And they gave us influxes of money for our budget. But you know, I came back thinking, You know what, now I’m really going to get out of the industry. And then I had a friend that convinced me to work with his investigative and security company. But as as the C suite, like as the Chief Operating Officer, it wasn’t a big one. It was small. So it wasn’t like, you know, crawl or anything ginormous like that. But so I took that over. And through that company, I met my now husband. And he talked about fate, because I really was kind of kicking and screaming, I’m like, No, I just really want to get out of the industry. But I did it. And so I was living in San Diego. I ended up Mike is my husband, we ended up merging lives on the East Coast, because that’s where his daughter lived. And so this is kind of funny. Now, I am 41. When I meet my husband, I had never been married. And I had my own home in San Diego. I’ve been you know, like me and my cat. You know what I mean? Like, that was like my responsibility. And so as I’m like, wait a minute, I’m giving up my house, I’m giving up San Diego. And I am giving up my equity in the company and my position because I couldn’t be on the East Coast and maintain and it’s like, Oh, my God, like I’m doing all this for a guy, you know, look at 41. That was like inconceivable to me. But you know, we’re still married. So I guess it was all worth it. But that’s what prompted me again, now 20 years out of undergraduate to go back and get a doctorate because my thing was this. It’s like, if I’m giving up all this for him, I’ve got to do something spectacular for me. And so you know what I was like, You know what, I’m going to go back and get my doctorate. And I did and that was so I entered my doctoral program right after my 43rd birthday. And that was a five year endeavor. And as you and I were just kind of joking about earlier, it was a little bit hellacious in the sense of how you know, all the younger 20 Somethings were like, Yeah, I went to a baseball game, and I went to blah, blah, blah. And I was like, what, like I was reading all weekend, you know, like, that’s how much harder it was for me at that age. So that’s what prompted me then to get into the big. So I did my Master’s in forensic psychology, and then my doctorate in clinical psychology. And, you know, that’s where I am now. I mean, since then, I mean, I did my postdoc, and Connecticut, we moved to Connecticut now then we moved to Maryland. Now I live in Santa Fe. I do a whole bunch of different things because it keeps me happy to not be bored. And so I teach at George Washington University, because we’ve been remote and I wasn’t supposed to teach this semester, but they made an exception for a class that I created called the psychology of crime and violence, which really fits my background. And I teach typically in the spring abnormal psychology, but I will no longer so I got two bonus semesters because of COVID. And then this one will be another bonus semester. It wasn’t supposed to happen, but she just like the head of the department. just contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked me if, if they if I would do it, I said, Absolutely, I created the class, I want to teach the class. So I get one last semester teaching and I consult, like you were saying earlier, I still consult a lot of it in stalking, sometimes putting teams together protection teams, sometimes the right assessment stuff. But less and less with as the years go by really focus more on psychology. My clients, I have about 12 clients. And then I do trainings and consulting. And so you know, that kind of brings us up to the present more or less of like, how it all sort of transpired. It’s sort of serendipitous I really, I’m not that type of person that plants?

Aaron Spatz  20:43

Sure. Well, it’s, it’s neat, just kind of tracking your career. I mean, like, you’ve, you’ve done so many different things, you’ve lived so many different places, like there’s been just a ton of things going on. And I mean, like, like the the case study that you brought up, but just you know, you could have stayed in Colombia, the entire duration of that contract, decided, like, you know, what, ready for something else, you know, and so that’s kind of been that’s been your thing, like, you look back, that’s really been your thing? And so, like, do you feel like, with the work that you’re doing, as a psychologist like that, that helps you now because you can, you know, like, your clients are going to come in with different problems, I’m sure, trainings are going to look different. Consulting is different. So there’s that there’s always something kind of new to sink your teeth into.

Mary Beth Janke  21:28

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s fascinating how psychology really plays into everything. And how many people like, I can’t even tell you how many, you know, friends and family that call me about issues they’re having with their kids or, you know, they, they’re, you know, I Okay, I’ll just talk one point. This is a long time ago, one of my sisters calls me she’s like, I think, am I gonna say the name just in case? I think, you know, whoever has ADHD and was one of her sons. And I was like, Okay, talk to me about that. And she’s like, this, that whatever. I said, Well, how is he in school? And she’s like, Oh, no, he’s an angel. He’s like, you know, teacher’s pet, whatever I go, Christine, sorry, then it’s not ADHD. She was What do you mean? And she’s I said, it’s got to be in two different settings, at least, you know, so you can’t just have a child who’s misbehaving say, at school, and then being a perfect angel at home, or vice versa. And that case was vice versa. Psycho Christina hate to say it, but that means something’s going on at home, that’s making them act out. So was like, really, it’s really interesting to that I stuff that I assume is sort of common knowledge, I don’t realize that, that it’s been that many years of my education and training that can help people. Um, you know, I talked to a lot of friends and family a lot. So and I, and I appreciate that they trust me to talk about their stuff. And then I also appreciate that I was given these gifts, and I spent a lot of years in school. I might as well use it. Right.

Aaron Spatz  22:57

Right. Well, I mean, it’s a great combination. If you have a natural disposition for it, a gifting for it a passion for and then you go and you get training in it. I mean, yeah, that makes for a pretty awesome combination. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s so it’s, so it’s so doing that, I guess, I mean, you ended up kind of, were you really, were you are, are you practicing just completely by yourself? Or do you work with a collection of other people? Like, how does that what does that look like? Yeah, it’s a

Mary Beth Janke  23:28

combination. I have a couple of pro bono cases. And I won’t divulge because that would be revealing, but one was because it was the daughter of a former secret service agent. So I did it. And he had passed away. So I did it to honor him. And but I have a spate of clients that come through a corporate contract on and then I am on I am by myself, I mean, I am on my own, they come to me different ways, different places. And I was gonna say to just, you know, being that you have a huge, you know, obviously fan club of entrepreneurs. I am a huge believer that like, and I’ve talked to different business schools about this, like that, even a basic abnormal psych class would be amazing for people to take just to really understand humans and human behavior and motivation. I would love for that to happen. I’ve talked to a couple colleges about that, but you know, shifting curriculum is tough. But, you know, I, I because I’ve said to people, I because the very first day of every class, I always I always have like my list of questions. And I say, you know, tell me what year you’re in, tell me what your major tell me what you ultimately want to do. And sometimes I have people in my classes like, I’m a computer engineer, I’m like, Well, what are you doing in my class? Like, they’re like, it just seems so interesting. And I thought it’s psychology is always going to help me as well. That’s true. You know, but it’s so off putting when you have like, I don’t know like to something just completely, you know, not even along the lines, but they’re sitting in my class while you Appreciate all the different perspectives and different background, different countries GW has a huge international community. So that’s nice, too. I don’t know if I’m getting off track from the original question. You’re great.

Aaron Spatz  25:11

No, yeah, just create it. Like your answer doesn’t surprise me again. Because like you, you you enjoy being independence you enjoy going and just kind of doing like doing whatever is grabbing your attention. So yeah, it would make sense that you’ve kind of got your hand here, your hand there, you’re like, you’re kind of get your hands on a bunch of different little things. And, but like you, you wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Right.

Mary Beth Janke  25:35

Now, I can’t handle tedium and boredom. And, you know, just again, give a funny story on that I have a really good friend in San Diego, and I was living there. And I think he had been a cop. And then he was running the security for college. And one day, we’re having lunch, it was on one of my trips back from Bogota, like when they were maybe renewing a contract or whatever. And like, again, knowing how I bounced all over the place, and I was going back to Bogota, even though I had this great place, you know, in San Diego, and he looks at me and he goes, I don’t know how you do what you do. And I look and I go, Bob, I don’t know how you do what you do. Like, and we just started howling because he needed that nine to five, nowhere is going to be be home every night, whatever. And that would have been the death of me. You know, so to each his own right. Some people like that stability. Some people like me, especially like I said, it’s been me and my cat until I met Mike, right. Like the response like I that’s what I chose is travel, high threat contracts and intrigue, I guess I would say, sure. Yeah.

Aaron Spatz  26:35

Well, then let’s let’s kind of let’s park on this topic, then for a minute because I, I’m going to ask you, I’m asking a question. I’m probably I’m just warning you now. It’s, I’m probably going to ask it really bad. And so I’m going to like, I’m gonna lean, I’m gonna lean on you to help help me frame the question better. But because it’s very broad, the question I’m at that I’m thinking is like, really broad, but as it as it relates to business, right? I’m sure you deal with people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, different. I mean, all sorts of different things. We’re all I mean, everybody’s got stuff. Sure. But as it relates to careers, businesses, you know, maybe in the context of being an entrepreneur, are there are there any themes that you’re seeing? Like, are there are there any, like consistent things that you think people like, you know, if it’s self limiting beliefs? Or if it’s a, you know, wounds from childhood? Or if it’s any number of things, but are there things that you see consistently that would make you think like, you know, this is something I see regularly amongst business professionals, or amongst people that are business owners, or that if they could just tweak this one thing, or or address these couple topics, this would really be a major breakthrough moment for them? Like,

Mary Beth Janke  27:53

first of all, you asked it really well. So I get what you’re asking. And I’m going to say it’s a multi tiered answer. Why? Because they’re humans. And so humans are all very different. So you can’t say like, you know, as you know, you can’t say all entrepreneurs are the same. So like, for example, I would say, and I, you know, one of the things I used to do, when I was doing my, my internships in my doctoral program, and my post doctoral work, is I did what was called psycho educational testing. And that meant that a lot of times, like, let’s say, for example, one of your one of your kids is having trouble in school. And they might come and have them tested. And you might say, well, let’s, let’s rule in or rule out ADHD, or rule in or rule out a reading disorder or that so, when I used to test kids, particularly, you know, when they thought, oh, I have that thing that you guys call ADHD, that’s what they think. And I, you know, I would do my best to try to make kids feel comfortable, because it’s so awkward, and so a lot of hours of, of testing. And so, you know, I would say to them, first of all, I’m pretty sure I have some type of reading disorder, because you know, dyslexia really just means reading disorder doesn’t mean that things are backwards. So people get that confused all the time. Like, I have, like a, like a comprehension issue, I have to read things a couple of times for maybe more than a couple of times for to like really get the point. And so they’ll look at me, they’ll be like, really, again, I have a data and it just took me a lot more work. I said in the case of ADHD, I find this as answering one of the tears of your questions is a lot of entrepreneurs that are very successful have ADHD, but when and that’s super adaptive, having ADHD as an entrepreneur because you can handle all the different things that’s going on when you’re starting your company, versus say a kid who’s stuck sitting in a seat for God knows how many hours a day and told you’ve got to focus on this one person at the front of the room that’s going to teach you a subject that you don’t care about at all right? And that’s like not adaptive. And so I say to him, you know, just give it time in life, like you know, you life won’t always be in school and you know, you’ll figure out your gifts and stuff like that. So I think that’s really important is that, you know, sometimes what was considered not a gift or you know, maybe it doesn’t advantage or weakness is then becomes a strength. So I think with a lot of successful entrepreneurs, including my husband undiagnosed ADHD, he admits it. That’s not me saying it. That’s not me diagnosing him. That is him saying that, but it’s super adaptive because he can just bounce from person to person adaptive hacker blah, blah, blah, you know, and sometimes I’ll look at them, I’ll go, Well, can I finish what I started like 10 minutes ago, you know. And the other thing I would say is, if you have entrepreneurs that are listening to this, or that you meet in the future, and you know, maybe they start off like really great, because they’re, you know, they’re living their dream, they always said, they were going to start their own business, and then they hit like a screeching halt, or they’re constantly having say, like, HR problems or different issues, maybe it’s personally that they start doubting themselves. It’s the delta between who they are and their true potential, that delta there. That’s like, Who are you here? And what’s your ideal you? So sometimes that delta can be like this? Not that bad. Like, just takes a little work? And sometimes the delta can be huge, right? And so what’s causing that delta? What’s in in the minutiae of all the delta? And that’s where I’d say, you know, my husband goes crazy on this. They’ll say to me, like, why don’t why don’t people need to talk to you? And I’ll say, Well, Mike, I don’t think there’s anybody that wouldn’t benefit from one hour of therapy a week where they’re just talking about themselves. And it’s not a friend that you’re burdening with anything. It’s like you just putting your stuff out there. So some people might cringe and say, Oh, God, there she is pushing therapy. But I really believe I, myself have been in therapy. And I used to say to my therapist, sometime I frickin didn’t want to talk to you today. Because I knew what I was going to bring up. And it’s in sometimes therapy can suck. And sometimes therapy can be really hard. But the idea is that it’s worth the work, right? That you find a professional that you have a good fit with and that you can trust. And then you can get your crap out there and process it and hopefully live a better, healthier life that that crap isn’t burdening you, right? So every entrepreneur is a human being. And we all come from different stuff, be that stuff from our childhood stuff from our first relationship, right? Sometimes relationships can play into who we become. Sometimes our parents, sometimes our bird, like, go to birth order is huge. For me, it’s still to me plays a role in who I am. Like, we are a hugely competitive family, and we’re still hugely competitive. Are you kidding me? So, you know, and we’re all in our 50s ish. It’s my youngest sister. Um, and so I’d say like, really, humans are so complex. And, you know, why not? If you are struggling, and you know, you have the potential to succeed, but something is like tripping you up and tripping you up and tripping you up. You know, it could be your marriage, like, I’m working with somebody now that like, she gets really annoyed when I say how are things going at home? And she said, Oh, it’s fine. You know what, let’s get back to work. I go, Nah, no, no, because you told me that blah, blah, blah, she’s like, Okay, you’re right. You know, so we now cover different things because she’s a she’s a human being that’s complex with different pieces of the pie, not just a professional at work. And all those things. Her role was a mother her role as a wife her role as a as she’s not an entrepreneur, but her role is what she does all are intertwined. You know that you have a family, you have a wife, you know, those things, they, if one thing goes bad, sometimes it’s that domino effect. So that’s what I would say to that and your entrepreneurs is, you know, don’t discount a one hour a week therapy session, or doing something like meditation or journaling to try to like just process your own stuff. I’m a huge pusher of meditation. Some people like tapping, some people like yoga, something like some healthy type of outlet that sort of receptors human goes, Okay. I’m not just an entrepreneur, I’m more complex, you know, so and I appreciate that because you guys, I you know, I am like this as far as you know, being an entrepreneur compared to like, what I see you and other people that are just such hard drivers. And you know, sometimes we stumble all of us.

Aaron Spatz  34:09

Yeah, I would, I would, I would, I would resist putting me on such a such a such a high level. There I am. I’m so early on in the journey. It is ridiculous. But the but you’re doing it you have the balls to do it. Sure. Yeah. The the delta I think there that was like, I really liked how you said that I’m just looking at my notes is like, you know, who they are in the potential and then what, what consistent things are tripping you up? And maybe that’s like your clue that something is a little off here. Or maybe it may not, may not point directly to the source, but maybe it’s a symptom, then you dive into a symptom and you start to uncover the root of the pain and I you know, like, I could not agree with you more just The value and the power of therapy, I’ve been in therapy before also, and it’s it’s a, and I love where we are, I think as a society and again, you probably have very passionate opinions about this. Where, you know, for so long, right, there’s been such a negative stigma associated to going Yeah, to see a counselor. Right. And, and I feel like just in the last, I don’t know, five years, 10 years or so there’s been a, there’s been a shift where that that type of self care has become more accepted. There’s, there’s, there’s a lot more willingness to engage with that. And I think it’s, I think it’s so so important. I really, like in coping so like, for me, and like, maybe I’m not doing this right. But like, I mean, I’ll process things with my wife. I feel like my wife is my own personal counselor. Yeah, but, but also like, working out, right, or just going, doing that kind of doing that kind of thing. But I had a question, and I’ve already forgotten my question. Well, you

Mary Beth Janke  36:04

didn’t use coping. So I didn’t, if you want to get into the realm of coping mechanisms is that well, yeah,

Aaron Spatz  36:09

wrote? Yeah, I like, because there’s obviously great ways to cope. There’s bad ways to cope.

Mary Beth Janke  36:15

There are bad ways to go. Yeah, I tell my students, I say, listen, and this is, this is me. And my sense of humor, I bring it into the classroom all the time, I swear all the time. And I say the people on the first day, that’s probably throughout my class, because I swear, and I say to them, my sense of humor is this in abnormal psychology, when I’m going to teach the substance use disorder one I do with the class right before spring break. And I say to him, it’s no coincidence that I’m talking to you guys about this right now. And I say, Listen, you know, I know you’re going to a party, this I still, you know, I’m old, but I’m not that old to not remember my college days. But, you know, I, I’ll say to him, I love my red wine. I love my red wine. And it is one of my coping mechanisms, mechanisms. But it is not my only coping mechanism. And so when that becomes your only coping mechanism, it becomes unhealthy. So like you said, and I’ll say that, I mean, like, for me, going out a long run is a huge stress relief, but like to somebody else in this room, it might make him more stressed, right? Like thinking about that. So you guys got to figure out your own coping mechanisms. It could go, it could be sitting in a coffee shop and reading, sitting in a coffee shop and journaling, sitting at a coffee shop and doing nothing. getting together with friends. I’m reading a book, there are 1000 different coping mechanisms that, you know, people don’t think are coping mechanisms. meditations are coping mechanisms, tapping, I don’t know if you know much about tapping, but tapping is kind of new. Listen, spending time with animals as a coping mechanism. Animals are hugely therapeutic and healing. You know, and, and sometimes friends and family aren’t. You know, when COVID When COVID first happened, it was like, a spring semester, and they were not going to happen, come back after spring break. And I listened to a couple of my students say to another student in the class without knowing I was listening, Shit, I don’t want to go home, I don’t want to go home, my family, that’s not a healthy environment for me. So a lot of times them coming to school was escaping the negative and really getting getting and realizing life can be a lot better. And then when COVID happened having to go into that was pretty tough. And as you probably have heard, maybe not, you know, child abuse and spousal abuse rates skyrocketed during COVID. So, you know, as did mental health exacerbations alcohol and drug use. So I’m a little bit concerned about what’s happening now with the Delta, because another shutdown would would be hell.

Aaron Spatz  38:41

Yeah, I mean, I mean, and just just laid out there. I mean, like, dude, like, it has been talked about, but I feel like has not been talked about a whole lot about the the impact of mental health, that virus and the lockdowns, everything has had but like, I mean, how how, like, how widespread like how, how crazy is it? Like, how much impact has it had,

Mary Beth Janke  39:03

within one month of COVID Hitting I remember talking to a colleague of mine back in Connecticut, so I was here we moved here to Santa Fe, when COVID hit, we were gonna move in the summer anyway, but when it hit, we’re just like, Oh, what the heck, we’ll go to the southwest it’ll be much more chill. And I was talking to a colleague and I said, I think we’re going to create a whole new generation of OCD kids because with the mask with the gel, you got to be a wash your hands 1000 times you got to put gel on your, you know, sanitizing gel, everywhere you go. I got to split, you know. And I think it’s turned out that we’ve created not just kids, people have become super like, again, with a mask on. You don’t see empathy. You don’t see facial expressions, people got really testy, they got bitchy. On the mental health situation. It was the first time ever that it was allowed by insurance companies, for people to practice across state lines. Not all states allowed it, but it was allowed by a lot of insurance companies to be able to treat somebody in a different state because people were so desperate for therapists. I mean, I got so many emails asking me to be part of these services, zoom or phone just depended on what they were doing. So you know, it’s kids, it’s adults, it’s it’s some people I gotta be honest with you, some people thought COVID was the best thing since sliced bread. They you know, bonded with their families, they played games they cooked, they, you know, got closer with their spouses. Lots of COVID Puppies, not a lot of COVID babies, but a lot of COVID puppies. Isn’t that funny? They I heard a report about two months ago that unlike what some people thought they thought there’d be a lot of babies produced from this, but it’s not true, because it was too stressful for people. Interesting. Okay. So that’s one thing and I sent you said put it out there I fear with the potential shutdown that because I mean, it’s already starting here, they have mandatory mask mandate, they’re talking about different you know, school stuff. I fear like with that if people say business that barely made it, and then reopen to dis finally, start making some of that money back and then Damn, you get shut down again. And I’m not just saying businesses, but people that finally like we’re able to breathe and that we’re getting back to normal. And for some people, it takes a really long time, this will lead to a massive spike in suicides. You know, drug use for sure. Like, there were already like, people didn’t talk about it. But suicide rates were not low. And in this country, not just other countries, but this country. It wasn’t great. People just don’t want to talk about it, which I understand it was hard enough for some trouble. Yeah, um, and what I would say to that, by the way to people who may be listening and may be thinking, Oh, my God, she’s right, or what am I going to do is several things, you you as the person listening need to worry about you first, meaning you need to get healthy. And I mean, mentally and physically. Like, I can’t believe how much the press didn’t focus on how can we make it through this pandemic healthier, as opposed to constantly everything negative, negative, negative, get your frickin immune system up, lose the way that you say you’re going to be losing even a pound, every other week, just do something and make it like a family thing. If you have family or friends or get a couple people to do it with you. I have a friend that lost weight during COVID. And I told her she’s the bomb. That’s so amazing. And the other thing is, so you, you look at that facet of it. The other thing is, you have to either keep a journal or write something I would someone said to me they did an interview doing her would be like, what’s your secret as like? Well, first of all, I’ve lived in austere environments, and I’ve lived in uncertainty. It doesn’t really faze me, I’ve lived in a really crappy I mean, you can imagine what Haiti was probably like, right? Like, uncertainty is pretty normal for me. And so like, it really didn’t faze me. And I hate to say that, but it’s just kind of true. Um, however, talking to people, what I’d say is, I would wake up some days, because it was almost like Groundhog Day, I would wake up some days and I’d be like, Okay, I would just lay there in bed. And I’d be like, Okay, what is it I want to accomplish today. So I kind of started my day with intentions. And I kept I didn’t, I wasn’t perfect. I did not always keep to my intentions. But I started my day at least positive. And again, I forced myself to work out some days, I was like, God, I’m usually like, rush, rush, rush, and I got to get my workout. And now it’s kind of like, no, get it in before dinner. You know, and it used to be like at 6am. So that wavered for me that changed. But you know, there were some days my workouts sucked, but I still did them. Right. So that’s what I say to somebody do something. Like and I came up with all different like things to keep me entertained, like different letters, had different things like say, I would do my name. And like, the M for Mary Beth was like, 10, push ups or whatever. And so I’d like pull out cards or whatever, do my name. And sometimes I’d be like, okay, Don’t be a wimp. Do Mary Elizabeth, you know, Wilgus janky you know, like, make myself do more. Like who you kidding? I don’t really like doing these stupid burpees I’m gonna do something else, you know. So at least doing something and not making yourself feel bad, but like, making sure you have connections with people that are healthy, like not people that are going to bring you down and bitch about how bad things are. Because that’s easy to get wrapped up in there that well, what a neighbor isn’t doing what the neighbor is doing, who isn’t wearing a mask who is who isn’t vaccinated who is like, worry about yourself, and worry about the people you love.

Aaron Spatz  44:23

Yeah. So good. So good. And there, there’s so much more I could sit here and talk to you for another two hours,

Mary Beth Janke  44:30

not just buying the wine and talk.

Aaron Spatz  44:33

That sounds like a great time. Does that sounds good? The So kind of in, in, in wrapping this up then and then obviously I’d love to have you back. We can do this again seriously. But you know, as as people are looking at ways to better themselves or to or to get through it like there’s one thing that you said as and again, I’m trying to I’m trying to be cognizant of time here, but Just like getting away from negative people and getting around positive influence and, but then like for themselves, like, you know, focusing on themselves focusing on those that they that they love that they’re close to. How can people and this this be my final question? Yeah. For the segment. How do how do people get themselves out of a slump? Right, like they may have been through the wringer. Right, they may have lost their job, they may have had a really crappy time. And so for them, I mean, life is through some pretty like bloodied glasses. How can people pick themselves up? And, and know that the future is bright? Like how, like, how can they really internalize that?

Mary Beth Janke  45:44

Yeah, yeah. And, and it this is hugely important, because, you know, I will, this might be a really weird analogy. But you know, how people are like, oh, yeah, I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to lose 50 pounds, and like they start working on they’ve never worked out in their life. And they also they workout seven days a week, and they start like, restricting, restricting, restricting, and what happens they burn out after like, what, maybe a month if they last a month, right? So the moral of the story with that is, inch by inch or millimeter by millimeter, not mile by mile, right? So if you’ve had like a really crappy year, year and a half, that doesn’t get repaired overnight. So start with something like meditation. And when I say meditation, meditation, because I was kind of bitching about a few months ago to my massage therapist, oh my god, I just, you know, I haven’t been consistent. She was Mary Beth, just sit in a chair for a minute, that’s meditating. That’s all it takes. Just sit there for a minute. And I was like, Thank you like, because there I am beating myself up over not meditating. Like, is that necessary, right? So and I’m a huge again, this could be another time you and I talk, but like, what we say to ourselves really matters. So instead of saying, Oh, I suck for not meditating. It’s like, okay, I’ll be better tomorrow. Like I did it today. Like, on Michael, you know what, I’m gonna do it twice a week and see if maybe after a month, I can increase it to three days a week or whatever. But being really, really compassionate and patient with yourself and kind. Like, I said to one of my clients, the same one I refer to earlier, I say, listen, because she’s super hard charging, I say, Listen, stop being a bi tch to yourself. I said, you can be hard on yourself, because that’s what’s gotten you to where you are. But, but don’t like you’re punishing yourself. And you’re being really mean to yourself. And she goes, You know what, you’re right. She says, and I love that she goes, there are plenty of other people standing in line waiting to that, why am I doing it to myself? So I would say that to people is yeah, if you’ve even if you’re like, not had a really bad year, but you’re, you tend to like like, find yourself like getting negative and you aren’t typically negative or you are and you want to change that, like one thing at a time, the more positive you put in, the less negative will be there. And that same like a friend of mine uses that as the theory for a better diet. The more good you put in your body, the less crap you’re putting in your body. Yeah, you know, so. So talking to that. So talking to the people that are crappy in your life. No, bring in somebody that’s going to be your cheerleader.

Aaron Spatz  48:11

Yeah. That’s so good. That’s so and like the thing I like, are you saying this? Like don’t? Don’t focus? Don’t be so obsessed, or like all the miles that you got to do focus on the millimeter? Like, just right in front of you. Yeah, exactly. Right. And, you know, there’s a there’s a, there’s an analogy, and turn, remember, there’s a previous episode that I recorded with with a guy a while back. And he had talked about how there’s a there’s a there’s an entrepreneur that went to him to help him start a business. And all he cared about was like, just don’t go backwards. Like, yeah, so he wasn’t he wasn’t concerned about whether it made $1 profit or a million dollars profit at the time, it was like, let’s just not go backwards. Let’s just go forwards. And focus on that. And I think, similarly, your Yeah, I was like, I think that’s a great business tie in here. But also, just thinking about how you said, like, over the last year and a half of just how rough that’s been for people, it’s not going to get, you’re not going to come out of that it like instantly and so, celebrate the little victories, the little wins. And yes, and then just keep going, just keep going. Just keep going. I would

Mary Beth Janke  49:14

love it. If you’re, you know, one thing I have a lot of my clients doing is a little gratitude journal at the side of their bed and you can do that in the morning or do is the last thing you do at night. Just write one thing you were grateful for one thing that you did amazing that day. And that could be I’m finally meditated for five minutes today, because that can be challenging for people. Right? All right, like watch the mindfulness video on YouTube or I talked to my girlfriend who I haven’t talked to in a while and man was at great because she’s such a cheerleader for me.

Aaron Spatz  49:41

Yeah. That’s so cool. Yeah, well, best way for people to get in touch with you all through the website appear doctor. Calm com. Of course, we’re going to plug the book again the particular go check this out. Oh, great. Thank you, for sure. For sure. But Mary Beth it’s been a But it’s sincere pleasure, true delight. Thank you.

Mary Beth Janke  50:02

I love talking to apps. Absolutely. Thanks. Yeah. Take care.

Aaron Spatz  50:09

Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course, you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us Till next time

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