797 - Creating a Positive Impact for Veterans: Tom interviews Richelle Futch - Screw The Commute

797 – Creating a Positive Impact for Veterans: Tom interviews Richelle Futch

We're right in the middle or the beginning of Vetpreneur Month here. Every September, we honor our great veterans and I've got one of my superstar favorite veteran military spouses on with us today, Richelle Futch. And she's going to tell us about the great things she's been doing this year.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 797

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[01:33] Tom's introduction to Richelle Futch

[06:34] Unpacking your Emotional Ruck

[10:28] Working sponsorships into seminars

[15:50] All kids are in school and testing hair color

[22:04] Mission Outdoors and Nonstandard

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Related Episodes

Jared Ledbetter – https://screwthecommute.com/796/

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Episode 797 – Richelle Futch
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 797 of Screw the Commute podcast. We're right in the middle or the beginning of Vetpreneur Month here. Every September, we honor our great veterans and I've got one of my superstar favorite veteran military spouses on with us today, Richelle Futch. And she's going to tell us about the great things she's been doing this year. I hope you didn't miss Episode 796. That was Jared Ledbetter. He's with Carbon Digital.us and he's also got a place. It's kind of like an IMDb for military folks. He's been building it for the last three years. And so he he talks about that. Check out my mentor program at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and make sure you grab a copy of our automation book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. I want you selling stuff and making money and not fighting with your computer all day long and you will thank me if you just use a portion of what's in this book. All right. Follow me at tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire on TikTok.

[00:01:33] Let's get going to the main event. Richelle Futch is here and she's a licensed I don't know if it's a social worker. It's like she's going to tell us what that means. And she's a marine Corps veteran and she was a military spouse of the year at, I think at Fort Bragg. So very cool. She's got a thriving practice and she's utilizing sponsorships to bring impactful workshops to her audience. And this led going through that process has led her to co-found a place called Sponsor Match. It's an online dual sided marketplace. It's kind of like a matchmaking service for sponsorships. And she's also a proud mother of three. She's got three beautiful little girls and a wife to an Army Special Forces soldier who's retiring in six months. Richelle, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:02:33] I'm here. Always ready for it.

[00:02:34] Tom, You've been doing it for a long time, huh?

[00:02:37] Oh, you know, I. I love our friendship. I love that we roll in and we catch up on each other's lives and all the things that you're doing. You've been a really good mentor to me, so I appreciate you.

[00:02:46] Oh, it's. It's my pleasure. Like I said, you're the you're the superstar military person in my life, that's for sure. So so it's been a, I think, a year since I've caught up with you. And tell us about this sponsor match thing that you're doing.

[00:03:06] So as you know, founding anything, being a being a co-founder or being a founder, starting something is a really slow process if you're trying to do it right. And when I learned that as a for profit business, I could actually get sponsorships to help promote my business. I thought, Why aren't more people doing this? So I reached out to my co-founder who was in the sponsorship world, and I've learned so much over the past couple years of launching this business. And what we decided we both have education and experience in doing EdTech, so getting online education platforms going. So we started with our edtech. And so right now if you go to sponsor match.us, you will actually see all the education we have out there. So we have that available. It's going to be a membership like a monthly membership that you can go on and ultimately it'll be a dual sided marketplace where you have sponsor seekers and sponsor providers, both getting an education on how to create their partnerships together, Being able to actually build their contracts on our platform, work together, have their project management tools on our platform, and then review each other after the after the fact. So if they say, you know, let's work together on this event, here's what you're guaranteed. You're going to have this, this and this, then you're going to actually be able to review and rate them whether that happened because there's not a lot of transparency in the sponsorship world. And so we want to bring transparency there.

[00:04:31] Now, is this only for military people or anybody can use it?

[00:04:37] No, anybody can do it. One of the things that my co-founder and I decided, she's a military spouse as well was that we wanted to break out of just working with the military because it's such a a niche population. But the fact is, is that in order to support military folks, we need to get out to other agencies and other companies and corporations that are supporting military as well. And so it's open to anybody. It's not just military.

[00:05:03] Yeah. And so so how long how far along are you now?

[00:05:09] We have all of our education on the platform we've just updated.

[00:05:13] But you're going to put more on.

[00:05:15] We're going to put more on we're we're giving it a little facelift over the next couple of weeks. But by the time they're listening, you know, your listeners are listening, This might actually be uplifted already. Um, and so all we're doing is we're just transferring what's already there into a new platform. So it's going to look a little prettier Right now, you can get in there and you kind of have access to, um, I think there's eight modules in there and we're going to end up with 18 modules. And so different lessons filled completely with inside those units and modules. And then we are actually going to launch some education for sponsors as well. Because right now when we look at the problem sponsors are facing, they're getting 300 emails a week. They have to filter through those to find out who's a good fit. A lot of the submissions they're getting are kind of garbage, and so they just have a gatekeeper up that's kind of shuffling them away. So we would love them to be on our platform with a filter automatically that just filters. Like if they want to work with military, if they want to work with somebody in their zip code, it actually will filter right down to them and then they can actually, if they don't have a sponsorship program created, we're going to have education for them so they can A lot of companies don't know you can sponsor with just $500 or $1000. And there's organizations out there that would love that marketing dollars in front of their audience. And so it's a great partnership.

[00:06:34] Yeah. Now, you personally have used this. You have a really, really impactful, I guess you call it a seminar called Unpacking Your Emotional Ruck. Tell people about that and then tell them how you've worked sponsorship into that.

[00:06:52] When we as a family ended up coming down on military orders to move from Washington State to North Carolina, I wasn't licensed to practice mental health. As we said in the intro, that licensed, licensed, independent clinical social worker, meaning that I can run my own private practice and not have to be under supervision, not have to work with an agency. I wasn't licensed licensed in North Carolina. And so I decided I needed to pivot. And so the the skills I was using in the civilian world, working with highly suicidal population, I created, I took kind of the essence of that program and and marketed it and created it for military families. Mostly military spouses at first, and then it's branched into the veterans and the military members themselves.

[00:07:39] Tell them what and tell them what Ruck is. Because you had to teach that to me a couple of years ago.

[00:07:45] So a ruck is essentially a big backpack. It's the backpack that military service members use when they put all their stuff in it and they go off on their on their rucks is what they're called, these hikes. And so a ruck is essentially a backpack. And so when you think about the emotional backpack, it's this thing that we're either carrying or we put on every morning of all the stuff we've been through in our past and our present, our short term vulnerabilities and our long term vulnerabilities that just weigh us down and kind of creates this foundation for how effective we are during the day. And you'll see a lot of people that sleep with their rucksack on because they can't sleep. They wake up a bunch of times, their mind is racing, they're stressing out about things. And so it's all the stuff that you have in there. And the goal of the workshop is really to to shrink down. I mean, we can never really get get rid of everything, but to shrink down the weight and add in resiliency tools with skills training inside that ruck. So it's kind of like if you've ever heard of like Dora the Explorer and her little backpack comes out and she's got everything she needs in there. Think about instead of this heavy ruck that you're carrying around with all your junk and the and the crap from, it's not going well in your life or the stress, you know, or even the good stuff that's adding stress. Now. You'll have a tools inside of it as well to pull out and go, Oh, when I'm this stressed, I need a distraction tool so I can just get through that moment without making something worse. That's kind of what the essence of the workshops are. They're all about understanding where your stress is. You take a stress survey and then learning tools in order to shrink down that heavy weight.

[00:09:17] Now it kind of reminds me one of my buddies was a tank commander in Vietnam, and when he was in Vietnam, the only place he could really feel comfortable to try to get some shut eye was under the back of the tank. He would sleep under the back of the tank, on the ground or on a cot. And to this day, if he gets stressed out, you'll see him up at the VFW kind of hanging around the tank and kind of napping or sitting next to the back of the tank. I guess that's that was he still got his his ruck on, I guess.

[00:09:55] Makes a lot of sense because the tank is very protective. Right? It's like armor. And so you want to be close to where that armor is, where you feel safe. And you see kids in adulthood, you know, kind of going in their closets or wanting to hang out in some sort of secluded tight space or, you know, burrito wrapping in a blanket. And so that's it's all very indicative to what makes them feel safe.

[00:10:15] I wonder if that's how those big heavy blanket cranes came along. I don't know if you know about that, that these blankets that weigh about £40 or something that people lay under and it makes them just calm down. But so how did you work sponsorship into this? This very impactful seminar you've been doing around the country?

[00:10:38] When I was Military Spouse of the Year in 2019 for Fort Bragg. Now Fort Liberty. I won't get into all that. Oh.

[00:10:46] Yeah, Don't get me started.

[00:10:47] Well, that's a that's a separate topic. But for Fort Bragg, um, some of us just can't. I just don't like change. And anyways, I went to this big town hall, so the Military Spouse of the Year program through Armed Forces Insurance has this big town hall and they bring all of the military spouses of the year together with a lot of impactful leaders and military top brass. They come together and we talk about advocacy and things that are happening. Well, one of the vendors there is this amazing vendor called Safe Project, and they were looking for a program for their veterans program. So their goal is to stop the addiction fatality epidemic. They're actually a non profit. And they looked at my workbook and they said, This is what we need. This is exactly what we're looking for, for our our audience. And so they've brought me on as a community partner and sponsor me to take my workshop anywhere I want to go. So they pay my fee, my speaking fee, they pay for my workbooks, they get the space and the audience. So all I have to do is show up and teach. Well, before that.

[00:11:49] They cover the travel too.

[00:11:51] They cover my travel, my car, my rental car, my supplies that I need in order to teach the workshop. It's been so great. And it's it was such a switch because here's a nonprofit supporting a for profit business. And when you think of sponsors, you always think, Oh, here's a for profit business that's giving something to a nonprofit auction or something like that, that's you hear of sponsorship, you think of that, or you think of star athletes getting a sponsorship from like, you know, these big brands. Yeah, right. And so I, I never considered that that sponsorship was such a huge solution for my business and what it opened up my life to because now I'm not spending my days. Getting butts in seats for workshops, finding venues, reaching out to places, saying this is something your your people would be interested in. How do I get how do I get that to happen? They're already doing that with their audience that they've built, that they've grown, and they're bringing me in and doing it. And I just went, Wow, that's amazing. And I have such a, um, a big friend group of other military spouses and other veterans who have programs and amazing things that would be great to get in front of people. And so that kind of sparked this. There's got to be a simpler way, right? And then you hear that a lot in entrepreneurship, right, is you're solving a problem. There's got to be an easier way. And that's really what it was. There was like there's got to be an easier way for other people to do exactly what I'm doing.

[00:13:15] All right. So basically, you tripped on each other. Is that fair? But yeah, but.

[00:13:20] Yes, we they happen to be at a booth and I was sitting next to him and just talking and finding out what they're about. And I said, Here's my workbook. This is kind of who I am and what I'm doing. And they're like, Oh, the this guy's part of the clouds part. And it was beautiful.

[00:13:37] Yeah. So so now you're you're going to be teaching people how to proactively make that happen, Right?

[00:13:44] Right. And, and I think that's the thing is there's so many myths out there that people don't understand that outside of sports sponsorships. Right? Sponsorships is like, you know, $50 billion industry if you're looking at all that.

[00:13:58] But it's growing because the major media, like newspapers, are down the tubes and people have marketing budgets, but there's no place to put it, the marketing budget. So sponsorship money has been increasing like crazy.

[00:14:13] It's been it's been beautiful. It's been it's been a nice thing. And if you don't know that your for profit business or even your non profit business has access to, to not just philanthropy dollars, but also marketing dollars, also dollars, all these other pockets of money that companies set aside for certain, you know, initiatives within their own organization, then you don't know how to ask for that money. You don't know the right way to ask for marketing dollars over philanthropy dollars. Because if you're talking to the person who's doing, you know, just community outreach, then they might say, I don't have funds for that. But if you're talking to their, you know, CMO, they're like, Oh, that's great. How many people are you going to have there? How many people do you have access to? We would love to get our name in front of those people.

[00:14:55] Yeah. Now I took a grant writing course, which is another way to make money, but I did find that 90% of that money goes does go to nonprofits. But if you what you're saying is that the nonprofits are given some of that money through them to profits companies. So so you're going to teach people how to tap into that, I guess, right?

[00:15:21] If just like I did, you know, I got my funding through a nonprofit because they're able to get grants for my specific program. But I also work with agencies who are for profit businesses that are just looking to have their name or their offering in front of their big audience. And they have a, you know, tons of people who are looking exactly for what they have to offer. And so it really is marketing. It's it's better than putting an ad in a magazine that people are never going to skip to the back of.

[00:15:49] Yeah, it's beautiful. You know, I'm noticing as I'm talking to you that it's awful quiet at your house.

[00:15:58] Lovely. It's a beautiful.

[00:15:59] Thing.

[00:16:01] Guess I know that you used to homeschool, and now your. Your girls are off to. To public school.

[00:16:11] Today is the first day that all of my girls are in public school. School started this morning. Got them out the door and haven't received any phone calls yet. So. Yeah, it's quiet. It's. It's. It's a change.

[00:16:25] Yeah.

[00:16:26] Now, your girls are going to. I know how. You know what cracks me up is I see that you're a social worker. Well, the stereotype social worker is like a real demure, quiet type. That's. It's like a little mouse in a corner. That's not you or your girls, I'm telling you.

[00:16:48] No, no, it's. It's funny because when you think of a social worker, a lot of times you think, well, what kind of social worker are you? Right. There should be some protection in our label. But you can also get case managers who've never been to. They don't have a master's in social work. They don't have a bachelor's in social work, and they do do case management and they call themselves social workers. That's a different kind of social work. Um, but there's policy writers, there's people who are running nonprofits, there are agencies, there are people who work in, in emergency rooms. So social workers are a very vast, uh, kind of a title that you can, if you have those credentials, more job opportunities open up for you. And, you know, entrepreneurship opened up for me and it gives me the authority that I can say I can teach this workshop. And people trust that knowing, Oh, there is this credential behind you, you're not just somebody with good ideas, you're not somebody who's just, Hey, I've been there, done that. Now come talk to us about post traumatic stress, which could be very dangerous. You don't just want somebody that isn't trained and that doesn't have that experience coming in because of their one experience. Now, experience is important. I think that's really valuable, but not everybody's experience is exactly the same. And so you have to be able to bring that in. And I'm and I've really worked hard to get my daughters to be self-advocating. And I think that it's not aggression, it's not passivity, it's assertiveness. And so I want them to be assertive advocates for themselves.

[00:18:20] Now, do they keep their hair color the same most of the time, or.

[00:18:24] They do because they are not allowed to color their hair.

[00:18:27] Yet? Oh, well, what kind.

[00:18:29] Of what kind of are you setting for them?

[00:18:34] Yeah, I get that. You know, women in our hair is is something.

[00:18:38] That.

[00:18:39] We can't just I've always been the type of person like I want to be able to just light a match and walk away at any time and start over somewhere new. But once you have a family, that drive inside of you has to go away. And so I'm like, I can change my hair and feel a little bit different.

[00:18:52] Okay, well, yeah, you're setting that example. So what? So what have you picked? You know, like I hear families all the time say, okay, well, you can't date until you're 30. When can you change your hair color in your.

[00:19:06] Well, you know, my husband really has a bigger problem with the hair color. I, I am okay with alternative rebellion, you know, like the rebellion of, like, painting your walls a certain color. The color in your hair a little bit with clothes. Um, I just don't want them to damage their hair. And I think that it's kind of toxic and damaging to color your hair, especially being too young. So I want them to be educated and make that decision for themselves and not just doing it for peers or for friends or because they don't like something about themselves. If they're able to really articulate that, they're exploring this and this is what they're interested in, and I know that they're mature enough for that, I'm okay with it.

[00:19:46] What if it's pink?

[00:19:48] If that if if pink makes them happy and they want to try it, it's not permanent. I'm okay with that. I will. Purple. I think purple is okay too. I think they know that that personally, I think you can you can express a lot through your clothes and your hair. And so I just want to be sure that what they're expressing is what they're intending to express. My girls are already in the entrepreneurial world. My middle child already has a business. She's a trashcan valet.

[00:20:14] And so she goes to neighbors.

[00:20:16] She she goes to neighbors and she brings their trash can down to the curb for them and then back up on trash day. And so she's been doing that since the end of last school year.

[00:20:27] Um, that's a good resume item. A good resume.

[00:20:31] And and she go door to door and knock and hand out flyers and talk to them about their business and, and get a lot of no's and, and push through it and so, so I'm really proud of them. And so I just want to make sure that they're representing what they want represented with whatever choices they make and if they can articulate that, then I'm going to support them in that exploration.

[00:20:50] All right. Now, your husband is retiring in six months. And I already asked him before we started, are you getting divorced as soon as that happens?

[00:20:59] Yeah. You know.

[00:21:00] And especially in the special forces community, that's a really that's a high statistic that that happens. And so we we're we're going good right now. And so, you know, I'm not dumb enough to never say never. But, you know, we we do have those conversations about what's that going to look like. And we've been planning and discussing it for over a year now.

[00:21:20] And so you did say if he stays home, you're getting an office.

[00:21:27] If he stays home, I'm.

[00:21:27] Getting an office. I know he's got some things lined up. He's looking at going in law enforcement. Um, but no, like know thyself. And myself says, I don't want anybody underfoot making noise in the other room when I'm trying to work.

[00:21:41] I'm throwing off my routine.

[00:21:43] When he retires and then he gets pink hair.

[00:21:47] You know.

[00:21:48] He actually could pull pink.

[00:21:49] Off. I think. I think he could he.

[00:21:51] Could you know, I think it's understandable to go through a little bit of life changes when you've been doing the same thing for over 20 years and it stops. And so I will offer him some grace for a while.

[00:22:04] Okay.

[00:22:04] Good for you. Now, you've been on on board of directors for nonprofits and also for you're the on the military board of directors for my school. So tell them about mission, outdoors and standard.

[00:22:21] Mission Outdoors is an organization here in the Pacific Northwest, and their sole goal is to get veterans and their families outside doing something, whether it's fishing, whether it's archery. I was introduced to them because they were offering a free football camp that was partnered with the Seattle Seahawks here locally. And so my kiddos went and did this whole week during spring break last year of a football camp. And, you know, the mascots from the Seahawks came down and from the the hockey team here, a couple of the Seahawks players. And I was talking to one of my friends who actually is from the area that I grew up and he's on their board. And so I was like, hey, it's great to see you catching up with him and telling him about what I'm doing. And and they were they were really interested in my mental health background bringing that in because it's such ecotherapy or nature therapy and wanting to make sure that what they were doing was, you know, had some evidence based that they were doing no harm. And so they asked me to come on the board. And since I've been on the board in the last few months, they've had an archery event, they've had a big tuna classic event, they've had a I think it was a mardi Gras no, not a mardi Gras Cinco de Mayo fundraiser. Um, and they do rock climbing with kids and families and it's it's all free. You just show up and food's taken care of.

[00:23:48] The activities taken.

[00:23:49] Is only in the Pacific Northwest.

[00:23:51] It's in the Pacific Northwest right now. I would love to see them grow and venture out, but they're still fairly new. Okay. But you know what a great organization to just they recognize that community and activity is such a great thing for people in reducing those suicidal feelings, feeling like you're isolated, feel like you lost purpose. And so they can gather together, have community, have some laughs and do something that's, you know, outside. And so it's just a beautiful organization. And I would I would encourage anybody to look it up and and check them out.

[00:24:22] And how about non standard.

[00:24:24] Non standard actually is an organization that I was connected with because my real estate agent when we moved to North Carolina, we bought sight unseen with a woman named Mariah and she ended up selling her house in North Carolina when we left. But we became friends with her and her husband, Adam, while we were in while we were in North Carolina at Fort Bragg. I'm going to continue to call it Fort Bragg.

[00:24:47] Yeah.

[00:24:47] And he was also a special forces and Special Forces. He's a medic. And he since has gotten out, retired as well. And he created an organization because what he found was that people were struggling, getting the VA to pay for treatments that were not approved. And so he said there's got to be a way to get people the treatment that they want to try, that they've researched and that there's evidence and efficacy behind these other treatment modalities that the VA doesn't want to pay for. So let's let's create a way to get together. And they started by giving out ice barrels. And so their mission right now is to give out 100 ice barrels to veterans. Um, and so they're, they're forming their list and they've given out.

[00:25:36] I mean, that's where.

[00:25:37] People plunge themselves in ice water for a.

[00:25:39] Few minutes, plunge.

[00:25:40] Themselves in the ice water and yeah. And so they've been giving out ice barrels and they've created some, some packages so people can go to like local martial arts studios, Brazilian jiu jitsu studios and, and have like some free training to get them as well. And so a lot of it around activity and engagement and in treatment and community.

[00:26:01] Wow. Yeah. I think if I jumped in one of those ice barrels, if I didn't push all the water out, that would give me STD.

[00:26:13] Well, I think if you do it and you don't videotape it, we're all like, really going to be sad about that. So do you better catch it on camera?

[00:26:22] Oh, wow. So glad to to catch up with you. You've been doing your helping a lot of people and a lot of ways and and creating three wonderful girls that are going to do big things in life. And probably the biggest thing I want to thank you for is that you have never volunteered to comment on my mental health. So I really thank you for that.

[00:26:50] I like you just the way you are.

[00:26:51] Oh, good. That's that's a good way. So. So tell people how they get Ahold of you or if they what if what if some of the base people on bases that hear this say, I'd love to have that unpacking your emotional ruck thing at our place. So how how should they get Ahold of you and set it up?

[00:27:09] The yeah, the best way to connect with me is on LinkedIn. I spend most of my time on LinkedIn, so if they just find me on there and connect and send me a message.

[00:27:18] I'm saying your name.

[00:27:19] Spell your name for m.

[00:27:20] R. I. C. H. E. L. L. E. F. U. T. C. H.

[00:27:27] Yeah. When she first started spelling it, I thought if she quit it. Phew.

[00:27:33] I say that all the time because, you know, when you're on the phone and you're talking to people and they are like, Who are we speaking with? And you have to kind of spell it. And I've gotten where I just say Richelle, like Michelle and Futch like Dutch.

[00:27:45] And so.

[00:27:46] The spellings are very similar because I was doing that futch and that pause was not affected by me.

[00:27:56] Oh, So glad to to catch up with you folks. This is part of Vetpreneur Month. In fact, Richelle is the one that got this whole thing going. She got me invited to the White House in. Oh, her a lot. So. So thanks so much for coming on, kiddo.

[00:28:14] Any time. Appreciate you.

[00:28:16] Okay, everybody, we'll catch you for more of Vetpreneur month in the next couple of episodes. We'll see you later.