I'm here with Adam Bardwell and this is part of Vetpreneur Month. Every September, we honor our great veterans and the great things that they're doing. And I got to tell you, he's going to be so impressed with me because I can deploy my cat tourniquet gen seven on either my left or right arm in less than 25 seconds. How do you like that?
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 799
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[01:44] Tom's introduction to Adam Bardwell [03:15] Military career and becoming a medic [06:30] Working for Nonstandard [16:40] Starting a non-profit 501c3 [18:43] Cold water therapy
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Episode 799 – Adam Bardwell
[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 799 and Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Adam Bardwell and this is part of Vetpreneur Month. Every September, we honor our great veterans and the great things that they're doing. And I got to tell you, he's going to be so impressed with me because I can deploy my cat tourniquet gen seven on either my left or right arm in less than 25 seconds. How do you like that? So this takes a little bit longer on my legs because of my fat butt not being so agile on the ground. But anyway, we'll get to him in a minute. Hope you didn't miss episode 798. That was my right hand guy, Larry, talking about WordPress full site editing and then episode 797 was one of my favorite veterans in the world, Richelle Futch. She was also a military spouse of the year at Fort Bragg, not Fort Liberty, Fort Bragg. And any time you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash, then the episode number. Her's was 797. The WordPress one was 798 and today's 799. Check out my mentor program at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and make sure you grab a copy of our automation book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and follow me on TikTok at tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire.
[00:01:45] All right, let's get to the main event. Adam Bardwell is a former Special Forces medic and president and founder of Non Standard, a 501c3 nonprofit. And their mission is to solve complex problems with constructive and positive solutions for veterans by connecting them with non standard therapies. Now, Adam is medically retired from the military in 2021 and is striving to make a positive impact in the veteran community by any means necessary. Adam, you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:02:21] Yeah, let's do it.
[00:02:22] All right. My most important question for you of all is what's the difference between a Sark and an 18 delta?
[00:02:32] Not much, actually. I think they're they're the same. Right. Because you have the they're the. Oh, yeah. Because if not, they're special. Yeah. Oh, no, not no.
[00:02:43] Navy. And I couldn't be a star because I can't swim, so I'd have to go.
[00:02:48] Yeah, they have two versions. So Sark doesn't go through the long course and then the BCS go through the 18 Delta pipeline. So they actually are like, medically equivalent to an 18 delta. Is that what you were? Yeah. Was an 18 Delta 18.
[00:03:03] All right. We're saluting you.
[00:03:04] Yeah. Sorry. Sharks are just whiskey ones, so they just go through the sock'em portion. They don't go through the actual 18 delta portion of it. Got it? Yeah, that's a difference.
[00:03:13] Got it, Got it, Got it.
[00:03:14] So still highly trained.
[00:03:16] So how did you tell us about your Navy career? When did you enlist and how did how did it end up you being a medic?
[00:03:24] Oh, no. Sorry.
[00:03:25] Was Army not your Navy career, your career, Your military career is what I meant to say.
[00:03:33] Yeah. So I was a Special Forces medic. I joined in 2010. Um, you know, kind of had a decent, decent career. I wouldn't. I'm not, you know, God's gift to special forces by any means, you know? And after about 11 years, my body kind of quit on me and had to throw in the towel. So I medically retired in, uh, in 2021 and started a new chapter in my life. And it's been, it's been a very interesting transition, challenging at times, ups, downs, lows, highs, laughs, cries, you know, all, all of that in between. So it's been great. You know, I worked for Global Rescue. Now I'm in corporate and travel crisis risk management as well as run my nonprofit and non standard. And I'm a paramedic still, so I'm still doing some medical security stuff. And, you know, just just figuring it out, trying to help as many people as possible. And, you know, and it's been it's been a journey.
[00:04:29] But when you first got in, did you know you wanted to be a medic?
[00:04:33] No, I was actually. I was a Cav scout previously and which is basically mechanised reconnaissance, more or less a tanker and wasn't really for me, did that for about four years before I went to selection. Um then was selected in 2014, went through the Q course and became a Green Beret and actually was selected as a weapon sergeant. They call me, you know, my, my, my, my, my former teammates will call me a dum dum Delta because I was selected as an 18 Bravo, but chose to go medic after the fact once I'd already started the course. So I took kind of a different pathway. Um, but yeah, I don't regret it. Um, and honestly, I think kind of the way I found medicine was, was, was, was, was unique as well. And I'm a, I'm proud to have been, I guess, kind of a force multiplier for, for, uh, you know, for, for combat because, you know, to me, medicine mitigates the best risk on, you know, risk to force on the ground. So I'm proud to have made that transition. And don't think if I didn't become a medic and never took that leap, I really would be where I am today and pursuing these endeavors. So it's been it's been a wild ride.
[00:05:41] Now, where where all have you served?
[00:05:44] So I was at Fort Carson, Colorado, and then I was at, um, Fort Bragg.
[00:05:50] Fort Bragg? That's right. Not Fort Liberty. I don't know who came up with that crap. So, yeah. So. Yeah. Is that. Is that how you knew? Or. Rochelle?
[00:06:02] Yeah. Yeah. Rochelle. And Rochelle is actually one of our board members at Non-Standard, and she's a huge supporter. Somebody who might, you know, Mariah and Mariah is the vice president as well. I've always looked up to in terms of what she's done.
[00:06:16] Oh, yeah.
[00:06:17] It's really an amazing person.
[00:06:19] Oh, yeah. I love her to death. I mean, she got me invited to the White House to talk about military spouse employment for my school and stuff, So. So, yeah, she's. She's the bomb. So. So tell us about Non-Standard. So you work for this other company that tells us about the work you're doing now. You just before you got on here, you're freaking out about a wildfire somewhere, right?
[00:06:45] So I'm in corporate and travel crisis management. That's my, I guess 9 to 5. And then I spend my free time either training jiu jitsu or, you know, running my non-profit. Um, and yeah, so like, I guess on the court, you know, I do a lot of corporate security stuff for executive, you know, executive protection, embedding, adventure travel, uh, liaisoning and coordination, logistics and things like that. I was just out in Brazil in the middle of the jungle with the adventure Traveler. So it's an interesting job. It keeps me on my toes. It's a lot of fun. Um, and yeah, and then in my free time, like I said, I run non-standard, and our mission at non-standard is to, uh, to solve complex problems with constructive and positive solutions for veterans. And what that means is, like, if we're applying the same concepts that, that I've learned throughout my time in special operations with really proactive planning, right? We we mitigate risk to force on the ground by proactively planning for a mission. Right. Don't we don't want to go up to a house not have any Intel on it so you or have a plan for when things go wrong. Right. You have to you have to have a plan. You have to proactively plan. So you do that through training. You do that through actual planning process itself, etcetera. And so what we try to do is be proactive in our approach to address physical and mental health issues within the veteran community. And the way that's done is, is by advocating and trying to fund diverse pathways of care.
[00:08:12] And right now we have these really rigid, uh, pathways of care within the VA system. And to be honest with you, they're they're causing a lot more harm than good, right? A lot of benzos, a lot of opiates, a lot of drugs. And that's not what veterans need. There's a new generation of veterans emerging that really want to start to advocate for their own care, like, hey, we know what we need. We know what makes us feel good. We want these things. And at non-standard, we're about representing those those topics and about, you know, those those emerging therapies, those kind of taboo or or kind of on the fringe, um, kind of treatments and therapies at an elite level. And we want to advocate for change. And we believe that implementing and supporting things that and reestablishing value in what people do and love and the therapeutic value in that, um, that's what's going to profoundly impact the not only just the veteran community, but the greater good of society. So how can we supplement costs to enhance therapeutic experiences for people, whether that is cold plunges or jujitsu or golf or adventure therapy, equine therapy and other non-standard therapies that people are doing. So, um, and also we are open advocates for emerging therapies such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, uh, cannabis and those we believe that those, those, those a lot of those substances are not the answer for everyone, but they can be a very, very useful tool for a lot of people. Um, so how.
[00:09:51] Far will you go with that? Like, I mean, do you, do you check out any of these therapies or just anything somebody wants to try is okay with you?
[00:10:00] No. So so I myself have pretty personal, you know, extensive experience with psilocybin. So I have found the value in that.
[00:10:08] I don't even know what that is. What is that? Uh.
[00:10:11] Those are mushrooms. So those. Oh, okay. The. Yeah, so psilocybin is the, is the, the psychoactive compound, I suppose, or the psychedelic compound in the, in mushrooms. Um, so I've implemented a lot of microdosing and things like that. And what we're trying like what, what the, this nonprofit space not just non-standard as a whole, but where we're at kind of at this, this crossroads is in this post-military time. You know, veterans are not seeing they're only getting things that are teaching them to suppress their feelings. Right? They're not actually being taught how to navigate the feelings. We're throwing benzos trying to, you know, in other antidepressants and pain meds and things like that that we're telling people, like you shouldn't feel the way you feel rather than, hey. Your past traumas are a part of you. There's nothing we can do about that other than learn new ways to cope with it, learn new ways to navigate, regulate, etcetera. And that's done through holistic medicine. That's done through emerging therapies, that's done through perspective shaping activities and substances. And that's how you truly sustain somebody's physical and mental health. People shouldn't be isolated. People shouldn't be, um, uh, handed pills and then sent out the door with no, no community or oversight over that.
[00:11:33] Um, and what we want to do is, is start to, to really just build everything about community and supporting one another as some sort of supportive apparatus. And so what we're doing on the in our nonstandard therapy database where it's currently under construction and we'll start to be rolling that out soon. But we're, we're, we're consolidating all of the kind of small, smaller nonprofits or nonprofits that are very niche within a certain type of non-standard therapy, such as equine therapy or adventure therapy, action sports therapy. So we're building a database that you'll be able to come to nonstandard.org. A veteran will be able to go to non-standard therapies. Look at, hey, how is adventure therapy? How does that how does that teach me sustainable ways to cope with my past or how does that help me deal with my mental health issues? Um, and we believe so. So if we can't help them directly at non-standard, we want to connect them with organizations that can. So we're consolidating all that information and really trying to start to kind of create a little hub and network in a good resource for people and veterans. So, all right. Now, you know.
[00:12:42] If if the if something ends up working out really good, what's the chance that you could get the VA to accept it and then them fund it?
[00:12:54] We have a long road to go still in regards to that. And we just joined the Veterans Mental Health Leadership Coalition, which fellow named Adam Mars, one of the co-founders. Uh, he is one of the pioneers in the emerging therapy space. Is this alongside heroic hearts? This is a Navy Seal Foundation, etc. And they're doing a lot of lobbying and policy changes. And, you know, we're a few years out, but the issues are with with where some of these substances sit on on on the FDA drug schedule list and things like that. So that's what we're up against. It's why there's not a lot of data. Um, however, at this point, there's so much anecdotal data that supports that this is, this is absolutely worth exploring. Um, and that's what we need to continue to tell is to tell our story, to talk about the value in this and then to represent them in a way that is not so, uh, you know, like you have these connotations when it comes to cannabis, for example. People think of cannabis, they think of a burnout. They don't think of somebody who's using it to to stay off of Ambien so that they can sleep at night in a more natural way with something that has a lot less negative side effects. Um, so, so how can we start to break that conversation down and to say, Hey, man, like I use cannabis, but I am a valuable member of society, I'm still helping out my community.
[00:14:17] And that's what we're that's what we're up against is kind of a a little bit older of a generation, you know, a generation to olders is they see they're totally fine with, yeah, drink your problems away. But when it comes to cannabis or or or a psychedelic, they don't want to touch it. And a lot of that is like, hey, when we look at the alternatives that are available to people, whether that be a benzo, an antidepressant or alcohol, we're really enabling people to fail when we when we continue to promote these things and not allow the other. Right. I'm a I'm an advocate for freedom. I'm not saying that I don't drink. I do. I just I drink socially, maybe a few beers a month now at this point. But when we talk about what is available to people versus what is not, the things that are available are really introducing a lot of complication into the picture. Um, and, and it's something that's why diversity of care is, is is paramount now. Right? We want to talk about, hey, this is an epidemic, this is a problem. But when we start to get creative with our solutions, people start to get hesitant because there's little to no data.
[00:15:24] But that's because of the prohibition of a lot of these substances and and the way that they were wrongfully misclassified, wrongfully demonized by by pharmaceutical industries, etcetera. Right. Like so there's a lot of forces at play, but veterans are and, you know, there was just some amazing data that came out in this by, um, um, I cannot remember the organization off the top reason for Hope excuse me, and the Reid Institute. So they were they did some they did some studies on partisan support both on the Democratic. Republican side of things and ages 18 to 64 on how non like non standard therapies are being viewed politically. And there's actually a lot like widespread bipartisan support in regards to these issues as it pertains to veterans. So like there's there's there's there is plenty of of the people are starting to to speak and the veterans are starting to speak and we want change and it's going to come. It's just going to take time and we're going to have to do it the right way and and ensure that, like I said, these taboo topics, these hard topics, these tough discussions are represented at a at an elite level. So that's that's that's what we're up to.
[00:16:40] Well, I hope I won't say I hope, but I know that some of the old fogies are going to die off pretty soon. There's a young guard coming up that's going to be more open to this stuff. So what what was all involved in starting a 501c3?
[00:16:56] So that is been a learning experience itself.
[00:17:00] What's that? You need some psychedelics to get through that process, right?
[00:17:06] Honestly, without without psilocybin, there's no non-standard I don't think I would be able to build something in the way that I envisioned it. And it helped me organize and kind of get a clear direction forward with a lot of things. And I don't mean to like it just it allowed me to have the clarity to see which direction I needed to take and wanted to take my change, because I think that if you have a complaint, if you have a you have something that you identify as being wrong, like you need to bring a solution, right? Don't just complain that you're just part of the problem. So be actionable in your complaints. And and that's that was enough for me to try and run through the wall of starting a nonprofit. How long did it take? Uh, let's see. We are probably since. So March started the filing process in March, the board recruiting and all that stuff and filing and, you know, we're still we still are working through some back end, some back end things as well. So mean it's never ending. It's it's entrepreneurship at its finest. And I'm learning that. And I've done some hard, hard darn things in my life. Tom Uh, this is by far one of the hardest things I would put a rucksack on any day if my back could take it.
[00:18:26] Yeah, well, the the payback is going to be really big for a lot of people, that's for sure. So. So it's not quite ready for prime time for people to sign up or it is.
[00:18:36] No, we're we're well underway. We are absolutely ready for prime time. We are up to we let's see. We have so our our first fundraising initiative in one of our biggest focuses on is on cold water therapy and deliberate cold exposure on somebody you're looking at. Below 55 degrees.
[00:18:56] So for how long?
[00:18:58] The they say 11 minutes of cumulative a week. So it's about I go at I go for 5 to 6 minutes at a time every day and then I live up in New Hampshire. So when it's frozen, that water is frozen. So it'll go anywhere from, you know, I'm 55 to to I'm hacking a you know, I'm hacking.
[00:19:19] Somebody a.
[00:19:21] Monitoring you while you're doing it.
[00:19:23] No, no. It's something that I've become adapted to and it's really honestly, it's pretty user friendly. It's it's something that I think a lot of people are a little bit freaked out from. And you kind of build your tolerance and have to understand how to use it safely in the beginning. Right? Right. Because there is risk, there is some risk, but there's also a risk with going home with 90 opiates as well to treat your back pain or whatever. So, um, that's a risk that I'm willing to assume and a lot of people should be as well, because if you're willing to ingest things that will stop your breathing, if you take too much, you should, you know, be willing to get in some cold water or shiver for a little bit longer than you were supposed to.
[00:19:58] So did I hear you say that?
[00:20:00] You did I hear you say that if you put a ruck on, if your back could take it.
[00:20:06] But you're doing jiu.
[00:20:07] Jitsu and your back's hurting.
[00:20:10] It's well, mean. Jiu jitsu for my mobility is fantastic. There's actually, contrary to everyone's belief, there's a lot of a lot of disabled veterans and actually a really fantastic, um, non-profit organization called We Defy That. That provides veterans with scholarships. And actually we're doing two scholarships as well for disabled veterans. Um, but for me, yeah, like it's, it's better than being stagnant. I don't lift anymore. I don't have to put kid on anymore. The ball's in my court. I can do what my body says I can do that day, right? No one's going to tell me, hey, you need to play hurt today. So when I'm playing, when I'm hurt, I'm not. I'm not doing jiu jitsu. But, um, there's a it's been a it's been a huge help both physically and mentally for me in terms of mobility and then the mental health and community aspect, um, honestly was saved my life. Yeah.
[00:21:00] So beautiful.
[00:21:01] Beautiful. I'll kind of make a, I don't know, a kind of a sideways donation here. I have a website called Brutal Self-defense. I said I was going to try to make some type of donation to you in the form of I have a website called Brutal Self-defense. It's based on the fact, you know, I've been studying my entire life and I've been in gunfights and over 100 violent encounters and bikers trying to kill me. And so I videotaped a two day seminar and we charged like 500 bucks for it. But I'll tell you what, anybody from your organization that wants a log into it, I will donate that to you. So if you want to follow up with how to do that later, that's great. But I'm totally behind what you're doing.
[00:21:50] Appreciate it. Yeah. And we're on. Let's see, we've done our first like, fundraising initiative right now is currently underway and we're pledging 100 coal plant just to veterans. We're on right now. We're on coal punch number 30, which is over 27,000in cold plunge therapy grants. That's just cold plunges alone. That's we're also helping out with other um, you know, we sponsor athletes as well and help them on their endeavors and things like that. And um, it's been, it's been fun. So we're just looking to make a splash and we're going to continue hopefully do a lot more than 100. But right now we're at 30. So.
[00:22:25] So how does that work?
[00:22:26] What do you mean cold plunge challenges. You tell you get somebody to do it and then they pledge, no.
[00:22:33] We're we're.
[00:22:34] We're directly providing cold plunges to veterans right now. So we've done we've done 30 of them. We use right now. We've done ice barrels and horse troughs, um, mainly ice barrels, which are like kind of an upright, um, like to me right now it's the gold standard for what people should be using. Um, and we so we've provided 30 veterans with those, um, to who are interested. So when you we have a manifest set up on our website, if somebody's interested in trying cold plunge therapy for free, they can sign up on our website. It comes directly to me. I triage them and kind of prioritize like who, who will be getting them. And we select as a team and as as funding becomes available and as, you know, as we fundraise. So we're 30 right now and we're continuing mission and so donations help us are are huge. We're very actionable with them. Um, and like I said, we're getting them in the hands of people who want and need them and people who are finding profound, profound changes and value with these things. And it's changing their lives.
[00:23:41] What methods are you using to fundraise?
[00:23:45] Right now we are on social media is pretty much it. So follow us at non-standard bets. We have a link on our website to donate and.
[00:23:55] That's the.
[00:23:55] Facebook Non-Standard Vets.
[00:23:59] Standard Vets. That's our Instagram and we are on Facebook and LinkedIn.
[00:24:05] Okay. Facebook. Linkedin. All right. Got it. Okay. And I'll have some ideas for you on that, too, when we're done. So. So, man, you're doing great work out there. You're doing. You're changing a lot of lives for the better. And I love the thing about saying quit complaining and do something. You know, that's the that's the way things get done And you're you're sure doing that. So thanks for coming on, man.
[00:24:32] Thank you for having me, Tom Appreciate it, man.
[00:24:34] What's the best way.
[00:24:35] They should if they want to contact you?
[00:24:39] Yeah. So. So you can find us on LinkedIn at LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook NonStandardvets or you can go to nonstandard.org is our website. One word, no dashes or anything like that. You can find me Adam Bardwell on LinkedIn as well if you want to reach out to me directly. Um, and yeah.
[00:25:00] So that's with two L's, right Bardwell.
[00:25:05] Yes, sir.
[00:25:06] All right.
[00:25:07] Well, thanks for your service, man. Thanks for the service you're doing after the service. And it's, you know, people like me, and there's lots of us that appreciate the things you're doing and and appreciate all you vets. So. So thanks for your service, man.
[00:25:23] Appreciate you, Tom. Thank you for having me on, man.
[00:25:25] Okey doke.
[00:25:26] Folks. We're part of Vet Preneur Month. Check back on the next episode and tell everybody about this one. All right. We'll catch you later.