On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve slowly introduced the beginning of our all new tethr PODCAST Network. After the official introduction during our WFWF February Community Event, we’re excited to finally announce all the details to the whole community.
The idea for the network began with our brand promise: if we can’t create it, we consciously curate it. The search for consciously curated content gave our co-founder Addison Brasil the idea to do something more.
“As much as the tethr team tries to do it all, we know when we can’t. So we’ve been building the tethr PODCAST Network, or what we’ll informally call the Podcast Family, for the last month,” Addison explained. He went to work finding innovative, engaging podcasters who were making the kind of content that would add value to the tethr community.
The Podcast Network perfectly captures what tethr always strives to do with our content: “building a podcast family allows us to champion both the men having these conversations and the men who want to listen and align,” said Addison. We get to spread the word about amazing content creators with meaningful messages, and they help us spread the word about our community so we can reach as many men as possible.
Meet the Men
The first man we heard from was Justin Michael Williams, host of the Kingdom Podcast, who described his podcast as “if church, Super Soul Sunday, and a TedTalk had a baby.”
To celebrate the official launch of the network, we sat down with a few of the members to talk about what they do, why they do it, and why they’re bringing it to tethr.
The first man we heard from was Justin Michael Williams, host of the Kingdom podcast, who described his podcast as “if church, Super Soul Sunday, and a TedTalk had a baby.” Williams explained that he was inspired to start the podcast in 2018 because he felt there was very little middle ground between science-based and spirituality-based podcasts in the mental health and wellbeing genre. He also wanted something action-oriented: “I like hearing stories and I like being inspired, but I need to know how to take it into my life,” he told us.
The Kingdom is taped live every sunday with an audience of around 1500 people from 24 countries. The live recording is then edited down into a podcast available after the fact. Williams is excited to bring his mix of spirituality and science (or “woo-realistic” as he called it) to the tethr community.
Next we caught up with Kyle Moore, host of the Life’s a Wreck podcast. Moore started Life’s a Wreck a year and a half ago, in the midst of his undergraduate degree and at a breaking point in his life: “Ever since I was 5 or 6 I had started dealing with mental health issues. No one in my community talked about it, my family didn’t talk about it, nobody talked about mental health.” Despite growing up with a loving family and an outwardly idealistic life, Moore felt disconnected. It eventually drove him to start the podcast, simply to open up and have conversations. “It’s grown into this humorous, casual, collaborative approach to talking about mental health and intertwining it with popular culture.”
It’s the podcast that’s a spoonful of sugar. It’s not backed by science but if it helps you feel a little better then I’ve done my job.”
While it has grown in popularity, Moore has stayed true to the show's roots. “It’s an approachable mental health podcast, I’ve got a Sports Media Degree, so I’m not diving too deep into the bag of psychiatry. It’s the podcast that’s a spoonful of sugar. It’s not backed by science but if it helps you feel a little better then I’ve done my job.”
We’ve previously introduced Carl Anthony from the We As, Start Talking podcast team and now we’ve also had a chance to chat with co-host Gareth Nock. As the name suggests, this podcast is all about starting conversations: “we stand by changing the world one conversation at a time,” explained Nock. “It’s about creating a space for vulnerability, for conversations that people maybe don’t have the space for, but also conversations that others that are experiencing those things can hear.”
We As, Start Talking initially began with three separate channels (and three separate hosts) dedicated to separate areas. Now all those conversations exist within one podcast and they’re bringing all the expertise to the tethr community. “We’re just looking to get more and more conversations with more and more people out there. Hopefully it changes one person and when it changes one person's world, it changes everyone’s world.
Next we spoke with Christian Lopez who hosts the Behind the Mask-ulinity podcast. Lopez began his podcast after the end of his professional baseball career. “That was my dream as a kid,” he told us. “When that career came to an end, I was lost. My identity was gone, my purpose was gone.” It took Lopez a long time to find his footing in a world without the label ‘professional athlete’ and to rediscover who he wanted to be.
“It’s important to celebrate our successes but us men, we rarely talk about our missteps, our setbacks, and all the things that bring us so much pain.”
What started as small conversations and opening up to other men in his life eventually led Lopez to Behind the Mask-ulinity. “It’s important to celebrate our successes but us men, we rarely talk about our missteps, our setbacks, and all the things that bring us so much pain.” Lopez explained that he aims to bring out the vulnerability and honesty on the podcast and demonstrate how powerful it can be in men’s lives. “Beginning to open up about that stuff and not hide behind that shame has been one of the most beneficial things that I’ve done for myself in my life.”
Finally, we spoke with Jeremy Greene from the Social Ninjas podcast. Jeremy shared his journey from suffering from severe social anxiety to chatting with strangers as a podcast host. “The way I got over it was exposure therapy, taking on challenges such as doing free hugs around the world and interviewing celebrities on the red carpet.”
The Social Ninjas podcast began as a challenge to host an Instagram Live with Kyle Mitchell (the other host of Social Ninjas, who also struggled with social anxiety). From there the Social Ninjas podcast was born, guided by the goal of learning and authentically connecting with guests and the audience.
Make sure you’ve downloaded tethr and turned on notifications. We’ll be publishing new episodes of each podcast every week and there might even be some bonus content! And stay tuned for more information on the rest of the Podcast Network (that’s right, there’s more). We look forward to bringing you more information on My Wake Up Call with Dr. Mark Goulston, WeGotUs with Gabe Lee, and Empathy Always Wins by Ally Salama.
Really connecting with one podcast in particular? Let us know! We want to know what resonates and why, so we can continue to curate the most valuable content for the community. As Addison says, “every week we revisit what matters most to us and our community.”
If you have fomo about missing out, our next tethr monthly event will be held on Wednesday March 24th, 2021.