In this episode, Jason Stein invites Dr. Rachel Sterry onto the show to discuss what inspires certain people to break from the status quo and become Wellness Renegade.
Convinced there was a better way to do business than working a traditional 9 to 5 job (or to the detriment of your own health) Jason and Rachel set out to find it. They entered the wellness industry and quickly started to notice a pattern: those with healthier work environments had healthier lives. And those who had healthier lives had healthier businesses.
It was from this idea that Jason and Rachel founded the Wellness Renegades, a community where rogue wellness entrepreneurs can find the support, direction, focus, advice, tools, and relationships to craft better businesses and better lives.
Join Jason and Rachel as they talk about:
- what inspired them to become Renegades
- the corruption of the health insurance industry
- the value of a community
- bartering and “in-kind” agreements
- the characteristics of a Wellness Renegade
- taking risks and making big life changes
- overcoming a fear of setting boundaries
- exciting Wellness Renegades projects in the works
Dr. Rachel Sterry 0:02
Welcome to the Wellness Renegades Podcast! We'll explore the crossroads of wellness entrepreneurs like you and me who are committing to making money while living healthier lives. People who are going against big pharma, insurance conglomerates, and the mainstream medical world. We'll be journeying into the challenges and breakthroughs it takes to own your own business, pave the path through mainstream medical care, and truly become a Wellness Renegade.
Jason Stein 0:31
Welcome to another Wellness Renegade podcast with Dr. Rachel Sterry and myself, Jason Stein. Welcome, Rachel!
Dr. Rachel Sterry 0:41
Jason Stein 0:44
We've been talking about a lot of things we want to discuss on the podcast. So we're gonna start doing more episodes, just the two of us. But -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 0:52
(singing) Just the two of us!
Jason Stein 0:54
What do you want to talk about today?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 0:55
"What does it mean to be a Wellness Renegade?" So, you had a more specific nuanced question about divergent thinking.
Jason Stein 1:05
Dr. Rachel Sterry 1:07
Unpack that for me.
Jason Stein 1:08
Sure. Like, I find that, you know, we end up going to school, some of us go high school, uni or university, get a bachelor's, graduate school, get a job, working nine to five. And then some people dip into entrepreneurship, but even with entrepreneurship, like traditional marketing, sales funnel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And really, there isn't a lot of creativity or innovative thinking. So people get stuck either in entrepreneurship, or in working for someone else with the same thing, which is, buy the house, have the kids, have a debt load, have to work because of the debt load, die.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 1:56
Well, and I will just do a little sub-sect of some people who work purely to have health insurance.
Jason Stein 2:04
In the United States, for sure.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 2:05
In the US, because it's broken.
Jason Stein 2:08
Yeah, it's really interesting, because if you do the research on it, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is because of medical bills. And that includes people that had health insurance. And then when you have it and you go bankrupt, then it's hard to get it again. So it's just this weird world. One of us got into Harvard Medical School, not me. And so I can tell a little bit of my story, but why did you choose becoming a naturopath rather than a traditional Western doctor?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 2:45
I shadowed a number of physicians: the head of a pediatric unit, a gynecological surgeon who had a really big practice in Indiana, and I hated it. I loved being in the surgical field. Like, that was awesome. Because I did get to go to a few operations, and watch open heart surgery and other things, which was amazing. But the behind-the-scenes, particularly with pediatrics, was incredibly disheartening. I remember a mother coming in with a child who was sick, it was just a cold. And the physician wrote a prescription for antibiotics, and I asked "Why?" and she said, "Well, pediatrics isn't about taking care of the children. It's about keeping the parents happy." I was like, oh, okay, so you're prescribing antibiotics for a child who doesn't need them and that just begets a host of other issues, but it is in many ways keeping the parents calm, but I think that the medical system is what triggers the panic in the first place. So anyway, the - and the gynecological surgeon and I also it was like, so much charting, and such a hectic schedule, although I did love being in the ER, like, "Don't drink too much water like keep yourself pretty dehydrated because you don't want to have to pee," and you know, "Stock up on your caffeine cuz you're not gonna get sleep." I'm like, well, this seems like I'm helping others to stay healthy while dipping into my own reserves and potentially causing a heart attack at 40.
Jason Stein 4:37
Yeah, happens a lot.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 4:39
I gave it up for a while and thought, well, maybe I'll just be like a yoga instructor and have a cafe with juicing and then I was like, yeah, that's not going to be enough for me. I want to use my brain more. No shame to yoga instructors who have juice bars because I love them. But I like analytical, like I like calculus and math and all the weird sciency things. And so this is an incredibly long answer.
Jason Stein 5:06
I didn't realize we were gonna get into the autobiography.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 5:10
Yeah, I was born February 7 1981. So I decided I would become a naturopath when I found out about it through a college fair that I went to when I was in my undergrad education. Fast forward 250 years and I am a naturopath.
Jason Stein 5:32
Yeah, that was a very long, soliloquy. I liked it, though. And I think it's good because even as a naturopath, it's so weird when we talk about this, you know, in the intro, the corporate conglomerates and Big Pharma - like, I remember when you were a naturopath and you were taking insurance. And the day that Blue Cross, Blue Shield wrote you a letter saying, oops, we made an error... and we want $6,000 back that we've already paid you. Do you remember that?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 6:04
I do. And I think that we, we talked about this on the last episode, didn't we?
Jason Stein 6:08
We may have, we'll have to replay. Oh, so. So I just - along those lines, there's so many of those stories. So I'll tell you guys, one that I know we didn't talk about. And that is when Rachel was with Cooper, she was with an insurance that she was pregnant. And she was getting off of. And I felt the need to go where I shouldn't, which happens sometimes. And I asked her to get a breast pump. She was like, I don't need a breast pump. And I said, but I'd really like you to have one in case you want to work or you want to do anything. And I didn't have a hidden agenda. I just thought we had insurance. It was gonna pay for it. It's good to have. It's free. I like it. And so, Rachel, when she called them up, and they said, "Yeah, we'll send it to you." But it was the end of the year. And because they didn't bill the conversation until the new year, and at that point, you didn't have insurance.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 7:07
Because they had canceled the plan that I had. And there was no other plan that even came close to a reasonable -
Jason Stein 7:22
That they refused to pay. They refused to pay. And this is a nonprofit Catholic organization that said, "No, that wasn't our error." I was like, "How could that not be your error? She asked for it. She had the appointment earlier than the cancellation. You agreed to it."
Dr. Rachel Sterry 7:43
They offered to mail it, by the way, because I had a newborn and they were like you might not want to drive, like we get that it's difficult to get out of the house and run a bunch of errands when you have a newborn at home. So they offered out of the kindness of their hearts to mail it.
Jason Stein 7:59
So what really upset me is, you know, when I felt like, Oh, well, this is just, you know, this low man on the totem pole that's telling me "No, I went up two more people. And they still said no." And what made me so irritated and angry is because we were out of pocket now. They were charging us more.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 8:23
They charged insurance companies who make a billion.
Than they charge the insurance companies who buy them by the 100,000s or who knows how many! And like they wanted to charge us - an individual - more. And at that point, I thought about calling the news. And like,
Dr. Rachel Sterry
We started a podcast instead
Jason Stein 8:46
of creating a big fuss, and after a couple years of therapy, I'm now ready to talk about it.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 8:52
So what are some things that you feel make you a Wellness Renegade? Hmm.
Unknown Speaker 8:58
Well, I moved out here to a land of 1200 people in the middle of nowhere. There's not easy access. And I work with our business. And I got really clear I wanted to live debt free. So what makes me a Wellness Renegade is I'm debt free. What makes me a Wellness Renegade is I was on my way to becoming a psychologist and I became an acupuncturist because I, I was so healed by it after being poked, prodded for years and not being helped with the traditional Western model. And then watching that happen again and again and then loving business, but not loving that the small David versus Goliath gets clobbered. Like I want to really figure out and I keep cracking the code year after year, getting better at helping the Renegades, the Mavericks, the Mavens of the world, the solopreneurs, the ones with small companies to get paid doing really good work they love. That is - that's my whole mission in life.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 10:07
That was something we were talking about this morning is we love - well, I mean we love being out here for countless, countless reasons, but there are no chains in Joseph. Zero. Can't find a Starbucks. You can't find a fast food place. You can't find it. Even the grocery store is a small -
Jason Stein 10:26
Right, I read the bylaws, you read the bylaws to the city, does it say no chains will be approved?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 10:32
It doesn't say no chains will be approved. But the theme of the entire town it's a - it's an art, historic art town with a Western flair. And so any business? Yeah, any business that goes in has to have a Western storefront. That's part of how we're creating the architecture of the business like our house.
Jason Stein 10:53
I don't think they know about this. I don't think we've talked a lot about that.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 10:56
Yeah, so we bought commercial property. Yeah. which happened, literally, because we wanted to buy property, and everything else was sold. We were like, um, let's just buy this. Do we want commercial property? I don't know. We'll figure it out, either way.
Jason Stein 11:11
I think that makes us a renegade buying a commercial property that's about to fall down.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 11:15
No foundation, nothing.
Jason Stein 11:18
We had a little plan, it's turning into a bigger plan. But,
Dr. Rachel Sterry 11:21
but that's the way things unfold. You have an intention. You set it, you work towards it with clarity, and you have to believe that there are - at least I have to believe that there's something bigger at work. That, you know,
Jason Stein 11:38
Dreams! Dreams. I want to - I want to give a shout out to Andrea Lee. If you're listening to this, she reminded me recently that she lives in Canada. She's a well-thought leader. She's been a coach and trainer for decades. And she said, "You know, Jason, dozens of people told me that they were going to move last year and create a new life and start, like, their dream. And you did. And I - very few people did." And I took that as such a compliment. Because I believe life's pretty short. Like in the lifespan of living and creating a family and having kids and grandkids hopefully. And if you don't want kids, living your life creating your dream. Really, it comes down to are you living it? Are you talking about it? And I believe you and I Rachel, we live it and a little bit like, what did someone say?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 12:40
Yeah, so at the gym, that's where we met eons ago, because I'm obsessed with working out and Jason likes to work out as well, when we force him.
Jason Stein 12:49
Dr. Rachel Sterry 12:51
Um, and we shared with her a story of playing with the two older kids and I was like, they dared me to see if I could fit in the dryer. And I did. But I had a little trouble getting back out.
Jason Stein 13:08
I have pictures. She did get in there.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 13:11
I tried to get back out the same way I got in, it didn't work. So I had to get creative, but I got back out. Proof is in the me sitting right here. And we relayed this story. And she was like, "Man, you guys are either gonna have a great life and live to be super old with lots of adventures or you're gonna die tomorrow falling off a cliff." And it hasn't, you know, I mean, we have a lot of fun.
Jason Stein 13:37
We do have a lot of fun.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 13:38
And it's been amazing to be out here but let us not sugarcoat it - it's not always easy. Like oh pipes have frozen three times, four times. Because we're in a tiny house that you know, we have snow loads and 10 degrees. And, you know, this is our first time out here and I'm learning, we're both learning, but it's not weatherized properly yet. Although when we move it to the next location, it will be. The house that currently sits on the commercial property is definitely a tear down. No foundation. It's 400 Square Feet, our tiny house is 250 square feet. At any given time we have two to four children with us.
Jason Stein 14:20
Yeah, you got to live on the edge, live on the edge.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 14:22
You know, lots of lots of things going on.
Jason Stein 14:25
But how much fun do we have?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 14:27
Tons! But you have to take the risk of like yeah, we all sleep like smushed into one room on mattresses on the floor.
Jason Stein 14:36
Yeah, but that's how they do it in most the rest of the world
Dr. Rachel Sterry 14:39
Totally! And so I'm just saying I think that the the mindset that many of us have of comfort like I would rather be out here with one mattress on the floor, and an electric stove. If anybody knows me, like gas stove all the way. I can't cook on an electric stove but I'm doing it. But then being in a big city trying to deal with all that shit right now.
Jason Stein 15:02
Not only deal with it, but like just the amount of anxiety that gets produced to try to have your month be about making the money to continue where you are. That gets so stressful, day in, day out. Now, of course there's dreams and with dreams you have to risk and you said earlier, you know, takes -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 15:29
Risk and reward.
Jason Stein 15:30
Yeah, yeah, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. And I think that's true that when you as a renegade put yourself out there, you get visible, you recruit people to see your vision, get excited about your vision, everything becomes easier. And when I say easier, it doesn't mean that life becomes easy. Life becomes simpler.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 15:56
That weight that you're carrying around, that you don't even know you're carrying suddenly goes away.
Jason Stein 16:00
Yeah, that's the thing though. How many listeners out there feel the weight of the way you're living life? And are you willing to make drastic changes? Let's, let's talk about divergent thinking and drastic changes. I think a drastic change led me to you because I remember drinking beer, smoking pot, and really wishing that I was working out. And so I chose a gym in Portland, Oregon that was a legit boot camp. This wasn't like you know, "Let's gently get started."
Dr. Rachel Sterry 16:39
Jason Stein 16:40
It wasn't, well -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 16:40
Actually, I love jazzercise. It's super fun.
Jason Stein 16:42
Well, I've never done jazzercise so I can't diss it like you just did.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 16:46
I wasn't! It's a different form of physical activity.
Jason Stein 16:51
So this gym, this gym, our workout. I was drenched in sweat for the first time in like 10 years. And I made a commitment to go three times a week. And then I started going four times a week, and at the peak, you and I were going six times a week.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 17:10
Five or six. Yeah, yeah, the way we're sitting your head looks so much bigger. There we go.
Jason Stein 17:14
Oh, I mean, most people are listening. Most people are listening.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 17:17
He has a big head.
Jason Stein 17:18
We're archiving it for the later YouTube release if we want to.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 17:23
Yeah, so you should watch the YouTube, it's way more fun. Big Head.
Jason Stein 17:29
Dr. Rachel Sterry 17:31
Jason Stein 17:32
The gym, divergent thinking, it really took me something in the beginning, but then I just really got acclimated and I loved it. Same thing with moving out here, like who has kids and house and they're settled in a community, and they say, "I'm just gonna pick up and live in a tiny house by commercial property and sleep in the same room as everyone else." Not many people.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 17:59
The dog doesn't sleep with us. She likes to sleep on the heater. That's her own choice.
Jason Stein 18:04
But she snores louder than all of us. Although I put her - I got some competition there
Dr. Rachel Sterry 18:10
You put her shame sometimes. Yeah.
Jason Stein 18:12
So, my question really, to you and the audience members is how does that divergent thinking start? How? How does one become a just "in the herd" to becoming a Renegade?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 18:31
Well, I can only speak for myself. Because I'm me - and no one else. But I think for me, it started when I was very young. My parents were both entrepreneurs. They owned their own business. And they were big dreamers. They, neither of them - when, when my parents met, my mom had her own business. And my father worked for a very large company. He was a chemical engineer. And they just decided that they wanted to travel more. So they opened an antique store so that they could go to France and England twice a year, and they had never touched antiques before. So, they became incredibly successful. And they also took big risks that that flopped. And then, and - but we always came back, and I think it was my my father's pragmatic attitude. And like, this is a man who would be willing to eat chips at a Mexican restaurant and not order food to save money because he loved to save money. Whereas my mom just dreamed super big and so they held opposite ends of the pole and they really came together in a partnership that created some amazing - like, the number of places I've gotten to travel and things I've gotten to see. And growing up, the two things that I knew without a shadow of a doubt are that I could be anything I wanted as long as I set my intention, and, and that I was loved. Like, those were just instilled in me from the very beginning. And I think part of it just comes with the freedom to explore. My parents gave me a lot of latitude to make my own mistakes and make my own decisions. When it came to my health care, my body, my education, and my finances, you know, so I, yeah, and that doesn't discount the fact that I think both of us were fortunate enough to be born into families where we weren't constantly struggling to have our basic needs met. Because that does change the game. It doesn't mean you can't dream big and change the story. But you have much bigger hurdles.
Jason Stein 21:17
You got to have a runway. You have to have some runway and whether that's family, or someone else believing in you, or you crowdfund it, you got to have some runway to explore. Like if we were in debt, and had nine to five jobs, or we were both struggling entrepreneurs, I'm not sure we would have moved out here. Yeah, so you got to have some runway, that's good. But you don't need a lot of runway, a little bit goes a long way. My stepdad was the one who inspired me a lot because he came from poverty. And he loved being an entrepreneur. And for part of my life, when he wasn't an entrepreneur, he had a job to stabilize. And I remember how unhappy he was. And then when he didn't, he used to love to figure out ways to make money. Even when he had a job. He always had a side hustle. One of his side hustles was, he would go to the flea market, and he would buy up these weird little trinkets that people would buy back and he'd resell them. Like, he'd buy them low and sell them high. And the grin on his face after a good day of selling trinkets at the flea market for him, was like he had made it. He loved that. And later, he got into real estate. And he just - I think for him, it was always about relationships. And so, he really invested in his relationships and that grew. And he loved real estate because he used to be a carpenter. And so, he could understand the design of the house and what needs to be fixed up. And like, I would make a horrible realtor in the sense of knowing what needs to be fixed up. I'd like - I'd like look under the sink. And I'm like "Meh, looks good to me! Do we get it? Do we not get it?"
Dr. Rachel Sterry 23:18
Jason Stein 23:20
That's how handy I am: I was able to take the pipes off because there was a leak.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 23:26
The U .trap
Jason Stein 23:26
The U trap under the sink in the bathroom. And I realized where the problem is. And so I've identified the problem. That's as far as I've gotten. And
Dr. Rachel Sterry 23:38
And we have not replaced the trap and there is a bucket under the sink that is catching the water that we just dump into the shower.
Jason Stein 23:45
Yes, but I turned it to you and you're super handy. You are way more handy than I am. And she has the same issue.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 23:52
Well, it's upstream and we could fix it, but what's the point? We're tearing the whole place down.
Jason Stein 23:57
True true. And actually what it is, is one of the kids dropped the toothpaste cap down the sink
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:03
And one of their hair rubber bands.
Jason Stein 24:06
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:07
It's created a .little ball of delight.
Jason Stein 24:08
It's a dam.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:11
And I'm a beaver.
Jason Stein 24:13
You've gotta explain to people what that means -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:15
That's my middle name. Like, Rachel Beaver Sterry
Jason Stein 24:17
Because most people name -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:19
It's not a joke.
Jason Stein 24:20
Most people name their kids after animal.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:21
It was my mother's maiden name.
Jason Stein 24:23
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:24
Got me a lot of mileage in college.
Jason Stein 24:26
Dr. Rachel Sterry 24:28
Um, my father also came from poverty, like, you know, didn't have electricity lived in northern England - Newcastle for anyone who's a fan of the beer or the football team. And, yeah, his mother worked three jobs. His father worked in the coal mines. And he was so determined not to live that life that he was top of his class in every class that ever existed. And I think I may have gotten a little bit of that gene from him. I don't like to lose.
Jason Stein 25:01
Oh, you're horrible.
It's not that you're a bad loser because you can lose.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 25:07
Oh yeah, I'm not an asshole
Jason Stein 25:08
- but you'll break something along the way to like, make sure that you don't lose.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 25:13
And - but like an arm, a nose.
Jason Stein 25:16
I don't know if we should share this, but we used to wrestle. And we no longer can wrestle. Because one of us - not me - always, always ends up getting hurt.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 25:28
Well, I just give it my all and, you know, Jason's got a good 50 some odd pounds on me. And so when he when he gets going, I get hurt. And I'm not gonna stop. No! Stopping!
Jason Stein 25:41
And I'm also competitive. So there's not a part of me that's going to be like cavalier and tap, like, fake tap out. That's not gonna happen. So we've made the agreement that we are -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 25:54
- not wrestling
Jason Stein 25:55
- super competitive. We don't wrestle. And anytime there is an event,
Dr. Rachel Sterry 26:00
We can't be on different teams.
Jason Stein 26:01
We are always on the same team. And it works really well for us -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 26:05
Because we win!
Jason Stein 26:06
unless it's dodgeball. But that's another -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 26:09
podcast episode? Oh, yeah, the podcast. Yeah.
Jason Stein 26:13
So, becoming a Renegade, I just I'm fascinated with Renegades, I'm fascinated with - I didn't do research before this, so I'm sorry, I don't have names in front of me. But there's the merchant service account out of Seattle, the guy that decided to pay everyone $70,000, his business is going really well. So people that are changing models are working. There's the paddleboard company in San Diego, again, I don't know their name, but they decided to go to a four-day workweek - sales went up. And I don't understand why we don't experiment with this more. Like, I had a client today. And I won't reveal other information about her other than she has other co-founders in the business, and her job is sales. And she's killing it in the sales of the product that they have. But the other co founders are mad because she's not in the office. And so there's this mentality of "You have to do it a certain way." And it's not about the metrics of business success. It's about the model of old school of the way other people do it. And so it's just hard for me to understand why people can get upset if you're getting your job done. Some people can get a job done in an hour that takes other people like 40 hours.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 26:36
People can get upset about anything. People can get upset about winning the lottery if they want to - but I think that part of the issue that you're talking about is something that I've talked about before on a different podcast, which is fear. And fear is a huge driver, I believe, in our culture. The fear of - I mean, why do people have insurance? Because they're afraid something terrible is going to happen. But, but
Jason Stein 28:12
Wait, wait, wait - bad things do happen,
Dr. Rachel Sterry 28:15
Bad things can and do happen. Yes. But I don't believe that the fear of bad things happening should outweigh, your ability to live - like some people hate almost every moment of their day, because they're working towards an end goal so that they don't have to be afraid.
Jason Stein 28:36
Got it. So an example of that is - I have worked with people that hate their job, I mean, despise their job. They're getting ulcers, they're not sleeping at night. But because the job gets them insurance, they're not willing to leave the job.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 28:50
I've worked with a number of patients who have adrenal fatigue, who are dealing with thyroid issues, who have GI issues that are related to anxiety and stress. And 90% of it comes from their job, like 90% of the crux of the issue: the stress loads, the sleep deprivation, the crazy schedules that don't allow them the time to eat properly, or prep meals or workout. It really - that just detracts from their lives. And it takes years for me to convince them to shift and the individuals who are willing to make the shift are like, "I don't know why that took me so long. Wow. I had no idea like I heard what you were saying. And I had no idea it was as bad as it was."
Jason Stein 29:45
Isn't that a great celebration moment? Like I've had a number of clients that have raised their prices or asked for their accounts receivable to be paid, or said things to people they'd been holding on to for years and that moment. Like, no matter how long it took to get there, for them to actually have that experience, that's a Renegade moment. That's a moment of freedom of saying, I'm not going to be afraid to do what I know is right for me, no matter what other people say or think about it. Yeah. I think there's more fear now because of social media. I think that people are being attacked by trolls behind computer.
Oh, yeah, it doesn't take much courage to attack someone, using your keyboard and staying anonymous, like face to face is a much more frightening way to confront someone. And so I think it's made it possible to just be you know, like, puke nastiness all over people because you've had a crappy day.
Yeah, but I think it might be harder. I agree that like you trolls are gonna troll right. But I do think that there's a potential, that it's harder to be a Renegade now. Because everybody's watching. The cameras are watching, the social media is watching, other people are watching. And everyone that didn't fully have an opinion before, has an opinion about how Renegades should and should not operate. And so that's a really good kind of segue into how do you live a life of freedom, when you know that it upsets other people?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 31:30
I'm not good at upsetting people. I hate upsetting people. Like it brings me, Jason can attest to the fact that we've had to deal with some things in some back and forth with other individuals who have caused, you know, I'm like, super afraid they're gonna get upset. And like, when I'm writing the email, my hand is just shaking. Like, I'm not able to eat and panicked. And so I really get that. And I feel like there are certain things that are bigger than fear. So when it comes to me upsetting people, because of my self and my own needs it, it takes an extra step. But leaning back into, like, am I acting from a place of good intention? And does this feel - like it's integrity with who I really want to be helps me through it. The thing that's helped me the very most to step forward and act in a strong manner against some pretty big mainstream ideals is having kids. There is not a thing that I would not do to keep my children safe. And I am not at all like, I think there's so much judgment when it comes to parenting.
Jason Stein 32:49
Oh, man, what were you telling me the other day about breastfeeding in the US versus breastfeeding according the World Health Organization?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 32:56
Well, the World Health Organization, I think their recommendation is a minimum of two. But you know, and in a lot of places, it's four years, I think five is sort of like the upper limit in most places. But you know, in the States, a lot of people, it's two months - six months, maybe?
Jason Stein 33:17
Then didn't you tell me that the United States is the only country in the world that doesn't offer any paid time off?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 33:25
Well, because it's not mandated.
Jason Stein 33:28
We have it so wrong.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 33:29
You can take PTO, or you can take sick leave.
Jason Stein 33:29
Dr. Rachel Sterry 33:29
But it adds up to maybe six or eight weeks. And if you're working for a small company, or you're working for yourself, you're just SOL.
Jason Stein 33:42
Yeah, I do wonder this whole medical world (is) upside-down. The United States being the only, like, first world country that doesn't offer affordable health care - where's this going? What's gonna actually happen?
Dr. Rachel Sterry 33:58
I don't know. But I will say that the longer we go without health insurance, yeah, the more secure and I guess the happier I feel, that we're not just supporting another thing we don't believe in,
Jason Stein 34:16
We've got to look up the percentage because we don't have health insurance, although we have other types of insurance.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 34:23
And we do put money aside every month for medical and we do go to doctors, and we do take care of ourselves.
Jason Stein 34:30
But I'm super curious the percentage of Americans that don't have health insurance out of choice. Like, that's an interesting question. And I'm guessing it's pretty small. And I'm guessing a lot of people have a lot of judgment about it. But here's my thought process coming full circle: the number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills, even for people that paid into the system. So the system's kind of rigged, and some things have to change. Again, what I love about what I do are these people that are helping people heal outside the realm of like your traditional model of become a physician, work for an HMO, or whatever they're called now. And then, man, charge up the wazoo. Rachel was in an accident two years ago, almost two years ago. And some of the EOBs which are really for
Dr. Rachel Sterry 35:30
For MBA, you get paid gold!
Jason Stein 35:34
Basically it's the sheet that comes in the mail that says what the -
Dr. Rachel Sterry 35:37
The explanation of benefits -
Jason Stein 35:38
- what the code was how much they charged. We saw one the other day, and we're not gonna name names, but it was a 30 minute session and it was $350.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 35:52
And if I was in that system, like because for out-of-pocket, you get paid so much less,
Jason Stein 35:59
Well, that's not highway robbery, because those those rates have been approved by a case manager that says this is within the standard of care. So it's just the system is so upside down. And that's why I think becoming a Renegade, like I love hearing the stories about people getting off the grid and doing their own thing. I do have a client that just created like an in-kind agreement. And she's working at like, how can she do legally as much barter and in-kind treatment, as as she does cash. So it's completely balanced. And I think that's where we're headed, we're headed into a whole new unknown of traditional ways that have worked, and the community that you're in is going to become more important than ever.
Dr. Rachel Sterry 36:49
Yeah, and I have to say that since we moved out here, I mean, you know, given the times that we are in and the restrictions because of the Coronavirus - moving out here, we get minimal, minimal time away from the kids. You know, they're too young to leave alone. And we don't have any consistent childcare. We have one person in high school who comes two to four hours a week but my work, our parameters have certainly tightened. And a lot of what I have been doing since we came out here is giving time to those that I really believe in. It just feels like an equitable exchange of like, I put my energy out, they their put their energy out into the world. And we have done a bit of bartering. And it just, I don't know there's something, perhaps like with your, you know, your stepdad, and and like how good it feels. I actually really enjoy - I just, in the mail today got a superhero plush doll that a client patient of mine has an Etsy shop and she offered to pay in a superhero doll. I was like, "Yeah, awesome!" So Cooper has a new superhero doll. And that's more fun for me than like, invoicing on Stripe.
Jason Stein 38:19
That's so funny. Cuz this past week as well, a client of mine sent me Chaga coffee with Lion's mane. And it was so nice to just get a gift. And she's paying me. So it's just like this beauty of coming back into community. And we have a community - Wellness Renegades - that continues to grow, and I love how they're looking out for each other. I'm starting to hear more stories of like, I got a text message from so and so, or I did a trade with so and so. And that always lights me up because I do believe as times change and they may get hard, your community makes everything better. I really believe that
Dr. Rachel Sterry 39:12
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