The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 41--The Midlife Male with Greg Scheinman

January 12, 2022 Billy & Brian Season 4
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 41--The Midlife Male with Greg Scheinman
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's episode, Billy and Brian talk to The Mindful Male podcast host Greg Scheinman.  Greg helps men maximize middle age and achieve a better quality of life.  He’s the host of The Midlife Male podcast & newsletter as well as a performance coach, author, speaker, advisor and investor to brands that help men live better and healthier.   A former entrepreneur greg was founder and CEO of team baby entertainment which he sold to former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.  He was also a partner at Insgroup a large risk management & insurance firm which sold to BRP, a Nasdaq company in 2020.  He competes in the d10 decathlon, hyrox and other adventure challenges annually. He has also been a loving husband to his wife Kate for the last 20 years and the two of them have two teenage boys Auden and Harper.  You can check him out at   

We discuss: 
--How the loss of his father when Greg was young and the imprisonment of his brother fueled his drive to help middle-aged men live their best lives
--Which experiences and choices from his 20s and 30s shaped who he was back then and how those two decades of experiences have shaped who he is are today 
--How Greg’s Six Fs can help reinvent the midlife male, which one were out of alignment for him, what he did to get them all pointing in the same direction, and which F other men most struggle pointing forward
--How his message also relates to younger men (including his sons) and where he sees resistance from younger men when it comes to taking the necessary steps to align their goals and values
--Why Greg is against the “anti-aging” movement and enjoys “aging well”

Like what you heard from Greg Scheinman?  Contact him at:

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Greg: And I'm fortunate to be in a position in my life now where I have the opportunity to really genuinely be of service — personally and professionally — with what connects to me, and I hope connects to other men that I'm out there working with. It's almost like really being of service. It's more of, can I help men with better, longer, healthier, wealthier, accomplish their goals? Maybe help navigate and see their way out or through some situations that they're in. Can I use my experiences, successes, failures to learn to be of service and help guys get where they're trying to go?


Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. Join your hosts, Billy and Brian, a couple of average dudes who will serve as your armchair life coaches as we share our life experiences — both the good and the bad — in an effort to help us all better understand how we can enjoy and make the most of the life we have left to live in a more meaningful way. Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with us through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.


Billy: Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host Billy. As always, I'm joined by my good friend, Brian on the Bass. Brian, how are you doing over there, man?

Brian: I am glorious today.

Billy: Glorious? You know, your text earlier today did not suggest that you're feeling so glorious.

Brian: You know, one can be glorious even though they've been inoculated a couple of times in a few different arms, and are reaping the wonderful benefits of all that experience. But I can still be glorious. I'm ready to do this podcast, Billy.

Billy: Excellent. You're a trooper. I will give you that. You are a glorious trooper. Sweet. So, you got the booster shot today, and you got the flu shot. Did they put them in different arms?

Brian: Different arms, yeah. They do different arms, because I haven't had them together before. I guess if you have them together, and you didn't have a reaction, you can get them in the same arm. But don't quote me on that. Consult your doctor. I'm half with it right now.

Billy: I'm going in on Friday to get both of my — I'm getting the booster shot, and I'm getting the flu shot. So, listening to you and I'm listening to some of my friends talking about how wiped out they've been after getting the booster shot, I guess, Saturday is going to be just a no day whatsoever.

Brian: Yeah, get a good book, or a bunch of movies, or something. Sit on the couch, man. It's the best thing you can do.

Billy: I think it's going to be a Squid Game Day. I'm just going to watch all sorts of episodes of Squid Game.

Brian: Have you watched that yet?

Billy: I watched the first four episodes. It is kind of awesome. I'm not going to lie.

Brian: I've heard it's great. I haven't delved in yet, but I plan to.

Billy: It's good stuff. Well, last episode, we had Wendy Battles on. Such a wonderful lady. She does the Reinvention Rebels Podcast. She works and interviews women between the ages 50 and 90. So, we thought we balanced it out here. We are bringing on Greg Scheinman today. Greg helps men maximize middle age and achieve a better quality of life. He's the host of the Midlife Male podcast and newsletter, as well as a performance coach, author, speaker, advisor, and investor to brands that help men live better and healthier. A former entrepreneur, Greg was the Founder and CEO of Team Baby Entertainment, which he sold to former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner. Again, Brian, our guests are just knocking it out of the park week after week. Matt Hazard, if you are listening, do something with your life, would you?

Brian: Step up your game, man, besides getting a few letters behind your name. Come on, dude.

Billy: He was also a partner at Insgroup, a large risk management insurance firm which sold the BRP, NASDAQ company in 2020. He competes in the D10 Decathlon, High Rocks and other adventure challenges annually. He has also been a loving husband to his wife, Kate, for the last 20 years. The two of them have two teenage boys — Auden and Harper. You can check them out at Welcome to the show, Greg Scheinman.

Greg: Hey guys. Thank you. Wow. Okay. You read the entire bio. Look at that. Okay. There's no way I could possibly live up to any of this. I want to thank you for adding the word 'loving.' I don't believe I typed the word loving in front of husband. So, I want to thank you for throwing that in there.

Billy: Absolutely. I'm your wingman here, Greg. I'm looking out for your best interest.

Greg: I got a bass player and a wingman. I just scored some points with my wife. This is terrific.

Billy: Absolutely. We got Brian on the Bass. We got me on the ukulele. Greg plays some guitar. We talked about starting our dad band here at some point. Does Houston have a good music scene? Because Minneapolis has an amazing music scene.

Greg: We have a pretty good music scene. Austin has a great music scene.

Billy: Absolutely.

Brian: Oh, yeah.

Greg: I've heard good things about the Minneapolis' music scene. I was in Minneapolis twice. Once, I went to college at University of Michigan. We drove because we were in the Final Four. I was there with the Fab Five years. So, year one, I made that pilgrimage to go see the guys in the Final Four. The second time, of course, I had to come and see Target, the Target headquarters. I was trying to sell these DVDs, which was better to try to sell them to Target than out of the trunk of my car as I had been going before. So, I flew in to Minnesota, Minneapolis, and stayed too far away from the Target offices. I remember it was the coldest and longest walk of my life.

Billy: Yeah, you must have been there in January or February. March Madness is actually in April. So, you really haven't had a chance to fully appreciate Minneapolis when the weather is nice. It's really beautiful here when the weather is nice, which is four months out of the year. Then it's a crapshoot after that.

Greg: That's what we used to say about Michigan when I was in school there. It was like, as soon as it got really nice, that's when I was on a plane home. I was like, okay. This doesn't work.

Billy: Well, that's how I feel now. I actually just got back from two months in Europe. I was in Portugal for a month and a half. I was in Spain for two weeks. I came back in November. I'm going to be in Minnesota through December. That was very, very poor planning on my part. In the next adventure, I will make sure that I am nowhere near Minnesota when there's any chance that the weather is going to be below 40 degrees. I don't even know what I was thinking when I planned that adventure. But what do you do?

Greg: We're thinking the same way. You're trying to get out of Minnesota at certain times. We're thinking the same thing. Like in Houston, we need to be out of here when it's 110. I get it, trying to figure out a plan. Portugal and Spain sound good.

Billy: So, Greg, we always ask our guests to talk about the 10 roles that they play in life. So, what are the 10 roles that you listed here?

Greg: My 10: husband, parent, dad — I stuck in parentheses that those are different, I'm happy to get into that — athlete, coach, provider, son, brother, creator — I did way more. I didn't count — connecter, server, speaker. So, I don't know how many more than 10 that is.

Billy: No, that's great. And so, right off the bat here, I do want to talk about — you did put in parentheses here that dad and parent, those are two different things. So, elaborate on that.

Greg: Yeah, I appreciate that. First, I don't know. Did I even thank you guys for having me on? We just got right into it. We were laughing. Hey, thank you. It's great to be here.

Billy: Yeah, that's what we do. We just get right after it here. When we got a good guest on, we just want to hit the floor running.

Greg: I don't know who Matt Hazard is, but I'm sure he's fine.

Billy: He's not. Never ever compliment Matt Hazard. He is a son of a bitch.

Greg: Okay. I'm sorry. I'm not sure if I can keep up or not, but I'm sure to ask you. Actually, to get to your question, I think being a dad is easy. Being a dad is fun. That's the playing with the kids. That's being the fun guy. Just the eating out with them and coaching the teams, and wrestling around. Especially being a boy dad, being a dad is fun. I love being a dad. Being a parent is really hard. That's where the discipline comes in, and the accountability, and the life lessons. Hey, look. Sorry, buddy. I don't think AstroWorld is where you should be going. Okay? I got to parent you on this. I got to make a judgment call here. I'm being the bad guy, sometimes. It's a tougher, more responsible role.

I talk about that with a lot of guys. Being a dad is great. It's easy. It's fun being their friend. But there's a time when you've got to be a parent, where you may not be popular. I'm not here to always be your friend. I've got to be your father right now. So, that's why I separated those two.

Billy: Brian, as a boy dad, does that completely resonate with you?

Brian: Absolutely. I couldn't even take that a step further. I could say anybody can be a dad. All you got to do is do the deed and succeed to be a dad. To be a father — to your point, Craig — would be the fun stuff. You get to do all the stuff with the kids and then parent, of course. That's a really good distinction. I completely agree with you, because it is hard.

Greg: 100% applicable, of course, whether we have boys or girls. I just got two boys. I guess you get what you can handle, right?

Brian: I've got three boys.

Billy: That's why I don't have kids. Because I knew I won't be able to handle them. You said that being a dad is what you're looking forward to most in the second half of life. You also said husband. Can you talk about that as well?

Greg: Yeah, again, family is first. I talked about six F's and the way that I look at life. Then I worked with other men as well as myself. It's all deeply personal that now it's kind of become, "Hey, let me talk to some other people about it." But family has always been number one. That's the first F of the 6. Everything comes after that. Because without that, what am I doing the rest of this stuff for? So, yeah, fatherhood and parenting and being a dad is absolutely number one. But I do think a lot of guys maybe take the marriage and being the husband for granted after certainly a long period of time. My wife and I, we've been together 25 years, coming up on 20 married, 25 together.

Brian: Congratulations.

Greg: Thank you, I think.

Billy: No, dude. I was trying to help you out by saying 'loving husband.' Don't say that. You're undoing it.

Brian: Greg, in these days, that is acceptable.

Greg: That is a priority in the second phase of my life, to try to actually get it right. It's like that. I think it's easy to take one another for granted. Again, it's easy to become complacent. We get caught up in putting everybody, in a way, ahead of ourselves, in putting the kids and not think things ahead of our relationship. The next thing you know, we're three years away from being empty nesters. I'm like, you have not maintained value as a couple, maintained your individuality, your own creativity and curiosity. But also, really place value on the relationship and continue to date your wife and vice versa. Enjoy each other's company, and not just go through the motions. You end up in an an empty house. It's just the two of you. You got nothing left to talk about, really, in there. That may catch you, I think, a bit by surprise.

I think that it's top of mind right now, I think, for us. Because we can see the three years from now. We're going to send our oldest one off to college next year. Then two years, okay, both boys will be out of the house. It's like, okay. It's an amazing time to, again, reconnect, and think about the future, to respect one another, to be like one another. Do we enjoy spending time with one another? Do we have other things to talk about outside of just these other things? Because we got a lot of life left ahead of us. So, valuing that relationship, putting family first, it's important. At least, it is to me. It seems to be to us.

Billy: I liked that you talked about continued dating your wife. Actually, we had another person say that. When we talked to Scott and Lee back in Episode 11. Scott is in a similar situation, where I think in about five years, the two of them are going to be empty nesters. He talked about, "It's going to be important for my wife and I to continue to date each other." I like that, because marriage isn't the end-all. I'm speaking as somebody who's never been married. But, I guess, I like to think of that idea of perpetually dating is really important. For me, even if I never get married, but if I'm with somebody, it's going to be important for us to continue to go out on dates and to go out and explore it and do things. Brian, I'll kind of defer to you here as our resident married man.

Brian: No, no doubt. I mean, you have to keep the relationship alive somehow. Doing things, of course, bonds people naturally when you go through the same experience. Absolutely. I think you have to keep dating your spouse while you're with them.

Greg: And I'll flip it. I think both sides are valid. Because we are talking about midwife. We're talking about being mindful. We're talking about the proverbial midlife crisis that's there, too. I see the other side as well. Unfortunately, a lot of marriages end in divorce. You get to that period where couples that have been married for a very long time or longer time. Again, the kids leave. Their identity was wrapped up in the kids, maybe not in the relationship. Maybe the next phase of their life is not best spent together. I see both sides. We only get one shot at this.

The goal, ultimately, is to really be happy. But if you are happy and you are committed and you are wanting to make it work, and it does work, then make the most of it. But on the flip side, make the most out of your life that you possibly can. Do as much good as you can. Do as little damage as you possibly can along the way. I see both sides.

Billy: That sounds like it connects very well to your wanting to be a server in the second half of your life. It's to continue doing to do things and not do damage to other people. So, can you talk about that? Why are you looking forward to being a server in the second half of your life?

Greg: I've been in some form of sales my entire life or career. I always tried to approach sales in a consultative capacity, in an advisory capacity, in a being of service capacity. Not always easy, especially considering some of the things that I was selling at various time, overall. I'm fortunate to be in a position in my life now where I have the opportunity to really genuinely be of service — personally and professionally — with what connects to me, and I hope connects to other men that I'm out there working with. It's almost like really being of service. It's more of, can I help men with better, longer, healthier, wealthier, accomplish their goals? Maybe help navigate and see their way out or through some situations that they're in. Can I use my experiences, successes, failures to be of service and help guys get where they're trying to go?

Ultimately, I think that trickles down. It helps them show up better as husbands. It helps them show up better as fathers, maybe get control of their health. It's not just guys that I hear from. A lot of times, it's the women that I hear from about, "Hey, I'd like my husband to have somebody to work with and talk to and be able to do it." Sometimes it's the guy who is a little bit more gun shy about about taking that step.

Billy: That's a question that I want to dive into a little bit deeper when we get back here. So, we're going to take a quick break. Then when we come back, we're going to continue our conversation with Greg Scheinman. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.


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Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here talking to Greg Scheinman. He is the host of the Midlife Male podcast. He works with men so that they can live better, healthier, wealthier lives in the second half. Perfect for our show right here. Greg, you said that some might consider your life path a bit unconventional. If you don't mind, could you start just talking about the loss of your dad and the imprisonment of your brother? Because those are definitely life situations that many of us have not had. I'm just kind of curious how much do those two experiences fuel your drive to help middle-aged men live their best lives now?

Greg: Yeah, I appreciate you asking this. I was 17, going almost 18, when my father passed away. We were three boys. I've got two younger brothers. Mother and father were together. My father had cancer. It gave him six months. He lasted maybe two years. Unfortunately, he didn't win that battle and passed away when I was 17. I was 18 and heading off to college. My middle brother was 15 or so at the time, 14, 15, or a couple years younger. Our youngest brother was 8, super young. Obviously, it throws everything into a tailspin and pivotal moment for a teenager. Again, I'm going off to college. It changed everything for me. It took a while to get healthy for me. It changed things for the worse for a while, in terms of going off the rails a little bit, losing that father figure, losing the mentorship there. At the same time, being off in college, where there's drinking and partying and everything else, I self-medicated through a lot of my depression, my grief. I didn't really want to come home. A whole lot in there.

Then now I'm able to use it and see it, again, through a different lens, through a much more motivational and inspirational lens. I've been able to circle back, regain my own health, a different perspective on life, and say, "Look, my dad was 47 when he passed away." I'll be 49 next month. I'm in the bonus time, the way I see it. So, how can I make the most, again, of this time? How can I take better care of myself? How can I live life with the perspective that you don't know necessarily where the end is?

You may not get a wake-up call. You've got to take advantage of every situation and every opportunity that you have in front of you. So, that's the way I see it now. To get over the grief, get over the feeling sorry for yourself, get over the loss, become a slow — I've said this before — a slow learner and a late bloomer in terms of finding mentors, friends, father-like figures. It's one of the reasons I started the podcast as well. So, I get to hear from other men and learn from them, and be inspired by their journeys and their stories, and try to take some of those things away.

Because I think when you experience death, you start to see things very differently. I also realize that 47 is not old, of course, at all. You think of your father when you're a kid as old or older. When you start getting up there, you start to realize how young it actually is, and how much more he is ahead of you. That's something that you can't choose. You can't choose to get cancer.

Whereas another situation with my brother, unfortunately, he was great at what he did. Unfortunately, what he did was very illegal. So, he spent some time away. So, when you think about the loss of life and then you think about loss of your freedom, I can't think of two things that are more impactful and pivotal. So, I look at that as an opportunity. I can't imagine having my freedom taken away, my health or my freedom.

What do I want to do to preserve and protect both my health and my freedom? I want to be able to go where I want when I want, work how I want, do things because I want to, not necessarily because I have to, and take as good care of myself as I possibly can. Those two experiences helped to shape me into that kind of perspective, in that way of living. Now, it took a lot longer probably than it should have. But I'm here now. Now I'm doing it. I'm living my message and, again, trying to serve and help other guys find in with theirs.

Billy: When your brother got caught and was sent to prison, I'm curious how far along in college were you? Were you out of college?

Greg: We were out. Yeah, we were out.

Billy: Okay. Were you still—

Greg: We were out of college. I was out of college. We were long out. We were in career mode. Again, not a good career choice.

Billy: Okay. Well, the reason why I asked that because I was trying to figure out whether or not you saw that as something that you were — because you talked about you weren't making good decisions yourself. So, was that something where you were like, "Oh, shit. How close was I to making a similar mistake as my brother?" Were you not anywhere in that parallel?

Greg: Not in that parallel. I was able to course correct myself. Mine was more on the partying and the lifestyle side, and just drowning the grief and sorrows and insecurity issues, and all that baggage that I was carrying with just too much alcohol, quite frankly. Fortunately, I was able to course correct that over time. A way of saying like, yeah, I just fucking fix the problems. That's what I basically did. I got past that, and tried again. I tried to be the best family member I can — brother, son, now father, and everything else — and help them through his experiences, that my brother had. Fortunately, he's doing fantastic now. So, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can come out better the other side on that for sure. But again, I just look at it as loss of life, loss of freedom — two things you don't want to experience. Can you make the most of the time that you do have? If you make a mistake or mistakes, can you come back from them? You can. Again, we're living longer, healthier, wealthier. The middle is the sweet spot. No, it's not the beginning or the end. It's the sweet spot, and we should use all these experiences to be better going forward.

Billy: You know, it's interesting that you said that the middle is the sweet spot. Because way back in episode one when we talked about what exactly is a midlife crisis, and we took a look at the research of that in guys our age, all reports, while they're in the thick of it, that this is the most stressful time of their life, or this is the time when they have the least amount of satisfaction. But then when they asked men when they're in their mid 60s to 70, what was the best time of your life, they all reflect and say, "Right around my 40s."

So, it's that thought that you're too far in the forest to see the trees, that sort of thing. It's really difficult for you to realize that the 20s is just a shit show because you're just figuring out how to be mature. Then I'm sure for a lot of people in their 30s, then they're getting into real life career mode or even family mode. So, you're trying to figure that out. Then you've got a little practice. And so, by the time you hit your 40s, you're in your stride but you've been enduring so much. You've been trying to figure out so much that you almost are running on automatic. I don't know if you feel that way or if your clients feel that way when you talk to them.

Greg: I think it's all of the above, if that makes sense. I know some really old 30-year-olds, and I know some really young 60-year-olds. I think it's really a mindset situation. I think there are guys that are maybe in their crises, and they don't see it. I think there are guys who have come out of their crises and have learned a tremendous amount and will be better for that self-exploration. Yet I think there are a lot of guys now that are going to avoid it altogether.

Because when I speak to younger guys in their 30s, that demographic is very self-aware, much more in touch with their emotions and vulnerabilities, and in a way asking for help and seeing ahead. I speak to a lot of successful guys in their 30s. One of the reasons they're reaching out is because "Hey, it saved me five years. Help me see ahead a little bit. I'm getting closer to foray these things. This is what I'm thinking. I don't want to be this. I don't want to be that. Which are the stereotypes may or may not be true? How should I be planning, preparing, and doing so that when I get there, maybe I can avoid this altogether?"

The harder one is the guys that are right smack in the middle of it. Maybe they don't realize it. They're a little bit more in denial, or, "Hey, this is the way it's supposed to be." From the outside looking in, everything looks fine. I don't really have a problem. I'm dealing with — "It's Groundhog's Day for me. I may not be super happy, but I'm not super sad either. It looks pretty good from the outside. I got a wife. I got the kids. I got the job. I got this. I can't really afford to quit. I don't really know if I want to stay." They don't really have anybody to talk to about it, or they don't really want to talk about it. They look to the left and look to the right, and go oh. They're in the tail. Okay. I guess this is kind of the way it's supposed to be. I don't believe that to be the case. But that's a tougher one.

Billy: Yeah, Brian and I will often joke. But we're serious that women are way smarter than we are. I like to think it's because they've developed that emotional maturity earlier than we have, or they embrace that emotional maturity. They embrace emotional intelligence more so than guys do. My real concern is like when we go back to episode two. We talked about men who are our age — men who are between the ages of 40 and 60 — have the highest suicide rates.

When we looked at it, it's because they lack that emotional intelligence on how to navigate these crises after so long. It's nice to know that there's someone like you out there who's helping them navigate that, especially because you're another male. Because, Greg, when I see you, you and Brian are very much alike in that you have this alpha male about you, but you also have this emotional intelligence about you. So, you're more than just a guy's guy. You actually have the ability to say, "No, let's sit down. Let's talk about these things that you're saying, these feelings that you're having, and these emotions that are rolling through there. Let's sort them all out so that we can make sense of it, and we can grow from it instead of shoving it into a box," when all of a sudden, it explodes. The next thing you know, you're taking your own life.

Greg: I can tell you, that's an extreme and that's a super unfortunate situation. I'm not a therapist, a doctor, or anything like that. To your point, I'm just the guy who's about to turn 49 who has had these experiences, who did not talk about his feelings, emotions. I thought I had all the answers. I thought I could handle it all myself. I did a pretty good job for a while, but you realize you're not fooling anybody. Even if you are, you're still not fooling yourself. So, I think, at least for me, I tried to be authentic. Actually, be authentic, be transparent, be vulnerable. Again, be of service. I put it out there. Maybe that connects, and maybe that's helpful to people. Maybe it takes away some of the stigma of "I don't want to go to therapy," or, "There's nothing wrong with me."

You're absolutely right. Maybe there isn't anything wrong with you. Maybe you don't need therapy. Maybe you actually just need a friend. Maybe you need to work a little bit more accountability. Maybe you need to just dress a little bit better to get your confidence up. Maybe you need to just go for a walk in the mornings to get your head together. You don't have to get jacked. You don't have to be unhealthy, or you don't have to be extremely fit. You just need to be moving. Maybe you need to spend a little bit more time with your family. Maybe you need to not skip your kid's games to be at the office. There's a lot of layers to this in here to cover.

I don't totally remember the exact part of the question here as I go off on this tangent. But one, you are right. I hear from a lot of women, because they are more seem to be in touch. They want to reach out and help their men be better. I feel that the men that I work with and that I hear from are more along the lines of wanting to improve. Hey, I get it. I don't think I necessarily need a doctor. I don't think I needed therapy. I don't think I'm super depressed. But I know something's not exactly right. I know.

This is what I talked about when I tell you turn your F's into A's. Okay. Maybe you don't have to get straight A's per se. Fashion and style may not be that important to you. You maybe not have to turn that F all the way to an A and go blow a lot of money on clothing. But your family should be important. Your finances should be important. Your fitness and your health should be important. You should look like you didn't roll out of bed, or still exercising in the clothing that you wear in high school, overall, and fun.

Guys are not having a whole lot of fun in middle age. Why aren't they playing bass in every band in Minnesota, Brian? Why are they giving up our hobbies? Why aren't they still playing guitar? Why aren't they doing whatever? Why do we give those things up? You're traveling around and doing things. We bring more of that stuff back. It's not an either/or. It's, how do we incorporate all of these things into our lives to live fully?

Billy: Well, you just alluded to the six F's there. So, what I want to do is I want to take a break. Because I want to do a deeper dive as to what the six F's are, and how you work with your clients with regards to those six F's. So, we're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back with Greg Scheinman. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.


Thanks for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We will do our best to put out new content every Wednesday to help get you over the midweek hump. If you'd like to contact us, or if you have suggestions about what you'd like us to discuss, feel free to email us at or follow us on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis. Check out the show notes for links to the articles and resources we referenced throughout the show. Oh, and don't forget to show yourself some love every now and then, too. And now, back to the show.


Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are still here with Greg Scheinman. He is the host of the Midlife Male Podcast. You can check him out at Greg, you alluded to the six F's. This is your foundation with working with your clients. So, can you talk about what are the six F's, and how can they reinvent the midlife male?

Greg: There are six F's. Family — as we touched on before — is always first. Fitness, which is number two, which is really health. We talked about it. Finance, which is really also your career, your financial goals. Food, which is nutrition. Fashion, which is style, to an extent style, confidence. You can go down to that. Then fun, which is one that I wavered on for a while in terms of that word per se. Where does it fit in the connotation of middle age or maturity? Quite frankly, that should almost be at the top. Almost be at the front. That's the one I really get asked about mostly by guys.

Billy: Why is that? Is it just because at some point in time as we age, we just become less fun?

Greg: Maybe. I don't know what it is, per se, that seems to be prevalent in a lot of men. I know it was for me for a while. Especially you get married, you get a job, you have kids, you start to give up some of your hobbies. There's not enough time, so to speak. So again, you stop playing with your buddies in that band, or maybe you don't. You stop writing. Some guys, they stop exercising, or they stop competing. They stop these things that they were passionate about, or that they always did. Even if you've come up playing sports through school, as you continue to get older, the game either passes you by, or you're not going to play another baseball game ever again. Because I'm getting, once they get past high school, college, they stop doing a lot of these things.

Traveling becomes harder. We're thinking about, again, the other F — finances and money. I got a family. I got a house. I got a mortgage. Maybe I can't just take off on my own anymore for that weekend camping trip. So, fun seems to take a backseat for a while. It's unfortunate, because we also dovetail back to wanting to be happy. We need time alone. We need time with our friends. We need time with that, to our hobbies, to express ourselves, embrace our curiosity, exercise. Again, whatever else is into.

I think a lot of guys want to talk about fun, because they want to find a way to bring it back. They want to find a way to bring it back. That's okay. That's acceptable. That doesn't come off as selfish, or self-serving, or unhealthy in a way. It doesn't mean meeting your buddies at the bar, or staying out late, or stopping off at the strip club, or playing. It could be 27 holes of golf. I don't know either. I don't know. We drink at the ninth hole. We drink at the 18th hole.

There are a lot of ways to have fun and find a way to incorporate it into your life, that your partner or spouse can and will support. It can bring your family into it. Again, just make you a better, happier, healthier person. When you let that stuff go, everything seems much harder. It's harder again to do your job. It's harder to walk through the door with a smile on your face. It's harder, again, to give back and be of service and do things for everybody else when you're not having any fun yourself.

Billy: Yeah, that connects to when we talk to Dr. Yvette Erasmus. She asked me, what's the point of this trip? What's your intention? I had said I just want to be able to dance again. I want to be able to just cut loose and go and see live music, and just rock out the way that I used to back in the day. I just saw — there's a Weezer tribute band that plays here in the Twin Cities. They are called Pleezer. Here's a plug for Pleezer. If you ever get a chance to go see Pleezer, they play whatever Weezer song you need right at that moment. It is just awesome. I haven't seen full band live music in a really long time because of COVID. So, it was fun to go out there. But even still, I was still hesitant. I didn't dance all out like I normally would, that kind of thing. So, I'm still trying to get that back.

You talked about I stopped playing softball and to end touch football probably about five years ago, five or six years ago. I was thinking, I think last summer, I don't need to go back and play softball. I don't need to go back and play touch football. But I'm missing out on that competition piece. That competition piece for me is fun. It's motivating. I don't like to lose. I like that you incorporate that idea of fun. It sounds like so many people our age forget about that. Brian, I imagine, still playing bass is so much fun. Like I said, you're in a bunch of different bands. It's got to be fun for you.

Brian: It is. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun. I don't know if you know this or not. But loading gear in and out of venues really stinks, especially when you get old. But I still do it because I love playing, enough to make it worthwhile.

Billy: You played a variety of bands. I'm curious about that. Because you're doing Gen X Jukebox, right? But then you're also doing this other band, where it's like fun punk covers of poppy tunes. What's the motivation to be in a couple of different bands that play wide varieties of music? Because sometimes people just find their niche, and they go after that.

Brian: Oh, connecting with other musicians is the easy answer to that one. Playing with a different group of musicians is like having to solve another problem again. But it's a fun problem to solve. You know what I mean? You always have to be listening. How can I contribute to this thing that's happening, in the best way possible, to make the group look the best way possible? You know what I mean? For me, that's a challenge that never solves itself. Plus, performing has always been — I've been doing it for 40 years now. So, that's just natural for me.

Billy: Does that tap into the scientist brain of yours, where you like to figure out the problem?

Brian: No, I'd say that's different. Music is definitely different than that.

Billy: So, you don't approach it from a scientific approach?

Brian: I don't know. No, I absolutely do not. I approach it like the instrument is part of me. I don't even think about it. Most of the time I'm playing, I don't even have to think just because I've done it. I don't have to go, "I'm going to go to an A now. The next is D." Nothing like that. It's just all — I've been doing it so long. It's all in there.

Billy: Right. That's the difference between you and me of playing a bass guitar. Because I'm like, "Okay, where does my finger go for the A?"

Brian: Yeah, I've been playing so long. It's like it's a part of me. As I'm talking now, put it this way, do you think about when you talk? Do you think about it as you're doing it? Because playing bass for me is like talking now. I don't have to think about it. I just do it.

Billy: You know me. I overthink everything. So, Greg, how about you? Because you play guitar. I don't know what your level of experience is with it. So, that's the fun piece, I imagine, for you. How long have you played guitar?

Greg: I started playing when I was 13. I still have to think about it. I'm like Brian. I still have to think about it. Also, I have the best job in our band. I get to play rhythm guitar around a bunch of phenomenal musicians. So, to me, I have the best job. I can practically just turn it down and be like, "You guys just go to work." I've got an amazing job in the band. We've even been doing it for four years straight on, Brian. It's second nature.

I had a lot of years where I did not pick up a guitar for 10 years. Again, it was a hobby that fell by the wayside. I didn't have any guitars around, or they were buried under the bed. It never came out. I unloaded a few as we were moving. I was like, you're not going to play that anymore. It's like I can't believe some of the stuff I unloaded and sold. It was like, why am I giving that up?

I've been really fortunate to have some friends that just are proactive in different aspects of bringing things back, saying, "Hey. My buddy, Stephen, is a drummer. We're going to start a band." Okay. In our 40s? Sure. I want to have a band and found some great musicians and some great guys. To your point also, when you bring new guys in, it totally changes the dynamic.

Billy: Absolutely.

Greg: It becomes more interesting in a way, like this guy brings this to this. How do you play with that? Whether it's a band, or whether it's sports, or no matter what it is, it's really the camaraderie in a way that develops and the relationships that develop from it. Athletes say this too when they're done playing their sport. It's not even so much the sport they miss. They miss the locker room. You miss the camaraderie. You miss all of those things.

I think having these hobbies, having these communities, developing that camaraderie, you see people pick up again. Whether it's 5Ks, 10Ks triathlons, there's a community. If you're a cyclist, there's a community. It's trying to be a part of something and not just letting these hobbies and activities just completely go away. Because everything you want to do still exists. It exists in any age.

You mentioned this phrase, 'back in the day.' At some point, we're going to just eliminate the 'back in the day' phrase. I didn't do it back in the day. I just do it. Maybe there are some things I did back in the day that I am never going to do again. That's probably for a good reason. But why do we think just because we did something back in the day and now we're older, we can't do it anymore. We still can. I just might be doing differently, a little bit slower, or whatever it may be.

Billy: Was that my clearance to play with Legos again, Greg?

Greg: Hey, do it. Dude, I got a garage full of them.

Brian: Yeah, me, too.

Greg: In one of those plastic bins, it's like 200 pounds. I can never get rid of the thing. Every time we're ready to get rid of it, my wife's like, "Can't you get rid of all those Legos, all those memories?" It's 200 pounds. It's been at my garage since our kids were like seven years old. It will be there forever.

Brian: Yep.

Billy: So, you talked about fun. Outside of fun, which one is the hardest for you to keep aligned in your life?

Greg: Finance, for sure. Finance and money. This dichotomy between not being motivated by money but yet wanting to provide for my family. Everything I want to provide for them and not having a want for anything, and myself, too. A lifestyle and tastes and desires that I want. That dichotomy between how much is enough, work to live, live to work. The details, you guys are much more detailed, guys. I can already tell with the podcast notes and the pausing for the breaks. I'm like shit, I got to do that. I set stuff on auto pay and never see it again. That machine that keeps spitting out cash, I hope it never stops. This is the hard one.

For me, again — back to parenting and being a dad — really being a man or just being like a guy who's like getting through it, you're taking care of your taxes and balancing your portfolio, if you will. How much is enough? We got to put two kids through school. You got a mortgage. You got two cars, and you got things you want to do. The finance part is, absolutely, for me, the hardest one. It's honestly super, super important to take care of. But it's not in this quest to just dominate, to hustle, and grind and make all this money. It's more about, how much is enough? How much do we need? Am I being, again, authentic and truthful and purposeful to the work that I'm doing? Being compensated for it in a manner that it helps me and my family do what we want to do. When is enough enough, also?

Because time is money. I want more time, more freedom. When I have time and freedom, I absolutely want the capital to be able to use it the way I want to. Because that helps me make better choices or not do things I don't want to. If I don't have to accept the gig, or a client, or anything — purely for the financial aspect of it — that's one of the ways I feel like I can maximize and optimize my life. I can agree to spend less or live a certain way for the opportunity to be freer with my choices.

Brian: Well put.

Billy: Yeah. Where were you when I was 25? Because I wish you would have had some — The thing is, I probably had someone like this when I was 25 telling me these things. But because I was 25, I didn't listen. So, I wonder how much of the message that you share — it all relates to 20 somethings. But do you think many of them just aren't ready to hear what you have to say? Do you see that resistance in your teenage sons, or are they a little bit more mature than the average teenage boy?

Greg: One, going back at 25, I was drunk at the bar running up my mom's credit card. I'm not anywhere remotely near the space of responsibility, and certainly not financial responsibility. I think one of it comes, obviously, from the products of your environment. On the one hand, I was fortunate to be raised in an environment where we didn't want from anything. If anything, it was tipped to things were too easy, in a way. Well, everybody doesn't have that.

When I got out into the "real world," I went off to college, I saw things differently — that other kids that had to work while they were in college to put themselves through. One of these things was very eye opening to me. As I said, slow learner, late bloomer. I didn't have mentorship. I'm on there in that regard. There were things that were provided, and I was able to do so. I didn't have a lot of financial responsibility.

When I started having to earn a living, I started realizing, again, what things cost and how you have to get your shit together, and what you need to do in order to make things happen for yourself. All this developed later for me. I've tried as an entrepreneur. I had some success. I had a number of failures, too. I've gone from having some cash to being broke, to having a little cash, to being broke again, to doing things that — I'm in businesses where the products I was selling, the companies I was starting and working in scaling, nothing that anybody necessarily needed, to shifting into a mid-sized company, professional services to something everybody needed. But it was far less entrepreneurial for me but had far greater ROI, if you will.

Then ultimately, culminating with the sale. Again, everybody sees things differently. You hand somebody X amount of dollars, and they'd go, "Hell, yeah. Let's go." You give him 100 million. I'm only 900 away from a billion. Let's go. That's what they dialed in for. That's what they want. You hand another nine, some money. Then they go, "Thank you, Seattle, goodnight." He walks off the stage to never come back. He's very happy with his one hit. Everybody is just wired differently on that.

I think the real key and a lot of what I try to talk about and work on this, finding what's right for you, finding what works for you. Not everyone's cut out to be an entrepreneur. There's nothing wrong with working for a big company out there and not having the weight of the whole thing on your shoulders. There's nothing wrong with making a ton of money. There's nothing wrong with making exactly what you need and be okay with it. There's nothing wrong with loving your career, way more than that career pays.

The flip side of that is sometimes, hey, maybe there's something wrong. You're really not enjoying what you're doing. But it pays really well. Then those guys are like, "Hey, I got to find something else to do." At a certain point, that tips. Maybe now I do leave my job and follow my passion. It's all got to be figured out within the framework of what works for you and what's responsible.

Single, and it's just you. I'm going to talk about this with a buddy of mine very soon. Single, and it's just you? Make any decision you want. Great. Married, kids, mortgage, tuitions, everything else, you kind of can. You got to think about what's the responsible thing to do based on, hey, you signed up for this man. There's no cutting in running from those responsibilities. That doesn't work in the framework of our conversation or work together. You got to figure out how to make both work.

Billy: I just got excited there when you said if you're single, you can do whatever you want to do. Because that's sort of the stage I am in right now in my life. Because I'm on this leave, and I've got a lot of options. A lot of times, the paradox of choice and analysis by paralysis weigh me down. I've been trying not to let those things get in the way of what is really a pivotal transition period for me. So, I want to thank you for saying that because I actually got giddy with just hearing you say that.

One thing that you were talking about is your ability to diversify whatever it is that you feel maybe the market needs, or whatever you feel you can provide in terms of a service or a brand. You've talked about the different services that you provide. I wanted to switch topics a little bit. Because you also do some promotion of anti-aging brands that you're working with. I follow you on Instagram. You said in a post recently that you don't like the term anti-aging because you're all for aging. But you're all for aging well. What does aging well look like to you?

Greg: That's a great question. Just the term anti-aging as it's come up — it wasn't me who said that I didn't like it first. It was my wife who said it to me. Then I was like, yeah, actually, that makes sense. That's much more on point and on message with who we are — to not be anti-aging. Again, I'd like to think we're wearing this aging thing as a bit of a badge of honor. Look at how well we're aging in a way, as opposed to being—

Billy: We're winning.

Greg: Yeah, we're winning aging right now. That's the way of looking at it. The term anti-aging has a connotation that there's something wrong with aging, and that we should be against it. I don't think that that's the case. I think that, again, we have the opportunity to live better, stronger, healthier, wealthier — I've said these things now a couple of times — as we get older, as we age. Use these experiences to the collective benefit of ourselves and everybody else that we're around.

So, I'm talking about how to age well. Again, I think these are all very personal and individual choices, but there are some things that I feel strongly with. You should take care of your physical and your mental health. Again, you should be exercising. That's not about being jacked or ripped. You don't have to take as many photos with your shirt off as I did. It's not the aesthetic scenario. The aesthetics are a bonus of living well.

Billy: I like that.

Greg: If you're living well and you're training well, you're going to look better. Period. But you also can give 10 guys the exact same workout and the exact same diet. They can all go do it for a year, and everybody's going to look different. I'm going to say, be the best of what you're genetically predisposition to be.

That goes along with living well and aging well. If you want to dye your hair, dye your hair. If you want to get the hair transplant, get the hair transplant. Whatever makes you feel better, fine. However, just be authentic. Don't feel outside pressure or influence, and comparison — compare and contrast. Comparison is the thief of joy and all those things. Find, again, what works for you. If you want to go get some Botox, fine. Okay. If you want to start exploring testosterone replacement therapy, fine. Okay. Whatever you're doing, and whatever you think is going to help you, own it.

But I also think that we should enjoy the process, and we should enjoy the time of getting older. I like some of the wrinkles. I don't mind being bald. Actually, I wish I would have known how happy I was to be bald earlier, when I wasted all this time on my heavy metal hair. I'm like, I don't want to be fat and bald. I've said that. Listen, there are things I can control and things I can't. So, I would prefer not to be fat and bald. But I'm very happy and very content with being bald.

If you're a guy that's not and you want to go do something about that, fine. If you want to explore other "anti-aging techniques" or things that are available, I have no issue with that. But I also feel like just be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. If you're 50, be the best fucking 50-year-old that you can be. Don't be that guy who's like 50 trying to look like he's 20. It's not going to solve your problem. If I dress exactly like my 18-year-old and my 15-year-old, they'll don't even want to be next to me. There's a certain point where it crosses a little bit over, like that's just not you anymore. You past that. Okay? You can't go this far, dad. You can't go maybe that far.

Billy: As the gray hair started to settle in, my dad told me, "Listen, that gray hair just means that you're distinguished, not extinguished." So, I've always appreciated that line right there. I've used it ever since. So, it's allowed me to embrace the gray hairs that I have. I remember when I got my hair cut a couple years ago, I'm like, there's more gray down there than there is black. But I just like it. I'll never ever dye my hair because I have embraced that salt and pepper look. I've embraced getting older. I would never ever want to go back to being 25. I don't ever want to go back to 35, unless I was investing my money smarter. But that's really the only reason I would ever go back to those days.

Greg: Well, you're touching on some really great points there, too. It's also about live without regret, live in the moment and not living in the past. I've got great memories from my 20s, from my 30s, and even my early 40s. I don't want to go back living in those periods of time. I'm going to tell my boys, too. You don't want to peak in high school, either. When you see those guys, like, oh, shit, that guy has nowhere to go but down. Remember that guy?

Billy: You don't want to be buried in your letterman's jacket. Don't be buried in your letterman's jacket.

Greg: It's a marathon. You're not on a sprint. I feel like it's a cliche now. But I think there is this real opportunity for us to get better with age in a lot of areas, particularly, again, all six of those F's. I think we can continue to get better on each one. Those are not age-specific categories. You don't graduate from any of those. You don't graduate from therapy. You don't graduate from fitness. You don't graduate from nutrition. Like, "Okay, I've eaten enough healthy meals. I'm done now. I've graduated." You don't graduate from any of these things. You don't finish. You just keep going. So, can I have the most fun at 49? I got the year 49, make the most of it. The most fun that I've ever had at 50. I just think we keep going.

Billy: Brian knows I'm serious when I say this. But I'm going to extend this challenge out to all of our listeners as well. Start a spreadsheet and put the six F's in one column. Then in the other column, talk about what it is in the six F's that you are embracing right now. Then in the third column, what are the things that you want to embrace 2, 3, 4 years down the way?

If you can't figure that out, my recommendation is to get in contact with Greg. You can find him at You can listen to his podcast, the Midlife Male. Greg, thank you so much for being on the show. I am going to listen to this episode multiple times and really reflect on a lot of the things you said, and put them into action.

Greg: Guys, thank you so much. Billy, Brian this was a blast. You guys are awesome. In any way I can help you with your mission as well, I'm happy to do it. You got time to listen to this over and over again. Again, you're single. Hey, you got all charged up. Brian and I, we got our shit to do.

Brian: You're right on.

Greg: I realize this argument going on downstairs while we've been recording this. Thank goodness, I'm up here. Whenever they're discussing, heatedly discussing, I'm going to find out in about seven minutes.

Brian: I'm living it brother. I know. I hear you.

Billy: I've got shit to do. Come on.

Greg: You stop arguing down there. I'm trying to be mindful in my midlife crisis here.

Billy: It's not all puppies and rainbows over here as a single man life. Yes, I'm going to Thailand in a couple of months. But I mean, there's things I got to do in between them.

Greg: It sounds like it. You go play to Thailand. I'm going to go downstairs. Yeah, really, you're working up there, right? I've got to be down here handling this. Kids are on their school tomorrow. They both got to go out until midnight. You're up there pretending this is work.

Billy: Oh, man. Greg, thank you so much for being on the show. For Greg, for Brian, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and love. Take care friends.


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