Episode #21 - Opportunity Mindset with Jon Feinman, Founder of InnerCity Weightlifting and Dan Royal, ICW Lead Student Trainer

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My job and my role are to listen.
— Jon Feinman, Founder, InnerCity Weightlifting

Episode #21 Summary:

I don't know if the timing of this episode is more important than right now.This week’s guest and newest partner to the Milestone Mind Movement is InnerCity Weightlifting’s Founder Jon Feinman, and InnerCity Weightlifting Student Trainer, Dan Royal.

This conversation is enlightening, and one I, if you don’t mind, recommend you listen to more than once as well as share with family and friends. Jon and Dan are amazing people, with incredibly open-minds and hearts. They are both courageous, thoughtful and determined, both being fearless in the face of status quo.

Jon founded ICW, a non-for-profit, in 2010 in the heart of Boston, in a part of the city named Dorchester. The organization originated as a gym with the simple goal of keeping "at-risk" youth off the streets, but has since evolved into a community and support network as well as a source of education, job-training, and employment in personal training for young people who have been imprisoned and/or connected to street gangs.

ICW's unique solution to the nationwide problem of gang-related violence focuses on working with the young people characterized as the highest risk population in Boston for violence. ICW's goal is to empower its students and give them the connections and tools to say "no" to violence, and "yes" to opportunity.

InnerCity Weightlifting has engaged with more than 150 "high risk students" and has seen a 78% reduction in student trainer arrests after joining ICW. Many students of ICW have celebrated record periods out of prison. Some student trainers have completely turned their lives around, including Dan Royal one of the guests today, finding opportunity in a life that before seemed inevitably headed towards jail, or death. In addition, 90 percent of ICW students report an increased feeling of hope.

InnerCity Weightlifting has been featured in articles from The Huffington PostThe Boston GlobeBoston Magazine, and has been featured in video segments of the CBS Evening NewsESPN's SportsCenterNew England Sports Network, and ABC News.

Additionally, ICW has received various local and national awards from the Boston CelticsBabson College,Year Up, Good SportsCabot Creamery, and Anytime Fitness. Founder Jon Feinman was named one of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders, and was named a 2012 Social Innovator by Social Innovation Forum, Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year; ICW won the 19th annual Rosoff Award for workplace diversity

I left this conversation with a huge sense of joy, and increased understanding, and appreciation of love, community and mindset, and hope this week’s episode imparts a similar feeling onto you.

You’re really going to enjoy this week, and be sure to be on the look for future episodes just like this where we partner with amazingly authentic people and organizations who are striving to give their best to the world, every day, making meaningful differences along the way.


Topics Covered:

  • We of course go way back, but can you take us on a journey of starting ICW?
  • Did you always have a clear plan?
  • You could’ve easily taken the sure path post MBA, but chose to forge your own direction instead. How did you ultimately get to that decision?
  • Having a non-for-profit isn’t easy. How do you stay convicted despite these challenges, and what recommendations might you have for other people looking to start a mission-focused NFP of their own?
  • What personally drove you to start ICW barrowing from your personal mission?
  • Your first student, Elexson, was unfortunately a victim of a fatal stabbing, despite trying to turn the corner. Can you talk about him, together with your mission, and help people understand the reality of the student’s lives?
  • What’s still the most misunderstood or under-appreciate aspect of a student’s journey with ICW, from the student perspective?
  • There’s a common theme amongst our guests, and this has to do with the identity they embody, and often it’s not their functional role, but rather a figure in a bigger story than themselves. What does the notion of identity mean to you, and how important is it if you are driving a mission focused company? And, to creating an authentic mindset?
  • As it pertains to mindset and leading a mission focused company, how important is it to have a healthy narrative, and what does this mean to you?
  • What’s your proudest ICW moment?
  • For yourself, when you think ‘mindset’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind? How might you define it differently?
  • What does inspiration mean to you, and who and what, outside of your family, has served as the greatest source of inspiration for you and why?What do you think is the biggest piece missing from the mindset conversation, today, and how might you suggest changing that?
  • If you were to sum up mindset in one word, what would it be?


Quotes from the Episode:

"Mindset in one word: Respect." - Jon

"Mindset in one word: Philanthropy." - Dan

"Here I was a little 22-year-old white guy from Amherst, Ma." - Jon

"It wasn't a lack of care, it was a lack of hope." 

"Commit to this person so they don't have to solve their problems alone, just like I didn't have to solve my problems alone." 

"So much more to be gained through connection, and bridging social capital, than through avoidance and segregation."

"Being accepted and treated as the same."

"That change wasn't going to come by staying in the same environments."

"The gym gave us a chance to create a community, to create better options."

"Everyone can lead when things are going great - what defines a leader is what you do when everything is going wrong."

"My job and my role is to listen."




The Milestone Mind Movement partners with InnerCity Weightlifting.

**30% of all of the proceeds gained through the Milestone Mind Institute's InnerCity Weightlifting page will go right back into both of these respective causes. We are so excited to be able to create these special partnerships that allow people to have a mindset they are proud of, while also supporting a meaningful cause at the same time.** 

Click HERE now to gain access to the Milestone Mind Institute, while helping support InnerCity Weightlifting, an organization that seeks to create opportunities for all. Start your 30-Day Risk-Free Trial for just $37.

InnerCity Weightlifting's Milestone Mind Institute Reference Link: http://milestonemind.institute/?affcode=141446_pqczhwlr


Episode Sponsor

This week’s episode is brought to you by the Milestone Mind Movement: A partnership between the Milestone Mind Institute, and causes we’ve partnered with that you will decide matters most to you. We are teaming up with exceptional organizations that through purchasing access to the Milestone Mind Institute, 30% of the overall profits will be redirected right back into a cause. You can learn more about the Milestone Mind Movement at http://www.milestonemind.com/movement, where you can discover the different initiatives and purchase access to the Milestone Mind Online Platform while supporting a mission that means the most to you.

The Milestone Mind Institute is an online mindset training platform that aims to give you an effective framework to self-explore, define a new narrative, and develop the confidence and clarity to embark on this new chapter of your new story.

Visit the Milestone Mind Institute today and discover THE 5-MILESTONE BLUEPRINT THAT IS HELPING ELITE PERFORMERS DEVELOP AUTHENTIC PERSONAL NARRATIVES, and now with the Milestone Mind Movement, allowing them to also have a direct impact towards a meaningful cause, all of this ultimately helping them create a mindset they can be proud of. Be sure to also use the coupon code JOURNEY at checkout to save 10% on the program, today.

You can learn more about the Milestone Mind Movement HERE, where you can discover the different initiatives we are partnering with and purchase access to the Milestone Mind Online Platform, supporting a mission that means the most to you at the same time.

If there is a cause or a mission that aligns well with Milestone Mind Movement, and that we should engage a partnership with – we’d love to hear about it. Just send an email to Dave@milestonemind.com.
Also, be on the look for our Milestone Mind Men’s Trip to Costa Rica in April 2018 – you can learn more at http://www.milestonemind.com/costarica to stay up to date on what we’re putting together there.

And, if you’re a dude in the Boston Area, join us Sunday, 10/15, and every Sunday, rain, snow or shine, at 9a at Blue Hills Ski Reservation in Canton, Ma where we get like-minded men together to run up to the summit of the mountain. Moderate conditioning required, however, this is a more casual and fun event, and its free, so be sure to join us. We start at 9a, and finish at 10a. It’s a great way to participate in a shared challenge, with new guys, forging new bonds, and ultimately creating new friendships.

Lastly, to stay up to date on all that we are doing at Milestone Mind, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter where we publish each podcast, provide our listeners free e-books, and post new free events that you can join us at. Just head to MilestoneMind.com, download one of our free e-books on the homepage, and you will be rockin’ and rollin'.

Here we go - enjoy this week's Episode with Jon Feinman, Founder of InnerCity Weightlifting and Dan Royal, ICW Lead Student Trainer.

- Dave


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This week, 30% of the milestone mind institute's proceeds will be going to support Innercity weightlifting...

Have a focused mindset you are proud of, while also supporting a meaningful cause at the same time.

SAVE AN ADDITIONAL 10% by apply coupon code JOURNEY at checkout.

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