Speaker 1 00:00:14 Welcome back to Eliminate the Gap. It is so good that you all have joined us yet again for we're about halfway through our second season. We're delighted, uh, that you've continued to be loyal listers, Delmar and I are grateful, uh, for that. Absolutely. And, and we have a treat for you this evening. Um, we are joined for this, uh, edition by Matthew Movon, uh, co-founder of two 20 Leadership. And I can't wait for us to get into this conversation. But first, just welcome Matthew.
Speaker 2 00:00:47 Thanks Eric and Delmar both to you for having me on the podcast. Eric, uh, we met, uh, very early and, and me and my brother's journey. Uh, so we were really grateful to how gracious you were to us early on. And it's pretty, thank you, uh, pretty cool and humbling to be, uh, on this side on a, on an interview on your podcast now several years later.
Speaker 1 00:01:07 Yeah. Oh, I, I'm delighted that you guys have continued to grow, and I can't wait to share, uh, your all's journey, uh, with the folks out there, uh, listening and watching us today. So why don't we just jump right in. Uh, I, I suspect that we have some folks that are familiar with your work since you've been, uh, connected so much to a lot of national after school organizations and have really been, uh, scaling. Um, but just give us an overview of not only what two 20 leadership seeks to do, but don't be afraid to tell us that, how you even came up with it. How are you and your brother why you even started it?
Speaker 2 00:01:46 Yeah. At two 20, we provide organizations and individuals with the tools, the courses, and the content that they need to become leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs. So we do that in a variety of settings, mainly in the workforce development space and the outta school time space, a little bit in the education space as well. Uh, but the way we came up with it was really just a natural evolution of our journey, Uh, which means there were a lot of accidents along the way, but of course, uh, of course, but it really was just a natural extension of, of our experience growing up. So we were very fortunate growing up to have a lot of education happen outside of the classroom from, uh, great parents, from, uh, extended family, from chance teachers that we did get in the classroom, but maybe what we were learning wasn't necessarily part of the curriculum.
Speaker 2 00:02:39 Uh, coaches, mentors that we knew not everybody was getting. But that when we look back at our journey, we're absolutely essential to us being able to get where we ultimately wanted to go, which was becoming entrepreneurs. We had that goal pretty early on, and there wasn't a lot in the school day that was flexible enough, or ha was able to directly support that. So hence a lot of accidents, uh, you know, going through, uh, business school into banking and consulting for me and my brother Joseph, uh, who's my co-founder. Uh, but eventually we came back to this idea that we had actually started as a summer camp, uh, in 2009. And it was all about just trying to help students figure out how to succeed, uh, in a, as they were transitioning from middle school to high school. And we just fell in love with that and eventually wanted to come back to it and just look back at our journey and realize a lot of those skills that we learned.
Speaker 2 00:03:37 We wanted to provide a formal program that we wish we could have had when we were growing up, but that we know could help every single student figure out what their two 20 life second to none life is. And that's the name of our company. Uh, because for us, that was entrepreneurship. And that's not gonna be entrepreneurship for every single student, but they do have some definition of what an amazing two 20 life would look like for them. And if they had the right tools, the right support, the right, uh, you know, mindset, and we could help them develop that, then, then they could make it happen. We believe that everyone has the potential to do it. And so that's what we wanted to create when we started two 20.
Speaker 1 00:04:14 Awesome. And Delmar, pardon me real quick. Yeah, good. I'm already going off script. Um, oh wait, There's a script. Um, but no, uh, so just real quick, cause you and your brother decided on this early on, like your younger folks in, in, in your career, and that takes some self-reflection to recognize that there were things that helped you all and how do you bring that to other folks? And I wanted to just see if you could reflect a little bit more on just, you know, that part of it, uh, for you all as individuals and how that kind of translates into what you all created.
Speaker 2 00:04:53 Absolutely. One of the, one of the strengths that my brother and I have is, is the relationship that we have. That's absolutely been an X factor to us being able to stick through some very unsuccessful periods and eventually get to the other side where we've been able to be successful. Uh, so that was a big part of it early on, was, uh, we were having a lot of conversations about entrepreneurship growing up, and that our dad was actually really good about exposing us to just opportunities. He really wanted us to think outside the box and not necessarily think the traditional path was the only way. So he would drop books on us like Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Sure, uh, he took us to this network marketing meeting where, uh, him and my mom were invested and, uh, we actually invested some of our own money and got to see the lifestyle of an entrepreneur and eventually failing in that business, uh, pretty badly and having a really good experience with it.
Speaker 2 00:05:50 Um, so we were having some of these conversations because we both had found that spark, that shared, that shared sense of, of passion around entrepreneurship, not knowing at all, you know, what our idea was gonna be. Um, we, we can talk more about that if we get into entrepreneurship, right? About, uh, the misnomer of the idea, but just this natural journey where we were having conversations and, uh, while we were both in banking and consulting, we, uh, we use some vacation days to actually work on what we didn't know was gonna be two 20 mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and so it's just a lot of these conversations and being kind of naturally self-reflective and having these really open and honest conversations. So I was fortunate to have my brother in that, uh, not only, you know, the other influences that I had up to that point, but, uh, it was just kind of that relationship that it always made us think back to, uh, you know, what, what our experiences were and, and not trusting that what worked for us would of course work for everybody. So we needed to validate that with research and, and a lot of, uh, testing, uh, ourselves. Uh, but also we, you know, thought back to if, uh, I, I guess that that's really, that's really the main, that's really the main
Speaker 3 00:07:02 Cool. That's
Speaker 2 00:07:03 That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:07:04 And, and you know, as I, as I think about that and, and just with, with young people and you know, you, you young talking about at that time period, you know, so many of our young people today are afraid to fail. And I think, you know, there's something to be said about that because as you just shared, there's so much value in learning from failure, and that's how we grow the most. So that I really commend you guys for, for doing that and continuing to stick with it there and sharing that with young people that you guys work with. But, uh, having said all that, you know, during this time period, I know it's really tough to get into schools, uh, with the climate right now that's going on with schools and, and everything surrounding schools, like even with after school programs and the, the competitors and all that stuff out there. Like, tell me how you developed the relationships with the schools in order to get in there and, and do the work that you guys do.
Speaker 2 00:08:06 Yeah, absolutely. And I did just remember what I was gonna say, uh, originally at the end of that, uh, which I, I think could be important based on the topic that we're talking about. But one of the things Joseph and I realized too, being 25 and 23 when we were about to leave these companies was, okay, we're not gonna be able to sell a lot of expertise to, you know, 40 year olds talking about our life experience at 25 and 23, our combined four years in the corporate world. You know, we didn't even know what our expertise was. So it was a lot of looking at, well, what do we already have in our arsenal in terms of experience and assets that we could leverage? And a lot of that was around what we were able to do successfully, uh, as youth. Uh, so I think that was an important piece of our, our entrepreneurial journey.
Speaker 2 00:08:48 And now as we look at talking about partnering with schools, uh, I'll, I'll be honest, since from the get go, partnering with schools has been really challenging. Uh, schools are, uh, directly working with schools is, is a really small percentage of the way that we reach youth. Uh, sometimes it happens, uh, through a connected program that happens to work with the school. Uh, but we found a lot more success in the outta school time space and, uh, the workforce development space. Uh, the outta school time space particularly has been so refreshing. It's been so, uh, they're so open to partnerships. They're, they're looking for, uh, you know, curriculum that can supplement the, you know, core 40, the, the standard curriculum in the school day, which lends itself naturally to soft skills. And, and some of the things that, you know, I think a lot of us are excited about the movements that, of this getting more incorporated into the school day.
Speaker 2 00:09:48 But I think we still have a long way to go. So they're, they're looking for this curriculum, and if they find partners that can do it well already, that they can just leverage and get, you know, staff trained quickly because there's a lot of turnover and burnout in after school, uh, with a lot of wide ranging experience levels for who's teaching students in these after school programs. Um, you know, it, for someone who didn't really participate in after school growing up, I kind of always assumed that it was just daycare or babysitting. Um, and, and what I've discovered was it's actually this incredibly rich world of dedicated professionals who are visionary and sometimes who have left education in order to be able to, uh, to, to have a little bit more freedom to teach, uh, some of the skills that they want to teach. And so we've just found that incredibly, uh, refreshing and, and exciting for us to work with, uh, you know, local sites who, who won our curriculum.
Speaker 2 00:10:42 And then we've also been able to work with, uh, like large, uh, the after school networks in each state and run larger cohorts. So that's been exciting. And then, uh, on the workforce development side, we've also been able to provide our courses and curriculum as training for these youth who should by age, be either in school or working, but they're not. And so the goal is to get them trained and backed into education or back into the workforce. Uh, and, and through that there are school partnerships that we're able to, you know, use. And, and by that way, we get connected with the schools, which is awesome. And then we do work with some visionary, uh, charter schools and even a couple public schools where, you know, they're just, they, they're, they're speaking our language. They're talking about, you know, creating an incredibly exciting future for their students, not really relying on the standard path and just, uh, putting more student choice into the learning and, and incorporating things like entrepreneurship and, uh, and just, you know, students following their passions, being able to have some choice over projects they work on. So, you know, that we, we hope to continue working with more and more schools. Uh, but I would say that, you know, to answer your question directly, we, we haven't, we, we tried and struggled a little bit, and so when we, when we did find a, a little bit, uh, more openness in after school and workforce, we, we doubled down.
Speaker 1 00:12:02 Yeah. You know, it's, it's interesting and, and this has been a theme over the last two years, has ele where we've continue to find that school system seems to want to work against, you know, uh, youth development in some ways. And, and you can literally be in the same building, but the tenor changes at three 30, where all of a sudden, sure, you all can come in two 20, uh, you know, where, but not between like eight and three. Um, and it's just an interesting thing. Anyway, I just wanted to kind of reflect on that has been a consistent theme for us with folks
Speaker 3 00:12:39 That we definitely has. Yeah. And, and, you know, you also mentioned something else, you know, and, and I think across the nation, people are dealing with this. You talked about the burnout and just the, the lack of being able to fill positions across the board. Like even with that, and even without that, like, what have you found to be the maximum number of students you can intake and what's the process, uh, use for like being part of the program?
Speaker 2 00:13:09 What's exciting for us is we don't really have a limit on the number of students that, that we can support. It really depends on the organization that we work with, that we work with, what their goals are, what their, you know, existing program structure and what their instructor, uh, capacity support level is. And we have two different, uh, course options for each of our tracks, which are leadership, uh, which is really about self leadership, uh, professionalism, which is, uh, professional communication through resume and interview skills, entrepreneurship and personal finance skills. For each of those, we have two options. We have a synchronous option that can be taught live by, by a, uh, teacher or an after school program director. Uh, and then we also have that same content available in an asynchronous model where students can take that independently with their own online accounts. So with the, uh, you know, synchronous, it really depends on, you know, how many instructors do they have available to lead live sessions, And we can support that.
Speaker 2 00:14:09 On the online side, there really isn't a limit to how many students we, we can support, right? So, what's been exciting since the pandemic is being able to leverage, uh, that technology and, and, and help a lot of, a lot of students and some of the afterschool programs where there's a wait list, they've been able to offer this to some of those students who can't make it to the in-person, uh, after school programming because of, uh, instructor capacity. And then, you know, with the, uh, yeah. So that's been fun. And with the, uh, with the synchronous even, you know, we, what we try to do is just you, when you mentioned burnout, we try to make it as easy as possible to implement, you know, step by step, step instructions, slides, because, you know, the initially we'll will run into, Oh, is this something else that I have to do?
Speaker 2 00:14:54 But we're always trying to line it up to some standards or some program that they're already doing and show them, Hey, we're just trying to make it easier for you. And oh, by the way, you know, you're gonna teach your students something pretty cool and really help them develop their life plan and work backwards and start working on it right now. So, uh, yeah. So that's been fun because, uh, we, we don't have too many limits in terms of the number of students we can impact. So we're continuing to just try to grow as much as we can and get these resources out there.
Speaker 1 00:15:21 It, it, it's, so, I, I'm familiar, uh, with, uh, second to none, uh, and your history, and you, it's, it's a lot of things. It's not just about entrepreneurship, it's academic enrichment, it's mentoring, it's a whole host of, of things. I know we wanted to focus this, this particular conversation a little bit more on entrepreneurship. So in that spirit, I mean, entrepreneurship as a, like a youth engagement activity, it's been a hot, now you put the air quotes there, activity for the last 20 plus years, It's, it's, it's been, a lot of folks have been trying to do it. It continues. Like that seems to be the solution, particularly in international development, where you have resource, our low resource areas. Oh, well then let's just train them to be entrepreneurs. So I say all of that to say, I know it's much more complex than that, and more in particular, what you all deliver is much more complex than that. So let's, let's, uh, help our listeners understand kind of what, what's different or what's innovative or what, uh, they could expect from, uh, a process that you all provide.
Speaker 2 00:16:35 The biggest thing we try to do with entrepreneurship is make it more accessible to a larger group of students. And when we say that it's, we, I talked about the idea a little bit. One thing I found growing up was that I, I assume entrepreneurship was all about finding that perfect idea in your head and, and then, you know, getting a patent and going and, and making that happen, uh, in the world and doing it before anybody else. And, and that's entrepreneurship, being a, having a huge successful company. And as I learned more and more and even saw our own journey, uh, you know, it didn't look anything like that. And there, I, I learned how many different forms of entrepreneurship there are. So I think what's unique about the way two 20 does entrepreneurship is first of all, the way that it's combined with the other curriculum that we have.
Speaker 2 00:17:27 So while they can be taken separately, uh, the courses can be taken separately. We encourage as many of the programs that are willing to actually go and order and start with leadership. And when I mentioned it's about self leadership, the whole goal is to teach students that leading by example is the only true way to become a leader. You don't even need to have incredible, you know, vocal skills. You don't need to be an incredible speaker to be an incredible leader to lead by example. And the way that you do that is you achieve really challenging goals. And so what we do is try to help students frame what that two 20 life is, their 10 year vision way out there. We work backwards, and then we teach them some of the foundational skills in terms of, you know, daily habits, managing your calendar, how to identify the most critical activities you need to make progress towards your goals, how to set 12 week goals that line up to those, uh, 10, that 10 year vision.
Speaker 2 00:18:18 So that even if that changes, you have a foundational process. And then once we identify that we we're, we're teasing out some of the, uh, you know, inherent strengths, passions that students already have, then we want to take them into entrepreneurship to show them it's actually not that crazy of an extension from, you know, what your passions are to start to dabble in entrepreneurship. And that was our journey for us. You know, we didn't have some crazy idea. We just, you know, piloted this summer camp and put together a curriculum, and we loved it, and we used our sports experiences and our passions for that and for coaching, uh, and just, you know, loved education and personal development and all of that was just such a natural extension of who we were in our personal lives. You know, the, the stuff I get, I'm fortunate to get to talk about and write curriculum about in my company is stuff that I'd be reading about and watching anyway, if I, even if I was still in banking, because I just love it.
Speaker 2 00:19:13 And that's why I think we've been able to be successful at it. And so what we wanna do for students is show them that, you know, entrepreneurship doesn't have to mean starting your own company, and especially doesn't have to mean being, you know, those companies you see on Instagram and TikTok that are just, you know, blowing up in their, the unicorns, you know, way, you know, 98% of entrepreneurs are not that. And it's way more of an extension of, of who you are. And if you can, you know, be on your journey where you're able to maximize what your excitement and what what you wanna learn about naturally, where you have energy, uh, you're going to build skills and, and be able to do things in a way that someone doing the exact same thing wouldn't be able to replicate. And so that's what we try to show students is entrepreneurship can just be a natural extension of, of who you are and what your goals are.
Speaker 2 00:20:05 And then if you ultimately start a company, that's great, even if you don't, though in the 21st century, you know, we're trying to help everyone, not just graduate, not just get a job. We want them to become leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs. And so, if you're going to be a leader in a company, and if you wanna work for a company, nope, absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you want to be a leader in that company, a leader in the community, you need to be entrepreneurial. And so you, we try to teach those foundational, creative problem solving skills and the, uh, ju just the, the spirit of the entrepreneurial mindset. Uh, and, and the other thing we try to do is, you know, the, uh, business model canvas is a one page business plan. Our business plan is even simpler than that. And, and the reason is because it, it, as, as you all I'm sure know, through entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurs listening on this call, it's so iterative and changes so fast that, you know, one of, I think one of the most intimidating things growing up about business, and I learned this in business school, was the business plan that you have to create.
Speaker 2 00:21:08 Uh, and so we tried to create a one-on-one business plan for two 20 our, for our one-on-one coaching business that was gonna franchise all over the, the world and take off. And by the time I got, you know, three cores of the way through, we decided we don't wanna do that anymore, <laugh>, um, you know, so we had already changed completely. So it's really all about that accessibility one, and then just showing students that by connecting your authentic self and your passions to, you know, problems that you care about solving, and if you can just understand some of the basics about the entrepreneurial mindset, you can get pretty far. And if you want to take that all the way to starting your own company and growing that way, that's great. Otherwise, you're still gonna be extremely valuable to the companies that you work for and the organizations that you're a part of, and the communities you serve with that skill set.
Speaker 1 00:21:55 So, so many, uh, I, I appreciate all of that that you, you went through and I'm glad that you, um, really emphasize entrepreneurial mindset, um, and, and differentiating between, you know, just hanging out your own shingle and being your own boss, <laugh>. Um, and, and, and as you know, you said there's all these different kinds of entrepreneurs and in our work, particularly, well, not even just internationally, but the whole social entrepreneurship, uh, social entrepreneur, um, that's about solving critical problems and, and, and those kinds of things, and, and starting nonprofit organizations and, and in, and movements and things like that. But it, but it all goes back to everything you just described, right? Critical thinking, problem solving, all these kinds of pieces. These are foundational again, uh, to, to be successful in whatever career you choose. Um, so I, I appreciate kind of that, that description. Um, it's, it's helpful, uh, again, for folks that are sitting there considering, you know, trying to create a next widget to somebody that wants to do something around the environment or what have you. So anyway, I just want to kind of hammer that, uh, down even further for the folks listening, uh, in on this. Dell, you got a last question for us here.
Speaker 3 00:23:15 Yeah. And actually, I'm, I'm gonna, you know, kinda piggyback off of a little bit of that and, and ask about, like, you know, I work with kids every day. I, uh, and so what type of advice or tips do you have, because this is great stuff and we all know it's great stuff mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but there's a hook or a carrot or whatever you want to call it. Like, what do you, what do you say to the folks in regards to getting the kids to get that buy in, I guess is, is really what I'm trying to ask there. Like, what do you do in regards to that? What, what, uh, types of strategies do you guys use
Speaker 2 00:23:58 To get the kids excited about, about program like this?
Speaker 3 00:24:01 Yes. Because, you know, you talked about time management, like kids, especially high school kids, they're like time management, you know, you know how it goes. So <laugh> like what type of, you know, things are you, are you using in terms of strategies around it?
Speaker 2 00:24:18 Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so, you know, we do our best to support the organizations that are, uh, going to engage with you. Sometimes there's, you know, someone who contracts us to work, and then there's, you know, someone beneath them, and then there's the instructors. And so sometimes those layers can create a little bit of a barrier where that instructor isn't necessarily as excited as we would like off the bat to sell the program. So sometimes there's some training that we need to do there, uh, to show, you know, instructors first, like our story, why we started this company, and then also what we're helping organizations do, and even sharing some of the impact that students are reporting after they take these courses. So we, we try to get instructors excited first, uh, and then the, you know, if the instructors are excited, they can sell to the students.
Speaker 2 00:25:07 Sometimes we'll even come on and we'll do like a quick, you know, live video when they're meeting and, or we'll record one and use their name and just give 'em a little quick message about, you know, why we started this and why we think it's important. So just giving them a little bit of a name to the face. But I think the thing that we've found the most success in is the way that we design our courses in curriculum. So one of the things that we were frustrated by growing up is, again, we were fortunate to be in some leadership positions that allowed us, you know, in our student organizations that allowed us to participate in some leadership development programs or trainings for students. And they were always great, but we always pretty much left and forgot what they were about. Um, and the reason was because it, it, they never took it to the level of, Okay, yes, I agree with you that, uh, you know, working well with others is an important concept, but how does that apply specifically to me?
Speaker 2 00:26:03 Why should I, why should I care about that? And so, every single module that we make, we make an emphasis to make sure that students, as part of their work, to bring it home, they learn the concept, but then they're gonna make a personalized plan and either, you know, a workbook or a, a resume that they're gonna use to apply for a job and interview they're about to interview for, uh, a, a company that they wanna start it, that they're gonna work on with their, their teammates, or, uh, a budget that they're actually gonna use to learn how to invest and save. And, and, and what we're doing is always personalizing it back to what are your goals? And now that you understand the concept, how does that fit into this? And not only that, but how are you gonna actually make a plan to implement it?
Speaker 2 00:26:50 So, to be honest, sometimes we have to do a little bit of Miyagi where we, you know, <laugh>, we just get students started on it, and then once they're in there, they realize, Oh, this is actually about, Yeah, I get to choose what the content is. Uh, so this is actually relevant to me and exciting. And, uh, we even hear students say sometimes, Wow, you know, nobody's ever asked me this, or, We don't normally get time to think about this stuff. So that, that's the main way that we do that is try to make sure everything, you know, we're, we, we just are working on a new, uh, course about how to be a great employee in the workforce, and even apply that to freelancer and entrepreneurs. So we're, we're talking about some of those general topics like how to be a great listener, uh, you know, how to work well with others, but we're always bringing it back to you like, Okay, which job did you pick for this course? And how is this gonna help you succeed in this specific role? And let's even talk about specific situations you can expect to encounter. So it's always about helping students see the connection between what they're learning and, and how that applies to what they're actually excited about and what they care about.
Speaker 1 00:27:53 Interesting. You know, uh, just a quick aside, I'm, I'm actually in a process of teaching, uh, a group of, uh, young people, uh, the five Dysfunctions of a team, and we're going through that, uh, uh, process and, uh, all of that doing a deep dive. It's been fascinating, but much like you said, Matthew, that, that they're like, Oh, okay, I actually see how this applies to lots of parts of my life that's just, you know, some fictional office environment that I'm not really a part of yet. Um, I, I, we can go on and on and on. I, I tell you, I we're grateful, uh, that you've spent some time with us. Um, what we'll do as we always seek to do is we'll share, um, any materials that you feel are are helpful for folks. Uh, it's two 20 leadership.com. Please check it out. There's a lot of good information there. We encourage you to check those things out, and then as needed, we'll share additional pieces. But I just wanted to thank you, uh, Matthew, for joining us, uh, on Eliminate the Gap. Um, it's certainly been fascinating and we, uh, uh, know that our listeners will have gotten a lot out of this conversation.
Speaker 2 00:29:04 Thank you both for having me. It's been a blast, uh, appreciate you, uh, making this podcast in the first place, and then especially having me on it. And, uh, yeah, I, uh, I just appreciate all the work that, that you both do, uh, and, and yeah, just would, would love to, uh, support you in any way I can.
Speaker 1 00:29:22 All right. Yeah. Thanks
Speaker 2 00:29:23 A lot, man. Appreciate you so much.
Speaker 1 00:29:25 All right. Thanks so much. Until the next time.