Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker, joined by my cohost, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Hey, everyone.
Jonathan Hunsaker: We have a very, very special guest today. Jude Samson is joining us. Jude, thanks for joining us.
Jude Samson: Thank you.
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, TeriAnn, will you read a quick bio of Jude and get everybody up to speed?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely. Since January 2019, Jude Samson is the cofounder and CEO of RFMx, Inc, a health and wellness company focusing on the utilization of a digital health approach and remote monitoring to eradicate chronic diseases while developing new revenue streams for its clients. Prior to joining RFMx, Jude confounded Samson and Benson in 2010, which was a high-impact consultancy.
In 2000, Jude cofounded and served as CEO of Levelfield.com Inc, an online agency. He currently still serves on the board of Levelfield.com. Jude specializes in developing business models, business process design, and business network with a focus in maximizing social capital by allowing an organization to utilize its most precious resource, its people, at their highest level. Outside of work, Jude is an avid soccer player, a dedicated son, husband, and father, and a leader in his communities.
I just have to say, first and foremost, I loved, in learning about you, reading just that one point of the most precious resource being a business’s people, because we, with the company that we run, Organixx, we feel so strongly about that. Our company, our mission, our vision has moved forward because of the people that work with us day in and day out and being passionate about what we do.
And I think that that’s something that businesspeople don’t recognize enough, that your people and the way you work with them, and them being aligned with your core values and knowing what they are and taking care of them is what will drive the biggest success in your business. Nothing else will drive success like your people and working well with them and taking care of them. So, I just love that connection with you. I think it’s such a powerful thing to focus on in business that we don’t focus on enough.
Jude Samson: You know? I didn’t get there by accident. I was an only child, so I realized the value of other people and didn’t like being alone, at a very young age. And as I grew up, I—my most treasured memories were with other people, and I realized I got my greatest joy from being around other people. And being a soccer player, you know, you’re not going to win a game by yourself.
TeriAnn Trevenen: No, definitely not.
Jude Samson: And I had a Jesuit priest, actually, when I was 12, that told me “The difference between a good soccer player and a great one is a good one plays better than everyone else, a great one brings everyone else to his level.”
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love that.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Love it.
TeriAnn Trevenen: That’s so powerful. Yeah, and then the impact you can make on people long-term when you’re working well with those around you, and just is what we’re all after really, in our space, is to impact people far and wide. And I think that’s something we have in common with you. So, having said that, tell us a little bit about RFMx and what you’re doing there, what it is and how it’s helping people.
Jude Samson: So, RFMx is a digital health company. It really is a platform that we have created and are creating more pieces of. It provides a structure for the patient and physician to combat chronic disease. You know? From the patient’s standpoint, it provides a community-based system that tracks all of their biometrics and has the physician, the health coach, and the nutrition coach working together for them to achieve their goals.
So, from the physician’s standpoint, it provides a model to transition from the current fee-for-service model to a preventative healthcare model, utilizing biometric data and wearable devices and remote monitoring. So, they’re also incentivized to actually keep you healthy versus the current model, you feel bad, you get sick, you go to the doctor, you pay, and you get well.
In this case, we have a remote monitoring system that combines your Fitbit, your weight scale, your blood pressure cuff, your sleep apnea machine, grabs that data, consolidates it, risk stratifies it, and then they start working with you on your goals to keep you healthy so you never actually have to go to the doctor.
Jonathan Hunsaker: It’s a brilliant model. I mean so much of the time do we wait until there’s something wrong, right? So, “I don’t feel good,” “Something’s happening,” “I’ve gotten some sort of ailment that’s now come up, and now, let’s go and try to fix it and reverse it, where you guys are taking a whole different approach, where “Let’s just get you healthy and monitor and make sure you’re staying healthy,” to prevent all of that from coming about to begin with.
Jude Samson: That’s right. And if you think about it, it’s an economic model that actually serves both. Currently, if you really think about, you know, what’s happening in our country, 6 of 10 Americans have one chronic disease, well sorry, yeah, one chronic disease. 4 of 10 have 2. And so, if you look at the social and economic impact for those families and those communities, it’s actually devastating.
There’s no way around this. This is a locomotive that’s going down the tracks, but there’s just so many people on it, it keeps going, but there are no tracks in front of it anymore. We have to create this little train over here to keep people from getting on that other train. And this little train is “Hey, you know, you’re well now. Let’s keep you well. And when certain markers start to go south, let’s address them before you actually are on this other train, because that train is painful financially and socially.” Chronic disease is a family disease, a community disease. And it impacts everyone.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely. I want to go back in time a little bit, because we love sharing people’s stories on our podcast and in other aspects of our content. And reading a little bit about your history, I want you to just tell the listeners, it’s such a—it’s such a powerful concept, it’s such a powerful tool that you’ve created, and we’re going to talk more about it.
But tell our listeners your journey to how you got here and why you’re doing what you’re doing. As I learn more about you and you’re processing going through your life, and looking at the medical side of things, and then kind of finding your passion, your life’s work, which is what you’re into right now. Tell the listeners a little bit how you—about how you got there and why you’re where you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Jude Samson: Well, so firstly, it’s not just me. I have two amazing—one amazing business partner, who’s a physician, a cardiologist and an EP, and our fitness director actually started the Running Revolution here in Austin, Texas 30 years ago. Since you live in Austin, his name is Paul Carrozza. He started all the RunTex stores.
Jonathan Hunsaker: They’re everywhere.
Jude Samson: Yeah. The three of us collaborated—and anyway, so my journey started in Tanzania, East Africa, where I was born. And my mother was a physician, and I was a severely-asthmatic, sickly child. She was also a specialist in preventative medicine. And so, to address my asthma, I became a runner and a swimmer. That’s how she chose to address it.
And as life went on, I did different things, but I stopped being a sickly child. I became an avid soccer player, and I cruised through life. I got into the software space in the late 90s, well first, initially, in the early 90s, then made it a career in the late 90s. And continued along. And I met Dr. Kurian, Bobby Kurian, who’s a cardiologist.
And he was telling me about this concept and how he had started this company a couple years ago. And nothing had really happened with it. And I had just turned 50, and my business partner of 18+ years had died of pancreatic cancer. And I was looking at “How do I utilize all of my skills and actually make a difference?”
And years ago, I did some work, and the fruit of that work was there are only three really important things in life – to love somebody, to be loved by somebody, and to make a difference. And I had the first two down, but I looked at all the skills I had, and I realized that this would be a way that I could utilize all of my life experience and the skills that I have, and continually grow, and impact people at their foundation, at the very root of their existence. And that’s how we got here.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I love the story. I love your three rules, or three keys to success maybe, is love somebody, be loved by somebody, and make a difference. And it’s really what we’re all about with the podcast, is bring people forward that are making a difference. You talk about chronic disease, and we’ve had people on here that are reversing diabetes, we talk about all these different things that are happening.
We’re just trying to bring the information out. So, I mean tell us a little bit more about RFMx. I mean you said a little bit, “Hey, we can monitor Fitbit, we can do other stuff,” but let’s dive a little bit deeper. I mean how can people start using this or learning more about it to really empower themselves to be healthy preventatively?
Jude Samson: In the interest—we have several mechanisms. Initially, the first model was different cardiologists started referring people to them. So, one of the things that happens when you go to, let’s say a cardiologist, they can put a stent in, they can do something to you, but all that does is give you more time, it doesn’t actually change the trajectory of your life, it just buys you a little more time.
And a lifestyle modification is the only thing that can start to change the trajectory of your healthcare. And so, the focal point was “How do we create a structure? What do we do?” So, the first step was cardiologists started referring patients that they really felt that wanted to make a change in their life, that were in that place, that essentially hit bottom, and they were willing to.
My favorite is actually community-based programs. So, speaking in seminars gratis about plant-based eating. I tell people, I don’t use the dreaded “V word” or anything. Primarily plant-based. Meeting people exactly where they’re at and just loving them. And then sharing with them, “Here’s a structure that you can start to employ in your lives. Just start with oatmeal at breakfast. The rest of your meals, keep the way you’re at.”
But so, seminars, referrals from physicians. We’re actually cosponsoring a 5K walk with St. Vincent De Paul. So, participating with different organizations at the—at a very organic level, and getting to know the people that run these organizations, getting to know their employees, having their employees participate, and then having their members participate. So, that’s the approach.
TeriAnn Trevenen: And what kind of response have you seen? Like tell us a little bit about some people who are involved in this and what kind of impact you’re seeing? How are—how are people responding and what are some of the stories that you’ve seen so far that have been really inspirational for you in realizing like “This is really making a difference. I’m really excited about the work that we’re doing.”
Jude Samson: Well, so I have people I’ve worked with in the software space in my company for 18-19 years. And so, my friend that offices one office over has been with us for 16 years. And he decided to start the program January 26th. And in solidarity with him, I did it as well. And he no longer takes any mealtime insulin, he’s lost more than 62 pounds.
And this is from January 26th. His whole outlook is different. We have spent more time together, meaningful time together in the last six months than we did in the 16 years before. And we worked next to each other, you know? I mean he does everything from when I’m stuck with my email, to manage our networks, which power more than 800 companies.
And—but we have spent more time and built a more powerful relationship in the last six months with this project than we had in the 16 years. So, his whole outlook on life has changed. And that’s not an isolated thing. It’s with every one of the patients, with every single person. Their outlook changes. They start being kinder to themselves, to others, because they feel better.
So, yeah, so economically, you don’t pay so much for insulin, you probably will get off of it in a while. Actually, it costs less to eat healthy. In fact, I created a $5 a day menu that I lived off of, because when we do presentations and seminars, I actually sit with the patients, and the three concerns I heard were “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.” “I don’t have time to cook.” And “How do I get my protein if I eat predominantly plant-based?”
And so, I made a list of all the plant-based protein sources and how much you get as far as the nutritional density, I created a $5 a day menu including the shopping lists and the whole thing, from the local area, from Trader Joes, the HEB, if you’re in Texas, you know HEB, and from Costco, created menus, the whole thing.
And actually lived on $5 a day. Well. And I wasn’t hungry. And have a little tutorial on how—what to prep over the weekend so everything is just putting meals together. So, create your meal in less than 10 minutes. But your potatoes have been boiled on the weekend, your rice has been done, your quinoa has been done, your lentils and beans have been done. And then you start mixing and matching, put a bed of greens, and there you have a meal in 10 minutes. So, addressed all these different issues that the patients faced. So…
Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, I love it. I mean it’s so interesting. When you talk about meal prep and getting things ready, like we’re so used to this instant gratification, and go through the drive-thru and all of that, and we wait until the last minute. We’re over-hungry, and say, “We’ll just eat some snacks, or eat some stuff.”
But if you take some time and just kind of prep a little bit, even prep for the week, it makes those decisions a lot easier in the short-term. So, I love all of that, that advice that you’re sharing. And I want you to talk about how people can get more involved. Before you do, I want to be really clear to our listeners that—and full transparency.
We’re not investors, we’re not affiliates, we don’t get any kind of commissions, we have no financial incentive in any of this, in doing this interview. And I think that’s very important to be transparent, because some people are going to think, “Well, what are they getting out of it?” We get absolutely nothing other than sharing the information with you to help you live a healthier, hopefully longer life. So, Jude, tell us, how can people get more involved? How can they learn more? What’s the next steps for them?
Jude Samson: So, an easy step to learn more is just go to our website and ask for information. As far as participating in another way, at some point, we’re going to be hiring more health coaches. And I look at, from these community-based events, we’ll be actually referring patients to physicians that actually subscribe to this way of thinking and these that subscribe to this preventative medicine model. And they’re out there. So, I think it’s going to work both ways, where physicians send patients to us, but through our community engagement, we send patients to physicians as well.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it. Just building a network and a community for people to have more options, which is so important when it comes to healthcare. It’s one of the big missing components that’s now coming back to the forefront of healthcare is that people have choice in their health, they have other options, and that prevention is really the best medicine.
And so, I love that you’ve brought all of this together. And it sounds like when people come in to this process and come in and start collaborating and working with you and experiencing this, they’re getting content, information, you’re really helping people on an individual level, a group level, where they’re going to understand like this is—“This is—these are actual tools and things that I can use to make my life better.” Just like the plan that you put together for them.
So, I love it. It’s actually impacting people directly. And so, I love, love, love that you’re doing this and giving people resources to put the power of their own health back into their hands, because so many people—I just had a conversation the other day with a woman who, her daughter’s struggling with a health issue, and she went into the hospital for an issue she was facing, and they just kept telling her, “Do this, do this, do this.”
And she’s like “I knew what they were telling me wasn’t right.” And she’s like “They just were trying to put us on this conveyor belt to go through this, go through this, go through this.” And that happens to a lot of people. And so, I’m really excited about tools such as this that remind people “No, it starts with prevention, it starts with your everyday choices, and you have the power to choose in your health,” and this is exactly the kind of tool that does that for people.
Jude Samson: Well, we’ve just integrated a restaurant finder for food that’s consistent with this.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Wow.
Jude Samson: There’s the social aspect, the community aspect, there’s now the restaurant finder, and now we’re adding, this is not live yet, a social media piece. So, people can support each other. I mean we had a case, because we also started a fitness company, and we had a case where someone couldn’t actually participate with the group, but she would drive from South Austin to Northwest Austin to start with the group, see them off, and then do her little thing there, because that’s how important the community is.
When I look at probably one of the bigger differentiators for us as a company, is everybody we hire, a core value for them is empathy. They actually can meet people where they’re at without any judgement. The other big thing is the strength of the community. So, when I look at what three important things are really important for someone to start and stay on this path, the first part is actually—and it’s not more important but having the exercise and food part.
The second part, just as important, is community, having a community to support them. So, when we do our intake call, we find out “Who is your community? How do they support you? Do you have support? Do we need to arrange for you to have support?” But the most important part that we focus on, and I focus on, and as do the folks that I work with, is purpose.
What is the purpose? What would have you alter the last 30 years of your life and be uncomfortable enough and stay with it? What is important enough for you to do that? And once we get to that purpose, then everything else falls into place. You know? Sometimes, I’m in a conversation for an hour, and the first 50 minutes are about distinguishing and uncovering that purpose. And then, the next 10 minutes will be about community. And then we’ll talk about the food and the exercise. Because that purpose is critical. So, it’s those three parts – the purpose, the community, and then the solution. But without the purpose and the community, the solution will be very short-lived.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I think it’s brilliant advice, and I agree with you 100 percent. And I think another hard part for a lot of people going down the journey is not knowing where to start, right? And so, I’m going to go to my doctor, and my doctor’s going to check for things, and he’s going to tell me to take some pills or some other stuff, or maybe he’s just going to say, “You’re healthy,” and you go back.
But you’re really not. He’s not checking it on a consistent basis. And so, you’re left to figure it out for yourself, “Alright, well maybe I’ll try a keto diet, or a plant-based diet, or I’ll try (whatever the flavor of the week diet is),” because that’s where most people think to start with it, right? And—but they don’t know. And they’re left on their own to do it.
And it brings us to the next point, and you talk about community, is even though we’re so much more connected now, we are so much more disconnected from everybody else. And so, we’re left on our own to go do our own research online, to go figure out what the best diet, what the best exercise is. Who knows if it’s right or wrong?
We can’t go to our doctor, because our doctor just wants to throw pills at us to try to fix us. It’s like what do you do, and especially if you want to change? And then you talk about the why. We did a video yesterday, just a short one-minute video talking about you have to know the why – why are you doing this? Right?
And you call it the purpose. I mean it’s all the same thing. You have to understand the why behind it to stay motivated. So, I just love that it’s a total approach that you guys are doing here, and it’s so different from our current model. And I love that it’s prevention, I love that you’re finding the purpose, I love that it’s community, I love that it gives people direction. And I think that a lot of our listeners are going to find what they’re looking for, right? By being able to go there and go that preventative route.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jude Samson: Well, I look at, you know, words being extremely important. And so, with every part of the business, I actually get engaged. So, I talk to patients, I distinguish the purpose. And so, one of the things I’ve told them, “This is not a diet. The first three letters of the word diet are DIE. This is an eating plan.”
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love—
Jonathan Hunsaker: I love that.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I say that to people all the time. It’s nutrition for your body. I do not like the word diet. I’m right there with you on that one.
Jude Samson: And so, it’s an eating plan, you know? And my other thing is, “Look, you have 35 opportunities every single week to start over, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. So, you know what? I don’t care about what you did 10 minutes ago. What can we create now? Your best thinking from the past got you here. So, let’s leave the past in the past. Let’s have a glass of water and let’s look at the next meal.” And I don’t care about the future, just the next one. And so, one of my big mantras is “Hey, you have 35 opportunities every week to start over.” But yeah…
TeriAnn Trevenen: And I love—I want to say something else on the purpose aspect of it, too. And Jonathan kind of touched on this. But I love that you start with purpose, and this is why. I learned this professionally, personally, with my health. When you have a purpose, you are more driven to make strategic decisions that help you long-term.
When you don’t have a purpose, it’s like Jonathan was saying, you run around for the next fad diet, that word we hate, but that’s really what it is. Like “What am I going to try next? What am I going to try next? What am I going to do here?” And you’re kind of flailing, especially when you—this is something new for you, to really take control of your health and do prevention, the question you have to ask yourself is “Where do I want to be? Is my goal to be extremely fit and running a marathon and eating really healthy? Is my goal to be in the gym every day and get really strong, and to do this with my body? Is my goal to just get my emotional health in check right now?”
Which is tied into food and everything else. But I love that the purpose aspect comes first, because purpose drives intentional living, and it drives the way we choose things and the way we do things and the way we live our lives. And when we don’t know what our purpose is in every aspect of our life, then intentions mean nothing, decisions mean nothing.
We’re just going on autopilot, and sometimes, we’re just headed right into a train wreck, versus really knowing where we’re going and flowing through life in a way that benefits us. And health is one of those places where it’s even more critical to know your purpose and what you’re after. Are you trying to get away from this disease that’s impacting you? Are you trying to change this? Are you trying to change that? And it can really drive intentional choices that help you long-term. So, I love that aspect of purpose.
Jude Samson: Yeah. I mean we use it ourselves in the business, right? Because of the purpose of why we created this business, it made no sense to build this business anything other than organically. Absolutely no sense. It had to be grassroots, it had to be organic, it had to be community-based. It takes a lot longer and is a lot harder but given the purpose of what we want to accomplish, it had to be this way. So, purpose for me is about long-term thinking, just like it is for you. And then, all the intermediate and immediate pain starts to disappear. Just focus on the purpose, focus on the purpose, focus on the purpose.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely.
Jude Samson: But yeah, it’s quite a journey. I mean as the guy that is driving this company forward, at least one of them, I have to continually focus on the purpose of how we’re going to grow is to get the people on the ground involved—
Jonathan Hunsaker: Love it.
Jude Samson: —to spend time and the effort to educate them, to have them participate, to have them have a stake in the wellbeing of their neighbors, their children, their parents. You know? My mother is 79 and she lives in my home, and she doesn’t take a single pill for anything.
TeriAnn Trevenen: That’s amazing. And as it should be for everyone. And I think that’s such a perfect way to kind of close this out. I love that you said that, because that is the goal is to live in a way where we aren’t relying on anything outside of ourselves in the sense of medicine and prescriptions and all the things that we’re headed towards, and really using our body to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. So, having said that, Jude, where can people go to learn more about what you are doing?
Jude Samson: Yeah, they can go to our website, RFMxNetwork.com, and read about it. And if they want more information, just fill out the short form, and someone will contact them and go from there.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love it, love it. So, last question of the day, I love to ask this of people on the podcast, and we’ve been doing this for quite some time now. If you could leave one message with the world when it comes to their health, and overall, just living a healthy and happy life, what would be your message to the world?
Jude Samson: Be kind to yourself.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love that. Absolutely love that.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I don’t think there could be better advice, you know? It’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey to health here, how unkind I was to myself when I was unhealthy and overweight and not doing things. And how much more you learn you to be kind to yourself as you take care of yourself, as you focus on your way of eating, as you start moving your body more, and all of that. I love that advice.
Jude Samson: Well, it’s interesting, you know? I got asked a couple of weeks ago, “What do you sell?” And I laughed. I said—and I said, “You know? I sell hope and confidence.” Because I would say every single person I’ve talked to that has been a patient has had some sense of hopelessness and resignation. They’ve given up in some way, on themselves. And so, I really focus on their dignity as a human being, and them being kind to themselves, because they are worth it. So, that happens in that part where we distinguish the purpose for them.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Awesome.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Jude, you’re a rock star, man. Thank you for being on the podcast. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. The world needs more people like you. And I’m glad that we have you. I’m glad that you—
Jude Samson: Very kind words. Thank you.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I’m glad that you’ve dedicated this portion of your life, using all of the knowledge that you had in the past to make a difference, to make that pivot. And I think you’re going to affect a lot of people’s lives for the better. And so, I just want to make sure everybody knows, go to RFMxNetwork.com, find as much information as you need there, get in touch with you guys, they can talk to you over the phone, very easy to reach out.
You can to go EmpoweringYouOrganically.com. We will have links to Jude’s website, we’ll have transcripts, we’ll have show notes, we’ll have Cliff notes, we’ll have everything else that we provide with all of our podcasts. And I just—I really appreciate you being here, Jude. I appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you.
Jude Samson: Thank you so much. It’s been a privilege. Thank you for allowing me to be here.