Ryan Estes + DeLon Canterbury - A Few Things Transcript
10:42PM Jan 18, 2022
Hey friends, thanks for joining me Jim Barrood to hear a few insights for leaders who represent our innovation ecosystem. Today's chat is with Ryan Estes, the co founder of Kitcaster, and the lawn Canterbury, founder and CEO of geriatrics. Dawn, talk to us about your entrepreneurial journey.
Absolutely again, thanks for having me on Jim. My name is DeLon Canterbury. I am the pharmacist and founder of geriatrics and so we are a telehealth D prescribing company. So we help senior citizens get off of harmful medications while focusing on cost savings and giving a holistic approach to health care. And what that means down this road man seriously was being a burned out and salty pharmacist, I worked in the retail setting at Walgreens for a couple years as a manager and got a bit tired of seeing how we treated people really as just another metric as another number on a wheel. And so that level of the lack of care and the lack of consistent, really sustainability had me burnt out and super super depressed. So I felt how can I get back to my old Alon who actually loves pharmacy but also wants to have a lasting impact on patients. So I took the leap man and got into entrepreneurship starting my own health care company, are we focused on outcomes driven measures but also provide a really a concierge approach to people's health so we can get that full patient advocacy piece down while having the benefit of a pharmacist in your back pocket. So one of my most rewarding trial as well as accomplishment in this journey and space.
Great. Welcome. Thanks for being here, Joel. And where you zooming in from by the way?
Hey, I'm in Durham, North Carolina. So I'm in Raleigh, triangle area.
Great. Welcome. Okay, Ryan, go ahead.
Awesome. Yeah. Jim, appreciate you have having me on the show. I'm DeLon. Nice to meet you too. What an interesting business. I can't wait to learn more about it. So my name is Ryan. I'm the co founder of Kitcaster. We are a done for you service. We book funded startup founders, entrepreneurs with exits, and C suite execs on the world's top podcasts. High level. We are podcast talent agency.
Great, great. And tell tell. Talk to us about how you got to where you are now, Ryan?
You bet. So 12 years ago, I started a Denver's first social media marketing company called Talk launch. And about the same time I was pivoting careers. I had a career in music, and I also had two young babies. And, you know, the local music industry is not necessarily the fulcrum of commerce. So I had some tough decision decisions to make. And so I kind of left my music, career, career air quotes. And as a part of what I was doing with my marketing agency, I kind of fell in love with podcasting really early on. So I started producing my own podcasts. And as that kind of matured, I introduced podcasting to my business. I'd launched the Denver business podcast to some decent success. And I've just basically been involved in podcasting ever since. A couple of years ago, my co founder and I were having coffee and like let's work on a project we met because of podcasting and decided that podcasting would be something fun to work on together. So we kind of sketched out on a napkin what kit caster would be had some initial success on the pilot program. So we wrapped a brand around it. And two years later, here we are.
Awesome. Awesome. And how many people are in your company as of this point?
There's, I think, 20 of us now.
Wow, that's dramatic growth. Congratulations.
Thanks so much. Yeah. Yeah, it's been it's been a crazy year. I mean, we're recording this, you know, Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve. So I've been doing a little like, thinking about the year it's been it's been a it's been a crazy year. It's been really fun.
Absolutely. Well, DeLon, tell us about your business.
Yeah, absolutely. So geriatrics focuses on D prescribing. So we work with the caregiver advocacy space to senior care space. We're really one of the pioneers in genetic testing as well. So we provide genetic testing directly to people's homes that don't just look at ancestry in me but we actually look at people's body to see how they'll respond to certain medications. So we put this as a part of our medication reviews so we can give people the best care and the best evidence towards us improved health care and outcomes. And so with this approach, we're really putting in that comprehensive lens that I felt was missing from my retail world. We're serving as advocates for our patients we're serving as the voice when they have questions at the doctor's office. We're that liaison between the medical provider and the pharmacy if need be, and other insurance companies if necessary. And what I have found in the senior care space is, I could give you my talks and presentations about D prescribing, which is safely stopping meds that are harmful. People don't know what to do. And people have no idea that pharmacists have such capabilities outside of the four walls of a traditional pharmacy setting. So not only in my consultant, but I'm a patient advocate. I mean, I'm pretty much a motivator. I'm a lawyer, in some essence. And we have different hats we play. So in starting this company, what really got me to here was seeing my grandmother, you know, 80 year old woman prescribed a prescription that was completely harmful for her. And this was while she was in a nursing home. So she was in a nursing home in New York. And I was a college student, but they gave her this harmful and anti psychotic. It was we found out just to sedate her. Right. So here she is kicked out of the very same nursing home that wrote the prescription. And then they cited Well, her behavior was unmanageable, so we can't deal with her. So imagine the headache that my parents had to go through moving mine grandma from New York to Atlanta, bringing her home. Now their full time caregivers matter, trying to take care of her with no one that advocate and no one to manage how to maneuver this system. It left them very frustrated. They're both full time employees as well. And my dad's a business owner, he's an accountant, a mom's a teacher. So this happened and went on for four months, right? She struggled and walked out of the house was confused, basically demented. And we eventually found that it was a pharmacist, by the way, who identified that it was just one medication. So that's something that always hit home with me. And just having that space for seniors to be felt and listened to, especially their caregivers, was what I embodied my my servant leadership model behind geriatrics to encompass. And so we address that need that could have killed my grandmother. But fortunately, is why I'm here today to support other families in need of this service.
Well, I don't I don't know. I mean, that can be done that could be more impactful. Frankly, I I've heard stories like that. And I help take care of my 92 year old mother. So I know advocacy and being on top of things is so important, because mistakes happen. Right? And and tragically and with tragic consequences. So that's a really important and impactful role you have the lawn. So thanks for doing that. So Ryan, tell us about Kitt caster. So tell us about it's two years and you're already up to 20 people. That's a that's an amazing sort of accomplishment, particularly during a pandemic.
Yeah, I'm still processing to long story here. It's really interesting. I'll get to that by ask questions. Like, I've never heard D prescribing before. That seems like a really important thing. How do you? I suppose doctors are kind of, I've heard they can be kind of arrogant. I don't know if that's right or not. But how about on what is that kind of like, confrontation look likely? Or do you kind of reach out to the physician and say, you know, I had some questions actually, about this script here.
Yeah, it's a mixture of both. So patients basically hire me. So when you come from the angle of hey, I am an added set of eyes, I am on the healthcare team. And we start seeing things as a team based approach and not a patriarchal one person says all it really gives a little peace of mind and that I'm here to help and not to be someone to usurp power from you or undermine you in any way. And most times when I'm working with patients, particularly in the geriatric space, not all the providers are very aware of what all the medications are or what the patients are actually taking. And you end up seeing that there are way more gaps in their care than olmayan at the meds and so you start seeing this specialist has no idea what the other specialist is writing. This primary care provider has no idea this new med was added. And I'm coming from the lens of I can understand all the meds. I understand the path of affairs and I understand that this is a geriatric patient which is Ideas are different. I'm here to help and give everyone all of my expertise on how we can reduce harm and reduce risk. So ultimately, I'm showing them we're saving you time, money and headache, because you're not seeing the same patient for a preventable issue, or they're not being sent to a hospital, because under your care, because their medications are having another side effect. So we're actually saving harm from happening on the back end, and providing a more holistic and precise form of care with this model. So it's a great question, but we end up getting more acceptance, then push back.
I've been experimenting with kind of a pro drug stance across the board, you know, recreational drugs, all of that. And largely, I think it's based on the fact that like, rightly prescribed medications kills way more people and illicit drug street drugs. You know, so what an interesting service for folks, you know, because it's it, we definitely trust our doctors as we should. But you know, just to make sure there's a QC in there seems like a really smart business like it.
Thank you. Yeah, yeah, I love it.
And just to add what you're saying, Ryan, as far as sort of, you know, the prospect of marijuana and even psychedelics coming down the pike to help, really increase well being is a great development, frankly, and so, again, hopefully, though, deep, the the wrong prescriptions, and these D prescribing won't need to be done. And, you know, we hopefully we're going to minimize as much as possible. I think the opportunities, you know, with these new drugs, recreational jobs, and medicine, medicinal drugs, is really hopeful for people of all ages, and particularly those suffering from pain, from depression, PTSD, and things like that. So I'm excited about that, that future.
Yeah, it's Yeah, me too. There's a ton of great stuff on the horizon. Loving that, we're seeing a little more openness about the use of some psychedelics as well, in the veteran space, you know, we're seeing some trials where they're micro dosing people who have recurrent PTSD, and we're seeing is significant improvement in their quality control. And when it comes to depression, and rebound, relapses, so we're seeing more headway in marijuana, we're seeing more health professionals that are specializing in different types of strains of marijuana usage. Even I'm seeing CBD for arthritis and different types of pain. So I'm very much open to the world of what we have to offer in this space. And of course, decriminalizing some of these drugs. But again, you nail the head, and then bring him out right on the head. Man, we honestly lose about 275,000 people each year due to mismanaged medications. And our US taxpayers pay nearly $530 billion a year, because of people who are going in and out of hospital from again, mismanaged medication. So the numbers are there, but I feel our country is lacking and consistently addressing this. And that's where the power of d prescribing comes in.
But and like they, but people would be more comfortable with an advocate. I feel like you know, and I was maybe teasing doctors a little bit. I got a couple of good friends that are doctors. Sure. We need doctors, for sure. And they have a very, excruciatingly hard job. Yeah, it not just practicing medicine is one thing, but the administrative side of the healthcare system I've heard is a bit of a cluster cuss. Yeah. Yeah. So but a part of that, you know, and the prestige and respect that we give our doctors also maybe elicit a little bit of dishonesty. You know, so if you're talking about medications, the doctor might say, Okay, Ryan, you know, how many alcoholic drinks do you have on a weekly basis? I'm like, oh, you know, I don't know, two or three a week. You know, when secretly I know, I'm going home polishing off that bottle of scotch tonight. You know what I mean? So the doctors going with, like, face value of what you're telling them, but people are, we know, always going to be dishonest about alcohol consumption. They're always gonna be dishonest about their diet, you know, so but particularly because they don't want to feel the judgment of their doctor. If you have somebody like you, who's an advocate who's in your corner, who's like, Hey, man, I'm here to make sure this cocktail of everything that's happening in your body is going to be okay. Maybe they have a little bit more, they're more welcoming to like, trust you and like and be honest, you know, and maybe through that honesty, kind of look in the mirror and say like, oh, yeah, man, maybe you don't need any of these drugs. If you stopped drinking, or maybe you you drink some water and take a walk or something. I don't know. Yeah.
It's it's it's all around true. I mean, Don't come in with the white coat scaring people raising their blood pressure up. So I get all the juicy details to say the least of certain parts they don't want to share with their provider. And in seeing that you have that level of trust that is nearly as unmatched when it comes to that level of transparency. So I always again, come from an open heart and just want people to tell me, You know what I need to know that can best help you. But this is a Congo I literally had, what two days ago, patient was saying her mom is an alcoholic, and they don't know how to tell the doctor, but her diabetes is completely uncontrolled. So they don't realize that there's a connection between the diabetes and the alcoholism. And if you're just chronically drinking, you're throwing off your sugars one, but also it's masking the underlying problem that the doctor has no idea. So they're quick to think, well, it's not working, let's just keep prescribing more meds to get her on the right track without realizing there's a psychological mental barrier. That hasn't been addressed yet. So again, this is just from someone I just met. So imagine like you said, how many things go on been announced and provider and is that they can't even help it. They don't know. But that's the point of having me as a liaison transparent. I'm going to share that information with permission from the patient first, but to make sure that we have a plan going forward.
You're you're pharmacist shaman, essentially, I mean, just to thread that psychedelic conversation we're having in Denver, it's gonna be on the ballot this year. We've already decriminalized psilocybin here. But they're going to decriminalize all the rest of the psychedelic components DMT mescaline, LSD. On top of that, they're going to allow for clinics to basically create space for people to have these experiences up to four grams of whichever substance we're just kind of hilarious because four grams of psilocybin versus four grams of LSD is a little bit different. Yeah, for sure, for sure. But But what you find with what they're going to, they're going to need is they're going to need a lot of people doing training, what is has traditionally, since the dawn of time been called shaman work, which is helping people navigate some of these different states of consciousness. In in a sense, maybe it's a stretch, it's kind of what you're doing with the medical community, which largely has kind of disregarded the psychological effects, particularly with like power dynamics coming between doctors and patients. I mean, so you're able to be there almost like a shaman or like a doula of like people that it's like, Hey, here's my team for this medical journey we're about to go on. It's, it's a beautiful thing, man. And I appreciate you sharing that story about your grandmother too. It sounds it sounds really hard.
Yeah, yeah. And I think that's a good point. Ryan, there are I just interviewed the guy from field, field trip health, so they're building our clinics across the country. And clearly, Dillon, your business could could be an important role, you know, play important role in that, you know, as a, as an advocate, you know, trying to decipher and help I get the right medicines or psychedelics, you know, to help treat patients. So that's a huge growth market.
So some deep deep prescribing, too, because like, if you're talking about DMT compounds, like you cannot take SSRIs because it creates, you know, heart palpitations and stuff like that.
Yeah, you don't want any serotonin syndrome, with DMT, and your basic anti anxiety meds So, and that's the thing, man, the role of the pharmacist is completely transforming, like people are starting to see us outside of the usual roles. And now we have more functional medicine pharmacists, we have pharmacists that focus on holistic health and nutrition support. I mean, there's a lot of opportunity to help advocate and one of mine, particularly is D prescribing for opioid use. So I actually a part of my course I'm launching is talking about how to put D prescribing in people's practices is called a D prescribing accelerator. And one of the modules is talking about opioid D prescribing. And so we talked about alternative therapies people can use for pain. But what's exciting to me is the FDA just approved virtual reality therapy for pain management, for chronic lower back pain. So you can now look at a VR kit, and literally have clinically scientific evidence that your back pain will pretty much decrease over the use of VR. So I'm saying there are so many different ways we can address pain, but also just mental health. And that's part of why I'm so passionate about genetic testing, because we're able to tell Hey, based on your brain and your body, this actual dose will be harmful for you so we should try another metal together.
Yeah, no, absolutely. It's a really fascinating space and so important, because our system is so, you know, complicated and problematic. So Orion, you know, as Dylan has the higher people as he grows his business, you've just scaled your company very quickly. And we know how hard it is to hire and retain employees these days. What's your secret sauce,
hiring retaining employees, boy, you know that my secret sauce was removing myself from that process, so I don't blow it. My My problem is, I fall in love with everybody, and I can make a good decision. So you know, my co founder, Brandy and our ops director, in largely Katie, our ops director have done a fabulous job of finding folks across everywhere, you know, the most. The most, what we've been using mostly is LinkedIn, to get really qualified candidates. They usually go through I think, two interviews. I feel like their interview process now is that it drags on, and there's four interviews and it takes six weeks, I feel like it's really rude disrespectful to the applicants, you know, folks get kind of into the second interview, we and we pass on them, you know, we'll give them like an Amazon gift card or something to thank them for their time. So I think one thing that's really true about the company that we try to put into it, it's just a lot of care, and decency. And I would say basic sanity. So some, it's hard to kind of get that out of an interview oftentimes. But you know, I think particularly because we're kind of on the tip of the spear as far as what's possible. In media. We're getting folks that are communication experts that are people who've worked in PR, that are looking for something novel. So I think part of that is why we've had such great success. Find a really awesome people, which we have.
And what about the business Ryan? Explain what you do, because I know, Dylan has been on podcasts, but you also that's the core your business. Tell us about the podcasting business, and how entrepreneurs and executives are using podcast to market and brand themselves and help their companies grow?
You bet. I mean, DeLong would be an fantastic candidate for kitcaster, you know, it's done on some podcasts likes to medium already. Basically, what we do is just save time and money by doing it a really high level. You know, so we're working largely in the business categories with entrepreneurs, SAS, b2b tech startups, that kind of stuff. I think what what all of our clients have in common is that they're insanely busy. And so our job first and foremost, is to just weave podcast interviews into their calendar, kind of as frictionless as possible. You know, if basically, we've got a three step process to kick it off and make sure we're doing that. The first is to really identify the outcomes they're looking for. So if Dylan comes out and says, Hey, I want to hire I'm trying to recruit, I want to use podcasts for recruiting, then that's going to inform the audience we want to speak to ultimately, and that will help us qualify the podcasts that we'd like to go to book Dylon on. So we really spend a lot of time thinking about outcomes and audiences. Second step, we build media kits, specifically for our podcast, guests, Jim, you've probably seen a bunch of them, they all look really cool to kind of have mission and identity components. Classic headshot bio will do kind of accomplishment timeline with personal professional accomplishments, but will also really lean into the the points that they want to make the topics they want to talk about the questions they'd like to be asked, you know, kind of teeing up their best stories, because ultimately, you know, people don't want to hear about products as much as they want to hear stories, you know. And so we help bring that out. The third step is just what we do every day. You know, once with all that in hand, we go out and pitch work the pre production and schedule all these podcasts for our clients. So typically, we're doing about three podcast placements per client. Agreement start, we start with like a six month term, and just about everybody renews, like 97% renewal rate, and just kind of modify the campaign as we go. So there's real no secret sauce to what we do other than like, really caring and spending the time that it takes to like create good relationships.
And how many podcasts are there now? I know that it's been growing like crazy lately. Any sense? Can you give us any numbers?
Oh, boy. Yeah, I think the last time they kind of said something's like two and a half million. But I think of active podcasts. There's about a half a million active podcasts right now. So a lot of those folks are, you know, you and your buddies talking about, you know, Lord of the Rings or something, which isn't necessarily where we play, you know, we need to have a really quality, well produced show, it's got to be really integral to the message that our clients want to do. And they also have to have a great size audience. So we'll only book entrepreneurs on the top 10% globally ranked of podcasts so we can kind of ensure that there's there's an audience for sure. I mean, if you're talking about an entrepreneurial audiences might be fairly big podcast. But if we're starting to really niche down, it might be really small podcasts that have very motivated listeners. So we'll kind of experiment with both and see what's the best fit.
Got it now the one what's your experience? Been on a bit, many podcasts? Have you tell us a what your experience has been? And maybe an anecdote of something good. That's happened after a podcast?
Yeah, a bit on dozens honestly, the last year and this has been my first one was actually last year. So man, it's been quite a few. It's been quite a ride. And in the pharmacy, and the pharmacy world, the community is pretty tight. So you end up on one and ends up being a circuit of people you end up running through. So I've had such such pleasure and welcoming from the pharmacy podcast space, where I've actually been invited with the pharmacy Podcast Network to consider becoming one of their own and having my own podcast channel, I'm still playing with that idea. But that, my friend is where this journey has taken me. I have told my story about basically my grandma and why I started my company. And it has been such such a sigh of relief for fellow pharmacists who really are really heartbroken, then our field is a little tough right now. They're burned out from COVID. They're burned out from terrible working conditions, people are now picking up on the energy behind why we're so frustrated. So now we're, the secret's out the bag. People want to know what pharmacists are thinking. And now because of this new attention, it's given me space, and other fellow entrepreneurs to talk about the problem and to change our, our mindset. So I've ran a circuit on several dozens of pharmacy podcasts. But it's been amazing. I've ended up being on a podcast in Dubai, my first international podcast happened this year, with another international pharmacy network of people and entrepreneurs, who honestly don't see black male pharmacists doing what I'm doing. And so when you have that type of role, model and insight, it gives people hope, who otherwise don't even see that is an opportunity. So the blessings are endless. I've had patients who've reached out, I've had strategic partners who've listened on their way to work, and they're like, oh, man, I got to talk to you. And it's, it's a small world, and I'm accessible. So it's been, it's been great having rockstars in my corner, but even better to have, you know, CEOs and VPs and other investors, like seek me out just to have a discussion. So it's been integral from my from my growth and business, and really my branding as an expert as in senior care pharmacy.
That's really great to hear. I guess you agree with that. Ryan, I guess you see that every day. Is that right?
That's true. I never get sick of hearing about it, though. It's really cool. You know, I mean, I'm an evangelist podcast, obviously, around here, particularly. And when I'm really getting up on my soapbox, it's like, you know, we there's a lot of challenges out there, all across the board. And you know, whether that's healthcare, that's a large one relationship with your doctor. The only way we solve any of these is with conversation is the only thing we've got, you know, we have to talk to each other. And so podcasting to me does become kind of the SAF, that, that that heals. The things that we put attention to, you know, so I love to hear that, you know, our mission as a company is to celebrate good conversation. We just happen to book podcast, you know, but to me, conversation is everything.
Yeah, no, no, yeah. So why don't we we're coming to the close of this podcast. I want to make sure I asked just just one thing to share with our audience because many are entrepreneurs or folks who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs. What's one tip or piece of advice you would give someone who's thinking about starting a business, Dylan?
Ah, I will say that pharmacists aren't exactly entrepreneurs. Like off the bat, we kind of very linear in our thought process. So a big lesson for me was learning how to completely rewire the way I think about perspective and business approaches. And so I don't know everything that's like Rule number one is kill the stuff that you think you know, and just start from scratch and absorb as much as you can. But to add to that tenant, I will easily say that the values come the most from your failures and your losses. And don't get hung up by you know, things not going perfectly roll with the punches. And know that part of that failure is what's going to get you into a better place. So do not beat yourself up on the losses, in fact, celebrate them, because that's how you get to the next one.
Great advice. Thanks, Ryan.
I'll piggyback on that. I think, particularly like first time entrepreneurs, people that are really getting into it will tend to find ourselves and identify ourselves and bring our whole identity into as an entrepreneur around this product. And it's not a good way to validate the product, whether it's gonna work or not. And so then if the product does not work, that doesn't mean that the project failed, it means you failed, because you are the project. If you can separate yourself from the product itself. It'll make it a lot less painless to kill the idea when it's not working.
Hmm. Excellent, excellent advice. Well, this has been great guys. You know, I'd like to end my podcast with a poem or a saying, Dawn, go ahead.
Sure. I've got one from the famous Maya Angelou. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel really hits home for me as a health care provider and for my company's mission.
Great, lovely Ryan, go ahead.
That's my wife's favorite quote, too. I love that one. It's so good. I was thinking about this. This is fun. Jim, I'm glad I'm glad you presented this because it made me pause. And for whatever reason, this line from Rakim came to my head, I start to think and then I sink into the paper. Like I was saying, when I'm writing I'm trapped in between the lines. I escaped when I finished the run.
Well, this has been great. I want to thank the line will thank Ryan for coming on today. It's been a really interesting conversation. Thanks for joining us. I hope you enjoyed the show. Please like it. Leave a review and subscribe. See you soon