Jonathan Wess is the CEO and Founder of Timecapsule Family Connections, a company that is helping people everywhere to leave a legacy for their families after they’re gone. Jonathan is devoted to making sure that every story is heard, and every opinion is listened to. He wants to make sure that no child has to grow up without a parent’s advice or getting to see how much they have grown.
Jonathan’s company allows you to leave behind a video legacy for your loved ones, after you have passed. Prompted by the tragic loss of his father in his early life, Jonathan is determined to make a difference in the world. In this episode, I share my experience with leaving my own video.
Brian Smith 0:01
Now that you’re here at Grief 2 Growth, I like to ask you to do three things. The first thing is to make sure that you like click Notifications, and subscribe to make sure you get updates for my YouTube channel. Also, if you’d like to support me financially, you can support me through my tip jar at grief to growth.com. That’s grief, the number two growth.com/tip jar or look for tip jar at the very top of the page, or buy me a coffee at the very bottom of the page, and you can make a small financial contribution. The third thing I’d like to ask is to make sure you share this with a friend through all your social media, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Thanks for being here. Close your eyes and imagine
what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey there everybody. This is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth I’ve got with me today a very fascinating young man’s name is Jonathan West. And Jonathan is the CEO and founder of Time Capsule family connections. It’s a company that’s helping people everywhere to leave a legacy for their families. after they’re gone. Jonathan is devoted to making sure that every story is heard. And every opinion is listened to. He wants to make sure that no child has grown up without parents without a parent’s advice, or getting to see how much they have how much they’ve grown. So that I want to just bring Jonathan in, let him tell his own story. So Jonathan, thanks for being here in grief to growth.
Jonathan Wess 2:01
Yeah, it’s great. Thank you. I’m so excited to finally get to record.
Brian Smith 2:06
Yeah, I’m glad that we’re gonna do this just for everybody with a little bit of a background. We tried to record this last week. And ironically, since this is what John does for a living was my fault. I forgot to hit the record button. But it all worked out for the best. And I’ll tell you why. As we get further into this, but So Jonathan, tell people what time capsule family connections is.
Jonathan Wess 2:28
Time Capsule family connections is a legacy building service. And what that means is we provide the questions for more in depth and truthful legacy. And our questions can spanned really a whole a whole slew of different topics. But they come from novelists, social workers, psychologists, journalists,
and then also people from the dead parents society. So people that really know what it’s like to lose a parent and want wanted to know random things. So we asked, we could ask you a question about what kind of toothpaste do you use all the way up to? What are some of the things that you regret? And why? Or what are the things that you thought you would regret but don’t. And it really gets people to think and give you that in depth legacy that kids would have wanted from a parent that had already passed away. But also, if you do that, and you do a journal entry every single month, it builds something up, so you can see your own self growth and be able to leave something behind your family. So that’s what we do in a nice nutshell.
Brian Smith 3:39
So when you say you, you ask questions, is it something that’s recorded? Or how does that how does that work?
Jonathan Wess 3:45
Yeah, we record it over, we can record over zoom or we can come into if you live 90 minutes from Buffalo at the moment, you can, we can come into your home or you can come into our office at Seneca one in Buffalo. And we will record you that way. And after about 20 minutes time, you’ll have a video for answering those questions.
Brian Smith 4:13
So and what prompted you to get started with this? So you mentioned the dead parents society. And I guess it’s a service people use if they want to leave something behind after they’ve after they’ve gotten. So what prompted you get started doing this?
Jonathan Wess 4:27
Yes. So when I was five, well, for turning five, I lost my father and spent the better part of about 10 years from the time I was about 12 or 13 all the way up to I mean, currently, I’m still doing research about my dad, but really when I was about 20 I finally got a good grasp on what he was like and it you know, it took me seven, seven years and I’m still learning more about him and I’m 23 So I wanted it’d be easier for kids that had lost a parent or grown up without one of their parents to learn about their parents and learn about the people that they lost. I mean, grandparents, great grandparents, it’s different when it comes from their mouth. It’s different when you hear the inflection in their voice, and you know, how something how much something hurt them, or how much something really didn’t matter to them. But it was an important part of history, you know, those are very crucial things. And it took me a long time before finally realizing the scope of who my dad was. And I didn’t want something like that to happen to someone else. It was excruciating. And it was hard. And honestly, it, my life would have been easier if I would have known some of the lessons that he had learned in his life. So and what I found was no one wanted to talk badly about the debt, you know, no one wanted to be like, Oh, he really didn’t want to do this, or he was this or, you know, your he should have done, you know, blah, blah, blah. But yeah. When I found out about that stuff, it helped me to grow as a person, because then I kind of knew, I kind of knew some things, and I kind of knew what to expect of others. And I wanted to make sure that kids like me, always was able to get that experience very early on and very easily with just a click of a button or looking at your phone.
Brian Smith 6:23
Yeah, I think it’s it’s really, you know, interesting service. And it’s the day that we record this the first time, it was just so it just so happened that day, I’ve got stuff for my daughter, like all over the house, my daughter passed away, you know, almost seven years ago, six half years ago, for, for anyone who might not know, I love seeing little reminders of her, you know, so I happen to be in the basement, and I found a note that she had written when she was 12. And she passed when she was 15. And we’ve posted on the board and our basement. So I love finding little things like that those little those little mementos. And this is a way of formalizing that, right if people actually live in a more intentional legacy than just a handwritten note or something here or there.
Jonathan Wess 7:07
Yes, 100%. And that’s another thing about our services, the fact that you get space to put things on like videos, photos, you know, you can download the audio files for voicemails as well, all of those things, I think are important as well. So not only do you get to see them talk about their history and what they’ve gone through, but then you get to add stuff to it, to make sure that it’s a full sought out and full developed legacy, not only for yourself, but for others. I mean, we have a client right now that it’s doing something for a family member that had passed away, and not for themselves as of this moment. And I mean, that’s, I think that’s beautiful. And I think that’s also a brilliant way to use our service. But you if you download videos, if you download photos, and different voicemails from people that meant something to you. And if you record with us consistently, it builds out a really beautiful time capsule, that it’s when when you pass away, your family can just click on a button and see the things that they loved about you without having to search through things without having to really find out the the aspects of your life. They they wanted to know.
Brian Smith 8:21
Yeah, so it’s it’s something that a service that you offer, the people can do either one time, or they could do it on an ongoing basis. And and you said kind of build a a real time capsule, though, we could see how they’ve changed over time, etc. Is that correct?
Jonathan Wess 8:37
Yes, yeah. So we do have two different types of payment plans, we have one that’s just a subscription base. So you can come in once a month, and we do a 20 minute video and you answer as many questions as you possibly can in that time. And then it gets added to your time capsule. And that’s the one that we suggest because it’s using the service fully and exactly how we intended it to be used. But then we also have some for people that maybe just want to do it once every six months. And that is a we do have a one time fee as well even though double the cost as if you were to do the subscription still is available. And it makes sure that you can kind of leave the legacy the way that you want to do it instead of how a service forces you to do it.
Brian Smith 9:23
Yeah, well, I you know, as I’ve talked to you, and as I’ve gotten to know more about the service, it just reminds me so many things I know so many parents who have had children pass away, and I actually have parents who still continue for maybe even years to pay for their child’s cell phone plan, just so they can call and listen to their voice on on voicemail. Because having that voice having that recording we found a video of Shayna. A few years after she passed I don’t even know how account came up. But one of her friends have recorded a Shana when she was calling me to come pick her up from somewhere, just a little, you know, random moment and it’s so it’s so precious. So Um, I could see how doing this intentionally could be really beneficial for for the people that are leaving this behind.
Jonathan Wess 10:07
Yeah, and I think that we talked about this in the past, but one of the things that I do is I keep voicemails from different people, like one of them is I have one from my great grandmother, I have before she passed away. And then I have, I still have recordings from my grandmother, even though she’s still alive. And I still see her, you know, three times a week, I know that, like, she sings to me, every single birthday that I have, she’ll call and sing happy birthday. And I know that, eventually, I won’t have that. So I have different recordings, and the new one replaces the old one every single year. And I actually, that was another reason why I want to have this to be, I wanted to have the ability to be able to put in audio, because of moments like that, that I knew people had. And you want to be able to remember those things, but also keeping an eye on your phone. Storage is expensive. And I knew that I can’t keep all that stuff on my phone forever. But I wanted it part of that legacy. I wanted people to remember that about my grand and about me. So I put that in because of those things. And it’s stories like yours that say, like I heard this recording, and it meant a lot to me that helps us to change our service and helps us to make it more adaptable for building a legacy around it.
Brian Smith 11:26
Yeah, and I know we a lot of times people might think, well, I’ve got all this stuff. Now, you know, I’ve got all these videos on my phone, I’ve got voicemails on my phone, and I’ve saved the voicemails, etc. But one of the things that it’s if it’s locked in your phone, and you haven’t told anybody about it, they may not be able to get to in fact, Apple is really well known. A lot of people have Apple phones, they’re really well known for their security, even the FBI can’t break into their phones. And so people have they’ve got that information sometimes when someone passes away, and then it tries to figure out the password. How do I how do I get to this, and it’s just, it’s literally locked away. So this is a way of making that available to your loved ones after after you leave.
Jonathan Wess 12:08
Yeah, and the best part about our services, it is the most excellent, but how most people describe it when they see the service and action is as a very private social media. So they can, you can leave different things, you can leave your time capsule of different people and share it with specific, your specific family members. So it’s not like this is left of the world. Not like everyone can see it. But if you wanted this folder, that was just a family photos, and let’s say voicemails, you can share it with your mother, or you can share it with your grandmother or your brother, your sister, anyone really and those, then only those people can see it. Right, they only have access to it and you only can edit it. So that’s a big part of our service is the fact that I wanted it to be shareable I wanted you to be able to use it to that advantage. But make sure that it was as private as possible. And you got full autonomy over what your legacy would be.
Brian Smith 13:09
I’m curious, Have you have you had any people who have been on for a while talk about how maybe just doing the journaling has changed them even while they’re still here.
Jonathan Wess 13:21
I have recorded people for a while. So that do that do believe that I time capsule is in its third phase, which is really fantastic. We spent a lot of time developing time capsule. So we’ve only been operating the way that we’ve been operating for the past nine months, which is truly fantastic with in respect to the fact that we have been recording people for the last four years, but now have finely honed in on our craft. And since then we do have a couple of clients that have said that it has helped family families reunite I mean the the ability to tell one side of the story and the other side of story and just share a video. And now both sides can say they didn’t talk to the other person. They don’t have to be like, Well, I don’t want to talk to you and be like, this is just your way of being able to hear them out and make sure that they actually get the other side of the story to every situation. A lot of the time when we hear people do journaling, they don’t believe how much they’ve changed. One of my best friends did this as a favor to me very early on in the time capsule stages, and then became a client and she watched her first video probably about a month ago now it seems like a lot longer but now I think about it was within this year and couldn’t believe how much had changed. Couldn’t believe she went from being a teacher’s assistant to full time sub and now hopefully to be getting into a full time position and talking About her dog and how how different she was from when she had, she first got her dog to now and now has a long term boyfriend and all these great, great things. So it was it’s cool to see how much people grow during our service and how much people get to see that happen. Because from month to month things happen. I mean, I was I went from living by myself and living out of my mother’s house and then coming back into save money because I’m, I’m working towards another goal. And part of that was being able to save money. But I went from, you know, having a big space going out all the time, you know, working and building this company differently. And then a month later, all of that was different, everything changed. And you change day to day. So being able to have that record every month. It’s just fantastic to be able to see how people react when like, I can’t even believe that was just a month ago, I can’t believe that was five months ago. God knows I have different friends from five months ago. Like it’s, it’s crazy. And I think that’s the beautiful part of it is you get to see it now and then leave it behind later. So people get to see how much you’ve changed in what you learned over time. And the fact that right now this is what you know. And then the next video, you might be like, Oh, none of that was true. Yeah. Which is very common for the just how humans are.
Brian Smith 16:27
So yeah, you know, it’s I’ve journaled off and on since I was in high school, really, I took a creative writing course, they taught us about journaling. And it’s really wild. And every once in a while just out day, I was cleaning out my office and I came across some old journals. And just to flip through them and see you know, how things have changed and what you thought about things at that time. And again, with the videos, you know, they’ve got you got them in the server, you go look at them, you know, so as you build these things up, people can look at it. But the very process of journaling of talking through this. And I went through this actually with one of my clients is only one I’ve ever done it with, but it was really cool. She said I just like to hire you to just told my life story. So we would book one hour sessions, and she started from the time she was a little kid, she’s talked about her grandparents. And she’s she’s older, she’s been there for seven days. And right up until the age she is now. And she was thinking about writing a book. But as just talking through that, as we went through this took a couple of months, I could see real changes in her, you know, and how she looked at her life. So I guess he’s something like this really being beneficial to people in ways they might not even expect.
Jonathan Wess 17:35
Yeah, I think that’s also the beautiful part of it is you can you still can journal. I mean, I’m not saying this should be a replacement for journal, I think that should be a add on to journaling. I love to write I love to journal and I write probably about two three pages every other day, or I try to anyway, there are some weeks of course that I just I don’t get to but love to do that stuff. But it’s different when you hear the inflection of your voice. And if you do it early enough God I started recording four years ago, and my voice has deepened since then. I mean, that’s, that’s crazy to me. When we first started, I decided that I was going to record and I recorded. And then I recorded when I moved into my apartment, and there’s so many things that were different in it that I couldn’t even imagine. So I definitely and I read my journal a lot and see how many things have changed. And it just always is jaw dropping the difference in between seeing a video of yourself and what you’ve read. Because some things I definitely write more dramatic than I when I speak. So it’s when I’m when I’m writing. I’m like, wow, this is like a novel and then I speak about I’m like, All right, that’s what happened. So I think it’s important to do both.
Brian Smith 18:49
Yeah, I think it is important to do both. And the thing is, you know, when we talk about services like time capsule, you know, people think about okay, why don’t we think about death? You know, it’s industry that you and I both in people like that’s, that’s not a happy thought. That’s a sad thought. But think about and I would encourage people to think about like, what how would you feel if you had something like this from your grandparents, you know, that you could cuz we’ve got ancestry.com we’ve got all that stuff now we could look up and we could see on paper, you know, who they were, what their names were and stuff, but now we’ve got this this technology that could really free that and we could be you could be leaving stuff for generations. It’s getting thought about at this point.
Jonathan Wess 19:34
Yeah, and that’s the thing too, is I’m trying to change the face, the face of death. It’s not it’s not a sad moment. I love the way that Betty White looked at it I and I’ve talked about this in past podcasting. So it but the way that she talked about it was just, it was they just they knew a new secret. They knew something different and it doesn’t matter about faith, it doesn’t matter about what you believe happens afterwards. But whatever happens next, they now know. And it’s a beautiful part of the way we move on and the way that we get to grow now from knowing that person and how beautiful that actually is. So I think that time capsule gives into the fact that death can be a happy occasion and a celebration of the person that we lost. And not that it’s not normal to feel sad, and not that it’s not actually great to be able to process those emotions. And I encourage everyone to do so. It’s the fact that now you get to celebrate their life in the beautiful way that it was. Because stories are truly some of the most beautiful things that you can listen to, if you’re willing to listen to them. So that should be about the stories that we know and the lessons that we learned. And the celebration of the fact that this person now gets to be something that we are not, that we are not prone to that we don’t have the knowledge to be. So I think that’s really what I hope time capsule will be eventually as a way to reshape death into a celebration of life, which I love. There are so many cultures that do it. And I just think that the standardized American culture, there’s still many parts of America that do have the celebration of life. And that, you know, I think it’s New Orleans that has a parade for when coming back from the cemetery as a celebration. And that aspect, I think needs to be more plainly taught and needs to be into what we do when somebody passes away. So hopefully time capsule will take on that fact, that’s not that this isn’t sad, this is something that we can feel sad about it. But it’s not a sad occasion for we got to know them, we had the privilege of learning from them. And now we get the privilege of learning from them for a lifetime.
Brian Smith 22:02
Yeah, and it really fits right in with I guess it’s a relatively new model of grief counseling. You know, if there was in the past, they would say, well, well, in the far past, when people actually understood spiritual and who we are people understood that our ancestors are still with us. And a lot of cultures that literally would keep their ancestors bodies in the house with them. So we’ve that will be out here. But some people do that. But the thing is, then they they said, well, we need to get over it. When someone when someone dies, we need to let them go, we need to move on. That’s the way that we heal through grief. And they found that this model doesn’t work. So now that the model is what they call continuing bonds, which is continuing that relationship with our loved one. And time capsule fits right in with that, right, it fits right in with me, let me pull up a video of my my loved one. And, you know, your your life and my life are also examples that, you know, life doesn’t always go the way we think is going to go. We think our grandparents are going to die when they’re old. And we’re going to die when world but your father was a young man, when he passed away and probably had no idea that he was gonna leave young children. My daughter was very young, you know, when she passed? So this is something that, you know, it doesn’t hurt to start it anytime I would think.
Jonathan Wess 23:19
Yeah, no, 100% that’s thing is it the earlier the better. I would love to start recording students, especially students in college, I think that’s such a transformative time. And that’s what I would encourage people to do the earlier the better. It’s not just about when you know, your morality, or when you have someone to leave it behind to, but it’s about being able to see what you were like when you were 20 when you’re 90. I mean, that’s incredible. And of course, you could leave the YouTube video behind, but then everyone gets to see it, even if it’s a private link. You know, those things are not are not fully private. And that’s what I was striving to do differently was make sure that you, you started as soon as you possibly could. And sometimes I mean, going back to the whole journaling thing, because I think it blends in pretty well here when you’re young, especially before you retire. You You don’t have a lot of time to journal, you don’t have a lot of time to sit down every night because you come home and you’re tired. I mean, that’s it’s hard, where that’s why I don’t do this more than once a month. I don’t encourage it even I think that it is something that you want the time to go make the memories that you want to leave behind you go live the life you’ve imagined as much as you possibly can. And that’s why you sit down once a month for 20 minutes and then I upload it you know the company uploads out, we make sure that all that’s taken care of. So you don’t you don’t have to you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to think about what you want to write or even what you want to say we have all the questions ready for you. So I think that It’s another part of starting early and starting to do it whenever you possibly can. Because it’s, it’s definitely common this society to not want to leave that stuff and to not want to right to not want to do that. Because it’s, it’s just too hard. It’s too it’s too much time. We’re always striving a time capsule to make sure that it’s easier for you to leave something behind and to access your videos.
Brian Smith 25:23
Yeah, well, you know, you made a lot of really good points there. The thing is, we all have great intentions, and we all being maybe intend to journal maybe we say, Oh, well, I’ll just shoot my own videos, you know, and I’ll just, I’ll just put them on a, on a thumb drive or something. But you know, that’s why it’s important to really understand the process. And this is where things worked out well for you. And I, because we recorded we, we sat down to do this interview, and it didn’t record. So you said, Well, let’s take this time in the meantime. And let’s, you know, you leave a time capsule. So I did this yesterday. So I’ve been through the process now. And so I can tell you what some of the differences are. One is it’s intentional, right? So if you buy the subscription service, you’re gonna, you’re gonna be you’re gonna do it once a month, because you’ve made that intention. And the other thing is, and I want to talk about the questions, because and about the times, we’ll talk about all three of those things. So the first thing is there was like, no commitment of time on my part, because I thought, Okay, this is going to take a lot of time you said, No, we’ll start at five. And we’ll be done by 530. And we were, we recorded for 20 minutes, but it was it was literally like no time. And the questions that you have. Well, you talked about talking about the questions, and where they come from and how that works.
Jonathan Wess 26:38
Yeah, and I do want to get your your viewpoint on it, because I think that’s important as well. But all of the questions come from a whole slew of different people that we’ve talked to, I mean, our question base, and the way we set up how we do our questioning is x based on how a novelist builds their characters before writing them. One of my good good friends is a novelist. And she’s writing. She’s writing two books right now. In the incredible person that she is, and I sat down, he said, How do you build a character? What is the what is the first thing that you do when you want to build a personal character, a person’s personal character, character’s personality? And she says, First, I get their overall characteristics, I do three different things. And what what are they? What are they really always going to come back to and then I ask them questions along the way from what they do, to what kind of food they like to what they you know what they would smell like all of those things, and helps them build out their characters. So time capsule, you can ask what your goal of the video is. Same thing with what the court where your core value is. And then we ask questions based on how to build out that goal. From there, we’ve asked journalist about different questions they’ve asked, we’ve asked different other novelists as well, we’ve asked social workers about what they ask their clientele. And we’ve asked psychologists about what they’ve asked their clientele as well. And then I am very honored to be friends with many people who have lost a sibling or a family member in general, very young, that was very important to them, some fathers as well. Other people have lost grandparents and siblings, but in getting to sit down with them and hear what they would have wanted to know, because I know what I would have wanted to know for my dad, but I’m like, what does everyone else? And that’s why I got the question from which is why I always say, because I think it’s so fun. It’s what kind of toothpaste do you use? And what kind of Cologne do you use? Things that I never thought to ask? Because I had my dad’s cologne, I had a full bottle of it, you know, I used to growing up. So having knowing those things, I think are also important, because then you you know what, you build that character in your head, you know what they you know what they were, which was truly fantastic as well. So our questions are very well researched, you are only given 20 minutes to answer as many questions as you can. I used to say 20 minutes or 20 questions, but no one ever gets to the 20 questions you got through 15. And that was the most I’ve ever gotten through with somebody. Or, Yes, it was. And that’s crazy to me. So I just say 20 minutes now. And then there are 280 possible questions that you can be asked in that 20 minutes, all goal oriented, all things that really drive you towards what you wanted to know and what you wanted to leave behind. But you can be asked different questions every time some of the same questions, you get to see how different your answers are changed. Sometimes you get to leave stuff that just age based. Really, it really spans from A to Z and that’s what I love about our question base is you don’t and you don’t get to see it ahead of time. I mean, it comes off the cuff, but you get to answer exactly how you think to answer right now. And you can, of course, that question can be asked again next time, and you can always change your answer next time. But that, at its core is why we did the questioning the way we did, and why we put so much time and effort into building those questions.
Brian Smith 30:21
Yeah, I, you know, existed, I went through the process yesterday, and we just set it up. Today is Thursday. So we, I think we were Monday or Tuesday, we’re talking about this. And you said, Okay, I’ll set the appointment. And I’m like, okay, he’s gonna send me a big questionnaire to fill out and I’m not, I’m gonna get miles background information. And it was like, not we just got on, and we just started talking like this. So I want to let people know the experiences, kind of like being on a podcast, right? It’s kind of like, you’re, you’re being interviewed. So I know, a lot of people might think, Well, I’m not a natural born speaker. You know, I don’t know, I don’t know what I would say. And you take all that worry away?
Jonathan Wess 30:59
Well, that’s amazing to hear. Thank you so much. Especially because that’s one of our biggest things. When I first started this, I, we were a VR company. And I decided that I was going to record people and I asked very plain questions and the amount of yes or no answers, even when they weren’t yes or no questions was insane. So I went back to the drawing board and did all this research to make sure that you I say the word describe a lot. And I say, why did you feel this way? And it can be? Your answer can be I don’t know. And I but from that, I don’t know, I can tell what questions to follow up with based on the 280 that we have, and it will continue to grow. You don’t We don’t keep up a conversation. I tried as much as possible to stay quiet during during every session. But with your so that where you got that experience, I just all I say is I do transition pieces. So that way, you know where I’m coming from and why I’m asking the next question. That said, I don’t say anything about my opinion. I don’t say why I’m asking. I don’t say anything like that. Because this is about you. And I’m just trying to make it as easy as possible to build that legacy, as you know, as in depth and as truthful as it possibly can be.
Brian Smith 32:16
Yeah, well, you asked, I was really impressed with the questions. drafts are very thought provoking. They’re kind of questions I think that people but want to know about, you know, after after the I’m gone. And as I said, from my part, it was very little work. And I could see people thinking, Oh, I can’t talk for 20 minutes, 20 minutes, because that’s because you said we were done. I was like, wow. And, and I do this all the time. So you know, I did get I think it was 17 questions I got through, but I was like, because I was timing things. And so I do when I do interviews, but for most people, you know, if you want to go on and talk about more stuff, I think that would be really cool to go as in depth as you want to. But it’s a real opportunity to think it’s real opportunity. It’s almost like a it’s almost like a life review for me because I’m I’m 60 so I’m you know, you’re nearing the end of my life and a sense. It’s kind of like a life review. Like what do you what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to say about you when you know when you’re God? And you know, the questions you asked for, I think really, really provocative and really interesting.
We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at WWW dot grief to growth.com www.gr IE F the number two GROWT h.com or text growth grow T H 231996. If you’d like to support this podcast visit www.patreon.com/grief to growth, www dot P A T R e o n.com/gr. I EF the number two g r o wth to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.
Jonathan Wess 34:27
Thank you so much. Yeah, that’s I was hoping that you felt that way. But I you know, I want you to say that you know the truth about our service because that’s I’m glad that you had a positive experience as well because I want people to know what it what it was like, like, you know, that was something that I had mentors that are like, Well, you could spin a b and c and I’m like, I don’t need to you know i These this should speak for itself. And it’s so private that I usually for clients will give out an NDA and a welcome letter. I’ll make sure that’s all spelled out. out. And I’ll make sure that you know that there isn’t anything that’s going to go out. I’m actually tethered by law to not say anything, any story that connects to you. And now specific details about stories, which is really fantastic. Of course, there are those, like my friends story that was done for marketing reasons that I talked about. But on top of that, you know, there are definitely stories that I’ll tell in a more greater sense, because I can’t tell anything specific, nothing can be tethered to nothing can be directly drawn back to you, because that’s part of that NDA agreement. So making it as private and as personal as you possibly can.
Brian Smith 35:42
Well, let’s talk about the privacy because I know that’s a big issue for a lot of people and the minute name, no word NDA or the acronym NDA stands for so talk about how can I be assured that my information is private that nobody can get to it? That you’re not going to disclose it? How do I know that?
Jonathan Wess 35:58
Yeah, so NDA is a nondisclosure agreement, which means that, once I sign it, you get a copy of it with my signature on it, or anyone that you would be filming with right now, I’m the only person filming but we have had other people filming in the past, they would sign it, anyone that’s filming with you would sign it, and then the company would sign and pretty much you’d get my signature on every single one, saying in specific terms, that the person recording cannot say anything in specific terms, or put any story back to you specifically, at any point in time of their life. It’s a it’s a lifelong nondisclosure agreement. So it will make sure that your stories say very, very private, that they cannot be seen and said anywhere else, and that they are. So you can say anything that you want, it will just stay in that video, it will just stay in that session, which was very important to some of the people that we recorded with originally. How will you know that your information won’t go anywhere, we have a private server. It is you sign in to it, you access your video that way. It is a private server, nothing goes anywhere. I have a backup server on top of that, like it’s very private, to make sure that like no one’s going to hack it, no one’s going to get into it. We’re very security is a very big thing for us with this information. Nor do we collect anything of specifics. The only thing that we collect sometimes from from some clients, depending on how long they are, for a subscription based we’ll collect your birthday because we like to give out a little birthday thing. But that we it’s not like we sell anything. It’s not like we do anything like that. That’s all kept private as well. It’s important the time capsule stands for privacy, for truthfulness, and for making sure that no one has to feel like anything’s gonna go anywhere. I’ve spent the better part of four years making sure that the company no matter where we pivoted, that’s our core value is staying private, making sure that we stay exactly in that room, and that there isn’t anything that people feel uncomfortable saying, because they don’t know where it’s gonna end up.
Brian Smith 38:23
Yeah, cuz I can imagine there might be things that people, you know, don’t want disclosed until after they’ve been deceased. Right. So they might want to say, this is a way that I can say this. We talked about this, when we record the last time we thought we were recording, we were talking the last time, you know, sometimes, you know, we leave it we leave a will, which is a cold document. It’s just It’s just words on a piece of paper, and people walk in and there’s so they’re surprised like you left this to him. You didn’t leave this to me. You know, this would be a way to you can leave us along with your will and say, let me explain to you why I you know why I made the decisions I made. I could see that could be maybe save some real family feuds.
Jonathan Wess 39:05
Yeah. So one thing that we do have is when you do do the subscription service, we actually have you sign off on who you’re leaving that to. So it could be you know, son or daughter and mother or father, you you sign off and pretty much next of kin. So they’re the they’re the person that gets access to it after you’re gone. But while you are alive, you get complete access to who you share it with. I mean, we don’t share it with anyone without your permission. So when you can do things like explaining your well, and then leave the video to your lawyer or even download it and give it to your lawyer and say this is what I want, but don’t don’t share it until I’m gone until you’re reading but well, all things we can do. That’s really awesome. So pretty much what we recommend in that case is that we have a name that we’re allowed to we’re allowed to show to and you You leave somewhere in your will that you have for this right that you have the time capsule that you want that go to the service, Tom that you had passed away and that one person can do that. Yes, we do require a death certificate for you to see it. That is huge people just like i The one question, I got loans, which took me back when, when it happened was, so if someone goes to you and said, This person died, I want to see this video, but they didn’t actually die. How do you know and I didn’t have a plan for that, at that point in time, I trusted people that much. That was also about a year ago now. And so now we do require that there is a death certificate involved when you go and come to us. And you’re like, hey, this person had passed away. Here’s the death certificate, can you tell me who gets to see this video, and then I’ll give the name. And if it is that person, they send me their ID making sure that is that person and then it gets released to them after that time, I do actually recommend that if it does happen in about 90 minutes for Buffalo that you actually come in to see us at time capsule, because I would much rather be able to see the person. And I haven’t decided yet. And if I’m going to be able to do zoom calls with that person first to verify them. But don’t be shocked if that’s something that happens in the very near future as a procedural thing, as a procedural changes that we have to jump on at least zoom call. And I have to have a copy of their ID and the death certificate. I like I said, I’m very, very committed to making sure that this is very private.
Brian Smith 41:30
Yeah, well, and in the digital age. And I’m happy to hear you say that because this is what you have to do. And I know I’ve gone through this with my daughter with Facebook, because Facebook, Facebook, and they’ve actually now thought about this, you can set up someone as a legacy person for you. If you pass away, they can they can have access to your account, but they require some proof of the person’s being deceased. And I know that Apple’s got they’ve got a plan for this now, and they’re doing the same type of things. And I’m glad to hear that time capsules doing that we’d love to be able to trust people, but you know, people, people do things that they shouldn’t do. So we yeah, we talked about, you know, a lot of different things about this, I think, again, as I hear about it, the more I hear about it, the more I’m like I love the fact that you’re giving me prompts that you’re telling me, you know, kind of these are things that you should say, or these are the types of things that people might want to know, because I would never think to talk about my toothpaste, or what kind of deodorant I use or anything like that. But those little things do round out a person’s character. So I could see why someone would choose to use your service as opposed to just like trying to, you know, shoot some videos on their phone.
Jonathan Wess 42:39
Yeah, and that’s, you know, that was important to meet, too, which I found, it was interesting, because I didn’t think about, you know, how a person smelled as being important. But then some people really forget how the other person smelled and how the other person was and how important that is to have a sound that would remind you of somebody is a truly fantastic and I have used it myself, you know, told a video that I had of my in my own making of what my dad’s felt like, and what cologne he use, and all of that stuff and what shirt my mom still wears. And I mean, all of that stuff is stuff that you don’t think about saying because it’s just part of your daily life. And yet, so important after you’re gone. So important.
Brian Smith 43:24
Yeah, that one of the things I asked you for a list of questions before we get started, and one of the things you said was like, time capital some some time capsule, so I’m gonna help social workers, how do you guys help social workers?
Jonathan Wess 43:37
Yeah, so we are a way of doing legacy therapy, which is amazing. And I have done some research into legacy therapy and realize how we could help. So we are a way of collecting that information from clients, and making sure that you can get that well developed way of building a legacy to make sure that they see their life mission that they really get to reassess how they are and where they’re where they’re going. Which is crazy and amazing. I have a sister who is a social worker, and her and I have talked about this a bit about legacy therapy and how it helps and being able to be provided. I mean, we have another service that I have not talked about yet where you don’t need to be on a call with me. I can send you a question, once a week, once a month, once a week, depending on how you set it up. And you record a two minute video about just answering that one question. And that’s another way of doing legacy therapy is I work with social workers on setting up those questions and sending up that service, which I think is really fantastic. So it gives social workers an easier way to provide that and to help their clients in that way.
Brian Smith 44:53
Well, I have not heard of legacy therapy. One of the things that I do as a coach that I think is really partners help people think about their legacy. And it really takes us out of our head and thinking about all the little things on a day to day things we have to do now and talk about what do you what do you want to leave? What’s what’s the big thing you’re trying to accomplish? Not, not what next job do you want? Or how much money do you want to make? But you know, how do you want to be remembered? So I hadn’t heard that term before. But I’m 100% behind the idea of getting people to think about the legacies because it really, really elevates your life. I mean, so that’s, that’s a benefit you can have here. And now as opposed to just, this is something that’s going to happen after I’m from God.
Jonathan Wess 45:37
Yeah, and usually legacy therapy is really seen as like palliative care. Palliative care, which I’m trying to kind of remove it from, like, end of life care. But it’s not, you know, it’s definitely something that helps that sector. And I, you know, I’m very happy and very honored that time capsule can be a part of it.
Brian Smith 45:59
Yeah, well, it could definitely, obviously be be useful at that time, because that’s the time people tend to think about their legacy. But imagine what the world would like people thought about the legacies when they’re in their 20s. Yeah, if they said, what I want my legacy to be Now, how would it change what you do on a day to day basis?
Jonathan Wess 46:15
I mean, what I want everyone to imagine, especially is like, imagine being able to raise your kid without being there. I mean, it’s, of course, you want to be there for your kid as much as you possibly can. But let’s say you do pass away, but you started recording when you were 18? How amazing is it gonna be that you can just record different things and have your kid just like, watch the different videos. And they you know, the lessons that you’ve learned, and now you’re teaching them those lessons, they know how you did things, they know what you why you pick the different deodorants that you did, they know why, you know how how to shave, now they know how to, you know, they know how to even brush their teeth a different way, or how to interact with, you know, the gender that they love. I mean, that is huge, huge things that I got to know, because I’m from living with all women. All women, I mean, I had two uncles, one lived in Seattle, and the other one would only came around every now and again, so. And I had a third uncle that came around only for holidays and birthdays. So like it was not too bad. It wasn’t prominent in our in the family. So it was hard growing up as being the only man and then going to school and seeing how the boys and acted different than me, it wasn’t because I just was taught differently. Because I was taught from all women’s I never got the man’s perspective. And to think that I want everyone to think about how important it is to get the other side of everything, and everything and to be able to raise your kid, even if you’re not here, just by letting them see your life path is so important. And definitely why time capsule was created.
Brian Smith 48:03
Yeah, and another thing I can say, as I can say, speaking as a parent, you know, a lot of times when your kids are going through difficult times, as a parent, you’ve got to be the bad guy, you’ve got to say this or that. But you could you could lay down a time capsule and say, Hey, let me explain to you why I’m doing what I’m doing. Right that if they can’t hear maybe when they’re a teenager, or they know they’re going through those times, maybe you can leave that legacy so that when they’re 25 3040, whatever. They can say, oh, that’s what they’re kind of. And you know, they had that have that revelation of of you weren’t really the, you know, the bad guy that you were really on their side. So I’m just as we’re, as we’re talking, I just see more and more applications for doing this on a regular basis.
Jonathan Wess 48:45
Yeah, and the thing is, like time caps can be used in so many ways. I mean, from helping two sides of the aisle in government to be able to see each other side without political retribution, from you know, being like, Oh, you talk to the other side, you did this, you’re not doing party loyalty. I mean, that’s a whole thing that I would love to work on. Working on campaigns, letting candidates seem more lifelike and being able to share videos that they want to share. I mean, you have a different ways of end of life services, you have new parents, new college students, when you buy a home, being able to record homes and being able to see how it started compared to how it ended and where you how you grew in that space. All I mean, just tons and tons of things that time capsule can be used for. And I’m happy to say that we’ve already been used for a couple of those. So it’s definitely awesome. And I think that the more you think about leaving your legacy behind, the more things that you realize it’s how important it is to leave that legacy behind.
Brian Smith 49:49
Yeah, yeah. And so um, I’ve already kind of touched on this, but do you think that time capsule could help people recover from the grief
Jonathan Wess 49:58
Yeah, I’m time capsule, a, when I was growing up how I really was able to move forward and be able to learn something was through family videos. I mean, watching all of them taking apart how my dad acted around us and how my mom acted after he was gone, and how my sisters were and being able to see that it definitely helped me to move on and find peace, and know what he would have been like these videos, especially and leaving a legacy behind will help so many people to move on as well. Because you get to move on at your time, then you don’t have to leave them in, you know, in the past right away. This is a way that you can watch videos and be still very, very upset about it six months in, but then also in the seventh one, you start to realize that they’re always going to be there physically as well as, as well as in the spiritual sense. And you can finally start to realize that maybe it’s okay that I go out and learn my own things without them. And maybe it’s okay that we work on ourselves and who we’re going to be, because they’re, these videos are always going to be here. And I know this video is about career, okay, I’m going to watch this one now and see what they would have had to say about my career choices. This one’s about legacy and about leaving something behind. Okay, I’m going to see how they were thought about, you know, the person that I am about to marry all of those things are ways of helping you move on, and helping you to find who you’re the your life mission and who you’re supposed to be.
Brian Smith 51:37
Yeah. So we’re gonna ask you some of the nitty gritty now. So where can people find out more about time capsule, what plans do you offer, we kind of touched on that, but just get more specific about what plans that you offer.
Jonathan Wess 51:52
So you can go you can find all of that information by going to www dot time capsule. llc.com It’s very important that you use the LLC, it’s time capsule, llc.com that’s our website, there is a time capsule.com And we want to make sure everyone knows it’s time capsule llc.com I’m gonna keep saying it over and over again until people people realize. But right now what we have is we offer a online version like this, which can be filmed from anywhere in the world, you can actually bring anyone to that session that you want, as well as yourself. And that is 1499 per month, or 2999, one time fee, and then it goes up from there. But you can also if you live 90 minutes from Buffalo, New York, you can I can come into your home and film you there in a space that you’re familiar with. And studio lighting and everything like that. That’s all stuff that I’ll bring your home and we’ll have a 20 minute conversation there. Or you can come down and book an appointment with me at my office at Seneca, one tower in Buffalo, New York. And we can film in that setting as well. Which is a little bit cheaper than the In Home version. But all good, all good aspects. The one thing that we also use is a we use a third party service called memory Fox to collect data as well as data I shouldn’t say data, because that’s not that’s not right. To collect videos. The and that will be we’ll give you a question a week or once a month. We’ll we’ll talk about that when you sign up. And it takes two minutes to answer the question. And then you upload it to that and we take care of the rest that ends up on your time capsule. So that’s only going to be 999 a month. And that you can keep going with that as well. So all amazing things, but definitely go check us out. You can find customer customer testimonial, you can see some of the people we’re partnering with, you can see all the different aspects of what we do at WWW dot Time Capsule llc.com And feel free to contact me there’s an info at Time Capsule llc.com I have watched that email as well as my personal email is on there as well. Feel free to reach out and ask any questions that you would like.
Brian Smith 54:27
Yeah, well, I got it. So you know, I’m talking to you. And I know I’m so sorry for the loss of your father at an early age. But I believe that things I always hesitate to say things happens for a reason I know that really irritate some people. But I say this, we can find meaning and things that happen to us and we can use those things to spring us forward. And I love what you’re doing in terms of you building your own legacy. You’re You’re a very young man, but you’re building a business that can really I think I know I think I know can really touch people in a very deep way. So I know your father would be or is proud of you for doing what you’re doing that you’ve built out of this, this thing that happens with you.
Jonathan Wess 55:14
Thank you so much. Yeah, I think we said this last time. I love the idea of making things happen for a reason. I grew up with the phrase, everything happens for a reason. And I live by it. There’s always a reason why you have to go through this right now. And, but make your life happen for a reason make something go wrong, like, like we did with the oh, that didn’t record okay, but now you got to see what the service is. And you got to come from a place of what a customer standpoint would look like. I mean, make it happen for a reason. Just because something happened that was poor, you feel free to feel bad for yourself for a little while. God knows that I’ve taken a day because I just can’t do it that some days. But get up, get up the day after and make it happen for a reason. It’s gonna be beautiful. And every life every story is beautiful. You just have to make it so and your life is your life. It is your journey. It has nothing to do with anybody else’s. So if you if you think life is beautiful, because you get to go to a cafe every day, and write or there could be someone that travels the world or someone else’s CEO or someone else is starting a company. That’s all legitimate ways to know that your life is happening for a reason and why your life is just beautiful.
Brian Smith 56:27
Wow, absolutely. What a fantastic way to and Jonathan, thanks so much for being here and good luck to you with the company.
Jonathan Wess 56:35
Thank you so much. I so much fun
Brian Smith 56:41
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai