Deeon C. Brown is the host of the Man Versus Brand Podcast plus he is a life as well as a business coach. Deeon’s work explores the intersectionality between brand and the human experience, as such a crossroad is what put Deeon on the path that he so graciously glides down today.
Deeon Brown is a business coach and veteran at creating and growing highly profitable business models, managing full spectrum creative programs and developing highly collaborative teams.
Deeon is the owner of Project Big Brand, a company that creates, deconstructs or repairs business programs.
Deeon Brown is a media contributor and launched his podcast, Man Versus Brand to analyze the intersectionality between brand and human experience.
Deeon is based in Manhattan and sees the world as his place of business.
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):
· Surviving The Death Of Both Parents As A Child
· Growing Up In East New York
· Violence Over Brands
· Community As It Relates To Brands
· Identity Derived From Brands
· HIV/AIDS Impact On Non-Queer People
· Dealing With Business Loss
· Navigating The Fog Of Grief
CONNECT WITH DEEON:
CONNECT WITH DE’VANNON:
· Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)
o TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs
· OverviewBible (Jeffrey Kranz)
· Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)
· Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin
· Upwork: https://www.upwork.com
· FreeUp: https://freeup.net
VETERAN’S SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
· Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org
· American Legion: https://www.legion.org
· What The World Needs Now (Dionne Warwick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHAs9cdTqg
INTERESTED IN PODCASTING OR BEING A GUEST?:
· PodMatch is awesome! This application streamlines the process of finding guests for your show and also helps you find shows to be a guest on. The PodMatch Community is a part of this and that is where you can ask questions and get help from an entire network of people so that you save both money and time on your podcasting journey.
Deeon C. Brown
You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.
There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.
De’Vannon: Ion Brown is the host of the Man versus Brand podcast. Plus, he is a life as well as a business coach. All Dion’s work explores the intersectionality between brand and the human experience. As such a crossroads is what put Dion on the very path. That he is on today, which he so graciously glides down.
Join us y’all as we talk about how Dion survived the death of both of his [00:01:00] parents at a very young age, how he grew up in East New York, and how he witnessed the violence of a brands and how that inspired him to become the entrepreneur and the businessman that he is today. Dion helps people. Deion helps businesses and everything in between.
Hello, hello, hello everyone. I’m wishing you all a wonderful life, a wonderful existence, wonderful spirits, wonderful energy, wonderful angels, wonderful loved ones who have gone before hanging around you and bringing you all the juicy and bubbl delicious things that make you feel good and comfortable and cozy.
My name is Devon. I’m the host of the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast, and I’m here for my homeboy, Dion Brown, who is the host of the Man Versus Brand Podcast. We’re gonna be talking to [00:02:00]y’all about grief and life, and loss and love, and tribe and victory and success, and really bring it full circle for you today.
Dion, how are you?
Deeon: I am good, man. Thank you dev and for having me on your podcast. Anyone that is watching or listening to the sound of my voice, I hope that you have blessings and balance in your life. I hope that whatever you are experiencing right now is happening for your benefit and I am really, really authentically excited to be on this podcast.
So thank you for having me.
De’Vannon: Hell fucks. Yeah. So I’m gonna read a little bit of snippets from your biography because your biography is so immense, you know, usually I can do like a, you know, a, a summation or a run through, but you’ve got a lot going on. So it says, you know, Dion, which I’m here for the having a lot going on cause I’m the same way.
It says Dion Brown. He’s a business [00:03:00] coach and veteran at creating, growing, wait, creating and growing highly profitable business models, managing full spectrum creative programs, and developing highly collaborative teams. John is, Dion is the owner of Project Big Brand. He’s gonna tell us what that is in his own words, but it is the company that creates deconstructs of repairs, business programs.
Deion Brown is a media contributor and launched his podcast, man versus brand that analyzed the intersectionality between brand and the humane experience. Dion is based in Manhattan where they got six inches of snow going on right now outside, and he sees the world at his place of bitterness. Yes, sir.
So tell us what the the project big brand is.
Deeon: Absolutely. So Project Big Brand was birthed like [00:04:00] all of my projects and endeavors out of a need. What I found was that a, a lot of my client, when I was in my. Sort of early thirties when, when I first got to New York were were businesses that functioned in meeting people, but that had, hadn’t quite understood the landscape of digital.
And so these were like restaurants, museums, galleries real estate. A lot of, of industries that really focused on person to person interaction that thrived in in-person experiences, but didn’t really understand how to translate those experiences into profit online. So I started in, in an online space.
What I realized though is that folks wasn’t really about, [00:05:00] The fact that they didn’t understand it, they just didn’t have the right talented people on their teams to help initiate the right sort of campaigns and programming that would help them to be successful in that space. So what I ended up doing was being a bit of a recruiter, I would go to companies, figure out what they needed.
and then find really talented people that were being underserved, whether they weren’t getting traction on their resumes they didn’t have the, the, the in the box credentials that seemed necessary for the role. And I would start being like a matchmaker. So I realized I had talent that really was underserved, matched with opportunities that were, that were also being underserved and.
I figured out a way to create pairings. And so those pairings worked out with with domestic talent. So, like, you know, in the US maybe you live in San Francisco you, you, you won’t consult or work for a company [00:06:00] in New York or maybe even San Francisco internationally. So there’s some really great folks that are working in the international space that are, are not necessarily being tapped into domestically because, Of language barrier, time barrier, whatever.
And so I just really create synergies. And it’s, a lot of it is, is like therapy. It’s, it’s, a lot of it is coaching, A lot of it is like, what’s your goals? What do you want, what do you feel is blocking you from getting there? Give me a missing person’s report of someone who would make your life easier.
What does an easy life look like for you? And that’s just. on a personal level, it’s also on an organizational level. Like what makes your organization move easily? What makes your organization happy? What adds to the culture of your organization so that the people that make up that organization feel better about their lives at the end of the day?
And so I spend a lot of time working with people a lot of time. B being the bridge in communication and strategy [00:07:00] and systems and tools and and coaching a lot. And, and I. So y’all,
De’Vannon: y’all might be wondering what the fact does all this business talk have to do with taboo topics and troubled times?
Is it because, because Dionne’s story is rooted, you know, in, in grief, you know, and in and in. So in pain and. . And like, like I was saying when I was reading as a bio, the, the intersectionality between like, you know, business and the human experience is very, very intriguing to me. And I’ve never heard it said that way, you know, or demonstrate it that way.
And so before, before we, before we get, you know, more onto like the business aspect of it and everything like that, I want you to to tell us, you know, w like, like in your youth, you know, what happened to set you [00:08:00] on this course? When I was researching you on one line that I pulled, that I’m gonna read was about, you said like from about age nine you used every resource that you could define to connect and buy these brands, and you did a lot of chores and you traded everything that you could find and you hustled.
So, So we have before this, you know, Dionne Brown who seems to be doing his thing, but it wasn’t that way. So the taboo in this episode is the struggle that it took to get him here. And so, and that, and that’s, and that’s really, really, really what I want to focus on. So tell me about your childhood growing up in New York.
Deeon: So I’m gonna bridge for you guys. A story. And, and I think in the story you’ll understand kind of where I am, not only in my personal life, but also in the business life and, and how there is that intersectionality between brand and human experience. So I grew up in East New York and Brooklyn, east New [00:09:00] York and Brooklyn is very similar to like the Comptons of the world where, you know, for a very long time.
It was un gentrified. It appeared super dangerous. It was a community that was brought together by like economic conditions, right? Like we, we just could only afford, but so much, and until we lived together, even to this day, very much, very many parts of the place that I grew up in isn’t, it isn’t quite gentrified yet.
It, it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles. The traditional New York setting if you wanna look it up again, it’s called East New York and Brooklyn. So, grew up in East New York and Brooklyn and I grew up in the, the, I’m an eighties baby. I grew up predominantly in the nineties and. During that time, it was like the brand explosion, right?
You had like Nintendo, Sega, Timberland, the Jordan brand, N B A, you [00:10:00] had Nike, you had all of these kind of mega brands, really having a one-directional conversation with. Right. They were just like, if you want some validity in your life, if you want to feel substantial in your life, then here is something that you can use to represent that validity.
And, and I think it’s arguable in some circles, whether that was done purposefully on the part of the brand or if it was just the way that that particular kind of consumer. Absorb that information. The reality is, is that’s what happened, right? So that meant that folks were killing for Timbalands, folks were robbing folks for eight ball jackets.
Kids were fighting over Nintendo systems. It was violent and it was violent over brands. Wasn’t violent over drugs, wasn’t violent over turf or [00:11:00] territory, it was violent over brands. And so when I grew up, I wanted to understand where all that violence came from. Now add to that, both my parents before I was the age of 12, had both passed.
And both of them had passed in some sort of cultural. problem. I, I’m gonna talk about my, both my parents, but very briefly, I’m not gonna get into the nuts and bolts of it because I think that it could be a trigger warning and not only triggering for the group, but it could also slightly be triggering for me.
So this is what I will tell you about my parents is that my mother was shot in the back as an E M T worker and thrown into a bay in New York where her body was found later on. My dad. died of H I V in the nineties where there wasn’t treatment for it. He was a heterosexual male, but [00:12:00]regardless that no one thought that heterosexual males would have H I v at that time, I think the only real popular figure was like the guy from la, I can’t remember his name right now, God forbid, forgive me, but there was just like one person and maybe Magic Johnson, maybe Magic Johnson, and like one other rapper that everyone knew about that had it, that were considered heterosexual males.
And so it was truly unknown that this could really happen to a person who didn’t identify in the spectrum of queerness, right? And. . Not only was I witnessing violence on a local level, like around me career around these brands, but I was also experiencing it in my own personal life. So not only was I interested.
In a curious way as to why people perpetuated this violence. But that violence had hit home for me. Now, not in the same way. It wasn’t related to [00:13:00] brands, but it was, it was, it was violence for violence sake. And so I wanted to understand what drove people to violence, but specifically in this social brand.
and, and that informed a lot of my life. Like I I, I focused on out of home or advertisements in brands. I focused on analytics and understanding what drove people to make brand decisions. I focused on focus groups and, and brand opinion of different segments of folks. Once I kind of got to the point where I was.
Leader in understanding brands, I then repurposed myself into ensuring that brands gave back to neighborhoods that were negatively inflect in, in negatively impacted by their influence. Right? So I had Adidas coming to, not just to the Upper West side, but also to the deep parts of Brooklyn in order to do giveaways and.
A lot of [00:14:00] that has been what’s informed my career path because I wanted to make sure that I met my own understanding of brands with this childhood that was very much influenced by the brands and how they created for good and for bad an influence on the people who wanted to have a life associated.
De’Vannon: Well, my deepest apologies for, for my gosh, for having lost both your parents in such a, you know, in such a way. But you know, thank God you are still here and you know, you’re a living testimony to help millions of people out there. And so
would you say, did you say you researched brands and everything like that? . And you, I know you said that the, the turf wars and everything like that was necessarily over drugs, but do you feel like people can become addicted to brands and it becomes type [00:15:00] of a drug?
Deeon: Absolutely. I absolutely think so. I think that brands can be a physical representation of.
A person struggle to overcome identity issues, to overcome not fitting into to social normative behavior or structures. I think that brands can allow people who feel like they. Are lonely or that don’t have community, to find community by creating these very clear and obvious physical representations.
And I don’t think it’s just like the, the high-end brands, I think we tend to think of like the Gucci, the Louise, the, the jewelry, right. But I mean, you can even look at things like Comic-Con or cosplay where people are very. Putting [00:16:00] on the brand of an anime in order to, to align themselves to another group of people, usually not only because they love that brand, but because they’re looking for community in, in a very physical, upfront, clear, transparent way.
And so I think that that folks can be very much addicted to an association with brands like people can become addicted to To surgeries, to plastic surgeries, to this sort of outward performative individuality that also hearkens to trying to find community. Mm-hmm.
De’Vannon: community touches on, on all of us and, you know, we, we are so tribal, you know, by nature and, you know, that is just how God designed us and we.
You are always gonna clinging ourselves at be it happy hour, be it the soccer league, be it whatever, you know, we’re [00:17:00] not meant to exist independently, you know, otherwise God would’ve made us that way. So it’s about owning that, you know, and acknowledging that, and paying attention to when you’re going overboard with it, when you’re not doing enough with it.
You know, when I got kicked out of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, you know, I, I became a drug dealer and I didn’t realize that I was replacing my church community with a street life. And I was like trying to patch a wound. I didn’t realize that all I did was go and try to seek the same thing somewhere else.
And you know, my mind wasn’t operating that way. But let me see. I had like a super great. Like, like I was telling you before we got on this show, you know, I’ve been going through this breakup, like I was with that, with that guy for four and a half years. And we’re gonna talk about that, that episode coming up here in a couple of minutes.
One of the key things that, that, that, that woman said was that when you’re dealing through like that sort of [00:18:00] grief, you just have like a numbness and it’s like you can’t get your thoughts straight , you know, that, you know, that is what I’m going, you know, through, right through right now. But let me just Circle Cir circle back to here.
I want to talk about, I wanna talk about your logo. I have a fascination with like logos and book covers and artwork and things like that because I know it says you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but damn it. Why the fuck else are we making the cover? It’s not to be judged. You need to get your attention somehow.
So yours is super interesting. I see. It’s like you’re sitting there in your face list, which is a very, very like American Horror Story. Ah, my
Deeon: man versus brand cover art. Got it. Ok. Now ok. We’re, we’re there. Ok.
De’Vannon: So in, in either hand you have two different facial expressions going on. Yep. On the light, there’s like a light.
Ish, blue, kind of surreal. And if I wanna get all gay about it. But then on the other side, , [00:19:00] it is like slightly more demure. That face doesn’t look as happy. Your shirt, it’s a red shirt that says neck, next level. Mm-hmm. . You have various words in the back on the light side where the sun is. It says like fearless, innovative, creative, un, you know, un.
And then on the other side where the thunder clouds are, is like failure and genius. you have like fake it till you break it, but the F is slashed off, which is, turns it into, make it till you break it. But the R in break is flipped upside down and also reversed. Yes. Now you know you gonna have a logo like this and I’m gonna need you to break it down.
Cause this clearly you trying to make a statement. Absolutely,
Deeon: absolutely . So, so thank you for bringing that up. Alright, so the, the logo is for the podcast. It’s the cover art that I use and it, it speaks to this phenomenon that I experienced. During Covid, [00:20:00] right? And, and, and here’s what happened.
So I was leading a real estate firm that had sales in the hundreds of millions. I had you know, hu hundreds of agents that reported to me. And during Covid, like I didn’t have a lot of answers. I didn’t have a lot of answers. But not only did I not have a lot of answers, I didn’t have a lot of answers for hundreds of agents that were trying to conduct business because.
Weirdly in Covid, a lot of people moved. They moved from apartments into homes. They moved from smaller apartments into larger apartments. A lot of people went in backyard space. It was a lot going on. And New York is a competitive market already, so you could already imagine like just what was going on when people wanted to move.
And what I realized is, is that I didn’t have a safe space to say I didn’t know. I just had to come up with. , and I’m fine with that because I think I’m inherently one of those people that is curious [00:21:00] by nature. I, I, I grew up at eight trying to figure out stuff and figure out life and figure out the, the meaning behind death and all that stuff, right?
And so now I’m like pretty good at problem solving. . And I have a great group of people around me, but, but what it also meant is that I, I then went to my community, right? Speaking of community and asked them like, yep, I’m going through this, is anybody else? And everybody was like, yeah, like, this is weird.
I, I don’t have answers and people want me to, or, or I’m, I’m going to zoom funerals and I don’t know what to say, or I’m. and, and they want me to come to work and I don’t know how to advocate for myself. And so I wanted to create a safe space for people who didn’t have all the answers, to not have the answers, and to listen to people who also didn’t have the answers.
Not have the answers right. I wanted a space where like, [00:22:00] not having the answer was absolutely fine. . And, but what that meant is that I also had to realize that we’re all wearing these hats, these masks, right? Like Davanon Davanon is a bartender. He is an advocacy for for demystifying. Prejudices.
He is a online store owner. He is a podcast creator. He is a book owner, a book author, right? And, and all of those things are important, and all of them come with their own adjectives, their own thoughts, their own feelings. . And at any given point you get to decide which one of those masks you wanna wear and occupy which identity you wanna occupy.
And so in that, that thing, in that artwork, the, the smiling side, which has the sun and the [00:23:00]raining side, which has the sort of more dir face, they’re not all positive and negative adjectives, right? You can be unhappy and genius, right? You can be you can be effective and lost. Right? And that’s that sort of duality of not having all the answers is.
It’s okay not to be one thing. You don’t have to always be positive. Just like you don’t have to always be negative, you don’t have to always be happy and you don’t have to always be sad. You can decide to embrace the part of the journey, the part of the process that you’re in. If you’re grieving, you have the right to grieve.
You have the right to grieve deeply. You have the right to grieve loudly, and no one can tell you. What is grieve worthy or not like? No one can say like, well, you, that you are only in that thing for a year. It’s fine. You should, you’ll be over it in a month. Or, you know, that dog wasn’t, isn’t a person, [00:24:00] so why are you so upset about it?
Right? You get to be who you are. And so the artwork is about creating a safe space for people to be multiple things where the next level is on a shirt. It’s not visually shown where, where it sometimes. You’re gonna fake it till you make it. Sometimes you’re gonna break it till you make it. Sometimes you’ll never actually make it.
That’s okay too, right? Sometimes you’ll make it in certain things and fake it in certain things and break it in certain things, and that’s okay too, right? Where, where sometimes you’re sitting in the middle of. Of rain and sun, and that’s okay too. And so really all of it is about just being okay with where we are as people and being okay with where we are as brands because we get to be both a person, a human, and we get to be an author, a business owner.
We get to be all of those things at once. And none of those things [00:25:00] should suffer because we wanna live completely in, in the truth of them.
De’Vannon: That’s a damn good explanation. , I think you, I asked you for a breakdown and you broke it the fuck down. Like James Brown, you, you, your last name Brown are you can to the Godfather soul.
Oh, I got a
Deeon: little, got a little dance. Maybe. Possibly.
De’Vannon: You’ve earned your, your, your purple. Well he probably every color you your, your fucking purple cape today. Whoa. I know what I was gonna say before my mind lost this train of thought. And look, I don’t mind. You know, during these episodes, I’m recording right now, you know, appearing all like.
Scatterbrained and stuff like that in a week, because you know what I am right now, you know, my you know, my people out here in the world have seen me, you know, my strongest doing my best interviews, but I’m not gonna hide my weakness from anybody because that would be unrealistic. It would totally go against your logo
You know, you know, you know, this is, this is not my strongest time and I’m not complaining. [00:26:00] I’m just letting people know what’s going on. You can probably tell and hear the difference in the way I’m conducting the interview, but like the dust from the ashes, I’m gonna rise that we gonna press forward.
What I was, what I was gonna say when you were talking about the community aspect of the brands and you know, how we identify we needed for validation issues. This is part of the reason why I started my clothing line, my clothing store down under apparel, which specializes in lingerie’s a very like sexual store.
And people say like, we carry like plus size clothing. You know, it really, really does my heart, like, good to know that, that men and women who want to, who need like three XL lingerie or boxer briefs can come there and not feel judged. They can feel included, you know, and, and they can feel like them as a, you know, a plus size sexual being is a totally valid thing.
You know, just for starters, I get all kinds of like messages from [00:27:00] people and people We have, like men’s lace, lingerie, you know, there’s a lot of, there’s men who identify as straight enough who have like girlfriends and they like wear their, their, they, they would wear her lingerie because they like to cross dress or whatever.
Yeah. But, you know, a man’s body is completely different from a woman’s body and so they really, really appreciate having. Lace, feminine lingerie, that’s cut for the male physique, for instance. Yeah. You know, and so there’s so much like love in like clothing, you know, it’s not just clothes or it’s not just a brand or whatever it might be.
Deeon: so to add to that, right, I think that, . I, I, I, I appreciate first that you bring that up because I think that there is something to performative brand association and then something that tends to be more intimate, like let’s say lingerie, right? And, and I think that that [00:28:00] oftentimes, right, the reason why we can’t perform that sort of, those sort of associations, those sort of identities is because they don’t fit into the tructure.
Norm of what society thinks someone should wear. Right. Blue wasn’t always the color associated with boys, and pink wasn’t always the color associated with girls, right? There was a time period where boys and girls just due to economics would wear the same clothes. Like if you look at some of our old presidents, they’re baby pictures.
They’re definitely in lace and freely clothes. They’re definitely in what would be consider. Female attire. Right? And so it’s not until society had determined that boy boys looked better in in blue and girls looked better in pink. A lot of it had to do with, and, and sorry for the folks who didn’t know this, a lot of this had to do with eye color.
Well, I haven’t had to do with eye [00:29:00] color. What looked better with blue eyes, what looked better with brown eyes, a lot of it didn’t have very much to do with gender. A lot of it had to do with babies and eye colors and hair colors and these sorts of features that typically didn’t include non blonde-haired blue.
People. So even in our understanding of color association there. Is some sense that, that you may actually fit outside of what the norm is. I know I don’t look good in light blue. I look good in reds. All right. And so if I’m, if you’re putting me in light blue, it may not work out for me. I look better in reds because that’s due to my skin tone and my eye color, right?
So there are certain things that work better in certain spaces. And with that conversation around identity, I think there’s also one around. The [00:30:00] feel of a person, right? Like not all men are meant to to textually like hard, harsh fabrics. Like there are some people that lace feels natural. and individual to them, and in a way we rob people of their humanity by stating that you fit this gender identity.
Therefore you should only like these type of fabrics, these type of colors, this sort of aesthetic. God bless all of the partners of the world that allow their partners to live fully. and honestly in what brings that person joy. Because to be brought joy should never create consequence that is negative.
Right? Also I think that [00:31:00] to your conversation around plus size bodies or when they’re negatively called fat bodies. And I’m gonna extend that conversation to those in wheelchairs. Those that may have some level of a syndrome those that may be differently abled, blind deaf. Right. I think they’re oftentimes robbed of a level of intimacy that moves into romantic and or sexual.
I think that people rob them of their, of the idea that these people should also exist as sexual beings. And so creating a safe space of body representation, I believe also gives credence to another person who may not experience. Being outside of a body norm who may exist in an ability norm or outside of an ability norm, right.
To also say, [00:32:00] Hey, I am, I am allowed to give myself the right. To feel sexual, to feel desirable, to feel good about who I am, right? And so I do think that brands oftentimes spin their money, their marketing, in order to put you into a performance space to outwardly make you shout, Hey, I haven’t associated with this brand.
Hey, I look like this. Hey, these are my ideals. This is who I find community. But I do think that there are also brands that allow you to be an individual and to be intimate, and those tend to not be performative in the same way for the mass majority of people. Yes, there’s gonna be guys that are wearing lace and putting in on social media.
Right, but, but the majority of the median of those people are, are, it’s something that is a one-on-one with them. It’s something that makes them feel good. It’s something that allows them to identify with themselves and not with a community. And I think that’s the difference. Intimate brands allow you to [00:33:00] connect to yourself while performative brands allow you to connect to others.
And so when you’re connecting to yourself and to the desires of yourself and to what makes you feel good as a person. It allows you to be secure and settled in yourself and happy in yourself. It doesn’t matter if another person ever sees that you’re associated with that brand, cuz it’s actually about you and your relationship one-on-one with yourself.
Where a lot of performative brands, which tends to be a bit more dangerous, their, their, their job is to. To create a space for you to find community with a bunch of other people and whether you can afford it, whether you should have it, whether this thing is, is positively influencing and adding to your life.
It doesn’t matter to the brand because the brand is really about you showing others that you have this level of association.
Woo. That was a lot. That’s right there. That , that was a lot. That said a lot. Sorry guys, if I’m rambling my bad man. This is his podcast guys. He does an amazing job. But you know, I figured [00:34:00] if, if, if, if, if I can shed light, if that helps someone to, that is questioning their own sense of desirability, their own sense of fitting into a social norm, man, listen, do what, what feels right for you?
and I promise you, the universe will allow you to be happy for respecting and representing your own wants. If those wants, in fact, don’t harm anyone. And if those wants, in fact, brings you happiness, so go for it.
De’Vannon: What, you’re also speaking to Mr. Preacher because you, you, you, you could have been a preacher if you wanted to
you, you’re speaking to the hypnosis effect and the subconscious manipulation that can happen with marketing and branding and stuff like that. And and I always want people to be aware of why they think what they think, why they’re attracted to what they’re attracted to, why they go about the business of doing what they’re doing.
And so there’s nothing wrong if you want a roag, Gucci, however, if you judge others [00:35:00] for not having Gucci or if something were to happen to you and you lost your job and you could no longer afford Gucci, you should not think less of yourself or anyone else. So it’s, it’s a balancing act and being not too much nor too little, but being.
so that it’s not inherently evil, but it’s also not necessarily inherently good either because it’s everywhere that when you’re constantly hit with marketing and it’s on social media and all every damn body, you know, the celebrities and everything that is, that is leaving an impression upon you and you really, really, really ought to be careful not to get caught up in it.
Deeon: so Devan, can I do a quick book drop for, for folks? I’m, I’m writing a book currently. Can I give a quick book drop that feels right in this moment? Do I have your permission? . All right, so I’m, I’m currently writing a book called Life Dysmorphia. Trademark is being filed No, no, I’m just kidding. I already filed, it’s called Life Dysmorphia.
So we understand what body dysmorphia is, where we see our bodies differently than maybe others do. And we have a negative take on our [00:36:00] bodies and, and, and in, in relationship to other bodies that we see that may not necessarily represent what the mass majority views as our. . Well, I believe that there’s also life dysmorphia.
I think that we can sometimes judge our lives in different spaces in social intellectual physical spiritual spaces and look at others and go, why don’t I? Why don’t I have that? Why am I not like that? I don’t have this, and everyone else does. And I think that a lot of what we’re talking about speaks to this idea of life dysmorphia where we, we don’t see ourselves clearly because we don’t see ourselves clearly.
We start to make purchasing decisions, life decisions. From a place of trauma and pain and woundedness as opposed to being empowered and seeing clearly and representing who we are fully. As I’m working on this book it’s being co-authored with my aunt, who is like my spiritual guru. [00:37:00] And and it’s something that I’m really, really excited for.
So life dysmorphia don’t know when this episode’s gonna drop, but guys, I promise you this book is coming out and I’m really, really excited about it. It breaks down things that you’ll say to yourself in a mirror. A lot of it’s is, is, is framework on a mirror conversation. That you have with yourself and that mirror talking back to you as it actually sees you and not how you see yourself.
And so it’s based on mirror conversation. So if you’ve ever looked in a mirror and said, I’m not worthy enough, I’m not attractive enough. , I’m not spiritual enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not a good enough parent. I’m not a good enough friend. Right? Then, then, then this book is gonna be a way of the mirror and your future self, or your whole self talking back to you and giving you not necessarily an answer that you are or you aren’t, but giving your perspective to think about it differently so that you can be happier and more set in your life.
And, and, and work toward the healing that it would take for you to [00:38:00] embody the things that you ultimately wanna be. So, shameless book plug. It’s coming out soon, guys, coming out soon.
De’Vannon: And, and just like the saying, I speak massive healing, healing, healing over all of you nations because my God, do we need it?
And so we will be behalf of the, to, to get a copy of that book and have you back on to discuss it because, you know, I’m a book nerd and so. Speaking of the intersectionality in between brand and the human experience, there was a show from your podcast. So so as Dion has mentioned, he has a podcast man versus brand Alo, along with his entrepreneurial work that he does at all the businesses and things like that.
And now he’s about to be an author, you know, he’s wearing all the faces and all the hats. So from his podcast, there was this one show entitled What We Can Gain After Experiencing. And this was conducted with a certified grief coach whose name is Nazarene Ahed, [00:39:00] who is a professional certified coach.
That’s important. Not every coach out there is certified. There are certain certifications you can get. Not saying the non-certified ones are terrible. They’re saying that that’s a, that’s something I appreciate seeing. And so in this episode, Dionne talks about. This, this company that, that, that, that, that, that you kept referring to as fledgling.
It was suffering and striving. And you came on board and you eventually, you got promoted to partner and you really helped to take them from the shadows into the light. There was an online based business and something happened where you no longer had it, and you went through grief to the point that you had to go to therapy.
Now, I never heard anybody talk, you, you, you talking about grief. Somebody didn’t died, you done broke. The dog’s dead, you know, the house and burn down, you know, or something like that. But this is, this is like a tie-in to a [00:40:00] business and branding and grief to the point that you had to see a therapist and so, and you’re not the only one.
There’s many people, you know, you hear about successful business people losing a business deal and hurting themselves, killing themselves. People take financial and business laws hard, you know, speak to us about, .
Deeon: So I think that oftentimes when we grieve, we, we grieve over the future of possibilities, right?
And, and the future of possibilities might be, I, I, my grandmother should have been there for my wedding. My dog will no longer greet me when I walk into the door. The business that I had worked hard for is no longer operat. and I think that we, we are, we are, we have been socialized to believe that there’s this hierarchy to grief, that grief is [00:41:00] supposed to be structured, and there are certain things that are at the top of the grief.
Triangle pyramid, right? Like death of a parent or a child, and then it moves into death of a a partner, then death of a sibling, then death of a friend. We, even social has to believe that death has this hierarchy of influence in our life. And also that there is a finite time in which you should grieve, and then at some point you’re supposed to get over it.
What I realized though is that so the. personally, right? So I can only speak personally guys. The loss of my parents early on created in me this very deep wound of abandonment and loss, right? And so for me, things that people would otherwise find traumatic, I tend not to, right? So I don’t know. I get, I’m in, [00:42:00] involved in a car accident.
I’m, I’m okay medical emergency, I’m okay. Things that people would be like, wow, you know, it takes a strong person to experience that typically. Okay. If I experienced this sense of loss, it triggers in me a version of myself that is now eight years old and powerless to do anything. And so for me, the need for therapy was representational.
I, I, I didn’t really need to solve the fact that this company went under, I needed to solve the fact that lost hit me so deeply that it was paralyzing. To the other things that I needed to accomplish in order to move forward. And it’s something I still deal with. Like I still deal with laws very tough.
I have a tough time with laws. I still deal with life occurrences where things like that happen and I take it very [00:43:00] much to heart. I have over empathetic feelings about people who experience loss. And so I still see the remnants of it. I just think that I’ve now have the tools and the skills in order to understand why I’m experiencing these feelings, what these feelings are rooted in, and, and understand that that even though the feelings.
Could feel deep and they could feel overwhelming. It could feel that I’m in this endless ocean of pain, of loss, that all I have to do is wade until I see a direction and then I can swim. The other part of me thought it was either drown or. Right. What therapy taught me is that you actually have the option to wait to just tread water and to just look around and get some assessment of where you are and why you were there, and then [00:44:00] move when you feel led to move, because there’s in fact a clear direction for you to move in and that clear direction.
May be a passage of time. It may be a circumstance that occurred. It may be a revelatory moment or dream. I don’t know what that looks like for any individual person, but there’s a moment where, , there is something beyond the fog of pain and trauma and misery and whatever that thing is, you can decide to move in that direction, or you can decide to tread more to war water and wait until you see another direction that may be more suited to you.
The point is, is that you don’t have to drown or swim, and so whatever that lesson looks, , whether it’s dropping outta college, whether it’s losing your job, a divorce, a breakup, a loss, right? It’s important that you [00:45:00] as the listener, as a person experiencing it as a person who’s experiencing it in relationship to someone that you know or love.
That you acknowledge that not only could you be one experiencing the pain of the very circumstance that you’re going through, but you could also be experiencing a remnant of a deeper, more rooted pain that this brings up for you, that this conjures for you. And so not only are you dealing with the circumstance you are today, but you are also dealing with.
The accumulation of other circumstances that you either did or did not deal with that feel, that emotionally feel similar to this, right? Because our brain is nothing but chemistry and processing of emotion. That’s all we have. Memory is emotion. Brain thought is emotion, right? Do do, is it important for me?
Study and learn, or is it not? And what, what motions are, am I applying that to right? Do I feel happy when I’m successful? Do I not feel happy [00:46:00] when I’m successful? Those things start to drive the way that our brain processes information. Our brain also, in order to allow us to move forward in life, pushes things into our subconscious mind so that everything that ever happened to us as traumatic isn’t brought up every day.
Could you imagine demanding waking up every day and remembering every traumatic thing that happened to you all the time? If your brain processed that way, how little you would actually get done in your life, right? And so sometimes when we talk about triggering, we’re talking. Our brain reaching into our subconscious mind and pulling up that circumstance that has been hiding from us and going, you remember when that happened?
You remember that ? Do you remember that? That was crazy. Right? And our brain becomes fixated on that moment, right? That’s a trigger. And so sometimes I think that we, we, we, we do ourselves in disservice by by belittling or reducing what’s currently happening to us as if there weren’t other things that happened to us.[00:47:00]
The body remembers. The brain remembers, right? It remembers trauma, remembers joy, it remembers happiness and remembers pain. And so, one, I would just say, you know, guys, what I’ve learned is, is like, you know, don’t discount the past. Don’t discount the other things that you’ve been able to successfully bury.
Whether it’s by your own conscious thought or whether your brain just did it for you because it was kind and wanted you to move forward in. And the other is, is to, to not be afraid to, to not move in a direction, not to be afraid to just wait. It’s not paralysis. . It’s just waiting for a direction to be made clear to you.
And it beats oftentimes swimming or drowning as an option because you’re allowing yourself the space and breath to really find out what’s next for you. And the world oftentimes wants you to move on because everyone else is experiencing trauma. You get to decide that you just [00:48:00] wanna sit for a. and figure out what’s next for you and Wade in the grief and the feelings that you’re experiencing until something else comes up that allows you to move forward, not move on, just move forward.
De’Vannon: I feel like that, that, that sounds wise and, and smart, I feel like like’s more easily said. You know, in a, in a lot of cases for a lot of people. Because you know, like in my case right now I have like a lot of like anxiety. Like I just want to go and do something. But what you’re saying is the right thing to do is to, to wait till things settle.
But you know, a lot of people don’t do that. You know, we go get into, you know, bad habits, you know, be it drugs, alcohol, you know, dangerous sex or whatever the case may be, excessive spending, you know, whatever. . You know, the case may be we get into destructive behavior sometimes when we begin to act out, when [00:49:00] we, when we’ve lost something.
Although the wise thing is to sit still , I don’t know, a lot of yoga, a lot of meditating, a hell of a lot of praying, you know, and all of those things to help to settle your emotions because it’s not good when we’re dysfunctional still, when we’re trying to function as we tend to make a lot of mistakes that way.
Deeon: Well, I, I hear, I agree with you. Right. But I do, I will say this. That. Okay. So the first thing I think is, is that our brain, are wired to understand again, emotion, right? So, so, hey, if, if from 17 tovan into 24 drugs were the way that you found happiness, even if you’ve grown out of that, even if you heal from that, your brain still remembers that drugs is the way that you found happiness, that sex was a way that you found happiness.
And so when you are now experiencing unhappy thoughts, your brain’s gonna go, all right, let’s get him happy again. Let’s get him. . [00:50:00] Right? It may not be safe in a social context. It may not be safe in a rational context, but your brain is looking for when you felt safe, right? And so when you felt safe might have not been yoga.
And so yoga don’t seem like an option for you right now when you felt safe might have not been reading. So reading might not be right. The, I think the thing is when you’re waiting is to understand, right? And to not move in a direction, but to just take an assessment of where you are, right? If, if. if engaging in sex is something that feels like a direction for you, all I’m saying is that your, your, your, your options aren’t to swim directly to it or to sink because you’re not doing it.
It’s just to wait and make a an informed decision for yourself, right? So if you know, hey, I’m, I’m likely to, I’m starting to get urges to engage in promiscuous sex. Well, what can you do to mitigate some of the [00:51:00] long-term consequences so that when you are out of this space that you’re in, that you haven’t caused more harm to yourself?
Knowing that there will become a point where you’ll not have these same. Feelings of need in the same way, right? And what can you do for that? Right? And so your waiting is you just deciding like, all right, well, you know, maybe I’m gonna only deal with this one person, or maybe I’m only gonna deal with this one setting, or maybe I’m gonna mix my drugs with my sex in this one particular, you know, way of expressing myself, right?
And, and you may decide to go in that direction. I think the thing is, You just, it, it be, it can become dangerous. It can become dangerous to just move in a direction, thoughtlessly. And then when you are now resolved of the grief and the trauma that got you there to deal with the consequences of not thinking through the decisions you were making.
Right. You don’t wanna spend time and then wonder where your time had been [00:52:00] spent because you were just moving directionless through whatever you were going through. Sometimes you need to sit back and take an assessment of where you are, look at your life, look at what your driving factors are and decide whether you want to do them.
Listen, I can’t tell someone that drugs is not the way for them. Get through today in order to be a more successful them tomorrow. What I can say is that there’s a higher probability that you will suffer longer term consequence and or addiction if you do so. If you’re making that choice, sit for a second.
Decide that that choice is something that you want to make, create clear boundaries for you to move in that direction and understand that there may come a time where that direction no longer serves you and, and you need to decide [00:53:00] what happens when it no longer serves you because you’re in an emotional space, not necessarily a life space.
De’Vannon: Well, I’m gonna take all of that damn good advice that you just dished out and you to try to corrall my ass and to keep me on like a good path and to keep me from making some of the bad decisions I’ve already started to make. So .
Deeon: And we’re allow bad decisions, you know what I mean? Like sometimes, sometimes in a world where like, , and I’ll say this in like, I don’t know, trigger warning or just, you know, whatever, warning, right?
Like some if, if you’re, if the, if, if in unhealthy, if leaning into an unhealthy coping mechanism, which could be drugs or it could be food or it could be, there’s a term. It could be excessive spending, right? If, if leaning into it knowing that there is an out for you on the other side. . [00:54:00] If you’re balancing that against harming yourself to the point that there isn’t another side, right?
Then lean into the unhealthy thing and then get support for that unhealthy thing and live another day, right? Like find your support, find your love, find your network, find your community. Right. That’s first. That’s the first thing we wanna do is find support, find love, find community, find positivity when that no longer works, the idea that you could lean into something as a temporary fix in order to, to alleviate the trauma of it so that you can get to a space where you can face it, and then eventually find community and find support and find love for it.
That definitely. The rates of self-harm and suicide that we’re seeing in the country today where folks feel like there is no out, [00:55:00] there is no other way. And so if someone said, I need to gamble for a couple days because I’m feeling these thoughts of self-harm, then gamble a couple days. Right. And I’m not saying it has to be that extreme.
I’m just saying that, that we also have to give ourselves grace to be human, to be flaw. to have to, to, to have had developed negative habits that we sometimes wanna lean into. And that if the, if the alternative is I can’t live, then find a way to live until you can find the support system to give you back the life that you.
And a lot of people may take that and misconstrue it as me being like, do drugs or have promiscuous sex. That’s not what I’m saying folks. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that in, in a world where you know it’s drown or swim, I’m telling you to swim, [00:56:00] not drown until you find a support system that allows you to get to the destination you deserve to get to.
De’Vannon: He’s saying, choose the lesser of your evils and whatever it takes to keep your ass alive. Because as my favorite days, cause the song says, as long as you are breathing, you can start all over again.
Deeon: Absolutely. Absolutely.
De’Vannon: Okay. So that, that brings us to a close here. I’m gonna go over your contact information and then I’ll give you the last word.
Although you’ve been giving us good advice. I don’t know if you know it, but you counseled me through this interview. I was interviewing you, but you were counseling me, you know, Send me the bill. I’ll happily pay it. So let me see here. His podcast is called Man Versus Brand. His books are coming out.
He’ll be back on the show if he wants to, to talk about that. He has two websites. One is man versus [00:57:00] brand.com. The other one is dion brown.com. I do want you to tell us the difference in your outro that you’re about to give us here. On both of those websites, his social media’s, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ticky, talkie, and YouTube.
Now all of this information’s gonna go on the showing notes as it always it does. So, Dionne, thank you for being my pastor today. And tell us the difference between man versus brand.com and dion brown.com and then you can give the world whatever advice you would like. All
Deeon: right. So so Dion brown.com is like the, the one space for all of my stuff.
You’re gonna find the project, big brand stuff there. You’re gonna find the man versus brand stuff there. You’re gonna find out a lot about me and like my own life journey, my coaching journey. You’re gonna find out information about my past companies that I worked with, things that I really love. I think it’s a really transparent look into the cross-section.
The intersectionality between me. Man or a [00:58:00] human and, and me as a brand, I think you’ll get a really good idea of that. Man versus brand.com. We’ve got some merch on there that’s really cool. We got all the platforms that man versus brand is on. And you can just listen to the episodes agnostic of any podcast platform.
So if you just wanna listen I definitely have a place for you to listen there. And and if you ever guys wanna get in contact, you know, you can definitely reach out to me. Let me know. That you came by way of Devon, because you know, that builds the context for the conversation we’re about to have.
And and I appreciate you. So for the last thing I’m gonna say, it’s not gonna be about me guys. What I want you to do is stop what you’re doing right now. I want you to go to, wherever this podcast is that you’re listening to and or watching it, I want you to smash the, like, smash the subscribe button.
Smash the join button for sex drugs in Jesus, wherever you’re listening to this app, and show some love. Like, shoot a comment out, like as a content [00:59:00] creator, man, sometimes I am so, so made to, to feel connected and to feel like humbled by and, and overwhelmed and overjoyed. When people leave me comments, when people like, when people subscribe, it just, it, it, it, it just lets me know that the work is being received and, and we know that people are listening.
We know that you guys enjoy. But there’s something to just seeing that right to feel it is one thing to see it as another. So if you’re listening to my voice right now, pause this podcast, make sure you come back to it and pop that sex drugs in Jesus Lincoln man, and make sure that you are following all the channels that it’s on, that you’re liking it, that you’re subscribing to it.
Because this guy’s putting out work. Not only is he putting out work, he’s putting out necessary work, transparent work work that brings about healing. Work, work that breaks down stereotypes and traumas and, and I think it’s important. And so [01:00:00] feed him like he’s feeding y’all by showing that love and support.
And that’s me.
De’Vannon: Well him. Thank you Dion. No one’s ever done that before. You sure know how to make an impression. .
Deeon: Thank you. I appreciate it. Listen guys, thank you so much for having me on. I hope to come back. This guy’s amazing, so make sure, and he has an episode on man versus Brand, so check that out. It just released like.
Two or three weeks ago. So if you like this episode, hopefully he’ll place it in the show notes, the episode that he was on for our podcast, where we talk about all things related to his experience in that particular section of Christianity. And his, the book that he wrote and the experience that he had in love and relationship and mentorship and all the, the experiences that this man had and what my take was on it.
And so he did a lot more talking. On that episode than, than he did on this one. And I did a lot more talking on this episode, which is, I think, the nature of guest and host. So [01:01:00] check out his episode, man. I hope you guys enjoy this one and blessing and balance.
De’Vannon: Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at Sex Drugs in jesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at Davanon Sex Drugs and jesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.
My name is Davanon, and it’s been wonderful being your host today. And just remember that everything is gonna be all right.