Financial Anxiety

Financial Anxiety

How can you lessen financial anxiety? In today’s Startup Hustle episode, hear an impactful story from Lauren Conaway and Jeffrey McCormack, co-founder and CEO of Iryss. Their discussion revolves around how the guest’s medical condition led to the creation of the platform. And how to manage your money properly to lessen financial stress.

Covered In This Episode

Inflation, market volatility, and unexpected expenses—it’s hard not to have financial anxiety. All these things are even more magnified when you have a medical condition. And you need to juggle alleviating your symptoms, taking care of your family, and handling your financial needs.

All these things were experienced by Jeff, and it started his journey towards creating Iryss. This personal finance platform helps other people with medical conditions. And we get to hear his story, more details about Iryss, and some tips on how to be financially free in today’s conversation with Lauren. 

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Highlights

  • Jeff’s impactful journey led him to the establishment of Iryss (02:38)
  • The reality that people with a chronic illness face (04:02)
  • How Iryss can help protect your finances after diagnosis (05:51)
  • How the personal finance platform develops the verticals (07:13)
  • Iryss and its impact on Jeff’s own journey (08:47)
  • Founders Institute programs and mentoring opportunities (12:24)
  • What is the primary goal of Iryss? (15:30)
  • The manifestation of fear before using Iryss (22:31)
  • Iryss as a platform—the empathy piece (26:57)
  • Jeff’s tips and ideas to lessen financial anxiety and be financially free (33:07)
  • What does the future look like for Jeff and Iryss? (37:20)
  • The impact of helping others towards a “controllable” financial future (39:03)

Key Quotes

But at least you have two hands on the wheel. You know where you’re headed, and you feel comfortable. You know, you may not be 100% confident. But you’re much more comfortable in what is in store for you than you were before using Iryss. If I can do that, then I’ve done my job.

– Jeff McCormack

We have massive inflation. We have wages that have stagnated, so you’re not just introducing a difficult circumstance. You’re introducing an impossible one to your life. How do you pay off thousands of dollars when, economically, we are just not built to do that?

– Lauren Conaway

Deliver something in front of a customer. Do some research. Take actions to move in a direction of where you’re headed because the world needs more people innovating.

– Jeff McCormack
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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Lauren Conaway

And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHER KC. And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about today’s episode of Startup Hustle and our fabulous sponsors. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. As you probably know, for entrepreneurs and founders, hiring software developers can be really hard, and Full Scale is there. They are going to be there for you. They can help you build a software team quickly and affordably, easily. They have a platform to help you manage it. It’s incredible. So definitely visit FullScale.io to learn more. Now, I have been hearing about the guest that we have on our show today for quite some time. He was introduced to me by someone I deeply respect and admire, Garnett Harriman of Aperture Venture Capital. Garnet really, really wanted me to talk to this guest, and I’m very, very excited to hear what he has to say. But we have with us today Jeffrey McCormack, and he is co-founder and CEO of Iryss. They are a financial services company, but we’re going to be talking about a lot of different stuff. I am so excited to have Jeff on the show with us today. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us. Absolutely, I’m not even kidding. Garnett has been, like, you have to have him on the show. You have to have him on the show. I’m like, I can’t wait because anybody Garnett recommends to me I’m like, I’m down.

01:18.33

Jeff McCormack

Thanks for having me, Lauren.

01:26.60

Jeff McCormack

Yeah.

01:31.94

Lauren Conaway

Let’s do this. So, I know, I mean, I do feel like there is some pressure on your shoulders. And I will report back to Garnett. But I am also so confident that this is going to be a great show. I just feel that. We did great during prep; we were having fun.

01:33.68

Jeff McCormack

Now I really have to deliver. Oh, boy, I feel it.

01:47.69

Jeff McCormack

Um, it was fun.

01:50.90

Lauren Conaway

Ah, so let’s go ahead and just get this party started. I’m just going to ask you, hey, Jeff, tell us about your journey.

01:57.11

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, so let’s ah, let’s roll back to 2008. My wife had just given birth to our son. He was all of two weeks old. I’m holding it in my arms.

02:00.81

Lauren Conaway

Okay, not all the way back to birth, all right? No.

02:16.24

Jeff McCormack

And my left leg goes numb to a point where I can’t stand anymore. I need to sit down and my wife, being a surgical physician assistant, goes, yeah, there’s something wrong. So that started my journey to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

02:31.55

Lauren Conaway

Oh, man.

02:35.75

Jeff McCormack

It didn’t really hit me. You know that that’s what, you know what? This disease journey was going to look like this, but boy, made the financial impact of my journey hit me pretty quickly. So I was one of the, you know, 5% of employees at the time that was on a high deductible health plan.

02:39.94

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

02:52.46

Jeff McCormack

So my MRI cost came. First, that was fifteen hundred bucks. My diagnostic cost came second, that’s a couple hundred dollars, and then the treatment costs roll in in your talk.

03:00.28

Lauren Conaway

Oh, I can’t, I can’t even imagine. Yeah, well, first of all, I’m so sorry that that happened to you. But, you know, I got to tell you, and we do have a lot of international, you know, folks from around the globe who might even be listening to this right now. And saying, hey, you know, we have universal health care.

03:09.42

Jeff McCormack

Well, thank you.

03:18.77

Lauren Conaway

And we have. I’m just like, hey, that’s not really the case here in the States. Our healthcare system is like, oh, you have a chronic illness, good luck. Maybe the odds are ever in your favor.

03:22.76

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, lucky them now.

03:35.34

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, yeah, it is. It is a hunger games type of scenario, and the reality is while I was one of the few people dying that had high deductible health plans in 2008, over 50% of employees were, you know, part of a high deductible health plan.

03:39.60

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

03:53.64

Jeff McCormack

Last year the average out-of-pocket cost rose 100% over that time frame, so $66000 is the average amount that people pay out of pocket before health insurance kicks in. So.

03:56.62

Lauren Conaway

Oh my god.

04:06.70

Lauren Conaway

Well, you also have to consider if you’re talking about rising health care costs. You also have to view that through the lens of what else is going on. I mean, we have massive inflation. We have wages that have stagnated, and so you’re not just introducing a difficult circumstance. You’re introducing an impossible one to your life. How do you pay off thousands of dollars when, economically, we are just not built to do that?

04:35.29

Jeff McCormack

No, no, and when it captures such a large portion of your budget. It really becomes problematic, and the unfortunate reality is that no people with chronic illnesses can’t pay their bills on an annual basis. Um, is that poor financial management or lack of funds? That’s what Iryss is really intended to help people solve: how do I pay my current bills but also plan for the future and ensure that my family’s interests are protected.

05:08.60

Lauren Conaway

That’s incredible. So can you tell us a little bit about how you do that? Or how does Iryss do that?

05:12.63

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, so Iryss is ah it’s a financial planning platform that you know intakes data we connect through plaid, so users connect their financial accounts with plaid we pair that with financial data. Ah, that we have developed disease-specific models for autoimmune diseases, and we map the individual’s financial future but provide them with resources and tools to help them mitigate current out-of-pocket costs. But also strategies on how they can protect themselves and their family’s financial interests well into the future.

05:54.48

Lauren Conaway

Oh man, I really kind of want to drill down a little bit on it. You said that it is condition specific. Can you because you like you, so you have MS.

05:57.99

Jeff McCormack

Please.

06:04.64

Jeff McCormack

Um, and it.

06:06.96

Lauren Conaway

We talked about this a little bit in prep. But I’m a diabetic who also has a chronic autoimmune disorder. Basically, my pancreas is like, screw you. I want to eat myself and stop doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and that’s.

06:14.17

Jeff McCormack

But

06:20.98

Lauren Conaway

You know it is what it is, but can you talk to us about how you developed these different kinds of verticals based on conditions?

06:27.98

Jeff McCormack

Well sure. So as you think about, you know, financial planning. There are 3 elements that matter, right? It’s how much you make, how much you spend, and how much you save and those 3 elements. Create an interplay about whether you have success or failure in any given year or into the future. So can I save enough during my earning years to fund my non-earning years, which many of us think of as retirement years but as chronically ill individuals? May have been forced out of the workforce before we’re ready to retire, so each disease has a different trajectory, and each person has a different trajectory. So at Iryss, we’re looking to meet people where they are in their disease journey.

07:05.56

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

07:21.43

Jeff McCormack

Help them better understand where they might be a year, five years, ten years, thirty years into the future and what they can do to improve the probability that they have the resources needed to meet all of life’s goals. All of their goals. Their family goals. Um, but really have the resources available to them they need.

07:43.60

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, I love that, and we are going to drill down a little bit into that later for sure because I have like 5 different questions that I want to ask you, but the thing I want to do I actually want to take it back to you, so Jeff talk to us about how Iryss and how the platform has impacted your personal journey.

07:56.99

Jeff McCormack

Okay.

08:05.97

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, so that’s ah, that’s a great question, so I actually was a financial advisor prior to starting Iryss, and a lot of the problems. What I saw within the wealth management industry were the problems that I was looking to solve with Iryss out of the gate, such as high fees with certain advisors, illustrating how the destruction of high fees can have on an individual’s wealth. It’s great for the advisor. It’s bad for the client.

08:41.60

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

08:43.12

Jeff McCormack

When the advisor is paying too much. Um, what I realized quickly. We launched an initial tool and what we realized quickly was that people that were currently working with a financial advisor didn’t really have a whole lot of interest in the digital tool that would tell them they were paying too much. And that makes sense. Advisory relationships are relationship businesses. Um, so we had to pivot, and it was during ah you know my entrepreneurial journey probably the most influential aspect has been my time in the founders institute. So I was in a role as a founder with Founders Institute Toronto and it was through their mentorship and tutelage and through that program that they really forced me to dig deep.

09:20.19

Lauren Conaway

Woo.

09:36.68

Jeff McCormack

They said, Jeff, what is it about you that can help you build a solution to solve a problem that no one else can build? And that’s where we really started to focus on this. Ah this disease specific modeling because of my backstory.

09:40.10

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

09:49.75

Lauren Conaway

You know.

09:54.90

Jeff McCormack

Because of what I could speak to that very few others could along with my financial services industry experience pairing those 2 together. Um, you know we believe we can build a very powerful solution. We are building one. It’s been validated by partners.

10:12.18

Lauren Conaway

That’s absolutely incredible, and I want to hear about the founders institute but just for a little bit of context. Do you happen to know how many people in America are living with chronic illness at any given moment? I feel like that’s a stat that should be out there if it’s not yes.

10:12.60

Jeff McCormack

And users.

10:27.20

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, yeah, so ah worldwide there’s 850000000 people with a chronic illness. Yeah in the US nearly 52% of all adults manage 1 or more chronic illnesses.

10:33.82

Lauren Conaway

Wow, normal.

10:44.29

Lauren Conaway

And that could be anything from LBS to MS to diabetes to heart issues. That’s okay, that’s significant. That’s I mean I hate to put it in such.

10:46.66

Jeff McCormack

So we’re talking 50000000 people.

10:55.30

Jeff McCormack

Yep.

11:03.87

Lauren Conaway

You know, kind of money. Business terms. But that’s a large potential for market share right there that you have a captive and willing audience because it’s a real problem. Um, and so I love your approach and how you’re attacking it. Talk to us. A little bit more I found this fascinating and I know we talk often on the show about the power of good mentorship and finding people who are smarter than you surrounding yourself with them and figuring out how you can make your product or your service offering and yourself as a leader even better stronger more Efficient. So talk to us a little bit more about founders Institute Can you kind of drill down in there too like to some of the the programming that they offered and some of the mentorship opportunities.

11:48.72

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, so for those of you that don’t know the founders institute program. It’s actually the largest pressed accelerator program in the world. You know I think they provide. You know they have over 90 chapters worldwide and have launched none of the companies since they’re forming and. It really is very programmatic. It’s fourteen weeks of intensive program that on average took me about 20 to 25 hours per week to complete the assignments that were required and that’s on top of my full time work week.

12:24.40

Lauren Conaway

Day to day duties. Yeah, but.

12:27.26

Jeff McCormack

My entrepreneurial work week. Um, but most important to me. Yeah listen I’ve had ah I’ve had a great career and have wonderful mentors including Garnett who I I view as ah as a dear friend and and and one of my closest advisors. But it’s the exposure to. Mentors with different perspectives at the founders institute that I found the most refreshing and they’re accessible, right? So the founders institute creates a platform where you can connect with these individuals on their calendar. Some of them are very very generous with their time.

12:48.74

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

13:04.92

Jeff McCormack

And then the deeper you drill with these individuals, the more and more insights and perspectives that they provide you um that you can serve you a lifetime I wouldn’t be sitting here with you today and talking about this story if it wasn’t for that journey and. Knock on wood I’ll graduate from Founders Institute Toronto on July twenty eight that’s our graduation date. So yeah, ah, yeah, thank you.

13:27.51

Lauren Conaway

Oh man, it’s so close I feel like you’re all there man like I believe in you you got this like if I were a betting woman I would bet on you Well that that is that is awesome and I mean congratulations on Being. Accepted and worked your way through the program. But honestly, I think one of the most impressive things about your story is how you were able to internalize and validate all of this information you were receiving from the founders institute and turn it into a really powerful pivot and opportunity for your business. You know. That’s what happens when we talk about Coachability. That’s what we’re talking about, like do you take feedback. Can you use feedback and turn it into something really really positive. A really great opportunity and it sounds like you’ve definitely done that So congratulations Sir well done. Absolutely.

14:16.68

Jeff McCormack

Thank you, Lauren, appreciate it.

14:21.95

Lauren Conaway

Well, so let’s talk a little bit more about this opportunity and what I’d like to hear now and I’m sure that you have a ton of these, but I’m going to give you an opportunity to brag on yourself. Are you ready? Actually I’m going to give you the opportunity to brag on Iryss sorry let me rephrase.

14:34.56

Jeff McCormack

Okay, yes.

14:37.77

Lauren Conaway

Ah, do you have some case studies or some you know clients that you’ve worked with who have you know worked the system and figured out that you figured out the platform and really really seen success in their fight would it financial empowerment is that what we’re going to call this.

14:53.76

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, financial wellbeing empowerment. Yeah yeah, no question I mean the goal you know 1 of things to reduce financial stress right? If you know the people are worried about you know how to manage the day-to-day worries about the relationship with people. They’ve entrusted me to help them.

14:56.88

Lauren Conaway

Security. Yeah.

15:13.41

Jeff McCormack

Um, you know, no matter what worries, whatever baggage, financial or health baggage. You come to Iryss with it’s our job to unpack it. So yeah, I’ve got two that come to mind, the first is a lovely woman.

15:19.74

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

15:31.14

Jeff McCormack

Mother Health care professional mother of one who came to Iryss and really just didn’t have a grasp now she does reasonably well financially but didn’t understand all the moving pieces and. How to put it all together, how to package it all together and and make it work for her so in working with her through that problem, we were able to identify over $1500 per year in savings that she could increase her allocation to her hsa account.

16:02.74

Lauren Conaway

Wow.

16:10.73

Jeff McCormack

Ah, and by doing so have more money for future Healthcare costs and really because she has good disposable income. We really advised her or talked to her about you know so not using her hsa or her health savings account money to pay for current medical bills.

16:13.14

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

16:28.70

Jeff McCormack

But pay for those out of pocket and let the HSA account let that grow so that it’s there when she needs to pay for Medicare premiums and the unfortunate reality is many of us with chronic illness will need assisted living in the future.

16:35.59

Lauren Conaway

Right.

16:43.14

Jeff McCormack

And those costs are going to be exorbitant when we need them like half a million dollars yeah so an ongoing exactly right.

16:44.42

Lauren Conaway

Ah, just huge well in ongoing you know and essentially like ongoing until you die and that’s that’s a really scary thing to think about because not only. Do you have to deal with your own vulnerability and your own fears about knowing all kinds of things? But then you also have to think about those who come after like your kids, and you know are you setting your kids up for significant debt and you know how are you? So I can’t imagine the peace of mind that could come with it. Taking control of a very uncontrollable piece of your life like every single individual I know that has chronic illness. There is a component of being out of control. To it like for you, you know I’m not sure what kind of MS you have but like you never really know when a body part is going to go numb and stop working as it should I’m never going to know I never know when my blood sugar is going to freak out and decide to like you know, make me stop. You know there are days where.

17:46.33

Jeff McCormack

Right.

17:53.87

Lauren Conaway

You know my blood sugar spikes or if you know it, it drops and then it’s like oh Lauren’s not good for anything today you know and and you didn’t know that going in and so being able to have that piece of mind and have that structure around a very, very scary ongoing thing. Um I imagine I must be really powerful.

18:15.12

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, yeah, yeah, well thank you. You know? That’s a great testimonial Lauren you want but could I put that up on the website. No, but yeah, that’s the goal right? I mean you’re exactly right? I actually will be having a social post here later this month.

18:22.11

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, these do absolutely.

18:34.81

Jeff McCormack

With people with chronic illness. Our head’s always spinning. It’s always spinning because it’s just what you just said. We don’t know what’s around the corner so we can take 1 element which is our finances and I’m not saying that I’m going to let you put your head on the pillow and sleep easy and not have to worry about it anymore.

18:40.17

Lauren Conaway

Right.

18:52.68

Jeff McCormack

But at least you have 2 hands on the wheel, you know where you’re headed and you feel comfortable. You know you may not be 100% confident, but you’re much more comfortable in what is in store for you than you were before using Iryss. If I can do that then I’ve done my job.

18:57.87

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

19:05.85

Lauren Conaway

Yeah. I love that so much I mean on a day to day basis. You know I might have the worry that oh you’re going to eat a piece of birthday cake at that party and then your foot’s gonna fall off. That’s a worry that I have. I’m like ah okay, what’s coming from this.

19:10.58

Jeff McCormack

I will be a very happy man.

19:30.00

Lauren Conaway

To be able to take control of your finances and your care plans and all of that like just again, just so impressive. So I am going to take just a moment and I’m going to tell you about something else that is very impressive. Our listeners. They know about Full Scale.

19:37.69

Jeff McCormack

Thank you.

19:47.44

Lauren Conaway

Full Scale is the producer of the Startup Hustle podcast. They are the reason that we are here. They are the reason that we get to hear all of these amazing founder stories. But they are also expert software developers. Finding those experts, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you visit FullScale.io, they’re going to be able to help you build a software team quickly and affordably. You can use the Full Scale proprietary platform to define your technical needs. You can find available developers, testers, and leaders who are ready to join your team. You’re going to be talking to an amazing group of people who are invested in your success. Visit FullScale.io to learn more, folks. We are here with Jeff McCormack, he is the co-founder and CEO of Iryss and we’re talking about, you know, Iryss is a financial platform. But really, it’s a tool for empowerment and peace of mind. And so Jeff, I know that I keep on giving you kudos. But I don’t think I can express to you how much of what you’re saying is speaking to my spirit. I’m like I want to sign up for Iryss right now. So let’s talk offline about that for sure so I want to.

20:55.61

Jeff McCormack

Ah, please do? Yeah yeah yeah of course.

21:02.73

Lauren Conaway

Talk to you about fear because I really think that that’s what you’re addressing I mean you can sit there and you can throw all of the spreadsheets and all of the you know databases and all of the actuarial tables and and all of that you can throw all of that at a person but really. The problem that you are solving with Iryss is fear and so I want to drill down on that with you just a little bit and I want to talk to you. What are some of the ways that you see fear manifest in your clients before they come to Iryss?

21:38.62

Jeff McCormack

Wow, That’s ah, that’s deep. Yeah and I feel like you maybe peaked at our vision statement which you know is ah yeah.

21:38.71

Lauren Conaway

What does that look like? I know we just went deep on it.

21:49.47

Lauren Conaway

Um I did not but if we if we’re like if you and I are feeling the vibe I’m totally cool with that? Yes, yeah.

21:56.69

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, no I mean real quick. You know it’s equitable access to a future without financial fear for everyone, right? So fear is in our vision statement. You know, before the break, we really talked about it. It’s the fear of the unknown, right? It’s the fear of what’s around the corner. I’m fearful because of the burden that I may become on my family in the future. For years, I’ve been very well controlled. Yeah, I’m on my fourth disease modifying drug, but by and large I’ve had no degradation in my physical or cognitive abilities.

22:22.19

Lauren Conaway

Right.

22:36.33

Jeff McCormack

So I’m extraordinarily ah ah lucky because because of that but I’m 43 how am I going to be in 20 years right am I going to be you know, wheelchair-bound am I going to need assisted living am I going to need a nurse to come in and and help me I don’t know that’s the fear I live with.

22:37.80

Lauren Conaway

Um, yeah.

22:55.45

Jeff McCormack

Every single day from a health aspect. That’s frankly that’s in talking to people with chronic illnesses. That’s the fear they live with too is the burden that we will place on our families or the system over time. Unfortunately I can’t help with the health side.

23:01.85

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

23:13.11

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, you’re not a doctor. Well not that I know.

23:15.90

Jeff McCormack

Right? But what I’m looking to do. I’m not a doctor. No, I’m a chartered financial analyst but not a doctor. The thing that we know we hope to do is say okay yes, unfortunately you know that’s a real possibility. But how do we ensure that your health burden, if it comes to that, does not become a wealth burden to your family? How do we protect your assets so that your family’s well-being is protected? Um you know so that’s another part of the Iryss journey. Are our users I don’t like to call them clients? I think they look at them as users. You know, no, it’s fine. Um, you know, because we’re not a traditional wealth management company. I’m not a financial advisor. We’re a software platform. You know I think that’s ah, it’s important to make that distinction.

23:52.66

Lauren Conaway

Okay, duly noticed.

24:03.97

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

24:09.76

Jeff McCormack

Really helping them understand you know, listen, you know? Yes, it could get rough. It could get tough but we’re gonna ensure that you have done everything in your power to protect your family.

24:21.65

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, ah, again, like that’s just so powerful I mean I sit here and I like so some of the manifestations that I’ve seen and that I’ve experienced personally you know, just as a for instance, so so diabetics at least all of the diabetics that I’ve known of you know we have to go get our a one c tested um every few months and your a one c is a blood sugar average and it just kind of tells you like this is kind of where your levels are um, you know because I am an entrepreneur.

24:41.23

Jeff McCormack

Um.

24:54.19

Lauren Conaway

And sometimes my cash flow is unpredictable. Ah, let’s go. That’s the nice way to say it. Um, sometimes I don’t go to my Onec appointments and sometimes you know I have my prescribed pharmaceuticals and I might not take them. Every day as directed because I want to make them stretch where I can and I know so many people you know you’re living with a lot of financial burden over the course of time but then to your point like yeah like way down the road. We know that this is not unknown. That it’s gonna get worse as we get older and it’s probably gonna get a lot worse and so being able to plan for that and being able to do it again, bring that peace of mind to a very, very fraught situation. Um, just.

25:46.49

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, well thank you.

25:49.73

Lauren Conaway

Really cool. So talk to us a little bit about the platform of Iryss like the particulars. So when we’re talking about financial management, financial strategies like ways that you can bring that empathy piece to your finances. Um, talk to us. About what the nuts and bolts of the platform look but like to deliver that kind of impact.

26:14.32

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, so the so as I said earlier a user comes in they register they link their accounts with plaid and they’re provided a dashboard that. Creating some projections on their net worth allows them to make some changes to the assumptions that drive our models but the empathy and the thoughtfulness and the impact really comes from our insights. Ah so the insights that we have on an account level basis. Ah, that can help the user save more to identify opportunities to improve their financial situation or resources that they can access that can help them in certain situations. You know there’s copay assistance programs that are provided that are. Offered up by pharmaceutical companies and providers. So you know disease-specific, you know where to locate those resources. There are also associations that can help pay for bills on the medical side. So having. I’ve found in my journey and you know I’ve confirmed this with others all the resources available are very fragmented right now. It’s very difficult to find you know what is available to me to help me in my day-to-day life. Iryss brings that all together in our insights and says hey you know step. Okay, check, step.

27:32.10

Lauren Conaway

Yeah. Sure.

27:46.77

Jeff McCormack

Check Step 3 you know and you just go through the process of ensuring that you’ve really made sure that all of the resources are working for you. The systems work resources are working for you and in your best interests. Um, you know, importantly. We don’t sell products. We don’t push products. We don’t sell your data. Ah so we charge. Ah, we charge a price upfront and say here’s the value of our service as determined by our previous users but we make a promise that your interests are what matter to us.

28:12.83

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

28:26.26

Jeff McCormack

Not our affiliates interests or some data vendor that we’re trying to to scratch the rich.

28:30.84

Lauren Conaway

So you’re really living that value of being in business to help people and in business I see often I think that like social enterprises and in businesses like yours that have like that have that empathy piece. Think that people often say things like think there’s this perception out there that you can’t make a profit if you care about people and you are finding that to be true.

28:58.11

Jeff McCormack

Well, we’re so early in your journey Lauren that we’re not making a profit, but that’s because that’s because we’re growing. Oh no question um boy if yeah I am.

29:04.21

Lauren Conaway

That’s okay, that’s what I like, but do you see the light at the end of the tunnel I guess is the better question to ask then.

29:14.63

Jeff McCormack

Honestly, I mean I’ve worked in the financial services industry for so long that the wealth management industry has 40% margins so if you can’t build a business that focuses on wealth and not be profitable then you’re in the wrong business. It’s kind of like being a pharmaceutical company.

29:25.59

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, which is a really sad thing to say when you pass through that. But I hear what you’re saying.

29:32.25

Jeff McCormack

There’s a tie in there. Yeah, we don’t. I’m not going to go down the whole rabbit hole of of the wealth management business model. That’s yeah, would take that would take an hour.

29:38.54

Lauren Conaway

I know now it’s a whole number and a whole of your conversation. The long short of it is the American Health system is broken and it does not place people at the center of their own care.

29:50.81

Jeff McCormack

Yep, it. Well, the financial services industry real quickly. The financial services industry and the health industry suffer. So from a consumer perspective. The lack of transparency right? The consumer has no idea how much they pay for a Healthcare bill. They have no idea how much they pay for their banking services.

30:09.15

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

30:11.27

Jeff McCormack

Or how banks make money, how wealth managers make money. Um, and because of that you know you get high ah high margins in both cases, we’re going to be transparent. You’re going to know exactly what you’re paying on a monthly basis to be a virus user.

30:14.16

Lauren Conaway

Right.

30:29.70

Jeff McCormack

And yes we believe that we can make a healthy profit that will satisfy any investor’s interest doing it that way.

30:34.30

Lauren Conaway

Yeah I love that well and into your point like I do think that a lot of organizations and companies and institutions intentionally obfuscate the issue because like I know that every time I go to the damn doctor I end up with like. Different invoices and some of them kind of say the same thing and some of them are like hey your insurance took care of this but some of them are like no pay us right now and I just don’t I don’t understand it and so so yeah, like I think any kind of platform that can kind of pull in. That information that is very very very confusing to the average layperson you know and sometimes deliberately so um, you know that that transparency piece that you’re talking about is gonna be so key moving forward. Um, you know, just so crucial and critical ah to a person’s. Autonomy and agency in their lives and in their care and in their financial freedom. Um, love that all right? So I’m going to give a little plug here, and I’m going to say hey friends listening how are you startup founders and entrepreneurs I’m talking to you now if you. Suffering from a chronic illness and you feel like your finances and your future wealth planning and you know your financial empowerment is affected by your chronic illness definitely sign up for Iryss I’m just going to go ahead and throw that in there. I’m sure that they would love to see you as a user. Ah, but now I’m going to ask you Jeff um, if somebody is not currently an Iryss platform user. What are some tips and tricks and ideas that you can give them to feel even just slightly. More financially free and financially healthy.

32:26.37

Jeff McCormack

Yeah, um, so I think 2 come to mind, so you know that that last element you talked about Lauren which is not knowing that you know what you’re paying you know from a health care perspective.

32:39.28

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

32:43.34

Jeff McCormack

Um, what’s that to me it is unfortunately the reality of the US healthcare system but is not acceptable. Um, and there’s patient navigators. So if you went to the you know ah American Diabetes Association and looked up a patient navigator.

32:49.62

Lauren Conaway

Right.

33:00.50

Jeff McCormack

You could ask them to get on the phone and ask you to and have them explain to you. You know how? How is this working? Is there a better way to do it and that’s a free resource to you right? Do you know the patient navigators that associations put forth? I probably wouldn’t go through one from your health system.

33:10.60

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

33:18.59

Jeff McCormack

Just because they are paid by the health system. So um, you know I’ve but I’ve found patient navigators that are association driven tend to be more effective. Um, you know, so kind of swinging to the other side and saying listen, fees matter.

33:36.94

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, they certainly add up.

33:37.64

Jeff McCormack

So um, you know, and it’s what they do, and it’s not difficult to figure out what you’re paying for financial services Providers. You know I’m a big believer in fintech. Ah, solutions that are out there and then you know the democratization of finance that they’ve brought to the table but some of them are extraordinarily expensive like insanely expensive when you peel back the onion.

34:05.44

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

34:10.17

Jeff McCormack

I don’t think people realize that when you have a $1000 account but you’re paying $5 a month in a subscription fee. You’re paying a 6% fee every single year whereas you could take your thousand dollars, throw it in the s and p 500 index fund and pay ¢40 or four dollars right.

34:18.26

Lauren Conaway

Right.

34:27.69

Lauren Conaway

Oh yeah, you said that and I feel like such a dumb ass I like I’m sure that there’s something in my finances that’s like just that simple.

34:28.78

Jeff McCormack

You know? Yeah, so yeah, um, well. So you take that and Iryss can help illustrate that but you take that $56 you compound it over time. The savings compound over time. You’re putting that money in your pocket and not someone else’s pocket that to me is kind of.

34:55.24

Lauren Conaway

Well and you can put it into an asset or a resource that makes more money for you. You’re talking about compounding you know, compounding interest compounding benefit. Um, so so yeah, like honestly I know so many people who are intimidated at the thought of.

34:56.12

Jeff McCormack

Kind of a no-brainer.

35:12.84

Lauren Conaway

You know investment and you know wealth management strategies and long term growth. Um, you know of Portfolios and things like that because it’s it’s It’s a lot of vernacular and it’s a lot of things that people aren’t like we’re not taught this in school.

35:26.42

Jeff McCormack

Sad isn’t it. Oh yeah.

35:27.59

Lauren Conaway

Um, yeah, you just kind of have to learn by doing. It’s so sad, like I mean a lot of the work that I do is an education because I’m like hey let’s teach our kids how to actually be adults. Ah but you know I digress. Ah, but that being said, you know just having.

35:45.94

Lauren Conaway

Ah, tools at your disposal to kind of help you count those things down track those things and also I think one of the the key things that I’m getting from Iryss and I am gonna I’m actually gonna go onto the website when we hop off here and check it out. But I think one of the things that we’re really really talking about is how you do. Um, how do you manage all of it? You know, having a dashboard, a place where you can come to and see is all right. This is where I’m paying fees, this is where I can save money, this is where I can better advocate for my health and these are the very very clear and delineated steps. That I can take to do so um, yeah, like that’s a really empowering thing now I’m gonna I’m actually I’m gonna empower you? Yeah, and I don’t want you to feel like I’m picking on you but I’m going to ask what are your next steps?

36:28.87

Jeff McCormack

Um, yeah, okay.

36:39.80

Jeff McCormack

Well, so my next steps are to continue to help the users of a virus and to onboard, you know to grow, right? So employee growth fundraising, right? I mean.

36:49.91

Lauren Conaway

I’m sure.

36:58.11

Jeff McCormack

The ABCs of entrepreneurism are always closing users and investors, you know, because you need to fund that growth engine. So it is.

37:01.49

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, it’s a non-stuff hamster wheel, and we all fucking love it.

37:14.19

Jeff McCormack

That’s on the professional side and on the personal side. You know I’ve got 3 kids that are growing up, and I just continue to support them the best I can as a loving parent and shape them and mold them to the best of my ability so that when they are off in the world. They’re doing great things and helping to solve real problems because there’s enough of them out there to solve.

37:35.24

Lauren Conaway

For sure, well, I’m going to ask you if you know the founder institute. You know, you talked about the fact that they kind of brought you to a pivot, and they were like, hey, you know what is unique about Jeff and what is unique about Iryss. What can you offer to the world? But you mentioned that you have 3 kids, so I got to ask. Um, you know this pivot that you have now undertaken sets your kids up for greater success. They’re not going to have to be. They’re not going to have to worry about, you know, dad’s long-term future cares anything like that. So does it feel real, I imagine. But does it feel really good to know that you are? You’re not just helping you know so many people out there, but you’re also helping your own family and your kids feel stronger in your future.

38:20.32

Jeff McCormack

No question. You know that I do sleep a little better at night knowing that whether we succeed or fail with Iryss I’m trying to solve a problem that can do some good in the world. Not just to people like me, right? So putting the action into the place of all the things that I’m recommending, you know, and I mean these are a lot of these things that I’ve already put in place given my background in finance.

38:42.59

Lauren Conaway

Write it.

38:53.48

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

38:55.67

Jeff McCormack

But I’m learning new things every day as we go through the process. Especially with the disease-specific models and what my future might look like. Listen, these are projections, and there’s ah, there’s some variability in terms of the outcomes. But yeah, it does feel good.

39:11.49

Lauren Conaway

Well, I’m gonna give you an assignment when we hop off here. I’m gonna have you. I want you to tell your kids Lauren Conaway that’s not mean anything to them, but Lauren Conaway says that they need to tell how proud they are of you.

39:26.67

Jeff McCormack

Okay, ah oh no, oh no, they’re 1414119 no way, ah, I’m in the throes of it. Yeah.

39:29.45

Lauren Conaway

Have they done that recently? I feel like wagging my finger here. That’s what they need to do, oh man. Oh man, ah, all right? You’re like right in the thick of it. Well all right? Maybe in a couple years, they need to come and tell you how proud they are of you like your dad.

39:44.32

Jeff McCormack

Exactly. Ah.

39:47.69

Lauren Conaway

Well, so I’m gonna ask the human question now, and I’m going to piggyback off of the kid conversation. Oh well, my question is if you get to take a family vacation. Wherever you want, money is not an object, but it has to be spent on the family or your vacation. Where are you going and what are you going to do?

40:09.57

Jeff McCormack

Ah, well, we have wonderful memories of it in the Bahamas as a family on the beach. So that’s where we would go especially given the ages of the kids. I think there’ll be less whining, you know. I personally may want to go to France and just go to burgundy and drink wine, but I don’t think my kids would have a good time. So yeah, so we’ll go. We’ll go to the Bahamas, you know, enjoy some time on the beach, go to the water slides at Atlantis.

40:28.90

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, probably not I mean, there’s a lot of cool stuff in France that you do.

40:43.36

Lauren Conaway

All right? That sounds like a fabulous vacation. That’s gonna be your assignment. I’m gonna be like, hey jet, I feel like you need to take the kiddos out. It’s about time.

40:43.82

Jeff McCormack

And and and enjoy life.

40:49.39

Jeff McCormack

All right? Yeah.

40:56.31

Lauren Conaway

All right? Well, Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. I really am like, I know I keep saying this, but I really am going to like how I want to go check on Iryss and be like, hey, how can it help me? So thank you for the work that you’re doing but thank you for also coming on the show and talking to us about it.

41:11.49

Jeff McCormack

Thank you, Lauren. It was a pleasure. I really enjoyed it.

41:15.77

Lauren Conaway

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