skipping the small talk with grant mosher and will huntington of the guy talk co.
What does connection really mean? What does it look like, what does it feel like to have a true connection with someone else? What does it look like to have meaningful conversations and relationships? The kind of conversations where you let your guard down–actually letting others get to know you. The kind where you talk about more than the score of the latest World Series Game or Sunday Night Football matchup. The kind of relationships where you feel comfortable to openly talk about how you’re struggling to balance your relationship with your partner or you’re unsure of how to navigate being a new dad or maybe you’re feeling unfulfilled in your career. In a society that can oftentimes get caught up in what the lives of others look like through the squares of Instagram, The Guy Talk Co. is building a community for men to drop their guard, find deeper connection and have meaningful conversations. They’re creating a space for men to stop pretending everything’s “all good,” all of the time. Founder Grant Mosher said it best: “ Our real life -- can’t be summed up on a social media highlight reel. We need a real-life connection with people who actually know the real us.”
We caught up with Grant Mosher and Will Huntington, Founder and appointed Director of HYPE of Guy Talk Co., to learn more about how their community has evolved since we last connected and where they hope to see Guy Talk Co. evolve in the future.
Can you give us a bit of background on yourselves?
Will: My name is Will Huntington, I am 29 years old from Oxford, MS but currently reside in beautiful Austin, TX. I am a former tennis professional with a big background in coaching/training athletes. But that is the old me, now you can find me in the big world of tech sales where I work with Healthcare companies across the US helping them see and understand data. I am BIG into playing sports and anything that keeps me outside - tennis, volleyball, softball, etc etc! Health and fitness also plays a big role in my day to day life. Lastly, you can catch me hanging out with my 10 month old Frenchie, Ace, pretty much anywhere in Austin!
Grant: I’m just a guy trying to live a meaningful life and hopefully help a lot of people along the way. As a financial planner for doctors and dentists, I feel grateful to have built a career that checks both of those boxes for me. (Life’s too short to hate your job.) I’d do anything for my family— including my amaizng girlfriend and our two excessively large dogs — and spend most of my free time remodeling my rental property and getting ready for our next Jeep adventure.
How was The Guy Talk Co. founded? What’s the story behind it?
Grant: Guy Talk was born out of my darkest time in life. In January 2019, right before my 28th birthday, My first business had failed, I was broke, I went through a breakup, and I felt so alone and unloved in my new city. I felt so incredibly worthless as a man that my depression turned into suicidal thoughts and I almost took my own life. Coming out of that low point, I made it my personal mission to help other guys realize they don’t have to go through life alone.
What’s the main road block you see in society when it comes to the acceptance of male vulnerability?
Will: I think the main road block that we still see today is that most men were told as children to never show emotion - “Just rub some dirt on it and move on,” or “Men don’t cry, show emotions, or talk about their feelings.” With these statements being drilled into our heads as kids, it has created roadblocks that can lead to some serious, dark moments as adults.
Grant: We’re constantly taught how to “man up” and pretend it’s “all good.” But life is hard and we’re all struggling with something. The sooner we drop the act the sooner we can help each other move forward.
Why do you think so many men struggle with vulnerability and really digging deep to talk about their feelings and emotions?
Will: I think that most men struggle with this because they think it will make them seem weak or soft to people around them, especially to other men. When realistically, it makes them stronger and shows how much power/strength they truly have. The ego is a powerful thing as well. I believe you have to be able to drop the ego, stop pretending “it's all good”, and talk about it!!
Grant: I’ve talked with hundreds of guys about this. It’s clear that one of our biggest fears in life is being viewed as not good enough or weak. So we do/say/become anything we can to *appear* strong and cool and badass to protect ourselves from being hurt. I call it “peacocking” — a skill I mastered in my 20s to try to make everyone think I was “the man.”
What would you say to any man struggling with mental health?
Will: Don’t be scared to talk about it, you are not alone, and it's completely ok to see a professional.
Grant: Keep going. As someone who’s been there more times than I can count, I know first hand how consuming mental health issues can be— especially if you’re carrying that weight alone. I unfortunately waited until I was at the end of my rope to reach out for a helping hand (which, by the way, are everywhere— even if you can’t see them right now).. You could start today by texting someone you know, love, and trust to let them know you’re struggling. I’ve also invested in myself by hiring a men’s therapist, Simon Niblock, and it’s been an absolute game changer..
How has The Guy Talk Co. evolved since we last sat down with you earlier this year?
Will: Oh man, I feel like it has evolved in so many different ways. The biggest being steering away from the membership and online community since the world is opening back up. This is allowing us to put our focus back into what makes Guy Talk special, in person events in Austin, TX and hopefully soon all over the country!
Grant: We’re finally back together. The online community we created out of necessity worked really well until it didn’t (Zoom burnout is real). Thankfully we’re finally back to in-person where we belong— bringing guys together to do cool stuff and have meaningful conversations. I’m taking the rest of the year off of Guy Talk planning and am excited to see where that takes us in 2022.
Photo by Matt Gattozzi of Goodo Studios
You recently wrapped up the first, “End of Summer Camp” in Austin, Texas. How did that go? We can expect that there were many meaningful conversations that were had but we’re curious what other experiences might have occurred.
Will: This is such a great question because I feel like I could talk about this event for hours and hours, but I won’t put everyone through that! First off, it went AMAZING! Secondly, it was so great to see all these guys come together from all different walks of life, start meaningful conversations with each other - share stories, smiles, tears, laughter, and much more. Lastly, watching these men create friendships that hopefully last a lifetime… that is truly what GuyTalk is about.
Grant: Summer Camp was such a magical part of my childhood: Bunk beds, camp counselors, team games, real talk workshops, sunshine, bonfires, and swimming. I’ve wanted to recreate that unplugged experience for myself and other adult guys for a while and we finally made it happen this September down here in Austin. Shoutout to the 35 guys who travelled in from all over for our first “Guy Talk End of Summer Camp” 2021. I already can’t wait to see y’all next year!
Video by Matt Gattozzi of Goodo Studios
Curious what it may have been like to attend Summer Camp this year? Here's what Rhone's very own Community Leader, Cameron Ahouse had to say:
How special is it when you can bring a group of 40 guys from across the country, most who have never met each other, and after 3 incredible days at a summer camp of all places leave with an incredible bond that will last a lifetime? I was nervous, excited, anxious and a little scared to meet all of the guys at the retreat because I feel like so many of them are more in tune with their emotions and able to express themselves better than I ever could. All of that nervousness and anxiety went out the window after the first day as I realized that everyone was there to work on themselves and accept you for who you are. What a relief!
We laughed, we cried, we competed, we celebrated each other, we shared our fears, accomplishments and tough times in life and we all came out of it stronger.
Thank you Grant and the Guy Talk community for making this a weekend that continued to show me what it means to be a man, to support your brother and one I won’t forget!
If you were to each give one tip to any male struggling to open up, what would it be?
Will: Pick up the phone and call a friend, do not be scared to release those emotions and ask them for help! And if that friend does not answer, call another one until someone does!
Grant: Life gets way easier when you stop trying to do it all alone.
And what about making friends? Top tip?
Will: Love this question. Top tip: Put yourself in the right position to make friends. By that I mean, go do things that you truly enjoy and I promise you will meet people along the way that enjoy those same things. An example I love to give is, go join a softball league, or sign up for events in your city that you personally want to attend, and I guarantee you will make friends at it!
Grant: Decide on who YOU want to be and what YOU want out of life. Then go find the people already doing it, drop the ego, and work yourself into the mix.
Can you give us some insight into what it’s like to become a member of The Guy Talk Co.?
Will: At the end of the day, ANYONE can be apart of the GuyTalk Family!!
Grant: We dropped the exclusivity of paid membership in mid 2021. For a while being a “Guy Talk Member” felt like a badge of honor, but earlier this year I started to feel like it was placing a literal barrier between us and our core mission. Moving forward all Guy Talk events and activities are open to anyone who identifies as a guy and is looking to do cool stuff and have meaningful conversations. Hope to see you soon.