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The YOU Effect®

The YOU Effect®

By Nick + Roxane Cokas

It’s not about how much you can give, but how you the individual can positively affect others.
Simple conversations around big or small actions that have impact.
Impacting lives since 2014.
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Your Wake-Up Call to The Poverty Epidemic

The YOU Effect®Aug 03, 2023

Your Wake-Up Call to The Poverty Epidemic

Your Wake-Up Call to The Poverty Epidemic

Enough is enough. Something is not working. In this episode of The YOU Effect, Nick and Roxane Cokas speak with expert Evan Feinberg, Executive Director of the Stand Together Foundation, who helps unpack what works and what doesn’t work in moving people out of their circumstances to a life of meaning and contribution.

San Francisco, alongside South Africa, has become one of the globe's leaders in homelessness, poverty, and drug addiction. It is obvious to anyone who wants to look, regardless of beliefs or background, that the way things are going and the way these issues have been approached for the past 20 years is not working.

Not a day goes by where we are not confronted with the sadness and helplessness of our environments. Personally, we’ve had direct relationships with dear friends struggling in all these areas and even contemplating suicide.

Are we in need of an ideological change?  It appears no matter what we read in the news or see on social media, whether in the USA, South Africa or other parts of the world, the sadness of poverty and homelessness and addiction is just getting worse. Nothing seems to be trending in the right direction.

How Sick Are You of Poverty, Homelessness and Addiction? Sick enough to make a change?

With the help of Evan Feinberg, discover solutions in this episode of The YOU Effect.


(00:00) Introduction with Evan Feinberg from Stand Together Foundation

(01:29) Everyone has potential – the promise of The USA

(02:50) Building a country where people can realize their full potential

(03:33) The Principle of Human Dignity

(04:29) Non-profits treating individuals as broken and deficient

(05:15) Empowerment through Contribution

(06:34) What is your Ideology?

(08:17) Enabling Self-Actualization to be the best version of oneself

(10:04) Something’s Off – Top-Down is not working

(12:15) A South African’s perspective on “Harm Reduction Strategies” – treating drugs with other drugs

(14:12) Substance Use Disorder

(16:05) The Phoenix peer-to-peer recovery program. Being capable of overcoming circumstances

(17:09) Scoop up Loved Ones with Love

(18:19) How can YOU be part of the solution in the micro space?

(20:31) How do WE become contributors to help others become contributors?

(21:29) Innovative approaches that inspire change

(23:04) Relationships outcompete programs and services

(25:23) See everyone as an individual

(26:13) Jumping in as an individuals to make a profound difference in your country

(32:01) Alexis de Tocqueville – weak individuals unite to solve problems and become a power that one sees from afar

(33:50) The power of individuals coming together bigger than the power of the government

(35:24) The power of deepening a single relationship

Instagram:, @standtogether 

Twitter/X: @standtogether, @evanfeinberg 

LinkedIn: Evan FeinbergStand Together Foundation, Nick Cokas

Facebook: The You EffectStand Together

Aug 03, 202339:54
What Are You Stacking?

What Are You Stacking?

Throw away your gratitude journal. This is not what this episode is about.

How aware are we of how we react or how our minds chooses to process life’s obstacles and challenges? Or even just life itself, daily?

Do we tend to stack what is happening poorly more than what is happening positively? Either way, how does this impact the actions, reactions, words or commentary with our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and community? Are we building more skills at asking good questions with empathy and care or do we tend to have the solution and wise advice before making sure our audience is heard?

In this episode of The YOU Effect, we have a very simple conversation that made us think about the way we process our thoughts about our circumstances and environment.


(00:00) Intro

(00:54) What is the point of The YOU Effect?

(02:25) How do you react when a loved one is going through a tough time?

(05:31) Do we stack all the bad things happening in life?

(07:00) The power of empathy followed by asking good questions

(09:23) Building a habit to turn the negative into a positive

(10:07) Lesson #1 - Sometimes a question can be a remedy

(13:39) Lesson #2 - Start stacking the good stuff

Jun 22, 202316:13
Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

Whoa! Did you just SERIOUSLY do that?! In this episode of The YOU Effect, Nick and Roxane Cokas take deep breaths while they recount situations that make one feel enraged, see red and spike their adrenaline. Whether it is on the road, online or at a sporting event, we have all been there - but can we find ways to react that are productive rather than destructive? Solutions, exercises and action steps are described. 

(00:00) Intro

(01:48) A Sensitive Society

(05:10) SHOCKING Behavior On The Road

(07:33) Whose Needs Are More Important?

(11:06) Finding The Reason To A Heightened Level Of Animosity

(12:22) Post Game Behaviour - A Good or Spoilt Sport?

(15:30) Witnessing A Sucker Punch - ouch!

(16:40) Thinking Of Others As Greater Than Ourselves

(18:55) A Habit Of Flipping Our Minds and Our Reactions

(20:48) Being A Good Representative For What You Believe In

(22:22) Creating Scenarios That Grant Grace To Others 

(23:41) Simple Conversations Leading To Better Scenarios

May 04, 202324:31
What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?

Come on - 1 minute a day...Why is it so hard?

Do you know how difficult it is to create a new habit?

The old saying use to be do something for 21 days in a row and you will establish a new habit...

If only it was that easy.

The benefits of observation are backed by research but why can't people and executives, from huge organizations to the small business owner, not find the time?

Take time out of your day to simply observe. No expectations.

Step out of your normal routine for 1 minute per day and focus on something other than yourself.

In this Episode:

Increase peace. Increase health. Increase connectedness

If you like what you hear... Subscribe and share!

(00:00) Intro
(00:40) The Art of Observation
(01:08) The Museum of Modern Art San Francisco (
(02:34) Do Things Seem Bland At First Glance?
(03:13) Taking An Afternoon to JUST Observe
(04:19) Focus On Something Outside of Yourself
(04:32) Perspective - Fast & Small vs Slow and Large
(07:05) Trying to NOT Figure Out The Story
(08:52) A Conscious Exercise of Observation
(09:46) The Benefits of Stepping Into A New Space
(11:24) Observation Leads To Healthier Interactions With Others
(13:04) Focusing on The Process vs The Results
(13.30) Perspective On Who You Are In The Centre Of Humanity
(19.42) Scheduling A Date With Observation 

Mar 16, 202322:10
Choose One Step - Start With Fashion

Choose One Step - Start With Fashion

Can a topical conversation from which you usually put off, actually leave you with a changed perspective and the motivation to change your actions? After recording this episode, we can definitely say, 'Yes, it can!'

We were lucky enough to have Philips McCarty as our guest on this episode of The YOU Effect - the Executive Director of the FIT Foundation in New York City (Fashion Institute of Technology). McCarty is an expert in the field of sustainability, strategic philanthropy and social impact initiatives... In other words, or as Nick likes to call him - he is a 'genius' in his field. McCarty was able to enlighten The YOU Effect hosts, Nick and Roxane Cokas, on the topic of Sustainable Fashion and, in just 20 minutes, was able to encourage and inspire them to change the daily rhythms of their lives.

Find out  'why it is okay to spend $1000 on a coat' as well as learning about 'sweaters made from saliva' on this episode of The YOU Effect!

(00:00) Intro
(02:14) Make An Impact Where You Live, Work and Play
(03:05) A Micro-Explanation of Sustainable Fashion
(03:47) Sustainability is Polarizing
(04:29) Innovative Fashion Solutions out of F.I.T. New York
(05:45) Is Your Sweater Made From Saliva?
(07:15) Do You Love A Little Vintage?
(08:16) There Is No Such Thing as a Fully Sustainable Company
(10:00) Focusing On Where You Want To Go, Not On What Bogs You Down
(12.28) Define Who You Are & Choose One Step
(15:31) "Green Washing" vs Part of Your DNA
(18:50) Your Responsibility As The Consumer
(21:22) Invest In Great Pieces
(25:06) Redefining Sustainability

Mar 02, 202330:58
The Best Way To Binge

The Best Way To Binge

What are you binging on? Yes, we all need time to zone out and wind down after a busy day... But can we swap our remote controls for our phones and find entertainment in our friendships? 

In this episode of The YOU Effect, Nick and Roxane Cokas challenge listeners to question the rhythm of their lives and switch off in order to connect. Sound easy? Give it a try! 


(00:00) Intro
(00:52) Invested In Characters
(01:24) What 'Binging' Causes
(02:57) Binging On Real Relationships
(03:18) We Need Time To One Out
(04:31) Too Busy To Carve Time Out For Friendships
(06:01) Questioning The Rhythm Of Our Lives
(06:52) Can Our Friendships Be Our Entertainment?
(08:25) Empty Investments
(09:26) Quiet Company
(10:47) "Swap Remote Control For Your Phone" Challenge
(12:25) Pressing Pause In Order TO Connect
(13:12) Connected Disconnection - Loneliness Statistics*
(14:15) Are You Friendless?
(14:55) Be A "Statistic Changer"
(15:47) The Impact Loneliness Has On Your Health
(17:37) Who Are You Going To Call?

*Loneliness Statistics from Blind Spot from Gallup by Jon Clifton

Feb 16, 202318:45
Practice The Pause

Practice The Pause

Someone or something has irked you… How do you respond? Do you shut down? Or do you flare-up, rise to the challenge + bring out your best argumentative skills?

In this episode of The You Effect, Nick + Roxane Cokas challenge their listeners to play with the idea of 'Practicing The Pause' followed by 2 additional steps - which leads to bridging the gap + finding common ground. 


(00:00) Intro
(00:32) Shutting Down
(01:40) Ego
(02:03) Ask Good Questions
(02:54) What The Heck Is Wrong With You?
(03:23) Learning About One Another
(04:35) Stop Offering Your Ideas + Opinions
(05:39) Ask. Listen. Lead
(07:45) How To Make An Impact
(08:48) Practice The Pause
(11:24) Outside Noise + Advice
(12:10) Trauma Response
(15:07) How To Have Influence and Purpose
(17:15) Wanting The Best For Others
(18:49) Be Interested Not Interesting
(20:32) Tearing Others Down
(21:24) A 7 Day Challenge 

Feb 02, 202323:54
Are You In A Dull Relationship?

Are You In A Dull Relationship?

In this episode, we unpack the essence of The You Effect.

After a short hiatus, we are back!

What is the actual definition of ‘Dull’? Are we bored? Do we seek drama? Why aren’t we drawn to simple, loving, kind, accommodating relationships?

Two people who found the extraordinary in the simple.

Jan 19, 202323:29
The Science of Thanksgiving

The Science of Thanksgiving

Is there any science to back up thankfulness? What does it even mean to be thankful? Gratitude. Thankful. Perspective.

Lessons I learned from my dying mother. (dark? no. thankful? yes.)

Dec 02, 202106:38
Connected? Disconnected? What are the signs? Pt. 1

Connected? Disconnected? What are the signs? Pt. 1

I came to accept I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs, however much I may be proud of such customs.

Nelson Mandela

Oct 28, 202111:10
One Easy Step to Find Help and Give Hope
Aug 24, 202117:50
The Key To Your Best Possible Health
Jul 02, 202117:34
I Can't Fit Into My PANTS!
Apr 23, 202116:18
Three Ways to Discover Tailor-Made Invigorating Self-Care
Feb 22, 202117:38
A Perspective Makeover with Danny Painter
Jan 19, 202132:46
Finding The Perfect Gift When You Think You Have Nothing To Give
Dec 14, 202018:49
One Way To Invite a Magical Moment Into Your Life

One Way To Invite a Magical Moment Into Your Life

Each of us have interactions with others every day - even during a Global Pandemic. From the teller at your grocery store to the person waiting in line behind you. But, do we brush off those interactions before they even have a chance to develop into something more? Could we be brushing off a bit of magic that was about to find its way into our lives? Find out in this episode of The YOU Effect. 

Nov 23, 202019:07
Chance Encounters

Chance Encounters

Does being open to chance encounters make for a more abundant life? In this episode we discuss how some of the most valuable relationships can stem from a seemingly random, serendipitous meeting. Chance, fate, magic, destiny, the Universe, synchronicity, God - we all have a name for something or Someone who brought these moments into our lives, but what happens if we go beyond the moment, stay open and join the ride!? Let's find out!

Oct 27, 202017:34
One Simple Thing for Better Health

One Simple Thing for Better Health

We Made It In Time Magazine...
Well sorta... kinda... not 100%... But close! 

An Apple vs Kindness - which one keeps the Doctor Away? 

Oct 03, 202016:59
Are You Living In 'Should'?

Are You Living In 'Should'?

Do your expectations ever let you down? Does your circumstance leave you feeling stuck? We chat to Markus Redmond - writer, director and novelist - as he highlights the power of a simple word... SHOULD. 

Sep 03, 202015:06
"If Only..." - Dr. Oz. What holds us back? Who nudges us forward?

"If Only..." - Dr. Oz. What holds us back? Who nudges us forward?

Starting something new... Is it too late? Have I got enough time? What if I'm not good at it? To identify what holds us back and to embrace those who nudge us forward. 

Aug 06, 202017:55
Are Your Actions Dictated By How Others MIGHT Interpret Them?

Are Your Actions Dictated By How Others MIGHT Interpret Them?

If I feel it, should I say it? Or are some things better left unsaid? Do we miss opportunities to grow and enhance ourselves and our relationships due to the fear of 'not being liked' creeping in?  

Jul 23, 202019:39
How To Be Part Of The Solution

How To Be Part Of The Solution

My husband’s a police officer and he’s black.
On the last episode of The You Effect, we were discussing race and white privilege.
Let’s continue our conversation where we left off with Ana Agyeman… Marine. Mother. Wife. All around bada*%!

Jul 08, 202020:53
Can We Bond Over Our Differences?

Can We Bond Over Our Differences?

How to be open to the unknown.
Race. Marriage. Two little Princesses.  A simple conversation with Ana Agyeman - marine, wife, mother. 

Jun 24, 202020:01
Serve. Listen. Lead. How To Find Common Ground.

Serve. Listen. Lead. How To Find Common Ground.

Emotional. Raw. Transparent. A not so simple conversation. When you don't know what to do and your don't know what to say... Where is a good place to start?

Jun 10, 202030:52
Do You Feel Small Unless You Do Big Things?

Do You Feel Small Unless You Do Big Things?

It's not about the plot, it's about the characters.
It's not abut your circumstance, it's about your intentions.
Can small acts really have any significance in this big wide world? How can you make a difference in your lifetime? 

May 27, 202018:17
Are You Smiling Behind That Mask?

Are You Smiling Behind That Mask?

Introducing The You Effect. A simple conversation with Nick Cokas and Roxane Hayward about how small positive actions can have big impacts. 

May 11, 202015:59