Why should you work with me?
That's a great question. The short answer is that I have experienced a truly unique set of “successes” and “failures” and combined all of those learning experiences with exhaustive research and exploration of the Universe we live in. My entire coaching philosophy comes from real-world experience that includes plenty of ups and downs. I have been through a lot so far and life shows no signs of letting up any time soon... which is good for me because I have learned to hang on and enjoy the ride! It is also good for you because I will never judge you for what you have been for... because chances are that I've been there and done that myself. If you're looking for someone in an ivory tower, move on... but if you're looking for someone who has graduated Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks, keep reading!
My professional background includes:
My consulting experience includes documenting hardware and software systems, developing and documenting business processes, managing functional teams, designing and implementing documentation and marketing strategies, quality control, technical support, loss prevention, and more. I have written well over 200 documents for well over 50 clients and managed or assisted dozens of projects across an extremely wide assortment of industries such as computers/IT, 3D imaging, medical technology, security, ecommerce, online services, and more. Some of my major clients have included Trimble, Phoenix Technology, Charles Schwab, The Gap, SuccessFactors, and EQ2.
I have also served in the US Coast Guard Reserve as part of a small boat crew, been a volunteer fire figher/EMT, and a Red Cross CPR instructor. Today, I am active member of Toastmasters International and have held several club-level leadership positions including two terms as a club President. The clubs I have had the privilege of helping lead have consistently achieved top scores in the Toastmasters Distinguished Club Program.
As important as all of this experience is, I would not be where I am today without the friendship, guidance, and mentoring of many successful and well-known experts, including:
My personal background includes:
Getting to this point has not been easy...
In December of 2002 I lost my job, was in debt up to my eyeballs, and didn’t know which way to turn next. I had experienced different degrees of success in a variety of ways but was unable to consistently produce the results that I wanted. My lack of confidence had narrowed the playing field; I had never stepped out of my comfort zone from the life I was leading to the life I wanted to lead. How was I going to stop reacting to life and start consistently creating the reality I want?
The key was to realize that my struggles and tribulations were happening not because something was wrong with me but because my brain was successfully executing negative programming. The fact that my brain was following its programming so perfectly indicated that it could follow any programming just as perfectly.
I changed my mental programming by replacing old beliefs that were preventing me from achieving what I desired with new beliefs. This new programming changed my life with a speed and magnitude that I can only describe as miraculous... or so I thought. The first edition of The Enlightened Savage reflected what I knew about the human brain and how it operated. It worked, but not well enough.
The financial crisis of 2008 revealed the gaps in my knowledge. Around that time, my first wife and I formally ended our marriage. (We had been separated for some time.) The period between 2002 and 2008 had been very good financially and materially and had led me to believe that I had completed the process of changing my mental programming. My old beliefs had been updated, but I still labeled things and events in my life as "good" or "bad" and equated wealth with material possessions. Any disruption in my earnings was cause for concern and self-doubt. I also clung to the notion that remaining in my marriage was good and that ending it was bad... a set of assumptions that did nothing for my relationship with my son's mother or for my financial peace of mind. In short, I had accomplished a lot but had also overlooked a lot.
After missing several opportunities to learn the rest of the lesson, I finally learned it the hard way: I lost everything. I lost my marriage, my house, most of my material possessions, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. I spent several months wondering "Why me?" until the truth finally dawned on me, partially thanks to my research into quantum mechanics. The simple explanation is that the outcome of a quantum experiment depends on how the experiment is set up and what the experimenter is searching for... in other words, the result depends on who is asking the question. This is not New Age pseudoscience! On the contrary, it is part of the standard Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as objective reality on any level we can directly access.
I already knew that people create their own reality. What I did not understand is that part of our reality is the context or framework by which we interpret things and events in our lives. Put differently, if there is no objective reality, then how can we say that there is such a thing as "good" or "bad" unless and until we choose to apply those labels? We can't. The bottom line is that there nothing is ever inherently good or bad; it just is.
This is one of the most profound insights I've ever had in my life. By rights, I should have been devastated over the series of events that took place in 2008 and beyond. But I wasn't. On the contrary, I have never been so happy in my life! What happened to me was not bad, nor was it good... unless and until I chose to apply (or reapply) mental labels. Seen in this light, everything—my bankruptcy, divorce, losing my house, etc.—was a blessing. Everyone is constantly making decisions about what to see as good and bad in their lives... and most of them are doing unconcsiously based on beliefs that have been coloring their reality without question since childhood! The mistake here is twofold: Thinking that inherent good and bad exists, and deciding which is which without any conscious thought. Understanding this allowed me to finally clear of a lot of old baggage that I had been lugging around for quite some time.
The first key to living consciously is to apply labels of "good" and "bad" deliberately instead of automatically. You do this by developing the art of something I call the "conscious interrupt." Think of this as having a little person on your shoulder watching everything you see, do, and experience like a hawk. The moment something, anything, happens, this little person leaps up and shouts in your ear, forcing you to pay attention... to consciously think about what's happening... and to then make the conscious decision how to think and feel about the thing in question. Living consciously is the path to freeing yourself from negativity in your life and experiencing joy and peace no matter what. The conscious interrupt prevents emotional baggage from building up.
The second key to living consciously is to develop the art of nonattachment. There is no such thing as permanence in the Universe as we understand it. The Second Law of Thermodynamics and quantum effects make sure that everything in this Universe will undergo an eternal process of decay and change. If even the entire Universe as we know it is impermanent, what does that say about everything and everyone in your life... and you yourself, for that matter? Clinging to anything, be it beliefs or possessions or people or anything inevitably leads to disappointment and suffering. Freeing yourself from attachments and desires allows you to let go of old baggage, more easily clear old beliefs, and live fully in the present. Living in the present is the path to true emotional and spiritual freedom.
Today, I no longer define wealth as a bank account. I no longer apply generic labels to anything in life simply because others do. I have lost most of the material things I own and no longer identify any part of myself or my success with those things. I know that the same concept applies to all of the people in my life. For example, my relationship with Jennifer could end at any moment. Enjoying it for what it is in each moment without clinging to it or the expectation of "forever" allows me to be truly with her in every moment and to love her without limitations or demands. The same holds true in every area of my life. Seen in this light, I am incredibly wealthy... and my bank account is also recovering nicely. The difference is that it just doesn't matter to me in the same way anymore.
Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with material goods or large bank accounts! I just don't define any part of myself by anything or anyone external any more. It took losing everything most people think of as trappings of success for that lesson to sink in.
Why should you hire me? Because I have been there and done that. Because I have seen the best and the worst that life has to offer and have decided to live life on my terms and to show others how to do the same thing without having to experience the difficult lessons I faced.