After a long, successful run in corporate America, in March of 2016, I was fired from my second executive position in about 20 months. I was lost, and I didn’t know the next step in my life, family, or career. I felt mentally and emotionally paralyzed and thought my run of success was over.
A friend of mine who had started coaching on a professional basis called me and begin asking questions about my termination, my current state, and my future intentions. After a few calls, he asked if I wanted some help moving forward. I said yes. His immediate response was, “are you saying yes to support from a friend or a coach?” This question shocked me because, well, we were friends. I never thought about him as a coach. I thought coaching and his coaching business was a joke. I struggled with the concept of paying someone to talk to me and be my friend.
My First Coach Opened My Eyes
A week or so later I still had no better idea of what my future looked like, and honestly, I had no idea how to handle even living. I never told anyone at the time, but I was suicidal and had almost given up on life. I was 300 pounds, an alcoholic, and had no idea how to even begin putting my life back together. We spoke again, and I hired him. I still wasn’t a believer, but I realized that if I kept doing what I had always done, I was going to keep getting the same results. I just thought I needed another job. He had bigger ideas.
“How much water do you drink every day?” my coach asked.
“I need to find a job, and you ask me about how much water I’m drinking?” I shot back.
“Mike, your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are directly tied to your career,” he fired back.
This began the process of me showing up to lead myself before I could lead anyone else. My coach checked in with me often, called me out on my excuses, and kept pushing me to new levels of health. About 6 months in, I had lost about 60 pounds, stopped drinking, and had career prospects. My family was shocked at the progress I had made in such a short time. I noticed that my kids began choosing better meals, and they even began mixing in some exercise in our basement gym.
My Career Decision was Met with Backlash
“I’m not looking for a job anymore. I’m going to start a coaching business,” I told my wife once I decided what I was going to do. “So we’re going to lose everything?” she sarcastically and ferociously shot back. At this point, I knew what I had to do, and I knew that I’d never work for anyone ever again.
During my corporate career, the only things I loved doing were building high-performing teams and helping my employees achieve more than they thought they could achieve. I did everything else because I felt that I “had to” to “get to” coach and present to them. When I decided to coach, I had also basically decided that I would never again do anything I didn’t enjoy.
I hired a business coach to help me define and get started in my business and went to conferences and many group trainings to create my business as fast as possible. I watched videos, read books, and listened to audiobooks somewhere between 8-10 hours per day to continue to grow and learn how to coach. I joined a mastermind where I was the only one without income, and the two senior members were millionaires. My business began to build, and once that coach could take me no further, I hired another coach who was farther along. I had shifted from someone who didn’t believe in coaching at all to someone who couldn’t get enough. I could gain access to someone else’s knowledge and wisdom, and since they had already created what I wanted to create, they could help me get there faster. My growth was light-speed. My entire life changed rapidly.
Great Feedback from My Band of Brothers
At the beginning of January 2020, I began a membership community for men. We focus on and help each other lead self, lead society, and lead family more powerfully and with more intention and focus. Currently, we are small, but still have men from Montana, to Nebraska to Georgia. Each week there’s training and coaching, the men digitally communicate daily, and each month we will gather virtually so that we can commune. On January 28, 2020, we held our first virtual group gathering. Here’s some of the unsolicited feedback from the first session:
“That was incredible for me. Honestly, never felt more understood than in that call. I look forward to showing up for myself and all of you going forward.”
“It was great to hear everyone’s story. It makes me feel good to talk about mine. #movingforward.”
“Loved the call last night, everyone. Thanks for your vulnerability. I woke up today with a little extra early spring in my step. Focused on how I’m showing up for myself.”
“I agree with everyone that that call was excellent last night. The character of the men in the group was impressive. I am ready to start living my purpose and it is incredible to know that I can count on the people in this group to support me. Thanks, everyone, just for being here.”
We Lift Each Other Up
The guys are feeding off of each other, inspiring each other, and supporting each other’s growth. It’s fun to watch each of them show up and help each other. They get it. Community and support help you get where you want to go faster, and there’s immense value in journeying with a group of people who are after something similar to what you are trying to achieve.
Since I’ve started my business, I’ve had five coaches of different varieties, been in three masterminds, attended multiple weekend retreats, and hired many people to help me solve problems in half the time that it would have taken me to solve them myself.
I’ve certainly grown from that guy who didn’t believe in coaching. The people I surround myself with today are more accomplished, polished, wealthy, and willing to teach me. I pay a lot of money to get where I want to go faster – because I’ve learned a few things:
- I’m worth the investment in myself.
- There’s power in community and personal support.
- When you surround yourself with others, you create accountability to achieve.
- The right group of people will instantly pull you upward.
A Lesson in Pride
Probably the most powerful lesson I’ve learned is that unhealthy pride convinces you that you need to do it yourself. Healthy pride is desiring to accomplish more, but unhealthy pride will make the journey longer, more volatile, and a lot more difficult than required. The men in my membership group are already seeing the benefits – after one month. The right group of people will make sure that you achieve what you want – as long as you’re humble enough to give away your knowledge and wisdom and accept support.
The support is available. There are coaches, masterminds, and groups everywhere that will help you achieve. The main question to ask yourself: “Do I feel that I need to do it on my own?” The answer to that question will determine how fast you achieve your goals.
A former coach gave me this advice:
Professionals hire coaches and pick the easiest route. Amateurs try to do it themselves and have convinced themselves that their worth and value is wrapped up in their struggle.
Which do you choose?