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Founder of Families with Holes Bryan McMillan Shares Tips to Overcome Personal Loss

Bryan McMillan was born in Los Angeles and raised in Scottsdale Arizona.  He was a national champion Wrestler in high school and then went on to wrestle at Arizona State University. He graduated with a BA in Political Science and business. He started in the banking / brokerage industry out of college and quickly became […]

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Bryan McMillan
Bryan McMillan

Bryan McMillan was born in Los Angeles and raised in Scottsdale Arizona.  He was a national champion Wrestler in high school and then went on to wrestle at Arizona State University. He graduated with a BA in Political Science and business. He started in the banking / brokerage industry out of college and quickly became a very successful investment banker earning his first million by the time he was 26 years old. He thrived in this very competitive world, but it was not conducive for his family life.  He made a career change and went into medical devices.  He again had to start at the bottom taking a job as a territory rep.  Bryan McMillan took the worst territory in the country for Stryker Endoscopy and the first year brought it to #3 in the country earning the Rookie of the Year award.  His career at Stryker continued to grow as he was promoted multiple times and ended up running a division prior to moving on.  Bryan has continued to grow professionally by taking on new companies and new challenges at each stage.  He has been successful at increasing company value and completing two exits of those companies. 

Bryan is also the Founder of Families with Holes, which is an organization whose entire mission is to connect families who are dealing with grief with counselors and caregivers through their grieving process.

Bryan currently resides in Westlake, Texas in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 

Why did you decide to create your own business?

In all my experience, my strength is identifying problems in an organization, planning to mitigate those issues and ultimately correcting them to make a better stronger, more profitable company.  I am often used as a person to get a company on optimized and attractive so that it can be sold / acquired. That is my sweet spot and what I enjoy most in a job.  The challenge. 

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I would say that by helping other and bringing innovative solutions to the healthcare industry.  Healthcare is a challenging space and continues to change with all the regulations and this makes delivering healthcare solutions to those in need much more challenging, but I have never turned away from a challenge. 

What keeps you motivated?

My family inspires me to get up each day and work hard.  In my professional realm, I also enjoy developing and bringing solutions to companies. 

How do you motivate others?

I believe my work ethic and relentless desire to make an impact helps inspire others.  I enjoy developing and training people based on my broad experience in many different types of organizations.  It is fun to work with younger people and show them the success is 10% talent and 90% hard work.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

Some traits I feel make a successful leader would have to be relentless and unparalleled drive to make a difference. It allows for a broad margin of experience in multiple industries and multiple roles.   

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

You must grind hard every single day.  Treat others the way you want to be treated and bring innovative solutions to the system that are cost effective and impactful.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

The loss of my wife and the loss of my son.  At the prime of my career my wife was diagnosed with leukemia.  We had a 9-year-old, 5-year-old and 12-week-old baby.  I was devasted.  I thought my world of high-flying career chasing days were over.  She lived about 9 months and then passed away at the age of 30.  Very young.  Devastating to the family.  I buckled down and became Mr. Mom (with lots of help) and really tried to keep things together.  We were trucking along and then at 19, my son had a tragic accident and passed away as well.  I had lost both parents, a wife and now a child.  Life was totally turned upside down.  This was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I am still “overcoming” this loss daily.  I am not sure you can overcome it.  I think you learn how to evolve through it. 

It has been from these extreme and painful loses, that I created Families with Holes.  It is my foundation that helps families who have had tragic events find help in dealing with these losses.  We continue to try to find and support families in need.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

If you wouldn’t put it on the front of the NY Times, don’t do it!

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Without question, my family is the thing I am the proudest of and what inspires me to be a better man each day.  I am a good employee and hard worker because of them.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?

The biggest piece of advice I can give, would be to never quit. 

What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

I would have to say, trusting the Lord and leaning on Him daily the only way to make it.   

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