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Rebuilding From The Ashes

When the Leader Gets Better, Everyone Gets Better

Photo by Maxim Tajer on Unsplash
Photo by Maxim Tajer on Unsplash

I’m a Marine Veteran and a former Fortune 500 executive leader. I achieved massive success through sheer force, overworking, and sacrificing everything else in my life for professional success.

In the process, I deteriorated from Marine Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) who was rated the number one NCO is the functional division, to a 300-pound suicidal alcoholic with a dysfunctional family fueled by abuse, neglect, and chemical dependency. My wife Angie was embroiled in a 25-year chemical addiction while I struggled in every way, and my two little girls, Katie and Meagan, witnessed the ravages of two parents who thought money, materials, titles, power, and professional success was all there was to life.

After decades of success in the corporate world, I was fired from a powerful executive position. My wife and I drank and partied away our 5-month severance, and I landed another opportunity to lead a business. Nothing had changed for myself or my family, so 15 months later in March of 2016, I was terminated from what would become my last time working for another business.

The Reinvention

I had a choice to make: either pull the trigger and end my life or wipe the slate clean and start all over.

Everything changed with that one decision.

On April 1, 2016, I decided to go all-in and reinvent myself. I exercised for the first time in years and began eliminating toxicity from my life. I learned that there are five basics needs of the human body — oxygen, water, nutrition, exercise, and rest (OWNER), and I began to eliminate all things from my life that didn’t create life. I began exercising daily and would string together over 500 days in a row of exercise. On April 7, 2016, I took my last drink of alcohol, and this caused major conflict in my marriage.

A New Life

My new routines and habits sparked attacks in my marriage and I learned to allow my wife to be angry and attack without needing to defend my choices or decisions. I decided I could live life on my own terms, and that I would no longer participate in a marriage that depended on wrecking myself. In June of 2016, with attacks increasing, I filed for divorce. The very next day the attacks stopped as my wife decided that our marriage was more important than the addicted and painful lifestyle we lived. We went to our first 12-step meeting together. We would complete 90 meetings in 90 days, and while there were stumbles along the way, we never looked back to our old lifestyle.

I went on to lose almost 100 pounds in a year, never returned to the bottle, have assumed complete control and authority of my personal health above all else, and that has opened the door for a new life. From physical health, I am able to heal the childhood neglect, abandonment, molestation, and abuse that I endured, and have used those experiences as a source of purpose and motivation to help others heal their lives.

A New Purpose

I wake up every day on fire to serve and support others with my newfound purpose and power.

In 2017, I launched an executive coaching business and began to work with executives and professionals from all over to feel as powerful inside as they appear on the outside. In my first year in business, I fully replaced any executive salary I had ever earned. That coaching business has evolved into a professional development business with a focus on the personal development of the leader. As the leader gets better, everyone gets better.

The Benefits of One Decision

My wife is also now clean and sober, has earned three coaching certifications, and uses her story to help others move from pain to purpose as well. My girls are thriving. My older daughter is about to move away to college, and my younger one is set to start driving. After what they witnessed and endured, both are better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than anyone could have imagined or predicted.

I made one single decision to heal my own life. From that single decision, hundreds and thousands have benefited. All it takes is one decision.

When the leader gets better, everyone gets better.

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