My life is the best it has ever been. I am blessed to be with someone I love, live in an amazing place, be of service to others, and be both financially successful and free to make my own schedule. I am in ‘flow’, and it feels fantastic. I have realized, after a long life, that I can be both successful and happy. I understand now that life is not supposed to be hard. Living can be exciting and challenging and free and joyful, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found this secret for myself.
And yet it wasn’t always this way. I grew up in an emotionally challenged, middle-class household where family tragedy, anger and fighting was the norm. Being a naturally happy child, I was extremely affected by all the dissonance and learned to cope in unproductive ways. Eventually realizing that this was no way forward, I turned to hard work so that I would become ‘successful’ and forever escape the stress of my youth.
Searching for my place in the world, I went from shoveling out pig-pens on a farm to consulting to the C-suite of Fortune 50 companies. I worked on Wall Street and Capitol Hill, and then boot-strapped a series of startups while eating ramen and counting pennies. In one of my later startups I helped raise $50 million in venture funds and managed the construction of one of the world’s largest private internet networks. I have achieved 4 advanced degrees…yet learned the most from the ‘school of hard knocks’. Overall, I have embraced each challenge with curiosity and interest.
My exploratory life changed in an instant, however, on 9/11. I was in NY at the time, and heard that one of the planes I had been regularly flying from Boston to LA was flown into the World Trade Center. I knew 4 people who perished that day, two on the planes and two in the buildings. In the years after that fateful event, I decided to make significant changes in my life. I wanted to dedicate myself to the one thing I knew I loved: Helping others. Thus I became a coach.
Looking back, I can point to a few key ‘takeaways’ that guide my thinking to this day:
First, it is possible to be very successful and very happy. We don’t have to suffer in our work! Life is supposed to be fun, and we can make everything we do joyful if we choose to believe in that truth.
Second, every one of us has enormous leadership potential. Introvert or extrovert, it doesn’t matter. We all have the capability to make a positive difference in the world if we fully embrace who we are and how we naturally lead.
Third, emotions are essential to leading an inspirational life. Being a man, I spent most of my life hiding my feelings through logic and analysis. After 9/11, however, I realized that by suppressing my emotions I was not only making life painful but I was also limiting my ability to inspire others. I have since learned that emotions are the way we learn about ourselves and connect with each other…they are essential to living a full life.
Last, our human potential is largely untapped. We all have an unlimited ability to change, adapt, perform and SHINE. In my experience we very seriously underestimate ourselves and those around us. Every one of us can do so much more and be so much more than we realize.
My calling, my purpose in life, is to help people see and cultivate their Greatness. Nothing inspires me more than participating in a client's growth process and witnessing the joy that comes as they step into a higher sense of self. Whether it be through leadership, entrepreneurship or simply living a happy life, we all can be incredibly powerful. If I can be of service to helping you create the life of your dreams, I would be honored and grateful.
In life, there are only a few people who profoundly affect who you are. KC is such a person for me.
President and CEO, MarketTiger Inc.