Someone called me a corporate refugee the other day.
I’m also a recovering lawyer.
And now, a leadership coach.
For the first forty or so years of my life I desperately wanted to fit in. I wanted the things that looked like they were working for everyone else to work for me, too.
I did everything you were supposed to.
I got straight As. I went to great schools. I became the first college graduate and the first lawyer in my family and worked at a firm that was the best in the country at what I did.
And I was a sweaty, panic attack-ridden, stressed-out mess.
What was I doing wrong? What was I missing?
I was in Chicago in the 1990s when Phil Jackson was coaching Michael Jordan and the Bulls to all those championships. And he talked a lot about meditation as a way of creating focus in his players.
In 1996, I started meditating, hoping it would stop the panic attacks. But what I saw started me on a different path.
I began to see that much of the way that I lived my life was based on believing stories that other people had told me.
I saw that I had more choices than I thought I did. That I could do different things. That I could be different.
And over the course of the next twenty-plus years I did everything from law, to consulting, to managing large client relationships, to lobbying, to creating national marketing campaigns.
I loved that I got to do work that felt important to me. That I helped employers provide good health insurance and helped their employees save for the future.
Ultimately, though, I realized that what I had experienced with my own personal growth was much more valuable to me than any job I had along the way. I learned that I was capable of so much more than I thought I was, and that I felt most alive when I held fast to my deepest values. And I wanted to show others that this was true for them, too.
On August 2, 2016, everything changed for me. Because of a corporate restructuring, I suddenly went from a successful role at a leading financial services firm to not having a job. I didn’t know what was next. I only knew two things. I knew I didn’t want to be an employee again. And I knew I wanted to help people change their lives, and the lives of the people around them. I came to understand that my purpose was to help people see how much more meaning and prosperity was possible in their lives. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do that. But I took the next step. And the next. And the next. And today, a little over two years later, I live in the mountains of Colorado and help amazing people see that they can change the world. And I continue to take the next step, day after day.
You can do this, too.
I look forward to speaking with you.