Whether they knew it or not, every client that I have ever coached has been my teacher. My teachers have been drawn from all strata of society and all walks of life from ancient and esoteric spiritual traditions, employers, employees, business partners, co-founders in startups, blue collar types as well as sales and marketing ‘guru’s’, family members, others coaches, businesspeople, clients, strangers, men and women and more than a fair share of very young wise souls from all walks of life have coached me. I am a student of life. I learn from several somebodies every day. I watch. I listen. I observe. I am open. I love to learn. I love to live.
However, here are some of the specific people who have mentored me in my life:
My first official “coach” might have been my first Karate teacher, Sensei Chris Stansfield when I was barely a teenager, it was he who set a rhythm that continues to this day - Chris introduced me to stoic philosophy and eastern thought - although now long gone his wisdom and the words on the main Dojo wall ‘To fall 7 times is to rise 8’ are still etched in my mind. He also introduced me to the theosophical society bookshop and its huge esoteric collection of books and ideas - one of the first profound books I read at 13 was the Bushido Code - which still echoes decades later ’"dishonour is like a scar on a tree, which time, instead of effacing, only helps to enlarge.” The rest followed in rapid succession I think starting with Tony Robbins way back in 1986, and since I started getting those TS books there are so many people who have coached me by giving part of their lives and part of themselves to me: Wyatt Woodsmall, Marvin Oka, Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Joe Gibson, Eben Pagan, Andy Jenkins, Master Greg Castanarez, Tripp Lanier, Dave Asprey, Steve Chandler, Dr John Demartini, Nathaniel Branden, Jon Butcher, Brian Johnson, my son and many others.
The truth is that there have been hundreds of high calibre men and high quality women who have shaped my thinking, character, my mindset, my heart and my awareness - who have helped me become more adept at seeing the raw, real and unvarnished truth, that have helped me face my fears, that have helped cultivate a willingness to courageously dive into the deep inner work that’s necessary to be able to see my own blind spots. I’ve been something of a course junkie and have taken many courses, read thousands of books, attended schools and seminars and been coached and taught and trained by both the best of the best and most insightful. The journey’s lasted 33 years to date with many reincarnations, reinventions and inevitable rediscoveries. It can be a solo preoccupation at times and a road less travelled - you rarely meet others who have explored even a fraction of the territory on the map. I have delivered dozens of courses and workshops, coached scores of individuals, trained many leading companies and somehow managed to stay under the radar of most - almost all my clients have been by personal recommendation and referral.
I spend the early part of the day meditating, listening to and being coached by the inner guidance of both my unconscious and that most mysterious of things - the Spirit. Those Coaches are available to anyone and to everyone. And then there’s my parents who raised 5 kids and taught me how to work, to contribute, to love, to achieve, to serve and to share. How to solve problems harmoniously and without grudges. Then of course there’s been the others… the con artists, thieves, liars and the charlatans we all meet in life and I’ve met many - in them I see the inner passengers and unowned parts of me speaking back, reminding me to be vigilant - and what they ask me ‘is how I can embrace and look at my darkness to reclaim my light?”, “how can I become more whole and transcend my lower nature?” - from them many of my most powerful lessons - I learned what not to do in business, the damage that pride, greed, excessive ego, unabated desire, deceit and hubris do and how easy it is to fall prey to their seduction - it’s no surprise that I borrowed a quote from Star Wars to put on my desktop ‘Twice the pride, doubles the fall’. Time has taught me you can delude yourself just as easily as you can empower yourself. The path to mastery is never mastered, it is an endless journey that continues not so much with who you were, but about who you are willing to become, and who you are destined to become.