Who Am I and Why am I Here?
I thought it would be a good idea to let you know a little more about me and why I put this workshop and this community together.
Educationally I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling. I usually add that I also have a “PhD” in life experience. Professionally, I have been a therapist in a variety of settings, a university administrator on four campuses, the CEO of a multi-state corporation, and a professional speaker. I have spoken on some of the most prestigious campuses in the country including Brown, Johns Hopkins, and Notre Dame. I have been interviewed on CNN Headline News, Fox News, numerous local TV stations, and I was a guest on The Ricki Lake Show. I am a TEDx speaker, a two-time finalist for APCA Speaker of the Year, and once was named Speaker of the Year by the Georgia chapter of the National Speaker’s Association (NSA) and represented the chapter by speaking at the National Convention of NSA.
Personally, I am a warrior and a survivor. Metaphorically I have battled dragons, survived quicksand, overcome raging rapids, and was lost in the jungle, but made my way out. In my late teens and early twenties, I made some horrible and self-destructive decisions. I became addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana. I was expelled from college twice, and at my lowest point, seriously contemplated suicide, going so far as to have the knife in my hand, debating which wrist to slice open first. That was my bottom, my turning point, in May of 1984. And that is when I reached out for help. That night was the last time I used cocaine. Eleven days later I had my last drink and have not had a drink or a drug since. With the help of an amazing therapist, the love and support of my family, and a new group of friends who were my support network, I found my path. Since then, I have dedicated my life to helping others overcome the struggles in their lives.
Through all of my work there was one common thread, I saw that many people suffered from low self-esteem. I realized that our society gives people the wrong idea of what self-esteem is all about. I worked with people who had addictions, depression, anxiety, childhood sexual abuse, and a variety of other mental health issues and all of them had one commonality, low self-esteem. Even the high functioning students and college athletes I worked with, seemed to work hard to reinforce their ego rather than their self-esteem. And that is where the seeds of this workshop and my book were planted.
I do this work because I want to make a difference. I want to help people find their way out of the jungle quicker than I did. I want to give people the tools they need to build their self-esteem and live happy, confident lives. When I started to put this workshop together I had some people tell me I needed to charge more, I needed to have multiple levels of membership and charge increasing amounts, up to the “platinum level” and charge a major premium. But that is not me. I want to make my work as accessible as possible. For me it is not about the money. It is about creating a community of people who want to raise their self-esteem and feel better about who they are and where they fit in the world. I have watched ego slowly consume the world. I have watched this “Me” mentality grow like a cancer. My goal is to help people find the “We” which is the only thing that battles the “Me.” Together “We” can do this. I know that when people apply the principles of my book and workshop into their lives, they feel better. And now it is time to get this out there to as many people as possible. I hope you will join us. Merely by the fact that you have read this entire letter, something inside of you wants to move toward a higher sense of self. And I would like to show you what has worked for me and countless others who have read my book and heard my workshop.