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I’m Steve, a coach here at Man-UP! Life Coaching (MULC).

I originally came to MULC as a client back when Dennis was conducting in-office visits (we both live in San Diego). It never occurred to me at the time that I might still be with MULC years later, working as a coach and helping to grow our community on the business backend.

My basic story is that I came to MULC with a problem. At the time I wasn’t really sure how to articulate it. Working with Dennis was my first life coaching experience, and it really helped me to appreciate not only how coaching works as a self-betterment process, but how I work as a person. I can now not only articulate what my original problem was, but I can recognize it in other guys, which is why I'm compelled to coach. 

Around here we’ve come to call it “competence addiction.” This is a term coined by Stephen Jenkinson in Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (a great read). This addiction manifests in several ways: workaholism, the chase of career advancement, compulsive gaming, self-help overload, hoarding knowledge – and a general need to win.


One could argue that the “upside” of competence addiction is that it drives us toward achievement. For instance, I’m a dance teacher and the founder of TimbaSD, an organization dedicated to promoting Cuban music and dance in San Diego. I’m also a martial artist (purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu), blogger, and visual art student. I also speak both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, having lived abroad for several years. For someone lacking motivation, this might seem pretty impressive.

The downside of competence addiction, however, is the reinforcement of the idea that our self-worth is conditional. We are only as good as our last success, and a suboptimal performance becomes a portal to some seriously self destructive thoughts or behaviors. Take my word on this one – it’s a pretty steep downside.


I’d say more than a fair share of the guys in MULC culture deal with competence addiction, clients and admin alike. I once joked with Dennis that we are all secretly members of a fictitious self-help group, "Winners Anonymous". Our clients definitely relate! These "winners" hold many trappings of material success. They’re often leaders or soon-to-be leaders; but for whatever reason, the “next level” eludes them. The reason, of course, is a need to redefine personal success. This critical reframing is the thing that they don't know they don't know.... and that's where coaching demonstrates its greatest value.

MULC is an incredible culture, and for the dedicated client it is both fascinating and deeply satisfying to see actual results in real-time. If this resonates with you, and we sound like we might just be a good fit, please take the risk and schedule a Strategy Session. Seriously, just do it.   

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