The featured image for this post -- a CA vanity plate that reads "MAN UP" -- sits on the back of my current bike, as it has for years. Right now it's on my 2015 Yamaha Bolt 950. Before that it was on my '99 Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. Before that, my 1986 Yamaha Virago 750. These are the bikes I've owned in my 11+ years living in San Diego, where Man-UP! Life Coaching (MULC) was conceived.
It's crazy to look back and see how far this organization come. It started very humbly.... literally just me with two chairs, a tent, and a clipboard out on the beach, offering laser-sessions to passers-by. True story. I never thought to myself, "I want to build a business that makes me a fuckton of money." Rather, I had the novel idea -- at a time when there was no such thing as a "life coach for men" -- that both my experiences as an educator, and the lessons I've learned along the unbelievable journey of my life, might somehow be distilled into practical wisdom for guys facing the kinds of challenges that I've already faced and overcome.... however clumsily. To be clear, I never saw myself as a leader of men, but instead as a servant who helps one guy at a time to get himself rightside up. And that's what I mean when I say man-up. I'm not calling you a pussy. I'm saying man-down sucks; whether this means being stuck in some area of your life, or literally laying your bike down on a poorly negotiated hairpin turn somewhere out in God's country. Man-up doesn't mean you failed, you suck, you're a wimp. It means, "Hey man, get UP. Let's GO. You can deal with your boo-boos later. Right now we need to move." And look, I know it isn't as easy as it sounds. As I said, I've been there. I've survived the impossible and -- having done so -- now feel an obligation to help others who are similarly fucked, but who may not have the same psychic resources that I've been endowed with. While my early life was one of poverty and destitution, I've always been rich in spirit, and thus something of an intellectual and spiritual philanthropist. I've always been happy to play thinking-brain dog for someone who might otherwise find themselves trapped in an escape room of sorts, and to validate them effusively until they muster the inner strength to succeed. It just comes naturally to me. It's my calling. So yeah..... at the end of the day, MULC was created in the same spirit as the fraternal camaraderie one finds in an MC or riding club. Namely, Brotherly Love. I mean sure, let's keep it real -- I get paid to help people solve their problems, and to be the light at the end of their tunnel when no one else either can or will. But you can't pay a service provider to genuinely care. You just can't. That desire to help another soul to overcome seemingly impossible challenges comes from a deeper place, and it's either there or it isn't. With me it is, and always has been. And that's the divine spark that set MULC into motion over a decade ago, when I realized that I had an obligation to serve. I cared then, just as I care now. This business, or rather this service, is my legacy.... and more, it is a labor of love. If you're here in the US, you'll likely be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Albeit a national holiday with a complicated history, I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving in the modern era is a time for coming together with friends and family, enjoying comfort food, waxing sentimental after a drink or three, but also -- and most importantly -- reflecting on the many things that we have to be grateful for. This year, after more than a decade of operating under the brand Man-UP! Life Coaching, I'm genuinely grateful for the opportunity to dedicate my life to the service of men in need, paying forward the Brotherly Love that was graciously shown to me in those times when I was most frightened, disoriented, and alone. I am grateful for you, the reader of this content..... my client, my brother, my friend. Just as I validate your existence, you validate mine.