Hi I'm Coach Mike. I am passionate about helping you live your life to the fullest - to find meaning, get rid of limiting beliefs, work through and beyond your fears and the "not good enough" story. Learning how to be, and help others to become, the best versions of ourselves - this is the greatest, most fulfilling thing I can spend my time on.
Dan Munro and I co-founded BROJO to help people live better lives, and spend as few years of frustration trying to fix life - doing all the wrong things, for alll the wrong reasons.
My life has had quite a few interesting lessons, and you can read more about that below. Since about the age of 20, I generally felt miserable about life. My work, relationships, lifestyle, and even friendships were somehow lacking, and rarely could I say I was truly happy. Even when I had everything I wanted... a successful business, a beautiful family, a classy home, nothing was "complete" about my world.
And, the key thing for me personally - the one thing I could never seem to really attain - was a perfect relationship. One in which I felt loved, respected, needed, and secure. No matter how much I invested, how hard I tried, it always seemed to fall apart. It wasn't until after my third 7 year relationship ended that I really stopped and asked...
"What am I doing wrong?"
And I learned so much when I began to look at how I was approaching my life, and what I was expecting from others. I know now what I was missing, what's truly important to me, and my life is centred on the things I value most.
Is something missing in your life? Or are you struggling to let go of a relationship or life situation that you wanted to keep?
I can help you let go of your fantasies, make your past inspiring and beautiful. Destroy your limiting beliefs, and move forward towards building the future you want.
My writing & coaching focuses on the areas where I have struggled the most, learned the most, & grown the most.
These are the areas that I am most passionate in coaching about...
I do 1:1 intense personal coaching, in Auckland or online by Skype. If you're interested to know more, you can contact me at right.
My life is full of personal experiences with fear, depression, failure, expectations, broken relationships, deep social anxiety, and being bullied as a kid.
These have been some of the greatest challenges govering my life;
I was probably the shyest guy in my high school. Never went on a date until university. Very introverted.
If you're familiar with Meyers-Brigg (MBTI) classifications, I've always been classified as INTJ which is a classic computer-programmer geek introvert type. That defined me perfectly. Huge social anxiety... a deep fear of being "in the spotlight" - with a particualar fear of public speaking and being on stage. I felt more comfortable around things, like computers - than people. And the lack of social contact made me feel like a very lonely outsider, even among my closer friends.
My young life was in a single-parent home, so relationships have always been very important to my. Unfortunately, I didn't have any experience seeing a working relationship, or understanding how to choose a good partner, so as hungry as I was to start my own family, I was pretty clueless about how to build one.
This led to some very difficult relationship break-ups, which I struggled for years to get past.
I've been fortunate to achieve some great successes in my businesses, and also gotten to see those same successful businesses come crashing down.
This sense of "no matter how hard I work, or how smart I am, it fails in the end," was tortuous. Particularly in my relationships, which I felt a very deep attachment to, I suffered for years after with depression and a sense that I would never be able to find happiness.
My "failures" felt like end-of-the-world events. Now those experiences are among my greatest treasures, because I value them deeply for what they have given me. I could not be who I am today without them.
They are hugely valuable to me in my coaching work as well. If you're looking for a coach, you might find my own life experiences something you resonate with.
Are you struggling to create the life you want? Are you fighting with past failures that you don't know how to get past?
Work harder than anyone else. Win bigger than everyone else. And happiness will come. Right?
As a teenager, I had heaps of dreams and fantasies about how my life would go. My fantasy life included marriage, family, starting my own business, exploring the world, inventing cool new things that would make the world a better place. I had a lot of ideals and fantasies about how my life would be.
I've worked very hard, and reached several of those mountaintops. I've been married. I have beautiful children. I've started a very successful business. I've owned a nice house and a stupidly fast sports car. I've had more money than I knew how to spend. I've lived on the 59th story of a skyscraper, and owned a beautiful oak-and-granite loft in the central Chicago business district. I've won industry awards, and had a personal dinner with Bill Gates. Each of these goals and victories were fun.
But I soon discovered that no matter how many of these "accomplishments" I could stack up, they didn't make me happy.
There were always downsides I hadn't forseen. Stresses I hadn't planned on. Higher mountains that I could see only from the top of the one I'd just climbed.
I also discovered that, being on top of those mountains was somehow less exciting and rewarding than the climb itself. Every time I reached a summit, there was an "oh, so this is it?" moment. I never really felt content, or victorious, or even... happy.
I began to suspect that happiness in life wasn't about the top, it was about the process of living. The adventure and experiences along the way.
But that made no sense to me, and I had no other way of living, than the "American Dream" - which is all about winning. So I kept climing, kept pursuing bigger versions of the same things.
Oh look, another mountain? Let's go.
I never make the same mistake twice. I make it at least 5 or 6 times, just to be sure.
My answer to the post-victory emotional lows was "I must need more." I started more businesses, invested deeply in new relationships, had more children, invented more things, bought more cool stuff, lived in more interesting places.
But after 2 marriages that didn't last, 4 beautiful children, 32 startup businesses, 4 homes and 5 cars later, I still didn't have a lot of happiness in my life.
My kids are my pride and joy, and I love deeply in my relationships, and have some great friends. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges of running my businesses. But somehow, none of this really added up to a sense of completeness, or happiness, or even "success."
I had to accept that I must be doing something wrong. Reaching the top of the mountain was simply not what life is about.
I was aiming for the wrong thing.
There seems to be very little happiness at the end of the journey...
All the fun and excitement is in the experience of the adventure itself. It's in the self-challenge and personal growth you experience with each attempt, whether or not you reach the summit.
The questions you ask in Life are at the centre of everything. They determine what you focus on, what you learn, and where you grow.
Instead of asking What will make me happy? I ask Where have I been happiest?
I found the obvious answer in my childhood, when I naturally lived the way that felt most right. Curiosity, creativity, adventure, and friendship were huge for me. I could spend hours talking with someone about an interesting idea, or exploring a forest, or disassembling TVs, radios, phones, and toasters to see how they worked (sorry mom).
Instead of asking What will make my life meaningful? I ask What makes my life meaningful to ME?
I found that the answer for me is, discovering, learning about and exercising my core values. Mine biggest personal values are Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion, and Honesty. Every time I practice these, I am deeply rewarded - even for the smallest step I take.
Instead of asking What do I NEED to feel enriched and complete? I ask What can I DO that enriches me the most right now?
Since I began asking this, I stopped building businesses for the sake of money, and began building them around my values and my strongest personal relationships. And they became successful.
I built a Japanese drumming team, studied karate, Acroyoga, and Zouk dance, and started BROJO. I conquered some severe stage fright, and my fear of public speaking. Started going to the gym. And I trained to be a personal confidence coach.
Instead of asking How can I get the romantic relationship that I want? I ask What can I give to someone else who I respect and care deeply about?
I've been rewarded with the best and deepest friendships and the best relationships I've ever imagined.
My journey is just beginning, but I've finally learned what questions should guide my way.
Drop me a line anytime if you'd like to chat, I love coaching and am always keen to help.