In this week's episode, I'm going to give you my origin story.
Because when I wrote my upcoming book, The Triple C Method and sent the draft manuscript out to my beta readers, one of the comments that came back was the book is great! but it needs more you.
To which my response was, this isn't a book about me it's a book designed to help people get from where they are to where they want to be to help them live life lit!
The counter-response was That's cool, but people need to know you so that they can relate to you and your story so that they are more receptive to receiving your message.
And my response was... well, I didn't have a response for that.
What can I say I have some very smart friends. So I listened to them, added more 'me' and it made for a better book.
So in this episode, I'm applying the same logic to the podcast and sharing with you:
- why I became a lawyer in the first place (it's not why you think);
- how the lack of clarity, confidence and courage kept me going in a direction I wasn't sure I wanted to go in;
- how a Christmas trip to Bali lead to me drawing a line in the sand; and
- how boxing dragged me out of my life of lethargy.
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You're listening to The Triple C Project. Welcome to The Triple C Project, the podcast that helps you gain clarity, boost confidence, and build courage so you can live life lit! I'm your host, Ryan Spence, biglaw dropout, life coach, author, speaker, lover of hoodies, hip hop, and big, hairy, audacious goals. If you're tired of living a life you don't want, and ready, to start living the life you do want. This podcast will help you get from where you want to really want to be. So now we're friends, I invite you to grab a drink, take a seat, and allow me to guide you towards living a life that's lit! Welcome to episode three of The Triple C Project. And in this week's episode, I'm going to give you that little origin story I was talking about. Keeping it very brief, no one needs to hear my whole life story. But why am I telling you this? Well, there's two reasons really. The first is that when I wrote my book, The Triple C Method and I sent the draft manuscripts out to a few people to read in, give me feedback. One of the comments that came through a couple of people was that the books great, but it needs more of you. To which my response was, but it doesn't need more of me because this isn't a book about me. This is a book that's designed to help people get from where they are to where they want to be to help them live life, let's and the counter response was so cool. But people need to know you so that they can relate to you and your story so that they are more receptive to receiving your message. I didn't have a response for that. What can I say I have some very smart, thoughtful friends. So I listened to them and I went away. And what they said was right, and it made for a better book. So I also thought I'd apply the same logic to the podcast. You knowing a little bit about me, will hopefully make for a better podcast. And that brings me to reason number two for sharing my origin story. And that's that when I'm listening to podcasts or listening to people speak, I, I like to know that they know what they're talking about. I like to know that what they're sharing with me is something that they've experienced that they know about that they've been through, or at least that they have an in depth knowledge of. And I also like to be able to see a little bit of myself in them. If there's somebody who's doing something that I want to do. I don't mean, they have to look like me necessarily. I mean that seeing that they came from a background like mine, seeing that they went through some of the same struggles as I did, seeing that they're just a normal person really helps in allowing me to believe that I can do what they did, the way that they did it, or similar. So that's my hope here was to just show you that I definitely aren't perfect. And I have made decisions that didn't serve me. And I had to then make different decisions to get me out of that situation. But also so that if you are going through some of the things that I talked about, you can understand that yeah, other people are going through this too. And they can come through the other side, they can change things up and do things differently. So hopefully that makes sense. And this episode will help you a little bit with that. Then I can go back to talking about other things. So I guess given this is The Triple C Project. I want to talk about this a little bit through the lens of clarity, confidence, courage, and to kick off with the fact that I lacked clarity. If you listen to the intro, I call myself the BigLaw dropout. Because I was a biglaw lawyer for 11 years. And for those who don't know biglaw just means I worked at one of the big international law firms, you know, the ones with the multiple names and the big glass and steel towers and thousands of lawyers all working on headline grabbing deals, that kind of thing. And when I say I lacked clarity, it's because I didn't go into that with the clear mission of I want to be a lawyer and I want to be partner and these are the things I want to do and this is the life they want to have. I basically went into it because I was tired of being broke. I had worked in the music business for a number of years which was my my deep, deep passion. But I just got tired of living in London and never having any money and looking around the industry, the lawyers and the accountants always seem to get paid first. Numbers certainly weren't my thing. So law it was. And so I left that and went and did my law degree with the view that I would go back into the music business and be this hotshot entertainment lawyer. Then I discovered the world of finance, and the world of international deals and travelling abroad for work and living abroad and getting paid a decent amount of money, more money than I'd ever been paid before. I was like, Yeah, I want some of that. So the dreams of the music business went out the window, and I found myself in the City of London in a biglaw firm. And I'm not gonna lie. At the beginning, I quite enjoyed it. Having lived in London for years, struggling to make ends meet, being able to live the life that I believe living in London should be like, nights out black cabs, great dinners, good parties. I was doing that. And I was also working alongside some highly intelligent people, some people who are really good fun, but did some really good work. And I was learning a lot from them. And I was feeling challenged. And that was great, too. And then I got the chance to go to Singapore, which I jumped out because I always wanted to live and work in Asia. And the way that it was presented and how I was viewing at the time was that this was my step to quickly rise up the ranks and reach those hallowed gates of partnership. Never actually really question if that's what I wanted. But that's what was expected. Right? I was in this situation. And that's what you're expected to do. I had taken my time in music rebelling and going against what I should do, going against what I should do. And so now, I was on this path that everybody thought was great. I was outwardly successful. I was living the dream, as they say, and so why would I change that? So off, I went to Singapore. I loved it there too. I love the weather. I love the lifestyle. I even enjoyed the work initially. And I felt that I was getting some of the autonomy that I was I was craving. But that slowly changed. And I was not paying that much attention to it. It's just like, Yeah, whatever, just keep going. And then my first child was born. And that voice inside got a little bit louder, saying is this the life you really want? Do you want the life where your time is not your own, where weekends and holidays and evenings can be disrupted? Just like that in a moment. And you have no say in that? Do you want to be at the beck and call of other people constantly, not have the autonomy to decide, I'm going to go home and put my kids to bed tonight. Or when your kids at school, you want to go to the football game or go to their parents evening, you want to be asking people for permission. But again, I didn't feel I could do anything else. And this is where I found out that I lacked confidence. Because I had these limiting beliefs that because I've invested so much time and energy to get to this point that that's all I could do. And I couldn't do anything else. The idea of leaving this successful career, this status of big law lawyer, this healthy salary is ludicrous. I mean, who does that? Right? That's just madness. And to think that you could do anything else is just... you're completely out of your mind. It's not realistic. And what I say now to people is that actually, what's realistic is whatever you make real. Something can be realistic. If you believe that you can do it, and you go ahead and make it happen. But obviously, if you don't believe it's possible, if your limiting beliefs are consistently they're in front of you, and you don't smash them down. And it's not going to be realistic. But that's where I was at the time knowing to release was really holding me back. And so I just kept going, because this is kind of what I had to do. I've got a family to support now. And this is life for the foreseeable. And there's one point where I decided I want to work from home, I want to be able to be able to be at home at least once an evening to put my kid to bed. And I was doing that for a while before I got called into an office and it was made quite clear that that was frowned upon which given where we are now coming out of a pandemic where everyone's been working from home is it's quite funny if it wasn't so maddening. But beyond that the thing that really rang me up was my commitment was brought into question. And what was said to me was that well, everyone else around here has kids what makes you so different? They're they're around they have to be in the office. Why are you special? And I left that meeting with that voice inside me, ramping up a few more decibels, screaming at me saying What the hell are you doing?, Do something here. And even when my second child was born, and I had to cut my paternity leave, short and work, which, yeah, try to work at home, when you have a toddler and a newborn, and your wife is mad at you, because you're supposed to be on leave, and you're sat at your computer working on a deal. It's not a great place to be. But again, I still couldn't find my way past the limiting beliefs and figure something out. And the reason this is called BigLaw, Bali and Breakthroughs is that it was in Bali where I had that breakthrough. It was in Bali, Christmas 2018, on holiday with my family. And we booked this amazing villa with friends were on the way from the airport to the villa, looked at my phone, and there was an email from a client, and a deal we'd worked on that had been dead. The other side now decided it had to be done by the end of the year. And it didn't take much mental calculation to figure out that that meant working over Christmas. To say I was pissed is a is an understatement. And so this holiday, which was amazing, and we did do some great things, and it was fantastic to be there. But it wasn't a real vacation in the way of switching off and relaxing because I was constantly thinking about this deal. If I wasn't on a call, I was thinking about it. If I wasn't writing emails, I was thinking about if I wasn't reviewing documents, I was thinking about them. Even Christmas Eve, I was reviewing documents and sending out emails. And I just think no, this is it that was drawing the line in the sand. And on the flight home, I remember saying to myself that this has to change, I cannot continue like this. And January 2019, I just knew I had to get myself out of this lethargy out of this funk. And so I wanted to challenge myself. So yeah, some people might decide they'd sign up for a 10k or do you know mean, they'd kind of go into a bike ride or something of that nature. I signed up for a boxing match. And to be fair, I, I wasn't entirely sure that I would get into the squad, but I just thought, yeah, this will be a good thing to kind of experience. But I did get into the squad that I started training. Then I realised I wasn't as fit as I thought I was. And I was probably gonna die if I didn't do something about it. So I hired a trainer, and that whole process of training and like a fighter. For those three months, fixing my diet, giving up alcohol training six days a week, sometimes twice a day, really lifted my physical and mental energy, and clear some of the for clarity on the lethargy that had set in over the last few years. And I continue training throughout the year, that led me back to my yoga practice, my yoga practice led me off to my first yoga retreat where I really had the time to sit and reflect and think about what I wanted my life to be. And then at the end of that year, I got called into another meeting. Yeah, another another surprise meeting. This one was a little bit different. And it was the opportunity to go to London for two months to work with a client, a client I'd worked with before. But underlying that was the sort of cryptic notion that there may be redundancy, layoffs coming up in the in the next year. But it wasn't really it wasn't really presented in the in the correct way. And I still rankles with me this whole situation. The fact that potentially I was going to be laid off was great, because it meant that I didn't have to jump from one firm to another, which was likely what was going to happen. I was already having conversations with other places. So I can have that breathing space. But the way that it was all handled. Yeah, let's just say it wasn't great. But I went to London, had got that space, met an ex colleague who was coach, I started working with her and the personal development quest that I'd already started just became accelerated and I suddenly just had this whole world of opportunity in front of me, the limiting beliefs that were there had gone or hadn't gone, but I'd managed to push past them and start to see an alternative future for myself. And I didn't know how I was going to do what I was going to do. I just knew that I wanted to help people who'd been in that position that I've been in people who were in law or in the corporate world who had done all the things they were supposed to do in inverted commas got to where they felt that they should be. But we're looking around and thinking is this it? Is this all that I meant to do now, for the foreseeable, there has to be more, but not knowing what more looked like, and not feeling that they had any choices. I wanted to help people like that. And they wanted to show them that they did have a choice. So I tried to figure out how I was going to do that. And that's where the courage piece comes in. Because I lacked the courage before to take the leap to do something different, to jump into the unknown, whether that was to another law firm, whether that was to do something completely different, whether that was to leave Singapore. But now having gone through the stage of clarity, having built up the confidence, I now had the courage to start to put myself out there and try things, knowing that I had no idea what I was doing. And in all likelihood, I'd screw up a lot of times. And this was huge for me, because I was somebody who never really wanted to put their head above the parapet. I was the person in Facebook groups or WhatsApp groups who might respond and take part in the conversation. But we'd rarely start one never really wanted to be the one to send something out. I remember when I was doing the boxing match, and we had to get people to come to the fight. Running that initial message to send out to the WhatsApp group to invite people to come was terrifying for me because I was like, what if? What if nobody replies? So that was always my fear? No one would care. No one's reply, no, get involved. But once I kind of gone far enough through my personal development class, Courage started to build, I do one thing that was scary. I'd look back and say, I didn't die. No, no one died, no one got seriously hurt. Okay, let's do the next thing. Whether it was putting out a post that nobody engaged with, whether it was doing a live that nobody attended, it didn't matter. Because it was all a way of me, building my courage, through a process that I called I refer to in the book as carriage stacking, it's taking that big scary gold, breaking down all of the steps, and starting with the least scary, and then building the next scary on top of that. And on top of that, and on top of that. And what happens is, at some point, you look back, and you see all the bricks that you've laid, and what you've achieved. And that very first brick, which at the time just sent out simply terrifying. It's nothing, you don't even think about it now. And so you can look further ahead and trust that you can also figure out what to do going forward and have the courage to take those steps to go forward to ultimately get to where you want to be. So to close out the story, I trained as yoga teacher, I taught yoga to people in corporate and that's kind of what I thought I would do. And through that, people talk to me and said, You should coach you, you you kind of go to talking to people and sort of helping people through these difficult situations. And so I gave that a go and I got in my head. Okay, what did I have to work through to get from where I was, is that struggling? BigLaw lawyer full of limiting beliefs, lack of confidence, lack of clarity, to where I then was somebody who had a clearer idea of who they wanted to be was far happier, and was far more excited about life each day, and had a mission had a plan that they wanted to fulfil. And I did that I coached a couple of people, I loved it, they got their transformations, I moved from Singapore back to the UK. And that's kind of where we are now. Coaching clients, helping people get from where they are to where they want to be help with the move from a life of lethargy, and get towards living a life that's lit. So there we have it. That's a brief canter through my origin story. There's a lot more about the detail behind what I've talked about in the book, The Triple C Method, gain clarity, boost confidence, build courage, so you can live life lit. That'll be out in April, and I'll be talking more about that in future episodes as we get closer to the launch date. But I wanted to close briefly with a little bit about origin stories. Again, in the intro, I talked about being a lover of hip hop and you will hear lots of hip hop references as we go through episodes just pulled from everywhere. But one thing that I wanted to just mention in this episode is there's a song, Power by Kanye West and there's a line when he says every superhero needs their theme music. And I wanted to kind of flip that around a little bit and say, every superhero needs their origin story, what got them from where they were to where they are? Now in saying that, am I calling myself a superhero? Yes, yes, I am. But I'm also calling you one. Because all of us are superheroes in our own right? We all have a unique gift, a unique talent, a unique power that we have that we can utilise and exercise in a way that nobody else can. We all have a message, some, some story to share, that can help somebody else who may want to be where we are, or who is where we were. So I'd like to leave you with that thought really, to think of yourself as that superhero, to think about what is your unique power? And to think about your origin story. What story would you tell, that could inspire and help somebody to change their life to avoid some of the mistakes that you feel that you've made? I'm going to leave you with that thought. Till next week. Thanks for tuning in to The Triple C Project. If you like the show, don't keep it to yourself. Go ahead, tell a friend, and tell me too by leaving a review. To get more tips, tools, strategies to help you get from where you are, to where you want to be. You're gonna want to be on the mailing list. Just head to iamryanspence.com and sign up there. You hear from me every week. And you'll also be the first to know about the release my upcoming book, check we'll see. But for now, all I have left to say is stop living a life of lethargy and start living life lit!.