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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 2 million readers. As featured on: CBS, BBC, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Finding a Mentor

Ryan Nicodemus, Mentor

I knew a guy who was lost. But over the years, I mentored him, helping him through various stages of his life, and I’d like to tell you his story. As much as I can at least.

For the purposes of this story, let’s call this guy Tim. Hi Tim!

Tim came from a broken home. A poor home. A dysfunctional home. His parents split when he was young. And when they split, they split Tim as well, shipping him back and forth on weekends and holidays and every other Wednesday. By the time he was a teenager, Tim was involved in every child-of-divorce cliche you could imagine: heavy drugs, heavy drinking, heavy hanging with the wrong crowd.

As time progressed and he entered adulthood, Tim’s life spiraled out of control. He searched for answers. Maybe he could fix things if he found religion? Maybe a spontaneous marriage would help him find his equilibrium? Maybe an honest blue-collar job would bring stability? But none of these things worked; he didn’t let them work. Soon, Tim was fat and broke and tired and lost, living a life without meaning, lying face down in the life’s valley, his nose touching rock bottom.

That’s when Tim met me. Or rather, that’s when Tim became me. I am “Tim,”Âť and this story is my story. Once I found rock bottom, I found a personal mentor who helped me get unstuck, pointed me in the right direction, and helped me take actions that changed my life.

Over the years I’ve personally made dozens of changes in my life:

I made a shift in my life and got unstuck from some seriously unhappy circumstances to become content.

I re-prioritized my finances, paying off my debt and reducing my bills by 75%.

I left my corporate career at age 30 to pursue my passions.

I lost a significant amount of weight and got into the best health of my life.

I took my old addictions and habits (smoking, drugs, eating, television) and turned them into new, empowering habits that I enjoy while developing the necessary support systems to reinforce those habits.

I embraced a minimalist lifestyle by simplifying and decluttering my material possessions.

I got rid of disempowering relationships (friends and family) and replaced them with new, supportive relationships that I enjoy contributing to.

I transformed myself from that awkward guy lingering at the fringe of social events to the guy who can socialize in nearly any situation at any time.

More important, I’ve helped plenty of other people make these changes in their own lives, too. I spent seven years in the corporate world, managing hundreds of employees—coaching, developing, and mentoring many different types of people along the way: introverts, extroverts, sales people, technical people, younger people, older people, and everyone in-between.

My favorite part of my corporate leadership role, by far, was helping people get unstuck, helping them make a shift in their lives, and helping them grow. Hence, I’ve started offering personal, one-on-one mentoring to a few people each month. If you’re interested in getting unstuck, you can take a look at my mentoring page for details.

It’s worth noting that I do not consider myself a life coach. In my experience, most life coaches have very little life experience. Rather, I consider myself a mentor. I have mentored scores of people over the last decade, helping them make significant changes in their lives.

You too can get unstuck. And, if you’d like, I can help.