Men We Admire: Ryan Coelho

With crowd-pleasing, high-energy and result-producing insights, Ryan Coelho has become one of the most demanded performance coaches and motivational speakers in his field.

After recognizing that many organizations are struggling with disengagement, high turnover, and a lack of accountability/responsibility from its younger employees, Ryan was inspired to create the Millennial Engagement Movement (www.mem2015.com). It is an initiative that helps provide insight and tactics related to issues employers are facing with millennials today, as well as career assistance for young people themselves.

Since the inception of this program just under a year ago, Ryan has worked with over 70 CEO and HR Professionals of medium to large size organizations.

His free presentation, entitled “How to Make Millennials an Effective Part of Your Team,” shares a deep understanding of the younger generation’s mindset and provides practical tactics organizations can easily implement to better relate to this new breed of employee. Ryan’s consultations assists in the culture and training of an organization, leading to systems more suitable to millennial needs which increase engagement, retention and overall workplace happiness. 

In 2008, Ryan left his career as an Aerospace Engineer to find something he was more passionate about. In 2011 he discovered his love for personal and leadership development and since then has worked with over 8,500 people across the country; been a motivational speaker for over 40 events including the world renowned TEDx in 2012; was an MC during the 2014 World Cup and currently personally coaches over 30 individuals. He has partnered with organizations such as the University of Toronto, Youth Employment Services, Queen’s University, Ryerson University, and MacKay CEO Forums as well as published and authored 4 books and over 600 articles. He was also named Ryerson University’s Top 30 Under 30 Alumni. Coming up, he will be emceeing the torch relay celebrations for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

Name: Ryan Coelho

Age: 29

Occupation: Performance Mindset Coach, Speaker & Trainer

Pets? Nope

Car(s)? BMW i8 (coming soon!)

Gadgets? Macbook Air & Samsung Galaxy S5

Favourite instruments? Spoons? lol

Sports? Basketball (Big time fan of Toronto Raptors)

How did you get started on your current career/lifestyle path?

In 2011 my life was falling apart. It had been 3 years since I graduated university in Aerospace Engineering, and after giving up numerous jobs at that time to discover my passion – I wasn’t having any luck finding out what that ‘passion’ was.

Feeling as though I hit rock bottom, I decided to take a personal development course off the recommendation of someone. I was sceptical to say the least, but figured I had nothing to lose.

And oh boy, was I right.

I gained a ton of insight into life from the course and it propelled me in a direction I had never really explored fully before. I became extremely fascinated by the mind and how it influences us in our lives. From reading books to watching countless YouTube videos on the topic, I literally spent my days and evenings rationalizing how life worked. I began to see how our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours all stemmed from our mind, and how we were, and always are, in total control of what they were.

RyanCoelho2Armed with my engineering background, I began to logically stitch together knowledge that many people considered ‘fluffy’, and although it was a tough journey, today I professional speak and coach people on how their mind works and how they can use it to work in their favour at all times.

Did you have any mentors who helped steer you on this path?

I had two important mentors that helped me find and stay on this path. One, who I met randomly at a bachelor party, is a brand strategist for popular celebrities. The other has an influential role at the bank and I met him when he did a presentation on ‘following your passion’ at a conference I was at.
In short, both did something so important yet so intangible for me when I first got started – they believed in me before I had the courage to believe in myself.
I truly believe the best mentors always look past your limitations and focus on the true inner hero that lies within. They don’t give answers or advice, they just remind you that anything is possible.

How has your work contributed to a) your development as a person and/or b) the lives of others?

For myself, my work has been life changing. Quite literally, I would not be the same person I am today had it not been for the learnings I gained through building my current career. I discovered so many things about myself that were limiting in nature, and to first become self-aware of those limitations and then be able to get rid of them, has been the biggest blessing in my life. Just to put things in perspective, had I not pursued the work I’m doing on a full-time basis now, I would have had a job in an industry I didn’t like, making less then I’m currently making, and probably would have settled without ever fully realizing my full potential.

For others, my work has also had a tremendous impact. After every presentation I’ve had at least a couple people come up and tell me how much they gained from the knowledge and insight I shared. To me, this is the most meaningful part of my work – to see others remove barriers and limitation in their lives. Having lived so long in fear and worry, it’s inspiring to know not only have I learned to become more of ‘myself’ but every day I help others do the same.

Never look for validation from others, but instead learn to validate yourself. Self-confidence is what allows me to grow and excel in my career and the more you remain a victim to other people’s opinions, the less you will succeed.

If you had one piece of advice for someone just entering your field, what would it be?

A great exercise you can do is grab a sheet of paper, write down “I am valuable because…” and reason out that statement. Any time a thought of a situation that makes you feel less valuable pops up, try to shift your perspective so you can see how that situation actually made you more valuable. Again, everything is perspective, and perspective is within your full control at all times.

Do you have a personal work philosophy?

Always follow your excitement. If something no longer feels exciting, whether it be personal or professional, try to change your perspective on it to bring the excitement back, and if that doesn’t work, shift your focus to something else. Your excitement represents your highest joy, which is directly in line with your highest frequency of energy. That said, the more you stay in excitement/joy, the more you attract it into your life. In essence, this is how the law of attraction works. It may sound weird to just ‘hear’ this, but when you experience it for yourself, you’ll know what I mean. I used to be the biggest skeptic in this type of thinking, but now am one of the biggest believers!

What do you do for fun?

I love to watch movies, especially ones that have a deeper meaning behind them – like a character learn to believe in themselves or overcome some sort of adversity. Basically, if I’m tearing midway through or by the end because I feel so inspired – it’s a win in my books!

What motivates or inspires you?

Seeing people become self-aware about something and through their vulnerability shift their beliefs to something more positive. In other words, seeing someone start to see things in their life in a more empowering way than they once did.

RyanCoelho1What has been your greatest achievement (personally, professionally or both)?

This is a great question, but tough one. Every step of progress has been so rewarding being on such a challenging path. If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be at the beginning of 2015 when I had my biggest ‘Aha’ moment in regards to the the law of attraction and gained tons of confidence and self-belief.

What is the one thing you hope to achieve?

To travel the world and speak on the topic of personal development and leadership. To be able to help others gain a better understanding of their mind all across the world would mean so much to me.

What is your super power?

Energizing Audiences!

Who’s your hero?

I have many heroes. From the typical superheroes to my family to my mentors, anyone who has had a strong positive impact on my life is considered a hero to me.

What are you reading (or watching) these days?

I love books from way back in the day that give insight into the power of the mind. One of my favourite books is “The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind” by Dr. Joseph Murphy. Currently I’m reading a book called “Mental Chemistry” by Charles F. Haanel. They’re pretty intense reads, but if you can grasp them are very much life changing.

I remember at one of my first speaking engagements, I thought I was going to blow the audience away. It was 500 school kids and they were about to go on summer break.

 

When my turn came to shine, I certainly didn’t. The interactive game I tried to play with them to teach them about the mind totally flopped and not only did I end 30 minutes early but half way through kids were sneaking out the back door.

 

It was embarrassing to say the least, but was a harsh lesson that helps me excel as a speaker today – always ensure you are relating to where your audience is at and what they want. Before summer break the last thing they want to do is be learning something new. They wanted something entertaining and perhaps inspiring, and because I didn’t deliver, I faced the consequences.

 

Do I wish it went differently? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that going through that experience sucked at the time. No in the sense that the experience made me a way better speaker today as I will never make the same mistakes I did then. The pain of ‘failing’ is a great motivator in succeeding.

Thinking back to a time when you had to make a hard choice, how did you decide, and do you feel, in retrospect, that you made the right move?

One of the hardest choices I had to make in my life is to leave the career path that I studied for in university.

I was an honours graduate in aerospace engineering and had already worked internships at three of the largest aerospace companies in Canada, so it goes without saying people thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to ‘follow my passion.’

However, looking back, that choice was also the biggest blessing in my life. I’m so grateful I listened to that little voice that told me to pursue my passion, because today I can’t imagine myself being happier doing anything else. I love my work and I love my life – and it all started with that choice to step into the unknown and follow my heart.

If you had it all to do over again, would you change anything?

As much as I wish I took a more relevant formal education path and started learning personal development knowledge earlier, I also know that the path I did take was perfect for what I want to do. It taught me so many lessons that helped me discover more of who I am and who I want to be. So in short, the answer is No, I wouldn’t change a thing. I know deep down that all the pieces of my story are what make me, me.

What’s next for you? What’s your next big idea, project etc.?

I have a big vision and big goals, but don’t try to figure out the ‘how’ too much anymore. I usually just keep shifting my focus to what excites me most in the moment. Right now that is being an MC for various corporate events as well as working on bridging the generational gap within organizations. I’ve started a movement called the Millennial Engagement Movement (http://www.mem2015.com) that aims to support companies and young people as they work to interact in more productive and efficient ways.

What one piece of advice would you give to your own son (hypothetical or otherwise) in the hope of making him a better man?

As corny as it sounds, it would have to be about the idea of ‘believing in yourself’. I would remind him that everyone has an opinion, but what matters most is your opinion of yourself. If you are constantly dictated by the opinions of others, you become less of who you are and more of who they want you to be. That’s not fun. We were born to become more of who we are, and the only way to do that is to trust yourself – your dreams, imagination, thoughts, perspectives, and beliefs – that bring you the most joy and excitement.