Episode 158: Would you quit your job without a plan? – with Mark Usher of Be The Husband She Brags About

Knowing when to make a career change is difficult.  Quitting without a plan can seem too scary, but waiting until the perfect moment could mean you end up waiting forever.

So how do you know when it’s the right time to change careers and which career is really the right one for you?

Masculine Mastery coach and men’s work group leader Mark Usher explains what it’s like to quit your job without a plan, the difference between being good at your job and being right for your job and how to know what career path is right for you.

He also talks about making peace with his inner critic, the importance of finding humility and receiving feedback and the value of seeking support at all times in life.

Today’s guest

Mark Usher of Be The Husband She Brags About

Website: Kings Of Freedom

Facebook: Mark Usher

YouTube: Mark Usher

Mark Usher coaches high-achieving men to be the husband she brags about.  Mark is a Masculine Mastery coach, men’s work group leader, and the host of the “Be The Husband She Brags About” podcast.

Twelve years of his wife’s unheard requests for him to show up as a better husband resulted in her falling in love with another man.

The fear of losing his wife and kids drove Mark to do whatever was necessary to learn how to be a better husband.  A continuing obsessive deep dive into men’s work, coaching, breathwork, sacred intimacy teachings and peak performance psychology helped him transform his marriage from the inside out.  Part of Mark’s life transformation involved him quitting his physiotherapy private practice at the end of the most successful financial week ever in his business. 

His outside-the-family-home mission is supporting husbands go from fearing their best will never be good enough to becoming the marriage-transforming heroes of their relationship.

He lives in Ireland with his beautiful Queen, his two unschooled girls and 25 pets including 8 horses!

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • [1:46] What men’s coaching consists of.
  • [3:40] Where toxic masculinity arises from.
  • [6:10] How Mark became a coach.
  • [7:59] How to know your career needs to change.
  • [10:52] The internal struggle you experience when making a career change.
  • [13:36] Making the decision to quit your job.
  • [16:35] Ways to prepare yourself for a new career.
  • [18:00] How Mark discovered men’s coaching.
  • [19:00] How a career change can organically happen.
  • [22:00] The benefits of building a business plan.
  • [27:05] Making peace with your inner critic.
  • [36:10] The importance of humility, accountability and feedback.
  • [41:20] The value of continually having external support.
  • [43:47] Ways to reduce the stress of career change and avoid imposter syndrome.
  • [46:26] The ethics of marketing and sales.
  • [49:33] Different types of coaching.
  • [54:28] Learning sales as a skill.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

Episode 158: Would you quit your job without a plan? - with Mark Usher of Be The Husband She Brags About

Jeremy Cline 0:00
Would you quit your job and walk away even if you weren't sure what you were going to do next? If you only had a vague idea of what might follow, and no real backup plan, if you knew you had people depending on you, could you do it? Could you just walk out on your job? That's what we're going to talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:35
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast, the show where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. If you want to know how you can enjoy a more satisfying and fulfilling working life, you're in the right place. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, history tells of Spanish commander Hernán Cortés scuttling his soldiers' ships. Unable to retreat, his men would have to conquer or die. Military history is littered with similar stories where the means of escape was deliberately destroyed or cut off, and success for the invading army was the only option. You can apply the same principle to your career. You can choose to leave your job without a safety net or backup plan, and so force yourself to have to succeed. For sure, it's an extreme option, but can it work and at what cost? Well, today, my guest is someone who did just that. Having just posted his best ever week in his physiotherapy practice, Mark Usher decided to burn his boats and quit his job. He now coaches high achieving men to be the husbands their wife brags about. Mark, welcome to the podcast.

Mark Usher 1:43
Hey, Jeremy, it's really good to be here.

Jeremy Cline 1:46
A lot of people will have heard of marriage counselling or couples therapy, but I bet a lot less have heard of men's coaching. Why don't you start by giving us a quick introduction to what this kind of coaching is about?

Mark Usher 1:58
It's the million-dollar question, Jeremy, and it's so hard to give a real tangible one-liner answer to that. What I just would say is, it's unique to men, we've had so much cultural conditioning that we learned what life, we learned what's the emotional journey that it is being human. And as a result, it takes a unique set of skills and approaches to make men feel really safe, seen and heard, so that they can then share their full soul and bring their full, radical, authentic truth, and a lot of men's coaching, well, through my lens, is supporting men, finding what their radical authentic truth is, what makes them feel most alive, and bringing that to the surface, of course, to be the husband she brags about, how to do that, uniquely within the context of marriage, but that would be the thing that's connecting a man with what brings him to full radical aliveness in life.

Jeremy Cline 3:01
We'll explore a bit later how you found this, but just to clarify and lay anyone's fears, I mean, from what I know from our previous conversations, this is a million miles away from the masculine influences that we've seen in the news over the past few months. There's one individual in particular, who I'm not going to name, because I don't want to give him the oxygen of publicity, but he's a particularly toxic individual, whose style of content tends to be revolting, misogynistic, absolutely diabolical, I mean, what you do is so far away removed from that, isn't it?

Mark Usher 3:40
Yeah, absolutely. And I intuitively think I know the exact person, and yeah, I wouldn't speak to such person. There's a lot of hurt, there's a lot of shame out there in men, and I think individuals like this, and there are a certain portion of guys who are hurt and are shamed or undealt with unhealed wounds, to bring a certain expression into the world that, well, it doesn't do them as men any favours, and definitely doesn't do the sacredness of women, the masculine and feminine sacred dance any favours. It's definitely million miles away. The guys I work with, Jeremy, and I know coming from within my own marriage, I think one of the majority of men, going beyond the minority, there's always going to be that voice there, the majority of men have a deep love in them, a love to give, a love to give their wives, their girlfriends, their partners, a love to give their kids, a love to give their work. If you even go spiritually and from a mystical perspective, we are loved, that's the masculine core, is just that omnipresent, divine love, and I say masculine, it's not masculine men versus women. So, men have that, and I find in my work, it's only when we get to own that, that we come alive. Most guys that come to me that have this idea that you're not even allowed to speak to that, like speaking to love for a lot of guys with the upbringing has been, that's what the wuss does. You're the girly in the playground, there was a lot of put downs, there's a lot of shaming of that element. Yet there is this divine love that we come alive, we feel more at ease in ourselves when we're allowed to authentically bring that to life in whatever we're doing. And of course, the topic of today's discussion, a really incredible manifestation and embodiment of that, full authentic loving world is giving voice to your message in the world, your mission in the world, and a lot of times that can come through a career change. So, yeah, there's definitely a different voice for masculinity out there, and it's not always the one that makes the headlines.

Jeremy Cline 5:56
That's really good to hear. So, I mentioned at the top that you were a physiotherapist before you found this line of work. So, I mean, going back, what started you down the track of going into physiotherapy?

Mark Usher 6:11
What started me down the track was, even if I go back to my college days, Jeremy, when we were doing group research, I was the one that would put my hand up for psychosocial aspects of whatever disease we were studying in that month, we did a lot of self-directed learning. So, I had a lot of it there. To be honest, when I go back to before I applied for a college, I actually really did then want to do psychology. But at the time, I wasn't brave enough or courageous enough to put my hand up and say I wanted to do psychology, because that, for me, at the time, subconsciously, anyway, was me sort of admitting to myself I was a little bit screwed up in the inside, and I was deeply unhappy. And so, yeah, I went for the easier to explain and more socially acceptable part of physio. So, the interest was always there. My first few years in physiotherapy, I started specialising in chronic pain treatment and management. That was predominantly the psychological aspects, the emotional aspects, a lot of it, the most spectacular changes and transformations that happened, it was actually coaching. And when I finally sort of joined the dots and realised, okay, I'm actually going to be a much happier man when I just truly put all my chips in on the table of what my true love is, it's coaching people, and it ended up being men, but it's coaching men, that's what brings me to life. So, let's just make that shift. And let's do it early on, let's not wait 20 years, be unhappy, and then do it, let's just strike and do it now.

Jeremy Cline 7:50
And how was the lack of all that stuff that you've just described showing up in your practice?

Mark Usher 7:59
The lack was showing up, Jeremy, I was good at what I was doing, but I wasn't passionate. It's like I had a high level of competence, hence my practice was growing, word of mouth was spreading, et cetera., but being very good at something and being in your genius zone is an entirely different thing. How it showed up, I'd share this with people listening in, because a lot of people might be on the fence, wondering like how do I tell, well, I had one question that I asked myself, Jeremy, it's when I finally knew, okay, I've got to make this change. Being in a busy household, two kids, we're home-schooling, animals, busy practice, and my wife with all her interests and my own personal interests, it was always a full schedule, it still is. I didn't have a lot of time to myself to abundantly do a lot of reading. And I had one reflection, Jeremy. I asked myself, Mark, if you're in the kitchen, where the coffee table was, and you had a stack of your five favourite physiotherapy books, and I liked physio, don't get me wrong, there are people listening in, I actually really liked it, I was good at it, I had a deep interest in health, but on the other side of the table, I had five of my favourite, I generically call them mind-body-spirit books, and I only had like 15 minutes in between clients, or 15 minutes, the girls went to bed, which stack of books would I reach to? And Jeremy, it shocked me just how sure I was, 100% of the time, I'd be reaching for the mind-body-spirit books. And that has been invaluable for lots of guys that I've coached, because a lot of guys come in coaching, and there's marriage, there's lots of issues in life. Quite often, an unexpressed, unmet need to change their careers, it's often a bubbling, under-the-surface issue for them. That reflection by itself, for a lot of these guys, has been really telling. A lot of guys have just went, 'My God, Mark!' Immediately. And it's not the stack of books which is related to my work. And that's sort of like a key distinguishing factor, has really supported me in telling and making that decision.

Jeremy Cline 10:16
I'm going to borrow that one. That's a brilliant metaphor, absolutely love that. What we all thought, I mean, here, you've had your best ever week, and that's the point that you seriously think, 'Okay, I want to quit this.' There's got to be a lot of conflict there. I mean, you're recognising, you're doing well, it's providing you with the income, it's supporting your family, there must have been an internal struggle there, as you made the decision about what to do next. Can you talk about what that looked like, what that felt like?

Mark Usher 10:51
Yeah, absolutely. And it's really important to point to, there is this inner emotional conflict and battle going on in a career change. It wasn't immediately obvious for me. I think I had some false absolute confidence in making the change immediately. And I think the self-doubt and the conflict sort of came out in the months and, indeed, the years afterwards. What made it so clear in my mind that it was right in that moment, Jeremy was, well, first of all, there was my own passion, my own passion was on a different topic. I was quite clear, you know, to be at the top of a profession, but not even just to be at the top, to be able to serve people within physiotherapy, I had to be researching, I had to be doing the courses, I had to keep on top of things. Well, I wasn't serving people correctly. So, long term, it just wasn't sustainable. Yet, the results, it just was not serving myself and my wife in marriage and her aspirations as a couple, for our family, to have family time together, I could see that there was a major collision course, that if I stuck around, the success was coming at a big price, because the more and more clients coming in, yeah, it was brilliant financially, but my evenings were being eaten up, my wife was really, really unhappy with that, we had the ideas in us that fell in love several years prior to that, we were like, 'Oh, you know, location independence, we can travel, we'd have lots of time, we'd home-school our girls.' So, the dream life was not going to happen. So, there was a part of me, to be in integrity with myself, with my marriage, and with my wife, there was a lot of clarity that the decision was right. That said, you entered this conversation quoting the historical beginnings of the whole burn-the-ships metaphor, it's been a really rough ride since then. I would definitely do it differently. I don't regret doing it, it was the way it was, and it got me to where I am now, and I've learned lots, but if I was to guide people listening in, I would hold back on the whole burn-the-ships way of doing things. It's sort of nice in theory from my experience, but I don't think it sets a good solid foundation under yourself to do it that way, from my experience.

Jeremy Cline 13:20
So, let's just dig in a bit to what that looked like. So, what was the time between the decision to quit and actually doing? I mean, how much sort of notice did you give yourself?

Mark Usher 13:35
It sort of even sounds crazy when I slow down to reflect on it, but it was 24 hours. I literally, yeah, it was 24 hours, and I don't say this, sometimes in podcasts, you know, you can really tell a story to make yourself seem super courageous. I tell the story, and I look back with a little sense of, that was just absolute craziness. But it was on a Sunday. It was a Sunday afternoon, I still remember, Jeremy, I sat down with my beloved. There was a background awareness of this, it's not that I made the decision within 24 hours. I think it was just like a slow burning making of decision that reached this crescendo. So, it was not just a spontaneous impulsive decision. But I sat down with my beautiful wife Matilda, and I said to her, 'Okay, I'm going to say something to you, don't hold me to this, don't hold this against me, just I need you to listen, but I need to take it out of my head and feel into what it sounds like when I just say it.' And I shared with her, Jeremy, it was like, 'Okay, I feel like I would be the freest man on earth if I quit working as a physiotherapist from now.' And Jeremy, all of these metaphors and ideas of all the weight of the world was on his shoulders, I finally, for the first time in my life, realised what that was about. It's like my shoulders just dropped a half a foot, my whole body experienced this literal sensational experience of relief. And that was it. I looked at my wife, I can't deny, that's it. She was still quiet, looking at me sort of going, 'Are you for real!?' But she was smiling, she could feel the enthusiasm that was just coming through me, she could feel that I was happier as a man. And the truth of that, it took a little bit of craziness from both sides, a lot of love, a lot of like, okay, we're stepping into the dark, but from that day, the next day, I showed up at work, I stopped taking new clients, I just saw through the treatment programme of the remaining clients and some that needed more long-term care, I just, within a couple of sessions, said, 'Hey, I'm going to refer you on.' And that was that. Yeah, I wouldn't do that again, if I had to live it again, there was a lot more preparation. I know, when you did a podcast with me recently, just a little bit of background to the guys listening in, Jeremy had an amazing podcast where you gifted all of your incredible three steps and the comprehensive nature, I definitely have went that way, I would have loved Jeremy Cline to reach out to coach me through the whole process. But hey, I'm here now, I'm better and stronger as a result of the experience.

Jeremy Cline 13:50
So, that period between that conversation on the Sunday and effectively running off your clients, how long was that, and what did you do during that period to prepare for what happened next?

Mark Usher 16:36
Time wise, maybe it was a couple of months till I was like, 'Okay, I had no more clients.' So, it was quite quick, it was quite rapid. What I was doing in preparation, I mean, I think I just had this new lease of life, finally, I had the full permission, it was like I was doing this new career, so I started looking at courses online, started reading all the books I wanted, I didn't feel guilty anymore. It was like, okay, I'm not a physiotherapist anymore, I am this new ID, I'm a men's coach. So, there was a lot of enthusiasm and passion and life. So, I just started devouring all the information I could get my hands on. And initially, I just started reaching out to other guys in the arena, all other guys doing coaching. I had some knowledge, that was an important aspect of it, I probably would have leaned in more on that and networked with greater courage and greater tenacity and an insistence to make those connections early on. But it was an important part for me forming that new identity of this effectively new person I was having to become.

Jeremy Cline 17:48
Okay, so you quit in the knowledge that you wanted to become a men's coach. How did you find out about men's coaching in the first place?

Mark Usher 18:00
I found out this is an important bridge, so it doesn't make it seem like it just was that one decision. I actually found out as I was working as a physiotherapist, and how I found out was, multiple clients, male clients were coming to me, it was working with women as well, but I just had a deep resonance with men. I've since known and discovered I had a tonne of deep inner work to do in healing my shame and issues with masculinity, et cetera, might not have the full length of time to go deep into that. So, I had a deep resonance with connecting with men and bringing them on a journey. And it came about where guys were coming in with lower back pain, and it was with different pain conditions, and it was all to do with stress, it was all to do with how they were digesting or not digesting very well psychological stresses and emotional issues. And I ended up just talking more and more with these guys. I might do a little bit of hands on, but it was predominantly talking. And what spontaneously started happening, Jeremy, and I would, people listening in, this is actually a really beautiful thing, and I sort of encourage you to take note, how does a career change organically happen, how does your environment and the people in your environment, you know, a lot of the times, people are telling you where your genius zone is. How that happened for me was, I was talking with these guys spontaneously, I wasn't thinking of men's coaching at that time, but several guys distinctly said to me, 'Mark, I'm actually not coming', they got almost embarrassed, 'I don't have pain anymore, I don't know how to tell you this, but I don't really want any physiotherapy, I'm coming, and I'm actually paying you now because talking with you is changing my life.' Several men, and it took me by surprise, Jeremy, because several men actually said to me, and this is what really moved me and made me realise, wow, I really want to dedicate my life to mastering this art and making a career out of it and just making it my life's mission. I count on those early days, there's been four men who distinctly have looked me in the eyes and have said, 'Mark, coming to you and speaking with you, leading up in the weeks before I met you', or some of them knew me like a long time, but before they entered that type of work and conversation with me, 'Mark, I was driving to our sessions, and I was looking at the size of the tree and the speed I was doing on my speedometer and wondering like, am I going fast enough to end it, and will that tree help me end it.' They were deeply suicidal, deeply depressed, and just totally, absolutely disenchanted with life. And yet, here was this unqualified for the job man, being me, with an open heart and a curiosity, and just holding an open space for these men. And by nature or nurture, I've definitely upskilled and learned much higher levels of world-class competence in what's the art of men's coaching. But just that curiosity and holding a safe space, these men really trusted me. And all of them are thriving now, they're happier, they're healthier, they're enjoying the relationships. And that sort of organically emerged as I was still a physiotherapist. And then, I started making the links. And then, to answer your question, the term men's coach came out. I'm like, 'Wow, well, that's it. That's what I'm actually already doing. But that's the term that other people have already given to it.' So, I continued from there.

Jeremy Cline 21:44
So, what was the initial plan when you stopped work? So, at that point, did you have any clients, or was it from that point, I am a men's coach, okay, let's start building that business?

Mark Usher 22:02
The initial plan, I'll be honest, this is more of the learning, I didn't have a big plan. Or if I had, it was the most ridiculously oversimplified plan, I'll be a men's coach, I'll be world class. I think that probably was about the height of it, what I now know is like what was the business plan, what's the setup, how are you going to do it, what's your strategy, marketing, selling, you know, all of that stuff came a long time later. It was a really oversimplified plan, it was sort of, let this organically evolve. The clients, I had, it sort of started growing slowly, but surely, by word of mouth. Those initial guys, they continued with me, some of them were coming long term. As they were doing it, little bit by little bit, as they found their grounding and their confidence and their own masculinity and their own truth, they dropped the inhibitions to actually open up and have conversations with other men. And you know, there's this rubbish idea in society that men don't want to talk. Nothing could be further from the truth. Men are literally dying to talk. So, men, statistically, nine out of 10 suicides internationally, it's men taking their lives, they're dying to talk. Men want to talk, they just don't know how to get the first sentence out. They've experienced a lot of hurt in the past. So, once men started realising like, 'Okay, I can actually have a chat with this man, I can trust him, I'm safe', and they were hearing, I was just very honest and vulnerable and open, I wasn't an expert, in these conversations, I was sharing a lot of my own struggles, I was sharing a lot of my own crap in life, a lot of relationship issues, emotional issues, et cetera, et cetera, the guys just talked to it. So, the business plans sort of organically grew slowly but surely. But definitely, if I was to do it again, retrospective great wisdom, I'd have taken way more time to get way more detail in what was my ideal vision, because I would have had way more capacity to concentrate my thoughts, my talking, my taking action in a more constructive direction. I think I slowed my process down to getting where I am today by several years, for sure.

Jeremy Cline 24:31
In hindsight, is that something that you would have done whilst you were still working as a physiotherapist, or is it just a different way of looking at those first few months after you stopped that?

Mark Usher 24:43
Yeah, if I was going back, I probably would have slowed down the whole super quick decision to get rid of physiotherapy to transition on, I probably would have slowed that down. I don't know, I probably would have aggressively went at it, I really wanted this, but I would have slowed it down by six to maybe nine months, to have that sort of financial foundation under me, and definitely get a vision in place, because that informs absolutely everything after that. Without the vision in place, Jeremy, and just for people listening in, what I have found the last year and a half, it's been a number of years, it's been five or six years transitioning, in the last year and a half, I've achieved infinitely more in my business from having laser precision in the vision, what's the five-year plan, the 10-year plan for my business, my mission, how am I going at that, it has skyrocketed to success. Going back, I would have brought a lot more of that precision in the early days, that would have informed everything else and made like a path of least resistance. You're not looking for an easy path. I think this is one thing, it's not looking for an easy path, there are going to be obstacles, there are going to be challenges, entrepreneurship can be quite gruelling. But you can find a path of least resistance where, instead of having 300 obstacles in front of you, well, if you can bring it down to 50 obstacles, or if you can bring 10 obstacles down to two obstacles, it really allows you to stay in a zone where there's higher hope and optimism. Because, unfortunately, a lot of people that make the change, they back off after a year or two, they feel that they've failed. But if you can have that vision, it can support you emotionally, remaining focused and remaining in the type of state of mind and emotional state to stick with it in the long run. And the long run is spectacular. I feel much better now as a result of living from my true to my authentic self and feeling radically alive, getting up in the morning to do what I do, which is what I love.

Jeremy Cline 26:53
So, what made this difference in the past 18 months, compared with the period before that?

Mark Usher 27:02
It's a really great question. There's so many ways I could answer that, Jeremy, but to really get to the nugget of it, I've made peace with that nagging, inner critic voice that was eating me up for years. There was always this part of me that I didn't know how to deal with, and joining deep men's work in the last number of years, I've just brought this radical awareness to this part of me. And here's the thing, when you do really deep work, sometimes in business, we talk about inner critic, but it's not the realm of entrepreneurship, it's not the realm of the business mastermind, it's not the realm of business podcasts, et cetera, but it's probably the most unspoken part of entrepreneurship, every human has his inner critic, every human has had some parent, a mom, a dad, a step parent, some teacher, siblings, some humans or society in general, that has sort of willingly or unwillingly put them down. And it's just learning that this part of me, when I came home, it didn't go, okay, there's this part of me that's like, I want to set up my podcast, and the doubts will come in. It's like, that's okay, I don't have to take the doubts in my head seriously, I don't have to take the fear or the anxieties that come up seriously. I can feel them, I can witness them, and I put them on the shelf, and I just make a courageous action and take a step towards my vision. And it's just repeating that process. I've actually come to relate with it, that it's a really good sign for me, Jeremy, that the fears are coming up, that the inner critic is coming up. That means I'm actually really going at my vision full throttle. I'm not in a comfort zone. So, on a daily basis, I'm reaching out to guys where I'm like, 'Man, why would he actually want to come on my show? I know he's the right type of client.' Whereas if I have no fear at all, I'm putting my sights way too low. That's probably been the biggest most transformative thing that has happened in me and a shift inside that's working in the amazing results that I'm getting in the podcasts and clients signing up. So, yeah, I'm interested to touch base with yourself, Jeremy, does that make sense? What's your experience, or what shows up with guys you work with?

Jeremy Cline 29:34
Really interested, this making peace with your inner critic, was this a solo process and your own self-reflection? Was this something that you had help with, the coach or a counsellor or something like that? I mean, what did that look like?

Mark Usher 29:52
The birthplace of my career, when I was doing generic men's coaching, and that was going beautifully well, nothing explosive, but I was making a career out of it and having a lovely effect, from my podcast, people listening in haven't heard that, but my podcast Be The Husband She Brags About, that came from a literal breakdown or breakthrough moment in my marriage, about three and a half years ago, and the crap hit the fan, royally. My beautiful wife, she energetically sort of fell in love with another guy, and this sort of showed me up for sort of like the man I felt I couldn't be, deeply emotional, I didn't feel I could do this whole emotional attunement or intimacy, which is defined as, the simplest definition of intimacy is into me you see. I didn't know how to do that. I was afraid of my inner world. So, to answer your question, I found deep men's work a few years ago, and that was deep men's work, and I did a really rigorous, deep masculine men's coach training. And I just got the qualification in that. But I was repeatedly and rigorously going into my inner world, with support, with professional support, and we were coaching each others. And it just, I came at home, Jeremy, from a lifetime of avoiding this part of me, at times, that inner critic could be downright nasty with me, I could get to the point. If I go 10 years ago, I got to the point of like suicidal tendencies. But apart from those ultra extreme times, every day, daily life and relationship and in my career within the focus of this conversation, it would beat me up. It would be like, 'Who the hell do you think you are to invite him!? Who the hell do you think you are to earn that type of money!? Who the hell do you think you are to ask those fees!?' And it was this protective inner voice that followed me the whole way from childhood, but it was trying to protect me, the intention learned from childhood was beautiful for the five-, six-, seven-year old me, sharing my full, authentic truth, my kitchen table at home wasn't really an emotional safe place to share, to sing, to dance, to say, 'Hey, I'm going to do this when I grow up.' There was a lot of love, but there was a lot of unwitting shame of it. But deep men's work helped me just listen to that voice and recognise it's not me, that's just like the neuronal patterning of creative ways my mind had, my nervous system had of protecting myself when I was younger. But there's no absolute truth in it. So, I suppose the best way to say, I learned to become the witnessing awareness of these thoughts and emotions that will come up, and with that detachment, or with that space, Jeremy, I was like, okay, I have a choice here. There's no absolute truth, so that thought can come up, 'Oh, you're a piece of dirt. Who are you to think?' Okay, that's an interesting thought, but that doesn't serve me if I follow the command of that thought. So, what's a better thought to follow? Send the email, invite that person. Okay, that feels empowering. That serves my vision. And it's just being able to be the witnessing awareness. Every person, I think, I'd speak to this, every person listening in, I can like guarantee it, some people might get very disgruntled and go, 'No, I don't have an inner critic, I don't have any issues', some people can get a little bit off the cuff, and that's okay, I would have got off the cuff before doing this deep inner work, but every person within a safe environment, deep men's work, or women's work or a retreat centre, when the safety is there, every human being, without any exception, has some part of their persona that tries to put them down. And that's a really important thing on the road of entrepreneurship, to just get some space between that voice, realise it's not you, it doesn't mean any truth about you, and you can choose a different thought to follow.

Jeremy Cline 34:07
That resonates so much with me. One of the first exercises I get my clients to do is an exercise which helps them to identify their internal saboteurs, their inner critic, it can take all different forms, all different guises, all different kinds of messages, all different kinds of stories that it's telling yourself. And so, yeah, just identifying those thought patterns and recognising them, as that's all they are, they are thought patterns that don't necessarily mean anything, they're there to serve a function maybe to try and protect you, but they're not necessarily in any way objective truth. And so, yeah, what you say is just so completely true. And, yeah, that's recognised by the fact that I make it one of the first things that I ask my clients to look at, because it just instructs and is relevant for the whole coaching process. I'm really grateful for how vulnerable you've been about the story and how things were working so well with your wife. Just on the timeline thing, have I got it right that that event sort of started to take place after you had quit the physio, so when you were already into the men's work?

Mark Usher 35:27
Yeah, I think timewise, if I look back, maybe it was sort of like three years after, three and a half years after the big bold change from physio to men's coaching. Yeah, it's probably about three and a half years after that, and it's been about three, three and a half years ago. So, we're sort at halfway between the big change and today.

Jeremy Cline 35:49
So, I mean, did thoughts come up like, 'Hang on, I'm a men's coach here, and something is not going well for me from a masculine perspective', was there a voice in your head saying, 'I help people with this, why can't I fix it'?

Mark Usher 36:08
Totally! Totally. I mean, it was like, 'Oh, my God, this is like the paradox, how do I admit this in public?' For years, I've been coaching guys, I've been advising guys, I have all the answers. But I didn't have the answers for me. And yet, that was cool. That was one of the most beautiful things. Life, and I suppose within this context, business, the results will let you know exactly where you're at. And this is one thing, I think the big thing for me is learning to become total friends with humility, that process, I call it heroic humiliation, I really invite people listening in to get comfortable with that. We've had no role modelling. Humiliation, we tend to take that with social humiliation, we may feel like crap et cetera, so we're like, 'No, no, no, no.' But humility comes from humus, which is the ground of truth of where you're truly at. And when you start getting that, in that learning period, that's what happened in my marriage, Jeremy, it was humbling. It didn't matter what my head thought about myself, it didn't water matter what my head thought about my marriage, about my opinions, but my wife, you know, she's complaining about that, that's not a real issue. And I invite people in, how do you relate with your business? A lot of people, I've heard a lot of people, they'll have all these amazing opinions about business and what works and should work, and this is the approach you're going to stick with, and then actually argue with what a billionaire says, or argue with what a business mentor says. But they don't have any money in their bank. And the results are showing them. They're trying to show them. All the results are saying, 'Hey, you need to do some soul searching here.' And humility is a real key practice to just come and go, 'Hey, how are the results lining up around me in life?' I did in my marriage, and I did like the last 18 months I'm doing in my business. When you do that, you're open to one thing which will transform everything within this conversation, your business, bottom line, your profits, which is why do we get into business, we get into business, you have a beautiful purpose to serve people, but you got to make a profit, it opens you up to receiving feedback. And feedback could be in the guise of a Jeremy Cline, you know, a career coach, they can give you and support you, give you feedback or mentoring, or a business mastermind, that is what every single person who has created beautiful success, doesn't matter if it's a million, if it's billion, some person's best success in business is to have a tasty, sustainable income every week, every month, it doesn't matter, but success on your terms, every one of those people, without fail, have learned to receive feedback, to actively search for feedback from people that are a little bit further along the way, that can light up the path from them, so that they don't continually try and reinvent the wheel, and minimise and normalise not having the profits here, not having a successful business here, you don't have to do it all by yourself. But it's humility to admit, 'Hey, I'm not having the results.' This is something that's got to do with me, it's my thinking, my talking, my taking action. There's something to do with how I'm repeatedly showing up in those three creative tools, thinking, talking and taking action. I've got to take ownership of that. From there, get the feedback, guaranteed strategy to bring beautiful success, and every person listening in deserves that success. Why hold yourself back from it unwittingly?

Jeremy Cline 40:01
When I first started looking into coaching, one of the things that struck me was the number of coaches who have their own coaches. And I think you've just summed up beautifully that, even if you are in that area, even if you have the skills, even if you are helping someone else in your area of expertise, that doesn't mean that you can't, and indeed, it will be hugely beneficial if you do get advice from someone in that same area, even if it's the area where you specialise. It's the kind of the doctor heal thyself, no, if doctors really go and see doctors, so if men's coaches need help with their men's issues, sorry, that's a terrible turn of phrase, but you know, they can get men's coaching if their career coach or business coach did help with their coaching, then they can go and see a career coach and business coach. It's just, it's beautiful, I just love the way that you expressed all that.

Mark Usher 41:03
I'd add to that, and it's just striking and such a point, and it's been so meaningful, I just really want to, yeah, just make it, maybe I'm just making it louder for people listening in, it stroke really to hear that. Because I find just so great for me, Jeremy, I don't know for you, but it's like just so great for me, when people aren't getting what they desire, the results they desire, the business they want, the money, the freedom, everything that goes with that in business, or any endeavour in life, and it's just that conditioning of this society, which is the powerful person, lone wolf. I know men have a particular one, but you know, women have that as well as like. The powerful person, you should be confident, you should have full clarity, you should have all your stuff together, and to make it in the world, that's the successful person. Nothing could be further from the truth. Always have that support, always, not just when, oh, you know, yeah, definitely, I'll go away from the podcast with Jeremy and Mark, I get that, I got to get a business coach for the next six months. No, always have that, always have that support. I have it baked into myself as a way of life, but why would I do that? I've noticed the patterns. The patterns are, the most successful people I've noted in deep men's work, Olympic champions, entrepreneurs, people that succeed, they have external support, expert support, baked in, not just when they're struggling No, to have it as a way of life. You need more support when you're successful than when you're struggling. Because success brings insane challenges, as well. So, yeah, it's just to build in the expectation, create external support as a way of life.

Jeremy Cline 42:47
You need more support when you're successful. That's brilliant. That's an absolute gem. I love that. I want to just touch briefly on the financial aspects, because I know that this is something that's going to concern a lot of people, especially with the burning your boats idea. Because if you quit, and maybe you've got an idea what you're going to do, maybe you don't have an idea what you're going to do, there's that practical, 'Right, okay, so how are we going to pay the bills?' And maybe you've built up a savings, you've got a bit of a runway, but perhaps it's finite. What did it look like for you when you quit physio? I mean, did you, even by that stage, have sufficient clients that you were bringing in what you needed, or had you set yourself, you had a runway, a time period within which you had to make it work? How did that look like?

Mark Usher 43:46
Again, it was a really bumpy road. I would do things a lot different. That's the golden thread if people have been listening this far, it was a bumpy road, unnecessarily. So, how that looked was like there were severely cash-strapped times. Did I have clients? Yes. One of the big things looking back, Jeremy, was, I didn't have an identity as a men's coach. And that was like, I had this, again, inner critic or the inner saboteur, as you as you were calling it, it was this part of me going, 'Hey, you know, I'm getting the results for guys', but there was some part of it that I didn't believe I was worth it, no matter what they were saying. You saved my life, hey, my life is going better. I think this is really key for people listening in, is do whatever is available to you to slowly but surely, in a way, you don't have to have a quantum leap in identity shift, but there's this thing, like identity, you can build identity. Identity comes from Greek or Latin, I'm forgetting which root, but it's identitas, which is repeated beingness. If you repeatedly keep showing up and consciously go, 'Hey, I'm a men's coach', or somebody could be whatever it is, I'm now an artist, I'm not an accountant, you hang around, I think one of the highest leverage things I'd advise people to speed up that process is, first of all, go all in, go submersive, try and find like, if you're doing it a little bit, you haven't burned the ships, try and find an hour every day. Be consistent with it. Consistency over intensity. Sometimes you'll be like, you feel it in a weekend, and you go crazy, and you invest like three or four hours, but then you get frightened, and you don't do anything with it for two weeks, or a month, or a couple of days. No, your identity will shift really, really quickly when every single day you spend one hour totally submerged in that topic. In the topic, let's say mine is men's coaching, and people listening in, fill in the blank, whatever your career shift might be, and what that identity is. What that provides you with, to answer the question, with the shift to asking what you're worth, you won't ask what you're worth until you really believe it's like, 'Hey, I'm actually coming from this identity.' When I started shifting, like really believing I'm a bloody good men's coach, when that marriage breakdown, or break through situation happened, and I finally absolutely did the work, it was like there was this quantifiable part, I am there, I have done this work, you start believing it. And then, one thing I would have done better, I would have got direct support from people in how to market and how to sell. And particularly selling. I had a major sort of thing that selling was unethical, deep, hidden believes that money was wrong, et cetera, et cetera. And I would advise people listening in, get books onto your shelf on selling, the art of selling, and get it as it's the most beautiful spiritual practice in the world to sell. If you have a product, or a service, mine was coaching, if you have something that's of deep value, you just know it's of deep value to the person that might purchase that, might invest their hard earned cash in what you have to offer, you have an ethical obligation to do whatever is in your power to support them in making that decision, to go, 'Hey, yeah, I actually love your art, or hey, yeah, I love coaching, this is going to transform my entire life.' Learn the art of selling. And that's the thing in coaching. For years, I was getting better and better and better at coaching, Jeremy, but to invite people in, I was holding myself back, because I was getting frustrated with the lack of money in my bank account. Yeah, word of mouth got to a certain point, but my fees weren't rising, and I didn't know how to sell. When I finally went, 'Okay, I need to upskill in selling', and I devoured all the books in selling, now my confidence came alive, I love selling now, I love talking about it, I'm talking about it now, I'm really empowered, and the selling skills open up my capacity to sell, to introduce more people to the experience offered with me, which when you get really good at selling, inevitably, your fees go up, which if you can do that early on and upskill and start enjoying the selling aspect of your career shift, you're going to have the fees coming up really quick, way quicker than it could if you don't upskill in that, and you're trying to rely on guesswork, or people should just, you're putting the responsibility in your potential client, they should just get why my art is so important, or they should just get men's work is really important. They should just get the idea. No, that's all on you. That's your responsibility as a person. So, yeah, it's another major lack in those first few years when myself and my family went through way more impoverished times financially, I stuck with it, my why and my ultimate vision was strong enough to bring me through, I honour myself, but again, people listening in, get the selling right as early on as you can, and it's the path of least resistance to you honouring what it is you're here to give to the world.

Jeremy Cline 49:21
So, what does your business look like now? Is it purely one-to-one coaching, or is it other products or services? How would you describe what you've got now?

Mark Usher 49:33
It's in transition. The one-to-one coaching, I really love. Yet, there is a limit in it. Big part of my mission in the world, a few months ago, I set a vision, a goal, that by the end of 2027, I'd have 10 million husbands around the planet listening on a weekly basis to my podcast. Because part of my vision, sort of beyond the business end of it, I was terrified a few years ago, I was in floods of tears late one night, I think it was January 3rd a few years ago, where I was in floods of tears. I was petrified at what was happening on the planet. And my girls, it was like, when I die, I'm not going to leave Earth any better off, or am I, do I have that power? So, with that vision, and again, it's the vision, and I'm just bringing people back, get your most elaborate, wild, what's the old saying, aim for the moon, because if you miss, you'll land in the stars, go for your wildest, even impossible dream. I've heard some people say, just set what's your impossible dream that excites you. That vision excites me, so I realise, okay, one-on-one coaching, I can create that impact in the world. What it's shifting to, I still will have one-on-one coaching, Jeremy, but I have marriage transformation heroes, which is becoming like the flagship four-month online small group training, where a small bunch of guys around the planet are going to come in, have an intensive training on literally just the self-mastery skills of how to be the husband she brags about, how to become the marriage transforming hero after relationship. And there's like a tried and trusted system. Beyond that, and as I say, we're in transition, what I'd really love to see is, I have 100,000 men, husbands around the planet, by the end of 2027, taking part in the online membership, which is going to have the full-on training, I don't know exactly how it's going to look, it's going to be men's groups, support groups, accountability, where men can come together and get the most inspirational support and guidance available to help them just nail it, knock it out of the park in this sacred role. So, yeah, a lot of transition, but I think you can feel from my energy here, I'm super pumped and excited. And a part of it, Jeremy, is, and again, this is just to be really honest with people listening in, this lone wolf thing and this idea in society where you're meant to have all this total certainty of how everything is going to play out, if you've total certainty on how something is going to play out in your career switch, think again. That's not going to inspire you. If you have baked in absolute certainty, if there's zero fear, you're not stretching yourself enough, and it's probably not going to be, you're not going to be motivated enough for the long term. On some senses, I don't have all the answers for that. But that's the excitement of it. It's just making it possible, that's what drives me on.

Jeremy Cline 52:37
Mark, I'm going to be absolutely fascinated to see how your business pans out over the next few years, and to see how you hit your goal, and I'm going to say how you hit your goal in 2027, not if, but how you hit your goal for 2027. Along this journey, I'm sure that there are many resources, books, podcasts, speakers, whatever, who have helped you. Can you maybe mention one or two that deserve special mention as really having opened your eyes to something, or really helped you out on a particular thing?

Mark Usher 53:15
Yes, absolutely. There's two books that jumped out at me. The first is the E-Myth by, and I have the book on the shelf behind me, I think it's Michael Gerber, excuse me, if you just type in the E-Myth on Amazon or that, it's one of these classics, I think there's two million sold. The biggest insight from that was, I am not my business, I am working on my business. There again, it's like the disconnect. I psychologically disconnected from my inner critic, that was not me, but I psychologically disconnected from my business. There's my business organism, and I come to work on my business organism. I'm not working in it. This is not me. If the business organism has a bad week, or I do a certain idea and the launch fails, or the client doesn't sign up, it's like, okay, well, I'm going to learn, the business organism has not been optimised yet. So, it's helped me just make the business and not a personal journey. There's no bad reflections on me as a person. The business organism is not there yet. That was a game changing insight that that book brought along with many, many others. So, I really advise people, check that one out. And I mentioned about the number one skillset, I would say for life, but definitely in career change, you've got to learn selling as a skill. And I think the title is Building a StoryBrand. If you check in StoryBrand by Don Miller, that has been like a life transformer, a business transformer and definitely a profit transformer for me. It's all based on the person, the business that wins in the market is the one that has the clearest message, that when people in their scatterbrains, with all the inner noise and the after noise, when they arrive at your website, your brochure, whatever it is that that marketing collateral is, they're going to make that decision to read further or not within the first three, four or five seconds, max. You've got to have a really clear message. And yeah, that has transformed everything, my podcast numbers, everything has skyrocketed since implementing that. So, they are the two heaviest hitting resources I can point people towards.

Jeremy Cline 55:35
Awesome. Well, as usual, there will be links to those also in the show notes. I'd love to put the link for where people can find you. Where would you like to send them?

Mark Usher 55:44
Thank you for that opportunity, Jeremy. There's two resources online. First of all, don't click into any social media, that's a whole personal and professional reason why I have for that, to keep my attention completely on my mission and writing creative work. But you can find out my website, kingsoffreedom.me. If you go over there now, if there's anybody interested, I'm going to say husbands interested, but sometimes wives are quadruply interested to know that there's a free resource there. It's 15 habits to be the husband she brags about. It's like the highest level, highest leverage simple habits to transform your marriage, that's there on email signup. And of course, the Be the Husband She Brags About podcast, that's the other resource where pretty much every single thing I talk to, speak to and express, it just aims to support guys become the marriage transforming hero of the relationships. So, that's pretty much black and white. If people are really interested, if that can serve them, that's where you'll find me.

Jeremy Cline 56:47
Fabulous. Mark, thanks so much for coming on the show. This has been quite an inspirational story. Thank you so much.

Mark Usher 56:56
Jeremy, it has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on, and I really hope it's been a value for people listening in.

Jeremy Cline 57:03
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Mark Usher. So many great takeaways from that conversation, especially early on where Mark was saying that people were coming to him when he was still practising as a physio, not because they needed his skills as a physio, but because they wanted to talk to him. He was offering them an outlet to discuss things which were on their mind, which they thought Mark could help with. A great question you can ask yourself is what people routinely ask you for help with. And if you can't think of anything, why not ask them? Something I have my coaching clients do is to do a sort of 360 exercise where they go and ask family and friends a few questions, one of which is, 'What would you come to me for help for?' If you're at a career crossroads, and you're not sure what to do next, then that can be a great data point to bring into the mix. Now, whilst Mark acknowledged that he might do things differently had he had his time again, he also recognised that you couldn't have 100% certainty, you need that element of fear. It's down to you and your own personality as to which end of the spectrum you're more drawn towards. For many of you, simply burning your boats and walking away from the job without a clear plan just isn't going to work for you. But waiting for the stars to align, waiting until you're 100% certain, that's almost certainly a recipe for just not taking any action at all. Yes, we can gather data, yes, we can do the introspection, but at some point, you're just going to have to take action, even if you're not completely sure whether it's the right action to take. And maybe there might be a little bit of a course correction further down the line. If you want to see the show notes for this episode, there's a transcript, a summary of everything we've talked about and links to the resources Mark mentioned, they're at changeworklife.com/158, that's changeworklife.com/158. Now, as Mark mentioned, I had the pleasure of being a guest on his podcast a little while ago. I'll put a link to that episode in the show notes, as well. So, do take a listen to that. I go into some detail about the process I follow when I'm doing my coaching with clients. So, if you're interested in finding out more, do have a listen to that episode, I said it out in a bit of detail, and I think it'll give you a good idea as to what coaching with me might be about. And if you're interested, you can go to changeworklife.com/coaching, that's changeworklife.com/coaching, where there's a bit more information, and you can book a call with me to find out more. As always, we've got another great conversation coming up in two weeks' time. So, if you haven't subscribed to the show, make sure you do that. If it's Apple Podcasts, there's a plus button, if it's Spotify, there's going to be a Subscribe button or something. So, make sure you subscribe, make sure you never miss an episode, and I can't wait to see you in two weeks' time. Cheers. Bye.

Thank you for listening!

If you have any questions or comments, please fill out the form on the Contact page.

I would be so grateful if you’d: