About Neill

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT ME:

I experienced diminishing returns on the beaten track / rat-race and was left unfulfilled by the consensus trance of the ‘American Dream’.

I learned that my fears were holding me back from the life I wanted to live and the work I wanted to do, so I embarked on a self-determining process of discovery and learning.

My journey showed me how I could serve others; how I could unpack the fears we all carry around and in the process transform the work experience, careers, and lives of those I work with.

Why I’m Here

Hi.  So you’re wondering – how’d I decide I wanted to help other people with their work and careers for a living? Well, it’s a winding story, but It’s becoming more familiar these days. Early in my adult life, I bought into the American Charade.

I was convinced that money was the measure of success and I went after as much as I could.

Straight out of college I saw that joining the corporate grind was the fastest way to a six-figure salary – and If I could earn that, I would be the envy of all my friends. I could pick up the check, take fancy vacations, drive an expensive car and throw the best parties.

So I signed up and worked hard, pushed for promotions and eventually found myself in very senior positions, feeling very overwhelmed – and questioning everything.

Self-doubt began to permeate everything and I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was in it for all the wrong reasons. And then, the demands started piling up – more seniority, more responsibility.

My life wasn’t mine anymore, and I wasn’t getting any younger.

What happened to all the things I was going to do? The life I was going to live? I was afraid – of so many things – but most importantly, I was afraid of the unknown. I had security, I had comfort, I had what other people only dreamt about. How could I walk away from that?

Luckily for me, it became pretty obvious the path I was on wasn’t the right one. My life, my job, my relationships – I was so out of balance that stepping away was the only option. And come to find out, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

And so I began my journey of living fearlessly. I set out on an 18-month adventure of travel and reflection. I turned my life sideways and saw things much differently. I had my partner by my side and together we traveled the globe – stretching our dollar for all its worth – and learning how to be citizens of the world in the way that only traveling on a shoestring can teach you.

Along the way, I regained confidence and began asking myself hard questions. What would I do if money didn’t matter? Was I living my life to meet someone else’s expectations or my own? Was I happy? What was holding me back?

I realized I had to answer these questions. Without these answers, I couldn’t make the changes that I needed to make to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

So I got honest with myself and after a couple of months started This Fearless Life, beginning my mission to profoundly serve others on their journeys of change.

My Professional Background

After earning an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois, I made a decision that would ultimately lead to 12 years on the corporate hamster wheel. I entered into a Human Resources Master’s degree program, got an academic assistantship working alongside the consulting firm Accenture and realized, ‘hey, this consulting thing ain’t so bad – look how much money they make!’

I got the master’s and was quickly hired by one of the big consulting firms at the time. I was on my way up, joining the sexy consultant lifestyle of jet-setting across the country, solving big problems for America’s best companies and making lots of money – or so I thought (the joke was on me…). Thus began my career in management consulting, specializing in organizational development.

It wasn’t all bad, I learned a ton about the business world, corporate power structures, leadership and what it takes to create real, meaningful change. I met many great people, traveled the world and worked with all walks of life – from CEO’s of multinational corporations to pipefitters to middle managers to shop floor part-timers.

However, the fact remained that while my goal was to bring life back to work for the average employee, achieving shareholder value ($$) trumped my altruistic ideas. My beliefs were often in direct conflict with mandates from above and I found myself on the losing end of doing more with less.

I was fortunate though, through my triumphs and struggles I was able to get clear about my own fears, what was missing from my life and ultimately, take back control of the life I wanted to live.