I’m not an overnight success story
Six years after joining TCI, Tom Cartwright has the 'beautiful' family, lifestyle and successful business he once thought was a 'pipe dream'.
I'm absolutely excited to be sharing my story now, and it takes me back to that place where I was at before: a place of knowing why some people 'make it', if that makes sense, and why I was stuck.
I wanted to know why was I on a hamster wheel of experiencing addiction, financial drama, not having my stuff together, relationship problems, why it was happening and if there was a way out.
Specifically for me the hamster wheel was being a large amount in debt and a massive over consumption of alcohol to suppress problems like worry, doubt, can I be a business owner, can I develop a relationship with someone and potentially even have a family.
The question was: am I responsible enough?
I do actually look into other avenues like pyschology and counselling, and coaching was the last thing on my mind, but something interesting happened. Before I went down the rabbit hole and joined TCI, I realised I had worked with a counsellor and pyschologist one on one in a professional setting but the person who made the difference was a coach I worked with for three to six months.
I loved it but didn't realise that was an avenue for me. Then the coach I was working with gave me a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of his life. They weren't reading out of a book then going to the do the opposite themselves, which is a big piece to my puzzle.
When it came to it, I wanted to be walking the walk rather than talking the talk.
So when I looked at the approaches to coaching, the thing that really inspired me most was thinking I get to create what I want and am not really bound by the laws of traditional therapy.
“For a year, TCI kept ringing me. I thought, 'How can they even care? I could blow away like a leaf in the wind and nobody would know, yet they still keep calling me."
I made a decision to invest in myself for the first time in my life—even though I didn't know the end outcome and that scared the hell out of me—but the first year after I signed up was emotionally so hard.
I made the investment then a week went by and I sort of fell back into my chair and into my old patterns. I thought, 'Hang on, I can't do this. Maybe I was just energetically excited in the moment and it wasn't for me.'
I didn't respond to TCI's phone calls to see how I was going for a year. But I didn't quit. I was never saying I was out. It was like a cry for help.
What triggered me what a phone call from Matt Lavars. We had a lengthy conversation, I got into the course and I kinda never looked back.
I'm not an overnight success story. It's not like one week went by and all of a sudden business was booming.
“So much of my business is what I’ve learned from modelling TCI. I want to look after my clients the way you looked after me when I started."
First and foremost what I'm loving about being a coach is freedom and choice. Six years ago I created a vision board which had something to do with healthy relationships, a location free lifestyle with a business that provided me the opportunity to live anywhere I wanted to.
And really importantly, a life of freedom and choice which was not reliant on traditional addictions like drugs, alcohol and gambling.
It seemed like a pipe dream.
It's not. I'm living in my dream location—we moved out of Sydney, me and my wife and beautiful nine month old girl, we're living on the coast and the vehicle is the coaching mentoring business I've been able to create that provides these opportunities.
I get shivers when I talk about it. If hindsight wasn't a real thing and you could see and experience the other side, I would have invested 10, 20, 30 times my energy ad financial investment to experience this.
Jamie and I get to run a beautiful business that supports hundreds of individuals to lower and change their relationship with alcohol.
I love doing it. I love teaching, facilitating, educating. I love providing a space for people to feel real safe and fantastic about themselves.
I remember being recommended a book to read, The 4-Hour Workweek, and thinking, 'That's not how life works.' The past eight weeks, that's what I've been doing—working under three and a half hours a day without it negatively impacting my business turnover.
When I started the journey it wasn't about what does external financial success look like, it was, 'What is required to have that much time with my future family?' That was creating a vehicle, doing what I love, making money from that which frees up my time.
I have a baby girl—she's my investment. My promise was to make time to experience this life and not get caught up in making more and more money, which interestingly enough seems to be looked after anyway when you really do what you love!
To anyone thinking about doing what I did, I say from my heart, your job isn't to know all the answers. Your only job in life is learning the art of showing up and saying 'Yes' when it matters most.
If this is a moment for you that matters, follow it up by saying yes.
Tom Cartwright is the founder and CEO of Drink Less, Feel Fresh and his mission is to empower 500,000 people to lower their alcohol intake. He is married with a daughter and welcomes bumping into anyone on the street who wants to talk about a journey of transformation, the same as he found at TCI.