Former school principal and real estate agent Matt Kirkham, 32, was at a low ebb when he joined The Coaching Institute in March 2020. He’d left his job and was dealing with recurrences of illnesses including glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome, and a break up.
“I’d literally lost sight of who I was. I’d lost my way,” says Matt, who is watching bush turkeys invade the vegetable patch at his family’s Tweed Heads, NSW, property as he talks to TCI in September.
“TCI has given me my life back.”
He had initially made an enquiry five or six years earlier, but wasn’t ready to take the leap of faith. Then the day after a free training this year facilitated by TCI’s head trainer Matt Lavars, Matt was so motivated, “I rang and said, ‘let’s do it now, before I change my mind’,” he says.
“I had dabbled for a while and was making excuses.
"Finance was the main thing, but I was just like, ‘I am meant to be here. I feel comfortable. It feels like my family. I had not felt that good for a long time … and the feelings of joy about committing to me were awesome.”
Sometimes men find it hard to face that place where they push aside ‘she’ll be right’ and move to, ‘I need this for me.’ Says Matt, “Being a male, I’ve been brought up to suck it up, get on with it, and not really express my emotions and feelings. And I think that’s what drew me to TCI.”
He “was wanting to express myself. Being part of TCI, I am proud to own how I feel and express that. I’ve learned the importance that being vulnerable and having the courage to express yourself is far more beneficial to healing bottling it up.”
Six months on, Matt has a business helping leaders and professionals avoid burnout, loves being his own boss, is fighting his way back to financial independence after his setbacks and has big five-year dreams. He’s now a Ninja—part of TCI’s student support crew at events—and “I feel like I’m home,” he says.
“It’s amazing, finally being with people who are like minded, that acknowledge what you achieve, that know how to support you in a relevant way.
"I couldn’t be in a better place right now."