Stepping out into the unknown is a scary proposition, but there are defining moments in everyone’s life when they need to trust their intuition and take a leap of faith. Ten years ago, author G. Brian Benson did just that. He left his successful family business and ventured onto a new path to find his true purpose in life. At the time, he didn’t know what that was, but he took it a day at a time. Fast forward a few years and Brian is now a successful author, filmmaker, TEDx speaker, and coach who’s channeled everything he’s learned into his new book: Habits for Success – Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar.
P-C: Tell us about your new book, Habits for Success – Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar. What are some of the habits?
Brian: Thank you for asking. I feel like it is a culmination of the journey that I have been on the last ten years of my life after I left my family business stepping out into the unknown. I was recently reminded by my mother that when I was really little, the only word that came out of my mouth was “why”. Well, I brought that “inquisitive” little boy with me along for the ride and I have always tried to be the best version of myself. So, in a sense, I have been sitting in an observer’s perch watching and documenting my own journey of growth, self-awareness, and new beginnings for the last ten years. I am really proud of how this book turned out. There are 48 chapters, so I feel like I cover many habits and ideas that cannot only be truly life-changing for the reader, but also an important part of their foundation. I think I was able to write and capture them in an inspiring, entertaining and thought-provoking way. Go Within, Create an Intention, There are No Rules, Be Easy on Yourself, Trust the Process, Be Vulnerable, and Get Creative are just a few of the “Habits For Success” I write about.
P-C: You’ve had a lot of success in your career, but your intuition was nudging you in another direction. How challenging was that decision?
Brian: I feel like I have lived many different lifetimes between the triathlon racing, the family business, and now writing, acting, and creating positive media. My intuition was definitely nudging me to leave my family business in 2008 and head in another direction. It was giving me an “all-systems” go sign for sure. To be honest, it wasn’t that challenging of a decision. I knew I had to leave. I felt like I had this giant gift inside of myself that wanted to come out. While I didn’t know what that gift was at the time, I just knew it needed to be released. I trusted that I would find my way and it magically just kind of unfolded for me.
P-C: What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a result of this pivot?
Brian: That is a great question that would require a book to answer. [laughs] Luckily that is why I wrote Habits For Success! There were many lessons that I learned along the way—that’s for sure. Learning to really trust my intuition has been a huge lesson for me. Intuition is the language of the soul. When we listen to our intuition, we are fed information from our higher self. I really feel like it has led me to my true purpose and given me great peace of mind. Learning how to live a balanced life has been huge for me, as well. It’s no accident my first book ten years ago was on a bunch of ways to keep your life in balance. It’s been my rock and really helped me to strengthen my foundation, be creative, and take advantage of opportunities when they are presented.
P-C: You’re an author, actor, filmmaker, coach, and TEDx Speaker. We read that you delved into all these different areas as a result of trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone. How difficult was that process? What was the biggest takeaway?
Brian: To be honest, when I first stepped away from my family business, I had no idea any of this was in me. I just followed my intuition one step at a time: first by actually leaving the business, then by writing and self-publishing my first book Brian’s List – 26 ½ Easy to Use Ideas on How to Live a Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life! After that I knew that if I wanted to share and market my book, I would need to overcome my fear of speaking. So that’s when I really began to step out of my comfort zone. I started off by taking a couple of community college speech classes, I joined Toastmasters for a while, I took an acting class, I hired someone to help me co-host my own internet radio show, and I also created an “interactive” workshop that I could offer people. I ended up calling it An Introduction to Balance and I tied it in with my first book. I basically had my intro memorized and then I would hand out worksheets to the participants and we would discuss answers as a group. I thought I was being really clever because it was a way for me to speak and be in front of others without having to talk the whole time! After giving it a test run in front of five friends of mine, I found that it worked really well for all of us. I then decided to take my show on the road, so to speak. I got the idea to set up a workshop and book signing tour and in just three short weeks after presenting in front of five friends, I put together a twenty-three day, fifteen stop, five state workshop and book signing tour. Most of the places that I visited were bookstores or non-denominational churches. My very first stop was in a tiny little farming community called Delta, Utah, where I was invited to speak at their monthly chamber of commerce luncheon in the back room of a local Mexican restaurant. So, there I was, nervous as hell giving my first workshop/talk to a group of strangers, and not only did I have to try and get them to interact with me, but I had to do it while they were all eating their lunch. But, I made it through. The rest of the trip was basically one big learning experience. I was embarrassed and humbled many times when no one showed up at some events, and I was ecstatic when I had twenty at another. Each step out of my comfort zone, whether it was during a speech class, acting class, or during a workshop, were all opportunities to learn, acquire self-awareness, and gain confidence. These opportunities of stepping out of my comfort zone not only helped me to solidify my foundation and hone my skills, but they also introduced me to new opportunities and helped guide my path to where I am today.
P-C: Is there one that you naturally gravitate towards?
Brian: That’s a great question, and to be honest, I feel like I need to be doing a bit of everything. I love to create positive, thought-provoking content in so many different ways and the sky is the limit in ways to share it…especially with how technology is evolving and social media keeps expanding. I honestly feel like I am just really getting started. I have so many ideas I want to bring to life. I truly love the creative process of taking something from start to finish. I definitely have more books in me and I would love to be able to share the information in unique, transformative, and unexpected ways.
P-C: What’s next?
Brian: In addition to releasing some new spoken word pieces and videos, I plan on really getting out and doing a lot of speaking this year to connect with others and support my new book, Habits for Success. I also have a small part on the upcoming cable television show, Sangre Negra, so I look forward to being a part of that as well.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Brian: Napoleon Dynamite
P-C: Favorite book?
Brian: Bradbury Stories, 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Brian: Glengarry Glen Ross
P-C: A band or artist that fans would be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
Brian: The Avett Brothers
P-C: Last show you binge-watched?
Brian: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
P-C: Hidden talent?
Brian: I can play some Delta Blues on the guitar.
Original post here!