Hello and welcome to the Standout Movement. My name is John Walsh and I’m the President and CEO of StandoutX, LLC and the leader of the Standout Movement. I have more than 20 years of experience as an executive at world-class organizations like The Walt Disney Company and The Madison Square Garden Company, but I am most proud and excited about what we are creating to help and inspire students, young professionals, executives and emerging businesses around the world succeed in their careers and in life.
On the surface, my story may seem like the normal journey that many students and young professionals hope to take. I grew up near Washington, DC, graduated from college and started my career as an intern. I worked hard and progressed through increasing leadership roles at a Fortune 100 company while gaining valuable life and career experiences along the way. I have a great life with my amazing wife, Theresa, and we have three incredible children. We have a beautiful home with a resort-style backyard in Central Florida.
That all sounds perfect, right? However, my story, like yours and many others, is a lot more complicated than that. I have had and I continue to have my own challenges, struggles and failures in life but it is what I did and what I learned throughout this journey that led me to create StandoutX and start the Standout Movement for you.
As I have shared in my speaking engagements, podcast episodes and best-selling book, my story and my journey really has six main chapters. I’m certain that you have faced or will face one or all of these in your own way as part of your own story.
- ADVERSITY – First, we all face adversity in life and my journey started in high school when I was homeless my senior year and for the first year after school. I had people that I trust steal from me and I struggled to simply get by day-after-day.
- UNCERTAINTY – Once I started to pull myself out of difficult situation, I spent many years in my 20s trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had many different jobs and tried many different career paths but I never found my thing. I went to community college (because going to college is what I was expected to do) and failed out more than once. It was a challenging time but it was never so uncomfortable that I did something about it. I was just “being.”
- CAREER GROWTH – I didn’t have one of those “life altering moments” that others have had. My life turned around because of the things I started to do day in and day out, the belief that I had in myself, the vision that I had for my life and the success process that I established for myself (which is what I teach to others now). I eventually graduated with honors from the University of Virginia, got a job with Disney, became an executive in less than 9 years and was asked to be on the Board of Directors for Disney’s employee-owned credit union. I had made it, or at least I thought I did.
- CAREER AND LIFE STALL – I spent the next 9 years at the same executive level at Disney but I transitioned to different roles and learned different parts of the company but I wasn’t progressing anymore. At the same time, I was becoming increasingly unhappy in my marriage and things seemed revert back to “just being.” Then I had a forcing event that caused me to rethink who I was, what I wanted and where I was going. I became obsessed with personal development, growth, challenging myself and becoming the person I wanted to be living the life I wanted to live. I didn’t do everything right and I made many mistakes but I was setting myself up for what was to come next.
- TAKING RISKS – I moved to New York City to take a Vice President role with Disney but unfortunately my marriage ended. It was a period of difficult choices, taking many risks and in same cases, starting over. But my hard work and a compelling future vision of what I wanted in life led me to a Senior Vice President role with The Madison Square Garden Company and more importantly, my new wife. It was a period of many successes and happiness but also a time of many sacrifices, challenging moments and hard choices.
- OPPORTUNITY AND OPTIMISM – Now, I’m back in Florida doing what I feel I was meant to do with a family that I feel I was meant to be with. The future is very bright and I’m so excited about what my team and I are creating to help you with some of the things that I went through and some of the challenges that are unique to you. As we continue to build the company and grow this movement around the world, we hope that you are inspired by my story, excited about your own future and you want to come along for the ride of a lifetime.
So now it’s your turn. Join the Standout Movement and see what YOU are capable of. Together, we can accelerate your potential, prepare you for success and happiness in your own life and your career and make the world a better place. Are you ready and up to the challenge?
If you want to learn more about my story, StandoutX and the Standout Movement, please listen to our introduction episode of The Standout Experience podcast.