Be willing is how recovery starts.

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Bryan Wempen

Author | Entrepreneur | Investor

 

Hi, my name is Bryan.

I began working in recruiting in 1994, while in the first career chapter, I was promoted relatively quickly from customer service to the manager to regional manager in the southeast US. My team set several records, all the while, I experienced alcohol-related issues ranging from arrest to property damage. When I wrapped up this chapter, I was a Corporate Officer of a publicly-traded company at 29. Outside, professionally it looked like something unusual and quite amazing was happening with my career. The real-life part behind the scenes was my drinking increased to an unmanageable level. Then began my entrepreneurial period with several technology startups; this freedom I don’t feel helped my mental state or alcohol use, yet the drinking slowed for a time then picked back up with momentum. Jump a few more years forward to the moment when it happened; I got desperate, hopeless, and willing enough to ask someone for help. Then the miracle and much hard work started with recovery, which I’m still excited to be working on today. I enjoy entrepreneurialism today, albeit in a different way as an author, investor, and sober.
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I didn’t know how to feel, so I mastered not feeling anything. It’s survival, an empty existence that I’ve somehow survived. It’s a blessing to have found recovery, I’m a better person because of it.

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Audio Interviews

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Sober is Better

My Note to Self

Close your eyes, now imagine this as a blackout caused by excessive alcohol, you are 14 years old having your first blackout. It was the first significant event on Bryan’s substance use journey. Fast forward a few years, he’d enlisted in the National Guard, began University and found drugs, gambling, and bartending.

A close-call with a drug overdose in University prompted him at least to consider about sobriety for the first time. He eventually narrowed down medicating to alcohol, food, and work. Hundreds of blackouts and years of emotional scars as a result of being a functional alcoholic, Bryan questioned, daily, if he could stop drinking.

Bryan began to question life, was he relegated to getting messed up on repeat or was another way. His answer came in May 2010, desperate enough, he called a longtime sober friend for help. Bryan reached a point in life; he was willing to try anything to drop drinking. He’s been successful in recovery since then.

Bryan’s book Sober Is Better-My Note to Self is available on Amazon(hyperlink) or direct. He shares stories and thoughts about living life before and during recovery. His next two books are in the works, both scheduled for release in 2021.

Note to Self

A Collection of 99 Life Lessons
When do you feel, enough is enough and something has to change in your life? It can happen anywhere—for me, a hot taxi headed to the airport in Chicago 2010. I finally got the gift of desperation and despair, it provided me an opportunity to ask for help. Since that moment, I have been working on myself, discovering who I am, and learning tools to live a better and more intentional life. I've transitioned into a "recovery lifestyle", in long-term recovery.

The lessons in 'Note to Self' are what I use every day to live. I live imperfectly with an open mind, and heart working on my path to peacefulness. I've found more serenity than I thought existed. Being active in the recovery community, talking to addicts and alcoholics remind me, if I don’t use, rough days that happen are just moments, they too shall pass. In my collection of lessons, I discuss the importance of being present and intentional with my actions and thoughts. This is an example of a lesson I learned in recovery.

I live in gratitude and inspiration (most days), appreciating my friends who graciously shared their lessons with me, to include in the book. I've went back many times and re-read their lessons, it's exactly what I needed to hear that day, funny how that works. Read the book, it's an easy read, please share it with anyone who needs help. We're in this life together, help someone who’s hurting and needs it whether you buy the book or not. Thank you, much love.

Dancing with Big Data

Conversations with the Experts
I like interviewing, more accurately I love just visiting with people I come across in my daily life about them and me, it’s a cool intersection to live in. Data has always been a bit of a mystery to Human Resources (HR), the rest of the company mostly gets the value of data, but HR is behind, resistance, and slightly oblivious. In developing this book, I got to the bottom with some tough questions in my Thug Metrics podcast. My research project on big data, mostly focused on HR but included some leading experts from social media and technology spaces just too make it more interesting for most of the professional world. In the book I share a collection of 15 interviews all discussing what the person thought was important, innovative, and surprising. The interviews are hosted by me with several colorful questions, language, and thoughts across the hours of conversations. The experts hail from the big hitters such as Facebook, Jibe, HP, Simply Measured, and Glassdoor to name a few. The book style is conversational, it’s the conversations with my comments included. It's like you're at the little table with us talking about data, pretty sexy stuff, please enjoy.

Note to Self, we’re all recovering from something. Most are recovering from many things, that’s alright. Recovery is healing, we’ve admitted needing help, and then learning to love ourselves.

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A story of addiction & health recovery

Speaking Topic by Bryan Wempen
Recovery from addiction is messy, awkward, and undeniably beautiful. Getting sober is powerful enough to save your life, maybe the lives of others. As part of my recovery, I’m committed to sharing my stories and thoughts about my experience, strength, and hope.

All recovery is different and similar, we don't need to be alone, but we need help to get better. My story is about a blackout the first time I got drunk at age 14. Then progressing to a functional alcoholic, if that's possible, with a career peak leading a $300 million-dollar business unit as an officer for a publicly traded company. Then spiraling into despair and emotional destruction until May 9, 2010, when I asked someone for help and was willing to do anything to get sober.

My life has been colorful, messy and beautiful once I found recovery. The world is so much bigger than using drugs and alcohol, it’s about exploring, laughing, and finding what matters as I connect with first myself then others.
In this session, Bryan shares:

Questions I asked myself about my life being unmanageable.

Indications someone is struggling and might need help.

Resources for individuals and families dealing with the addiction beast.

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Mental Health First Aid Training

Training by Bryan Wempen
Research show that individuals training in the program:

Grow their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions.

Can identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction.

Increase their confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress.

Show increased mental wellness themselves.

Studies also show that the program reduces the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses.
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Mental Health First Aid USA is listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. Only certified Instructors can teach the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course.

Audiences in the community who might be interested in the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid include:
• Educators and school administrators / HR professionals
• Members of faith communities / Homeless shelter workers
• Health and human services workers / Nurses/physician assistants/primary care workers
• Police, first responders and security personnel / Mental health authorities
• Policymakers / Substance use treatment professionals
• Social workers / Persons with mental illness/addictions and their families
• Caring citizens / Families of persons with mental illness/addictions
• Military, military veterans and their families
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Culture Crisis

Speaking Topic by Bryan Wempen
In the U.S. today, 10-20% of the workforce are under the influence of a substance (drugs, alcohol or both). We’ve entered a new area for employee assistance, customer and employee transparency, and types of liability of organizations. Today’s not being current on the most significant shift in organizational climate and cultures, will not only lose money, it will kill people. Engagement continues to be all time lows, continued legalization of marijuana, and likelihood of an employee overdosing in your company is real, how are you dealing with this?
In this session, Bryan shares:

Questions I’d ask myself as CEO for my organization.

My approach to examining an organization.

Suggestions for CEO on how to modernize the organization.

Get in Touch

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Find me

Living in Santa Fe, NM, USA


Phone

(505) 816-8130


Email