So, who am I, and why do I want to help men around the world find their voice?
My life journey so far has been, well, a flurry of life-changing events that have opened my eyes up to the world and who I really am.
My childhood was turbulent.
A mixture of divorcing parents, house moves and different schools that left me bewildered, shaken and bitterly angry. I struggled to fit in, thinking my only way to impress the crowd was by becoming a ‘hard man’; fighting, smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
By my 18th birthday, I was working the doors of a large nightclub. A pale, spotty kid with zero life experience, diving into a relentless world of violence, drugs and sinister behaviour.
I was hooked. Fight after fight, I became more tolerant, more adapted to the lifestyle.
I trained in martial arts and boxing, using steroids and weightlifting regularly to keep myself at – what I thought – was the top of my game.
But one night, it all changed.
A patron needlessly lost their life in a fight with our door team, tipping my world on its head. I was involved deeper than ever and I wanted out. Yet, I was still addicted to the violence and drugs, fuelled by rage.
I had tried to prove myself within an unpredictable and dark world, learning tough lessons in a heartbeat. Lessons that left me without a job or anything else.
I began with selling my car to pay for my cocaine, weed, class As and steroids.
I lazed around my mother’s house, pissed at life for putting me into such a situation; blaming all around me but myself. I spent endless days, weeks and months just sat in my car sniffing ‘coke’ and smoking weed to suppress my depression.
I was lost, broke and felt helpless; assuming my only way out was ending myself.
One day, by chance, the Royal Marines Commando advert came up on my TV. A young recruit powering through an assault course, followed by the words ‘99.9% need not apply’.
Was I one of the 0.1% of males the Commandos desired? Did I own the infamous ‘state of mind’?
That advert changed my life.
I got clean and went on to spend a decade as a Royal Marines Commando. Travelling the world and visiting new places. Meeting incredible people and making lifelong friends.
Being challenged by some of the hardest moments in my life. I fought the Taliban in deadly firefights. I was injured in battle by an Improvised Explosive Device.
I trained hundreds of recruits and experienced things I could once never have dreamed of.
Most importantly, however, being a Marine gave me purpose, a vision and, ultimately, a set of values which have made me who I am today. The marines empowered me to become a better man; a better person.
Excellence; integrity; self-discipline; humility. Courage; determination; unselfishness; cheerfulness.
I have taken all the lessons and experiences that have occurred within my life, now travelling the breadth of the country with my Company Vanguard Global Solutions (VGS) – partnered with former Royal Marine, Antony Thompson. We aim to inspire people and organisations to believe in themselves, lead effectively, own an ethos and implement a set of values.
We challenge their existing beliefs, changing their perspective in thinking they can do far more than what they ever thought possible.
Already in its short lifetime, VGS has worked with some of the biggest talents in sport, business, finance and many other fields to spread our message. We are making a change, working tirelessly to ensure it happens across not just industries – but society too.
However, my life story is just one of thousands that are the same. I am no different. Many men out there, own similar tales but feel completely isolated and alone.
Feeling as if no one will listen and that nobody cares. You are not alone.
Now I want to bring my message to MESOA. To help men find their voice and believe in themselves once again.
To help men overcome doubt and fear, replaced with confidence and resilience.
To help them find their edge and strive for something in their lives to be proud of.
To help men overcome their internal battles and gain the strength to battle anything within their minds.
I concentrate on leadership, performance and mindset change, endeavouring to put all my latest information, articles, teachings and lessons on MESOA to help the quiet voices break free.
If I can help just one person change their life, then I have succeeded in my ambition.
We can all create a movement where men begin to believe in themselves again, empowering one another to speak out and do better.
by Ben Williams