Featured Member: Matthew Schultz From Starting Ground Zero

Hi Matthew, Can you give us a little background about yourself?

Sure.  Well my story is that I am someone who has always been interested in self-improvement but never really had the drive to truly pursue anything in the area.  It initially started with an interest in dating and seduction, but I never followed through on it.  Eventually I got married and had kids and my drive to work on myself became less and less as I was just trying to juggle the complexities of everyday life.  I kept telling myself “someday”.  

About nine months ago, the life I knew fundamentally changed when I made discoveries in my marriage that turned my world upside down and forcing me to seriously reevaluate my life and what I was doing with it. I spent the first months just trying to repair the damage and desperately repairing that life. Eventually I realized, however, that the life I knew was never coming back since I was the only one seriously invested in repairing it.  It was at the point I realized that the only one I can truly control is myself, and decided it was time to start working on me.

I started this journey with reading “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover. There was a lot of new insights and “aha” moments while going through the book, but the most powerful thing for me was when he asked, “What if it were a gift?”  That really hit home for me.  What if I could turn my current situation and experiences into a launchpad for truly improving my life?  That is something I never would have seriously considered doing before my marriage fell apart.

Now I am determined to do just that, to turn this journey into a gift and to stop waiting for “someday”.  I was not even sure where to start when I first came to this decision and I’m still just at the beginning of my journey to a better self; but I am determined to take this situation and turn it into the point where I changed my life for the better.  I also understand the confusion and struggles men in similar positions have in trying to better themselves and so I want to find a way to make this a gift to them as well.

What made you want to join Menprovement Chat?

In the years before, when I said I was just somewhat casually interested in self-improvement, I did have the opportunity to become an early contributor to the founding of menprovement.com.  As was typical for me at the time, I never really followed through on reading the articles or completing the programs offered through there.  That membership did give me the opportunity to join the Facebook group through which I first saw the post about the chat.  

It came at a time where I was desperately seeking some guidance.  I had already hit the point where I was going to improve myself no matter what, but had no idea how I was going to do it beyond watching some YouTube videos on the matter.  So in honestly, I joined thinking it might be just another bookmark or possible reference among the many I had collected.  Luckily, it has turned out to be so much more.

Once I signed up, I found myself getting really engaged in the discussions. Even though I felt out of my element, because the community was brand new and almost all coaches, I still participated where I could.  I also had the opportunity to help contribute to its growth in my own small way, which helped me feel more involved too. I am not an expert in any particular area as so many others are, but I still found a way to bring value to the community.

How has it been so far for you?

It has been incredible.  A critical motivational tool in keeping me on my journey and not just giving up and accepting my life as it was.  I guess in a way it is helping me let my old life die to create a new and better one.

One of the things I have a lot of trouble with is finding likeminded people who can offer advice or motivation.  The Menprovement Chat is full of those people.  Kind of like a mastermind group that aims to lift everyone up in a time when so many online communities look to do just the opposite.  The ability to get to know so many great and accomplished men has made me feel like there is a place I can go to for an answer or motivation when needed.  

These experts seem to be getting a lot of value from the community as well.  Sometimes they are great in one area but not so much in another.  For example, there are fitness coaches who may need help in dating or an expert in style but completely new to strategies in growing their brand. Even in their areas, you can still see their growth as you realize they are still learning themselves.  They are just much farther along in the journey than a newcomer may be. Occasionally it is great to just sit back and watch the discussions, as they are raise their experience and knowledge to the next level.

What actions and results have you seen so far from joining this community?

It has inspired me on many fronts.  It challenged me to start facing some of the fears I have had in life.  For example, last week I cold approached a woman I was attracted too for the first time.  It may not sound like much and is only a small step, but it is something I am petrified of doing.  The point is I took a step way outside my comfort zone at the encouragement of others and came out unscathed.  Now I have a better understanding of how to focus my improvement in that area.

It also kicked off the idea for startinggroundzero.com.  The chance to take my experiences and document them from extremely early on in the growth process.  This time, I did not wait around for the right amount of knowledge or perfect opportunity; I just started.  Finally I feel like I may have a real purpose and an idea of how to accomplish that purpose.  I am not sure if I ever would have hit that realization without the encouragement of the community.  Plus you can’t discount the value of having a group of people who will hold you accountable to your goals. They all understand the challenge of inner growth and that small steps are the start of big changes.

What do you think makes this community different from others?

I think we are all here for a common purpose.  To elevate ourselves and then to use that knowledge to elevate others.  There is a mutual respect given to everyone who joins and even disagreements are handled with respect and without any personal attack.  That is something you will not find very often in other online communities.  We are all there to become better versions of ourselves and I think we understand that far more can be accomplished by lifting each other up, not beating each other down.

What is next for you?

I am taking each day one at a time.  My goal is to continue developing my blog and journaling my journey. The site and project itself is extremely basic right now but, like me, it will grow and improve with time.  I hope to be someone who can use my journey to help others find their path, but I also want to be able to show people proof of who I started out as.  I want them to understand the value of the message this future version of me has to offer, because they will be able to go back and see the past version of me and what I went through to deliver that message. To see the person that I am right now.  I am hoping that being able to do this will instil a sense of confidence in those men that they really can change for the better.  All they need to start is what I have right now: Hope and the willingness to change.