PEERS Perspectives is a blog series that offers thoughts and reflections from our staff and community members on mental health, current events, and the ways they affect our lives.

Today’s post on mentorship is written by Communications Coordinator Joshua Walters

In between my last job and this one, I took time to develop a coaching practice. I was looking for work, so I had a lot of time on my hands and what I decided to do with it was find people who wanted to achieve something, be creative and work on themselves. People would see my viral video and they magically started to call. I got the idea I could make this a career from my Uncle Neuberg, a business coach who had started with friends he had known and then turned his practice into a coaching firm where he would coach business leaders. The practice was honorable, and the potential was reputable, and I wanted to build an empire as a self-made man, starting a business profile after my Uncle Neuberg. 

Of those who called, some lived in other parts of the country, or in far off lands, and I made it known to my local community that that’s what I had set out to do. I might have had 5-7 clients on any given week and from that time only one stayed with me to this present day. Today that last client I think of as my coach, the roles reversed. Whenever I’m at a low point, or feel stuck, or am wrestling with some idea or decision mentally I can call him and talk it through. Our talks are about 20 min or so, informal, there’s always laughter and lightheartedness. Technically, he’s a friend who found me online, but I think of him as a coach and a guide.

Our last conversation had to do with feeling valued, at work, and in other points of your life. He reminded me of what I have done in my life, and how few people were able to get on stage and tell their story as I had done. He recalled when he first contacted me, that I had a coaching practice, was traveling and performing, and had a sense of “hustle” that could only be referred to as “self-style.” I remember this feeling I had, wanting to pursue my dreams as a self-made man, and also looking for ways to increase my income as a coach and author. It was an exciting time filled with inspiration and creative thinking. 

My lived experience as someone with a mental health difference is something that has both fueled and, at times, derailed my creative life. Through the ups and downs of the years, I still find myself coming back to re-learning my own self-worth, remembering those creative sparks that kept me buzzing, dreaming, and pushing to the next level, above and beyond.