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WHO AM I?

I am a Swiss-born third-culture kid and a coach, speaker international retreat facilitator, and former radio talk show host. I live in Zurich, Switzerland with my amazing wife Cristina.

I am in love with life and I love to bring simplicity to all things complicated. I am the person who spontaneously invites my neighbors over for a karaoke party on a weeknight and then shamelessly sings off-key with the wrong lyrics because I am in the joy of the moment. I am the person that says "I love you" to my accountant even though I risk coming across as being weird.  I am the person that will cry of joy watching someone sing their heart out on America's got talent. I am a person who loves food and am so passionate about cooking that I describe it as my love language.

MY STORY

I grew up in a society where happiness was a metric of achievement. The culture I was exposed to defined success by how much money you made, what kind of job you do, what status you have.

At the age of 13, I decided to be a hotelier. I studied a lot of subjects, most of which I wasn't naturally good at and with a lot of hard work and determination I graduated from one of the world's best Hotel Schools (EHL) in Switzerland and started my international career working for some of the biggest names in the world of luxury hotels for 4 years before achieving the dream of opening my own restaurant with my Portuguese girlfriend in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

At the age of 28, I had achieved all the metrics of success and happiness I had been striving for. I had a beautiful girlfriend, a renowned gourmet restaurant, a beautiful home with a gorgeous view over the Tejo river, and a wonderful group of friends. I was living the dream and making the most of my natural talents for service excellence and my passion for food and hospitality. 

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I had achieved all the metrics to be happy and successful. 

Except, I wasn't.

 

No matter how successful I looked on the outside, on the inside I often felt stressed out and alone. I thought it was normal to feel that way and kept myself busy, woked hard, and learnt to cope with the stress and would always put on a smile, even when I didn't feel like it. I had learned that the restaurant is a stage and I had become the perfect people-pleasing host. 

 

I kept on hearing my body tell me "slow down" and rest. Yet, I always seem to have so much more to do and never enough time.

 

I bullied myself for not being able to do more. On my time off work, I never actually let myself rest inside. I bullied myself for wanting to rest at all. The universe has a way of giving you what you need when you need it. To me, that came in the form of ending up in hospital after having a seizure in my restaurant.

 

I knew I had to completely change my life, but I had no idea how or what do to.

 

With a mixed feeling of relief, shame, and guilt, I felt like a failure. I closed my restaurant and ended my nine-year relationship with my girlfriend. And by doing so, I let go of the two things I was most afraid to lose. I learned I could never be happy by pushing myself to do something that wasn't actually in alignment with my purpose and being with someone who wasn't the right fit for me. A painful lesson.

 

And so I was lost for a while. After years of soul searching, self-exploration, coaching, spiritual growth, and many more personal and business failures, including a heartbreaking divorce,

 

I kept looking deeper within myself to discover and rediscover new metrics of success and happiness. 

I stopped bullying myself. I started being radically forgiving, compassionate and loving with myself and others. I moved to live in Barcelona and discovered a new way of being. I found a business partner and co-created a transformational retreat business and delivered over 20 retreats together in 2 years and it took us to places as far as Nepal. Clients kept coming, New friends kept coming into my life. I met my beautiful wife Cristina and had the most amazing wedding in Guatelama. But most importantly, I was creating all this from a place of peace, empowerment, and fun. My state of being became one of love, clarity, and joy. And I realised that:

There is nothing you need to do as much as you need to be.