Shaun Austin Gordon is the founder of Kiss Books, a photography album business for photographers based in the Midwest. He started out as a photographer himself and at one stage he was photographing more than 60 weddings a year, all while raising a family. He has had to work a lot on himself to get to where he is now, including attending counseling with his wife of 20 years, and is happy to share his advice and perspective with others. When he’s not working, he loves to play tennis and travel.
On today’s show, I was so happy to spend some time with Shaun Gordon, the CEO of Kiss Books. Shaun has been on a journey of self-discovery, and he walked me through some of the milestones he met along the road. This journey began with a text from his wife, who said that she wanted to divorce him because she couldn’t cope with continuing in the marriage as it was. They went to marriage counselling and Shaun was able to open up to his wife about his history of sexual abuse. He’d never been able to talk about this dark and difficult experience, and in his teens he turned to hard drugs as a way to cope and subsequently became an addict. This revelation at marriage counseling not only reshaped his relationship with his wife, but also with his parents, which Shaun and I explored in detail in the episode. I’ve had my own experiences of difficult relationships with my parents, and Shaun and I talked through the pain of acknowledging that our parents did the best they could with what they had. Although it can be hard to cope with the feeling that our parents let us down, we can still try to salvage the good parts of those relationships, and we can use our stories as a stepping stone to try to make things better for ourselves and for our own children. We’re not perfect people, but we can try to move forward and make each generation a little more healed from trauma.
Shaun and I also discussed how we can start to move forward from these difficult traumas, such as including a ‘To Be’ list next to your ‘To Do’ list. Shaun gives this advice to everyone, especially entrepreneurs, as it helps us to move towards the person we want to become. Listen in to find out how to write out your ‘To Be’ list, how to include gratitude in your life, and how this will fill you with a new sense of achievement and purpose.