About We Are Fish and its Founder
About We Are Fish
Why I Started the Business
For years I have been coaching people with learning disabilities in a non-official capacity. People would recognize my success in starting and running businesses and upon learning I was both severely Dyslexic and off-the-chart ADD, they would ask for help and guidance.
Having established several successful businesses - despite being severely Dyslexic - I realized that helping adults with learning disabilities follow their dreams and create their own business would be my ultimate calling and passion.
The Business Name
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.
This quote is very popular and often attributed to Albert Einstein. It is one of my favorite quotes because it really works well for us dyslexics.
We may have difficulty climbing trees, but we are masterful swimmers - we just need to get back in the water!
The quote inspired my somewhat unique business name.
It took well over 100 concepts before I got it right. I needed the logo to be a combination of branding, passion for the Power of Three, my love for low poly images, and as a symbol of a group of individuals coming together to share purpose, dreams, and goals.
Power of Three
I created this business specifically with the Power of Three in mind. Besides being a passion of mine, it is a concept that is perfectly suited for people with learning disabilities, both in design, communication and learning.
About the Founder
I grew up without feeling parental love or support and felt my parents never took a particular interest in my education.
I remember one evening when I was about 10 years old being placed on the kitchen table by my Mom and yelled at because I could not see or explain the difference between numbers such as 45 and 54 and 89 and 98.
I struggled and suffered terribly in school and wanted no part of continued education because I felt absolutely stupid.
I have gone through life being utterly frustrated by the fact that I was unable to comprehend anything I was reading, my spelling was poor and writing was tough.
Because I have a very limited short-term memory, I resort to learning by listening to people, recording lectures, and taking notes.
Countless times in my adult life I have had people proclaiming that I would never accomplish anything - directly to my face.
I was about 45 years old when I was officially diagnosed with having a "near debilitating level" of Dyslexia, mixed with adult ADD and a good amount of OCD. Even though - for most of my life - I did not know what was going on, I have always tried my best to live and function with these learning disabilities (that most people still do not fully understand).
Being diagnosed was such an eye-opener for me. All of a sudden so many things got abundantly clear to me because I finally had an explanation of what had been going on all these years.
Up to this point, I had always taken jobs where I was certain I could function well while "hiding" my disabilities. Those jobs were mostly physical type jobs, such as bodyguard or physical trainer.
Please visit the Dyslexia page to learn more about some of the specific problems you may be dealing with.
Becoming a Coach
I had, for several years, been helping people with learning disabilities better understand their situation. This was unstructured but very rewarding for both me and the people I was helping.
Finally, when I was in my mid-50s, the idea of becoming an actual coach for people with learning disabilities started to take form. I needed to find a way to bring people together and show them they are not alone with their struggles. I started to study the exciting world of Life and Business Coaching.
I took my own experience from having created several businesses and made that the foundation for my coaching.
My goal is to help as many people as possible establishing their own business while learning about successful ways to deal with their limiting beliefs, their fears, procrastination, and a life of social stigma and negativity.
Graphics Design Degree
I took advantage of a great opportunity while I lived in England and managed to earn a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design while I worked part-time as a bodyguard.
The degree was more computer-oriented than Industrial Design specific (which was my original goal), but I absolutely loved it (even though I was struggling with the math part).
Not only did I learn about colors and layouts, but I also learned about something rather new at that time - called "Human-Computer Interface" (known as HCI, today we call it UX or usability).
Certified NLP Practitioner
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a pseudo-scientific approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970s.
NLP provides practical ways in which you can change the way that you think, view past events, and approach your life.
NLP shows you how to take control of your mind, and therefore your life. Unlike psychoanalysis, which focuses on the "why", NLP is very practical and focuses on the "how".
After leaving the military in 1980 (after 6 years of service), I began a career as a professional bodyguard.
I started working in various countries in Europe and in the US while I was studying and learning about my passion - Industrial Design. I had always been fascinated with 3D objects (now I know why).
As a professional bodyguard, it is important that you early on in your career start planning for an exit strategy in case you get hurt and no longer can function as a bodyguard.
While I worked as a developer and designer for a Danish software company, I was given the opportunity to work with the first version of Microsoft Access, which was released in late 1992.
Microsoft released version 1.1 in early 1993 and by using the newly implemented Access Basic programming language, I managed to create a commercial solution for the largest conference center in Denmark.
The solution was a success and was featured in the Microsoft Magazine publication (see screenshots below in the image gallery).
While working with Microsoft Access in Denmark (mostly teaching), I was contacted by Microsoft Ireland with a request to help them with new feature testing, teaching support staff, and writing demo applications.
Ireland was at that time the main hub for translation of all Microsoft products worldwide.
Once I started passionately talking about various design aspects of the program, Microsoft Ireland spoke to Microsoft USA and I was asked to join their US team as a designer.
I moved to the US in 1994 and worked for Microsoft over a period of 6 years while I still worked part-time as a professional bodyguard.
When I saw the first edition of the technical manual, I voiced my concern about the examples used in the manual. Long story short - I ended up helping the team create better sample projects and rewriting the technical manual for the application.
I found that task to be extremely rewarding but at the same time a huge challenge for me.
For the purpose of providing necessary and vital skills training needed for modern professional bodyguards, I founded the training organization Better Bodyguards in 2000. This new school was a physical school and initially a great success.
However, I quickly realized that, despite a huge interest, it was tough for people to travel and stay onsite for live training for 2-3 weeks at a time. My partner and I tried the best we could, but since we were both active Bodyguards, it was tough to find the time to have a regular teaching schedule.
A few years later, my trusted partner had to relocate to Panama for a long-term security contract and by then I decided to only offer training on request.
Website: no longer exists.
B2 Krav Maga
Part of my own bodyguard training very early on had been to learn a solid way of defending myself and the people I protected, so I decided to learn Krav Maga (Israeli hard-core no-rules self-defense). Having taught Krav Maga since 1980, I decided to continue to offer Krav Maga training in the US.
I wanted to offer the training to all people and not just law enforcement, security staff, and bodyguards, so I founded B2 Krav Maga - a training organization specializing in no-nonsense and easy-to-learn self-defense.
We train outside all year round and besides self-defense training, we also do physical training using kettlebells and body-weight training.
The combination of several requests from Krav Maga students to be able to train inside (B2 Krav Maga has always been outside training) and an increasing interest in training and preparation for the ever-popular mud and obstacle races caused me to establish an 8,000 sq ft facility with a huge variety of equipment.
The training was initially in high demand, but after a few years the excitement diminished and we decided to close the facility.
Website: no longer exists.
I established my web design business, StoneHill Media, in 1995.
It started under another name and both the name and the branding has been changed a couple of times over the years.
For years it served as my freelance business and since 2010, it has been a full-time business.
We Are Fish
Realizing that helping adult entrepreneurs with learning disabilities follow their dreams and create their own business would be my ultimate calling and passion, I decided to really focus on becoming a full-time life and business coach.
I worked on the business and curriculum content for over 2 years and I launched the business in 2015.
Website: You are on it :)
My latest business - online community and coaching programs for aspiring and established bodyguards and security.
This business is based on Better Bodyguards but has been expanded to include not only a partner but also coaching for security people.