Pat Shanks is one half of “The Coolest Couple”. Through his passion for inspiring and educating others, Pat has dedicated himself to providing the tools, knowledge and community to help others gain business success.
Here is My Story…
It’s interesting… as I start to write this story I start to cry like a baby…
Why you might ask?
Well, for me writing (spelling, grammar – the whole 9 yards) has always been my biggest challenge. It’s not that I can’t write, it’s just that the words don’t come out as easy or smooth as they should, if they ever come out at all. And if they do come out, quite often they don’t make any sense to me or anyone else.
(Yes, some nice soul has edited this story so that you can read it and make sense of it. These are my words and thoughts, but somebody else’s grammar and spelling corrections. Thank you Lorna xoxo)
I actually get scared to write because I have no idea what’s going to come out… or how to express myself with words. It’s very hard, yes I would even say painful, for me to express myself. It can sometimes take me hours to write just one page. Yeah, it can be that bad.
Heck, sometimes I write something, go back later, and the words are completely different than what I thought I wrote. I didn’t write those words… nobody in their right mind would write those words. That’s why I always feel dependent on someone else when it comes to writing anything… even a simple Facebook post.
So, who the heck created all these stupid grammar rules? They make no sense to me. And when it comes to spelling… let’s just say that sometimes the dictionary and I can be friends, and yet at times we are the worst of enemies.
I was never diagnosed with any disorder, ADD, or ADHD or even Dyslexia… but there is some kind of disconnect between me and writing. Maybe they just haven’t come up with a name for it yet. You see I’m special 🙂
I thank the universe that I can read; because I do read a lot. So I’m OK getting information in, the challenge for me is getting the damn information out.
I don’t write this for pity… I am able to speak well enough. The tough thing is getting my words out in writing… something that is so important to our online business.
Despite my challenge, I know I belong here on this planet earth. I do deserve to be here. I have kindness and beauty within me.
So here is The Rest of The Story…
The Day the World Stopped for Me
It was early in grade two and they posted our spelling test results on the wall at school. There was mine, “Patrick Shanks”… and I had more red on my paper than anybody else in the class. I was so proud of myself! And there it was… my mark… 2 out of 50. Yeah, I got 2 right. That must mean I’m really smart because that was a really tough test.
Let just say that kids always look for weaknesses in others kids that they can exploit and make fun of. They had found my weakness. Grade school was going to be very interesting.
I remember going to lots of speech therapy, with doctors trying to discover why I was the way I was. I thought I was OK, everybody else thought differently.
My mother, god bless her heart, is very good at English and spelling and helped me out so much. I still love her so much to this day. Unfortunately, I was more like my father when it came to spelling.
Pat’s Life Lesson – Having a whole bunch of Red is not always a good thing.
Note: Over the next 10 years my mark in English was always around 50% (if a teacher really liked me I got 55%). I did forget to mention that I had already
failedrepeated grade one so I was already behind. It was an interesting time because I could read (I loved to read) and I could understand everything that was said to me, but for some reason I just couldn’t get it out of me on to paper.
The Day the World Started Moving for Me Again.
When I started high school one of the options I decided to take was Computer Science. That was one of my best decisions ever! It came so naturally for me, I understood machine language (Assembler, Zip, and Basic) a lot more than human language. Other kids were actually asking me for help with their homework and projects. I really caught onto this class and got 100% on all my tests and projects.
Needless to say, I was so looking forward to seeing that 100% on my year-end report card. So what did I see? English 50% (I always seemed to get 50% in English), Math 73%, Science 78%, Physical Education 75%, Data Processing 99%…
What?? I was perfect… every test, every project… perfect. Why did I get only (yeah, only) 99%?
Pat’s Life Lesson – Just because you think you are perfect, not everybody is going to see it that way.
Let’s Not Get That World Moving Too Quickly
Ok… high school is finished; it’s time to get some real education. I applied to the University of Waterloo (UOW) because they had a great Computer Science Department and one of the best computer(s) in the country. They asked for my marks and all the other standard stuff… hmmm, they say I need to take an English entrance exam? Ok fine. I took the exam, which was quickly followed by the standard response letter… “We are sorry to inform you that you have not been accepted to the UOW.” So now what do I do?
Pat’s Life Lesson – And you wonder why universities are still stuck in the old way of learning and teaching? They don’t like to bring in the really smart people 🙄 .
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
Since the university didn’t want me, I was going to have to try a different avenue to learn more about these computer things. I had seen commercials on TV about getting an education at Control Data Institute. It sounded good to me… so I booked an appointment and walked out an hour later registered in their program, with a student loan for $5000.00. I was excited… and drove home to tell my parents. Guess what they said? “You did what?” “That’s a lot of money.” “You should go back and cancel it right now.” In spite of it all, I started the following Monday and graduated a few months later with a 96.8% average. I got my first job about 1 week after graduating… and the sweet part… I found out I was getting paid more than my classmates. Yay me 😆 !
Pat’s Life Lesson – Even though your parents love you, sometimes you just need to do stuff on your own… even if it is as scary as hell!
The Business Must Go On
3 months into my second programming job, the company I was with had a big meeting. They were laying off over 80% of their staff, and I was one of them. I’ll never forget these words, “The business must go on; it must survive”. As I was thinking more about my needs back then, I was saying to myself “What about me? Don’t I need to survive? Don’t I need to go on?” I learned that business can be very cold. There were older people who were crying, and looking into their eyes I could see concern for their future and their families. It wasn’t a really fun time in my life.
Pat’s Life Lesson – A business isn’t just a business, it has a life too.
Go West Young Man
So here I was looking for a job at 23 years old, in the early 80’s in Ontario, which was suffering from a very slow economy. I don’t quite remember how, but this placement agency contacted me to say that they were looking for my programming skills out west in Edmonton, Alberta. And presto! One week later I was moving out west.
Start of a New Life
It’s March 1980 and I’m now living in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I left all my friends, family and everything I’d known behind. All I seemed to do was work, work and work some more. They lied… this was no small programming project. The good thing… it taught me that I really wanted to work for myself some day.
Pat’s Life Lesson – Projects always take longer than anybody expects!
The Best “Pickup Line” Ever 😮
I was always into sports… so I decided to take up the game of rugby. Just before a weekend tournament in August of 1981, I was walking across the parking lot towards the clubhouse when I saw a few girls hanging around. So I used the first pickup line that came to my mind … you ready for it… “Is this a private party or are you just standing here looking stupid?” This caused a lot of dirty looks from all the girls, but I did notice this one girl who really stood out. After the tournament… ok after *ALL* rugby games… it’s time for a beer or two. During this “after party”, I saw the girl I had noticed in the parking lot and went over to ask what her name was. It was Lorna, and she was a very pretty sight after being in scrums all afternoon. We chatted or bumped into each other quite often over the next few hours before I finally got up the nerve to ask her for her phone number.
The rest, as they say, is history… we moved in together within 30 days and were married on July 9, 1982… less than one year after we met.
Lorna has helped to make me a better person in more ways that you can imagine.
Pat’s Life Lesson – It’s not what you say to people that matters, it’s how you make them feel.
We enjoyed life and being with each other for the first 7 years of our marriage. Then one day we decided we should start a family, and along came our 3 wonderful kids; Brendan (Jan. 22, 1990), Raymond (Feb. 24, 1992) and Danielle (Mar. 28, 1994).
One thing we noticed… with all the activities that go along with having kids, we were very busy. Yet they were all amazing life experiences, and we wouldn’t change a single thing.
We were also extremely fortunate in that one of us was usually able to work at home to be with the kids. Mostly it was me because I found programming contracts I could do at home. This was very important to me as both of my parents worked outside of the home while I grew up; and I really believe that children should have their parents around during their childhood.
Pat’s Life Lesson – Watching a new life being born is one of the most wonderful life experiences. (I’m sure glad I’m a male… I know I wouldn’t have been tough enough to have given birth to a baby… thank you ladies/Lorna!)
We’ve been together for 30 years, and married for 29, and one thing that that has made our relationship so solid is that we do almost everything together. All the personal development courses we did, we did together. This allows us to discuss and use the material in our daily lives. We get to reminder each other (Lorna has a better memory and reminds me more often) on what we learned, and how we could be using it at this point in time. Yet we both know that we must take what we’ve learned and make it our own.
Even though Lorna is my wife, I always introduce her as “Lorna”. I feel that saying “This is my wife” shows ownership, and I don’t own her. I’ve been blessed that she has chosen to stay with me. She is like an angel from heaven guiding me and our children on this earth. If we had more Lorna’s (personality, goodness, etc.) this earth would be a better place.
Pat’s Life Lesson –Marriage is an agreement to disagree and everyday you work on the small agreements.
Mike Klingler & Marketing Funnel Mastery
We first found out about Mike Klingler on “The Climate of Hype” webinar he did in October of 2010. In the webinar he taught us about the sustainability of business. The way he taught the principals of marketing and the importance of having a funnel, really resonated with both of us. We talked about taking the MFM course for a couple of months and then purchased it at the beginning of December.
Christmas – December 25, 2010…
I had talked to my Dad on the afternoon of Christmas Eve… and then at 1:00 am Christmas morning my sister from Toronto called me to tell me that Dad had passed away. I said, “What? I just talked to him a few hours ago. What happened?” That day hit me like a ton of bricks. It was Christmas Day… this doesn’t happen on Christmas. I was in shock! Enter Coaching Cognition…
Pat’s Life Lesson – Hug or call your family now. Life is so precious, and you just never know when they will not be around.
Because of my father’s death I was in a different place, and felt that Coaching Cognition would be a place to learn something new about myself. At first I just listened to the classes and didn’t really get involved. Maybe I was a little shy, or maybe I was scared to open my mouth and make a fool of myself. So I just listened, and boy was that hard for me! I was learning and practicing my “Active Listening” skills.
As I listened to Barb’s (Barbara Silva) voice I found there was something special there. She shared about her mother’s death which happened in 2010 and about the different stages of mourning that we go through. I thought to myself, maybe I’m going through this and don’t even know about it. As I started to listen to others and get a feeling of this being a “safe place”, I opened up more and became more involved with the class and classmates.
I enjoy the process of coaching other people; yet I still don’t enjoy the process of being coached.
I learned a long time ago that you can’t tell people things (you can, but most people won’t listen or take ownership of it) it’s always more powerful to ask questions.
On being coached…
Maybe it’s a trust factor or not having much success with coaches in the past that I just don’t resonate with being coached. Or perhaps it is the fact that through my relationship with Lorna we already have great conversations and coaching sessions together, and I don’t feel the need for more.
Pat’s Life Lesson – 1) I’ve had people in my life that called themselves coaches. After taking the Coaching Cognition program my mind has opened up to what coaching is really about. I cannot stress how much you’ll change as a person by taking this course. This is the way that all coaching should be done.
2) I still don’t like the word “Life Coach”. This is something I will never use in my business. What I have found that resonates with me is “Awareness Coach”.
The Coolest Couple
So why “The Coolest Couple”?
Well it was because of a few things:
- We seem to do everything together. People would always say to us, “You guys are so cool” or “You guys are such a cool couple”.
- We both loved “The Fonz” and how he always remained Cool under pressure.
- It can get really cold where we live… in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (-20C/-4F).
- There was an SEO competition for “Coolest Guy on the Planet” so we thought we would go after “Coolest Couple on the Planet”, If you search Google we should still come up #1. Eventually we just shortened it to “The Coolest Couple”.
So it was a bunch of stuff that led to the creation of “The Coolest Couple”, but our message has always been the same “Connecting COOL People, Tools, Tips, and Knowledge that you can use everyday”. We spend a lot of time connecting with others; whether it’s at events, in online communities, or in Facebook and Skype conversations, to really understand that person as a person. The greatest gift you can give to another human being is to really believe in them as a person. We know that one conversation, one interaction, or one nice comment can make a huge difference for another human being.
We originally started The Coolest Couple to help people with the technology side of the business. But as we got deeper into it, we found that people need both sides of the equation… the technology and the mindset. Without both, people get lost or discouraged.
We are all spiritual beings living in a physical world or having a human experience. Our physical world is our planet, our plane of existence… using time, space and gravity as our playground. Most of you have probably heard of Mind, Body & Spirit. Well in this reality our minds and bodies are intertwined together in a bit of Yin and Yang. Our minds relate to the non-physical world and our bodies to the physical world, and you need both for your existence here.
Because they are so woven together, you must master both to create anything of value in this world.
Don’t believe me? Think of anything you would like… keep thinking about it… keep thinking… did you get it yet? I’m guessing you haven’t. You had this thought (in your mind somewhere) that you want this thing, but until you physically do something about it you’re not going to get it.
And the reverse is also true. Still don’t believe me? Find a pen quickly and write something… anything… without thinking what to write. Heck, you could even just scribble something down and it would work. Have you done that yet? So what did you get out of that? What was your goal? What was your plan? Doing something without knowing what you want the outcome to be, is a total waste of time.
We are helping people intentionally create their life, inside and out. Or said another way, to bridge the gap between the non-physical world – The Mind (thoughts, believes, values, attitudes, language, memories, meta-programs and strategies) and the physical world – The Body (Actions, Blueprints, Goals, and Plans).
We know this information is sorely needed in organizations, and especially schools, because we were not taught how to process information, focus on outcomes, or what actions we need to take to make them happen.
Everything starts with a thought. Don’t believe me? Then stop thinking. How’s that working for you? So our thoughts create some kind of feeling, which moves us to some kind of action, and we get some result. We call that TFAR (Tee-Far) Thoughts->Feelings->Actions-> Results.
So by organizing your internal (non-physical) thoughts and external (physical) stuff, you create the bridge or connection you need to live a life of purpose and direction.
Pat’s Life Lesson – The greatest gift is being able to help another human being. We truly believe that “Everybody is Cool, and Cool is Everybody”. You never know how much you can impact another life. We hope that we can positively impact another life for good.
Lorna & Figures Competitions
The other interesting development is that Lorna (can I say she’s fifty?) has got into doing Figures competitions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_and_figure_competition). She did her first competition in October of 2010 and has gotten hooked on the sport. You might be wondering why this matters in My Story. Support is the key in everything… and because she needs to change her food intake for the competition, I join her in this endeavour. And I also put on her tanning paste, take a whole bunch of pictures and video, and cheer her on!
Pat’s Life Lesson – Having a very hot sexy mama sure feels good 🙂
Not the End of This Story
This is not the end of the story, not at all. It’s really only the beginning of bigger and better stuff yet to come. We might not be the fastest in getting stuff out, but we keep going one step at a time.
We really believe that everyone has a Passion, a Gift or an Area of Expertise that they can share with the world. The only thing stopping most people is either lack of direction, something really small or leadership.
Despite my challenges with written communication, I know I can make a difference in one person’s life… and then that person can make a difference in another person’s life, and so on… creating what is called the Butterfly Effect. I find that very powerful and inspiring.
Every time you connect with another person you are either effecting or infecting that person. I/we choose to effect people to make spectacular COOL choices.
Pat’s Life Lesson – “It’s ain’t over till it’s over” ~ Yogi Berra
I know that I have the best soul-mate in the whole wide universe, and together we are going to be changing lives for the better!!!
~ Pat Shanks
PS Note: I know that I am Imperfectly Perfect! I may not be the faster to get something out but “Sloppy Success is Better than Perfect Mediocrity”. See you around the largest social media site ever…. The Internet!!!
Pat, along with his wife Lorna, is the co-founder of TheCoolestCouple.com, an online training and education company designed to connect entrepreneurs, and small business owners with the knowledge, tools and people to gain online business success.
Pat’s added inspiration of being a part of TheCoolestCouple.com is that he gets to continually discover new tips, tricks and tools and meet some very fascinating people in the quest for delivering the best available information to his clients.
Pat and Lorna live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with their three children Brendan, Raymond and Danielle.