Benjamin Ritter – On Alignment…and Going More Than One Layer Deep | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Share on:

Benjamin Ritter | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Dr. Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, is a leadership and career coach, Talent Development Executive, values geek, international speaker, online instructor of the course Be the Leader of Your Own Career and Create a Career You Love, and podcaster (The Executive, and The Live for Yourself Revolution), who’s passionate about guiding leaders to be the leader of their own career and create a career they love.

From empowering professionals to get unstuck, to guiding senior leadership on how to stand out from the competition, develop executive presence, and feel confident in being a leader, Ben is an expert in his field and will guide you toward truly living for yourself at work and in life.

In our episode today, Ben shares his long and winding road from undergrad D1 soccer star with dreams of playing pro, to the thriving and impactful coaching business he has today. We explore the intrinsic importance of alignment, the difficulty of taking those first steps toward the life you want (even if you’re on the verge of burnout), and how empathy can spark your next evolution.

We also discuss his new course, How To Be The Leader Of Your Own Career And Create A Career That You Love (Without Feeling Overwhelmed, Burnt Out, Or Taking A Pay Cut). Six weeks’ worth of coaching peaked into around 2 hours of video and a 25-page booklet. Now that’s how you find the time you need to take your next steps!

To learn more about Benjamin:

To learn more about the course:

Share on:


Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello, everyone and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin happy to be here in the new year. And today I’ve had already had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Benjamin Ritter. This has been delightful. It’s another one of those where we’ve been talking for a while before I hit record, wishing I’d hit record from the start. And you’ll find out why here in a moment. Dr. Ritter is a leadership and Career Coach l&d Director values geek, which is a term I really like international speaker podcaster author, mentor and passionate about guiding others in finding creating and sustaining a career that they love to call you, Ben. Dr. Ben, Dr. Ritter just Ben. Is Ben okay?

Benjamin Ritter 0:40
Please call me Ben.

Kevin Stafford 0:42
Ben, okay.

Benjamin Ritter 0:44
Just do some projection. You can call me Kevin. It’s fine.

Kevin Stafford 0:49
I will try. My best friend in high school was Ben. So I will try not to transpose this from ancient memories. But then thank you for being on podcast and chat with me today. I’ve already had a great time. And I’m excited that you’re here.

Benjamin Ritter 0:59
I’m very happy that I’m here as well. Like you said, listeners sorry that you missed out on the best information already. But you just gotta get really you got to become best friends with Kevin, you got to reach out to him and ask what did Ben talk about before he started recording.

Kevin Stafford 1:14
We covered equipment upgrades that we covered showing up consistently, we basically had a whole podcast before the podcast, maybe we’ll have maybe we’ll have an apart to later on down the road and just just keep spitting out these great topics. But I want to talk about you a little bit. So I want to kind of I want to know more about how you got your your start. As a coach, I like to cheekily but genuinely refer to it as your superhero origin story. I feel like this is very, it’s very similar arc where it’s like, there’s a moment of realization, obviously, you’re pulling from like life experiences. And there’s a point at which either someone tells you, or you realize that you are kind of already a coach, or you want coaching to be an expression of how you move through the world you want to do in life. So how did you get your start as a coach, what’s your superhero origin story?

Benjamin Ritter 2:00
I feel like I shouldn’t be talking about I was in a car crash and everyone else was injured. But me or John is a kid and I push them on and they flew across the, the of the park, you know, like an actual superhero. But it’s, it’s nothing as as powerful as that. Except it was pretty powerful for me internally. So when I was in college, I wanted to be a professional soccer player. And I dedicated my life to it, meaning I owe it’s only thing I watched on TV, it’s the only people I would hang out with, I would not go to parties for them to see the point in them, I practice three times a day became everything and anything about who I was and how I identified myself. When you are set on such an external achievement, and you are then you’re basically held hostage to outcomes, and what happens outside of yourself. And I was not that successful, I achieved enough success to think I’d be successful. But I was not completely so played, do you want soccer we went to London played on some, you know, second division, semi pro teams. I had a lot of injuries. But throughout that whole process, I was very much my most my greatest critic. And so when I, when I lost soccer, when I realized I wasn’t going to become a professional soccer player, I lost my identity. But I also was left without any internal confidence whatsoever in myself. And that bled into my social relationships, it bled into my professional life, but into how I thought about myself, it led to some mental health issues. And so I took it upon myself, luckily, because it took all that dedication, all that passion, and I went, Hey, this isn’t how life’s supposed to be. Let’s fix it. And so I dove into the realm of personal development. Now, four years after that, I was pretty happy, I was confident I was putting myself in uncomfortable situations. And if you’re a guy looking at personal development, a lot of what you’re going to find is on social relationships and attraction, and interpersonal dynamics, I became really good at dating. I was in a bar one day, just having fun talking to strangers. I was literally night and day different than who I was in, in undergrad. And someone stopped me and they said, I know what you’re doing. You need to meet my boss. And so the next day I had a meeting full table with basically a company and they hired me to run their men’s programs across United States as a as a men’s coach. So I serendipitously fell into this opportunity, and really enjoyed that realm of coaching because I was personally going through that or personally just surpassed kind of that aspect of my own growth worked for him for about a year. And by the way, this whole time I’m doing like full time jobs stuff like hey, you know, leverage risk and do the normal path and all that jazz and get a full time job and all this kind of stuff. And so I worked with him for about a year and didn’t really like how he was building his business. I didn’t like some of the practices that he had, how he was making money. It’s up to the clients he was attracting, but still felt like I needed to give something to the space I still had, I still passionate about people developing and being confident with themselves, especially in the realm of dating relationships in life. And so I wrote a book, wrote a book, published it out and realized that no one knew who I was. And so I had to learn how to, I learned I needed to learn how to create a brand. So dove into how to build a coaching business, and was built that business worked with a business partner for about five years had a podcast, had that book, spoken events wrote for, like, ask men and Men’s Health, at the same time working in healthcare. And both of those are like both areas of my professional life were chosen because I fell into them not because they were more reactive than they were proactive. So I got to a point where I really didn’t like how it was branded in the dating and relationship world. And I really didn’t like what I was doing in healthcare, to the point where I was just doing things to do them, and was dreading doing them. I was like, Okay, no, like, this is just not who I am. I’m doing things that are misaligned with who I am. And so I was going into work trying not to work putting in very little effort. And that eventually leads into a pretty vicious cycle of negativity and anger and stress and frustration and victimhood, I was basically a victim, I was playing the victim. And so I was walking into my full time job one day, kind of, again, dreading the day, started looking around, I made eye contact with some people that were also going to work. This is in Chicago. And realize that a lot of other people looked like me in terms of they seem to be dreading what they were about to do. And it was kind of it was it was a wake up call. For some reason, there was some something that happened that day, that made me pay closer attention to how I was feeling and how other people were feeling. And then reflect and say, Hold on a second. I was like this in my personal life. Back in undergrad, this is really long time from then. And I changed it, I fixed it, I became proactive, I took control. And I made a really big difference in my life. But for some reason, I didn’t do that for my professional life. And I could, I could share a variety of stories of how, you know, for two and a half years out of grad school, I had multiple job offers from the federal government, but it was a recession. So the federal government funding was, was really low and continuously cut. And each one of those job offers after I was offered it and signed on that dotted line, I cancelled the next day, I could reflect on you know, the soccer experience and other professional experiences where I was really passionate about something like diet, I was also passionate about dietetics. And that got canceled, my major got canceled two years into my degree, where I kind of, I think I’ve learned over time, hey, the things you want in your professional life just aren’t going to work out. And so there was this Wake Up Call of, hey, that’s a really limiting belief that’s holding you back, and you’re not happy. That doesn’t make any sense. We should be happy, just like you should be in your personal life. And that wake up call made me take a really hard look at myself and say, What are my skills? What I want to learn in the future? What am I passionate about? And how can I make that happen. And at the time, I was working in healthcare, as a executive manager business operations, and I was selected I was in a 16 month leadership training program. And they had a director of coaching Vedic direct the director of people as my mentor. And I got exposed to the talent development space. Now mind you, I also really, really passionate about coaching, and personal development. But I wasn’t passionate about just life development or dating and relationships that seemed so did not have as much of a, an alignment with who I want what I wanted to create in the world. And I realized that there was a an intersection of these two different passions, I could merge, leadership development, talent development, career development, with my experience in coaching and my experience working in healthcare as an executive at that time. And so that started me down the path of okay, how do I make this happen? So there’s a bunch of different branches that happened. From there, I initially tried to craft my job and start working on some projects in the organization. But then we got acquired and everyone I was working with got fired and everything I was working on got centralized. So that got shut down. I tried looking for a position I didn’t know the secrets that I know now about getting a job. And so that didn’t work very well or very quickly. And so my next idea was go become credible in the space, you have no experience, go get a doctorate one. I love education, I love learning, I love research. This is going to help me open doors. Now if the first letter was a PhD, but then I volunteered in a lab and absolutely hated it. So then I found an applied doctoral program in organizational leadership with actually a focus on coaching, and then was able to kind of merge all my passions together into one focal point. And then while I was going to school, even in that first year, I said, Okay, I know what I want to create for my business, re launched a new coaching practice at all the experience that I had from the other business that I that I built over the years, so I was able to exponentially you know, improve my my outcomes and my revenue just in a short amount of time, and then found a flow built relationships, you know, it was holding in person events, launched other podcasts, created some partnerships, etc, etc, etc. So that’s kind of the long story with a lot of the major pillars called out.

Kevin Stafford 10:13
That’s fantastic that to the surprise of no one certainly not to me, you have a very firm grasp of how you got from where you were to where you are now, because obviously, there’s such a key element of getting to where you are now is understanding why you got to where you were in the first place insights. And you that was one of the better explanations of how you got from, from where you were to where you are, now that I’ve heard a cough and coaches are great at this, that was one of the best ones I’ve heard. So I want to make sure I compliment you on that. That was just like, I almost felt like I was getting like the synopsis of your of your memoir, or something like that, like the book jacket blurb or like the inside preface or something like that. It was that was that was brilliant. And there was a couple things that jumped out at me, like really jumped out. One is how often you use the word or synonym for alignment. That comes up, I mean, for obvious reasons. But that seems to be one of the if not the key to unlocking forward momentum and forward movement in life, whether it’s personal professional anywhere, when you’re when your life is out of alignment, you know, part of you is working against other parts of you, you end up in a place like you ended up periodically here and there where you just kept running into both external and internal obstacles that were causing friction leading to resentment which drains your fuel reserves. And before you know it, you’re not just feeling empty, you’re running on empty, and that has all the attendant consequences. And I loved the moment the way you described the moment that you basically realized where you were by realizing that so many other people were in a similar position that like almost like all of a sudden, a bunch of bridges went out from you and your empathy just completely, like engaged and you’re like, Oh, I’m in this state. These people most of these people seem to be in a similar state, obviously, they shared chairs had got there on their own and their own path in their own very detailed story. But looking around, man, okay, there’s some work to do here. And then you’ve got your you’ve got everything about your life into alignment, you got your passions into alignment, you got your skills into alignment, you got your capacities in alignment, you know, had your network in alignment, and you’ve everything basically I like how you use the word merge everything merge, you merge everything together, so that now everything’s in alignment and working towards a common a singular goal within you. And that’s just almost like in in my heart, I can almost feel like like that resonant tone where it’s like when things click into place, you almost hear like this beautiful tone or something like that. And whatever anybody describes that process, I can almost hear it when they’re talking and I kind of was hearing that like, almost like a harmony as you were talking that you created in your life over the course of a lot of ups and downs not just I’ve no questions there. I just wanted to kind of acknowledge some of the beauty of your story quite frankly,

Benjamin Ritter 12:52
if I had an award for great the greatest synopsis Ever After telling my story, I feel like I would give it to you as well. So we both win trophies today. Live, it can be any shape you want, I would I’ll have mine be in a in a star form. I don’t know if you’re thinking of the normal traditional trophy or maybe like an animal. I was going for a wolf but I went for Star

Kevin Stafford 13:16
Miko for an owl, I’ve always I’ve always I’ve always really been drawn to owls. And they just they look they look both at peace and also ready for war. So

Benjamin Ritter 13:25
they’re kind of scary. I don’t want to skip over what you said though, because I remember the specific moment in in my life where I realized that alignment was important. And the the concept of values alignment was at the core of everything I’ve done for this new business and for my life. I even before I launched this business created because at the time I was relating alignment to conflicts and relationships, because that’s what my focus was on. And you’ll notice and you tend to create, you innovate on what your what your environment is. And so if you want to innovate in a specific area, change your environment. But so I innovated in an interfaith relationship workshops, where I went to universities and I took individuals through a values exercise to explore, define and align their values to understand what they what truly mattered to them. And like the the concept of alignment is, is so important and so critical. That everything that I talked about, even though it’s framed as self leadership and job crafting, etc. All just relates to what you talked about. Are your is your network, your relationships, your personal life, your professional life, where your work is, is it all aligned to what your values are? And what your goals are, what your goals are also aligned to what your values are, is critical in is absolutely critical. The only problem is if you frame it that way, and say, let’s work on your values. People think of the 50 word survey that they took, that gave them a list of their values that were not defined that were not actually influenced by definitions from their life, and weren’t, weren’t used in terms of like critical thinking around their relationships or their work. And so it’s very surface level in terms of what’s out there on the market today. And I asked if anyone has done a values assessment that’s listening or is interested in values go, you get the fruit of the exercise is about three or four layers deep. And so if you have some questions about that, feel free to reach out to me Dr. Benjamin Ritter, I’m happy to answer those questions.

Kevin Stafford 15:47
Yeah, let’s, uh, I think you have something that you’re launching, I know you wanted to kind of talk about a little bit at least you can’t we’ve I mean, obviously, we have been talking about it already. At length, but uh, this is how to be a leader of your own career and create a career that you love parentheses without feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or taking a pay cut, vital parentheses there. So you’d mentioned in our as we were kind of like, you know, communicating before we before we started chatting about how this just launched. So what is that? Is that a program? Is that like, is it a program? Is it a book? Is it a series of videos? Is it a podcast is it all of the above, and then some

Benjamin Ritter 16:24
got a book coming out this year, we’re reading on the date of actual publishing on becoming fearless. But this course is an online course. So it’s two hours of client proven video content, I took basically a six week one on one coaching program. And I distilled it down into two hours, video content and a 25 page, basically, workbook. So it’s not 25 pages in a row there. You know, there’s a variety of different exercises that will help you basically build a workbook of your career and yourself. We go through ensuring that your mentalities in the right place for being able to pursue the next step in your career. We go through a variety of different exercises from different perspectives that create clear clarity, so you know where you want to actually focus next. You don’t have to randomly wait for an epiphany while you’re walking to work, because normally happen. And there’s also a lot of work that happened to go into that. And then we also go into how to be energized at your job. So if you’re someone that feels overwhelmed, or overworked and you’re trying to find the next thing in your career, you probably are too exhausted at five or 6pm to actually do anything. So we work on figuring out how to get the energy you need to get the job and then we go into actually getting the job. So secrets and how to create a resume and cover letter how to network, how to build your LinkedIn profile, and especially how to ace your interview. So because a lot of people will get into an interview, and then they and by the way, it’s you should feel really good about getting interviews, because you’ve 2000 people apply to job postings. Now each and every single day, even though applying for jobs online is not the best way to get one. But the fact that you’ve gone through a couple rounds of an interview is you should at least give yourself a pat on the back because it can be discouraging. So a little disclaimer there. Yeah, I have some bonus q&a questions that people tend to ask me pretty regularly. And it’s nicely it’s it’s pretty nicely packaged. And so people that don’t want to you know, are more self learners or really don’t have the financial means to invest in a broader coaching program can purchase this course and do this with themselves and get similar outcomes.

Kevin Stafford 18:34
It’s, it’s, I feel like it’s a it’s a direction that a lot of a lot of intelligent coaches and a lot of really committed coaches are going because there’s, obviously there’s no replacement for the kind of depth of exploration that can occur in a one to one coaching relationship. It’s why so many people have and continue to invest, invest, very keyword, they’re investing coaching. But sometimes that first step, the step from where you’re at, again, maybe burnt out, maybe just you know, the career growth is an afterthought that you try to squeeze in between clocking out and dinner or dinner and sleep. If you really are having trouble finding a place to like squeeze it in or you know, you, you know, you need to change, but you maybe don’t know what the first couple steps might look like. You just need some of that forward momentum is the kind of thing that can really fill in that gap. And allow people to just kind of get going in the right direction. And then obviously, you know, farther down that journey you’re there. And other coaches like you who are like you’ve gotten started, that’s great. You know a lot more about your why’s, you’re more than just surface layer deep. You’ve realized there’s so much more to do. You’re feeling positive for the first time in a while. Let’s talk about what we can do together to keep you going forward. And I love that challenging gap filling intermediate step or even like first step that can be so hard for people to find a way to take and this just gives them another opportunity to do so I just I’m I’m always taking my name and also combining it the way you phrased it it six weeks of coaching shrunk down. So it’s like immediately speak to someone’s I don’t have time for that. That’s one of the biggest objections you ever hear. It’s like how am I, how am I supposed to have time to do this with my full time job and my kids and my other responsibilities or whatever happens to be, like, I understand I got you, I say, See you, I feel you. Let’s just shrink this down. It’s all the same stuff. It’s just really dense, go at your own pace and get it in where it fits in. And let me know what you think. Let’s talk afterwards, if you’re ready, and I just, I find that kind of approach to be very much in alignment with your values. It’s like a one, I see a need. And I want to put all of my skills, abilities, passions, everything, I know everything I’ve learned, in some cases, the hard way into a package that is consumable. For people who are struggling for people who are maybe most in need, and continue to offer them more and more and more as they go down the road that they want to be on. I just, I’m always I always get a little passionate about, I get all excited about it. Because it’s really, it’s why I do what I do, I love being a part of just like the coaching business, because I feel like it’s really filling in. And again, I keep going back to that phrase filling in filling in a gap filling in gaps that a lot of people are lost in right now.

Benjamin Ritter 21:17
That really appreciate basically that advertisement, so I want to take it, I’m gonna run with it. It is it, it feels really good to be able to offer something to everyone. That’s why I wrote a workbook, many moons ago with a variety of exercises focused on alignment. And you know, over the years, a lot of people and my own personal passions has been focused more kind of on the professional world and leadership development. So hence this course. And then next step.

Kevin Stafford 21:50
Well, I’ve already I’m looking at the clock now. And I told you that this would be this would be my primary challenge. And like, Oh, my goodness, we’ve already been we’ve been chatting on the podcast for something like 2025 minutes already, we’ve been chatting for over 35 minutes, I would eat up your entire day if I could, because I’m I’ve greatly enjoyed talking with you. And I like both personally and professionally. I want to get to know you better, just like personally, but also I’d love. And I know I’ve already I’ve probably blown enough smoke up your butt for one podcast, but I’m gonna do it one more time. But I love how the way the manner in which you represent yourself. And the availability and vulnerability you demonstrate in the midst of your strengths. Like it’s you have, you have both you have the permeability, the empathy, the availability, the authenticity, the openness, while you are expressing the values of the strength and the power of your journey and how you’re sharing it with the world. And I feel like that that those things being in alignment again, those things being merged, braided together, like a strong rope. It’s It’s everything I look for in a coach. And I just I’m I’m glad that you’re around doing what you do. And I’m, I’m really selfishly glad that I got to talk to you today. This has been fantastic. And I am totally having you back on as soon as I can like free up calendar space, maybe in the spring. So we can just keep conversing like this because I I both had a blast and have a lot to think about, which is all I want.

Benjamin Ritter 23:16
And let’s tack on at least another at least another half an hour at that next meeting, because we need to talk about more things that are listening to here.

Kevin Stafford 23:25
Right? Well, we’ll talk about camera upgrades. Well, then, once again, thank you to our audience. You You heard the podcast so you know what to do you know where to go to find out more about then you want to mention where you actually should probably give you a chance to where do you like to direct people if they want to learn more about you or find out more about you? Is there like a social media platform you’d like to like be have have as a first point of engagement. Do you like prefer to direct people to a website and you know, have any like any any free assets offers anything? How do you like for people to find out more about you and connect with you.

Benjamin Ritter 24:03
As everyone tends to remember LinkedIn, I’m pretty active on there, Dr. Benjamin Ritter, but if you want a free guide to creating a career that you love, go to live for yourself That’s live for yourself And you can also get a link to the masterclass course there too. And if Kevin is willing to include a discount code in the show notes, I’m happy to provide one as well. But if that’s not possible, just message me on LinkedIn. Let me know that you heard me on the show. And I’ll provide a 10% discount code for you.

Kevin Stafford 24:37
And you just love it. Don’t you love it? And all the links for everything that I’ve been just listed will be in the show notes. I’ll see about the the little discount code. That’s a honestly that’s not something a little fledgling podcast that could have done before but we should especially in this case, so thank you, thank you for that offer and yeah, audience you you know where to go now you have everything you need to do. We have everything you need to know Do what you need to do that’s what I wanted to say that was my was my closing statement anyway thank you all for listening Ben thank you for being here and we’ll talk to you again real soon.

Think you'd be a great fit for the podcast?

Apply now to be our next guest!

Check Out Boxer Services

Be different

Enhance Your Brand

Most coaches struggle to explain what differentiates them from the next guy, let alone why your hot new prospect should pay you $10k more than your competitor who is seriously undercutting you.
Establish Your Authority

Establish Your Authority

Social Omnipresence allows you to meet your ideal prospects where they’re at by amplifying your authority across the same social media platforms where your clients are already spending their time.


Expand Your Network

What would you do with 300 new leads connected with you on LinkedIn each month? You’d probably build relationships with those prospects a lot faster, turn those relationships into clients, and make a lot more money!

Leverage Your Website

Elevate Your Website

You’ve established your brand and your authority. You’ve grown your social following and your LinkedIn following exponentially. People look up to you, they know you have answers, and they want to visit your website to learn more.

Before you go...

…how about another newsletter? 😉

In all seriousness, you’ll love this one. Five minutes each week with illuminating insights & amplifying spotlights from the world of business, branding, coaching, and marketing.

If that sounds like your speed, we’re more than happy to have you.