Today we’d like to introduce you to Doug Marshall.
Hi Doug, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
By trade, I’m a writer, motivational speaker, certified Life Coach and social media brand consultant. I’m a connector, an influencer and a trusted source. I have a passion for style, skincare, grooming, creating good content and helping people tap into self-care to find their sense of “being enough”. This involves movement, meditation, breathing and just having more fun. My path to where I am today is a very windy road of experiences, successes, failures and always trying new things. I’ve had like seven careers and as random as they have been, they all add up to today.
Fresh out of college as finance major, I worked in banking at JP Morgan in New York. I checked all the boxes of what I thought was expected of me in life. If I had the right education and the right job I was “OK”. Except I wasn’t. I was a gay guy living a performative lifestyle trying to fit myself into a very hetero world. One day I woke up and was like, “This isn’t me.” I left banking and went to work in the beauty industry doing marketing/PR and skin care product development. On the side, I became a social scribe, covering events in New York City and the Hamptons, trailing socialites and celebs and interviewing them. By day I was doing PR, by night I was charming Tinsley Mortimer or the hot socialite of the moment. I parlayed that into being a reporter for Page Six and The New York Daily News. I’m a very good entertainment reporter, which is really just taking an interest in people, asking the right questions and working hard to be like-able. It’s networking. I’ve talked to almost any celebrity you could think of and I had fun doing it! My career has never been linear and I always have a few tracks running at the same time.
I was writing and reporting in New York and pitching skincare pieces to Vogue, Wmag, Glamour and New Beauty in 2009. Then Saks Fifth Avenue came knocking on my door. Social media was taking off and they needed a social media manager. I thought, “I don’t know social media, though.” No one did; they wanted a personality who was good with people, had an eye for style and was able to blog. I dove in, learned how to edit video and was interviewing magazine editors and designers on a flip cam and editing in imovie to post on Facebook. I learned my way into that job and became an expert. It took off from there; in the last 13 years, I have worked with many recognized brands; either launching their social presence, giving it new life from a content and strategy perspective, securing influencer or media coverage or doing branded street style videos and Snapchat/Instagram takeovers at events. Some clients include: Aveda, ED Ellen DeGeneres, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bond No. 9 Fragrances, Macy*s, Lord & Taylor, Joe Fresh, Rachel Zoe’s DreamDry and Bandier. I also launched my own social presence and Instagram @theworldofdoug is my passion.
My path took a major turn in 2010 when I had a series of mental health crisis. On paper, my life looked great and I was curating my appearance to look like I had it all going on. Inside I was caving and my life wasn’t working. I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which was shocking because I had no idea it was a mental health issue. I just thought I was a flawed human. I feel comfortable talking about this today because after years of research and dealing with my own issues, the statistics on how many people are suffering from an undiagnosed issue are staggering. I’m pretty open with my story because something I share might resonate with someone and lead them to the support they need. I went on for years with an undiagnosed mental illness and life was way harder than it needed to be. I found the right therapists and medication and things got better, but that wasn’t enough. Something was missing. Then I found self-help and everything changed.
Almost 12 years ago, I began dabbling in self-help and fell in love with it because it really worked for me. I learned tools that help lower anxiety and stress, exercises to let go of the past, and practices to stay present and not project future failures. I learned tools to shift my energy, clear my energy, raise my energy and tap into feeling good. I became passionate about self-help because it saved me. Today, this falls into the category of mindfulness, which wasn’t as much of a buzzword in 2010. I started writing about my experiences and successes in a very real and transparent way on my website, theworldofdoug. My life changed and opened up so much that I became this walking “reason to believe” that working on yourself is worthwhile. Self-help can be super cringy and if you’re new to it, it can be off-putting. The more I wrote about it or talked about it, I made it seem kind of fun and chic and people wanted what I had. Which, really, is good energy! I make it accessible.
After a few years, my life’s path took a very interesting turn – I started getting asked to give motivational speeches on self-care, stress and anxiety. This led to me designing workshops and small group coaching sessions to empower individuals and businesses to grow and prosper through self-reflective work. I break down meditation and self-help tools into easily approachable ways for people to try them out. I remove barriers to entry like “I don’t have time” or “it’s hard”. Most tools take 30 seconds to 3 minutes to raise your energy and shift your mindset! I’ve been speaking and teaching these topics for the last seven years (at lululemon and many other businesses and to groups) and the demand continues to grow. During the pandemic, I went to school and became a certified life coach – I was already coaching people, but I wanted a more formal structure so I can really help people and meet them where they are at.
Today, I’m on a mission to help people – whether it’s one-on-one, in small groups or larger speaking events. If you ask me what my niche is, I’ll tell you that I help people find their sense of “being enough”. The number one universal core issue I’ve seen over and over is we don’t believe we are enough and it affects so many aspects of our lives. So, that’s what I help people do: grow their sense of enoughness and I do it with mindfulness based tools that work on your personal energy. In short, I’m a personal energy expert. I help you clear out negative or “not enough” energy and replace it with good energy that restores you to who you are meant to be without all those crappy limiting beliefs. I get you back to you and I just share what works for me and that’s what people want. People want to feel good, be present and enjoy life more. I support them with that.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I will say this, when I had my mental health crisis in 2010, I was working at Saks Fifth Avenue and those mental health issues and some mismanagement at Saks led to my position being eliminated. Basically, I got my mental health under control, started doing self-help and was thriving. Then a few months later, I got laid off. It was like the rug got pulled out from under me right when I started getting mentally healthy again. I can look back now and draw a conclusion that my personal mental health struggles did tarnish my work productivity and creativity, which led to me losing that job. It was cumulative and the damage was done. But the beauty is that as soon as I left Saks, I was getting calls from other companies familiar with my work that wanted me to freelance for them. I was getting so much work and making more money and had more freedom. So even when times are not smooth or feel really uncomfortable, they take me to the next level. As long as I show up for what’s coming up, whether it’s work drama, personal drama or mental health issues, I can get through it and get to the next leg of my journey.
Now that I’m a motivational speaker and life coach, I can openly talk about all the messy parts of my life without people running away. When they see how dark my life got after telling a couple of stories, my “light” burns even brighter now. And I have a blueprint and set of tools for how to clear out the darkness and get that light going. In the struggles and as I found solutions, I amassed a toolkit to help people. My struggles led me to a career in personal growth. When you work in this space, you have to keep working on yourself. When I’m not centered or I’m stuck in the past or resenting things, I can’t show up and be of service to others. I have to stay in the same work I teach others. I’m never fixed, I just know how to try to thrive or live the best I can each day. Not every day is good or pretty, but it’s a chance to begin again.
Because I’m so passionate about being open about my mental health struggles, I’ve become more of an advocate for mental health – especially in the underserved LGBTQIA communities. I thank my higher power daily for my past struggles in shaping who I am today! My challenges always bring me to where I need to be, when I show up for them rather than run away.
As you know, we’re big fans of Coaching w/ Doug: Feel Good in Your World. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
My instagram is called @theworldofdoug and I always say, “It’s my world, shared with you.” People sometimes ask, if it’s “The World of Doug” what’s in it for me? Here’s the thing, I created the world I want to live in energetically and I do it by practicing mindfulness. When I work with people 1-on-1 or in groups, I help them create the energetic world they want to live in. We exist in energy and we can shape our world by working on our energy! It’s what I’m all about.
In October, my husband, dog and I moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis. Prior to that, we lived in New York. Now that I’m here in LA, I’m continuing to build my 1-on-1 coaching practice and also teaching workshops at schools, businesses and institutions. Each workshop is customized to the needs of the group and I often cover mindset, resilience, reducing stress and anxiety and we focus on growing wellbeing by having fun. Give me one hour and I can teach you basic tools that work on your energy and only take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to shift your mindset. I help people become aware of their mood/energy/emotions so they can feel empowered to have more autonomy over them. A lot of times, we give our energy away to others or allow others to drain it. I teach people to protect and care for their energy in a way that serves them and broadens their life. Our energy is the most valuable commodity we have, so everything I teach maps back to energy. In a sense, I’m rebranding mindfulness as the catalyst to having good energy and making it fun and accessible to anyone looking to make small changes that have a massive impact. In the last two years, most workshops have been virtual but I’m available for in-person as well to the degree that people are doing that! I will say this, after every workshop I always get a few messages from people saying it’s not what they expected. They never thought self-reflective work could be fun, simple and joyful. I make it fun!
The root of all my coaching focuses on healing the universal feeling most of us have or had: NOT BEING ENOUGH. That feeling of not being enough (essentially the belief that something is wrong with us or we just aren’t right or don’t have what we need to fit in) buries us and makes us feel like we’re alone. It lowers our energy, robs us of creativity, serenity and opportunity.
There are millions of lovable, smart and talented people sitting around right now feeling like they’re not enough. In my last seven years as a motivational speaker, workshop teacher and life coach, I’ve identified “not being enough” as the top emotional offender that sabotages our well-being. This led me to becoming a certified life coach with the mission of helping people dig out from under their not-enoughness so they can get back to themselves by living in a new energy. When we clear out not-enoughness, we can be ourselves and that’s really all the world wants from us. Being ourselves is the root of all possibility! So, I help people 1-on-1 with that. Sometimes people just need a few sessions to get over a hump or kickstart something new. I’m all about helping clients become accountable to the goals they set and I try to keep it light, fun and inspiring. Anyone seeking info can shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Uncovering Your Purpose Guided Experience
Five years ago, I did a guided meditation exercise to “Uncover my Purpose”. Before I did it, I was rolling my eyes because it sounded so far out – after I did it, I had a clarity and a certainty of the purpose I was born with and what I’m meant to be doing here. I sort of knew what my purpose was, but this gave me the ability to voice it and carry it out. It changed my life.
A higher voice spoke through me: “Your mission in life is to help people clean up their sh*t so they can feel good, be more present and live abundantly.”
In the exercise, I also learned what mental blocks still existed that were holding me back and where I get in the way of myself. The messages I downloaded in 45 minutes <aka the universe spoke through me> have become my North Star to building a business with a mission to help people find and carry out their purpose. I was given a blueprint on how to move forward – it all came through in the meditation.
When I began coaching clients one-on-one they didn’t always know why they came to me. They were either struggling in a 9 to 5 or had an idea of what they thought they wanted to do in life but weren’t sure. I thought back to this meditation and realized it served me so much, so I created a protocol to take someone through it in 3 coaching sessions.
As we do the guided exercise together, the answers come from within you rather than you reasoning what you “should be doing” or me guessing what could work for you. What comes through you in this exercise is for you. It works every single time and I get goosebumps watching it unfold for someone because an energetic presence beyond us joins the experience. It’s broken into three sessions over 3 to 4 weeks.
Whether you have an established business, are in building mode, or doing an entire career pivot, the answers you are seeking are in you and I can help draw it out of you. This can also be used for personal life, relationships and creating a new vision for yourself. It can be used to kick-start our coaching relationship or stand alone just for you to get clear. For details, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early 2022, I’m launching a four weeks group coaching called “Cultivating the Energy of Being Enough”. I created a plan that helps you uncover places where you don’t “feel enough” or areas in your life where you are energetically blocked. We define what you want to work on in the four weeks! Along with this, I use mindfulness-based tools that directly impact energy while edging out those feelings of not being enough. In building this, I examined all my self-care practices (breathing, meditation, movement, etc.) and looked at what parts of me and others they help heal or balance: mood, emotions, feelings, connection. I then looked at what tools from those practices could be used to create an energetic healing response to not-enoughness. I developed an ordered process that cumulatively builds on itself week by week to heal and renew your personal energy. I did a ton of research, got feedback from people who come to my workshops, tested it and created an algorithm for cultivating the energy of being enough. For 2022 I have packaged it into four weeks of group coaching which is just the beginning of a lifetime awareness of your energy and sense of being enough. In this fun and participatory group, you get get a blueprint, a foundation and a path back to you without all the “limiting beliefs”. In four weeks, you create habits and practices that can serve you on the daily. Email email@example.com and I’ll send you a link when sign-up is live!
What sets me apart
People have always been drawn to my energy. I’ve heard people say, “I wish I could bottle your energy”. They don’t want my energy, they want their own good energy, so in my work I’ve created a blueprint to help them cultivate good energy for themselves. In a sense, I’m a healer and I support people in their growth and healing. I have a simple plan for upleveling your mood and mindset, which includes movement, meditation and breathing practices that take 30 seconds to 3 minutes. I welcome beginners, skeptics and people who “don’t have time” for mindfulness. I either want to be someone’s first stop for self-help or their last stop when “nothing else worked”. I’m here for people who want to feel good. I have something for everyone.
My coaching philosophy
Basically, we’re all born with a clean slate and as we are raised, we start picking up on other people’s energy, limiting beliefs and limitations they have and we start imposing our own limitations on ourselves. The people around us only know what they know or live within the way they experience life, so we are herded into their way of being and thinking. We mold ourselves to others’ lack and limitations — I call it “Not-Enoughness” and we take it on, dumb ourselves down, don’t allow ourselves to be seen, don’t use our voice, etc. We become bogged down and we play it safe, don’t go for it or don’t take chances. We get stuck or don’t fully realize our potential. We don’t allow ourselves to just be. We try to become a version of what we think others might find likable or acceptable. We play a part but we don’t play ourselves. Obviously this isn’t true for everyone, but from all the people I’ve worked with or taught, or friends/family in general, they identify with this whole “I’m not enough” thing on some level and it dictates so much limitation in their lives. My theory is that Life Coaching can be a path to get someone back to themselves, explore what they love, what has meaning to them. That’s what I do with my clients.
What am I most proud of?
Honestly, when I do goofy/silly dances on my Instagram and get direct messages from people saying I bring them joy and inspire them, it makes me feel so good. Before I got the help that I needed with addiction and mental health issues, many years ago, I didn’t want to be alive. I used to go to bed at night and pray that I wouldn’t wake up. I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. It’s more common than you think. So what I’m most proud of is that I’ve gotten through that and cultivated my own sense of fun and joy in my life and that it rubs off on others. I’m a human that wished I wasn’t alive. I’ve healed from so much trauma and I’m giving back to the world by sharing my good energy and helping others find theirs. It’s a huge source of pride and labor of love for me. I believe anything is possible for anyone, given where I’ve grown from! It makes me relatable.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I mean, what could I possibly have left out?? Follow me on Instagram @theworldofdoug for my dance moves and weekly IG Lives on Friday at 10am PST. It’s called Feel Good Energy: Conversations that Need to be had and most weeks, I have special guest and we all learn together!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://theworldofdoug.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theworldofdoug/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/douglaskmarshall
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/douglaskmarshall