Hi, I’m Ian!
It all became very clear on that Sunday afternoon — then and there, I knew, understood and deeply felt it.
I figured out what I was born to do and how to do it in a 300 square foot basement apartment in one of the shadiest corners in town.
I came to help soul-searching individuals free themselves from their lingering suffering through self-knowledge.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson
THE FULL STORY
THE MONTREAL JAIL CELL
That’s where I was living at age 29 – down-and-out broke in Montréal, QC, Canada, in a small, dark and freezing environment about the size of a tiny studio.
Owned by a frustrated landlord, who took a chance on me, and just big enough for my king-size mattress, a few boxes and nothing else…
I know, I know —
Pretty cushy compared to, let’s say, prison. But a long way down from where I’d been: my own 1800 square foot open loft on Montréal’s hip Plateau Mont-Royal, top-earner revenues, many friends with all the best connections, and recognized as one of the best bartenders in town.
I was broke — like ‘hunting for pennies every morning to buy a pack of NoName pasta that would last me for days’ broke — and I felt completely alone since I had no money to buy my ‘friends’ like I had been doing for years.
I remember asking out-loud, in anger and despair, why was I in such a tight spot? The answer I got back came from Tony Robbins’ deep voice — resonating from his Get The Edge CD program that I had had for years without being able to listen to it for more than 10 minutes because he was hitting all of the truthfully hurting spots of my increasing shame — “This is the result of your decisions — You created this.”
But it was exactly what I needed.
HAVING IT ALL FIGURED OUT… KINDA
I read my first personal development book in 1998, The Four Toltec Agreements, right after getting my Law Enforcement college degree, which I never used because I found the work to be too repressive/reactive instead of proactive.
In early 2003, I was introduced to NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) — I was instantly amazed by the power this science could have on me and others. It perfectly complemented Tony Robbins’ Unlimited Power book (I read it because of its Superman logo on the cover).
Later, I served as a guinea pig to my godmother’s advanced coaching training — facing the undeniable results I got from a simple conversation with her, I was in awe: how could this be so simple and powerful?
I was hooked.
I 2006, after graduating from the INLPTA Master Training, I launched my own coaching practice — I could now officially tell people how to live their lives since I now knew how… or so I thought…
LIFE COACH BY DAY… DRUNKEN BARTENDER BY NIGHT
Drinks, drugs and dancing. I was strutting my stuff on the scene almost seven nights a week. I knew the promoters, the door guys, the hotties, the celebs. And, of course, the dealers. And they all knew me.
I did blow, ‘speed’, pot, you name it. And I got hooked on ‘ecstasy’. At first it was just to feel good and be accepted. Then it was to forget, to get away and, well… we all know how that one goes.
I’ve since understood that clean living habits trump any addictive patterns any day of the week and twice on Sundays. More on that later.
After a few years of ramping up my intakes of party pills, reality came knocking. Turns out this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable.
HITTING ROCK BOTTOM
In less than four months, I hit my rock bottom… and I hit it hard.
✔ My then-girlfriend went on a trip to Cuba to ‘take a break from me’… and came back to break up with me.
✔ I quickly got a room at a youth hostel — turns out it was a preferred drug-addict recovery center that got me right in the center of a bunch of dealers.
✔ My health started to fail me — I was missing more and more work due to hangovers and some near-overdose recoveries.
✔ The money stopped. The ‘friends’ left. The shame crept in.
✔ I went to hide in the shadiest part of town in a tiny basement apartment… that I couldn’t even pay for (I didn’t tell that to the landlord, of course!)
And then, reality hit home: I could not go on like this.
I had been trained by the best specialists and coaches in the world to help people get their life back on track, to DO more and GET what they wanted.
And here I was, helpless, trying my best to survive without suffering too much.
LOOKING FOR A NEW HIGH
I locked myself in my apartment with a full pack of NoName cappellinis and the firm intention to go through Tony Robbins’ Get The Edge CD program, refusing to let myself off the hook until I found a solution, a new way to BE that would enable me to create real and profound happiness in my life.
No drinks. No drugs. And I was certainly not in any dancing mood.
One weekend, 10 CDs, a full roll of toilet paper for the tears (I couldn’t afford Kleenex!) and many many pages of notes later, I got it. The answer I was looking for, the new path I had to take. So I took it.
From that weekend on, I devoured any and all self-help related materials I could get my hands on. Self-development, philosophy, spirituality, more self-development — whatever would help me find myself, find my purpose, find that (self-) loving feeling.
LESS IS MORE
The first book that really rocked my perspective and turned the world upside down was The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I then understood that ‘less is more’ and that it is not the quantity of actions I took that made a difference, but rather the quality of those actions that really moved the dial.
And then there was Brendon Burchard. And Max Simon. And Wayne Dyer. And Gabrielle Bernstein. And Marianne Williamson. And Mastin Kipp. And a lot more since then.
I read, listened, viewed, learned, understood and finally applied.
I was on a deeply inspired self-discovery spree — reading book after book, attending seminars, soaking up wisdom wherever I could get it.
And I learned so many life-transforming tidbits of knowledge, I just had to share with the World.
FROM STUDENT TO TEACHER
From the tiny basement apartment, with nothing in my pockets but keys to an apartment I couldn’t pay, I registered to a business-launching government-funded course — I knew the fastest way to share my knowledge was through a business.
I presented my so amazingly bullet-proof business plan to the selection panel… and got rejected. Twice.
And finally got in by tweaking my business plan to fit the panel’s requirements.
I was ready to change the world.
And I did. Well, mine at least.
FROM THEN TO NOW
I wrote my first book in the summer of 2008 — Cessez de Tourner en Rond! — launched it that following fall and it had sold out by the end of 2009.
I launched my own non-profit organization in 2009 to help single mothers transform their lives by supporting them with coaching and organic foods.
In 2011, I joined forces with a wellness center to lead a group of more than 30 eclectic participants in a personal development project resulting in publishing two self-help books filled with their testimonials.
From late 2012 to early 2014, I co-lead a wellness magazine, helping its editor revamp it, consequently turning its fate around by bringing it to new heights.
While training employees of major Federal Government organizations on healthy performance habits, I launched my own conference center in 2014, doubling my work with deeply transformative online courses.
Fastforwarding to today where I celebrate over 10 years of teaching about personal development and sharing self-help knowledge, I am still as passionate as that Sunday afternoon when everything became clear.
I now invite you to engage on your own path to free yourself from lingering suffering through self-knowledge.
Know Thyself and BE Free!
Ian Renaud is the founder of the SIMPLE7 framework – a proven system that helps soul-searching individuals free themselves from lingering suffering through self-knowledge and accomplish exactly what they want in a simpler way. Started as a search for ‘an easier way’, the SIMPLE7 framework proved to be the real deal time and time again for all kinds of people. And a new framework for freedom was born.
His “I get what I give” philosophy is openly reflected in his “BE Yourself” attitude.
Ian’s mission is to help people help themselves by sharing his knowledge through transformational trainings, authentic content and original products. Self-awareness combined with self-help is one of the driving force behind healthy habits, heart-felt decisions, conscious performance and profound happiness, which in turn supports a better world.
His first book, Cessez de Tourner en Rond!, was published in late 2008 and sold out by the end of 2009. The English version, Know Thyself and Move Forward, is now available and his second title is due out in early 2018.