Connor Beaton — Ex-Opera Singer Turned Global Advocate for Men’s Health (Backstage Business #12)

 

If you want to optimize your business, you need to start with yourself.

The more you improve — as a spouse, a parent, a friend, an employer, a human being — the bigger the ripple effect will be on your life and business.

Sometimes, though, it’s easier said than done! Especially if you’re a man.

Because, as a man, you have two things working against you:

  1. Chances are, nobody taught you how to improve yourself, or why you might want to do so in the first place! Struggling with something? Don’t show weakness, don’t try to process your emotions or do any self-reflection — just man up and figure it out. And if you don’t, then you’d better… suffer in silence! (Cue upbeat gameshow music.)
  2. Good advice on self-improvement is hard to find if you’re a man. Like, you can instantly dig up a dozen expert articles with the exact training and nutrition plan for making your left pec 10% bigger… but communicating with your spouse? Surviving grief? Expressing emotions in a healthy way? Building healthy relationships? Forget it!

That’s a shame because men deserve to get help and support just like everyone else. This is especially true for male entrepreneurs who constantly deal with high-pressure situations and ludicrous degrees of mental or emotional strain!

Luckily, I’m seeing so many emerging voices nowadays discussing men’s health — physical, mental, and emotional. And today I want to introduce you to my favorite expert on the subject…

Dear listener, meet Connor Beaton — coach, speaker, entrepreneur, and a passionate advocate for men’s health, wellness, and fulfillment!

Connor is the founder of Man Talks — a global organization that helps men become their best selves. To accomplish his mission, Connor produces the “Man Talks” podcast and runs a community dedicated to mentoring and coaching men through major life challenges.

He also organizes weekend camping retreats that create a safe, welcoming space for men to bond, open up, learn useful skills, discover themselves anew, and grow as human beings.

Before Man Talks, Connor has had a turbulent life. He likes to joke that he “failed his way to his purpose.”

He worked construction…

He got a music degree…

He had a brief career as an opera singer…

He studied psychology…

He worked for Apple…

…and finally, after all those adventures, he created Man Talks — and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Since founding ManTalks, Connor has spoken on stage at TEDx and has been featured on platforms like Forbes, Influencive, HeForShe, The Good Men Project, UN Women, CBC, CBS, and the National Post.

In his own words, Connor’s mission is:

“To help develop self-aware, high performing and impactful men in the world. The type of men you want to be and the type of men you want to be around.”

And on this week’s Backstage Business, he does just that — by sharing how men can become the best versions of themselves. During the interview, Connor and I talk about:

  • The #1 “rule” of men that keeps them miserable and isolated
  • How men (accidentally) rob themselves of healthy relationships at home, and at work
  • The surprising reason your rational mind might become your worst enemy
  • The problem of “emotional offloading” that repels women in men’s lives
  • Why many men find it impossible to meditate, and how Connor helps them

And more! This is a short-ish episode (under 40 minutes), but it’s packed with profound ideas about men’s emotional and mental health… as well as a lot of practical advice about living a happier, more fulfilled life.

Please enjoy today’s interview — and visit the show notes below to find Connor’s podcast and TED talk, which are super worth checking out!

SHOW NOTES:

Why you should listen:

In my conversation with Connor, we tackle many harmful stereotypes about men and masculinity. We examine how men are conditioned to suppress their emotions (except rage), never ask for help, and to fight (both physically and metaphorically) their way out of every problem. We discuss the toll these negative behaviors take on men’s lives — and how they can learn healthier ways to engage with other people and the world.

Check out the show notes to this episode for a full, time-stamped list of topics we cover!

What you will hear:

[00:26] Introducing Connor

[04:30] The story behind Man Talks

[06:34] Why men are hungry for meaningful connections with other men

[08:38] How people are reacting to Man Talks, from hate to love

[11:34] The #1 rule of men that makes them miserable

[13:14] How men are struggling emotionally — in relationships and in the workplace

[15:45] “It’s easier to raise strong children than to fix broken men”

[17:21] When you optimize yourself, you optimize your business

[18:17] Why your rational mind can push you to do horrible things — and how to avoid it

[20:04] The huge problem of “emotional offloading”

[24:16] Men’s broken relationship with self-discipline, and how Connor helps fix it

[27:29] How Man Talks weekend retreats transform men’s lives

[28:44] How you can get involved with Man Talks

[30:55] The teachings, activities, and experiences that Connor delivers at Man Talks

[36:57] Connor’s awesome wife and her family therapy practice

Resources:

Listen to Connor’s podcast, Man Talks

Follow Connor on Instagram (@mantalks)

Watch Connor’s TED Talk, “The Mask of Masculinity”

Connor’s wife on Instagram (@mindfulMFT)