NI man Paul Keenan was in a stressful civil service job he hated and struggling with depression, then a chance encounter with a mentor transformed his life
The dad-of-three, from Antrim, tells Stephanie Bell how the Lurgan-born founder of Dynamite Lifestyle Ltd helped him completely change his life for the better
Two years ago, Antrim man Paul Keenan wasn't in a good place mentally or emotionally. He was struggling with depression and working in a job which made him unhappy and stressed. He knew that he needed - and wanted - to change his life. But he didn't know where to start.
His dream of becoming a personal trainer seemed so far off that he never believed for a minute he could realise it.
Fast forward to today and Paul not only has the job he longed to do, but has opened his own gym and is coaching people not just to physical good health but also to mental good health.
And he gives full credit for the transformation in his life to Lurgan woman Kim Calvert, a high-performance mentor and world-leading motivational speaker.
Reflecting on the extraordinary transformation in his circumstances, Paul admits: "I was in a bad place mentally; I was feeling very low and depressed.
"I was in a job which was high pressure and high stress and it was impacting everything in my life. I always had dreams to become a personal trainer but denied them for so long.
"I had a big ambition to open my own gym to help people get into shape in an amazing atmosphere. But my job in the civil service was poles apart from being anywhere near that goal… and quite simply, I didn't know where to start."
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All that was about to change, however, when Paul (38), who is married to Jo-Anne (38), a creche manager, and has three children, Sophie (15), Poppy (10) and Finn (7), came across Kim on Facebook and was intrigued to find out how she might help him.
He decided to go along to a seminar she was holding in Belfast - and while there had what he describes as a "light bulb moment".
"Everything she said made so much sense to me," he says. "I could see the life I wanted and I signed up with her straight away to help it happen.
"What Kim did from the moment I met her was to help me to realise my full potential and to see that the dreams and goals I had inside of me were 100% achievable - and more - in fact she showed me that absolutely anything is possible.
"She was the first person, besides my immediate family, who I shared my dreams with - it was like an instant mindset change and I started to study the Thinking into Results programme she teaches.
"For the first time I stopped thinking about the 'lack' in my life and started to focus on the abundance that I wanted. I could feel the mist and depression lift and, also for the first time in a very long time, I was excited about my future."
So just who is Kim Calvert? The CEO and founder of Dynamite Lifestyle Ltd, she is a global expert in high performance, both on a personal and professional level, and works closely with her own mentor, Bob Proctor, one of the world's most highly regarded speakers on prosperity.
As a success mentor and international speaker, Kim devotes her life to helping others "waken up" and live enriched fulfilled lives by thinking into results, one thought at a time.
Sure enough, Paul says, as he began to focus on the positive with Kim's guidance, his life changed dramatically.
He explains: "Kim teaches the Law of Attraction and how to harness it in everyday life. At the start I thought it sounded 'airy fairy spiritual nonsense', but when I started to practice it, my negative thinking started to change overnight.
"I was blown away, and it was having such a positive effect on my friends and family. I did everything she taught and it worked, to the letter.
"In my head having my own gym was just a pipe dream - I was in a very different job, had no experience in running a business and simply didn't have the funds to open anything like what I was dreaming about. I even questioned if the dream was actually mine and not someone else's dream. That's how little I believed in myself."
With Kim's mentorship and guidance Paul finally found the courage to leave his job and qualify as a personal trainer. And from the moment he started to study for his new career he says he felt he had found his niche.
"I not only felt better emotionally and physically but I couldn't wait to help people just like me who wanted to change their lives for the better," he says.
"I started working with clients on a one-to-one basis, but knew I was still nowhere near my goal of opening my own gym."
Then, just as everything was going in the right direction, Paul experienced a setback when he was diagnosed with skin cancer last December.
He underwent surgery in Bristol in March where he had a lymph node biopsy and a large area of tissue removed from the site of the cancer. In April he was relieved to be told he was cancer-free. Again, during what was a tough few months for him and his family, Kim stepped in and her mentorship proved invaluable in helping Paul get through the traumatic experience.
"Kim taught me not to give the disease any 'energy' physically or emotionally and she also showed me how to visualise my body healing and to focus 100% on beating the disease.
"I was willing to try anything and threw every positive thought and affirmation I had at it. My new belief system got me through the whole experience in such a positive frame of mind. It also helped my family so much too - the fact that I only was focusing on healing made them think the same way.
"When I was given the all-clear, I was elated and got back to work on my goals almost immediately.
"Once I was back to work, I knew the importance more than ever of making my dreams a reality - I only had a very small budget but very big dreams."
Paul continued to build up his business of one-to-one coaching and then began to introduce small group personal training in July of this year. He had viewed premises in Antrim which were perfect for his work and despite not having all the money to buy them he used the positive thinking tools taught by Kim to take the plunge.
"I had some money in savings and decided on the spot that this was the location for me," he reveals. "I just needed to figure out 'the how'. Through Thinking into Results I now know the how is only shown afterwards. So initially I had faith in myself."
Now, just a few months since the launch of his new business Volume Fitness, Paul has been overwhelmed by its success. His group training has grown dramatically through the summer and he now works with a couple of local football teams.
He has just started an exciting new project with the Bluestone mental health unit at Craigavon Area Hospital, delivering a physical and mental wellness programme to both patients and staff.
In fact, his business has grown so rapidly that he now employs a team of 10. Grateful for the transformation in his life over the past two years, he is now determined to help others achieve their dreams.
Summing up what he has learned, he says: "I believe that our capacity for physical change can only be reached when we feel good on the inside.
"I have been able to incorporate everything that Kim has taught me on changing myself from the inside out and I now want to pass that on to my clients.
"Our clients then pass it on to their family and friends. We call this the domino effect.
"By concentrating on the correlation of physical and personal development, we add a whole new dimension to well being. I call this Volume 3D.
"We teach fitness, strength and resilience on every level. We teach one-to-one, classes, group sessions and also have a focus on well-being.
"I have now extended my offering beyond fitness and am a mentor myself, which I combine with fitness."
He continues: "I think every single person is looking for something more out of life, a dream they have unfulfilled, or an idea they would like to turn into reality - or even changing their internal dialogue and self-image.
"I am now living my dreams and if it wasn't for Kim and the material she teaches, I would probably be stuck in the very same rut.
"Meeting Kim has changed my life irrevocably and I encourage everyone to get in touch with her to hear how she might help you."
Volume Fitness is based at Unit 66-68, The Junction, 111 Ballymena Road, Antrim or visit it online at https://www.volumefitness.co.uk
Kim offers Belfast Telegraph readers chance to transform their lives for the better
Kim Calvert, a former mental health nurse from Lurgan, says her life changed completely four years ago when she started practising the Law of Attraction. The lifestyle mindset, which became famous in cult self-help book The Secret, uses techniques based on scientific studies of the mind to help you achieve everything from job promotion to improving your love life.
The 31-year-old, who gave up a senior health service nursing post after a devastating relationship break-up left her broke, says following the programme saw her go from "having £4.10 in my bank account to earning my annual salary in a week".
Now, she insists she can help mentor anyone to achieve high levels of success in their lives too - and it's all down to opening your mind to a different thought process. Kim is inviting Belfast Telegraph readers to a free webinar master class on how to "break free" which she will be hosting in Los Angeles on October 10.
She says of Paul's transformation: "Paul is just one of the success stories but yet one that sits very dearly on my heart. When I first met Paul, he was a man of little words, little eye contact, but he had a burning desire to want more for himself, for his family, for others.
"Wanting more in life is the only prerequisite to making a committed decision to going after it. I was able to see in Paul what he could not see in himself. I asked him to borrow my belief in him, knowing he would find his power.
"Paul followed my mentorship and the step-by-step success formula that my mentor, Bob Proctor, shared with me, that allowed me also to create a life of freedom on my terms. To say I am proud of Paul is an understatement.
"But I'm not surprised but expectant of his success. Why? Because there is an exact science to success and if and when you follow the exact principles and apply them to your business or personal life, you will win. There is no other way and we have proven this over and over. The key is to get a mentor, to find someone who has demonstrated by results they know what they are talking about. "
If you would like to take part in Kim's free master class email email@example.com for the live link. You can also join Kim's closed Facebook community - The Dynamite Effect.
To get in touch with Kim Calvert to see how she might help you visit: dynamitelifestyle.clickfunnels.com/meet-kim-calvert