Fancy cars, a beautiful family, and a multi-million dollar business- Sean Whalen had it all by the age of 25. But it wasn’t long before his rise to success came crashing down on him in the form of a messy divorce and depression. The shift in perspective that he gained from his professional and personal crisis was what led Whalen to establish his coaching and personal consulting services called “Lions Not Sheep".

Whalen's work in the personal development space and his brash and unapologetic approach to business makes him a successful entreprenuer and one of the fastest growing influencers. 

Who is Sean Whalen? 

Sean Whalen (source: Official Website)

Sean Whalen is an American entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and business coach. Growing up in a single-parent home, Whalen knew how money was hard to come by. So he would offer lawn mowing services to his neighbors as an effort to make extra money. He’d also sell leftover juice boxes to the kids at his school after ski trips when they had finished their own.  

This entrepreneurial spirit translated into his adulthood as he started investing in various businesses ranging from restaurants to real estate and even a tech company. His investments were largely successful and Whalen became a multi-million dollar business owner by the age of 25. 

However, the 2007/2008 crash in the real estate market hit hard at Whalen's primary source of income. Because of the crash, people had stopped investing in foreclosures and real estate in general and this meant difficult times were ahead for Sean and his family. 

Battle With Depression 

“Juggling bowling balls” is the phrase Whalen used to describe his situation at the time when his relationship with his family and his business started going awry. Whalen doesn't shy away from being vocal about his struggles with depression and his attempted suicide.

In a recent heartfelt Facebook status, Whalen shared about the regular feelings of depression he goes through, “ Some days I’m consumed by darkness and wish I wasn’t alive. There is a hell inside me that’s as real as the sun. A darkness that makes me want to leave everything. There’s also heaven that shines its perfect and divine light...Both are real. Both apparently very necessary.”

In a podcast called The Jimmy Rex Show, he recounted his experience with depression as being “angry” with anyone and everyone. In a separate interview, he gave further insights into his depression and how he managed to beat it. He believed that the primary cause of depression amongst men was that they were taught to adopt a tough persona and not be in touch with their feelings. “It’s not about beating your chest”. He said, referring to this behavior. “It’s about being real with who you are.” 

This insight helped Whalen to acknowledge his feelings and start sharing his battles with a growing online audience- the starting of a movement soon to be called “Lions Not Sheep” 

Struggles With Divorce

In 2012, Sean went through a rough divorce with his then-wife and mother of his three children, Summer. The divorce got so bad that even the police were said to be involved. Considering this, it was a monumental change in their relationship dynamics when his ex-wife invited him over for dinner five years later. In a now-viral Facebook post, he wrote, “Tonight we broke bread, laughed, played with the kids, and had a great evening”, referring to the delightful dinner. 

Whalen used his lessons and experiences he learnt from his events to author the book, “How To Make Sh*t Happen”. He hopes that this book will help people going through a tough time. He writes, “I’ll never forget the taste of gunpowder and oil. I pray you never taste that taste.”

wahlen and his family

Wahlen and Family (Source: Littlethings)

Despite struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, Whalen got back to his feet and reclaimed his businesses and currently leads a happy life. He has resolved differences with his ex-wife and is a loving father to their three children.