This is a brand new content series called Beards Behind the Brand! Our goal with this new series is to feature empowering stories from our community to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be.
It's all about doing better every single day, and these stories unite us in that mission. This week we're featuring Live Bearded customer and Ambassador, David Kirk.
The first thing you’ll notice about David Kirk is his killer beard.
There’s no denying it...
And that’s a good thing!
But like all of the men in our Brotherhood, if you dig a bit deeper, there’s so much more to discover beneath that. In fact, you’ll find one of the most humble and driven individuals you could ever meet.
“My story is fairly nondescript,” David said with humility. “I’m a baby boomer. I have four siblings and had working parents. Due to not much guidance, I drifted into the wrong crowd. I barely got into college and due to my lifestyle at the time, it didn’t go well. I ended up getting suspended for poor grades.”
Like so many of us, David was faced with a clear choice: either make a change or go further down the rabbit hole.
“I changed everything that didn’t move me forward or produce positive results,” he said. “I changed my circle of friends, started working out and eating right. I was 20-years-old at the time; I was 6-1 and weighed 134 pounds. This new state of mind helped propel me to a renewed push in school that led to a 26-year career in civil engineering and land development.”
Again, on the surface it would seem like Kirk was living the dream. And for a while, he admits, it was… a great job, the picturesque family… everything.
But when the recession hit in 2008, his entire world was turned upside down.
“Within a nine-month period, I was responsible for downsizing our entire group,” Kirk said. “Over 87 individuals in total. Every Monday morning I was told how many to ‘let go.’ Once it was down to the remaining six, one of which was me, I became just another casualty of the economic disaster.”
David considers this time in his life the “best worst thing” that ever happened to him. He learned who he could truly trust, who to lean on and who was really there for him. Now out of work, with a broken marriage, and his bank account drained, he became suicidal.
“From this low point, one of my greatest achievements was relying on guidance from some amazing, strong men who also happened to be pastors,” Kirk said. “I actually had to ask for some guidance because clearly my life went from making very decent money running an engineering group to living in a rundown house in a very nasty neighborhood. It was unmanageable. I was unemployed, divorce pending, broke and broken.”
After being out of work for nine months, David’s body weight went down from 210 to 165 and he was scraping by the best he possibly could.
So he humbled himself…
“Every night and throughout the day,” he said. “I still do. Try it. It works. That being said, I recovered from a low point of being broken, broke and generally not being at the right place at any time to where I am now. Today I am the Facilities Director for a large multi-campus church in South Florida.”
David considers ‘himself’ as the biggest obstacle he’s ever had to face. That’s true for many of us, right? Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to fully grow.
And growth here has a double meaning…
“Live Bearded and their products are the primary reason I didn’t give up on a beard,” David said. “I kept my beard trimmed and short for a long time. I didn’t have much success growing it out and my mind played tricks on me making me think a beard wouldn’t look good. But after reading and seeing some ads and posts I stumbled on, Live Bearded caught my attention. I really liked the product lines, the ingredients and the testimonials. The reviews gave me confidence to place an order. That was a year and nine months ago and I still haven’t trimmed other than the moustache initially or used any other beard grooming products since.”
Whether it’s growing as a man or simply growing a beard, it’s taken David a long time to truly realize the limits our mind puts on us… sometimes even subconsciously.
“I am speaking to myself first, then anyone else who wants to grow,” Kirk said with confidence. “We are all capable of so much more than we tell ourselves. Physically, I’m now 62 and am in better shape than I have ever been because you’re only as old as you want to be and as young as you feel; get up, get out and go get it. It ain’t going to come to you. Put the work in and let the results speak for themselves.”
There’s a significant point that David makes here: letting the results do the talking. And he’s not just speaking about physical changes, he’s talking about all areas of your life - physically, intellectually, spiritually, etc.
Push yourself. Do better.
“It’s easy to get stuck,” David said. “Valleys in life aren’t a bad thing. I’ve learned more there than when climbing up or sliding down. The valley speaks to you with wisdom if you listen. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Learn from them and other wise counsel. Eliminate and/or distance negativity from your life including people that drag you down. Set goals. Make a plan.”
It’s going to be really hard at first… but that’s ok.
It’s going to take everything to start and keep doing it every day… but that’s ok.
You’re going to want to quit… but that’s ok.
It’s ok to feel these things, but as David says, don’t give in to these feelings.
“Create what you want to be but continue to be you,” said Kirk. “The world has enough imposters already.
“Now go kick some ass.”
At Live Bearded we believe Brotherhood goes beyond the beard. We believe it is our responsibility, as men, to do better every day, to learn from our mistakes, grow through our failures, and strive to be the best we can be.
Through sharing stories of the men in the Live Bearded Brotherhood, we're continually learning and growing from each other. If you are interested in being considered for a Beards Behind the Brand story, send us an email!