Connor Beaton is the founder of Man Talks, a monthly discussion forum aimed at men that has attracted a huge following. “I organized the group to address the question ‘What are the biggest problems of men?’ and to shed light on how men can excel as husbands, fathers & providers,” says Connor. Man Talks has definitely struck a sensitive chord. Recent studies show that men are confused by their role in modern society, partly due to the advancement of women in the workforce and shifting gender roles and expectations
The time when men were expected to open doors for women, pay the bills and give up their seat on a bus or a train have certainly passed. Women can now open their own doors, pay for their own meals and stay standing, although they do still appreciate the occasional chivalrous gesture. They’ve become breadwinners in many households and have become financially independent. They also expect household chores to be shared. This leaves men unsure of their role in this new landscape. Man Talks addresses these issue. Connor says “Men have been trying to live up to society’s norms & expectations, which is to be stoic, not show any emotions and take care of everyone else. I wanted men to be able to take a step back, reflect and have real conversations around this and establish a brotherhood.”
Connor started Man Talks in 2014. He wanted to make a living doing something purposeful while helping people along the way. Connor is not simply about putting speakers on a stage. That would have him indistinguishable from the thousands of self-improvement Meetup organizers trying to make a buck doing the same thing. Connor is serious about spreading a message of awareness. He is in the process of partnering up with Movember (which is a men’s movement aimed at bringing awareness about prostate cancer for those of you who are not familiar with this) and is organizing a CHANGE HEROES campaign in Ethiopia.
Life wasn’t always a bed of roses, though. “I flunked out of high school” says Connor “and worked at a gravel pit. That’s how I learned that I hated construction.” So Connor did what any failed construction worker would do: he pursued a career singing opera, which became a passion for a few years. “I did the starving artist thing,” says Connor “and traveled extensively all over Europe singing opera. Once I was done with that, I had to step back and reflect. Although my life looked cool on paper, I had become depressed.”
So Connor did some journaling, reflecting and read a lot of books, which included Freud and Quantum Mechanics. He ended up reinventing himself by getting a job as a sales manager and being part of the ‘normal’ crowd of regular wage-earners. He continued to ask questions internally, though, and still didn’t feel complete. Connor became fascinated with human potential and how people can live full lives and have an impact on the world. And so the idea for Man Talks came about.
“My biggest passion is to help people (1) live a life of purpose, (2) uncover their gifts and (3) find self-fulfillment,” says Connor adding “the challenge of this generation is that they don’t know what their purpose is and what problems they could address to make the world a better place. So they end up following someone else’s vision.” Wise words from someone who was traveled inward and come back to share that journey and help everyone else with theirs. Connor Beaton will be on the stage of TEDxStanleyPark on May, 2016 to speak about what’s “Behind the Man Mask”.
Here is a short video of Connor speaking about The ManTalks Movement.
Photo is a screen capture from the YouTube video
Guest Author Bio
George Verdolaga is an author, educator and speaker. He helps people get out of their own way so that they can reach their career and lifestyle goals faster and more efficiently via The Job Farmer and The Contractor Lifestyle books and his Sitting Pretty Course.
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Blog / Website: Verdolaga Learning Systems