052: Cory Calvin – I Almost Became Me

Quit His Corporate Job and Traveled the World in Search of Self

Cory was a successful corporate executive with large firms in New York, St. Petersburg (FL), and Chicago for over 16 years. After years of struggling to find who he was, Cory built up enough courage to leave his New York City job and career to travel nonstop around the world in 2017.

While traveling to all seven continents, he discovered his higher purpose: to inspire others to become their best self. Cory’s mission is to inspire one million people by the time he reaches the age of 50 (he turned 40 in 2019). Check out Cory’s personal website corycalvin.com and be sure to add yourself to his inspiration counter.

While traveling through remote Southeast Asia, Cory completed his first book I Almost Became Me: A Memoir.

What We Discuss with Cory Calvin:

  • When he conceived the idea of writing a book
  • Figuring out which stories to tell in the book
  • Finding himself stuck in the career system
  • The burning desire to travel around the world
  • Going through the process of finding his voice and the journey of finding himself
  • The biggest challenges and fears Cory had including putting LGBT on the book
  • Cory’s aha! moments and discovering who he really is
  • How he finished his book while going through a very challenging phase of his life
  • What Cory’s next book is about
  • Different strategies in putting his book out there

[00:35] The Idea of Writing a Book

Cory left his job after 16 years and traveled the world. Then he realized he had the time to actually think and write a book.

He also had been going through some emotional struggles so he thought he had a story to share.

Writing a book was, therefore, his way to heal. But as he was writing, he also thought about using his story to help other people.

[03:00] Figuring Out Which Stories to Share

Cory has been journaling his whole life. So he had written down most of his stories – but not in a book format.

He felt the need to be vulnerable and to find a way to open up and share his story that he felt good about. But also, he had to curate it in a way that could help other people.

[05:00] Leaving the Corporate World and Traveling Around the World

Cory was held back by the “career system” – going through high school and college and be trained at one thing. He majored in Finance and landed a job on Wall Street.

He worked his way up the corporate ladder because that’s what he was taught to do. He did take vacations but he never really had 4 months to one year to just travel – a burning desire that he had.

You will figure it out. So just do it now. Because maybe when you get to 60, you will no longer be able to do it.

So Cory jumped off the cliff without a parachute and began traveling the world. For him, it was the best thing he could have ever done!

[08:30] The Journey of Writing His Memoir and Finding Himself

Back in the days, he was just writing without purpose. His writing wasn’t good as well. He thought he was a horrible writer. That being said, he has always wanted to write a book

Then he realized he had to find his voice as a writer. He was back to questioning why he was doing it. It was for him to heal and to bring healing to other people.

After doing research and writing almost three full books through the process, he was able to find his voice. He was able to figure out how to share what he had in his head in an engaging way. Just show up on the page!

There were times that it still wasn’t his voice, so he went back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to be raw and just be him.

[14:00] The Biggest Challenges and Fears

One of the challenges he had was finding that flow.

The hardest part of writing the book is having that fear that you’re going to do it wrong. What if it sucks? What if no one buys the book? These fears keep people from writing books – not their ability.

One of the biggest themes of his book is him coming out of the closet. And Cory grew up in a small farm town. Explaining to this group, he explained he had to get out of so many closets to get there.

He had that fear of just being him. He had fear of even just getting the LGBT written on the book. Then he had the fear of people not buying the book and whether his book was going to help other people.

[19:35] The Aha Moments

Cory realized that writing a book is not that difficult but then you have to get things on paper first. You have to take the first step to get to writing books.

Thinking, preparing, and research is not writing. Only writing is writing. 

[23:45] Discovering Himself While Ending the Book 

For Cory, the story actually doesn’t end. He was going to end his book in 2018 and was set to launch it early 2019. But his mother passed away in Feb 2019. So he had to put his book on hold.

Cory learned so many things from this experience and one of those is that you need to be you everyday.

In a way, he found his voice while his mother was going through this process. He created a blog and wrote about his journey with his mom.

He was able to put his emotions on the page. In fact, his next book is going to be about his mom’s journey.

[31:00] Marketing Strategies Cory Did for the Book

Leverage your network. This is the biggest piece for Cory.

Also, hone in on your target reader. And social media is one of the best ways to find your target audience.

A network can include anyone you know who cares, knows, likes, or trusts you. It can be family or friends or the community you’ve built.

Realize that there are people who may still now know about your book. So continue to leverage your network.

[34:10] Cory’s Advice to Aspiring Writers

Know your why. Why are you doing this?

Know your target audience. Who are you writing for? Know your avatar. Who is your target person? Describe that person. What does that person look like and what do they do?

Drive all your marketing to reach your target audience. Hone in on the bullseye because once you can articulate to them, it’s going to reach other people no matter what.

Episode Resources:


I Almost Became Me: A Memoir Listen on: 052: Cory Calvin – I Almost Became Me052: Cory Calvin – I Almost Became Me 052: Cory Calvin – I Almost Became Me