On June 13, 2019 I received the shocking news that would change my life forever over Facebook messenger…
Matt did you hear? Ian Luebbers passed away.
I couldn’t believe it. In shock, I immediately called some of my close friends who had worked closely with Ian as well. We were all stunned.
A few hours later, the shock turned to grief as Anamaria held me as I cried like a baby, unable to make sense of what had happened.
There are truly no words to describe the profound impact that Ian had on my life and continues to have every day of my life.
My Guide to Untapped Potential
A year after I quit my job to pursue my dreams as a full-time freelance web designer, I found myself burned out, in debt and desperate for wisdom and guidance.
After a quick catchup and Zoom call with Ian (we had previously chatted a few times online), I found out that he too had experienced similar challenges personally and professional a few months prior before rebounding stronger than ever.
After hearing my challenges Ian offered to mentor me and I jumped at the opportunity. I’m so glad I did.
Within a few months my entire business and life had transformed. I went from inconsistently earning a few thousands bucks per month slaving away as a solo freelancer to over $20K per month as an agency owner with a team to handle the majority of the work.
A few months later I managed to close my first 5-figure deals and my business had surpassed the 6-figure milestone.
Although Ian only met a few of my friends, all my friends knew who he was as I would spend hours gushing about his transformative philosophies and strategies. He was a 21-year old college dropout wise beyond his years. I was convinced this kid would soon be the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.
More importantly than the business side of things, Ian believed in me when I didn’t want to believe in myself. He saw my potential beyond my credit card debt and empty bank account, and saw the impact I could have on the world before I could even see it myself.
He inspired me to believe in myself and think bigger.
A few months after we started working together, Ian sent me a personal handwritten note sharing how excited he was for our work together and the impact I would have on the world.
That’s just the kind of guy Ian was. He truly cared about spreading love and light to all he interacted with.
World Class, World Champion
After our coaching experience, Ian and I partnered up in 2017 to create our accelerator program which is still active and continues to transform lives to this day.
In all that he did, Ian was world class. Aside from building multiple businesses, mentoring and impacting hundreds, Ian was a world class athlete.
He played soccer at McAlester college before dropping out to pursue entrepreneurship while reigniting his true passion, Irish dancing. After years of maniacally training Ian finally achieved his lifelong dream of becoming the Men’s Irish Dancing World Championships in 2018.
He was officially #1 in the world and I was so damn proud of him. He told me often how he visualized that moment of hoisting the cup above his head, feeling that rush of bliss, serenity and triumph. He could achieve absolutely anything he wanted.
The End and the Beginning
Ian and I worked together side by side for nearly two years, spending most of our time brainstorming about how we would soon achieve our radically ambitious visions for our lives during the short time we had on Earth.
As Ian and I got closer, I learned things about him that he was hesitant to share with most. I learned that like many, Ian faced his own inner battles beneath the surface. He had battled with depression on and off for many years but whenever it came up he was quick to dismiss it, assuring me that he had everything under control.
Most of the time I believed him but after I noticed his productivity suffer and deadlines get missed, I started to suspect something was up. Honestly, I felt weird bringing the topic of depression up given the stigmas associated with it and my lack of knowledge at the time.
To be very honest, it was a weird spot for me to be in. While I loved Ian and wanted to be there for him as a brother and friend, I was his business partner, not a therapist. I didn’t know what to do.
I wasn’t sure how to address this taboo topic without being intrusive and didn’t want to jeopardize our relationship in any way. Looking back, maybe that was a mistake, maybe I was being paranoid. I’m not sure.
A little while later in 2018, Ian and I amicably parted ways as partners but would remain close friends, collaborating and hiring each other for a few different projects here and there.
A few months later I received the tragic news that my dear friend, teacher and guide Ian was no longer with us.
I started blaming myself.
Goddammit Matt! What could you have done differently? Why didn’t you just speak up? Why weren’t you more loving?
The grief of losing my dear friend sent me on a quest for answers to some of life’s deepest questions:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why do we suffer?
What happens when we die?
What is my purpose? Do I have a purpose?
As you can imagine, these questions led me to places I have never been and revealed answers I never could have dreamed of. My awakening had begun.
My Eternal Teacher
I quickly learned that talking about Ian’s passing became a therapeutic way for me to heal my grienf so I made an effort to open up about this with close friends.
Similarly, by having open conversations and bringing awareness to mental health topics typically stigmatized, I felt I was honoring Ian’s legacy.
One night in Medellin, I was having dinner with some friends, sharing Ian’s story as well as what I had learned since his passing.
In turn, my friend who I was eating with opened up to me, revealing that he too had experienced a similar tragedy with one of his previous co-workers. That’s when my friend looked at me with a big smile and said something I’ll never forget:
“Ian was, and still is, your teacher.”
Tears of gratitude instantly filled my eyes as the truth in my friend’s words shook me to my core.
In this world and in the next, Ian was still with me, guiding me to the truth so that I may do the same for others.
My journey to awakening had quickly transformed from grief and despair to gratitude and peace. As usual, Ian was with me each step of the way.
The Truth & The Path
Most independent creatives and entrepreneurs spend much of their time behind a laptop screen which can at times be incredibly alienating and lead to very dark places.
I too have battled with crippling depression and anxiety during my entrepreneurial journey, which for the most part was totally unknown to the outside world.
Yet even when some of us do speak up and bring awareness to these topics, the vast majority of us are grossly uneducated.
The societal stigmas attached to things like anxiety, depression and loneliness only make these dark places even darker.
Thanks to my eternal teacher, Ian, the Truth and the Path toward an Era of Enlightenment (not Anxiety, Depression or Alienation) has become crystal clear.
Who am I? I am a spiritual being having a temporary human experience.
Why am I here? To spread light, love and fulfill my divine purpose.
Why do we suffer? We suffer because we forget who we truly are.
What happens when we die? The next journey begins.
What is my purpose? Do I have a purpose? Evolution and expansion is the purpose of life. Guiding others towards the Truth is my purpose.
The only path forward is one of unity and connection, not isolation or alienation. The time to #EndTheStigmas is way overdue.
It is time for us to unite, transcend judgment and welcome each other with open and loving arms. We are one human family under one sky.
Regardless of religion, race or sex, we are simply mirrors of one another. My pain is your pain. Your suffering is my suffering.
The sooner we realize we are one, the sooner we may end the chronic suffering that plagues our planet.
Ian’s passing has shown me this is my purpose. To honor him, my mission is to empower others to create abundance in their lives so we may create a united, thriving world without suffering.
That is a vision I am more than willing to die for.
In this world and beyond, Ian was my teacher and his passing continues to be a source of infinite wisdom and clarity.
Ian Luebbers, I humbly thank you for your continued love, guidance and blessings. I cannot wait until we meet again. I love you forever my brother. I am going to make you proud.
Rest in peace brother, I love you forever.