Hi. I’m Dennis Procopio.
As the founder of Man-UP! Life Coaching (MULC), I’m often asked how I got into the profession of coaching men and what my background is. So I’d like to share some insights into who I am as a coach and as a person.
The one thing I can say about myself as a coach is this: after 30-some-odd years experience, there's no work that I would rather do. There's no greater reward for me than helping another man to become his best self.
Firstly and foremostly, I’m a “creative”. This simply means that I identify with my creative abilities above all other tags: father, academic, mentor, etc. This is a critical distinction. Men often claim to want success, but are demonstrably confounded when it comes to creating it.
I discovered my creative abilities at a very young age. I was a gifted student, artist, musician, and athlete. In 1988, I received a full scholarship to Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC, where I was fully immersed in a Fine Arts environment. Having come from a rough background, acceptance to Cooper was a crowning achievement which validated my belief that I was bound for excellence.
While my creative abilities were critical to achieving my academic and professional goals, the truth about creativity -- and which is possibly the backbone of this program -- is significantly more profound. It was the ACT of creating, of drawing, of being fully immersed into creativity itself that allowed me to not only survive in life, but to thrive.
In the 30+ years to follow, I wore many hats -- so to speak -- including professional artist, musician, educator, and mentor. I have had more jobs than anyone I know.
When my son was born in New Orleans in 2010 it lead our family on a journey west to San Diego, CA. It is here that MULC was born, and where my practice has flourished.
I’ve often been asked why I chose the name “Man-UP! Life Coaching” for my business. Why not something less confrontational, or perhaps more cerebral? It’s pretty simple...
The self-help industry traditionally caters to women.
I learned this first-hand as a young man seeking guidance from coaches and therapists. I often found myself looking for male validation in spa-like environments designed for female clients. Feeling clumsy and brutish, and often apologizing for my maleness.
As a result I decided that I wanted to create a mentorship experience similar to that of a good MMA coach, or personal trainer. In this program, we speak male. We recognize that there are biological differences between men and women, and we focus on male validation. Clients are required to leave their egos at the door -- just like at the gym -- and grind to achieve goals.
This work is a labor of love, and the creation of MULC is my legacy. As this organization continues to grow, its community grows with it. The Brotherhood is a community of men who share a common goal. We strive for and achieve personal success, but also gain strength and purpose by offering support to our brothers. In this way the larger goal of Man-UP! Life Coaching is realized; namely, to make the world a better place…. one man at a time.
One of the reasons I consider myself an effective coach for men in challenging situations is because I walk the talk. I have direct personal experience with poverty, abuse, and destitution; I know what pain and suffering feel like, and how to handle it. I often tell my guys, "Look, I’ve been in the belly of the beast and know how to survive and escape situations like this. Trust me.”
And they do.
In our sessions I am going to ask you to be brutally honest with me, so it only seems fair for me to be open with you as well. I'm going to give you a brief insight into my humble beginnings.
I was raised between Philadelphia, New York, and Las Vegas. I experienced every form of abuse possible, both from family and strangers alike. There were many nights when I went without food. Many winters without heat. I was juggled between 24 different schools and was often bullied as a result. I learned to fight for survival. I lived in foster homes, and on the street. I had confrontations with just about everyone: authority figures, girlfriends, police. I had difficulty keeping jobs, struggled with alcoholism, and made many of the typical mistakes common among young adult trauma survivors.
The fact that I somehow got here from there is nothing short of a miracle. I will eventually write an autobiography telling my whole story; but for now I'm sharing it simply for motivational purposes.
Each and every one of us, in some way, is a trauma survivor. While some of us have had it a little rougher than others, suffering is suffering. Every man has a personal narrative which can be used as either as an excuse for failure, or a platform for success. I didn't share my personal story with you for pity, or to compete with other trauma survivors. I shared it to encourage you. The odds were stacked against me; and I not only survived, but became a coach who helps others to realize their dreams and thrive.
The bottom line here is: if I can do it, so can you.
A Man’s Man
My single biggest passion in life is to help other men see the value in themselves and to achieve the success that has so often eluded them. It’s more than a job -- it’s a calling.
Every day I ride my bike to the office where I meet 1-on-1 with clients, both in-person and virtually. Every Sunday I ride 300-500 miles along the CA coast, through mountains, and deep into the desert for some road-therapy. Sometimes I'm by myself, sometimes I'm with fellow riders. There's a meditation aspect to our programming that covers this idea in detail.... so if this sounds interesting to you, we'll talk.
At home, I'm the father of a special needs son who teaches me patience and brightens our lives with his playful spirit and unconditional love. His mother is a wickedly intelligent, beautiful, and accomplished woman whom I love and respect deeply; and I'm very grateful for my family. So there's that.
There's plenty more I could tell you about myself, but I'm interested in hearing about you.
What's your story?
What challenges are you facing?
What goals are you working on right now?
Whatever you're going through -- whether you're a young guy looking for direction in life, or an older guy trying to figure out where things went offtrack -- I'd like to hear from you. Man to man, no B.S., if you've got a goal I promise I can help you achieve it.