Interview & Article Published by: Kaelan Maye
“A mans worth is no greater than his ambitions.” This is a quote by stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. One of the reasons so many people are drawn to this philosophy is because he acknowledges the struggles we face in life. Stoicism is often decried as having to lack emotion in the face of hardship, but it’s really a guide on keeping our emotions in check.
Life, for however much of it you have, has many difficulties and setbacks. Is it always in our best interest to react so strongly and so negatively? No. However we must acknowledge that, yes, life is hard. Especially in the pursuit of purpose. The road is long, and winding. There will be many peaks and valleys, mountains to climb, and oceans to swim. Yet at the end of each road is a goal, something we are attempting to reach. Even if you stumble and fall or stop to catch your breath there’s something at the end of this long road that calls you ever forward. Success or failure are yours to be defined, but destiny must be won through action.
In the heart of the Ottawa Valley, one man has found his purpose through his struggles in life.Thomas Guerard was born February 14th , 1999, in Ottawa, Ontario. Despite being born in the city, Thomas spent a lot of time at his grandparent’s cabin just a few hours out of town. Ultimately, at age 12 his family decided to make the full move to the Ottawa Valley. In his youth, Thomas spent a lot of time with his father in the bush. Hunting and four wheeling became hobbies of his, revealing his valley boy heart. With his father working, and his mother running a day care out of their house, Thomas discovered his creative side. Taking to things like writing, drawing, and most significantly music, Thomas thrived in a space where he was encouraged to create “I enjoyed having a space where I felt like I had the freedom to create.”
Despite enjoying his school life and maintaining good grades, Thomas still struggled with things most teenagers do, bullies and finding the right friends. “I’ve had encounters with bullies, fights, and suspensions. I’ve had some experiences that were not pleasant, and I got caught up with people that weren’t focused. I lost the drive to apply myself, so I decided I wanted to change schools. By the time I finished high school I was back on the straight and narrow.”
After graduating high school, Thomas then had to decide what he was going to do with his life. A decision point that can weigh on most, or be absolutely freeing for others. With his love for music Thomas had originally decided to pursue a deeper education and find a career as a sound engineer / musician. Unfortunately, he did not receive much support when he spoke of his intentions to follow his passion, “I had such a good feeling about what I wanted to do, and it felt like it
got taken away. People would often say ‘well you better have a plan B’ and to me that felt like they were telling me I was going to fail. I felt so much pressure, there was so much self doubt. I lost my confidence, and I backed out.” With his original plan in ashes, Thomas then decided to pursue psychology at Trent University but like most people he quickly discovered the difficulties with post secondary education. “I quickly realized I wasn’t prepared. It was very fast paced, and I
didn’t realize how fast you could fall behind. It was difficult to maintain good marks and maintain my own health and wellness. I didn’t fit in where I was living, I started to fall back into old habits and my old ways of thinking. So, I ended up coming home.” Despite this setback, Thomas still attempted to pursue a post secondary education. He later enrolled at Algonquin College, and decided on taking a business course. It was in this turbulent period of dropping out and reenrolling in school that Thomas built the foundation for what would become his future.
For One and For All first came to Thomas back when he was studying psychology at Trent University. “I started making these bracelets and sold over 3,000 units while learning marketing. That was the first hint to me that maybe I should be pursuing business, but I didn’t have the focus and that was something that kept coming back into my mind. My lack of focus, and a lack of accountability. I wanted to find a way to do something for myself, but also be in service of others.” This eventually transformed into the mission statement of the company :
“ Dedicated to helping you find focus, productivity, and happiness in you personal and professional life ”
- For One and for All
Taking business at Algonquin helped further develop these ideas into something he could turn into not just a career, but a passion, and a purpose. Today, For One and For All is an alternative education resource company and information hub geared towards students, professionals, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds with an emphasis on starting a rewarding career. With their flagship program Launch the Focus, Thomas is proud to be helping people discover their passions and achieve their career and lifestyle goals. “We have compiled resources and various coaching
techniques to work with you very closely to ensure you find or build a rewarding career within six to twelve months.”
It was through his journey that Thomas discovered his desire to help others find purposeful work.
Thomas has since built a substantial following online as For One and For All plans for a big launch at the start of 2024. “We are now offering a 10 Day Kickstart program which is completely free. We want to give people a taste of what we are about, and what can be found in our Launch the Focus program. We want to get people excited to start a career in a way that works for them.” With the fire of ambition lighting his path, and the love of community in his heart, Thomas Guerard’s struggles have begun to bear fruit. With his eyes set firmly on his goal,
Thomas is entering 2024 with a purpose, a healthy mindset, and a clear focus.