About CJ


Like many others, and possibly you, CJ’s career has gone through many iterations. From the outside, CJ’s early career may look like the product of someone with their head on a swivel for the next opportunity–but it took him a while to realize there was a major flaw in that mentality.

Following a brief stint in politics, CJ he was hired by the multinational consulting firm Arthur Andersen where he helped large organizations re-engineer their business processes. When he was approached to help run a small manufacturing company with aspirations of taking their products globally, he jumped at the chance.

The company sold amenities to upscale hotels throughout the United States. CJ was 27 years old, and in hindsight, was completely unqualified for the job. Lucky for him, the firm had a CFO who showed him the ropes. He learned how to complete financial statements, manage inventory and lead and operations team.

A few years later, he was recruited by a local software firm that offered him stock options—he was going to be rich!

Less than a year later, CJ told the CEO he wasn’t convinced it was the right fit for him. The CEO then asked what he’d need to do to keep CJ on the team, and CJ told him he wanted to learn how to sell.

Just a few month later, CJ was promoted into a Sales Manager role, and he quickly realized that he loved the concept of selling… But he needed to sell something he believed in 100%.

For nearly two decades, CJ McClanahan has been coaching high performing entrepreneurs and executives in just about every industry you can imagine.

Now, CJ is on a quest to inspire and engage leaders in a different conversation. A bigger conversation – a “what’s next?” conversation.

As a keynote speaker, executive advisor and recovering overachiever, CJ challenges his audiences to redefine success on their own terms. He helps them learn to Reimagine Success and focus on what really matters through living by two simple rules:


  • Live Gratefully
  • Give Generously

Core Beliefs


Achieving success and living with purpose does not have to be complicated.


Disciplining yourself to follow time-tested advice, even in the smallest ways, changes your success trajectory dramatically.


Your success depends on a passionate desire to achieve a goal, the self-awareness to appreciate your shortcomings and the patience to endure inevitable failures along the journey.

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