We have a treat for the final episode of Season 3. C3’s Lindsay Bonfiglio joins Gabe as they chat with Christian Espinosa – a former Air Force veteran, author of the book “The Smartest Person in The Room,” and a cybersecurity expert. On the surface his accomplishments of completing two of the seven highest summits in the world and competing in 24 Ironman Triathlons are sure to impress. However, it’s his perseverance and personal growth that make him the best selling author, high-performance coach and cybersecurity entrepreneur who will expand your outlook and challenge your mind. 

Episode Highlights

00:44 – In this segment, Christian discusses how he entered the field of cybersecurity, specifically in Information Assurance, during his time in the Air Force.

01:31 – After retiring from the military, Christian seized the opportunity to pursue a career in hacking. He worked as a freelancer and eventually founded his own company, which he later sold in 2014.

01:58 – Christian opens up about his challenging childhood and his strong desire to escape his circumstances. This led him to join the Air Force as a means to leave Arkansas and change his environment.

04:16 – Christian shares how he found inspiration from US news and decided to major in engineering while in the Air Force. Despite facing setbacks, he remained focused on developing his engineering skills, later transitioning into cybersecurity, and eventually obtaining an MBA.

06:50 – Christian’s unwavering drive to grow and challenge himself, along with his ability to problem-solve, hire, and navigate challenges, enabled him to break through the glass ceiling.

13:13 – Reflecting on Carol Dweck’s book, Christian explores whether he possesses a fixed or growth mindset. He acknowledges having aspects of both mindsets in different areas of his life.

15:56 – Christian differentiates coaching from therapy, emphasizing the importance of clarity in one’s goals. He helps individuals cultivate a growth mindset within his companies by guiding them to understand their desires clearly and develop a path to achieve them through questioning and expanding their thinking.

19:03 – Christian provides background information about his book, “The Smartest Person in the Room,” drawing from his experiences with his first company and the frustrations he encountered.

24:29 – Christian underscores the significance of all seven steps outlined in his book, particularly emphasizing the role of awareness in developing people skills. He highlights the power of applying knowledge and the benefits of monotasking.

25:11 – Christian elaborates on the advantages of monotasking, emphasizing that it allows individuals to focus on one task at a time, increasing productivity and eliminating distractions like phone usage.

27:46 – Christian acknowledges that not everyone is willing to invest in learning emotional intelligence or embracing change. However, he recognizes that, for those seeking change, emotional intelligence often plays a pivotal role.

28:43 – Christian identifies being a cultural fit, aligning with core values, possessing people skills, and having clear goals as essential elements for businesses. Lindsay agrees that effective teamwork is facilitated when individuals contribute positively to the work community.

31:18 – Christian relates how his passion for cybersecurity aligns with his risk-taking lifestyle. He is driven to help businesses mitigate risk while also enjoying activities considered risky.

32:54 – Christian explains the unique approach of his company in defending against cyberattacks. They combine effective communication styles with penetration tests to assess a company’s vulnerabilities, with the goal of identifying potential risks in 95% of cases.

40:16 – Christian answers a series of quick rapid-fire questions.

44:31 – Christian reveals his future plans, sharing exciting news.

46:26 – Listen to Christian’s advice for his younger self.

51:18 Here is where you can find more information about Christian.