Today we’d like to introduce you to Ron Johnson.
Ron, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started a career in the IT industry in Buffalo, New York before relocating to Dallas, TX. When I first came to Dallas, I work as a senior vice president for a major financial company. Life was great and the future seemed bright. Then one day at work I noticed some dark spots in my vision. I thought my contacts were dirty at first! (Laughter) Eventually, an eye retina specialists diagnosed me with a macular eye disease. He told me that the disease was slowly robbing me of my vision. I found this experimental treatment at Duke University on the internet.
So my wife and I traveled to Raleigh, NC in hope that this could be the answer to preserve my eyesight. At Duke, after a day of testing with eyes being poked and prodded they told me that I was not eligible for the treatment. Immediately after I was told this devastating news, I was led into a room to meet with an on-campus counselor. She told me that I had to prepare for a worst-case scenario. I was told that scenario would probably be me needing a seeing-eye dog or a walking cane within 5 years.
I was devastated and numb. I went back to work but found it harder and harder to do my job due to my failing eye-sight. So I left my job on medical retirement. I went from running a network of 300 offices nationwide to being a stay-at-home dad. In just a short 3 years, I lost my career identity and my self-esteem. Between raising 2 sons by learning how to cook and clean while my wife worked, I started rethinking my original vision for my life. I knew I had so much more value to give to the world in helping others. I always helped people throughout my life so I figured why not make a career out of it? So I returned to College in my 40’s and got my masters at the University of North Texas in Counseling.
When I graduated I immediately started on my 3,000 hours at an internship with an established counseling practice. Between all those hours, I would volunteer to work with Alzheimer’s patients at retirement facilities. Working with those people really gave me a new-found unconditional love for humanity. The whole experience really reignited my passion to help others. I found a new vision for my life by helping others become a better version of themselves. I took that passion and knowledge to start Renaissance Counseling Center.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all! (Laughs) I had multiple challenges. Even in college, my professors would tell me I was too old to start a business. They would ask me how I was going to do it before I even graduated. Which can put a lot of doubt in your mind? I had some financial challenges too. I had a standard of living I wanted to maintain with 2 kids going to college!
At one time, I was paying 3 tuitions, my own tuition and my 2 son’s tuition at the same time (laughs). I didn’t know where I was going to find the money to start this vision I had. But my most significant challenges were actually internal. The depression of losing my vision that cost me my career still had an effect on me. The anxiety of an uncertain future was almost crippling.
But surprisingly, the biggest internal obstacle was my pride. It was very difficult for me to go from being this big time corporate boss to becoming a student again in a class full of students that were my son’s age. I couldn’t even drive anymore so I had to take public transportation. I had to take 2 buses and 2 trains to even get to school every day. It was a very humbling experience. (Laughs)
Renaissance Counseling Center – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m most proud of my focus on men and their relationships. Whether that is with their families or their partners. At Renaissance, we have really created an environment where men can feel comfortable with getting help. In today’s society, it’s very difficult to ask for help, especially for men. We find it uncomfortable to ask for directions much less to ask for help with anger, communication, or emotions in general.
I specialize in men’s issues but I also specialize in anger management, relationship, family, and life coach counseling for women too. Renaissance Counseling Center is named after the enlightening period after the Dark Ages in history. As the name implies to the brand, Renaissance means a rebirth. I came out of my own dark age to be reborn as a new and better man. I wanted to help people on the same path.
What sets Renaissance apart is its boutique practice, where I can be very hands-on with all my clients. I truly care about each and every one of their progressions on their paths. And that requires a special connection so I can experience what they do internally. To help facilitate that, I am easily accessible thru my email, text, or calls directly to my cell. Most of the time, my clients call me directly. I like to consider my clients as my extended family lol.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of career was starting Renaissance Counseling Center and opening my doors for business. I never worked harder or longer for anything in my life. It’s the first time I have become an entrepreneur and been truly my own boss. I was able to create a place where I can live out my passion every day one client at a time.
- Address: 6750 Hillcrest Plaza Dr. Suite 304 Dallas, TX 75230
- Website: https://renacounsel.com
- Phone: 214-242-9401
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RenaCounsel/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RenacounselRon
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/renaissance-counseling-center-dallas?osq=renaissance+counseling+center
Allen Willis, Ryan Johnson, and Bobby Cornelius