As a young boy of five, Christopher K Wallace saved his baby sister from falling out of a carriage onto her head. His mother, overwhelmed with children arriving a year or so apart, was detained in another part of the house and couldn’t help. Christopher warned his ma of the situation and was repeatedly told to “hold on to that baby for me!” This he did. He later repeated the same feat when a child was in danger of falling out of a swing, again earning high praise from his ma. Helping his mother left an indelible impression on young Christopher. His heroics have become part of Wallace family lore.
While answering telephones in adolescence and beyond, he always began with, “Hello, how can I help you?” He later realized that this derived from his early experiences. These have governed his approach to life since. In any situation, he is compelled to try and be helpful. It’s his nature.
Christopher has been enthusiastic about learning since he was a boy. His father was a writer/editor and the walls of the family home were covered in bookcases. There was even one in the kitchen for the longest time. As an insomniac until around age thirty, reading books was how he whiled away the nights. He has a good memory, but it affected his eyesight.
With his friend Junior Lefevbre, from age seven he was at the forefront of the environmental movement. They collected bottles that littered the paths and streets, turning them in for profit. He became an entrepreneur, cutting lawns and doing odd jobs for anyone who would pay him. During a snowstorm, he was found asleep in a snowbank trying to get his driveways done for regular customers. His parents got free service.
His interest in psychology was in part prompted by noticing his grumpy face in old family photos (that’s him to his father’s right). Remembering his mother’s warnings from the era about how his face might stay that way, he’s watched to find out if it was true. Since her advice apparently went unheeded, today he has a “look” of some character. He also has his mother’s nose.
His early family life took an unexpected turn at age 15 when his father’s burnout resulted in Christopher being told there wasn’t room for two roosters under the same roof. Since it was his father’s home, he’d have to go. This didn’t make much sense at the time; nevertheless, Christopher has had a fondness for roosters ever since. In fact, the rooster totem adorns his heraldic shield and coat of arms. The rooster’s ancient Celtic attributes are many. Among them are pride, honesty, courage, vigilance, strength, watchfulness and flamboyance. The rooster was thought to commune with the afterlife, its crowing heard in the dawn as the wounded lay dying after a battle. Christopher feels as though he may have been an envoy from darkness sent to share the light.
Being forced by circumstances to drop out of school, there ensued a dozen or so years he calls his “dark period.” Emerging in his late twenties, he returned to education. After several refusals, he managed to talk his way into college without having completed the Grade 12 equivalency. Confounding even himself, he then finished at the top of his class, earning the Academic Council Award for highest academic proficiency in each study year, graduating “with distinction” from St Lawrence College’s behavioural sciences program. He also trained at the Addictions Research Foundation’s School for Addiction Studies and several universities.
He remains intensely curious about himself and others, reading 30 or more books per year. In time, he learned to sleep fairly well. He now wears glasses.
In addition to the jobs already listed, in his varied career he’s worked in men’s clothing, managed retail stores, driven a forklift in a warehouse, welded reinforcement inner-cages for sewer pipes, ran a jackhammer on a road crew, managed a dime-pitch at the carnival (it’s two bucks now), worked at restaurants and later sold real estate. Having mastered door to door sales in the magazine business, he also established one of Canada’s first customer loyalty programs with Daniel Blais (Keycard: Shoppers Key to Better Prices). He worked for a time as a waiter, doorman and bartender while first in college. At one time, he did all the deliveries for his wife’s flower shop, calling it the best job he ever had (“the people are so happy to see you,” he says).
Later, he went to work as a sales manager selling newspaper trials across Canada for Circulation Marketing Inc. He was a CMI top-three manager 2004-2008; top senior manager two times; seven-time President’s Club winner; regional Vice-President Alberta, 2010; and Senior Vice President Canada, 2014. However, the forces of change crushed his sales niche as print readership transitioned to digital products. Nevertheless, Christopher remains committed to the personal growth of others in sales by teaching good fundamentals and ethical approaches. In his view, life is sales. He remains an energy consultant in the province of Ontario and consults for several other businesses needing his particular kind of help.
Christopher seized this sea-change in the print world as an opportunity to re-invent himself in a way that better permits him to pursue value-based happiness. He’s a member in good standing of the National Guild of Hypnotists and trains in the Commando Krav Maga martial art. He is a big believer in fitness. However, it’s in contributing to the lives of those around him that he derives greater meaning and purpose. Whether it be in his coaching endeavours or his sales career, Christopher seeks to bring value to others.
Since he eventually ran a small private practice counselling service as well as his work as an addictions counsellor and trainer after college, he has returned on a very limited basis to this calling. His commitment to seeking the truth about substance use led him to accumulate four decades of “personal research” on the subject. This invaluable experience has led him to solve its riddle.
Christopher became an author with the release on Kindle of his first book, Drinkers’ Riddle. In it, he details how he has uncovered the motivations behind drinking through an examination of the forces that sustain what he calls a coping skill. He refuses to label people. Instead, he asks, “What’s wrong with the name you already have?”
His message is so powerful that often people have one session with Christopher and tell him it has changed their thinking about drug and alcohol use. Some people quit on the spot. His son has lovingly called him a buzz-kill.
Christopher looks forward to speaking with individuals or groups on the subjects of fear, strengths and confidence. He’s a big fan of the Gallup’s Strengthsfinders questionnaire and is trained in its use for clients of his private coaching practice. He believes it’s better to play to your strengths and work around weaknesses.
On the subject of fear, self-concept is currently Christopher’s main preoccupation with his coaching clients. He believes self-concept is destiny. To that end, how you see yourself, measured up against how you believe others see you represents a balance from where most of us live out our lives. A deeper understanding of what drives our every day decisions and motivations allows great gains to be made in personal development. Our eyes see out, and so Christopher is committed to the idea of coaching, believing it holds the best promise for himself and others of living a satisfying life.
He has lived on both sides of Canada – from Halifax as a little boy to Vancouver as an adult – and many of the cities in between. He originates in Ottawa. In a family of eleven in total, including four brothers and four sisters, he’s in the middle. This has made him a natural manager. He’s very close to his grown son from his first marriage. He also has two toddlers, a girl and a boy, from his second gift at parenting.
* * *
“Regardless from where you came, you have three things to offer the world: time, talent and effort. These are the great equalizers.” – CKWallace