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Beyond the Mask: How My Tragedy Sparked an Incredible Life: Lessons I Might Never Have Learned

Beyond the Mask: How My Tragedy Sparked an Incredible Life: Lessons I Might Never Have Learned

by Brian P. Walsh


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As a seventeen-year-old volunteer firefighter, Brian Walsh suffered third-degree burns to his face. But he chose not to let that tragedy destroy him, and instead used it to create a magnificent life—both personally and professionally.

Minutes before Brian Walsh, then just a teenager, heard his beeper go off, calling him to help put out another fire, he was on top of the world. An hour later, after a freak flashover and confusion that sent the junior firefighter into the inferno against regulations, Brian had suffered such profound burns to his face that he was unidentifiable to his fellow firefighters.

Nearly everyone expected him to die that night.

He did not.

Nearly everyone expected him to die in the burn unit where, over the next month, every other patient died.

Nearly everyone, including family and friends, expected Brian to choose a professional life that would keep him from showing his face, and the personal life of a hermit.

He did not.

Boldly forging a path forward with courage, grace, and determination, Brian silenced his doubters and defied all expectations.

Decades later, Brian is an extraordinarily successful and renowned financial planner, family man, community fixture, philanthropist, motivational speaker, and industry leader. In this stirring autobiography, he tells his incredible story, sharing the lessons that only tragedy could teach and how they helped him—and can help anyone—achieve greater success, inside and out.

Beyond the Mask is the moving and inspirational story of how one horrific moment can define a human being forever—in the most life-affirming way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642934182
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 07/07/2020
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

As a seventeen-year-old volunteer firefighter, Brian Walsh had so much to look forward to—then, in an instant, caught in a burning building where everything went wrong, he found himself clinging to life, his face burned beyond recognition. Even loved ones encouraged him to pursue a career and life that would keep him largely hidden.

Brian chose another route.

At eighteen, from behind the mask he wore for two years, he met the love of his life. At twenty-one, he became an insurance agent, one of the most “face-to-face” jobs imaginable. At twenty-six, he co-founded Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group, which today serves over 1,000 clients in wealth management, estate and retirement planning, and more. He holds the esteemed designation of Certified Financial Fiduciary, serves as Vice President of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation Board, and is deeply involved in charitable pursuits, including finding a cure for juvenile diabetes and supporting firefighters.

Brian lives in Haverford, Pennsylvania, with wife Mary Ann. They have three children and a beautiful granddaughter.

Table of Contents

Preface 5

Part I Facing Facts

Chapter 1 Flashover Flashback 13

Chapter 2 What the Hell Happened? 26

Part II Facing Forward

Chapter 3 Unmask 49

Chapter 4 Look in the Mirror 68

Chapter 5 Trust What You See, Not What Others See in You 75

Chapter 6 … But Also Find People to Trust Who Aren't You 90

Chapter 7 Throw the First Punch* 102

Chapter 8 Listen, That's All 114

Chapter 9 Be Yourself. Don't Sell Yourself 121

Chapter 10 Stock Up on Foxholes 138

Chapter 11 Imagine It's Worse 147

Chapter 12 Instead of Outrunning the Truth, Run with It 155

Chapter 13 Embrace the Unknowable 166

Chapter 14 Face Yourself (If You Think You Have, You Still Probably Haven't) 171

Afterword 187

Acknowledgments 189

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