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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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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 two beautiful granddaughters.
“Beyond the Mask puts everything in its place…perspective and a tremendous bolt of courage and inspiration.”
—Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, Actor, Director and Film Producer
“Brian Walsh had to endure something truly horrifying to learn lessons that helped him live an incredible life. He shares them in this book, which is a gift to anyone who reads this inspiring, powerful, and engaging story.”
—Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Carpenter and Training Camp
“Sometimes the best life lessons are learned from people who have gone through unimaginable hardship. Brian Walsh pushed through his tragedy to become one of the best leadership teachers, and his reflections and advice are invaluable.”
—Dana Perino, Former White House Press Secretary
“This book is filled with real life wisdom that can help you be more, do more, and serve more.”
—Nido Qubein, President of High Point University
“I’ve been telling Brian Walsh for years that he needed to write a book. He did not just write one, but he wrote a great one. My friend learned to live a life with a new face. And he now teaches us to do the same…to put down our masks, face ourselves and ignite a fire in our heart to live, lead, and love in a more burning way.”
— Tommy Spaulding, New York Times bestselling author of The Heart-Led Leader and It’s Not Just Who You Know
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Brian tells the unvarnished, highly detailed account of the most terrible, shocking moment in his life, how he confronted it, and how—against huge odds—he got beyond it.
Universally relatable and inspiring, Brian has audiences learning from his excruciating journey that helped him get beyond the mask.
Everyone has the potential to get past their own metaphorical mask in life. No matter how big or small, challenges make you mentally stronger. Resilience is a life skill and leadership quality that everyone should cultivate. How do you cultivate this skill?
Brian helps audiences explore critical steps in his journey that fueled his personal and professional success.
Reflecting on the life he has led since the fire, Brian truly believes it might not have been as fulfilling or examined without that horrific event. His story is undeniably dramatic—allowing audiences to feel something deep and traumatic, and benefit from the hard-won wisdom that came from it…wisdom that anyone can apply to their own life.
Book Brian for your next live or online event. Contact us using the form below to learn more about his availability.