As a long-time Art of Charm Podcast listener, Cam Houghtaling was saving up to someday attend the residency Bootcamp in Los Angeles. And then something unexpected happened…
Our new Profiles of Success series highlights the stories of the men and women who attend our AoC Bootcamp or partake of our other programs. Sometimes we forget just how life-changing our courses can be. These stories remind us and, we hope, will inform and inspire you.
“AoC gave me the cheat codes to succeeding in life.” -Cam Houghtaling
Cam Houghtaling first started listening to The Art of Charm Podcast in 2010 and was impressed by the honesty and forthrightness of the hosts and guests. He realized that what they were offering was a crash course in social dynamics, and while the podcast and blog offered many positive opportunities for change, the negative issues in his life couldn’t be podcasted away. Rather, they had to be diligently identified, isolated, and worked on. The testimonials he heard on the podcast encouraged him to look into AoC Bootcamp, and investigating it led him to start saving for it. Ultimately, however, it was a breakup that led him to finally take the plunge.
One of the most important parts of Bootcamp for Cam was the assortment of stories that AJ and Johnny shared. Their personal experiences helped illustrate the positive changes that can be made by identifying and addressing fundamental problems that we all share. And getting to know AJ and Johnny on a personal level reaffirmed the lessons Cam had learned as a long-time listener to the podcast.
“I never realized how much of a me person I was,” Cam says. “My social interactions before Bootcamp weren’t great because I always talked about myself. I tried to relate by talking about my experiences, but I never listened to the person. Now I just listen and add value, and it’s changed everything.”
Interestingly, the girl who Cam broke up with didn’t have to wait until Bootcamp ended to witness his transformation. One of the exercises during the week is calling people for whom you are grateful and sharing why they matter to you. In making that call, Cam realized how much the relationship had suffered because of him, his attitudes, and his behaviors. Thankfully, his ex-girlfriend took it well and remarked how refreshing it was to see his willingness and ability to be vulnerable.
His family noticed this change as well. His increased vulnerability also allowed him to let go of his cognitive dissonances. He’s now dating a girl who is perfect for him, and is developing his martial arts skills.
“If I could talk to someone on the fence about attending,” says Cam, “I’d tell them that Bootcamp gives you the permission and ability to be the best version of yourself.”
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