Ian Cobain


May 1, 2020


Tell us about yourself.

I am an award-winning author of six books, a speaker, and a business advisor.  My experiences include forty plus successful corporate years including executive positions; and surviving a fire, divorce, financial ruin, two heart procedures, and cancer.

Tell us about your latest book: Conquering Life’s Course: Common Sense in Chaotic Times?

It trumpets proven values over unproven theory utilizing lessons learned from my parents, taught to my daughter, learned from experiences and from observing the experiences of others.  It includes 140 examples of people, places, and events to corroborate the 40 principles advocated.

Conquering Life’s Course  – In what way does the book deliver what the title promises?

Connecting the values that created the most successful civilization in history with my wide variety of successful and challenging experiences reinforces their validity. Communicating this combination to others, I believe will teach and reinforce those values and lead people to more fulfilling lives.

Common Sense in Chaotic Times – Do you intend to say that “common sense” is the solution to get through “Chaotic times”? What else does a person need? 

Common sense is critical at any time, but more so in chaotic times.  In addition, I strongly believe that people need to increase their knowledge and critical thinking skills.  In simple and good times, it is easy to spend more time on leisure and leave the heavy lifting to others.  In tough times, it is essential to get in the game to avoid being manipulated by others.

“Motivation is unsustainable. Only hard work is reliable.” – Do you agree? Why or why not?

If you mean motivation from the outside, it is unsustainable by itself in my opinion.  If you mean self-motivation and drive, its life is based on the motivation and drive of the individual.  I believe that people who overcome failure and challenges to succeed in the long run are always self-driven to attain their goals.

I do believe motivational speakers can awaken someone’s desire to succeed and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

In what way has your personal life impressed upon your writing?

I never dreamed of being a writer, and my former English teachers would be shocked.  All six of my books are based on personal experiences that I hope will inform, entertain and inspire others to avoid my failures, reach heights above any success that I have experienced and influence those people in their lives to do also.

What book influenced you to take the path that you took in your life?

I was blessed to have a long and successful corporate career and to recognize the shoulders that paved the way that I stand on.  My lifetime desire to “return the favor” through volunteer efforts morphed into one to speak and write timeless inspirational messages to benefit more people.

What advice do you have for youngsters who are, perhaps, having their first encounter with truly chaotic times?

I would encourage them to seek out friends and family who have overcome tough times and learn from their experiences.  People who have survived difficult situations usually are more confident when facing their next challenge.

Things can be much worse than they are now, and our parents, grandparents, and forefathers survived and became better people by surviving things like the 1918 flu epidemic, World War I, the depression, World War II, the cold war, and others.

More importantly, I believe it is important to have a strong foundation of faith and principles to sustain us. 

What nugget of age-old wisdom do you give people who are struggling with unemployment and other issues in these trying times?

I was financially ruined in the 1980s after a three-year failed campaign to avoid it.  It was painful, stressful and I never thought it would end.

It did end, and I count it now as a street MBA because I learned things that have helped me through business and personal, and good and bad times since then.

The nugget of advice is “This too shall pass.”  And, we all will be better for surviving it.

What are you working on now?

Making lemonade out of lemons, I’m working on my next book, which is a sequel to Conquering Life’s Course – Common Sense in Chaotic Times.  Believe it or not, there are additional principles, experiences, and stories of others that I hope will further inform, entertain, and inspire others to richer lives.

About the author:

Richard V Battle is a business consultant, speaker and author of six books with his latest book being most appropriate for the times today titled “Conquering Life’s Course: Common Sense in Chaotic Times“. You can visit him online at