Show No Weakness

There I stood on the peak of Mount Elbrus in Russia, having triumphantly ascended my second of the 7 highest summits on Earth. A profound feeling of accomplishment filled my being, yet deep inside was a small but real feeling of isolation. Because my whole life, I let my ego get in the way.


I was born in Riverside, California, and at 12, we moved to Arkansas and shortly after my parents divorced. I lived with my mom who was addicted to pain meds and other drugs, didn’t work and so we lived below the poverty line. We relied on food stamps, welfare and W.I.C.

For reasons I’m unsure about, I was afraid to get close to people. I played football, but I was also smart, but I also liked heavy metal, so I felt out of place from each particular clique.

My internal response was, ‘Well if I don’t belong, I’ll be the best at everything.’ And I built my life on that premise. I took a position that I’ve got everything covered, that I’m an entity unto myself.

I didn’t want to show any weakness and I pushed myself to be the best.

I lived in the relentless pursuit of achievement.
I rose to a VP position in the intellect-ego driven world of cybersecurity. I stood atop mountain summits. Did 23 Ironmans. 300 skydives. 200 scuba dives. 50-mile ultramarathons. Traveled to 70 countries. I even trained on survival with the legendary Bear Grylls.

But as my life went on, I was slowly realizing that projecting myself as the best and smartest was a lonely proposition. I did a lot of amazing things, but I didn’t belong anywhere.

Until 2014.

Christian Espinosa - Ironman

2014 is the year I started my own cybersecurity company. And entrepreneurship was forced personal growth.

Christian Espinosa - Alpine Security

Cybersecurity is a field where people want to be seen as smart or they pretend they’re smart. Continual posturing as “The Smartest Guy in the Room.” A lot of ego. And I had this M.O. mastered. I avoided joining groups, and if I went to a group function it was only to demonstrate myself as the best or smartest. Embarrassing to admit, but true.

But suddenly here I was, an entrepreneur with other entrepreneurs offering me good advice, and I was closed to everyone’s ideas, trying to maintain my image as having all the answers. It wasn’t good. And it forced me to take a long hard look at an important question:

What is it costing me to always posture myself as The Smartest Guy in the Room?

I realized it was costing me growth. Costing me great solutions that could come from others. And deepest of all, costing me a sense of belonging. The very thing I’d never felt my entire life.

So I made a conscious choice to change my whole M.O.

I decided to achieve belonging.

I changed from always taking the position that I’ve got everything covered, to seeking the council of others. And I joined groups, not to demonstrate I was smart, but rather to belong, to add value – and to receive support.

Today, I belong to many groups that benefit me tremendously. My cybersecurity company is a place where everyone knows their brilliant ideas are wanted. And I’ve found new purpose in coaching highly intelligent technical people who have hit a glass ceiling, or who wonder why their less-capable peers get promoted instead of them, to breakdown the ego and master the soft-skills that really move the needle.

Oh, and I still climb mountains, run far distances, dive deep into oceans, and jump out of airplanes, but now I do these things with friends for pleasure.


About Christian

Christian Espinosa is a bestselling author, certified high-performance coach, powerful keynote speaker, and the founder and CEO of Blue Goat Cyber, an organization designed to combat cybercrime through technical prowess and emotional intelligence.

Throughout his career, Christian has always strived to be the smartest person in the room – to leverage his skills, knowledge, and experience to benefit others. That is until he realized that leadership, fighting cybercrime, and the ability to find simple solutions to any challenge are truly his greatest contributions to humanity.

Shifting his focus, Christian authored the bestselling book, aptly named “The Smartest Person in the Room,” to help other leaders raise the emotional intelligence of their high IQ staff members, thereby increasing team and organizational agility.

He also shares his decades of insight, actionable takeaways, and transformational strategies with audiences at Cybersecurity Events, Technology Conferences, Personal Development Seminars, and Private Mastermind Workshops. Espinosa speaks on various topics, including the cyberwar, lessons learned from extreme sports, how leading yourself helps lead others, and cybersecurity entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, Espinosa built Blue Goat Cyber to empathetically understand pain points within a company, build genuine relationships with leaders, and implement holistic methods of protecting vulnerable systems and processes.

Christian is a US Air Force veteran with a BS in Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and MBA from Webster University. He holds multiple patents related to cybersecurity attack and defense.

When Christian isn’t protecting the world from cybercriminals, he climbs mountains, travels the world, teaches outdoor wilderness survival, and competes in Ironman triathlons. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona although he spends the majority of his time off searching for the next adventure.


Christian holds over 25 certifications, including:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Officer (CISSO)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Certified High-Performance Coach (CHPC)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified in Risk & Information Systems Control (CRISC)

Recent Notable Projects:

  • Penetration testing and assessments of commercial aircraft
  • Medical device penetration testing
  • Numerous incident response projects


  • Systems and Methods for a Simulated Network Environment and Operation Thereof
  • Systems and Methods for Automated Building of a Simulated Network Environment
  • Systems and Methods for a Simulated Network Traffic Generator
  • Systems and Methods for Network Monitoring and Analysis of a Simulated Network
  • Systems and Methods for Reconstitution of Network Elements in a Simulated Network
  • Systems and Methods for a Simulated Network Attack Generator

Certifications, Non-inclusive List

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Roles, Non-inclusive List

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Air Force Officer

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DoD Contractor

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Cybersecurity Trainer




Freelancer Cybersecurity Consultant


R&D Director

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Vice President

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Owner / Founder

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