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On ABC’s 15th season of “The Bachelorette,” lead Hannah Brown met dozens of suitors who tried to win her heart (and America’s). One of those men was Mike Johnson, a financial advisor from San Antonio who instantly charmed audiences with his conviction, confidence and megawatt smile. Although Johnson came onto the show self-assured and ready to find love, he wasn’t always the calm and collected gentleman we saw on screen. “I’ve had [self-love] for a while, but my biggest test was when my ex and I broke up,” Johnson says. “After we broke up, I didn’t leave my apartment for 10 months. I was a prisoner of my own mind, to be quite honest.”

After hitting rock bottom, Johnson sought to find happiness and purpose once again. Unbeknownst to him, the solution to his slump would eventually charm the pants off millions who watched him vie for Brown each week. “I realized that I’m a selfish person—I wanted to be happy, to go outside my house and go back into the workforce,” Johnson shares. “I realized that if I can make someone else smile, guess what it does for me? It makes me smile.” Johnson’s smile and kind soul resonated strongly with viewers, whose hearts melted upon hearing him open up about the queens in his life (his mother, sister and grandmother) as well as his struggles to cope following his ex-girlfriend’s miscarriage.

Photo by Ragan Henderson

Photo by Ragan Henderson

His maturity and genuine personna came in striking contrast to some of the other men from his season, but for Johnson, being a gentleman was instilled in him at an early age. “I grew up with my mom, my sister and my grandma. I saw the BS they’ve dealt with from finances to relationships to balancing kids with a career to trying to have a life for themselves,” Johnson says. “Then, when I was in the Air Force, there were a lot of alpha individuals and you have to find out who you are as a person—which is exactly what you have to do on that show. There are a lot of great-looking guys and all of them have better bodies than I do, but you have to navigate through and go back to who you are as a person.”

Although Johnson didn’t land the girl in the end, he gained something extremely valuable from his time on the show. “As I was opening up about things that I had personally been through while on the show, I noticed that once it aired, some people had reached out to me,” Johnson explains. “Because of that, I started writing and responding to people, it started to flow, and I decided to write a book. I’ve gone through struggles that many people do know and more that people don’t. I just want to be a vessel of hope, inspiration and positivity for others.”

While Johnson is currently on a mission to share his infectious smile with the masses and fans can expect his book to hit shelves later this year, his aspirations for the long term hit much closer to home. Johnson hasn’t lost sight of his goal to find a life partner or, as he puts it, his fourth queen. “I want to be a great father and a stay-at-home dad,” Johnson says. “I want to be known for being the glue within my family, and when I say family, that doesn’t just include blood. I don’t need to be known to the world, I just need to be known by those who love and care about me.”

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