It was as far back as 2013, 23rd February 2013 to be exact that I decided I really would like to be a “Professional Speaker”. I was attending an event hosted by International Speaker and best-selling Author, Richard McCann. I’d seen him the previously, at an Avon UK Conference where he was a keynote speaker. He blew me away with not only his story but by how calm he was in from off an audience of over 1000 people. Ex Avon colleagues still talk about that presentation even now 5 years on. I saw similarities in his story and mine:
- Difficult childhood
- Adversity very few people thankfully will experience and…
- A positive and forward thinking outlook
So I sat in the audience at the ICAN event, alongside my wife Emma and was spoilt for choice when it came to 1st class speakers. Nina Joy blew me away with her powerful story, sharing her journey from being diagnosed with aggressive terminal cancer and how she took the unconventional approach of nutrition and mindset to turn her life around. She is also a best selling author ‘Adventures of a Cancer Maverick’. You can read more about her on her own website.
There was also Adam Corbally, finalist in the Apprentice. He is a professional guest speaker, motivational coach, and serial entrepreneur, managing a series of successful businesses and brands in the UK. Again, his story drew similarities to my humble upbringing and his style was so engaging he drew everyone in.
And finally there was Kevin Mclernon, winner of ITV’s Biggest loser who lost 40% of his total body weight. A successful speaker and coach (read more)
Something clicked that day.
Something inside me spoke to me and said “I CAN DO THIS”. At the time I did not have a clue how… But I KNEW I would become a successful Professional Speaker and inspire people across the globe. I went on to attend many more of Richard’s events including his extremely popular “Ican Speaker Academy” where he passed on his many years of experience to help others with their presentation skills.
I was hooked.
I had found my path.
Everything made sense.
My past, the challenges, the sliding doors moments, it had a purpose. With my experiences and the lessons I learned along the way I was in a position to help so many people through the power of the spoken word. Drawing audiences in to my world and helping them understand that adversity can be viewed as a positive, a learning curve. We all have a choice in how we view the situations we are in and each choice has a consequence. When I look back at my life and some of the more painful stuff like the death threats and diagnosis of a degenerating neuromuscular disorder to name a couple, I came out the other side stronger, more knowledgeable and well equipped to tackle the next thing that came up and I show people in my talks that after every perceived negative experiences there was always a major positive waiting for me on the other side.
Over the next year or two, life took over and I focused on building my other businesses but the itch was getting worse. I was aligning myself without even realising it, with other speakers, authors and entrepreneurs. Seeing their posts on social media at first bugged me greatly as I knew that is was what I wanted too be doing.
Then again something clicked and I attended another event this time with Brad Burton. The UK’s Number 1 motivational business speaker (www.bradburton.biz) A humorous, thought provoking, high energy motivational speaker who presents in jeans, T-shirts, trainers. Big businesses take him seriously. This event was personal development done the right way. No selling, just an honest, thought provoking seminar that touched me deeply.
I had known Brad for over 4 years when I bought his 1st book GOYA (Get Off Your Arse) for 50p at a Charity Shop in Wilmslow. People would and do pay £100’s if not £1000’s for the material that is within that book. Bargain of the century. Brad grew up in Salford and lived in the same street as my sister. He is the same age and he is someone I respect greatly. He has helped me in those 4 years for no reason other than he is a great bloke who lives by the values of the Networking groups ethos of “Like Know and Trust” .
The networking group I am speaking of his 4Networking, the UK’s Most Joined-Up Business Networking Group in the UK, running over 5000 meetings a year. (Click the image to visit 4N’s website). Please check it out as it is by engaging in the online 4N Community and becoming a member of 4N that my speaking career has taken off and become a reality. It has been 4 years of ups and downs but the people I have mentioned above have been instrumental in allowing me too be myself and having the resources, the belief to share my story and turn it in to a business that I love to do and give me an audience so I can help inspire 100’s and 1000’s of people across the globe.
Surround yourself with people who push you, who support you and who don’t laugh at your dreams no matter how big they are. It is because I have done this, that I am here and my dream has become a reality.
After the darkest hour, glorious sun rise
After every recession, growth