Discovery Of Passion:
After selling my own companies, I offered my services as a consultant to various industries and discovered that although at the time my expertise lay in sales and marketing, a more holistic approach is required which means that everybody is involved in the success of an enterprise.
To this end I became very excited and involved in speaking not only to management but directly to the workforce and took great pleasure from seeing my words turned into success. The excitement that I got from that made me more and more passionate about what made businesses succeed and more importantly what made them fail.
Using Your Setbacks As Learning Experiences:
Strangely enough, it is the failures and disasters that teach us the best lessons. Often very successful people write books on how they became successful and when you read them you realise that they don’t understand how they became successful or how much luck played a part. There is an expression in the UK that says “As a parent you can either be a shining example or a terrible warning” and I believe that sometimes the terrible warning has more impact.
Actually, it can be more useful to speak to a beggar and ask him how he fell because he will know how it happened as opposed to a rich person who is often surprised by their success. In my own experience I have not only been able to learn from my own mistakes but I have also been a very keen observer of other peoples’ which has not stopped me being adventurous but I do it with sensible caution.
Use Of Extensive Humour In Helping Business Transform Their Approach:
A very famous British comedian, who later became a famous business thinker said “You don’t have to be sombre to be serious” and Roger Law the maker of the Spitting Image puppets recently said “You can’t really change anybody’s mind by shouting at them, but you can with humour.” A lot of the business messages that I deliver are a bit tough and I sugar the pill by delivering them in funny stories.
Inspiration To Write Thought-Provoking Books:
I wrote the books because I felt deeply about the subjects that they cover and deeply about the readers. I wanted to make each book as different as possible but the most important thing to me and the thing that would excite me the most would be if the readers felt that the books had helped them towards the success they were looking for. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than getting a nice letter or email from somebody who has enjoyed and benefitted from one of my books.
Mentors That Have Inspired You And Lessons Learnt:
Strangely enough the people who have inspired me have not necessarily been from the business community and I have gained insight and inspiration from people as diverse as Eric Berne the psychologist to Bob the Builder the character for children! I voraciously read every business book I can lay my hand on and even ones that I feel are awful, tiresome or boring, always have some useful golden nuggets hidden inside.
Advice To The Upcoming Business Leaders:
My first piece of advice is to keep their business idea as simple as possible and whilst I would encourage innovation I do warn that pioneers are people that are found face down in the dirt with arrows in their back! Sometimes it is best to find an idea that is simple and that works and just to do it better. For anybody starting out do not be too nervous to start and do not be so confident that you don’t see the dangers. It is like setting off on a sea voyage – whilst you must leave the harbour you should not do it in a leaking boat but should have a map, a compass, a radio, and to know where to find help if you need it.
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