You need to be bold to transform yourself and your business.
Innovation is not just integrated into our name but is a part of our DNA.
Unconstrained by the past
Never allow your last hold you back from your future
We all have a dyslexia or ADHD story and my earliest memory of being different begins with my earliest days in school. Like so many of you, those memories include being told I’m stupid, ignorant, an idiot.
It was when I noticed that most other people did not struggle with reading aloud in class, writing what the teacher had written on the blackboard or doing their times tables, that I began to believe I was stupid or not very bright.
I know what it’s like to be told I need to try harder, to be told I’m lazy, I need extra lessons while other kids were out playing football or riding their bikes.
Fortunately, my grandparents who lived with us, did their best to encourage me and constantly told me they did not believe I was stupid and they believed I was highly intelligent, just different in my way of thinking. They were way ahead of their time.
As the years progressed, I learned to survive and to cope in a system that neither understood the way my brain was wired nor accepted anything other than its perception of normal. As a result, I left school as soon as I was legally able to. At 16 and a few months, I join the military in South Africa as a permanent force member.
My first job in the Airforce was as a motor mechanic, which I was OK at and qualified fairly quickly, but I did not progress very far as I could not pass the theory exams. That led me to other roles and in 1986, after a series of events and a serious accident that left me with a fractured neck and back, I left the service.
After 3 years in the hospitality industry, working as a chef and a restaurant manager, I became self-employed. By this time, I had realised I was not stupid, incapable or lazy, but I know there was something different and want to find out what it was. That set me on a quest to look for and find information about brain disorders, disabilities and anything that may be able to help me understand what made me different.
For as early as I can remember, I had a passion for all things Second World War specifically and for history in general and it was while some reading about how many medical advances had come from the Second World War, that I discovered this thing called dyslexia and ADHD. These discoveries suddenly opened my eyes and I realised for the first time that I was not alone.
However, both were very stigmatised conditions and many people believed that we should be able to grow out of them in our adult years. Of course, we now know that is not true and both are lifelong conditions.
I was not diagnosed with dyslexia until into my late 40’s and into my 50’s before I discovered I had ADHD, but it was when I discovered the field of neuroscience and some of the amazing research that was being done, that I really understood my brain.
Since leaving the Airforce, I have started and run 9 different businesses in 2 countries, some with incredible success and some not. I have written 2 books (there are a few more on the way), spoken on leadership, business transformation and motivation at conferences all over the world and worked with some incredible clients as a change and transformation consultant and as a trainer. I have also become one of the most sought after LinkedIn trainers and have worked with clients across the globe.
I’ve discovered that my thoughts produce my mindsets which create my attitudes. My attitudes develop my habits, my habits manifest my actions and it is my actions that produce my results, which is what my new book, Rethink, is all about.
I have been married for 28 years, love dogs and cats (and basically most other animals), enjoy the outdoors with walks on Dartmoor being a particular favourite), love networking, fast cars, my morning coffee and spending time with friends.