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My five tips to creating success.

I am often receiving emails from people who would love to build a career as a speaker, usually following some kind of adversity, and they would like to know how I have done this. Other times I am asked about my fundraising endeavours.

Firstly, when I set myself fundraising challenges following my spinal cord injury, I never ever thought it would lead to a career as a speaker. It was never my intention or a dream of mine- in fact, it would more likely have been a nightmare to deliver a talk with everyone's eyes on me. What I do know is one thing can lead to another, and you then find yourself doing things you once would have deemed impossible.

Fast forward a decade and I have my busiest autumn coming up. I feel privileged to be in a position to share a story that can change the way people think and that has even lead to making a positive difference to their future- there can not be a more fulfilling feeling in the world than that?! Well, that is alongside continuing to find ways to fundraise for some incredible charities.

I want to share with you a few tips that may help you get to where you want to be because without doing these things, I wouldn't be living the life I am. They are pretty simple and can be applied to all areas of life.

1) Say yes and learn later. If you have an opportunity but feel a bit daunted by it, you can end up talking yourself out of it and consequently turn it down. I nearly did this when I was asked to speak at a school not long after the London Marathon, in fact, many of my challenges have started by feeling this way. I was scared and I questioned if I was capable of doing this well but I made myself say YES! That first talk was the start of a very big career change in my life.

2) Things don't happen over night. I was still totally unaware of where that first talk would lead me. Not long after, I decided to deliver talks in schools all over the UK, purely to help charities and inspire the younger generation. This gave me so much experience speaking and my confidence grew. It took a lot of planning, effort and time. The same with many of my challenges- it can be long time between the idea and the actual event. Patience can be needed.

3) Success is the result of hard work and perseverance. Great things often don't come without hard work and lots of it. I did many talks for charity rather than charging a speaking fee but this resulted in being recommended to speak at numerous corporate events. If I hadn't been willing to travel around the country and deliver the best talks I could free of charge then I wouldn't have the testimonials from well known companies and be recognised as a motivational speaker now. The same applies for becoming a pilot, completing a marathon and gaining my motorcycle race licence. Nothing beats hard work.

4) Being able to adapt. Sometimes things change in life and we need to adapt to thrive. Covid came along and of course the first thing to stop and the last thing to start was in person events. It was cancellation after cancellation but one of the agencies I work with asked me to make a video in attempt to shift to virtual events. Admittedly, my first online event felt very different and took some getting used to. I wasn't sure I liked it. It was hard not seeing faces whilst I shared my presentation and story, but I soon got used to it and still do it now AND enjoy it. Whilst I love being with people at events there are many advantages online and I am glad I embraced the opportunity to deliver virtual events- now I can offer both. I guess I had a good lesson in dealing with change back in 2007!

5) Never sit back and relax thinking you are there. We will have busy spells in life but that may also change. I never sit back thinking I have enough work and achieved enough. I keep marketing, building relationships and looking ahead to make the next year a success. Resting on our laurels can be dangerous. 'Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.

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