3 April 2019
When I was a young man starting out in the business world, I thought it was a sign of weakness to seek help from others. I believed that you should be able to do everything on your own. One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned is just how wrong I was.
When you reach out to others around you, especially the inspiring, successful people in the world, you learn a huge amount. In fact, you can learn something from everyone you encounter, simply by being receptive to it; by listening.
This was one of the inspirations behind launching the Mind Your Own Business podcast more than a year ago. Since then we’ve interviewed some absolutely extraordinary characters. Today I’m sharing a few of the lessons we’ve picked up in this series.
Harness the critics: Rob Moore, Progressive Properties
At the age of 26, Rob was a struggling artist in almost £50,000 of consumer debt. By the age of 31, he had his own property company and had become a self-made millionaire. During the podcast, we talked about everything from getting fired from the same job twice, to real life-changing events, to core business functions.
One of the things that stood out to me in this chat was Rob’s approach to criticism. For most of us, criticism hits hard, we’re naturally biased to focus on the negative feedback we hear over the positive. Chatting with Rob, we spoke of the power of harnessing those critics to fuel your fire.
When I was young, my swimming teacher told me that the only place that I would swim to was the bottom! Shortly afterwards, I achieved my 300m swimming badge. The fire to prove a critic wrong would be reignited throughout my life and continue to crop up even now.
In fact, UKFast would not be here had one of my family members not told me that I was never meant to be a businessman. It was like a suckerpunch, although he’d meant it as a compliment. That was a huge motivator for me to make a change and begin the UKFast journey.
Give it a go: Chris Boardman, Olympic cyclist
There are few gold medal winners in the world – the people who bring the right things together at the right time, who have the commitment, focus and resilience that it takes to be the best, whatever field you’re in. Chris noted this in our episode of the podcast and it struck a chord with me.
What does it take to be a gold medallist; the best in your field? He went on to talk about the fear of failure, the fear of making mistakes. He said: “I’m not afraid to make mistakes as long as I know I did the best I could.”
That, in my mind, is a huge part of being successful. It’s not about taking risks, but if you stay within your comfort zone your whole life, you will never know what you could have achieved.
To be the best, you have to be able to stretch yourself beyond that, the move into uncharted territory and give it your very best go.
Break down barriers: Stacey Copeland, Commonwealth boxing champion
Stacey had boxed from the age of six in her grandad’s gym, but decades later, it was still illegal for women to fight in the ring. Undeterred, Stacey trained and continued her passion. Her path took her to a sport that she was allowed to participate in, football. This was where she built her career until the boxing law changed. She was finally allowed to fight in the ring at the age of 29.
Now Stacey’s Pave the Way campaign inspires more girls to participate in sport, to overcome some of the barriers and challenges that she faced on the road to pursuing her true passion.
This episode of the podcast was honest, at times hilarious, and at others heart-wrenching. Stacey personifies the tenacity needed to follow your dreams.