Your childhood forms you. But does it define you?
My childhood wasn’t easy. It was tough being raised in a single parent family. Don’t get me wrong my younger brother and I were well loved. But we lived on state benefits to eat and survive.
In fact, things were often so tight my brother and I used to share a main Christmas present.
Then at the age of nine my life was changed forever when I began to suffer from alopecia. If you don’t know what that is, that’s okay, basically it’s a condition that caused me to lose all my hair.
Imagine what that does to a child. It was crushing. Not surprisingly I began to suffer from low self-esteem, constant embarrassment and zero confidence.
And when I wasn’t, there always seemed to be someone judging me.
For two years things were very, very tough. I felt hollow.
But then, I had a breakthrough.
Although I didn’t know it was a breakthrough at the time.
My eleven-year-old mind decided I wasn’t going to live my life like that. I wasn’t going to be judged by people because of the way I looked or where I came from.
I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to contribute to my family and the people around me.
That’s when I got my first taste of entrepreneurship.
To start I needed a bucket.
I lived near to a golf course which was going to be the corner stone of my first business. So I started to run up and down the fairway, wading through streams with a fishing net and exploring undergrowth in a search for lost golf balls.
Naturally the golfers were more than a little curious about why a young lad was walking around their course with a bucket and fishing net.
I’d show them the rescued golf balls and offer to sell them. Most said yes and I quickly learnt two things.
The branded Dunlop and Slazenger balls would be worth 2/3 times more than an unbranded one. But only If they were undamaged.
So a brand was important, but so was quality.
But to make any money I had to quickly learn how to negotiate. They’d offer me ‘X’ and I would haggle and haggle for a higher price until both of us were happy. Every time I came back with deep pockets of coins, I’d give some to my mum and save the rest.
At the same time – maybe because of all that running around the golf course – I got into long distance running, some people though I was mad because I suffered from asthma!
But a big advantage of running to me was that it didn’t need too much money to get started and the more I ran the more my confidence returned and the better I got.
This is when I met my first coach, a guy who was well versed in turning normal joe public people into champions. He helped me become an elite long-distance runner because I was willing to listen and determined to do work other kids were not.
I learned so much from him.
Things like, distractions will destroy your progress; when you eliminate them, getting into the zone becomes simpler and more productive.
This culminated with being a training partner of Sir Mo Farah (currently world and Olympic champion in 5,000 and 10,000 metres).
That’s when I had my second breakthrough. The determination, creativity and mindset techniques world class athletes use to achieve impossible results could also be used to help entrepreneurs achieve the same thing.
Take it from an ultra-athlete with asthma as a child.
Today, I’m an Ultra-high Personal Productivity Authority, thought leader and public speaker.
I’ve interviewed entrepreneurs, influencers and elite athletes such as Jack Canfield, Dr John DeMartini, Sharon Lechter, Neil Fachie, Jonathan Horton and more to learn their methods and secrets.
I’ve also shared the stage with the likes of John Travolta, 50 cent, Vanilla Ice, Calvin Klein and more.
I’ve featured on the front cover of Influential People Magazine, Global Woman magazine and Steer Magazine. Also featured in the Huffington post, The Guardian newspaper, People Management magazine and others.
I’m also the founder and presenter of ‘The Game Changers Experience’ Podcast, where I share my insights and interviews with entrepreneurs, influencers, Olympic Athletes and Industry authorities.
Not bad for a nine-year-old with no confidence or hair.
All of this is because I made a decision not to be ordinary. Not to be like everyone else. And now I’m helping others achieve the goals and dreams they want, by using the range of abilities I’ve learnt from being different.