Do you enjoy listening to the stories of others?
One of the joys of networking for me, is listening and learning from the stories of experienced people. Through attending events, I have been inspired and touched by the stories told, drawn from speakers’ experiences in business and in life, especially when they have encountered and overcome adversity.
At this month’s Ubiquity City Social event at Rocket & Ruby in Liverpool, I was privileged to listen to two great speakers in Steve McNicholas and Andy Grant. Not only are both successful, but what made them stand out was how they have encountered and conquered adversity, by taking and rolling with the punches, to become successful speakers and best-selling authors. I was really looking forward to listening to their stories, and I was not to be disappointed.
With three decades in business, Steve gave a fascinating insight into his personal journey, which encompassed the theme of “brown envelopes”. This is because Steve has encountered and conquered several challenges from failing school exams and suffering the indignity of redundancy, to become a successful business consultant, coach and author, with his second book Unlock the Success Code only recently published. Steve has a burning hot passion to help others and raise money for MS, which is a cause very close to his heart, and one that deserves support.
Andy’s story was not only unique, but also inspiring and emotional. As a Royal Marine, Andy suffered serious injuries in a bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2009, resulting in his right leg being amputated, along with sustaining other serious injuries. To overcome such a harrowing experience and become a highly successful motivational speaker, takes courage and heart, and listening to Andy talk about how he turned his life around and achieve so much was incredibly moving. Since then, Andy has gone on to become the fastest 10k single leg amputee in the world, and has also given motivational talks to schools, organisations, charities and even the England football team. In addition, Andy has written a best-selling book called, You’ll Never Walk, which tells his personal story.
As well as being great speakers, and having written successful books, I also noticed other similarities between Steve and Andy. For instance, I was impressed with how both speakers were humble, humorous and approachable to listen and chat with. Both showed a desire and willingness to help others, which is important in business and in life. I also recognised how both Steve and Andy were determined and took ownership, which is very important to improve your personal and professional life.
I also enjoyed the surroundings of Rocket and Ruby. With delicious food and drink, pleasant surroundings and plenty of networking, this made for an interesting and enjoyable evening. It was also good to catch up with several familiar faces, including some I had not seen for a long while.
In conclusion, I loved every moment of the evening. As with all of Ubiquity’s events, this one was not only great for networking, but also to listen, be inspired and moved by Steve and Andy’s experiences. This was an experience that I shall treasure, and I admire how both Steve and Andy have shown inspiration and courage in the face of adversity, and by taking ownership and learning from their individual experiences, they are both a credit to themselves, and an inspiration to others. Indeed, what I have learned is the first step to success, is to take personal responsibility for everything you do.
I would like to thank Joel Jelen and everyone at Ubiquity PR, along with the staff at Rocket and Ruby. Finally, I would also like to thank both Steve and Andy for sharing their inspirational stories, which all contributed together for a lovely event.