The story behind the Turning the Tables podcast
This podcast was born out of my life experiences and the desire to show how through adversity you can find new purpose and fulfilment in life.
I wouldn’t suggest my life is any more remarkable than the next persons or that the adversity I have faced is by any stretch of the imagination as challenging as many other remarkable people.
However, reflecting back one way or another they have been turning points which revealed new insight into my character, my priorities and the world we all live in.
At the age of 6 years old, my parents lost a daughter at birth. At school I was bullied for a number of years so early on in life I started to realise that life wasn’t perfect or predictable. My bullying taught me to work hard at getting on with people ( I found a hobby that the worst bully and I shared (fishing) so I used to bring this subject up to try to divert him from his bullying). This developed a quality in me I used to great effect in later years as an account man in advertising. I became one of the Agencies better account men at building client relationships and was the youngest person ever promoted to the board at 26, mainly because I ‘got on well’ with clients and was a great farmer of business. I don’t share this for any other reason than to demonstrate an early turning around or unexpected benefit from adversity.
At 37 I had my first significant health issue which resulted in a major operation 4 years later. This coincided with the birth of my son the first of three wonderful children and the beginning of a change in career direction. I’d become disillusioned with advertising and wanted to play a more fundamental role in developing client businesses. The operation took me out of the business for 6 months but when I returned it was with added vigour and determination to adjust course because I realised that you can’t take your health or life for granted so why waste by not pursuing your vision. During this time my wife and I lost a child at birth, life can be cruel as anyone who has lost a loved one unexpectedly will understand. It teaches you to value life and value relationship because there are no guarantees what is here today will be there tomorrow, be that good or bad.
Over the next 3-4 years, I shifted my career and started a business with a good friend and colleague. We moved out of the Agency into the world of Brand and Innovation consultancy.
In parallel to all of this, we had our third child and our second daughter. A year later she was diagnosed with a rare Epileptic condition which brought with it significant learning difficulties. Many trips to the hospital in ambulances ensued over the next 16 years. Throughout this time I changed as a person - I became more focussed and more open-minded about the world. Like many people say having a child with a disability is a challenge but more importantly a gift because it teaches you that there is no such thing as a normal person or normal life. Our daughter is thankfully happy, open and loving - she treats people without any preconceptions or prejudices. She is vulnerable but brings out the vulnerability in others. She has taught me and my family more than anything about compassion and humanity. All things I have sought to weave into my life and work.
We eventually sold our consultancy business becoming disillusioned again and started to wonder what next - a sort of 50+ ( mid-life crisis). This coincided with another chronic health condition which knocked me out for 3 years being completely bed bound for 9 months. During this time I was unable to work but devoted what energy I had to learn - about mindfulness, behavioural science, psychology and photography. Together with a disciplined regime and a greater sense of looking after myself I was able to fashion my recovery. ‘The turn around’ in this case was a renewed sense of purpose and a new motivation to use my business and life experiences to help others whether that be in business ( people looking to build their own business ) or in life dealing with the adversities that we all encounter or indeed a combination of both.
Turning the Tables, this Podcast idea is part of that new journey.
In my early life, I would say I was a ‘determinist’ - I now would say that life is an unpredictable journey which you weave through adapting as circumstances change, wherever possible with a positive mindset and an openness to change.
If you can relate to any of these kinds of twists and turns in your life and want to hear how others have moved through and grown from adversity please listen and join the Facebook Turning the Tables community.