You Only Grow When You Are Under Pressure

What a fantastic week I have just experienced where I have been under some serious pressure to perform at two different events. Both of these events were booked by speaking agency Champions and I loved them both!
The first was on Wednesday evening for an impressive organisation called Chapter 2 who have grown immensely over the past two years. The CEO Leo Harrison has demonstrated incredible leadership as he has grown the team amazingly during the pandemic to help companies to reduce the cost and time it takes to directly attract and acquire the best talent to their business.
A wonderful evening
This event was their quarterly Supper Club where they have a speaker to address the guests before enjoying some amazing food. This was held at the famous Quaglino’s restaurant next to Fortnum and Mason. This was a very intimate setting in a private room, and this was the first time I have ever spoken without slides.
It was simply me sharing my story of overcoming adversity to achieve success and sharing some simple techniques to improve mental resilience. I really enjoyed the talk, and I did spin my basketball at the end without smashing any of the fine wine glasses!
The comments afterwards were very positive and several mentioned that I didn’t need slides as my story was powerful and interesting.
Elliot Foundation Academies Trust
The second event was on the following day and this time I had my presentation on slides, and it was my Masterclass 1 from my three-part programme. The organisation this time was the Elliot Foundation Academies Trust who currently have 31 primary schools under their umbrella.
I spoke just after lunch for an hour to around 50 HR and Finance staff and the feedback was amazing. The interaction and engagement were off the scale and the comments at the end were extremely positive.
There was a real energy in the room and there was much laughter (especially the slide showing me with long hair) as well as great discussions during the session.  
I lost my phone
One thing which was interesting, and challenging was as I arrived at the venue, I reached for my phone to check messages, and it wasn’t in my pocket. I checked all my pockets and my bags and nothing. I don’t know if you have experienced this but that feeling or horror and the realisation that the phone is actually lost.
I remember looking at my phone in the taxi a few minutes before I was dropped off. All I could think of is that I missed my inside pocket as I fumbled to pay for the taxi and the black phone landed on the black floor.
Because of this I didn’t see it as I glanced back to check I hadn’t left anything. I was now an hour away from speaking to the staff and I had to get myself in the right frame of mind to deliver a great session.
So many things were rushing through my head, I was in a daze, and I couldn’t think straight. My lovely iPhone 12 Pro Max was gone, and I had no time to do anything about it as I had to meet my client and set up.
It’s not what happens to you but it’s how you respond
I didn’t mention this to anyone, and I set everything up and then I was on. I had decided to ‘park’ the phone situation until I had finished the presentation. I managed to forget about the phone, and I believe this was one the best if not the best session I have ever delivered.
The feedback from the staff was evidence of this and I left feeling elated. When I got outside the phone situation hit me again and I tried to think of solutions to the problem I was facing. I have a spare phone but for some reason I took it out of my bag to lighten the load as I travelled through London.
My thoughts were racing to think what I could do. I am insured so at least I knew that I would receive a replacement phone, but you probably know what a hassle this is with banking apps and setting up emails again etc.
Julie had a Eureka moment
When I got home at 7.30pm, I was prepared to spend the evening calling 02 and their insurance department and all the work that entails when Julie suggested I call my mobile! Can you believe that this hadn’t crossed my mind? I didn’t have a phone so I didn’t think that I could call anyone – Julie quite simply said I should have borrowed a phone from someone.
Julie phoned the mobile and the taxi driver answered! She had been waiting all day for the phone to ring and at 7.30pm we called her! She was delighted to tell me that she had the phone, and she could bring it over to me. The only problem was that I was now in Nottingham.
After a quick discussion she agreed to post it Special Delivery the following day and that she would wrap it in some bubble wrap for safe keeping and I am so grateful for her honesty. The phone arrived this morning and I can’t describe the relief I am feeling right now!
It’s great to know amazing people are out there
In fact, this wonderful taxi driver Selina is responsible for something which I have never experienced in 50 years of travel. She picked me up at the tube station and took me a short distance to the venue. When we arrived, the fee was £5.00, and I only had a £20 note. I asked her if she had change and she said yes but then said, “it’s ok you can have this one on me.”
She couldn’t be persuaded so I jumped out of the taxi telling her that she would be blessed for this act of kindness. Little did I know that I would be the one blessing her as I transferred a reward to her bank account to thank her for her honesty.
She was blown away by this gift and I was so happy to pay this as my peace of mind was restored as well as my belief that there are good people out there.
So thank you Selina we will probably never meet again but your act of kindness and honesty will live on as I relate this story many times in the future.
Thoughts for the week. 

  1. How do you respond when things go wrong?
  2. Can you focus on what is important no matter what?
  3. I have grown this week because of the two high profile talks I delivered and as I look back on this week, I feel good.
  4. This week, think about your response when you are under pressure. Try to establish the habit of knowing that you are growing during these tough times which will benefit you in the long run and will help you deal with the situation better.   

Well, that’s if for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.
Warm regards


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