I wish someone had shown me the ropes of how to be a confident communicator.
It would’ve saved me years of doubt and silence, fearing what others might think.
Instead, I learnt how to connect with others through trial and error.
As I worked with 100’s of people in fashion, marketing and PR, photography, retail and personal development.
I began to see what worked and what didn’t.
Everything from superficial insincerity, to vulnerable self expression.
I saw what creates anxiety and doubt and what brings professional success and happiness.
Great communication is the most valued skill in todays world.
It gets you heard, understood and valued.
Creating success as a brand or an individual.
It’s what I’m here to help you do.
I was a quiet kid.
I’m not joking when I list the insecurities above.
The conflict of growing up in a religious family with the realisation I was gay, left me trying to figure life out.
A shy oddball that didn’t fit in, I was uncomfortable expressing myself.
I didn’t have the vocabulary or self confidence.
I learnt to keep quiet for fear of being bullied or laughed at.
Other kids had cultural references like Star Wars or the latest cool band.
I grew up in a cultural vacuum.
I missed out on learning many communication skills.
But I was determined and adventurous.
Creativity was how I expressed myself. My superpower.
So I put this to use and moved to London.
Exploring London, I discovered a vintage store on the Kings Road that captured my imagination.
Dark rooms stuffed floor to ceiling with clothes from every era.
Men’s Zoot suits, shimmering bead dresses and vibrant accessories.
I’d never seen a shop like it.
The windows each side of the door were curved panes of glass. But the displays looked drab and didn’t reflect the amazing things inside.
I dreamed of designing an eye catching display to showcase the treasures they sold.
So I did.
I designed a concept, and arranged a meeting with the owner.
No one had ever created a window for them.
Stood next to her at the till, I opened my portfolio and eagerly presented my idea.
She peered through her thick black framed glasses with a considered expression.
Her long-haired dog snuffled around my feet, checking me out.
Cigarette in one hand, she flicked through my sketches with the other.
I named my fee for the job.
More than I’d been paid for anything before.
She took a long drag on her cigarette.
Exhaled a plume of smoke and said,
‘When can you start?!’
It was the late 90’s, the beginning of my career and a flash of clarity for me.
I realised because I was being authentic, my doubts faded away. I believed what I was saying.
I wasn’t nervous, we connected, I got the result I wanted.
This seed of self belief grew into a career helping brands communicate their message through visual merchandising and styling.
I worked with global brands creating immersive retail environments, PR and marketing events, trade and fashion shows, across food, fashion and lifestyle for Fortnum and Mason, Liberty, Moschino, Anthropologie, Asics and more.
From consulting projects in South Korea, to being published in a Thames and Hudson book.
I learnt how to walk into a new place and gain everyones respect. How to be fearless in meetings, and confidently communicate with anyone, from the CEO to the intern.
I’ve yet to experience an industry where judgement is stronger than in fashion. It can chew you up and spit you out. But often people aren’t what you think.
In my early days as a stylist assistant I worked alongside designers, directors, recording artists, photographers and models.
I made assumptions about them, only to be surprised.
From a death metal band who were shy and humble, to lead singers with a curiosity and genuine interest in me.
My biggest lessons were.
You can free yourself from feeling judged by others.
You don’t have to put on a mask and be someone you’re not.
Then a new chapter began.
I moved to Paris.
The challenge of working in a foreign language sparked a change, and my career began to evolve.
My British accent and unique experience were of value.
As a sideline, meeting in the cafes of Paris, I worked with clients to develop their professional communication in English.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t about their English skills, but about the essence of communication itself.
As we worked together, their confidence and careers flourished.
Seeing how authentic communication changed their lives, my fascination grew.
Returning to London was a time of personal development. I qualified as a transformational coach to learn about mindset, growth and overcoming obstacles. I became a trainer with a public speaking school.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve helped talented heart-centred professionals like you, develop communication skills that are expressive and authentic, and as a result, seen their careers and confidence transform.
Working with CEOs, directors and team leaders from biotech and pharma to academic research, finance and marketing.
Helping them in diverse ways to:
You experience a profound sense of freedom when you let go of doubt.
No more anxiety about what you say, or how you say it. You flourish through authenticity, self expression and confidence.
You’re able to look the other person in the eye and say . . .
I’ve done it and I know you can too.
But I’ve learnt to not let this block my path in life.
The tiniest change in your language and communication can be life changing.
Every word or phrase you put out into the world, every message you send, every article, email, or subject line you write, every presentation, every zoom call, is an opportunity to strengthen the connection with your team, colleagues or customers.
It’s about who you’re being as an individual, brand or leader.
If your communication had more power, what’s possible?
Perhaps growth through stronger relationships, more sales and clients, a promotion, better networking and trust building, pride in what you do, happiness, a sense of freedom and fulfilment.
I see authenticity as an adventure.
The more you explore, the more exciting it becomes. As your curiosity and courage grows, your fear fades away.
Like I said at the start, it’s easier than you think.
And I’m here to help you.
It’s time to share your greatness with the world.
Get simple inspiration.
Add impact to your communication.
You also get '3 Confidence Blocks and How to Fix Them'.
A fun, easy to read guide, that puts you in control of your confidence.
I've run the London Marathon for charity.
I also completed a triathlon in a pair,
9 mile run, 18 mile trail cycle, 6 mile kayak.
Finishing last 😂
I'm a minimalist.
Eight months as a WOOFer (working on organic farms) in the South of France with nothing but a bike and a few clothes taught me the freedom and joy of living with less.
I'm an introvert.
Give me an art house or indie film over a noisy party.
Although . . . photos are in circulation of me belting out a Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers duet in a karaoke bar, South Korea.
Not gassy belly! Hot air balloon.
Perfect conditions and a light breeze took us way beyond our planned destination.
Forced to land, we ploughed into a row of trees, smashed through branches and crashed in a farmers field.
Part of growing up in a Jehovah's Witness family meant having to stand on a platform and speak into a microphone. To 100's people. With zero training.
It terrified me every time.
The fear never went away.
Fast forward to January 2019.
For the year ahead, I wanted an impossible challenge.
One that made me sick to my stomach and filled me with terror.
I found the perfect course.
'Fear of Public Speaking' that focussed on vulnerability.
It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
But gave it everything I had.
After completing it, Mike, the founder and CEO asked me to join him as one of his course trainers at School Of Connection.
Facing my fear, I changed my life.
I've a secret dream of one day giving a TED talk.
Every one I've watched has had positive impact on my life and inspired me to grow.
The tiniest idea can trigger a wave of transformation.
And for that, I'd love to contribute my voice.
Marina Abramović, Bear Grylls, Invader, JR ('photograffeur'/street artist), Pedro Almodóvar
Drive a tractor and don't take yourself too seriously.