I’m a scientist by training. I have a joint degree in Biology and Economics. And that background in biology meant that I spent hours and hours of the early part of my life studying, researching and experimenting in a laboratory.
The Latin origin of the word “laboratory” literally means to work – “labor.” The word “experiment” comes from the Latin, meaning to try, to risk. The word “research” comes from Late Latin, and means to “wander hither and thither.”
What we call science literally means hard work, taking risks and not really knowing where you’re going!
Many world-changing scientific discoveries were a complete accident. A Russian chemist found the artificial sweetener, saccharine, when he forgot to wash his hands after a days work. Percy Spencer created the microwave while researching radar, when he accidentally melted a chocolate bar in his pocket. Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays while working with a cathode ray tube. When he placed his hand in front of the tube, he noticed he could see his bones in the image that was projected on the screen. After a hike in the Alps, George de Mestral noticed the small burdock burrs that stuck to his clothes were covered in tiny hooks. They inspired him to create the fastening system we know as Velcro.
Science is often less “scientific” than you’d imagine…
Vaseline, safety glass, super glue, Teflon, cornflakes, vulcanized rubber, insulin, strikeable matches, gunpowder, anesthesia, Viagra, penicillin, dynamite, Play-doh, LSD, nuclear fission, synthetic dye, post-it notes, pacemakers, the Slinky and radioactivity were all discovered by accident.
The experimental approach to success
For my undergraduate degree, I researched extending the life of blood platelets. It was cutting edge research that was focused on extending the life of blood plasma in blood banks – and it could have helped save millions of lives…
Well, it could have if my research and experiments had worked out! But after months of spinning blood plasma in centrifuges, my ideas weren’t going anywhere and my professor recommended that I quit.
I decided I wasn’t cut out to be a professional scientist. But I never forgot to apply a scientific approach to my career. I’ve been experimenting and making mistakes for years!
I consider myself an accidental entrepreneur. My father was an entrepreneur and he worked really hard to raise his sons to follow any career but entrepreneurship. And I was a high school teacher for the first 15 years of my career, until the day I was fired by a new boss who wanted her own team.
Being fired was very humiliating and I left London for a vacation, to lick my wounds. I traveled to Thailand and I discovered that the coaching skills I’d learned while training to be a headteacher, were invaluable on a beach…
Apparently, laying in the sun and sipping cocktails is rather conducive to reflecting deeply on one’s life.
And when a woman said to me, “Talking to you has changed my life…” I was hooked. I flew to the United States with 3 thoughts in mind.
I will train with the best coaches in the world. The best coaches in the world will be my friends and colleagues. And I will be one of the best coaches in the world.
I took a “scientific” approach to my new career. I worked hard, I took risks and I didn’t really know where I was going!
This year, it is 15 years since that fateful day when I was fired as a teacher. In a few days, I’ll have been a coach longer than I’ll have been a teacher.
And that thought has been quite a shock because it means I have an outdated self-image.
I’m no longer a teacher who accidentally became a coach. I’m a coach who used to be a teacher.
5 lessons from 15 years of coaching
- Work hard (but constantly look for the tiny steps that make the biggest impact)
- Take risks (but doing the opposite of what the majority are doing is almost never a risk)
- Don’t worry that you have no idea where you are going! (Clarity is overrated. You don’t always need it looking forward. And you’ll always find it looking backwards.)
- Surround yourself with extraordinary people (“Meet fun and interesting people” has been my one-line business plan for 15 years. It’s generated millions more in revenue than Facebook ads, SEO or internet marketing.)
- Expose yourself to new ideas and experiment with new ideas (Never stop learning and never stop making mistakes. And if you learn from it, it wasn’t a mistake!)
One of the biggest challenges, as you become more successful, is that there is rarely anyone to challenge your thinking, or help you see through your own stories.
This is why I constantly surround myself with super smart people.
Two of the smartest people I know are…
Marisa Peer, who was voted ‘Britain’s Best Therapist’ and whose Rapid Transformational Therapy™ has won 14 different international awards. Her clients include royalty and rockstars, Presidents and CEOs.
And John Davy, who built Britain’s best brand of comedy clubs. He sold the business at a valuation of many millions of dollars. Then he bought it back, a year later, and sold it again for an even higher return! John’s a rare parallel entrepreneur, sought out for advice by the most successful business-owners I know.
Marisa is the person I go to when I want to remove old limiting beliefs, while wiring in new empowering ones. I trust her so much, she helps my children when they have a challenge. And it’s John I go to, to learn about business or marketing.
We’ve been friends for years but this year is the first that we’ve ever worked together.
Between us we have over 75 years of professional experience in a unique mix of fields, covering pioneering therapy, cutting-edge coaching, and big business. And this November, all 3 of us will be working with a small group of leaders, coaches and therapists in a program we call The Laboratory.
We will be taking a scientific approach to reviewing your life and your goals. We’ll be helping you to dream and to experiment with completely new ideas. We’ll be surrounding you with fascinating people. And the agenda… the agenda is YOU.
You’ll leave with 3 outcomes:
- A sense of deep inner confidence – in yourself and in your vision to bring about big changes.
- An advanced skillset – including the skills to enroll high-performing, high-fee clients and the ability to create and implement new programs and ideas, on demand.
- A personalized roadmap – to rapidly scale your new and existing business ideas.
This is an application-only event, for a handful of people. It requires a commitment of 5 days of your energy and focus and a $15K investment. We are working with a maximum of 20 people and there are only 9 spots left.
Read more and send in your application – for me, Marisa and John to read.
PS. Join me on one of my upcoming Deep Dive coaching experiences:
- Find Your Mission: The Los Angeles Deep Dive will help you develop a mission that’s powerfully aligned with your values.
- Serve Profoundly: The London Deep Dive will help you drastically increase your influence so you can serve more people than you can possibly imagine.
Spaces are limited to maintain an intimate, high-impact experience. Reserve your spot today.
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