My family didn’t get our first television set until I was eight. I then became so fascinated by TV, I set my heart on working in broadcasting. I had a similar love affair with radio, playing at being DJs in my bedroom. My school headmaster told me to forget a career in the media because ‘it was too competitive’. I proved him wrong when I got my lucky break, working in BBC local radio while I was still a teenager. Reading the gig guide was my first role and soon I graduated to co-presenting a Saturday evening show, interviewing people I admired such as Billy Bragg. After three years at university, I started working on a live music TV show for Channel 4. My childhood dream had come true.
The first nine years of my career were spent in and around media production. Working on a live music festival for BBC Radio 1. Production managing a number of radio series for BBC and commercial radio. Managing joint ventures with MTV Networks Europe, The Financial Times and ABC Radio Networks. By the age of thirty I was MD of Unique Facilities, a radio studio and production business. I felt unstoppable as I ticked off my career goals.
By the end of 1999, my life as a career-climbing media executive was becoming unsustainable. I was overwhelmed. With far too much on my plate, and no-one to delegate to, I was working too hard (and also playing too hard). My job was making me ill. It was time for a change.
In 2000 I quit my job to become a consultant. The last sixteen years have been nothing short of an adventure, following my curiosity rather than a linear career plan. I launched a boutique agency making websites for parliamentarians. I started up a virtual marketing agency working for clients including Benetton and Classic FM. I co-founded an artist management company, working with an upcoming rock band. I wrote a series of books about work and business.
The thread that’s united my work since 2010 is storytelling, whether writing for The Financial Times or advising clients - businesses and individuals - on how to capture and tell their story. Having been on a journey of self-discovery, I know what makes me tick. I’ve been able to use that as a compass to navigate my work life and make choices aligned with who I am and what I stand for. Today, what fuels me is helping people and businesses find their own fuel. I do that as a consultant, writer, coach and speaker.
In June 2015 I stood on stage at The Do Lectures and told this story. Watch it below or listen to the audio podcast here.