I’m always up for a challenge, and when I was asked to take on the highest free standing mountain in the world, mighty Kilimanjaro and raise money for Bolton Lads and Girls Club I jumped at the chance.
Now, it’s fair to say that I am no mountaineer and my climbing experience started at climbing trees as a kid and ended when I climbed (and fell off) a statue whilst on a stag night in Prague!
In fact, thinking back I was never the kind of guy who wanted to take on a big personal challenge, and my attitude in my younger days was “why the hell would I want to?”
Well, here’s my tale of how one charity event changed the way I work, and boosted my selling confidence.
Way back in 2003 a good friend of mine had a relative who had spent their final days in my local hospice and after seeing the amazing care they received, they vowed to raise some cash to help them continue the great work that they do.
They asked me if I could help, and I agreed thinking it would probably set me back a fiver in raffle tickets. That was until I opened my local paper to see a full page article on how me and a group of friends had agreed to raise cash by voluntarily walking across hot coals!
It really was the mother of all stich ups and my “mate” had now committed me to a crazy challenge in front of an audience in my hometown - of course I had to accept. The coming weeks were full of sleepless nights, wondering how on earth was I supposed to train for such a crazy event? Look for newly tarmacked roads and run across barefoot?
On the positive side the support was amazing and lots of friends, customers old and new got in touch to offer support and sponsorship, which in itself was overwhelming!
The day came and hundreds of people gathered to watch us take on the challenge. As we were waiting for the fire to flourish and night to fall we went through a series of positive thinking exercises to help us mentally overcome our cave men instincts to be afraid of fire.
I was a massive sceptic of mind over matter before the training. But when I marched out to complete my challenge that night I didn’t mind, and literally nothing seemed to matter other than walking 100 foot over red hot coals to raise cash for a great charity.
I completed the fire walk in total confidence and I actually don’t think that I have ever enjoyed a walk so much in my life. In the weeks after I was literally on top of the world and nothing seemed like a big deal at all. I smashed through the tasks life threw at me as if they were paper walls and the progress I made in my work and personal life was immense. To top it all my sponsorship alone topped £1,000.
I have since been involved and participated in over 30 charity challenges and even gone on to organise some of my own including anything from, mile fun runs, the London Marathon, Cricket competitions, Go Carting, Climbing Kilimanjaro — pretty much anything I get asked to do for charity I say a massive “YES” and I would urge you all to do the same. But why?
I used to come up with any old excuse not to get involved: I haven’t got time, I don’t do “running”, how could I train, I haven’t got the gear - and on and on.
Since I have started saying “YES” to charity events and completing challenges, my self-confidence has gone through the roof, my productivity has increased ten fold and I have met some of the most amazing people. It has introduced me to the power of positive thinking, which I never believed in at first, and has helped me achieve so much, not just in business but in my personal life too. On top of all this I have helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for really worthy causes.
I found saying “YES” to charity events contagious, and before I knew it I was saying “YES” to everything in my personal life too. My personal “YES” revolution resulted in so many more of my customers saying… you’ve guessed it… “YES!”
So, what are you waiting for?