Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Stewart Harding who says “We’ve got the whole world in our hands!’ HMRC registered online marketer promoting your business to his 400,000 followers and a once semi-professional musician looking to get back on the road again, preferably before he has to charge a battery on a mobility scooter to get to gigs.
D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?
My goal when I was 7 was to be a professional footballer, but I was of slight build and never had the strength on the ball I needed when I was growing up to make it professionally, I didn’t feel. When I was 11 I found that when I was coached at snooker I had a talent for it that many kids my age didn’t and as a result I was asked to appear on a live Cable TV chat show about possibly being a snooker star of the future when I was 13. I kept improving until I was 16 and practiced religiously for long periods of time, but never quite reached the standard required. Since then I’ve been looking to get into music and in 2004 started a band. I later played solo at several different venues up until the end of 2008. My goal was always just to be self-sufficient, working for myself and I’m pleased to say that I’ve achieved that goal through my online marketing business Exposure4All. Now the challenged is to keep things this way.
E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?
I passed 8 of my GCSEs when I was 16 and passed both of the A-levels I took at age 18. Ironically my worst grade came in computers which is what I now use unaided for my living. I therefore always think back with a weary smile to the only time I asked my teacher for help during the two year course when I said ”miss, this computer doesn’t seem to be working” and she replied ”try plugging it in.” I guess I’ve had the last laugh here. 🙂 I can honestly say that most of what I learned at school has been of no use to me whatsoever and if I had my time again I wouldn’t have stayed on at school from the age of 16-18 to do my A-levels, however I do think my early years at school up to about the age of 7 are of use to me now, with regards to my mathematics skills and my relatively wide vocabulary, as the former has helped me with things like book keeping and the latter has helped me get my point across on many occasions, when I might otherwise not have been able to.
R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?
The only thing I can think of that makes me stand out in a world of businesses is that I can immediately spot what a business is doing wrong if someone shows me a failing one and think that I could increase their takings overnight by just doing the basics properly and keeping things simple.
R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?
Nearly a year ago when I was unemployed and on the governments back to work scheme I said to my Back To Work Adviser ”I want to go self employed, I cannot do this anymore.” He replied ”why don’t you wait another month?” I said ”no, I cannot stand in that office, signing things to get handouts from the tax payer, alongside people, many of which have no intention of working. I need to give this online marketing thing a go. I need to take the risk that it might not make any money, but that it might also make a lot. If you don’t take risks in life you never get anywhere.” Nearly 10 months on and I’m still self-employed and my business is till growing.
I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?
Lewis Clay. He’s a very talented musician and released a single recently and donated all of the proceeds to Cancer Research. He also flies all around Europe playing football in stadiums for free to raise money for charities, so I think that kind of mantra deserves people’s respect and admiration.
C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?
I was heavily berated and put down by my father as a child and refused to let him hear me play my guitar due to the criticism that would always follow. If I was playing my guitar and I heard him come through the front door I used to simply stop playing. That didn’t help when I was trying to gain the confidence to gig, especially solo, but I believe you make your own destiny and can’t blame others for you doing or not doing something. Things like this don’t help, but they should only influence your future, not determine it and hopefully influence it in a positive way.
K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?
Treat everyone as a potential customer and accept that most things have already been done, so don’t try and reinvent the wheel, just try and come up with a clever variation on a theme and most of all, don’t give up. ”You only fail when you stop.”
Visit Exposure 4 All for more information.