Having helped thousands of businesspeople navigate their journeys, I’ve seen it all and know the shortcuts to success. If you’re ready to take that leap, know that I’m here to guide you every step of the way.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m always telling my clients to do things that bring them joy. A couple of weeks ago I took my own advice and called my old friend Steve Haworth, who composed the Humourology theme tune. Steve is a musician and producer of incredible pedigree with whom I first started writing songs when I was 14 years old. He was my mate, Ian‘s big brother and he was already a superb established musician who had a great touring band called The Directors.
Even though I was slightly intimidated by his worldliness and musical pedigree, when I was round at their house and overheard Steve saying that all the musicians in the band were completely brilliant and creative musically, but none of them wrote good lyrics, I found myself chiming up and boldly/stupidly saying, “I write lyrics!” Now, this was not strictly true. I had written poetry which I thought might be turned into lyrics, but it was my teenage dream to be the next great lyricist. I had romantic notions of being the next Bernie Taupin.
Anyway, no sooner were these brave words out of my mouth, when Steve said, “Oh, we’ve got this track where I’ve got a melody but no lyrics why don’t you give them a go.” “Sure,” I said desperately feigning some semblance of confidence.
I went home and stayed up for most of the next seven nights writing and rewriting, and then rewriting and writing some lyrics in an obsessed, somewhat delusional belief that I could come up with the goods for a proper band.
One week later, I went round to Steve and Ian‘s house, where his wonderfully welcoming and incredibly tolerant parents’ front room was like a sanctuary for creativity of all types especially for musicians. The lyric I had written to Steve‘s music was called “Second Time Around”. He thought it was great and invited me to hear it played live by the band the following Saturday night. That was the first time I got to use the phrase, ‘I’m with the band’. I can still feel my pride at hearing my lyrics being sung by a brilliant singer backed by a band that really ‘cooked’.
That was the start of the journey that has led me to have some of the most wonderful experiences in my life in the studio, and on the road, having hits and playing some of the most iconic venues around the world, including the London Palladium, the Comedy Store and Carnegie Hall.
It all starts with a yes. Sometimes bravery is just blurting out the word and then trying to live up to the decision.
I recently watched the documentary about the Comedian, Micky Flanagan and found a lot of similarities between what he said, and what I believe successful people do to get ahead. He said,
“I think chances just come along occasionally and you have to get out of your comfort zone and be brave in order to move forward.”
Taking hold of your new opportunities is really about being prepared to fail. I was so scared of failing that I worked until my fingers ached, my brain hurt, and I had sweated every last drop of emotion onto the paper for what I hoped would be a somewhat plausible verse, bridge, and chorus.
“A ship is always safe at the shore-but that is not what it is built for.” – Albert Einstein
Life is about taking chances. Life is about coming out of your comfort zone. If you want to succeed you have to be prepared to bleed. There’s no such thing as failure only feedback. Anyone who has achieved anything has had to fail a lot of times and that takes bravery. All I would say is that the more you do it the more comfortable you can become with going outside your comfort zone.
So, what about the track we just recorded? Well, because of my belief and work philosophy that I can help people to change for the better, I have always had a soft spot for the old Billy Swan song, I Can Help. It’s not only a great song but encapsulates my joy at one of the greatest feelings in the world, being able to help people.
The time in the studio with Steve brought back so many fantastic memories and reminded me that we must do what we love to succeed in life.
If you haven’t listened to the song yet, be sure that the message comes from my heart. If you’ve got a problem, I don’t care what it is, if you need a hand, I can assure you of this, I can help.