The Impossible Year

Let me tell you a quick story about when I was 20 years old Assistant Manager at Jacobs photographic.

Each day my Dad would give me a lift to the train station, and I would wait on a cold train platform feeling rough and ill but determined to go to work and do something.

I’d been on dialysis for a few months, and the routine had become normal but there was one miracle I hadn’t anticipated, and that was having a partner by my side. Her name was Kelly, the fantastic lady I’ve been married to now for 15 years.

It’s worth understanding that before I met Kelly, I thought no one would go out with me. I didn’t look great with my health, and even at that young age, I came with the baggage, the baggage of chronic illnesses.

It’s a testament to who Kelly is, that she saw through those challenges and was willing to take me on regardless. Life was going well all considering, then one day, Kelly told me she was pregnant, which considering my health was a massive shock and surprise.

But I didn’t believe I could be a father, I was only just managing to look after myself.

My wages were low, and we both still lived with our parents. The sheer panic of how I was going to provide for Kelly and the baby, haunted me every day.

At the time I was trying to just enjoy and make the most of what I had. I had no confidence in my long-term future or myself. Only a determination to work and at least do something useful in those moments.

I was struggling with coming to terms with having a child on the way while not being able to provide.

Sitting on the train travelling into work, I would sit by the window staring out, worrying about the million and one what ifs and self-doubt that go through your mind.

Over and over again the words

‘what if I can’t do it’ and ‘am not good enough’

Stress and Panic became a common theme for a while. Family on both sides were amazingly supportive and gave lots of reassuring support.

Then the bottom fell out from under me when it dawned on me. I realised having only GCSE’s to my name and a low paying job, I couldn’t support Kelly and the baby. The realisation of everything that needed to happen and be in place before the baby was born was overwhleming.

It was a mountain that seemed too high to climb.

The situation meant I couldn’t stay in my current job and I couldn’t just ignore the situation. A baby was on the way, and I needed to find a solution.

I needed to find a good job that would lead to a career, pay enough to support us and the hours had to fit around my dialysis. I had to find a way to get us a house to live in together.

Not long after I started to dream about a plan of how to make this all work. I made a determined decision that I had to be strong, that we had to make this work and no matter how hard I worked at Jacobs it wouldn’t be enough to support us.

One fairly cloudy overcast day on my usual train journey from Derby to Nottingham, I looked out of the window, and my eyes caught sight of a new building on a new business park.

The sign was just 3 huge white letters saying ‘Egg’.

I had no idea what it was, but it looked awesome.

I’m not a big believer in the law of attraction, but I knew in my gut I had to work there, and it looked terrific.

As you can imagine, I was feeling low and worried, but I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream; the picture of possibility I had created inside my mind; Being a fantastic Dad, having a home, car and career.

Circumstances would stop me, I just wasn’t going to let that happen.

The answers lay in finding a good job that would lead to a career, pay enough to support us while having the hours fit around my dialysis.

I had to find a way to get us a house to live in, a place we could call home.

Not long after, seeing the Egg sign, I started to dream about a plan of how to make this all work.

Step 1, find a new job!

Each evening when I came home, I would read the job section of our local newspaper trying to find something that paid well.

But who was going to pay me that much, I left school with just GCSE’s to my name. My only hope was a sales job, I knew that would pay well.

Like Magic – It was there

As I turned the page of the newspaper, having seen nothing of interest, my heart sinking, A advert like no other filled virtually the whole page, and there was that name again – Egg.

It turned out Egg was actually a bank, and they were hiring Lending Sales Assistants. The wage was fantastic in comparison to what I was being paid, and it was also based in Derby. Bonus!

In my gut I knew this was the answer, this will help us create the future, Kelly and my soon to be born Son deserve.

It was time to start taking some action, I put my heart and soul into the application, reading a dozen books on interviews.

On the day I went for the interview there was a lot of people, at least 50.

I remember being in a waiting area and then this one manager turning to the recruitment specialist and saying this is the kid who has had a job since he was 14.

That’s right I had put everything on my CV including my paper round. Which apparently was unusual and helped me to stand out.

After 3 stages of interviewing including a role play where you had to wear a headset and type on a computer at the same time, I walked out.

I didn’t think I’d done that well and for some unknown reason felt everyone was better than me.

Not many days after the landline phone rang, my heart pounding and sweaty palms I picked up the phone. It was a job offer, and I got the job.

It was terrific; the culture, the training, the people it was all ahead of its time and would help me to launch a future that hadn’t even entered my mind at the time.

This was just one of the areas that started to turn out well.

You see despite all the challenges; Kelly and I had remained very positive and practical. With the support of family, we had found a house. We moved into the house in February 2001 just 4 months after I got the job, 2 months later Joe was born.

Life was tough, trying to manage a new family a new job while still going to dialysis.

By this point I was on the transplant list, wherever I went I carried this little bleeper around with me.

If it went off, I had to phone the hospital and go in straight away. Then one Sunday the phone rang, a kidney was available. In October that year, I had my transplant.

In all 2001 was the year we achieved more than I ever thought possible – A loving partner, a house, my first ever car, the most amazing son ever – Joe and a transplant.

Looking back, I’m not saying it was easy, but circumstances forced us to cope and handle things. This is why I know that the impossible can become possible if you have the need, want and desire for it.

In 2001 everything changed!

I discovered how to:

  • Climb mountains that look impossible
  • Having a big enough WHY will drive you to achieve the biggest goals
  • Use problems to create positive solutions

It was a dream come true I had the miracle of my son Joe and everything I always thought was not going to be in my life.

From that day forward, I was never willing to let circumstances stop me, and I never have to worry about feeling being powerless.

And that’s also why I’m so passionate about helping others to make their business ambitions come true so others can experience being the best they can possibly be.


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