I must apologise for the delay I have taken to write this entry.
I have been trying to find and remember philosophical lines of guidance that may inspire you. Well, in that time I stumbled across a hallmark of inspiration which binds, me, you and Stamford School. It is Remembrance Weekend.
As you all know it’s is an annual event marked over a weekend. However, for many that survived it is a time to connect, share, and mourn lost ones. However, for many it is not an emotional experience over a weekend, or one day, but a constant reminder of their loss.
If you stop reading now then ok. Just remember this.
Remember how you wish to be remembered. You will be happy.
Please now read on (37 secs to read)
In remembrance and reminding I therefore share very personal rites de passage that prevail from the time I started in boarding at Stamford School in 1985 to the present day.
Imprisonment, insolvency and divorce were all experiences I had before the age of 40 but never ones I had anticipated when sat in that great Hall at Stamford School.
On the flip-side I have experienced industry fame, international recognition and financial reward after hard endeavour working for businesses that didn’t even exist when I left school in 1993. These things did not exist until after 2006: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, 4G, Uber, Airbnb, Oculus, Spotify, Nest, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Square, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp WhatsApp, uber, Instagram.
The companies you will work for may not have been invented yet.
I worked for Google a few years ago. I joined them on their 16th birthday. I was 38yrs old.
Remembrance is the theme of my entry. For it is not what I can share that may help you guide your future years, but the way in which our actions leave us to be remembered. Make an entrance.
Be remembered for what you did.
Be remembered for what you gave.
Be remembered for what you taught
Be remembered for what you tried to achieve and failed.
Be remembered for taking the hits and going again.
Be remembered for getting back up and having another go.
Be remembered for never giving up.
You will be judged.
Some will shun you. Some will love you. Keep your head.
I have learnt more from my failing than my successes.
As a young free-wheeling school-leaver I travelled to India against the behest of the Headmaster and started the 1st ever DofE scheme ever recorded in Asia. I was invited for tea at Buckingham Palace on my return for my achievement.
I changed degree mid-term at University and went on to become an award winning advertising exec running a company across 3 countries with my brother at the age of 30yrs, I thought the world was my oyster. We had proven the success of implying traditional advertising methods for digital executions (https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-117326036.html). We launched breakthrough digital banner advertising for the first ever Xbox for Microsoft, built a digital broadcast channel for ESPN Classic Sport (currently Sky 442), partnered with the European Space Agency for developing disaster relief technology and designed the first landing pages for Lastminute.com. Years later myself and a fellow Stammy comrade, Mike Anstey, built a business teaching grassroots rugby. Teaching 400 kids every Saturday across 7 parks in London we enjoyed being London’s favourite community club and shortlisted by the RFU for ‘Best Community Club’. We achieved a first taking 40 children to play on the hallowed turf at Twickenham during the half-time break in front of 80,000 people. Never before had Twickenham had children of that age set foot on that hallowed turf. Their parents watched on with tears of pride and joy.
Businesses, relationships and industries will change course. Don’t be worried or get held back. Go for it! Friends are more important than business. Business can fail, good friendships don’t. Stamford School taught me that.
Today I am happily married living in Elton, Peterborough, and have a 10yr old boy who will attend Stamford School soon. I am also happily divorced and have a great relationship with his Mum sharing many holidays and Xmas’ together. His friends are sons of my school mates, a rare legacy not often experienced but one where expansion of friendships and families will be the best thing to witness.
I consider myself late to the party of life sometimes as I see peers of mine expand jobs, families and assets. Some of your choices will halt your progress and some will accelerate it. Life will change course, that is a fact. As I remember the parts of my life that were accelerated it was in the darkest times where I felt resolution to keep going at whatever cost. I don’t envy but have admiration for the time we are in and the time I can remember. It’s ok to miss the first bus! You never who you may meet on the next one. Enjoy the moments of gratitude, work hard and learn to trust your instinct, as it is seldom wrong.
Try everything once. As the Royal British Legion say, ‘Live On’.
Remember how you wish to be remembered and live your life accordingly.
The Industry Advice Bit: if you want to get into advertising then be a data scientist. ( lookup; Ethereum, Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, AI vs IA). Learn to code too!
This is a link from 2012 predicting change in my industry and most of it has happened…
ACTION: subscribe to newsfeed such as Mashable, Huffiest, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Futurist
With warm regards and best of luck to you all and your future.