The conversation that changed everything in my career

A short exchange with a complete stranger twenty years ago changed everything for me in my career.

Watch me explain in this, possibly my most candid, video exactly what happened and see if you think differently about your own career afterwards.

This video is one in a series of interviews on the topic of ‘Conversations that changed everything’ by John-Paul Flintoff, features writer for the Sunday Times and former associate editor of the Financial Times. John-Paul is also the author of the rather wonderful little book, How to change the world.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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  • Very useful interview John. I love the insight about the impact other people’s conversation can have on you without them even knowing. I believe that when we lead through service and focus on doing what we love first, the rewards will follow and our “tribe” will resonate.

  • johnsw

    Thanks Donovan! Hope you have a great 2014…

  • Jazz Rasool

    Being true to yourself is a daily challenge many people face. Knowing where you are exaggerating who you truly are and where you may be undermining your true potential is important if you are to grow into someone that is a better version of yourself. Where we big ourselves up and where we beat ourselves down happens due to the influence of our Ego. If we could have a mirror where we could just see our Ego we could adjust it so who we show up as in the world is a true projection of the pure character we authentically are deep within us. New scientifically validated software digitally generates images of your Ego so that you know where to do more, where to do less and where to leave things as they are so you can flow towards your emerging purpose.

  • Lindsay Wittenberg

    What a great example, John, of how we can easily forget we have choice in so many areas of our lives – and how it can just take a random comment by a stranger not only to remind us but to enable us to engage with those choices. Assumptions can lead us into dangerous ways of thinking, and – as you experienced yourself – questioning them can be liberating.

  • johnsw

    Thanks Lindsay. Yes we all need reminding that ‘other realities are available’!

  • Lisa Armytage

    I found this very encouraging John. I’ve spent some time being successful & a lot of time not being successful in earning money doing what I love. In both phases there’s been a lot of irritated responses, ( as well as a lot of loving support). My response has been to carry around a lot of guilt about not being a habitual. ” 9 to 5- er”. This helps me to step away from that. Only in being ourselves can we not only fully contribute what we have to offer, but nudge others,
    (perhaps unknowingly), into doing the same. Happy 2014!

  • taragh

    A good conversation. There is a saying “perception is projection” meaning sometimes what one person perceives in another is really just a projection of themselves. It’s something I heard that has stayed with me. When I am critical of someone else it helps me to understand myself a little better. It also works well the other way round so I don’t always have to take any critisism I receive as truth.

  • Peter Matthews

    Hello Everyone
    My situation is this.
    I am 64.
    In 2015 the place where I work is likely to close down. I have stayed with the same employer or all my working life. I’ve done more or less the same thing all my working life.

    I have two medical issues.

    I live in an area which could potentially be impacted by the engineering works needed for the high-speed train link stage two. This would make a living in this area are very unpleasant. I’ve lived in this area all my adult life. A lot of the reasons for being here would be destroyed by the engineering works.

    Any comments, or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  • johnsw

    That’s a huge amount of change after a lot of stability Peter – which can be very challenging. If you are in a position to retire then perhaps you can pursue something without too much pressure of needing to make money.
    What is it you would really like to do with your time?