A few years ago, my contract with The Sunday Times was terminated.
At the time, I thought this was a disaster.
Because for years, the only thing I’d done for money was:
- Meet people, talk to them
- Write a story about it for someone
- Collect my cash
Newspapers and magazines have been losing readers for years. Keeping people like me on big fat contracts was becoming a bit of a luxury.
So there I was, apparently without any way of earning an income.
For years, I’d had only one customer.
Now I had NONE.
I could try pitching things to other papers and magazines, but they didn’t have much cash either. Much less, probably.
After my daughter had gone to bed, I sat on the floor and bawled my eyes out. I should probably be ashamed of myself. But I’m not.
Luckily, I have a wonderful wife…
Here’s a picture of us when we first got together. A bit blurry. Taken with an old-fashioned camera, from the 1940s, used to belong to my grandfather, with a timer that went wiiiirrrrrrr -tck!
Me and Harriet
What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that every problem is really an opportunity.
If we work together, you’ll hear me say that a lot. (You’ve been warned.)
I couldn’t see it at the time, because I was scared.
But a few years have passed, now. And I can see very clearly that losing my contract at The Sunday Times was the best thing that could have happened to me.
It allowed me to pursue things I’d always wanted to do, but not dared commit to. Since then:
- I’ve written several books, published by proper publishers, in 16 languages worldwide
- Talked to audiences of as many as 5,000 people on four continents
- Run workshops for thousands of people, over seven years at The School of Life (though not as co-founder, Eva)
- Become a theatrical improviser, and put on my own shows
- Designed a range of ceramics, and other homeware, now on sale in real shops
- Launched several campaigns, both local and global
- Learned the secrets of sales and marketing, which made all these possible, and
- Blah blah blah, showing off, showing off, etc
Some of this might not have happened if I hadn’t met a woman called Fenella at a books party.
We hit it off (not like that)…
… and soon afterwards she told me she was training as a coach.
She asked: could she practice on me?
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what coaching was. I thought it sounded a bit odd. A bit silly.
I thought I was doing HER a favour.
So I was astonished with the results (see above).
And I decided to train as a coach myself.
Now I find that I’ve done thousands of hours of coaching with HUNDREDS of clients.
Including other writers, artists and performers…
… and quite a few people who wear suits.
I’ve got nothing against suits:
In short: over the course of a very unusual career, I’ve learned a lot.
And I’m devoted to sharing it, with inspiring clients like Hugh:
“Every time I am stuck or need another perspective this is where I turn. What I love about John-Paul is that he is not solely a coach but someone who achieves so much in other pursuits but, having seen the enormous value of coaching, decided to become one as well. He brings a wealth of real world experience and his listening and questioning skills, perhaps as a result of years as a journalist, are of particular value. I cannot recommend him more highly.” – Hugh, entrepreneur
“JP is outstanding in his approach to coaching, and the outcomes we created through our conversations were breathtaking. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone to take the time and invest in the possibly of wonderful learning and life-changing outcomes. 100% brilliant and often entertaining too. Thanks JP!” – Chrissy, creative director and entrepreneur
… and maybe sharing it with you.
Check out my courses here: