JOHN THWAITES

DIGITAL MARKETING CONSULTANT

CAREER BIO - highlights, lowlights, reinventions, life lessons

My first big Aha! moment happened when I was 20. Having secured a job as representative for a household name paint brand it soon dawned on me how far out of my depth I was in this new world of sales, Doh! and so, at my expense I took a course of night classes with the Dale Carnegie organization to learn the art & science of salesmanship. What a wake-up moment that was, the idea there’s personal and professional development education we can access at any and all times of life, beyond school & further education. And that learning and applying the knowledge and skills will boost earnings and deliver better job satisfaction. As Mark Twain observed: “don’t let schooling interfere with your education”

 

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        The company car circa. 1979, a young man's dream come true!

I was applying the newly learned ideas to the day job and experienced increasing levels of enjoyment and greater sales success, pretty much from the word go. As an aside; why on earth would anyone ask for a pay-rise or expect to earn more money unless they were first prepared to develop their abilities to become more productive, a more valuable asset to their employer, or more effective in their chosen role. Since that time I’ve remained true to this idea of life-long learning, of continuously acquiring & upgrading skills, of self-renewal. The Japanese have a word for the philosophy of ongoing and incremental improvement: Kaizen. Why should it just be applied to products, why not people too?

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In my late twenties after time spent travelling and a number of unsuitable jobs including three years working in a London casino I came to the realization that I was neither cut out for that particular work, or more generally to continue working as an employee. Having to spend time and money commuting, being obliged to show up day after day, year after year, suffer the politics and egos and claustrophobic environment, none of this held an appeal any longer. The years, my life godammit, were slipping by and I wasn’t being paid enough, or able to make progress up the career and earnings ladder with satisfactory speed. I felt the need for freedom not restraint in order to rise up to my natural level, to flourish. I wanted to be my own boss, to do something meaningful, enjoyable, and so at that time being golf crazy I set up a business in the golf sector. Money to start was borrowed cadged and scraped, I moved back in with my dad, sold the car, bought a van, went at it, and never looked back from that moment. That was enterprise number one. There have been more start-ups since but it was this first foray into the unknown that liberated me from all the ties of employment, which allowed me to expand my capabilities, grow and realise previously innate yet untapped potential. Now there was no glass ceiling, very few rules, the only limits my own beliefs, at last I could live life on my terms. And once self employed and enjoying the many benefits, the freedom and flexibility, the autonomy, the affluence, there was definitely no going back. A life changing move then, and in retrospect it all happened so effortlessly, I was doing something I loved, it didn’t feel like work at all

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This first business evolved and I began training clients in sales, marketing & merchandising. I worked with club based golf pros and their assistants to help them improve their retail skills and boost incomes. There were moments when students, young and more mature, had those Aha! moments too, brought about by exposure to the ideas within the various training programmes I was delivering. There is nothing else I can think of quite as gratifying as opening another’s eyes to their own betterment, a more rewarding future, and accompanying them en route to its acievement

The golf business was eventually sold, forward to 2003. Aged 45 I moved to Italy. There was no real plan, I was easing back, just see what pans out. Life was sweet at first but never having a clear direction very soon a twelve year marriage was over and my self esteem had taken a huge blow. Is it any wonder everything went wrong? Looking back now it’s clear I was ignoring all the wisdom I’d been imparting just a few years prior. There was no vision, I was no longer at the helm of my life, adrift and without either destination, steering or propulsion! Buffeted by events and circumstance I was no longer creating my life, it was happening to me

Out of the ashes I built a furniture making business, it just kind of happened organically after I became interested in furniture and homeware design for my own home which I was in the process of furnishing and improving. I had some knowledge and experience of woodworking as dad had been a master craftsman in his time. I rose to a modest level of success and am proud to have been asked to bring some beautiful pieces into creation for patrons, some of whom have become good friends. However, this enterprise was never planned, it just happened, took on a life of its own and drew me along in the slipstream. Besides, it suited to make a little money. More recently I became aware of an underlying, background unease with my working days, spending almost all my time in isolation, breathing too much sawdust, not earning enough money. A recent Gallup poll revealed 87% of workers globally are to some degree dissatisfied with their work. I can relate. Know how that feels. It seems obvious too that many if not most of those dissatisfied with their work must also feel trapped in their jobs and life situations because the number is so high

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After too many years of living this compromised life I arrived at the point (crisis?) where I was staring a future of mediocrity square in the face. I can't let the years keep rolling on by, now that the State pension is nearing and the prospect of an inadequately funded retirement becomes increasingly real. It's genuinely frighteningly scary, the idea of not having enough money. I won't let an impoverished future happen to me, time to grasp the controls, take command, again. But how to adapt to this current digital reality, how does a 62 year old reinvent himself today? It seems to me that humanity is evermore connected and doing increasing business through online channels. But you knew that already. As someone born in the 1950's I suspect I'm typical in not having embraced social media, computer skills and the selfie stick. However, I did very quickly figure burying my head in the sand won't permit entry to this digital landscape we inhabit nowadays. And so stepping into the unknown it's onward to digital marketing mastery, that's the plan. My mission in part is to inspire others, perhaps even you, to take full advantage of the almost limitless opportunities out there, help you create your own wealth & financial independence to enjoy the freedom to live your life on your terms. This site is intended as a portal to the knowledge and inspiration that can unlock your real yet unrealised potential, and to provide the tools & resources necessary for you to be the creator of your own perfect life. Standby for updates

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