The Good Listening To Show: Stories of Distinction & Genius

Michael Heppell: Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author & Coach on the Cure to an Average Life & How to be BRILLIANT! A Journey of Entrepreneurship, Perseverance & Inspiration

December 01, 2023 Chris Grimes - Facilitator. Coach. Motivational Comedian
The Good Listening To Show: Stories of Distinction & Genius
Michael Heppell: Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author & Coach on the Cure to an Average Life & How to be BRILLIANT! A Journey of Entrepreneurship, Perseverance & Inspiration
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Delighted to welcome Speaker, International Best Selling Author & Coach, Michael Heppell to The Good Listening To Show 'Clearing'.

Picture this: You're at a networking event, someone asks you, "What do you do?" and you respond with, "I'm a gap filler." Intriguing, isn't it? That's just a taste of the unique perspective that our guest, Michael Heppell, brings to today's conversation. Prepare to be inspired!

You can also Watch/Listen to Michael's wonderful episode here: https://vimeo.com/chrisgrimes/michaelheppell

Heppell, an inspirational speaker, customer service expert, and best-selling author, shares how he breaks from the mold of an average life. His journey is deeply personal and engaging, filled with defining moments that include a chance encounter with a professor and a museum job offer that became an entrepreneurial spark.

As Heppell takes us through his life’s journey, you’ll find his stories to be more than just inspiring. They are also empowering, especially as he discusses his program 'Write that Book,' designed to help others write, publish, and sell their own books. Heppell applauds true entrepreneurs who dare to venture out, highlighting the importance of their courage and risk-taking abilities. His triumphs, trials, and passion echo the extraordinary power of perseverance and tenacity.

Finally, we wander into the fascinating world of language and storytelling. Heppell shares his favourite inspirational quote and offers sage advice to his younger self. 

We also learn about the most impactful piece of advice he's ever received. Wrapping up our conversation, Hepel shares his thoughts on legacy, and how he hopes to be remembered - as someone who was there for others in their time of need. 

Tune in to this compelling discussion with Michael Heppell and prepare to challenge your perspective on what it means to lead a brilliant and fulfilling life.

Tune in next week for more stories of 'Distinction & Genius' from The Good Listening To Show 'Clearing'. If you would like to be my Guest too then you can find out HOW via the different 'series strands' at 'The Good Listening To Show' website.

Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW wherever you get your Podcasts :)

Thanks for listening!

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another episode of the Good Listening To Show your life and times with me, Chris Grimes, the storytelling show that features the clearing, where all good questions come to get asked and all good stories come to be told, and where all my guests have two things in common they're all creative individuals and all with an interesting story to tell. There are some lovely storytelling metaphors a clearing, a tree, a juicy storytelling exercise called 5-4-3-2-1, some alchemy, some gold, a cheeky bit of Shakespeare and a cake. So it's all to play for. So, yes, welcome to the Good Listening To Show your life and times with me, Chris Grimes, Are you sitting comfortably here? Then we shall begin. Welcome to a special Facebook Live founder story recording of the Good Listening To Show stories of distinction and genius, the show in which I invite movers, makers, shakers, mavericks, influencers and also personal heroes into a clearing or serious happy place of their choosing to all tell us their story of distinction and genius. And I'm delighted to welcome Michael Hepel, who leads on a directive of being the cure to an average life, which is quite a lovely imperative. You are, I know, you know who you are you're an inspirational speaker, a customer service expert, a best-selling author internationally of six books and counting, I don't doubt. Also, you're wearing a t-shirt for something of your own called Team 17, which I hope you'll also tell us all about. But, Michael, welcome to this special Facebook Live recording.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you very much, Chris. An absolute pleasure to be here and you can see we've got a little bit of sunshine. Just come through and can you see it Just over there? Yes, yeah, we've got sunshine today. How rare.

Speaker 1:

And it's illuminating your Team 17 beautiful.

Speaker 2:

I should have probably sat like that, shouldn't I? That's slightly better for those people who are watching this on video. I'm illuminating my nipple. Of course you are.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the show. It's a bit oh, the fact that we're sort of blinded extra by your charisma now as well. So I was researching you in the last couple of days, and today particularly and you're a busy man because you're going live on Instagram with Davina McColl later on. I'm understanding.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we're doing this on a regular basis now, which is quite nice. Davina's been an old friend of mine for a long, long time. I started as a coach and then she became a really good friend. Every so often she'll ring me with a little coaching query and we have a couple of sessions. And then she said, Michael, your Instagram following is shocking. Well, you know what you mean. I said to her well, you've got hardly any people who follow you really, from what you do. Mine's huge. Let's do something together and then you can benefit from my Instagram following and we can help people at the same time. So I'm not fussed about the Instagram followers, but I'm very happy to help people. So we do. 17 minutes actually is our time slot that we do on a regular basis.

Speaker 1:

And I know that 17 is a particularly special number for you in your in researching you. Well, it's your number, so do you want to talk us through why number 17 is so important to you?

Speaker 2:

Well, it started off. I was used to be a fundraiser and I was in New York meeting with a guy called Harold Evans who at the time was the head of Random House Publications and was writing for the new Condi Nast Traveler. And it's just amazing, amazing guy. It was the day of the OJ Simpson verdict and I went at the appointment it had changed three times was the last chance I had to see him and I wanted to get some money from him as a fundraiser and the announcement had happened that morning and I was waiting in his PA's office before we're going to his office and just before the meeting I was all a little bit nervous and hoping it was going to happen. He said it'll be with you in a moment. He's going to be in a moment. Just a busy morning. He'll be with you in a minute. And he says, okay, go in now. And as I walked past her desk she said you've got 17 minutes. Wow, it's never happened before, it's never happened since, and I write about this in a couple of books and things. But basically, someone who values their time so much that they would have a meeting scheduled for 17 minutes taught me a lot about how seriously to take things.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and did you know that's one minute shy of the scientific research about the optimum length of a TED talk.

Speaker 2:

Did you know that Exactly?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yes of course you did.

Speaker 2:

I did know that.

Speaker 1:

So I'm not going to score any points on that.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I know that because people, when I wrote the book, 17 in there I actually say that people talk about a perfect length of a talk being 18 minutes, but all the best TED talks are 17 minutes, all the best. So if you look at Simon Sinek's doing his about why they're finding you are why that's a 17 minute one and some of the other really brilliant ones are 17 minutes as well.

Speaker 1:

And that's a perfect segue. You're using the word brilliant there because right behind you on your bookshelf, perfectly positioned by your temple, is the world brilliant, and also one of your books is how to Be Brilliant and have a Brilliant Life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there are two of my books there how to Brilliant Brilliant Life, two of them. But brilliant is my words. That's the word that changed my life, and we might come to that later. Thinking about your questions, yeah, oh yes. Great segue. I prepared, chris, I prepared.

Speaker 1:

Brother, you were passed the golden baton to me rather beautifully by a Captain Brand, as I call him, michael Owen. He's amazing. I'm not all about the Michaels, but his is spelled differently to yours. His is my Michael, yours is he is the more. I'm not going to call you common, but this is the more usual spelling of Michael.

Speaker 2:

Do you know? I interviewed him for Team 17. We did a thing called 17 minutes with and I was chatting with him and this is one of the maddest, maddest coincidences of all time when we were kids he was in Manchester, I was in Newcastle, but we both made up the same story and we were so convinced because we told it to so many people we actually both believed it was true. It's completely different places, completely, you know, same time in our lives because they're around about the same age, but it was. And the story was that we went to see ELO, the Electric Light Orchestra, the NEC in Birmingham, and neither of us had, but we both made up the same story. How mad is that.

Speaker 1:

So have you told Geoff Lynn that you've made that story up about ELO?

Speaker 2:

I haven't, but I definitely should. I've seen them live since, but not when I said I had.

Speaker 1:

And why did you make that up, do you think? Why did you both decide to, I suppose, find people a?

Speaker 2:

white light and we discussed this, why we both did it and we think we were both trying to be popular. I think kids make stuff up to try and be popular sometimes and also make stuff up to try and be popular.

Speaker 1:

That is very true. So it's going to be my great pleasure to curate you through the structure of the Good Listening Two Show. There's going to be a clearing a tree, a lovely juicy storytelling exercise called 54321. There's going to be some alchemy, some gold, a couple of random squirrels, a cheeky bit of Shakespeare, a golden batten and a cake, hurrah. So it's all to play for. If we do find ourselves going down any rabbit holes, I've also got a bell which goes a bit like cashier number three. Please, just, we won't go down any rabbit holes. If we do, it'll be my fault, but I'm going to curate you through this journey. Great, I'm on Right. So, michael Hepel, just a quick surprise question before we get into the main structure. You know that awful clunking networking question we all experience. But how you answer that will help others, I know. But if someone just asks you that rather blunt question, what do you do then? What's your favourite way of either answering or avoiding that question? So what would you?

Speaker 2:

say Michael Hepel does? I say I'm a gap filler, and then they look at me as if it's a good what? And I say, yeah, I find out where people are now, where they want to get to, and I help them fill the gap.

Speaker 1:

Like a human poly filler. If you're part of that, exactly that, I love that. So I'm a gap filler. That's a wonderful answer. I'm glad I asked you that. Ok, so first of all then, what is? Where is a clearing or serious happy place for you? Where do you go at Michael Hepel Inspirational, motivational, awesome pants? Where do you go to get clutter free, inspirational and able to think?

Speaker 2:

Two places right here in my office. I have 3000 books in here, so just actually being surrounded with books is the most wonderful, wonderful feeling, and for me it's not like going to work. I'll just sit in here and all the ones on this shelf behind me, they're all mine, just in 27 different languages All the ones on the next shelf where it says, and all the ones on the shelf above that as well. They are all by members of a group that I have called Write that Book, so it's people who have helped to write their books, and so that's one place. But then I thought are you looking for somewhere like what would be my place to visit or go on holiday or whatever? And there's two places that pop up. For that One is I go on a fast every year and I do a two, two and a bit week fast at a place called Bookinger Wilheimie, which is in Marbea. It's a German business, a German company, but they do this amazing, have this amazing fasting clinic, and when you're fasting your brain just works in a completely different way. It's extraordinary. So it's probably medically supervised, but it's a great place to go and do a lot of thinking and they have talks and they have workshops and things. So that's brilliant. Just say the name of that place again it's Bookinger. Some people pronounce it Bucinger Wilheimie. So if you just put in Fasting Clinic Marbea, you'll find it. They've got one in Marbea and one in Germany. The Marbea one was just a bit more tempting for us and we discovered it.

Speaker 1:

And I've been there and you go there with your partner, is that right?

Speaker 2:

I'm there with my wife Kristi. Yeah, and we've been doing for the last seven years now. Seven or eight years now. It's incredible, it's really good.

Speaker 1:

How long is the fasting period to get your brain to work differently?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's funny because the first time we did it we did just short for three weeks, and that's a long time, wow. So now we do two weeks in a day. So you have a one day where you get your body ready, and then you go into an 11 day full on fast it's a proper fast and then you have three days of re-adaptation where you introduce different foods to your body and get it ready for going back into real life.

Speaker 1:

So it's sort of annual reinvigoration that's become a real habit of excellence now for you Absolutely, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

It's brilliant, it really is extraordinary.

Speaker 1:

So no one's ever answered what your clearing is or where your clearing is in quite that way. And then, if I may, with a tree in your fasting central in Marbella or the Buchen. Good luck with that. And Hague, yeah, buchen will hire me, buchen will hire me and here we are with the tree then. So a bit waiting for God, don't ask existentially. I'm going to shake your tree now to see which storytelling apples fall out. How do you like these apples? And this is where you've been kind enough to have thought about four things that have shaped you, three things that inspire you, two things that never fail to grab your attention. That's where a couple of random squirrels will come in, and then the one is a quirky or unusual fact about you, Michael Hepple. We couldn't know about you until you tell us. So over to you to interpret the shaking of your canopy.

Speaker 2:

Do you want me to do them in order? Do I go do the first four straight off, is that?

Speaker 1:

Yes, so go as deep as you like, when you like, where you like and how you answer, that's up to you.

Speaker 2:

So, again, trying to avoid cliches, but at the same time I think it's very important I should tell my truth. So if I see the number one thing that shaped me, it has to be my wife, because I am what I am today because of Christine, and you know we. I fell in love with her when I was nine.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

And so we knew each other when we were kids and but she was so out of my league I couldn't tell you, so it was always this thing about you know what? You know, christine? Oh my goodness, she's this, she's this, she's this.

Speaker 1:

You in the same class, or was she sort of like three years ahead or something?

Speaker 2:

She was a little bit older than me. I won't say how much older, but a little bit.

Speaker 1:

So you felt, at the age of nine, you were punching as they say, punching above.

Speaker 2:

I'm punching now massively. It's stunning. And we grew up in a place called Concert County, durham, which is, you know, an old steel town, and she was in one little village out the side. I live in another village and we used to go to the same church group, so sometimes our church would meet with their church and there she'd be, and I was in the boys brigade and it's to see her there. She was one of the leaders in the boys brigade when I was a teenager and it was just there, was just lots of things.

Speaker 1:

And then eventually she's extra cool. She was one of the leaders in the boys brigade. She was a leader in the boys brigade. Extra cool, that's my kind of woman.

Speaker 2:

And then and then, strangely, she got married to somebody else who was a friend of mine, who had known, and then she and I would have. You know, I used to have girlfriends. I used to take them to visit Christine to see if she would sign them off.

Speaker 1:

So you sought approval or validation from Christine.

Speaker 2:

All the time, all the time, but secretly. I was obviously madly in love with her and that would be, and she, her relationship ended and she was on her own with a little boy who I've got an incredibly well with, who's my son now. And then one day it just kind of came together. We, you know, she did some proofreading for me and I wanted to pay her for doing. She said she wouldn't accept anything. So I said I'll take you out for a meal. That's when it started. So so, Christine, is the, the, the number one thing I'd say to me, I'm. I'm a better person because of Christine, undoubtedly in almost every area of my life.

Speaker 1:

And second thing, that's such a lovely answer. That's so complete, as in all your life, shaped from nine onwards, with the adoration from afar and then up close, and then you fell in love over a dinner where she wouldn't accept payment. Accept your hand in marriage, I went straight in.

Speaker 2:

Actually, what we did do was it was a year, a month, a week and a day after we'd been on that first date, we went to the same restaurant and I proposed to her there in the restaurant Lovely. It was quite a nice proposal. It was good.

Speaker 1:

And did she like you really? And was just waiting for you to ask all this time.

Speaker 2:

She was interested because we talk about this and she's pretty cool, so she'll never kind of go. Oh, I was smitten about you. She kind of said look, you kind of grew on me, you matured a lot.

Speaker 1:

But I was a kid you were coming round so often. I sort of get that yeah.

Speaker 2:

When I, when I was around about you know, 17, 18, I was crazy, I mean really, really right out there, and and Christine kind of, could she could see that I could be a better person without all this craziness?

Speaker 1:

And talking about sort of you know, drink, drugs, rock and roll type.

Speaker 2:

I stopped drinking when I was 15.

Speaker 1:

stopped, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

I didn't drink again. I was 23. So I was. I was T, totaled you, and all the times when people were making a mess of themselves, I'd already stopped. I'd done it. By that time I was 15. I drank start. I think I first got drunk when I was about 14.

Speaker 1:

And then, yeah, you're in a year and a bit later.

Speaker 2:

I don't really like this. So yeah, so that's. That's the first big shape before me. I think the second one was moving to an other country for work and I, when you say another country was just a Scotland but it was it might as well have been, you know, holland. It was just a complete culture shift and again, this just shows the person that Christine is. I got this opportunity to go and work for a personal development company in Scotland and she had a great job here back in the north of England and the Newcastle, and she left everything and just came and moved it to Scotland. And there was a few things which didn't quite work out and one of which we didn't realise was my son, who at that time was 12. He went to school in Scotland and he was mercilessly bullied for being English. It was. It was all we never told us until we came back. And it was only later, when we had a session with a child psychiatrist who was helping us with something else to try and get him into a particular, particular school, that it all came out and I felt so bad about that and I thought you know what was driving me to do this was my ego. That was why I wanted to go and do this thing it was. I never really thought about the benefit for the family or anything. It was all driven by me having to do this stuff. Now, because of that, I now do what I do. So that's a sliding doors moment, yes, but it had such a it's such shaped me in such a way and learning from some brilliant people. I met a guy there called Professor John Macbeth who taught me that you teach the tip of the iceberg and you learn the base of the iceberg. And I said a lot of speakers, a lot of people who are in personal development. They learn something, they do that little bit at the top and then they teach the bit at the top. They never go deep with it and just needing to know why something works, what's the science behind it? You know, I started to work in schools when I was up in Scotland and I went to a place called Govan High School, the giving idea of what Govan High School was like. I went in and the head teacher said welcome to Govan. Just ask this question Do you have any weapons? I went oh, no, no, no. He says what do you want? A knife, a gun? And that was for a teacher training day. So, yeah, so it was, so that that was a big thing. And when we came back, you know I do love Scotland and I loved where we lived. We lived in a place called Mulguy, on a on a little lock. Now a garden ran into the lock and we had a little bolt and stuff. It was magic in a lot of ways, but also it felt really good to come back. And then, you know, the the next stage of this, this is finding my purpose. You know, these four things that have that have shaped, shaped me, was starting my own business and really finding my purpose with that. You know, I always thought that I wanted to do something to help people, but I didn't know how I was going to do it and I ended up falling out with a company that I was working for in Scotland, had to do three months notice and then said right time to start my own company, and that was 25 years ago last month. Yeah it was and honestly, chris, that was one of those strange times where a lot of entrepreneurs will know this, especially micro businesses loads of friends say, oh, we'll help you, we'll buy your services, we'll do that. And not one of them does so. In my very first year in business, the turnover was less than 12,000 pounds turnover. Yeah, yeah, christine, she's still working in Scotland. She's commuting every week on a Monday morning at five o'clock to go and work in Scotland, coming back on Friday night. The only work I could get was on weekends, so I would then work a weekend trying to do a little bit of stuff with a network marketing company doing their training for them. It was an absolute. Shit, Can you say shit storm Well it really was, but it was such a defining time.

Speaker 1:

It's like lighting a fuse, isn't it? It begins to slow burn and you know, there's a lovely adage where there's no shortcut to success. Tomorrow we go again. It takes a relentlessness and a tenacity, and 20,000 hours, ultimately.

Speaker 2:

There were so many times when I felt just like I've got to just quit this. And actually it was people saying to me close friends, it's not going to work, michael, you know, christine, christine at one point said to me you need to find a proper job. So I she found a job for me. This is great. She found a job for me in the paper and it was to be the commercial director, the managing director of a place called Beamish Museum, and Beamish is an outdoor museum. So you've got the curator side of things, so the people who actually are the museum people, and then you've got the commercial side of things and I and she said you should apply for that job. And I knew a lot of the people who were on the board, because I've done this fundraising thing beforehand, and so I applied and I got an interview and I got down to the last three and they said right, what you need to do is you need to come along and do a 20 minute presentation on the future of Beamish Museum. And I didn't want the job, so I thought all I've got to do is make a complete ass of the presentation. So what I probably should have done is just mumbled my way through something. But instead this is typical Michael Heddle I just came up with some stupid ideas. So one of the things they have is a tram that goes right around Beamish, going along at a river five or six miles, and I was something like you can walk along the side of it. I said that's boring, that's sort of thrill ride. We need to get it like a roller coaster. She needs to go up and down to and we fire it off when it leaves the station. They're all taking notes and they've got these volunteers who sit and they and they'll make clippy mats and they'll make little scones and stuff in these old houses. I said they're bought. I said think Disney gets, get them with big heads or put these big heads on so kids find them more engaging. Anyway, you know what happened. They offered me the job.

Speaker 1:

They said it's brilliant. You're trying to be crap. You're brilliant.

Speaker 2:

The chairman ran me and he said Michael, it's radical, it's different, we think it's what we need. I was thinking, if I take on that job and do that, you'll be closed in a year, never mind anything else. So then had to get out of it and it was yeah, it's another story for another day.

Speaker 1:

So that's three, isn't it? So you're a trailblazer in spite of yourself.

Speaker 2:

I love that. Oh God, I was looking back. It's embarrassing. I mean, there's nobody listened to this, is there? So we're all right.

Speaker 1:

There's only that billions of people, obviously.

Speaker 2:

There'll be people who will know Beemish Museum, who'll be thinking that is the worst.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's a guy who said where the big heads in the roller coaster came from.

Speaker 2:

Did they use it? They did it anyway. And then the fourth thing that have really shaped me was this it was writing a book called how to Be Brilliant and it was completely life changing. No doubt about it. Be published, seeing your book on the shelves in bookshops, walking through W W Smith's travel in an airport or at a station and seeing your book in the top 10 business books there's nothing like that. There is no feeling like it. And, to be honest, chris, if my mum and two other people had bought the first copies and that was it I would have been thrilled, because all I wanted was my name on the front of a book. If I'm getting Michael Hubbell on the front of a book, that's great. But an interesting thing happened and how to Be Brilliant went into the top 10 business books and it stayed there for two years and four months. And then the next edition, which was the personal development version less business, more people of how to Be Brilliant went into the personal development chart for a year and that book is now in 27 languages. You can buy it in 80 countries. It was a complete game changer. More people want me to go and speak because of that. I met lots of well-known people. I got a chance to coach some extraordinary people.

Speaker 1:

So you've done your own version of Dale Carnegie's how to Win Friends and Influence people by the sound of it, because it's just that the brilliance of being brilliant is there and it's got to go to default.

Speaker 2:

But also Chris. I've been told since I was a kid that I couldn't write. You know my English teacher. In my last school report, the one I'm meant to give to future employers, she wrote Michael will never do anything with the English language.

Speaker 1:

So David Beckham has told me he'll never get on in football if he keeps. He'd never get on at school if he keeps playing football in his spare time. So yes, feedback always a gift, and to do the opposite sometimes is exactly what's required.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so they're my four things. So meeting my wife moving to another country, becoming very clear on my purpose, that was the other thing. Actually I didn't actually say this bit was when I started the business after the first year and a half, and things weren't going particularly well, somebody said to me what's your purpose of your business? And I was like, what's the business going? I went, oh, I want to pay my mortgage and said no, that's not what it is. Come on, what do you really want to do? And I said I want to positively influence a million lives. Yes, and that and that became my thing and everything I did was about that. So I would wake up in the morning and be like, how am I going to get a few more in the bag? And we measured it. So I had a bigger company. You know, at one point we had 70 staff. It was just crazy.

Speaker 1:

I saw some of the maths about you where how to be brilliant keynote has been seen so far, and this could be old stats now, but about 250,000 people have seen that. Yeah, so you're really on the path of maybe you've exceeded a million by now.

Speaker 2:

We did the million. We did the million about seven years ago and also.

Speaker 1:

I know Team 17 coming to your fourth shape-age. You do, to this day, help hundreds of individuals to write, publish and sell their own books, with just getting the last one in their own way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a programme called Write that Book, which we did. It was basically our COVID project. You know, how do you do something that's going to be meaningful when you can't leave the house, and I think everybody has one of these. I mean, if you watch Saturday or Sunday morning television, everybody gets their book out. It was during COVID. I decided to do this and my thing was you know, I have a group called how to Be Brilliant, which is an online group. It's great, fun and very positive and I was doing lives every day in there and people kept calling this is the beacon of positivity and all this guy's amazing and blah, blah, blah blah. And I thought I can't charge for this because people think it's for free and they're loving it. So I set out a newsletter and I just said you know, if I could teach you anything, what would you like to learn? And I had how to Save an Hour Every Day, which is one of our books. I had some stuff on customer service. Do you want to do that? How to be brilliant I came up with a little play on that. I'd be brilliant.

Speaker 1:

But the next level how to be brilliant Next level brilliant.

Speaker 2:

And then, literally at the last minute, chris, just before I pressed send I wrote or how to write a book. 74% of people that responded said they'd like to know how to write a book. Fantastic, brilliant, yeah. So I created this program called Write that Book and we've had now literally hundreds of people who've written, published and successfully sold their books. It's a joy.

Speaker 1:

In a parallel universe. The COVID experience for me was this is why the Good Listing Two show got going, because it was a bit like oh, what shall I do now? What am I going to do now? And so it's extraordinary how out of adversity comes great creativity, often, as we know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely Got my three things that inspire me.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant shape, by the way, congratulations. Lovely now. Thank you for knowing the structure. Next, it's three things that inspire you.

Speaker 2:

So number one is entrepreneurs, true entrepreneurs, people who have risked everything for an idea, for a belief, and who work so hard, who take on so much pressure and so much risk, and I just do not think that we respect entrepreneurs enough. And I'm very, very fortunate that I've worked with some incredible, incredible people. You know, weirdly, you know, my three best mates are all entrepreneurs. How does that happen? And when I see them get a reward at the end of it? So a friend of mine probably my best mate is sold his business last year for £200 million, oh yeah. Yeah, and if there was ever a person who deserved that, it was him, because I've seen what he went through to get there and the first thing is Is he happy now, by the way, because I know money isn't a solution to everything, but that reward. He was happy then and he's happy now. He's happy at Rerve now rather than Brilliant, but you know what? His next thing is helping other people to do the same. Yes, he never needs to work again, of course he doesn't. He can just sit back, and but he couldn't do that.

Speaker 1:

And that's the joy and the virtue of purpose, isn't it? People don't want to, exactly to think that we are self-motivating and money is a magnifier.

Speaker 2:

That's all it is. Yeah, if you're a nice person and you get a lot of money, you can become an even nicer person. If you're a bit of a dickhead and you get a lot of money, you become a bigger dickhead. It's just that. I've seen it happen. I agree, it's just the biggest magnifier. Yeah, entrepreneurs are one thing that really inspire me and I love reading about them, I love meeting them and I love supporting entrepreneurs as much as possible, and this is and I'm talking about some of these micro entrepreneurs as well you know the people who are making jam. There's a kid who's 17, who stands at the end of the road where my daughter lives. Every Saturday morning he sells chocolate on a little portfolio table and he's got a little brand and he wraps them up and he makes the chocolate fresh on a Friday night. He sells it on a Saturday morning and I always buy chocolate from him.

Speaker 1:

And I love it by he's 17. And there you are, mr Team 17 and he's 17.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but the thing is, though he started off, he was selling them for 10p, and I remember saying to him when he first said I said you need to charge more than that. He sells them for a quid. Now it's exactly the same, but he always sells out. And he says what am I doing? He says I want to buy a car, pass my driving test. I'm not funding all of this. He's going to be brilliant. Next thing that inspires me is Lego. I love Lego, and it's so clever, so brilliantly clever. What do you do? That typewriter that you can see behind me is made out of Lego.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

And it types, you can actually hit the keys and the thing goes forward. And then next to that, there's a Jeep, there's a truck over there, there's the home alone house, and then there's a digger and a helicopter and there's a Porsche up there and a Bugatti there with moving engines and all that type of stuff. And how they design and think of what they're going to do and then how they position it is just inspiring. On top of that, their customer service is exemplary. So, giving an example, natalie Kontozki, who was head of customer service for Lego for a long time she's no longer there, but she was and she's brilliant she took out the waiting time in all of their core centers. So the last thing you want is somebody who's called in, they've got a problem and somebody's trying to hurry them through their call because up there it says there are currently this number of people waiting, and she said nobody wants to know how many people are waiting. You need to focus on that one person. And she came out with this expression love the one you're with, chris, that is, isn't that?

Speaker 1:

beautiful. There's a song to go with that I know.

Speaker 2:

There is actually. I know it Love the one you're with, that's the one. But in terms of customer service, love the one you're with. That is inspiration and that runs right throughout Lego. They do that everywhere.

Speaker 1:

It's such a brilliant affirmation of the nature of true presence to be really, really present and there and love the one you're with. I love that too, yeah definitely.

Speaker 2:

And the third thing is my kids. They inspire me. My son he is 37 now. He's a dad, which means I'm a grandfather. He's rock solid, Absolutely rock solid. He's worked for the same company since he left university. He's really happy with that.

Speaker 1:

This is your step, isn't it? Is that right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, people use the term step. I mean it's a technicality. I mean he's father. I mean he's dad. Yeah, yeah, I mean I brought him up. Yes, so you know he has another dad. He's still a mate of mine, that's fine, but I'm his dad, so that's what matters. And we never use the term step in our family because it just feels like a, like a wicked step mother or a slightly off to one side. You know mother's boyfriend type thing.

Speaker 1:

I'm just wondering whether you had other children as well.

Speaker 2:

actually, that's partly why I'm talking. I do, yeah, I'm coming the other one Because she inspires me as well. The other one's my daughter, sarah. So she's 30. And she is very entrepreneurial. She started when she, you know, when she was at university. She worked as doing stuff there. She left university, she started her own business. After a year she realized that she wasn't enjoying it. She says just I need people around me, I'm isolated. So she went to work for an entrepreneurial business she's in marketing and then did very well with them and then became head of marketing for a hotel group and now she's just gone on to work for Sage, the big software company, in a role there and she's brilliant in so many ways. But one of the things that I love about Sarah and that she's so fair with everybody. She's got a big friendship group. You know, when going through school there was like a gang of 30 of them, not just two or three, 30 of them. We'll do everything together and they would obviously always be falling out and that type of thing. Sarah was always so fair. Well, that one, yes, she can be a bit like that, but you know what? She's having a bit of a tough time, or this one, and then she does that with people at work now, and she does it with people who she meets in life. She does it with me.

Speaker 1:

She's a people whisperer. Is what you're saying.

Speaker 2:

You're like a people whisperer, absolutely, and she really does care. So, yeah, so my kids would be the other of the two of the three things, if that makes sense. Two of the third things, all right, okay, are we done with three things that inspire me? Should we go into two things that never failed? With my attention, this is both random.

Speaker 1:

This is borrowed from the film art. This is a bit old squirrels. You know what never fails to old squirrels grab your attention, irrespective of anything else that's going on for you. So what are your squirrels?

Speaker 2:

So when I was first started with my business, I used to do event management and I would organize these great big events and stuff and it was great fun, I enjoyed doing it. And one day I met this guy called Paul Farqua and he was starting a business with his mate, steve Witt, and the idea was you would buy things from the internet and they would be delivered to your home. Can you imagine this? You wouldn't have to go into a shop, you could actually find it, order it. They would take the payment away. Now, obviously, now is there another way to shop? I don't know, but they did this and they started this, one of the very first online stores. And it was because his father used to have a menswear shop in Fleetwood near Blackpool. So they started to do menswear like this. And I remember suddenly he had his phone. It was one of those old Nokia phones and it suddenly went chaching and I went, oh, what's that? And he goes, oh, we've just made a sale. And he'd set up a program where if they made a sale, it would send a text to his phone. And his phone was set up with the, for that particular ringtone was a cha-ching, cha-ching, yes, and I was like really amazed by this, fascinated by it. When I started to do online stuff during COVID and we started to do selling you know courses online and selling audios online, all that type of thing I thought I want to set one of these up and it wasn't difficult to at all. So now I have it, where I get sent a text if we've made a sale. That always gets my attention, chris, I'm sure it does. I don't lose cha-ching, because I think that's a bit cheesy, but it is literally. If we make a sale, it's a different ringtone and it goes, you know, like a bloop, like that. And sometimes it can be like we're doing a, we're just finishing a Black Friday sale today and the cheapest item is £4. If it's £4 or if it's £400, I don't care, I love it, always gets my attention. Exactly, exactly that. Yeah, perfect, squirrel, yes, perfect. And then the other one. I don't know if I should be telling you this, but it's opportunities to remove inefficiency. I interfere, I see something and I've got to get involved. If something isn't working, I should, just, I should let it lie, let them get on with it. But no, I want to get in and I want to fix it and I want to give some advice or whatever. And Christine, it drives her nuts. She'll go. Michael, mind your own business. They don't need to know that. I'm just being helpful. She says you know you're interfering.

Speaker 1:

You're a gap for that.

Speaker 2:

When I was thinking yeah, if I see something, I'm looking and I'm thinking well, that doesn't, it just grabs my attention. I can't. I mean, it's that thing. You know, sometimes you want to fix something which is an unfixable, yes, and that's fine. But if it is fixable and you can do it there and then if I make something happen a little bit faster, if I remove a blockage or whatever, I'm your man, I'm in Ping.

Speaker 1:

Lovely, and now a quick here. I need your fact about you, michael. We couldn't possibly know about you until you tell us.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, I'm going to give you three. You've got to tell me which one's the lie.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

All right, so I'm putting you on the spot here, Chris. Okay, so one of these is a lie. I successfully joined the magic circle. I worked as a chef in a three Michelin star restaurant, or I set myself on fire during a keynote speech.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to go with number two, please. Is the lie? You didn't work in a restaurant as a three star chef.

Speaker 2:

Well, I wasn't a three star chef. I actually said I worked as a chef at a three Michelin star restaurant. Doesn't mean I was a three Michelin star chef.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to go. That that's true now, because you've qualified it, so let's go. It is true.

Speaker 2:

It's a place called Long Cloum. It's one of the only three star restaurants in the UK and when they first opened in their second year they did a thing called Chef for the Day and my wife bought it for me and I was a chef with Simon Rogan three star chef, working at these restaurants for one day.

Speaker 1:

It's going to be number one then, because I can't believe, for reasons I don't quite understand, but you probably did set fire to yourself by accident in a keynote speech.

Speaker 2:

I did set fire to myself in the key and I actually I did join the magic circle. I'm no longer a member, but I did join but so I used to do a lot of this stuff. Here we go. Another balloon modeling yes, Just do a quick one for the viewers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, get in, and now Michael is doing me a special yes, bloney's, bloney's modeling balloon.

Speaker 2:

Chris, what's your favorite animal of all time? What's that Dog? Okay, no problem. A dog, it is All right, I can do that. Any particular type of dog? Oh, standard poodle? Yeah, no problem at all. I was just thinking about that. Here we go ready and there we have the classic balloon dog. That was exactly what I ordered. That was exactly what what I'll do is I'll undo the knot, I'll flatten that and I'll send a tree in the post, and you just have to blow it up yourself and put it back together.

Speaker 1:

It's Christmas coming up. That's something for the nitwits. I love that. That's fantastic, even the kids. Yeah, ha-ha. We've shaken your tree gloriously with no one's ever given me a sort of blow-up poodle chaser at the end of that. That's awesome. And now we stay in the clearing. Move away from the tree. Next we're talking about alchemy and gold. When you're at purpose and in flow, michael Hepper, what are you absolutely happiest doing in what you're here to reveal to the world?

Speaker 2:

When I'm on stage in front of a thousand people or 10 people or 10,000, it doesn't matter. That is where I am absolutely at my best. You know, chris, it's one of those things. I I've been described as one of the top three professional speakers in the world and I take that description seriously and I work at it all the time. I hone my craft. So yesterday I did an event when it was quite a small one there was only 35 people there but I practiced the whole thing the night before. I didn't need to. It was a bit. It was a highly brilliant keynote. I've done it literally hundreds and hundreds of times, but I take it so seriously that I'm going to be spot on and things always evolve and change and certain language you can't use that you may be used in the past. Some people feel uncomfortable if you say, ladies and gentlemen, so now, after, change that to you know what friends and do it like that. There's certain little jokes that used to be okay, that aren't. Things have changed. Some of your examples have changed. You know you kind of talk about highly successful people who's top of your list. Everyone used to go, oh, richard Branson. Nobody says Richard Branson now, so there's no point having a Richard Branson story in your pocket when somebody's talking about Stephen Bartlett or whoever the next one. So I hone it and I work on it all the time and it is challenging, but it's also where I'm at my best, lovely answer, and now I'm going to award you with a cake.

Speaker 1:

So, first of all, do you like cake, michael?

Speaker 2:

Do I look like I like cake?

Speaker 1:

You look like it Well, in a good way. You look happy to have cake. I love cake. So what cake would you like, please? Christmas cake, oh, brilliant. Seasonal and appropriate as well, because here we are.

Speaker 2:

I get it all year round.

Speaker 1:

Christmas cake year round. I love it, yeah, I love it. So now you get to put a cherry on the cake. It is yours the Christmas cake, the multi-seasonal Christmas cake. The cherry on the cake now is and it can be a glassy cherry, obviously, because it's Christmas cake. So what's a favourite inspirational quote that's always given you sucker and pulled you towards your future?

Speaker 2:

Well, you know this changes, but I can tell you what it is right now and it's a Theodore Roosevelt quote and it's do what you can with what you have where you are. And the more I think about that. That is brilliant Because a lot of times people, especially in my world, or you, should be like this you should have that, should, should, should, Aim for the stars, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then people get frustrated because it doesn't happen for them, Either get upset or they get depressed or whatever it might be. And when if you're at your lowest point, do what you can with what you have where you are. If you're at your highest point, do what you can with what you have where you are. It works with absolutely everybody.

Speaker 1:

And it echoes beautifully and resonates with love, the one you're with, actually that's a one through line there. What notes, help or advice might you offer to a younger version of yourself now with the beautiful gift of hindsight?

Speaker 2:

And you'll be all right in English. You certainly are. Miss Lumsden may have got this wrong. The thing about you not being able to write you know you will be. You know you can be a Sunday Times number one bestselling author, michael, I would never have believed myself. And the other thing is those girls that seem so far out of reach. One day you're going to marry one, so you might as well ask a few of them out on dates on the way.

Speaker 1:

Still a stepping back and another quick one. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Speaker 2:

It's OK not to decide. And that's just from a coach of mine who I was racking my brains on making this important decision and I said, and I need to and I need, and he went Michael, stop, you don't always need to decide straight away. Take a step back. It's all right not to make a decision. And within 10 minutes of me deciding it was all right not to make a decision. The answer was there Very clear. So often when I coach people and they say should I do this or should I do that, I'll say what would happen if you didn't do either, if you just stop for a moment and the relief on people's faces. So I think that is probably one of the very, very best bits of advice Lovely.

Speaker 1:

And now we're ramping up to the complete works of Shakespeare to talk about legacy in a moment and how you'd most like to be remembered. But, if I may, before we get there, this is past the golden baton moment, please. So who would you most like to pass the golden baton on to keep the golden thread of the storytelling going, michael?

Speaker 2:

Okay, this was so difficult. I mean, I literally had a list of about 30 people at one point and I'm thinking about you know who will be good for you, who will be good for the listeners, and I think I am going to nominate a guy called Jamie Waller. Jamie Waller, do you know anything about him, or am I just you can tell us a quick base bash?

Speaker 1:

boss of Jamie Waller.

Speaker 2:

So Jamie is an entrepreneur, which is how I got to know him. He asked me to coach him, but he's written a brilliant book called Unsexy Business, which is all about how people did very, very well with very unsexy businesses. We always hear about the person who founded Facebook and all that type of stuff. This is stories of how people made millions from gritting car parks and stuff like that. It's just superb. And now he's just writing a new book about the gift of dyslexia and he's quite dyslexic and about using dyslexia as a superpower. And he's a lovely, lovely, brilliant, brilliant, kind and generous guy. You know just phenomenal stuff. And when you hear him I tell you he's some of his tales and some of his things You're just like wow. So yeah, he'll be great.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. And now, inspired by Shakespeare and all the worlds of stage and all the bettered women, Billy Players. How, and all is said and done, Michael Hepel, would you most like to be remembered?

Speaker 2:

OK, he was there for me when I needed him. That's the thing. I think it's very, very important to be there at the right times, and sometimes we are there when we aren't needed and we're sticking our noses in, but the important thing is to be there when somebody does need you.

Speaker 1:

Wonderful. Where can we find out all about Michael Hepel and Team 17 on the old hint web?

Speaker 2:

OK, so HEPEL is HEWPEWL. We're a funny HEPEL. Most HEPELs are LE at the end, but we're the WPEWL variety. So if you just type into the Google Michael Hepel, we should come up number one and go to MichaelHepelcom and there's links to everything there. Or if you go into Facebook, michaelhepel in there you know X, all these, all these things which I should spend more time on. I will appear and if you're on LinkedIn, then definitely connect with me on there and use me. A lot of times that people connect with folk on LinkedIn and they don't do anything with it Don't make the connection work. So no point in having 5,000 connections and only three people who you help and talk with. I want to help people as much as possible, especially people who are doing business stuff and who are being creative and maybe want to write books and things that connect with me. I'd love to help you.

Speaker 1:

As this has been your moment in the sunshine, in the Good Listening, Two Shows stories of distinction and genius. Is there anything else you'd like to say, Michael?

Speaker 2:

Do you know? Can I say, chris, something about your podcast which is really magical and I've done lots of podcasts. I think that your methodology and your 5,4,3,2,1 and all those bits has been so great. It's made me think and, as I said before, I want to be ready for stuff, so I've sat and I did my homework, I've got a whole page with my crib sheet for my answers and stuff like that, and so I want to say thank you to you for doing this and curating it so well and communicating brilliantly, and I think this is why it's such a great podcast, because obviously the effort that you put in and it makes the guests think and that's no bad thing.

Speaker 1:

That's very, very generous and kind of you to say, and thank you so much also for you immediately said yes when I rang you up because Michael Owen recommended you, picked up the phone and said I like you because you've decided to ring me. So yes, because we did that thing of you know, michael's suggestion was I'll be on yours, you'll be on mine. But you said yes immediately. So thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely, thank you. I've loved this Me too.

Speaker 1:

You're also going to be on UK Health Radio, which pulls you into a big vortex of about 54 countries and 1.3 million listeners. People, you're welcome, so boom. So, michael, thank you so much, and I'm just about to sort of press end, but anything else you'd like to say now Be brilliant. Of course, this has been the lovely Michael Hepel. Check out the website, thegoodlisteningtoshowcom, and check out Michael Hepel double P-E-Double L on the papel and you will find him. You've been a wonderful guest. Thank you very much indeed. Good night. You've been listening to the Good Listening To Show here on UK Health Radio with me, chris Crimes oh, it's my son. If you've enjoyed the show, then please do tune in next week to listen to more stories from the clearing. If you'd like to connect with me on LinkedIn, then please do so. There's also a dedicated Facebook group for the show too. You can contact me about the program or, if you'd be interested in experiencing some personal impact coaching with me, carry my level up your impact program. That's chrisatsecondcurveuk On Twitter and Instagram. It's At that, chris Crimes. So until next time for me, chris Crimes from UK Health Radio. I'm from Stan. To your Good Health and goodbye.

Michael Hepel
Curated Journey and Personal Stories
Defining Moments and Finding Purpose
Entrepreneurship, Writing, and Overcoming Challenges
Inspiration and Squirrels
Language's Evolution