I’ve always had a fascination for communication and the connection between performer and audience. And I got my storytelling gene from my mother, that’s for sure. But I applied and developed it in an unusual context – working in the golf & leisure industry.
With a brother as a golf pro and growing up in Lytham St. Annes on the Lancashire coast it was hardly surprising I ended up playing golf to a reasonable level. Unlike my brother I went to university and emerged with a good degree in social sciences. But I reverted back to what I knew and for 22 years worked in a variety of roles in the UK golf & leisure sector – as a referee, pro tournament organiser, commercial manager, coach, consultant and journalist.
A life-changing experience led me to change direction in my early 40’s and I essentially reinvented myself as a speaker, writer, consultant & trainer. One of my business mentors taught me a profound lesson, during the time I was teaching people to play golf. We were sitting in the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and he came out with this gem:
Andrew, you’re like a champion jockey on a donkey!
That was enough to set me on a path of personal and professional reinvention. Looking back on my years in the golf industry, the thing I enjoyed the most was working with an audience – be it making a speech or teaching a group of golf beginners! I was made for marketing rather than general management, so the idea began to form that I might make a living as a consultant/coach with a dollop of public speaking thrown in.