So here’s a post before everyone breaks up for the Christmas period. Unless you’re working part-time in a restaurant like me, in which case it only gets busier.
Had another good talk last week at Cariocca Enterprises in Manchester where I spoke at a Christmas Networking event. My stammer was awful. Really knocked me off focus. But when I told the audience about how it wasn’t stopping me, I had a huge round of applause. Then afterwards, a lady in tears saying she’d never complain about life again. Makes it all worth it. That’s my last one until the New Year.
My speaking career has taken off so much this year that in a couple of weeks I’m able to leave the aforementioned job at a restaurant where I’ve been for 3.5 years! I am frequently accused of ‘dossing about’, but if that means following my dream and creating a meaningful career out of it, then I couldn’t be happier. Earlier this year I didn’t get as much time in Scotland as I wanted and I can’t let that happen twice- so I had to move the obstacles out of the way. It pretty much takes a day to get up to Scotland, and back again. So now I will have the freedom and flexibility of weeks on end.
Pleased to announce another sponsor- the Sharples GroupLtd in Warrington. I met their MD Mark Brocklehurst at a networking lunch recently and we clearly share a passion for adventure as Mark completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, 3000 miles of rowing, earlier this year for charity.
Mark said: ”The Sharples Group have been helping clients source and get the best out of their printers and copiers for the last 38 years, based in Warrington they pride themselves in providing sensational service and going the extra mile. They have a robust CSR ethos which means they can get involved in many community projects and are honoured to be playing a part in helping Alex achieve his dream”
Find out more on their website at www.sharplesgroup.com
Plus, Coventry House Publishing, are not only going to be publishing my book, but want to support my journey through the whole process and have made a generous donation to my expedition costs as an official supporter. I’m very excited to be an author on their website www.coventrybooks.com/author.php
So on that note…
I am psyched to confirm Everest 2015 is now fully funded! All being well, that’s my expedition place confirmed. It’s on. I’ve been given another chance and I couldn’t be more grateful, especially as I now have an even bigger team of supporters and sponsors who all believe in what I’m trying to achieve. Now I can really get on with things and give this my best shot.
Before I could really get my head into the charity fundraising and the Scottish Winter training – first, I had to find the funding to actually get myself ON the expedition. In total, over £23,000. A paper round you say? Corporate sponsorship has been the only way to do this for me. However, I don’t spend my money on petrol, alcohol, lads’ holidays or designer clothes, so at least discipline was on my side. Doing it first time round for this year’s Everest attempt was hard enough, emailing over 1000 people. Having to start pretty much from scratch was daunting at first. But you either find a way or make one. Fortunately I had the right people behind me from the start and I couldn’t be more grateful.
So a MASSIVE thanks to The Westgrove Group and Active Cheshire my joint headline sponsors, particularly Westgrove Chairman Steve Fives who’s support has been invaluable. My ‘Base Camp’ sponsors dayinsure.com in Tarporley are also one of my major sponsors along with four sponsors Ideal 365, Cammell Laird, BiG Storage and of course Sharples Group Ltd plus the Chester Business Club Alliance. Then there’s my supporters- Shortlist Recruitment, The Edge Cycleworks, YHA, SYHA Hostelling Scotland, Marmot, Coventry Books, Forresters, Hampshire Flag Company Ltd and more… not a bad team, eh?
But that doesn’t even include the many individuals who have supported, networked, advised and mentored me on a personal basis. Not fair to list names, but you know who you are, and you have been a crucial and hugely appreciated part of the journey.
So for Christmas this year – that’ll do quite nicely. This year has been the first where I have made absolutely zero festive effort. My head is fully in the game and I don’t mean the Turkey.
94 days to go.
My next blog before the New Year will be reflecting on an epic year – but until then, Merry Christmas and all that!