Technically, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, or whether they do ever say it, but you get the gist.
Season 1 of The 1% Club Podcast is almost at an end.
When it started, we were tentatively hoping, but not daring say aloud that on the other side of recording would be Gold Medal winning Paralympians grinning from ear to ear.
Thankfully, that came to pass with both Neil and Lora Fachie not only securing their Gold medals but also breaking World Records in the process.
I’m still not entirely sure whether it’s sunk in for the pair of them yet!
And amongst all the preparations for that, Neil and I devised and recorded this podcast following our discovery of a shared interest in the make up of High Achievers – those who consistently perform at the top of their game to become the elite in their chosen profession.
What was it about them that made them special, allowed them to be successful?
Was it just hard work or did fate play a role?
We decided to investigate, and so The 1% Club Podcast was born.
A season of shows, interviewing high achieving individuals from all walks of life about their journey to success and beyond.
This is the episode where we look back over the discussions with our initial inductees and review our findings.
You’ll hear from Neil, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Grant Stott, Daniel Priestley, Zareen Ahmed and Lora Fachie one more time, and on this occasion, as we go, we’ll try to compile the contents of that ultimate Toolbox For Success – the traits, characteristics, behaviour and practices common to them all – the things which have shaped them into the people they’ve become.
Maybe, just maybe if we try to adopt those elements in our own lives we could become the elite in our worlds too?
Oh, and we’ll keep score of what our guests thought of their own journeys, and whether luck had played a role in them reaching their lofty positions.
When we launched The 1% Club Podcast, the week the Paralympics opened, all throughout that Summer of recording we’d had to fit in episodes around other work commitments on my part, and training to win yet another Gold Medal, on Neil’s.
There was always small talk before we’d start and after we’d finish an episode, immediately prior to our guest joining us or signing off from the recording session, and although never discussed aloud, there was definitely an air of tension, not between us (!), but simply because the date loomed large in the calendar.
When you think about it, it’s an absolutely massive undertaking, to devote your life – it’s never just 4 years – training for one shot at something which has any number of permutations for where it can go wrong. That brings a lot of pressure. But what was the saying Neil tweeted his own wife just the other day?
I’ve come to realise that despite it being something else to take on in the run up to the Paralympics with all that pressure already in the mix, the podcast for Neil was a bit of escapism from work, as well as a new string to his bow.
And the chance to chat with us, may have proven the same thing for Lora.
Certainly it was a lot of fun for me, pulling the strings interviewing a married couple only a man secure in the knowledge of his location 8 floors up in a barriered building a few hundred miles away would risk.
As I’ve mentioned before there’s more than a hint of a Mr and Mrs flavour to parts of this episode, but in saying that, I don’t want to detract from the power of Lora’s back story, something she dismisses casually in much the same way her husband does with his.
But when it comes to singing her praises, it’s a different story. I couldn’t sum up better what this episode contains.
And finally, given that we’re dealing with two world-record holding Paralympians who LIVE together, is there ever an underlying competitive edge to items as small as tasks around the house, even?
Isn’t it strange how you knew the answer before the question was even out!
Enjoy the show as Neil and I interview Lora Fachie in Episode 6 of The 1% Club Podcast, out now.
Thankfully, by now, THIS is the photo you’re used to seeing.
We know the story of these Paralympics, but to appreciate the back page photo and headline, you need to know the entire tale, from the start.
Out Monday, The 1% Club Podcast meets Lora Fachie, a podcast hosted by myself and Neil, as always, but this time Neil had the slightly awkward position of being seated next to his interviewee. In fact, I think they may had an earphone each.
I take great joy throughout whenever I can find an angle to go slightly Mr and Mrs, but, never lost on us is the scale of the achievements in Lora’s life and the battles she’s faced head on and overcome.
AND, we also get to hear about her Guide Dogs.
The 1% Club meets Lora Fachie, out Monday, wherever you get your podcasts.
When I wrote about this episode before it was released, I said, sometimes the beginning is an end. Let me explain.
I think it’s fair to say all of our guests are driven by something hugely powerful. Some of them are aware of it, but don’t even fully understand themselves where it comes from or how it works – just that it’s there and a part of them.
A gut instinct, an inner voice, something – spurring them on, from where they are to where they want to be.
From Episode 1, where Neil told us of his mantra – Earn Your Stripes. The thing he told himself all through the pandemic where he had to train on a fixed bike at home initially, and as he pushed himself as hard as he could to be better, faster, stronger – his sofa tried to seduce him to give up and dive on.
Countering that, the voice inside calmly pulled him back on target. Earn Your Stripes. Make the effort. Don’t give up. Remember the goal.
Evelyn Glennie, who’s always known for her the target was ‘solo percussionist’. It didn’t exist in the real world, but because she’d visualised it in her mind, she knew she could give it form. And she did.
Grant Stott, who, for his entire life always yearned to be an actor, grabbing every single opportunity along the way, learning and crafting and building his way towards the goal.
And then came a slight change. Mostly similar, but subtly different. Daniel Priestley, the super successful entrepreneur whose world view and understanding flipped completely in one moment. One experience.
And now in Episode 5, we meet Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed, another of our guests whose life changed forever, in an instant.
Sometimes, the beginning is an end.
Yes, because, believe it or not, that is where the journey we discuss in this podcast, starts.
I’ve known people who’ve lost children. Seen it up close. They’ve been hollowed out by the experience, never to grasp anything resembling even close to a normal existence ever again. They’ve merely marked time for the remainder of their lives, a husk of the human they once were. Unreachable.
Zareen is not that person, but I can tell you with as much certainty as I can muster she would have nothing but love, empathy and compassion for them.
Her own path took a different route. An astonishing one. And I desperately want for you to hear it unfold over the course of this episode. So that you too can understand and believe from the depths of tragedy and despair, can come the most amazing things, and the enviable ability to lead and inspire.
I spotted Neil posting this earlier.
“The most inspirational person I know”
One other thing which has stuck with me since we recorded this episode. At one stage, Neil asked Zareen, where she found the confidence to see a problem in the world and simply dive right in and try to solve it.
Please, listen to this episode and learn about Halimah, and the school and college, and Gift Wellness and Zareen – and be inspired by the gift of this story.
Zareen Roohi Ahmed, like a lot of our guests, is many things – a social entrepreneur, charity founder, speaker, author, environmentalist, mentor and lecturer.
She’s deeply spiritual as a practicing Muslim, and believes everything happens for a reason.
That one principle has probably shaped her more than you know.
Before we met her officially for the show, Neil was already acquainted, but only online because of the pandemic. He described Zareen as the first and only person he’d encountered who had the ability to light up a virtual room.
He also said she was ‘remarkable’.
She’s a high achiever, for sure, and very driven.
It’s what’s behind that drive that makes this episode one of the most amazing stories we’re ever likely to share.
The 1% Club Podcast Meets Zareen Roohi Ahmed in Season 1, Episode 5, out Monday.
When I wrote about Daniel BEFORE his podcast episode was released, I said he was an impressive guy. I’m going to take that back.
I undersold him.
Get a load of this.
Daniel Priestley is hugely successful. And rich. And influential.
Chances are, if you’re into business you have at least one of his books. There are four (so far) – Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution, Oversubscribed and 24Assets. He’s built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK.
Daniel is also the founder of Dent, which runs a 9-month growth accelerator programme for small enterprises, working with over 500+ entrepreneurs each year to develop their businesses. Dent has offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and Australia.
The conversation we had was far from what I expected it would be
It blew me away.
I think it’ll do the same for you.
One of the things we discussed was about how, by Daniel’s stage in his career, because he’s achieved so much, when anyone looks at his profile, (and his publicity people want to fit it all in), the concept of learning through your failures is airbrushed out. There are no blemishes in his official story, either by necessity, design, or a bit of both.
What you really need to listen out for though are Daniel’s answers to the questions about the contents of his Toolbox For Success, AND his answer to our previous episode’s guest, Grant Stott’s question.
You could guess all day and never get it right.
Thankfully you don’t have to. Daniel’s episode is out now, and you can listen to it below.
Here’s the running order.
2.45 Daniel Priestley On……What He Does
4.18 Daniel Priestley On……High Achievement – Nature Or Nurture?
6.41 Daniel Priestley On……His First Entrepreneurial Move
9.27 Daniel Priestley On……Turning Nothing Into Something Hugely Successful
12.11 Daniel Priestley On……Dropping Out Of University
18.00 Daniel Priestley On……Relocating To The UK
20.27 Daniel Priestley On……The People Who Influence Him
21.57 Daniel Priestley On……Learning Through Failure
25.08 Daniel Priestley On……The Biggest Failings Of New Entrepreneurs
28.45 Daniel Priestley On……Becoming An Author
32.29 Daniel Priestley On…..How You Know When You’ve Got A Great Business Idea
36.43 Daniel Priestley On……DENT
38.16 Daniel Priestley On……What Motivates Him
41.52 Daniel Priestley On…..Success
44.08 Daniel Priestley On……What’s Next
46.21 Daniel Priestley On……His Toolbox For Success
51.17 Daniel Priestley Answers Grant Stott’s Question
56.41 Daniel Priestley Poses A Question For Zareen Ahmed
They call it the BIRG Effect. Basking In Reflected Glory.
And I’ll be honest, it feels amazing, so God alone knows what it’s like to be Neil and Lora Fachie this morning.
I’ve been hugely privileged the last few months to be given a behind the scenes insight to these Paralympians in training.
I don’t know if Neil chose to co host a podcast with me to take his mind off training a little bit when he had downtime or whether he was genuinely super passionate about this project in the same way I was. I know he was keen to promote the other side of his life as a business coach, and I know his purpose.
Whatever the reason, I’m hugely thankful he did, and we’ve worked around his training schedule to put together The 1% Club Podcast, where we’ve met an array of High Achievers from all walks of life, asked them how they did it, and whether they believe it was all down to them, or maybe a slice of luck, fate, destiny – call it what you will.
In all but one of the shows, Neil co hosted with me, but in the first, being a high achiever himself, we put Neil in the hot seat and chatted to him. How prophetic was this?
At the end of the series, the pair of us interviewed Neil’s wife Lora, and you’ll hear that episode in the coming weeks.
“Is it difficult”, I wondered, “being as competitive as you are, living together? Is there an undercurrent of competitiveness running through your home?”
Well, if that really is the case, the events of today have just made that even more complex and difficult to manage.
By now, you’ve probably wakened to this news.
And this news.
Gold for Neil Fachie, AND a new World Record, slicing more than a second of his previous best to clock 58.038 seconds.
Gold for Lora Fachie, AND a new World Record in the qualifying process.
I couldn’t be prouder, because I’ve got to know them a little bit, and on top of everything else they come across as a lovely pair of people.
Confident not cocky.
Passionate not precious.
Insanely driven, yet managing to not drive each other insane!
I hope you choose to listen to their podcasts and learn more.
Neil’s is out now, (look below), Lora’s will be in a few weeks, and you can also watch clips from the pair of them and our other guests on our YouTube Channel.
Here’s the nub: Their stories only become more powerful when you learn about the failures and setbacks they’ve had, and how they fought back from them to reach the events of today.
That’s where true motivation and inspirations lies.
Enjoy all of it Fachies. You’ve earned every second.
It’s fair to say over the course of recording Season 1 of The 1% Club Podcast I’ve become more than simply a little emotionally invested in the outcome of my co-host’s Paralympic dream this year, and more recently, of his wife Lora.
I’m breaking with format slightly by letting you know now, Lora is an upcoming guest on the show. If I took great delight in some of our guests completely surprising me, Lora’s show gave me great delight for exactly the opposite reason.
I had a feeling if everything went as expected it would be part documentary and part Mr and Mrs, because Neil would be interviewing his own wife for his podcast, perched right next to her in the same room. I knew it would create laughs along the way, and possibly at times a deliciously fun awkwardness if I asked the right questions.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not part psychopath like a movie interrogator, I just saw the potential to have a little fun, and I was right.
The reason I’m breaking out a little of Lora’s episode just now is because tonight our time (Friday into Saturday) sees both Neil and Lora compete.
For Lora, the main thrust of her focus is on the road race elements next week, but for Neil, it comes down to about 4am tomorrow morning, where a lifetime of work will be poured into one event.
Just imagine that for a moment. Everything you’ve done your entire life, leading up to this one moment.
One chance to get it right. To leave everything out there. Imagine all the thoughts rushing through your head as you make for the starting line.
Thoughts like, what if it all goes wrong?
You try and reassure yourself by replying to your panic. “Come on, we trained for this, what’s the worst that could happen?!”
If at that point you hear the Dr Pepper theme playing somewhere in the background, my advice would be to withdraw.
Back in the real world – for Lora, the worst already has.
But she followed that up with success, winning Gold in Rio in 2016, banishing those demons and training her mind to cope with what happens now if something goes wrong.
Tonight whilst Neil is preparing, Lora will be doing the same, as her and Neil’s events are in the same session.
Each has to remain totally focussed on their own mission, at least until it’s complete, and let nothing distract them from it.
Like their spouse winning a Gold, for instance.
So today, being invested, I know exactly how my schedule’s going to unfold, and on the off chance you’re as keen as me to watch history happen for the Fachies I thought I’d share it with you.
First, catch up on Neil’s story thanks to Episode 1 of The 1% Club Podcast.
Shameless, I know, but I’m over it.
Just after that, I’d advise a brief power nap, so you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed for the main event. Channel 4 has full coverage overnight from midnight.
Before I tell you a little about our next guest, let me remind you what this show is all about.
We’re chatting to high achievers, hoping to find out the secrets of their success.
We’ve got a side order on this, which is – do they believe their success is down to hard work or fate?
AND, at a time the world was sinking a little, we wanted to try and lift it, you, and us, back up a bit.
That last part is probably the most important element in our next show.
Daniel Priestley is an impressive guy.
Here’s what his biography says:
He started out as an entrepreneur at 21 and built a multi-million dollar event, marketing and management business before the age of 25.
True, but his very first transaction took place at the age of 10. We know because he told us. Then, in his teens, he started a venture that made thousands from literally nothing. In his teens. When he had a bar job on weekends and delivered pizza during the week.
He went to University to study business and entrepreneurship, but dropped out disillusioned, finding he was the most successful business person there.
And now….? (Back to the bio)
He’s a successful entrepreneur, international speaker and best-selling author. Daniel has built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK. Daniel is the founder of Dent, which runs a 9-month growth accelerator programme for small enterprises, working with over 500+ entrepreneurs each year to develop their businesses.
Still not a lie. None of it is.
Like, I say, Daniel is an impressive guy, but not just because of all that.
I’ll be honest, I expected to have a chat and hear about all the great things Daniel’s done in business, how he’d sold this, made that, stuck a few extra zeroes on the end of his bank balance….and instead, by the end of our chat, I was completely astonished and in awe, and I know you will be too.
Remember, you can catch all our episodes to date with Neil Fachie, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Grant Stott, and you can watch them in addition too, or if you’d prefer.
You can listen here or in the players at the bottom of the page, and you can watch on our YouTube channel.
As always on the blog, I like to give you a little heads up before everyone else for the part of the next podcast I think will blow you away. In Daniel’s show, it’s probably the answer to the question left for him by Grant in Episode 3.
Here’s Grant’s question
So look out for Daniel’s answer to that, AND when we ask him about his Toolbox For Success. Was it all down to hard graft, or luck….?
You can hear all our episodes so far here, or in the players at the bottom of the blog.
You can also watch all the video clips from our shows here
If you know nothing about it, here’s a very quick low-down.
It’s hosted by Neil Fachie MBE and John Mellis (DJ!)
The aim of the podcast is to chat with a number of high achieving individuals from all walks of life, and after those chats, attempt to identify similar characteristics, habits, techniques or behaviours in our interviewees which we then hope to group together as being pivotal in their success.
When we distill those down, we plan to be able to present the ultimate toolbox we can all try to use and implement in our own lives, bringing us all collectively closer to that elite level.
There’s a secondary aspect to our podcast too. We want to find out if our guests believe their success is entirely of their own making or if they think they were born lucky, or got a break. Something that intervened in their journey which catapulted them to where they are now, that in essence was nothing at all to do with their application and by any other terms would be identified simply as good fortune or destiny.
In Season 1 we meet six guests in total, all from largely different worlds.
Episodes 1, 2 and 3 were released simultaneously, yesterday, and you can listen or watch any time you like.
Episode 1, starred Neil Fachie (before he swaps roles for life on the other side of the desk and starts asking the questions of our guests).
Neil takes us from his earliest memory of sport, through his younger years as a sprinter, to the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 where he finished 9th in both his heats for the 100 and 200 metres.
That did nothing to diminish his falling hopelessly in love with the entire Games experience and vibrancy of his time there mixing with para-athletes from all over the globe.
Neil returned home determined to improve upon the form which had got him to Beijing as essentially ‘the last man on the plane’, in order to make sure he was there again for London 2012. Then this happened.
The real story is how Neil bounced back from that, changed sport and went on to have the career he enjoys now, where he’s about to race for Gold in the Tokyo Paralympics in the Men’s B 1000m Time Trial Final in the early hours of Saturday morning, our time. (If on schedule, sometime between 2 and 5 am!)
Yikes! Well, he’s been training for 4 years. I suppose we owe him an early morning. Whether we’re there or not, he’s feeling pretty confident about it.
1:02:21Neil Fachie Poses A Question For……Our Next Guest, Dame Evelyn Glennie
In Episode 2, Neil got his chance to ask the questions of our ‘first guest proper’, Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Evelyn took us all the way back to the idyllic setting of her life on a farm near Methlick, where she picked up the value and understanding of hard work from an early age.
Upon reaching secondary school, and now profoundly deaf, Evelyn was fortunate at the time to be mainstream educated, after campaigning very strongly for that to be the case. When she arrived at Ellon Academy, her music teacher worked with her to adapt to a new world of sound.
An incredibly driven person, Evelyn left school at the age of 16 to study music full time in London, and in the player at the bottom of the blog, you can hear her full story in Episode 2 of The 1% Club Podcast.
Something else we introduced in Episode 2 was the idea of our guest being asked a question by the previous guest, and, in turn leaving a question for the following person in the hot seat. In Evelyn’s instance, that question was posed by Neil.
And Evelyn left a question for our next guest, Grant Stott, which you can hear in either Evelyn’s story or Grant’s full episode. Both are at the bottom of the blog.
2:51Evelyn Glennie On……The Big Debate. Is High Achievement Down To Hard Work, Or Destiny?
6:29Evelyn Glennie On……Working Hard From A Young Age
9:42Evelyn Glennie On……The Encouragement Of Her Parents
58:11Evelyn Glennie Answers ……Our Previous Guest, Neil Fachie’s Question – Do You Think There Are Any Skills You’ve Learned As A Result Of Your Disability?
1:01:00Evelyn Glennie Asks……A Question Of Our Next Guest, Grant Stott
Grant is a radio and television presenter, panto regular and now, finally, realising the dream he had all along of becoming an actor. But no journey is complete without a few bumps in the road.
For as long as I live, and blog, I will try to find a halfway decent reason for including this photo in every one I write.
Eventually, Grant got into DJing on Radio Forth, and then TV, and panto at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow, and then Edinburgh where he settled into regular festive appearances alongside Allan Stewart and the man who was to become his great pal, Andy Gray.
The two forged a friendship relished by each which took them onto starring in plays at the Fringe and around Scotland.
When Andy received his cancer diagnosis the pair were on the eve of a run for a new play at The Fringe which in the end never saw the light of day.
Andy missed panto that year too as he battled his condition, and although emerging victorious from that, contracted Covid not long after, and passed away earlier this year.
Now, as the curtain rises again for Sleeping Beauty at the King’s Edinburgh, Grant says, they’ll simply find a way for the show to go on…..not that it’ll be easy.
But listen, if you know Grant at all, you’ll understand his podcast episode is packed with laughs despite the few tears, and again, the full episode is available now on Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can even click on the episode in the player below.
Here’s the full running order for Grant’s Episode.
4:24Grant Stott On……High Achievement – Nature V Nurture
1:19:20Grant Stott Poses A Question For Our Next Guest, Daniel Priestley
So now Episodes 1, 2 and 3 are out, we thought we’d let you binge on those for the majority of the week, before hopefully cheering Neil onto victory this weekend, and before the week is out, I’ll tell you more about our next guest too.