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Alison Edgar MBE is also known as “The Entrepreneur’s Godmother” to a plethora of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Dragon’s Den and Apprentice Winners. She is a twice best-selling author and in 2020, Alison received an MBE for recognition of her long-term services to entrepreneurship and business. She is a contributor to ITV, BBC TV, and Radio and has recently become a business mentor on a new Amazon Prime UK & US TV show airing in 2022.
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Scott: Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast. I'm Scott Fulton, international speaker consultant and trainer. Work sucks for far too many people in business and corporate life. And my goal is to fix that. My guests each week include authors, millionaires, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and inspiring people who share their stories, insights, and tips to help you transform your work and life for the better. They are the rebels because they challenge the status quo and help others to do the same.
Scott: You are listening to the Rebel Diaries show. Stick with me and work will never be the same again.
[00:00:00] Alison: And I think that's where you're coming back to fear of change for people that are in jobs. They're scared to change because they need that money to put the food on the table. So they sit in that state of unhappiness and that's sad.
[00:00:51] Alison: And that's what I mean. I think that it's not that people don't want to change their mindset. If you're in a job and you think I've got a great idea and the organization isn't open to change and they're bashing you down every time you are gonna become negative, you are gonna be going "oh here we go I've told them this a million times, nobody listens to me". And that's horrible.
[00:01:09] Alison: But if you've got a leader that's been in the job for 20 years and is, just planning their exit, they're not gonna wanna make any changes at that stage of the game.
[00:01:17] Scott: In this episode with Alison Edgar, we discuss intrapreneurship. The impact being dyslexic had on her at work and as an author, and why people in jobs they don't like are scared to leave.
[00:01:29] Scott: Hi, Alison. Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast.
[00:01:33] Alison: Oh, thank you so much for having me Scott.
[00:01:35] Scott: Would you mind giving a bit of background to yourself who you are, your career journey and what you do?
[00:01:39] Alison: Sure I am Alison Edgar and I got an MBE from the Queen on the 2020 Birthday Honours list for the work that I do in entrepreneurship and in business. I am also the dyslexic author of two books. The first one, which launched in 2019 was Secrets of Successful Sales, which went on to be an Amazon number one around the world. And the Independent newspaper voted at one of the top business books written by a women in that year. And it was a WH Smith top 10 business book. My second book Smash It The Art Of Getting What You Want. Came out in 2020, it was written during lockdown. And again, it's had great success as well. So I speak at events.
[00:02:26] Alison: I do coaching, I do training. I'm an author and just generally try and do my best every single day. That's a little bit about me.
[00:02:35] Scott: And what did you do before you started writing the books and what was your early career history?
[00:02:41] Alison: So I wasn't diagnosed dyslexic until I was 28. I thought when I was at school, I was just a little bit thick couldn't retain the information. Couldn't really read very well. Couldn't write very well. Definitely couldn't spell very well. So that led to me enjoying school, but because of not being academic, I left and I became a hotel receptionist.
[00:03:02] Alison: So I worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years. I started as a receptionist, became a front office manager, became a deputy general manager. I worked in Cape Town. I worked in Sydney. I worked in the Channel Islands, so I thought I would always be in hospitality. The thing that hospitality gave me a brilliant grounding to people and really working on the things that I'm strong at.
[00:03:24] Alison: So rather than fighting really hard to be good at things I'm not great at, I just doubled down on my strengths, which is around people. When I came back to the UK, I was supposed to be gone for six months, ended up away for six years and I came back and I met my husband, Neil. So Neil's a software developer still together, married for 25 years this year.
[00:03:45] Alison: And he had a nine to five, Monday to Friday job. So I had a bit of a choice to get a Monday to Friday nine to five job, or I think I was gonna get chucked, to be honest, Scott, I think that was my ultimatum. And I thought this one's a keeper. So I ended up, I got a job with one of the first-ever business to business call centres that BT opened in Motherwell.
[00:04:08] Alison: It was direct mail, direct response. And it turns out that I was really good at sales that the skills that I had gleaned from my superpowers during that hospitality time were the things I needed for sales. And then we moved to Wilshire in 96 and then I went on to work for Douwe Egberts, the coffee company and Yale yellow pages, yell.com.
[00:04:29] Alison: And it wasn't until I turned 46 that I decided that I would set up my own business to teach people as my friends put it, teach people to sell the way that you do from your heart and from your passion. And then really that's the books came later. Cuz I think when we first met that was during like the Virgin startup time.
[00:04:50] Alison: And there was a lot of funding that would've helped startups or training companies and things. And then they pulled the funding and the people that needed it most were the startup market. And that's why I thought, "how can I help them to achieve their dreams and goals?" and it had to be writing the book.
[00:05:07] Alison: And honestly, because of the dyslexia, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And then I narrated the book and read the book myself I think that was the biggest mountain I've ever climbed in my life, trying to read it even my own book. Yeah. So that's the sort of journey pre-book and how the books came about.
[00:05:24] Scott: Amazing. So if we could just quickly touch on the dyslexia that's fascinating, and inspiring. I don't claim to know much about it and obviously many people do have it. How does it actually affect you? Writing a book must be hard then can you just describe the kind of challenges that you faced with that?
[00:05:40] Alison: Yeah. So I think. I made the book a little bit easier to write because I had gone through a phase that I, again, 45 years, ish, a long time that I said I couldn't write. And I had my team that would come in. They would go, "oh, I'll write a blog, I'll do this, I'll do that". So they kinda did all that for me, but they were good, but a lot of that comes from my voice, my tone, my knowledge, and to get that out is really difficult without writing it. So I wrote my first ever blog called the difference between sales and marketing is like golf. And it went really well.
[00:06:15] Alison: So when I started to write the book, then it was quite. It wasn't quite easy. It's not true, but I had already written some of the content through blogging and it just made it easier to fit into the book. But it manifests itself for me that I struggle to read. So again, and I think this is where a lot of people use the things that hold them back as an excuse.
[00:06:36] Alison: And I know that I did for a long time, but technology's changed. So even now, if I write a paragraph I just highlight the text on my computer and it's got a voice it's called Fiona. It's a Scottish voice as well. Scott, so it sounds like me. So Fiona reads it back and I can see if I've missed cuz with dyslexia, the words jump around a lot and it's really difficult to read.
[00:06:57] Alison: And you miss. The obvious things the "a's" the "the's", the little small words just don't hit your radar. So that, that there are tools out there that could really help me. And then I think the hardest thing for me, and I probably still use it as an excuse is the retention of information. So say for example and I'll give you a great example.
[00:07:17] Alison: I was doing a talk for the Beatson charity, which is one of the biggest charities in Scotland. It's a big cancer charity, and they asked me to be the keynote speaker at the event, their Burns event. So it was a, not only was it a talk that for 400 people in a room, I was covering a topic that Burns is not my topic that I talk about business.
[00:07:41] Alison: I talk about change. I talk about leadership. I talk about communication. I don't actually talk about Burns, so I, but.
[00:07:48] Scott: Sorry, Alison what's Burns for people that don't know?
[00:07:51] Alison: Oh, so Robert Burns is a famous Scottish poem. And every year they have like Burns suppers to celebrate his work. So I would say probably the Scottish version of William Shakespeare is how I would describe him.
[00:08:03] Alison: And in Scotland, they don't need any excuse to have a party. So they would, they be, that's hooray "Burn's night!" And. So usually there's a sort of format to that, that you read a Scottish poem or, and again, for someone with dyslexia, that is a nightmare, but I had to do this talk, which was about maybe 20 minutes, 25 minutes.
[00:08:25] Alison: And when I normally do a talk, I'll have a slide pack, not with a lot of words on it, but just the flow again, because of the dyslexia, the short-term retention means that you can't remember what you're seeing in the order that you're saying it in. And I couldn't have slides cuz it wasn't that kind of event.
[00:08:42] Alison: It was an evening event. People had been drinking. The last thing they want is a slide pack presentation. And it's oh, so again, for a lot of people, what they would do is like they would be preparing months in advance. But because of the retention, the short-term retention, I can't do that because by the time I go to the event, I'll have forgotten all the content.
[00:09:02] Alison: So what I have to do is visualise things in my head. So I, and I can probably still tell you a bit about now. Cuz what I did was compare my family. My grandfather had 12 children, so did Robert Burns and I took the comparisons. So in my head, if I shut my eyes, I can see the flow of that talk. And that's again, whether you would see a non-dyslexic person doing a talk like that, they might read from a piece of paper.
[00:09:29] Alison: That's not something that I can do because the words jumble and I read like a five-year-old, so that hasn't got the impact. And again, for a lot of people, they might be able to memorize parrot fashion word for word again, with dyslexia that's not something I can do either. But I can remember the shape because if I close my eyes linear, like in a line, I can see the actual things that I have to say, but I can only do that within a couple of days of that happening.
[00:09:56] Alison: Otherwise I don't remember it. And I've got to keep practicing it.
[00:09:59] Scott: Wow. That's fascinating. Do you know, many people who have dyslexia, have you supported people in business and cuz it, it must hold a lot of people back and it's a lot more awareness around it. These days isn't there, people not getting diagnosis when they were young,
[00:10:14] Alison: It's really common now. If you like look at LinkedIn and if you've been in hashtag dyslexia, there's so many posts about it. And I think. I think it's really good now people are aware of it because previously like literally, "oh, you can't spell, you're a bit thick". It had a lot of stigma around it and I think the other thing that does, interestingly, so both my sons have both been diagnosed dyslexic and the younger one who's 20, we were going up to Manchester for my older son's graduation.
[00:10:42] Alison: And he was talking about how he's dyslexia, he's managed to get coping strategies and he said, but I'm also ADHD mom. And I went "are you, how do you know that?" He said that was on my report when I did the test and I went, was it? And he says, yeah, mom, you've also got ADHD. You know, I went.
[00:11:00] Alison: "Have I, have I got that?" And he says, "Mum honestly, you're off on a tangent, every five minutes, you get bored, you get angry when things go really slowly", he said, "you've also got it". So I did research and I'm thinking, "oh no, maybe I've got that as well". So I get, but it's not about the labelling. I think this is really important.
[00:11:18] Alison: I think when you're self-aware and, you don't really need a label. So looking at ADHD with me, like I know my shortfall, I know that I have to work on my patience I know that I have to work on focus, concentration, short bursts of activity. So I knew that without a label. So again, I think sometimes people use the label as an excuse as to why they can't do it.
[00:11:38] Alison: Whereas you don't need a label, you just need to know yourself and your strengths.
[00:11:42] Scott: Yeah. Yeah. And so what, the kind of topics you talk about when you're doing your keynotes? Is it these kind of things or is it about the business side?
[00:11:49] Alison: No. It's so there's different. It's interesting, cuz at the moment I've really transformed into this space. So I would say like now what are you now? You know what, and again, I think it's a bit like an evolution you know that yourself Scott, like from where you met me that was, I dunno, was that maybe seven or eight years ago, it was a long time ago.
[00:12:07] Alison: I've evolved a lot. It's like Madonna, so Madonna started off in the eighties with the, the hair, the perm and the leg warmers and the tutu and all that kinda stuff. And then she went through the different phases, the Vogue and all the rest of it. She's still Madonna, but she's evolved into different things.
[00:12:23] Alison: And I think that's okay to evolve and I think it fits back really into. Who do you want to be? Why do you want to be? And what's your impact? So for me I love sales and I did a lot in the sales space, but not everybody loves that. So again, it's a bit like being cult music. You can't be mainstream because you need to be something that everybody can listen to on the radio.
[00:12:44] Alison: And that's where pigeonholing myself into one space didn't really work. So what I did do, and it was. Obvious. This is one of the things that became so obvious to me when I wrote the second book, Smash It, The Art Of Getting What You Want. So I had to analyze, it was based on two things. People were reading the first book, which is a book about sales and business, but they were using the skills in their everyday life and their own life.
[00:13:11] Alison: And it's like you shouldn't even be reading that book wasn't for you. So I thought I have to write this book for other people, cuz I can help them in their everyday lives and it is split into two parts. So the me thing. And the we thing. So the me thing would be around your, you a goal that you set that only involves you.
[00:13:29] Alison: So like you've got your drum kit right behind you, and you said, look, I'm an okay drummer, but if you really wanted to be a great drummer or playing a band or, whatever your drumming goals are, actually, you know what, that's a you thing. Nobody can nobody can achieve you being great at the drums apart from you.
[00:13:49] Alison: And it's about taking good advice and learning how to play properly. And it's about practising, taking good advice, making mistakes, practising, but there's days that you will not be bothered to pick up the sticks. And that's how do you sell that to yourself? So actually it's the same sales conversation that you would have with somebody else.
[00:14:08] Alison: Why do I not feel like what's the purpose? What's holding me back. What happens if I do that and negotiate, right? If you do half an hour on the drums, now, then you can watch Love Island or whatever it is, and it's the same techniques that you use as a salesperson. So that, that became so apparent when I was writing the book.
[00:14:25] Alison: And then the next section is the we thing. So let's say you want to get a new job. You want a promotion at work. You want to get new clients in a business. All those kind of things with the best will in the world, your mindset could be great, but there's somebody else involved. So that is a conversation that you've got to have with somebody else, like you getting guests on the podcast, that's oh if you do this, we'll do that. And then they say yes, or they say no, if they say no, you've gotta overcome the objection. And you've gotta try again. And it's that tenacity and that's the same as sales and that's what became so so apparent writing the books that everything we do in life is a sale so what I've done is I've taken my content cuz now I know that from, I've got evidence, knowledge, everything, and we look at change, why people don't change, why people don't change their mindset, how you can go about changing your mindset and the most popular topic that people book me for is intrapreneurship.
[00:15:21] Alison: Getting team members to think like entrepreneurs. And then what makes me the expert in that field is obviously that's what my MBE is for. And I also am known as the entrepreneur's godmother. So I take the things that I work with entrepreneurial people in. And again, it's not about getting people in an organization to set up their own business.
[00:15:41] Alison: It's nothing to do with that. It's taking those techniques that we do as entrepreneurs and implement that on a daily basis to actually enhance, performance.
[00:15:50] Scott: How do you see that panning out then with companies? Because I know some people they get in the mindset of I just do what I'm told to do, but intrapreneurship is about actually, no, I wanna do things differently. This is my take on it. I wanna do things differently.
[00:16:04] Scott: I wanna push the boundaries. I wanna make a change in the organization. Some people may not feel that they are able to do that. Is that what you try and help unlock then?
[00:16:12] Alison: Yeah, and I think it's interesting cuz I think a lot of that the change has to come from the top and I think that's when it doesn't work in an organization. If the top are not open to change either. And that's where they quosh those ideas. Or "tried that didn't work" and that's where again, the organization set and in a fixed mindset.
[00:16:31] Alison: And what I have seen is, even the bigger organizations now are looking at more top level being open to change, not being scared to change and seeing the benefits of change. And I think that's where. It's harder for a large organization, cuz they're a bit like an elephant, it's like trying get an elephant to go a pace.
[00:16:48] Alison: It's hard. Whereas if you look at the startup small business industries, like they, they're agile, they can change at the drop of a hat. And it's really, if you look at a big organization, if they think a lot of departments, silo, they protect the silo. Whereas actually if they think like gazelles and be agile as different departments and collaborate like small businesses it's possible.
[00:17:11] Alison: But I can remember working with an organization, a law firm and when I come in, you need to do, when you do change, it's not just one department that has to change it's everybody in the organization. Cuz if you don't do it, it's one language. One, one department speaks one language and everybody else speaks a different one.
[00:17:29] Alison: You're never gonna break the communication down. It's still not gonna work. And I said "That's great. When am I working with the partners?" "Oh no, you're not working, the partners don't need this kind of stuff no. The partners don't need that. It's these people down there that don't, they're not doing what they're."
[00:17:42] Alison: There you go. There's a deadset that's never going to work because there's a them and us divide. And actually, some of the best ideas come from the, the coal face, the people that are customer facing, not the ones that are sitting in their offices out touch with it. So I think that's where, does it, does the context work?
[00:17:57] Alison: Yes, because the research that I did on intrapreneurship was based on what I did as a top performer, but also the interviews that I did with other top performers and the thread that came through was the top performers always felt like they were running their own business. They just got paid to do it by somebody else.
[00:18:16] Alison: And when you look at that is intrapreneurship. So I think that's, that's not something that I've made up myself. It's based on research. It's based on fact. And it's. It's you know, and it does work, but it has to run through a company because if it doesn't, then it'll never take part.
[00:18:31] Scott: Yeah. And do you think it takes a certain. Do you think anybody can do it? Or do you think people need to have, certain level of confidence or a growth mindset to be able to take that step or do some people just come in? I just wanna do a job and go home.
[00:18:45] Alison: Yeah. Again, it's that do you live to work or work to live? You've got that thing and I don't think that you have to live to work. I don't think you should, because I think that leads to stress, burnout, unhappiness. So what I do think, I think it can work for everyone, but it's, one of the things, and again, you talk about mindset yourself and it's one of those things.
[00:19:06] Alison: If the magic fairy came and gave me a wish and said, "Alison what's your one, wish?" My one wish Scott is that I could get a wee box, and put growth mindset and positivity in this box and wrap it up with a wee bow and give it to everyone. I'd love that. Look at that. We've all got growth mindset.
[00:19:24] Alison: We're all not afraid to fear. We're all positive but mindset isn't something you can give to someone. You have to want to have it yourself. And I think it's sad when I see people that don't want to stay and fixed mindset through fear or lack of knowledge or whatever it is cuz they really don't know what they're missing out on.
[00:19:46] Alison: And that's makes me sad. So that's why, what's your one wish for the world that I could give everyone a wee box and they could think with the growth mindset, but yes I do believe that people can change that people can have it, but they've got to want to. And that's that difference between wanting and having and changing.
[00:20:06] Scott: And that wanting will be affected by lots of things, their background, their current life state, their, politics, behavior, all sorts won't it?
[00:20:14] Alison: And again, this was what, the fascinating thing about writing Smash It was because like, even things around cuz it's all psychology. I believe like it's all life is just all through psychology. And if you look at even things like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, right? So for anybody that doesn't know what that is.
[00:20:32] Alison: It's the theory about, how we live. You've got safety, security, a physiological needs. It's like a triangle. A lot of people would've done it at school. I didn't do it. It's all quite a fairly new concept to me because don't forget, I left school at 16 and I don't have any qualifications. So I've had to learn as I go through and go, oh, I'm really wonder why that happens.
[00:20:50] Alison: I'm curious. I love to be curious, but I really struggle. And again, I do believe this is through the dyslexia to retain the academic meanings behind things. So what I do is I translate it. into things that I understand, which actually makes it more understandable for everyone. So I translated Maslow's into Tom Hanks, the Castaway movie. So if you look that, he had it all, he was at self-actualization, he had the great house, the great job. Like he was it, he was there like he's living his best life. And I do believe that's what, Maslow is. It's like hashtag best life that you wake up every day.
[00:21:26] Alison: And you just think, you know what? I am just loving it. I'm rocking, working at, I might have trouble some days, but I can overcome them. But ultimately I am hashtag living my best life. And that's, I feel that I live my best life every day. So I feel that when we look at this.. But so was Tom Hanks in Castaway, Chuck Norris, best life.
[00:21:44] Alison: Boom, plane crash, no food, no water, no shelter, no clothes. And I think that's where you're coming back to fear of change for people that are in jobs. They're scared to change because they need that money to put the food on the table. So they sit in that state of unhappiness and that's sad.
[00:22:04] Alison: And that's what I mean. I think that it's not that people don't want to change their mindset. A lot of people are really scared, if you're in a job and you think I've got a great idea and the organization isn't open to change and they're bashing you down every time you are gonna become negative, you are gonna be going oh god, here we go.
[00:22:20] Alison: I've told them this a million times, nobody listens to me and that's horrible. That's a horrible place to go into it in a role. And I think, coming back to, to Chuck Norris, my friend, Tom Hanks, that's where he was at. He was trying to get off the island and it was getting bashed back every time.
[00:22:34] Alison: And it's you just give up the will, but for him, and I think this is where it again, ties back into psychology. It's that purpose? It's that reason. So when Tom Hanks was opening, we got the parcels out, it was just him on the island and he's got. The FedEx parcels. And he opens all of them bar one parcel.
[00:22:54] Alison: He would not open one parcel. And that one parcel was his purpose and his reason that he had to then rebuild a raft. And again, coming back through Maslow was he found Wilson, the volleyball and that's that, love and belonging. And then that's that claiming up because then he was the boss of Wilson and his self-esteem had grown and, really, he was, again, really on that island living his best life..
[00:23:17] Alison: He was back up to where he was before, but in a different way. And then, the reason that he really made that effort and had to get off that island was to deliver that one last parcel. And that's what I think again, through change. So many people would, they want to change, but they've tried, they've told people in the work should do it this way and they get bashed down.
[00:23:37] Alison: But the reason for change isn't strong enough. And then that manifests. As negativity as a fixed mindset. So yeah, I bet we weren't expecting the conversation to go this direction, but I was, so I know that you're fascinated in this topic as well.
[00:23:51] Scott: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm interested, just been lingering to the, how did that the law company pan out then when you said, what can I speak to the partners? Did you refuse the work or did you get to speak to the partners?
[00:24:03] Alison: So I tried to go in from the bottom down, if that makes sense. So I thought I'm gonna take the work cuz I, I run my own business. You get to that bit, you've got to put, I've got a team of people that work for me. So. Yeah, you gotta take more money to pay the wages. If that makes sense.
[00:24:16] Alison: And I thought if I go in and I'll work with the ground level, hopefully, they'll see the benefit. And then. They want to run it through. And the girl that had actually booked me to go in and do the event, she couldn't make change. And she ended up leaving and going to a different law firm as well.
[00:24:32] Alison: So I think again, they were not really wanting to change. And, coming back to that girl, you so many times to make people change, you try and get over that barrier and the same in jobs. And actually when people won't change and they won't listen, just go and find an organization that values you and they will.
[00:24:47] Alison: So that's you know I think it feeds back through, into the Maslow's thing again, really quite nicely.
[00:24:53] Scott: But those companies must be losing really good employees
[00:24:56] Alison: I think it's common though. And again, I think it's, we are now talking, we are on a podcast, we're talking about mindset, we're talking about all these things, which now in with over the last I don't know five years, maybe. This is like everyday conversation, but I believe going back, 5, 10, 20 years ago, a lot of the people in the senior roles, they, they don't educate themselves in this space.
[00:25:20] Alison: They don't want to learn this. They've just always, they're always, just always done it this way. And they don't want to learn. They're not further educating themselves around change, around motivation, around how they can change their values, their culture. And it's becoming more mainstream now. But if you've got a leader that's been in the job for 20 years and is, just planning their exit, they're not gonna wanna make any changes at that stage of the game.
[00:25:45] Scott: No. It's like the dinosaur just clinging on, but that could be the death of the company.
[00:25:49] Alison: You look now, people are coming in there's every day. There's however many startup businesses that are coming in with that complete growth mindset. And they're using new tech, new tools, new technologies, you have to change like that is the thing, isn't it. The only constant is change.
[00:26:05] Scott: Yeah. And I think I read employees they're having maybe a number of jobs or they're not sticking around more than a couple of years in each company.
[00:26:12] Alison: Yeah. And it's in, so Rebecca, that works for me. Even for a small business, Rebecca's been with me for five years. And that again, that's pretty much unheard of she's only 25. She's been with me from 20 to 25. And like every day we, cuz we are learning like we every day, like what we learn today, what we're doing differently today, we're really up for it.
[00:26:30] Alison: And I monitor the happiness of the team, how are we, scaling on one to five? What can we do to help? And, always looking to evolve, grow and get better.
[00:26:38] Scott: That's what you need to do. I always say the world is changing much quicker than we can keep up with.
[00:26:43] Alison: I saw Mel Robins do a talk for a big organization at a big stadium.
[00:26:49] Alison: And it was like, literally, it was massive about the size of Wembley. And it wasn't the fact that, oh, look at her, that's a big stadium or it wasn't like, oh, look at how she's famous or it wasn't this, it was like O M G the impact that woman is making. On that number of people at one time, that is my goal.
[00:27:07] Alison: I want to be able to impact as many people as I can to help them because not everybody is living their best life and I've got tools and techniques that can help them to do that. And not in a. There's a big manipulation out there in the sort of get rich quick, do you wanna earn a million dollars that kind of stuff.
[00:27:26] Alison: And people take, people are broken. Lots of people are just broken they're, especially after COVID, they're. They're just not where they want to be. And this is where people sell the dream and monetize that dream. And, but if you look at somebody like Mel Robins, she's a role model of mine that she doesn't make her money from run to the back, pay me thousands of pounds.
[00:27:45] Alison: She makes her money through her media career and she just does the stuff that she does most of the time, just to inspire and help people overcome their anxieties, or really just be happy and live their best.
[00:27:57] Scott: Yeah. They say to, I can't remember the percentage, but just give away most of your stuff for free. If you are trying to influence and help and spread, don't put it all behind a pay wall, but then the work will come.
[00:28:08] Alison: Yeah, but I think that comes back to your driving forces as well. Scott, doesn't it? So although I see I'm living my best life it doesn't mean that I'm living in a multimillion pound mansion and I've got a private jet, cuz that actually means nothing. That's, when I was working in hospitality like I've stayed in places like the Burj Al Arab seven stars for free, I've worked in Sydney, I've stayed in some of the best hotels around the world for free.
[00:28:33] Alison: So none of that stuff really matters. I think, when you boil it down, yeah, that doesn't create happiness for me. It might for some people, but again, I think some people crave that they get it and they're still not happy. And then they wonder why they're not happy.
[00:28:46] Scott: Yeah. I can't remember the phrase. I'm gonna do it at dis-service, but something about nothing externally can make you happy. It's all about your own internal
[00:28:54] Alison: It's that me thing. It comes back to that me thing. Isn't.
[00:28:58] Scott: yeah. It's all about how you interpret things around you. Isn't it. And your choices you make. Interesting. So what are your kind of killer tips that you give to people who think they have it in them, but are too scared to, take that step to stick their head above the parapet?
[00:29:13] Alison: I think first of all, set your goals because the goals and the reason you want your goals are the things that motivate you on the days that you cannot motivate yourself. So let's say it's something like I wanna take up running or I wanna lose weight or I wanna stop drinking or I wanna do whatever, that has to be your goal.
[00:29:28] Alison: But if you look at, let's say running for example, and I think again I, during lockdown I had never run in my life and I went from couch to five K, then couch to 10 K couch to half marathon, and then a climbed Mount Snowden. But how did I actually get to the climbing Mount Snowden. If I had never even walked well, it is one step at a time.
[00:29:48] Alison: And when you do couch to 5k week one, you commit to doing three times a week and, but you only have to run for a minute. So that's where, don't expect to be that superhero. Cuz if you set yourself up, the I'm gonna be the superhero and it fails. You think you're not worthy, I'm not worthy.
[00:30:04] Alison: I'm not good enough. I'm not, I've not got the right shape to run. And it's because you set the goal too high in the start and it feels you can't get yourself back. So really. Break it down. I talk about the, a game and like for me, some days my a game is getting out of my pyjamas for others.
[00:30:19] Alison: It is, running a half marathon, your, a game is different to everyone. Never compare your, a game to somebody else's because comparison is just, it's just a killer, really. So play your own game, set your own goals, have what you want because you want it. And what makes you happy.
[00:30:36] Alison: I think the other thing is the. That voice in your "oh, you're not thin enough. You're not clever enough. You're not smart enough. Oh, you can't read, you can't write you're thick". I think I'm the like poster girl for the fact that you can actually, listen to that voice. And you get two choices can listen to the voice and go.
[00:30:59] Alison: Yeah, your right voice. I am rubbish or actually see you voice. I hear you. I hear you. I'm get, I can't read. I can't write. Okay. I can make that choice to learn, to read, to learn, to write or to find a coping strategy. And that's where I think that, you look at the things you think you can't do.
[00:31:17] Alison: So if I decided I wanted to take up the drums or the guitar, I probably wouldn't be able to do it cuz I've got no reason to practice every day. So again, I think it's having those things that really make you happy that you really enjoy. Rather than for me practising the drums or the guitar would be laborious and I would give up.
[00:31:34] Alison: So I think, those things are too intertwined on how you do that. So again, what makes you happy? Make a list really makes me happy when I'm, walking the dog in the woods? Okay. How often do you walk the dogs in the woods? Oh, only when I've got time. And again, time is another thing that drives me mad because people use that as an excuse.
[00:31:53] Alison: I don't have time to do this. I don't have time to do that. BS. You are managing your own time. If you don't manage it properly, that's why you can't fit the things in. So I think part of the reason that people do struggle with their time is. They procrastinate. So they spend a lot of time procrastinating.
[00:32:09] Alison: Should I do that? Will I do that actually, instead of, we were talking about Mel Robin, so she talks about 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and just do it and what's the worst you're gonna do it. And it doesn't work. And what have you learned? And then you pick yourself up and you do it again. That's how you get good at anything is that practice.
[00:32:24] Alison: So what I've done, and again, coming back to translating Oh, the old psychology. If we look one of the psychologies around the Eisenhower quadrant, urgent important, not important, not urgent. So I've translated that into Allison Edgar's big balls. So I talk about basketballs, tennis balls and ping pong balls.
[00:32:43] Alison: And when you do look at your tasks and the things that you have to do, if you put the basketballs in there, you know that you do them first, because if you don't do those things, it's like a basketball in the face. Isn't it's sore. So I do think that. And it's not that they choose to do it that way again, it's they don't know a lot of people.
[00:33:02] Alison: You don't know what you don't know. So if you've just always had a linear to-do list, or if you've never kept a to-do list or, and you won't be able, you don't, haven't got the techniques to change. And then there's that other thing about the mindset do you want to change and why do you want to change?
[00:33:17] Alison: So I think it just all intertwined Scott to be honest.
[00:33:20] Scott: Yeah, it's really interesting that voice you mentioned, where do you think that comes from?
[00:33:24] Scott: The voice in people's head?
[00:33:25] Alison: Well, I think again, it's interesting. It's nature-nurture, isn't it. So a lot of the time, it's how we are wired. Again. If you look at dyslexia, that's not a choice. That's how you're wired. But a lot of that comes, I believe from the environment. So how you were brought up or the environment of the people that you surround yourself with..
[00:33:43] Alison: And one of the things for me, people say how you know, you've got a C for arithmetic, you left school at 16. How did you become confident in yourself? Because confidence to me is one of the key elements. My Mum and Dad always taught me that all I can do is my best. So the, a game scenario that's not mine that came from them.
[00:34:02] Alison: And when I got the C for arithmetic, like the house was full of cards well done cards. I was like, oh, you get a C for arithmetic. You got one. Cuz the expectation was I was gonna get nothing. They always bigged me up and taught me that's all just do your best, be happy. Whereas I think a lot of people have maybe been brought up in home environments that weren't like that.
[00:34:24] Alison: And I don't wanna go into any detail on that because I'm sure if the listeners are listening, they'll they will see that from both sides, either parents that didn't really care that much, or maybe parents that pushed them too much in a different direction through academia or so I believe it's sometimes the way we're wired, the way we're born.
[00:34:39] Alison: Again, like for me, I know that there's a high percentage of that, but the environment of how I was brought up in the environment of the people I surround myself with.,
[00:34:47] Scott: But you think those people that have not had that more positive? Approach from their upbringing. They can still turn it around. They're not stuck to that?
[00:34:55] Alison: Definitely not. I think it's one of the things and the tools that I use is to do with behaviours. So I'm a DISC practitioner, but I also look at the driving forces, the motivators and the motivators again of that purpose. And why'd you get outta bed in the morning. And if we look and I did a course and it's that anchor that ties you together between the behaviours and the driving forces. And I talk about shoplifting. So some people were actually brought up to be shoplifters cuz their parents were shoplifters and coming from Glasgow, I can remember working in a department store and a whole row of dresses was swiped from behind my head and I didn't even notice.
[00:35:33] Alison: And when you do your shrinkage training that you know, we go into the. The security guy and he's yeah. And he said, what you have to understand is Alison like they shoplift to order. So when we do their coat and we go you've got three duvets, you've got five dresses, you've got two shoes.
[00:35:49] Alison: Like sometimes the little, the women in Glasgow would go. "Oh son, you better check that again. There should be four pairs of shoes" cuz they're shoplifting to order. So if you were brought up by a shoplifter, then you're brought up to shoplift. That's your natural environment. These are the skills that you've been taught.
[00:36:05] Alison: But does that mean if you were brought up by a shoplifter that you are always going to be a shoplifter. No actually, there's people who can reform their lives. There are people who can change. You look at some of the people now who are really changing the world have been brought up in some of the worst environments, but they've made that choice to change.
[00:36:23] Alison: And I think that's the thing about change. It's you make that choice to change, but that choice comes from the voice in your head, telling you that why are you changing? A lot of people just follow the path that were brought up in.
[00:36:35] Scott: Yeah, fascinating. So if you had one book you could take to a desert island, I appreciate it might need to be an audiobook cuz of the dyslexia. Do audiobooks help? I don't wanna make an assumption there.
[00:36:45] Alison: Yeah, you do. Literally. I tell you what, so there's two things with this Scott so audiobooks this is the thing that with the dyslexia is really difficult because my head works in pictures and in stories I love fiction. I love a thriller because actually I can visualize the characters. But when you come to read a book, that's a business book or an academic book. It's not got a story and it's not good characters. So I can't, I get really, I can. Not again, a senior can I could, but I wouldn't enjoy it.
[00:37:20] Alison: And I would find it would drain my energy rather than energize me. So I do not read business or personal development books because they're too difficult for me. So the book that I would take with me, and again, I love desert island discs, and I've applied to beyond Desert Island Discs. So it's on my goal board.
[00:37:36] Alison: One day I will be on Desert Island Discs. The book that I love is called One Day and it's about this girl called Emma Morley. They made it into a film actually, and it was written by the guy that wrote Cold Feet. And it's on St Swithen's Day, every year. And you follow the journey of her and her friend.
[00:37:54] Alison: It's my go-to book. I could read it all day, every day. I just it's so faceted. I love the fact it's all set on the one day. It just literally tick my boxes. So I do I listen to a lot of books but no business.
[00:38:07] Scott: So thank you. It's been fascinating chatting to you. If anyone wants to work with you and needs your help, how do they get hold of you?
[00:38:13] Alison: I'm really quite easy to find. If you Google Allison Edgar, I own five pages of my first name on Google. alisonedgar.com. It's The Alison Edgar on socials. I think it's might be on Instagram, the Allison Edgar MBE, but up literally just Google it. There's loads and the books are on Amazon.
[00:38:30] Alison: And if you Google Allison Edgar, I've got an author page which comes up on the top of Google as well. So I'm not hard to find Scott.
[00:38:38] Scott: Brilliant. Thank you. I'll put those links in the show notes.
[00:38:40] Scott: Alison thank you for being on the show. It's been great chatting you.
[00:38:43] Alison: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.
[00:38:44] Scott: A big thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show, your time is precious. So thank you. It is appreciated.
[00:38:51] Scott: The show has a new Facebook group for you to engage with others, discuss topics, and let me know what you think of the show.
[00:38:57] Scott: There's a link to the group in the show notes or search Facebook for Rebel Diaries community.
[00:39:02] Scott: It'd be great to see you there .
[00:39:03] Scott: Until next week take care, be a rebel and deliver work with impact.