Nigel Risner is the only motivational speaker in Europe to have been awarded Speaker of The Year from both The Academy of Chief Executives and the Executive Committee.
Nigel isn’t just a motivational speaker—he’s a company turnaround specialist driving everyone from CEO’s to school children to ignite excitement and action in their lives, sharing techniques to break through boundaries we put around us. Nigel has inspired 1000’s of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 delegates, school children, charities, and prison inmates across the world to make positive strides in their lives.
Author of best-selling books The Impact Code and It’s a Zoo Around Here, the great Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, said ‘’Nigel has an awesome presence, which touches and transforms people’s lives’’. Listen in as Nigel shares with me his own very personal journey and strategies for self-improvement.
“We just look at people’s potential—an organization’s potential and say, how do we just enhance what they do? Most people do a reasonable job. We want to do a phenomenal job.”[9:00]
Nigel left school before he was 16 to join a finance company, which kicked him off on a journey that took him to Israel—and then back to London to work at a second mortgage department in a bank. That branch shut down six weeks after he came back where he was moved to collections. Then with about £12, Nigel started a business that was soon to become one of the largest commercial brokers in Europe. After five years he bought his partner’s stake in the company for £5.7 m—but Nigel admits that he was still young and figuring out what he was doing.
“I was 26 or 27—I didn’t really understand what I was doing. And the thing I didn’t understand, more importantly than anything else, was managing people. I thought if I just paid them more money they’d be happy.”
After ten years of running that company, the business lost millions. He was mini cabbing in a Bentley and eventually had to let go of the company and start over. In an interesting twist, Nigel ended up going to the States to attend a facilitated skills seminar, or what he calls a self-esteem seminar that was run by Jack Canfield; author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. This kick started Nigel’s career as a speaker and sent him quickly into doing 100 speeches in a year.[39:30]
Nigel and I discuss the difficulties in discovering what your passion is in life, and how our education is set up in a way that the decisions we make in our youth can limit and ripple out for years to come. But Nigel has a saying that you can’t aim a duck to death. One of his mottos is “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Spending too much time making a decision and thinking about what to do often stops us from doing anything at all. Nigel is happy not doing something perfectly, because getting something done as well as you can beats perfect any day.
I highly recommend picking up some of Nigel’s books and listening to his own show—Your Best Year Starts Here Podcast, which airs on Mondays in 11 minute episodes.