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I’m not entirely sure where to start this post, so I’ll chuck some stuff down and see what happens.

I received a comment from a well respected friend this week, which shocked and almost insulted me, as well as making me feel pleased and proud.

What was the comment I hear you ask??

In fact there were two: “I didn’t think you would do it” and “It was luck.”

These two comments were with reference to the fundraising for my Round Great Britain Rowing Challenge. A few months ago, I was in desperate need of re-organising my fundraising campaign and had to raise over £16,000 in just a few months.  I tried what seemed like everything possible and there were times where I wondered if I would do it and if I should continue. For those that don’t know me, this is not in my character!

Throughout this challenge, I have stood by my word that I’d give this the most effort I have ever given anything in my life.  Firstly, it is because I love adventure and would like to turn it into a career. Secondly, I desperately want to help young people that do not have anywhere to live.  I’ve been homeless and it sucks.

When my friend said the first comment, I wasn’t particularly surprised. They had voiced their opinion a long time ago, that they didn’t think I could raise the money. In fact, since signing up to do this challenge, I have had a few people say they didn’t think I could do it.  

This fills me with pride to know I have done something that seems impossible to others (although I still have £2,000 to raise of £21,000. Do you fancy giving me a helping hand? – If so, please click here)

never stop trying
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What did shock me though was the comment that followed. I repeat, “It was luck.”

LUCK??????

It was luck I have raised £18,000?????

My reply?  Yes I’ll share my reply. “It was nothing to do with luck and everything to do with hard work.” **said in a slightly defensive manner, puffing my chest out and tilting my head up high**

For the last few months, I have given up my life to this challenge.  I am completely aware that I have chosen do it but that hasn’t made it any easier. It is called a challenge after all and it has quite honestly very nearly broken me.

Getting up at 5am to visit business networking meetings, training twice a day, giving up my income to put it towards the total cost of the challenge and travelling all over the country to visit potential sponsors was just the start.

I’d spend hours cold calling and walking into businesses selling my Swashbucklers certificates. I have given up endless evenings writing email after email, blog posts and editing videos in order to make this happen. That is just scratching the surface. Some think it’s gross, they’ll get over it; there were days where I wouldn’t work, just live in my pyjamas and not eat so I could dedicate every waking minute of that day to make this happen.  Looking back, it may not have been the correct approach but I can’t say if it was or not. No-one was around to help so I worked it out myself.

There have been 2 times where I worked so hard trying to juggle the balls and spin the plates, only to drop them all and send them crashing to the ground. That resulted in me experiencing a mild breakdown and having to stay at a friend’s house for 2 days. I didn’t leave the bed.  I very nearly took myself to the doctors.  But a little rest, some food and care from that lovely person was my medicine. (Thank you Mark xxx)

So… what do you think? Do you think it was luck that I raised that money?

Do you think it was luck that I got in touch with the CEO of eMoov, my lead sponsor, because I stood up in my breakfast meeting one day and asked to be put in contact with him?

When I found out 6 weeks later that he was visiting, do you think it was luck that I spent the previous evening preparing what I was going to say to him and the history of his company?

How about that I had listened to numerous business and body language audiobooks for months previous and educated myself on how to approach business and secure a deal? Still luck?

The morning that he visited, I took a HUGE breath, walked up to him, introduced myself and we started talking. I had requested to sit next to him which made me feel very nervous. When the meeting was over and he announced he was about to leave, I hadn’t even mentioned my rowing challenge. I had about 10 more seconds of his attention and went in for the kill.  Less than 2 weeks later, I was sitting in his office and we had negotiated a deal.  That doesn’t seem like luck to me.

Luck is defined as ‘the success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through ones actions.’ (thank you dear computer dictionary for telling me that).

Luck is spending a £1 on a lottery ticket and winning.

I do not count my success as luck.

Something that I have not shared before, is that the week following my meeting with eMoov, I had also previously secured a meeting with another CEO of a big Essex based company looking to sponsor me. It coincidentally was another estate agency company.  In my experience, one does not get invited into the business person’s office if there is not a deal to be made.

Great British Row

But let’s imagine for a second that my lead sponsor and individual supporter donations had been down to luck. If eMoov hadn’t said yes, and the next company didn’t say yes, I would have just carried on. I would have continued until someone said yes. Get enough nos and one will turn into a yes.

Kiss enough frogs and one will turn into a prince(ss). Roll the dice enough times and you’ll get consecutive sixes. You know the score. I’ve rambled enough. I’ll let you decide if you think me raising the money to do this challenge was down to luck.

Thank you to every single person and business that has donated to this challenge. It all started with a £5 donation from a random that I met at a festival. That £5 gradually turned into £18,000.

My rowing challenge will be the same. It will start with one stroke of the oars and 3 million strokes later, the challenge will be complete.

Never let anyone say you can’t do something. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

Thank you for reading and l hope you enjoy following my journey.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of £21,000 to compete in this challenge, please visit my GoFundMe page. Any donation is welcome – small or big. Thank you xxx

Read more from the Great British Row 2017