Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Alana Hurd
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Introducing Alana Hurd
She is the creator of the My Million To One programme whereby she is on a mission to raise one million pounds to provide housing for eight disabled children that she first met when volunteering in Africa.
She was asked to help whilst volunteering in the area and quickly approached a couple of local charities who agreed to help by adopting the children and providing them a home on the proviso that she found money every year to pay for the children’s home.
Well throw into the mix money for all their needs, education and rehabilitation costs – and guarantee that the money would be provided for their lifetimes then it seems daunting to say the least..
So… she challenged herself to raise £1million – enough to build the orphanage itself and then enough money to sit in a bank, so the centre can survive off the interest payments.
Now that might sound easy, find a couple of phone numbers for millionaires and job done.
How The Dots Joined Up For Alana
But our guest has gone a different route, and has aimed to find one million people who will be willing to donate £1 each.
Yep, that’s it.
I would guess that all of us listening to this show will have a lose pound in our pocket to donate to this worthwhile cause.
As she says” “Giving these kids a home for life means everything to me and I don’t see any better way to make their dream of a home come true than by making your dreams come true along the way. I think there’s something beautiful about a ‘dream swap’ where everyone wins and it’s a wholly positive experience for everyone involved. It also honours the kids too. They’re not victims… They’d like to know that they’ve helped you too and been empowered in that way.”
What an amazing thing to say!
So how did this lady come to find herself in Africa volunteering in the first place?
And has she found finding one million people harder than she imagined when she started the charity?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Alana Hurd.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Alana Hurd such as:
How she has always been ambitious lady, due to the amazing gift of belief that she received when at boarding school.
Why we should all grasp that nobody finds life easy to get to the top, and everyone has struggles and fears on the way to greatness.
How as soon as you are handed an opportunity, you are given the chance to fail, which helps us grow as individuals by accepting this fact.
Why she felt the need to take on this amazing challenge and deliver the dream life to these unfortunate children.
Why its such a hard premise to build a positive and motivational charity instead of the normal images of doom and gloom.
How To Connect With Alana Hurd
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Alana Hurd Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:22]
Yes, hello bear world and welcome to another episode of Join Up Dots. Yes, this is Episode 233. And we have got a lady all the way from the UK actually today and she is somebody who is on a mission. She’s a lady who as soon as I heard about her daily hustle and drive to achieve a dream, not just for herself, but for eight complete strangers. When I knew I had to have her on the show. She’s the creator of the my million to one programme whereby she’s on a mission to raise 1 million pounds to provide housing for eight disabled to, but she first met when been tearing in Africa. She was asked to help whilst volunteering in the area and quickly approached a couple of local charities were agreed to help by adopting the children and providing them with a home on the proviso. But she found more money every year to pay for the children’s home. Same simple, well throw into the mix money for all their needs, education rehabilitation costs, and guarantee that the money will be provided for their lifetimes, when it seems daunting to say the least. So she challenged herself to raise 1 million enough to build the orphanage itself, and then enough money to sit in a bank so the centre can survive of the interest payments. Now, that might sound easy. Find a couple of phone numbers for millionaires and job done. But our guest is going a different route and cheese aim to find 1 million people who will be willing to donate one pound Ah, yep, that’s it, I would guess that all of us listening to the show will have a loose pound in our pocket to donate to this worthwhile cause. And she says giving these kids are home for life means everything. And I don’t see any better way to make their dream of a home come true, then by making your dreams come true along the way. I think there’s something beautiful about a dream swap where everyone wins. And it’s a wholly positive experience for everyone involved. It also honest the kids to they’re not victims, they’d like to know that they’ve helped you to have been empowered in that way. What an amazing thing to say. So how did this lady come to find herself in Africa volunteering in the first place? And how she found finding 1 million people harder than she imagined when she started a charity? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Alana Hurd. How are you Alana?
Alana Hurd [2:39]
Yeah, I’m really good. How are you?
David Ralph [2:41]
That was a big buildup. Do you know as I was going through it, I was thinking, this is this is a dramatic thing that you challenged yourself to do. And obviously we’re going to spend this hour talking about it. But when you hear somebody giving it back to you, like I just did you kind of go, Wow, yeah, this is this is big.
Alana Hurd [2:59]
Yeah, I didn’t This is big. I was also thinking that it. I’m glad that it came across as well as I thought it did. I thought it was quite clear. And it took me months and months and months of drafting it to make it that clear. So I was quite relieved.
David Ralph [3:12]
In what way but the actual that is a dream swap.
Alana Hurd [3:16]
Yeah, just that the concept came across and made sense. Because it’s such a new idea, the idea that everyone benefits, and everyone wins, and it is quite an abundant idea. So it’s nice to know that when it like it came across with clarity, I thought,
David Ralph [3:30]
well, he’s and it is one of those things that when I read it, I actually thought okay, this is a charity. Right? People are going to be helped. Yes. But hang on, it comes back to me as well. So let’s kind of start on that. Because I’m sure there’s so many listeners out there and listeners, you’re out there. Don’t have the extra Starbucks today. send money over here, because this is a great thing that we’re talking about today. But what are they going to gain from that pound other than feeling good about themselves?
Alana Hurd [3:57]
Well, the idea is that everyone gets to win and everyone gets to be empowered. So the idea originated because I wanted the kids to be able to give back. And I thought that in essence people’s one pound was giving the kids their dream the home and empowerment for the rest of their lives. So I wanted to offer exactly that back to people. And that’s where it all began. So the original website was to or the website that’s up at the moment moment into one had two parts to it. One part was Lowes nice nice discounts, exclusive discounts from those companies, anything that’s on your bucket list, or your dream list, or your kind of big wish list was on there on discount so that it was made more affordable. And then the other half of the website was website was loads and loads and loads of free events and opportunities. And that’s where lots of celebrities and industry leaders and people came in my rich D grant and Serrano fines and Jools Holland and Jason Fleming and Leon Taylor, and all the all these people, they all volunteered their time to do free Q and A’s for any moment in time members and for anyone who’s paid a pound, so that people could meet them in some cases, or just sending question seven other cases, and ask for their help and say, This is what I’m doing. Can you give me some advice? And all of these people would would get back success advice. And the idea was just that it was something these for you are empowered, and the children were empowered in turn, if that makes sense.
David Ralph [5:14]
It makes total sense. And what what do you think these celebrities are gaining from it as well? Because obviously, it’s a dream swap between the people that are paying the pound and, and yourself visor, vice versa. But the celebrities as well? Are they getting something? Are they getting the dream as well from their end?
Alana Hurd [5:34]
Well, that’s the question. Um, I don’t think they get well, they’re not getting paid. They’re all volunteering their time, I think the idea was that, rather than than just being asked to put the time towards eight children who have never met, who aren’t particularly different from other children, or any other part of the world who are looking for help, what they were doing, what I asked them to do was to give their time back to people who will like them 30 years ago, he wants to follow in their footsteps, you were inspired specifically by them. So I think it was perhaps more personal and slightly more rewarding, it was rewarding to know that they’ve given back in such a specific way. I know
David Ralph [6:11]
you were very kind of ballsy lady because I that would terrify me going up to people like mantle finds, he seems quite fierce. When you see him interviewed, he doesn’t sort of mess around. He doesn’t give an inch you know, he’s he’s got to where he is in life by going through more than most people would dream of going through. So to go up to him and sort of propose about well, their self limiting thoughts. We thought he never gonna say yesterday, he I’m just wasting my time.
Alana Hurd [6:40]
No, not with someone I find because I was really lucky in that case. And it was there was a member of my minion twine, who joined really, really, really early on. And he’s been really supportive. His name’s Chris, and he’s been fantastic. And he has a small radio show. And he’s in Tucson are finding it. So he was really, really kindly connected as by email out of the blue and said, This is what Lauren is doing already. I think you should check it out. And would you be free to for her to do a q&a, to do q&a with you. And this is what she’s doing. And I just recommend her. So I was really lucky in that sense that I was really lucky that someone finds immediately said yes, like he was he was really kind he was really, really quick to give. And so most people being creative, and I’ve also been really, really lucky that I’ve worked in TV for seven years before this. And I have worked with Richie grant on and off for the last 10 years. He’s helped me a lot in Africa in lots of different volunteer work. So I was able to ask Richard I was I was asked people like Ben Miller and Jason Fleming right from the very beginning if they would support what I was doing and put their names to it, and host a q amp A. So right from the very start, I had three quite prominent names that people could trust. So that meant that then I could go to other people who said, This is what I’m doing. And there wasn’t quite such a leap of trust there. They knew that if I wasn’t trustworthy, I wasn’t genuine and honest. The people that Richard Branson, Jason Fleming wouldn’t put their names to it. So I was really lucky from the outside, I think.
David Ralph [8:08]
And what you utilise bear is leverage and it is so powerful, isn’t it when you’re starting to get anything going, but you you find a crack in somewhere. And then you use what you find there to get somebody else. I do that when I when I started this show. I got a few people that I would say, said yes. And I’ve got a few people that said yes, potentially, I want to see what the show is going to be like, first of all, which is fair enough. But I still use their names to send out to other people saying I’ve got these guys on. And I’ve seen people like Bob Geldof when he got Live Aid. And he was saying to David Bowie, oh, I’ve got Paul McCartney and he hadn’t. But when you go to Paul McCartney and say, I’ve got David Bowie and the both of them, we go, Oh, I better do it, then. So leverage is is hugely powerful, isn’t it to get a certain amount of momentum going?
Alana Hurd [9:00]
Yeah, of course, I think you need to be creative when you’re starting. And I think he needs to use every opportunity that’s available. But I think you also need to be very, very honest, or as honest as possible when you’re doing something like this. Because it can backfire. But yeah, and I think I think you just have to be really proactive, don’t you and create your own opportunities, otherwise, nothing ever happens.
David Ralph [9:20]
Have you always had hustle muscle when when you was a small girl? Were you always somebody out there doing things or has this desire come as you’ve moved into sort of adulthood.
Alana Hurd [9:32]
I’ve always been very ambitious, I wouldn’t have said I had a huge amount of get up and go and I was younger. But I was really lucky in the boarding school that I went to, because it was a bit of a kind of celebrity boarding school where lots of celebrities and their kids. And it was an environment where you were taught that anything was possible to you because you were surrounded by the kind of people who had achieved so spectacularly or their parents and she says that’s it, excuse me spectacularly. You were brought up, I was brought up with this belief that anything was possible. And I think if you have that ingrained from a really young age, then the sky’s the limit, pretty much. I think that’s the most valuable thing you can ever give to anyone.
David Ralph [10:12]
And so you do think that’s a gift. And that’s a gift. But so many people don’t have even in adult life, they believe that life should be hard. They’re never going to get it. It’s for the select few. But what you’re saying is from what you learned from an early age is not for a select few. It’s for the people that go out and got a certain amount of talent, but they work on that talent and they hustle like mad.
Alana Hurd [10:37]
I don’t even think it’s talent. I think that anyone can do anything. I think that if you put your mind to it, anyone can achieve absolutely anything. I don’t think it’s necessarily easy. But I’ve spent the last two years sourcing and associating with people who are very driven. And none of them find it easy from adventurers to access to Olympic athletes, all these people, none of the fans easy as what they’ve come up against so many obstacles and they thought they were going to fail. Sometimes they have failed. But you just keep going. I think the secret is that there is no secret, you know, there are certain principles, you need to follow certain ways you need to think you need to be very proactive, you need to be very persistent. But anyone can find out those principles by reading any books by Alan sugar or Richard Branson. Anyone can source any of that information. It’s just a matter of wanting to go and do it yourself.
David Ralph [11:29]
So So are you really authentic to the real Eliana heard at the moment? Is this your place? Are you in the position that you should be?
Alana Hurd [11:40]
The moment in 20 Min?
Yes, I think so I was I was in TV for seven years. And I worked in drama. And I crossed over into factual and I always worked in TV, I always started working in TV. Because I thought from a really young age that media was a very powerful tool. And it could change the lives of people. And I think it could I think it does in some ways, but I never managed to work on any shows that particularly did that I always felt like it was what is the business TV is a business. And that didn’t satisfy me in that way. And then I quit TV to do my minion twine. And I always intended to go back to it since do my minions one that I realised that my real interest was in helping empowering people. And that’s why I’ve been doing that’s what my money is one has allowed me to do not just for the eight kids that I’m trying to help if everyone who pays their pound and comes to an event or watches all the videos from all the events or past events that are online or wins a raffle prize that helps them choose and they’ve wanted to do all of that stuff. It’s been great seeing people and getting really nice emails from people saying that they’ve been inspired and empowered, or is given an opportunity to do something on this kind of stuff. And that yeah, that has been really satisfying. So I think for the first time I’m really doing something that means something to me.
David Ralph [12:51]
And does it become easier because it’s your thing of all your your character traits? Are they coming together? And now can you see a path that really is going to take you anywhere? Because you are authentic?
Alana Hurd [13:07]
Yes or No, I think that
I’ve learned a lot about what I want to do in life, and what’s important to me and what made me happy. And I think that you can’t succeed unless you’re happy. I think that if something’s grinding you down and you don’t really want to do it, you’re never really going to succeed nuts because you’re not committed and you won’t give 100% and you’re you’re resent it. And I think that you can only really find success if you are being authentic. And I’ve seen that not in myself, but in so many really successful people that I know. They they all live by that principle. But I wouldn’t say it’s easier. I’d say that working in television was easier. Like it’s it’s a famous industry for its ruthlessness and being hard to break into. But I found it much, much easier than what I’m doing now saying up something new like this. This is hard. This is difficult.
David Ralph [14:00]
Yeah, the things that you’re doing is hard. But actually being yourself playing to your core essence. That’s got to be easier, isn’t it because you are made to be you. All the things that make up alone have heard, you’ve already got so that is easier when somebody like ID for many years been in corporate world, suppressing who I naturally am because I thought I had to play a role because I was in a certain environment. And been doing that just because it was expected of me and it was expected it was expected it was expected all the way through once you can free yourself up from that and actually start to blossom because you are playing you. That’s that easy, isn’t it?
Alana Hurd [14:39]
Yeah, it is. I agree with you. I think that you’re not you don’t feel like you’re being ripped in two different directions, because one half of us playing apart and the other half of you is just quite unhappy. I think there is I don’t have that day to day stress in my life that I had when I was doing something that I didn’t particularly want to do. And even even when I was doing it, and I worked in TV I enjoyed I worked on some amazing shows my is an amazing people. And they’re going to do some really, really cool, interesting stuff. And I don’t regret any of it. But there wasn’t an underlying sense of dissatisfaction. Because I wasn’t being authentic. And I think authentic is an important word. So yeah, in that sense, doing this is it feels I think the word is smoother, if that makes any sense. It feels like a Yeah, exactly. Like I’m not being tugged in two different directions. Whilst it’s really, really, really hard. And there are many, many, many obstacles, at least my full focuses on it. If that makes sense.
David Ralph [15:34]
It makes total sense. It’s almost like you’re talking to me there. It’s the, it’s amazing when you start doing something that is you, and the it’s just totally you, you do find it becomes smoother. I agree with that totally. And I think the focus just becomes, it just becomes bigger than you’ve ever had before. And you can sit there for hours, nine hours, and you barely blink because you’re just looking at one time. And you kind of you achieve greater things are being because of that, because you’re not being pulled from pillar to post. I’ve never achieved anything in such a short period of time like I’m doing now. Because my whole focus is just on this. And I used to be the shiny object syndrome, where I just do a bit of that. Oh, that looks good. And I just jumped over there. And I think most of it was because I wasn’t really happy with what I was doing anyway. But now I leap out of bed come running up here, I can’t get enough of it. And once you can’t get enough of it. That’s when things start happening for you.
Alana Hurd [16:36]
Yeah, no, I agree. I do agree. I think it takes time to find that space. And I think that you have to let a lot of stuff go. Especially if you’ve committed your identity and your sense of identity to something, it takes a lot to realise that that’s not really what you want to do.
David Ralph [16:53]
Well, what do you think so many people do just hold back and they spend years and years and years doing things that they don’t want to do. And it’s a theme that comes through the show all the time, because most people have been there. And I’ve gone through that to a certain degree, but made the decision of know enough is enough. But there’s there’s a world out there where people will do 4050 years doing a job that I hate, just because they don’t really believe that they can do something but they love.
Alana Hurd [17:23]
I think you just summed up, I think that’s the only thing that stops people is disbelief, especially in the UK, I found where people feel like they’re not entitled to do something that they love, necessarily, that you have to go and do this grind. And I think that people are conditioned in that way. I think that unless you find something that you have a flash of inspiration, or you meet someone who shows you differently and creates that break in your life where you can see differently, it’s very difficult to retrain yourself, because how can you even know where to start? I think it’s something that has to start when you’re younger, or you have to be willing to find it when you’re older. If that makes sense. It’s hard. It’s really hard. Because so many people will tell you that you’ll fail 99% of people will tell you that you’re making a mistake, or you’re going to fail or Who do you think you are. And to go against that, especially if it’s your peer group is incredibly frightening. It’s really, really frightening.
David Ralph [18:17]
Did you clear the decks of your peer group? Because I did. I got rid of literally everyone and kept maybe two or three supporters or champions, as I called who believed in me beforehand. But did you have to do the same way when you said look, I’ve got this idea, I’m gonna leave TV, I’m going to do this. We’re there, as we call them crabs dragging you back into the bucket.
Alana Hurd [18:41]
Not so much. I, I wouldn’t have said I cleared the deck consciously. I’ve noticed over the last two years that my friends group has changed. But 90% of the people that I’m friends with now and new have come into my life in the last two years and only a few of my past friendship groups have remained. And those who again, like very similar to you have been people who fought similarly to me anyway, and believed in what I was doing right from the beginning. So yeah, there has there has been a big change the core people in my life that very, very core people have remained the same. But I think that those are also the people who gave me the confidence and the self belief to do this idea in the first place. I think it would have been much harder if I’d if I’d had to change everyone in my life. That would have been much more daunting. But But I bet
David Ralph [19:29]
you about all the people that you’ve made over the last couple of years are kind of similar, Positive Motivational spirits, because yeah, once you start creating your success, you start sucking in, you become a success vacuum and other people just come into your world somehow. And then more and more people. And I don’t have any moaners and groaners in round me anymore, but I used to be surrounded by them on a daily basis, you go to the coffee machine in the office, and the we’ll just be surrounded with people moaning, how we’re going to get through a day, got five more days, the weather’s rubbish is best. But now, it’s just positive all the way. And once again, it makes it easier for you because you’re not fighting against that tide of people trying to hold you back somehow.
Alana Hurd [20:18]
Yeah, I agree. I do agree. And yeah, everyone that I’m surrounded by now are really positive really go getting people, a lot of them are really successful. A lot of the people that I try and bring into my life conscious, you know, consciously pay attention to or consciously make an effort to keep in touch with me up with in contact with as much as possible, our successful entrepreneurs or adventurers or very driven creative people who are very much carving their own path, and focus every day on what they want to do, and a really quick to give people who are really, really quick to give and to help and to give back. And yeah, I think I’m really lucky now with the people surrounding me.
David Ralph [20:57]
Do you see traits in them? But you go, yes, I need that as well, that that’s that’s one of the things that I haven’t quite mastered.
Alana Hurd [21:07]
What you mean,
David Ralph [21:08]
with the successful people was there’s certain traits that I’m looking at, but I realised that, you know, total belief, that’s one thing, I think I’ve got three quarters belief, but the people that I’m talking to, they just do these amazing things. Like they were never going to fail to begin with. It was just a given that they were going to do that. Do you see traits in them that you look at? And go Yeah, I wish I had a bit more fat or I wish I had a bit more of something else.
Alana Hurd [21:34]
Yeah, I do, especially with a lot of the adventures that I’ve come to know that I’ve been really lucky to come to know, they have this ability and this talent to put themselves out there anonymously to constantly to promote themselves in a really positive inspiring way. And to believe in themselves in that way. And I like that. But I was having a very, very interesting conversation with two music producers. I’ve done spectacularly well and spent 20 years carving their own niche and now work a lot with Simon carlon Little Mix and a huge night, Emily Sunday and a huge number of stars. And they’ve made it the last the last three years. They’ve rocketed and they they produce constant hits and number ones and top 10s. And they’ve done really, really well. And I did a q&a with them and online q&a with them. And ask them all sorts of questions similar to what you’re asking me. And they it was two of them I was chatting to. And they said something really interesting. One of them said he’d always had that belief. But the other one said that he didn’t believe in himself in that way. But he believed that if he could work really, really, really hard, he would still make it, which works the same way for him. So one believed that he would make it and that he had the talent and what was necessary to to make it and to achieve and to be that success. And then his friend, his colleague, who was the other part of the team, didn’t believe in himself as much, but he believed in the value of hard work. So you put that in instead. And they both got to the same point. They both succeeded in the same way. They just found different routes, if that makes sense.
David Ralph [23:08]
Yes, I think it makes sense. It’s like the 10,000 hours, isn’t it? If you’re willing to just put the effort in ultimately you are going to be above the crowd? You’re gonna ride just by practice and performance and routine and an order things but that hard work gives you?
Alana Hurd [23:26]
Yeah, yeah, I agree. I was speaking to an Olympic diver, Leon Taylor, who did a q&a from Germany. And one of the things he said in his q&a chatting to people was that it’s almost like 10% motivation and 90% habit is keeping going. I think that’s, I think that’s what it is. I think that’s the case for everyone. I just think that you don’t see the hard work. In most cases, you see the results. And you act as though it’s come about that she had friends of mine who are professional, free runners, their name is three run and the other phenomenal, they’re so successful, they’ve done so well. And they’ve created it all themselves. And they really, really lovely people. But they’ve been training, since they were tiny, really tiny. And they train every day. And I’ve never seen more commitment from anyone that I see from them. And people will always question why they’re so successful. And there is this sense of envy from some people. But they’ve achieved it because of their absolute commitment. But all you see is a bunch of really young guys who are doing really well. You don’t see you don’t trace it back to the 10 years where they trained before that and created their craft.
David Ralph [24:33]
is fascinating is it really is is unlike I’m in therapy at the moment, Ilana, you’re talking and I’m thinking about so many things. Because I’ve got I’ve got this show, and it’s doing amazingly well. And I get a lot of people ask me now, how have you done it? Like I pressed three buttons, and it’s just happened. And but now you can go and replicate those pre button pressing system, and you will get the same kind of success. But you never see behind the scenes Do you you never see the struggle, you never see the early mornings or late night you never see when you’re doing something when you’re not well, and all that kind of stuff, you only see the highlights. And when you see the highlights, it’s easy to convince yourself that it was okay for them. That’s why Simon cows where he is because he’s just Simon cow. That’s where the herd is because she’s alone her all those kind of things. It’s one of the big failings of life, isn’t it, that we we kind of like to believe that the successful people have it easy somehow. Because when we don’t, we don’t have to try to copy them.
Alana Hurd [25:39]
Someone said to me right at the beginning, when I was starting to do this, that the reason why some people stay kind of where they are and never necessarily go for what they really want to do is that whilst you don’t try, you can blame not being where you want to be on lack of opportunity. Lack, and again, this is not what you said, well, it’s okay for them to be like this, for this person to do this, because they’ve obviously had these opportunities. But the minute you hand someone an opportunity, you’re also handing them a chance that they can fail. And some people are too frightened by the idea of failure to even try because as long as you don’t try, you can never know if you’ve if you would have failed or not. And I think it’s the sort of way of seeing failure that needs to change. And you see people talking about it all the time. And it’s really like when Richard Branson on was very successful people talk about it, you see how much people could could change if they would just listen to their advice. But you just people need to see failure as a stepping stone to learning something and this is stepping stone to success, not something that’s happened that can happen to the music, they’re not worthy. It’s a mindset that needs to change, I think so enough people can stop believing in themselves and believing that even if they make many mistakes, every mistake is just a step towards where they actually want to be.
David Ralph [26:55]
No experiences wasted. That’s what I think I’m gonna play some words now that we emphasises what we’re talking about. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [27:04]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [27:31]
That says a lot about you, isn’t it Really?
Alana Hurd [27:34]
I love that quote. That’s one of my favourite features from Jim Carrey. I think it’s absolutely the most valuable piece of advice, and most amazing storey that anyone could ever listen to. I think it’s I love I love that video.
David Ralph [27:48]
Why do you think that it has gone viral? Do you think it is because people want to feel about hope they want to feel about this that opportunity. Even if they’re not going to take it. They want feel that it’s out there boredom.
Alana Hurd [28:03]
I didn’t realise how tomorrow I’m not surprised. Um, why is it going viral? I think that it helps it is him. I think if it was someone else who didn’t have that kind of platform, and that kind of name, it would struggle. But yeah, I think that people are looking for it. And Jim Carrey talks a lot about someone could Eckhart Tolle to, I don’t know if you’ve heard of he, he basically just talks a lot about meditation and being in the present moment and releasing your identity, and do kind of releasing yourself from a lot of things that hold a lot of people back that creates a lot of fear. And Jim Carrey massively advocates, his books and his way of thinking. And I think that that’s becoming more and more part of our kind of social consciousness and social awareness. There’s also an app called headspace, that’s dedicated towards again, it’s done, I think it started in the States. And now it’s getting really big over here. And I did a q&a with rich Pearson, who was one of the co founders of it. And their entire message is helping people bring meditation into their day, a tiny little bit of time, so no one has to change their lifestyle, people can just adapt for five minutes to bring in something that will help them. And I think that way of life is starting to creep in. And that more than anything else anyone can ever do, will change people’s lives for the better, too, because it will give them some release away from the fear. And make them realise that actually they are able to go off and do whatever they want to do. I think anyway,
David Ralph [29:31]
did you meditate and listen to that little voice?
Alana Hurd [29:35]
I do you meditate? Yeah. Yeah, I do. But I think that for a lot of the most successful people I know, do meditate. But they meditate. It’s not a spiritual thing, necessarily. It’s more just having a break from your thoughts and realising that your thoughts don’t have to dominate you, and that you can master them. And I think that once you’ve made that switch, and you start to see your mind as a tool that you’ve news, rather than something that drives you back, and keeps you down through force of habit, I think that that’s a life changing moment for many people. And that’s what I’ve seen with a lot of Olympic athletes I’ve spoken to and a lot of professional athletes, athletes, especially, I’ve noticed they all meditate and find that space just to get through, like the huge pressure that they’re under all the time.
David Ralph [30:21]
I used to think that meditation was sort of floating on top of the mountain somewhere, and very sort of spiritual, almost karate kind of essence to it. But I realised now after listening to so many people as just allowing yourself as you say, to have space. And so what I do, I drive now, without the radio on, I was always bank radio on music on. And now I don’t have that at all. And because your mind is half concentrating on driving, the thoughts that come into your head is like, Wham ease all the time we ate it is your body is your body, computing something bad with so much noise going on. It doesn’t allow it to come out. But you just give yourself a bit of breathing space. And I suppose that’s why so many big forks happened in the shower, because when you in the shower, you just kind of washing yourself, you’re not really thinking about much. But when it hits, you realise that it’s the way forward, isn’t it allowing yourself to disconnect from all the noise, and just listening to that small voice that we’ve all got?
Alana Hurd [31:23]
Yeah, I think it’s just about creating that space for yourself. So you can realise that, actually, everything’s fine. Whereas when your thoughts dominate you you can become, you just get caught in a spiral of stress. So it’s just about giving yourself yourself that space to step out of that stress or to want to see it for what it is.
David Ralph [31:39]
So let’s jump back to when he was in Africa. How did you actually get over there? Was that part of your TV career, but you ended up actually in there? Or was that a personal thing?
Alana Hurd [31:51]
Oh, no, no, it’s nothing to do with TV. So I just I just did the gap year thing that everyone does in 2002, and went over to start an African for three months and worked in international school for a little bit and volunteered in various different places. And part of where I volunteered was in a children’s ward, and hospital. And I was only there for a very brief amount of time. And then I came back and I went to uni, but some some way and somehow it must have affected me more than I realised at the time, because it stayed with me for all those three years. And then when I finished uni and realised I wanted to go into television, so I did a theatre degree, but then realised during during the degree that I wanted to go into theatre instead, sorry, into television instead. So when I finished my degree, I decided that I would fly back to Africa and make a fundraising documentary for this Ward to go and take, like, do a bit of fundraising. But when I was back in the UK and send somebody over, and it would be a really nice kind of start to my career. So that’s really how I started committing and even at that time, I only wanted to go back, make a short video, I could two minute documentary with some sad music, and then come back to the UK, show it to a few people raise some money centre, a decent good that was that was where I sort of stopping. But then when I was out there, I realised that the kids needed to leave this word as soon as possible that the hospital was a very dangerous place for them. And then I was put in touch with a small charity, who were fostering children directly from the word it was a really tiny charity run by a Canadian couple. And they were fostering children directly from the ward and putting them into these homes that they set up. And these children were just blossoming. But no one was able to help the disabled children. So that was when I was approached by a group of women who said will be can’t raise the money from within the country, would you be able to raise it? And then that’s how it started. Really, I didn’t think I could at the time, I was 24. And I hadn’t even started my career. And I had no idea how I was going to build this house and raises money. And I felt that I had lots of meetings with people talking about it. And I felt that it was just so far beyond why would ever be able to do. And I didn’t say no outright, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t see how I would do it. And then I came back to the UK and I got immersed in TV and trying to set up some sort of career for myself. But over the years, I constantly stayed in contact, I use the fundraising documentary that I’ve made to raise money. And that was how I how I first met rich the grant because he realised he’d give me some advice before I went out there and forming and Africa. And when I got back, I emailed him and said Yes, thank you. And this is what I did. And it was really helpful. And he was really kind of said, Would you like me to narrate the documentary for you. And that was how it started. It was his absolute off the cuff generosity, completely out of the blue, he was a really, really super kind. And I was raising money for Africa and like, for this charity in particular and throwing fundraising parties in London and Woods’s events on the side of doing my TV career. But I noticed I kept a really close eye on the disabled children over time, we realised that no one really was able to help them they were completely serious in saying that no one else would be able to step forward and do it. I finally went back in 2010. And said, right, how can we do this actually make it possible?
David Ralph [35:07]
It is fascinating that when it first come to you, you didn’t, as you say I didn’t outright say no. Because most people would when they they would just freak at that stage and being I haven’t got base. I haven’t gotten that out how am I going to do it? But there was something he knew but just kind of let it simmer until it was right for you. Have you ever reflected on why you didn’t do what so many people have done? Because I actually when he was telling me that storey I felt a mild panic inside me thinking oh, my God, how she done this, this this tune this too many things that you weren’t aware of? Or, or how or knew how to do at that time. But you didn’t run away from it? Why didn’t you?
Alana Hurd [35:47]
Gosh, looking back, it feels like I ran away from it. And I didn’t say it right now. And I’d love to say that that was for a nice reason. But if I’m really honest, I think it was because was because of a quite a good reason, which was that I didn’t want to be the kind of person who said no, I think that I didn’t want to see myself in that light, that I was given an opportunity to help kids who had nothing, and no chance. And that. I said no. So I think that’s the reason why I didn’t say no outright, I think that I was very uncomfortable with the idea that I could be that kind of person. Even though I could have justified it a million times over that I was very young. I had no funds, no contacts, no way of doing it at all. I was completely floored by the idea. And it was a massive project. But I didn’t want to for some reason, I didn’t want to say no over time. Again, it became Eve I think even when I went back 2010 it was because I again didn’t want to be the kind of person who would have said no. And it wasn’t till I was back out there. And I’d reconnected with the kids. And then as set up and launch my million to one that I really got to the core of why I was doing it connected with the kids in such a way that it was all about them. And not it’s all about me anymore, if that makes sense.
David Ralph [37:07]
Yeah, it makes total sense. But it is interesting how you had to challenge yourself to get to that point in you, you had to push yourself further than you’ve you’ve ever seen before. And there’s no difference really between yourself. And people don’t run out fines and all these other people. It’s going into the unknown and be willing to go further, even though it’s frightening.
Alana Hurd [37:30]
Something I’ve learned is you have to be willing to fail. And that was a massive lesson for me. That was a huge lesson for me as a lesson that I’ve only really learnt in the last six months was about willingness to fail. But I think that that is the key to our success. And you see it with, with anyone who’s successful, that ability to even have failures on a tiny scale compared to the big thing as a chief. They have to be willing to encounter all the tiny failures and the tiny obstacles and all the mistakes you’re going to make to I think and I think that’s just that’s that’s the same across the board no matter what you do.
David Ralph [38:05]
So So what’s what has been the hard part? Obviously, it’s all hard because what you’re doing is a global platform. But why for example, did you go with the million to one? Why didn’t you try to find five millionaires and so you jumped on?
Alana Hurd [38:21]
Gosh, I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if that would have been easier. And I it came about because I went back in 2010. And I started researching I still then hadn’t 100% committed I did, I went back with the proviso that let’s see if it was possible, not going over and saying let’s make it possible. So I spoke to the stage with the charities that I knew really well. And they put me in touch with lots of other charities. And so I drove around a lot. I spoke to lots of them. I said so this is what I want to do this is we know that those eight kids in this hospital ward, which is how the number came about it was a specific children. How much is it going to be to set up a home on this scale? And would you ever adopt and expand so I didn’t want to move over and do it from scratch is much harder. Going into a region like that and setting up something from scratch, it’s much easier for if another local charity expands and adopts it and takes on. So I just did a lot of research. And then it was in that through that process through all the cost analysis working out the exact cost of the home the rehabilitation speaking to the doctors who knew the kids working out exactly everything that they wanted, and getting a full cost analysis that we realised that it would be or I realised it would be about 40 grand a year. And that’s maximum is more likely to be about 30 grand a year is 40 grand if they need full time, nothing and there’s actually a full, if people were to Google My million to one, they would come across the website and the blog and on the blog is very easy to find full cost analysis breakdown that shows you exactly where every penny would go to make that bigger. But the million pound came about because I needed not only as you as you said right at the very beginning of this, I needed not only the money every year, I needed to guarantee that figure in advance for at least the next seven to eight years because these charities couldn’t run the risk that however well intentioned I was, the money would dry up in 1520 years and they’d be left with this home that these children who are now who would then be adults would still need for the rest of their lives. And no one was suddenly able to fund it. But they had this responsibility it was it was a risk that they just couldn’t take. So the very main part of the moment of the million pounds came from the fact they needed this guarantee. And that was really how it all began the million a million could sit and trust and would create more than four more for them 40 grand a year and interest every year. And I’d be able to run the home front and read off the guarantee as well. And then the million to 1 million people pay one pound once came from the inspiration of there was I think I read about the guy who he was English, but he called it the million dollar pixel campaign isn’t this Yeah, yeah, really, really clever. And someone had just told me about that the heat, he needed to pay for his way through college or something. And he sold a million pixels on a screens, just a single screen broken into a million bits. And he sold each each pixel for $1. And he made a million and he just sold it as advertising space. And it was brilliant. And I thought well, I still don’t
David Ralph [41:15]
get it. To be honest, I don’t get you can’t see a pixel, how can you put advert
Unknown Speaker [41:20]
Alana Hurd [41:23]
he sold them in blocks of 100 minimum. So you could see your logo and your space, I think it was just something really funky and cool and different. And he marketed it really well. But um, and I was put in touch with him recently, actually. And I was already in my hand what he’s I think a lot of show great initiative. But anyway, so that’s I just heard about that. And then I thought, well, what I’m doing is I could see I could come up with a gimmick of a million people pay one pound wants nothing ever again in the home runs forever. And that hasn’t been done before. And who wouldn’t pay a pound if they knew that their pound was going to last forever and ever and ever, and give these kids a home for life. So that was kind of how that came about. And then I love the idea of wanting to give back to people wanting their kids to be allowed to give back. Because I think that’s really important working with the kids in Africa and these specific charities in particular, they worked in a very, very different way where the children work. They were just given so much dignity. And I remember really clearly over here, we see all these charity adverts, and we see these big campaigns with sad music and children at the absolute lowest point with a close up camera on them. And I’ve always had it ever since I worked in documentaries, I’ve always had a problem with that. And it caused me because that was what caused me to break away from documentaries. In the end it was that I felt that you needed to put the camera down and address the issue instead of filming it. And the charity that I was working with him. So then Africa kind of believed the same thing. And all of these children, every single child that they’d adopted, had suffered and had a terrible storey, horrible storey. But they refused to tell them they had a few anonymous storeys on the website saved by one child suffer, there’s no charges of this. But they wouldn’t associate it with each child, they wouldn’t say, well, they wouldn’t put a picture and say Delhi has suffered all of this stuff sponsor five pounds a month. They said no, this, this child has the right to tell their storey when they’re older the same way everyone has the right to tell their storey. And you can’t take that away from them just because you’re trying to raise money for them. And that was a massive turning point for me with how the moment in my dream sort of came about because I just thought that’s absolutely right is completely how it should be. But mostly how it never is. And I realised that if I created a dream swap that would honour the kids and give them a chance to give back. And it could be something positive and happy and give them dignity, instead of just filming them in shocking circumstances and being some sad music on it. And being one of countless other charities who are doing the same thing, if that makes sense.
David Ralph [43:51]
Well, what does it mean it takes you back to the pixel man, you’re doing something which is unique again, because I’ve never seen this before. Every charity that I’ve ever seen on the TV is exactly as you described. It’s the very sad music, it’s the guy with a sort of laconic voice overly over sort of voiceover. And at the end, they asked for your money. And that’s it. And the worst ones are the really horrible ones that we get in the United Kingdom, which are just black and white, and babies and children crying. And you just get them in a car and they’re just sitting there crying, and you know that they’ve been abused or whatever. It’s horrific, absolutely horrific. But you you’re taking it, you’re supplying hope, aren’t you, you’re supplying hope to us, and hope to them, and hope to the world by what you’re doing. It’s a total different spin
Alana Hurd [44:42]
is a different spin. It’s been a huge struggle, because it’s a different spin. I whilst I don’t necessarily agree with that kind of Charity Campaign and that kind of advertising. I think the charges in question are doing phenomenal work. And I think that they use that motif, because it was works. And it does work. It really really works. There was about six months when I didn’t, I didn’t want a sad picture of the children. On the website, I’d have some really beautiful sketches made up that were really positive and really hopeful of the kids, and how I wanted them how I saw them in the home. And it had no effect whatsoever, people really, really wanted to see these children in the situation that they were in now. And I put up one about six months into it, I put up one picture of one of the girls, and I made it quite dark. So you could necessarily see who she was Clinton, again, I didn’t want to have her up that feeling of exploiting her. And that it was it was a very kind of typical picture of a very sad child looking vulnerable. And my conversion rates from traffic doubled overnight, because people were expecting to see it and it made people feel far more comfortable that they could see it. And it was that was a lesson that was big. Um, I think that those charity campaigns do work. And I think that where my money has struggled, it’s built up over time, and I’m slowly slowly building up that change in that. That kind of new audience who are looking for something a bit different, or who really liked the idea and the positivity. But it’s been a huge, huge lay, what’s the word challenge, I suppose to create something new and different like that, because again, people, if people haven’t seen it, they have to think about it. And online, people don’t have that attention span that much anymore. So it does. And tonight, it’s been a very, very difficult route to go down. It’s been a really beautiful route, because it’s lovely to do something that is completely and totally positive. But at the same time. Tonight, if I could do I suppose I wouldn’t do things differently if I could start again, because I do really believe in what I’m doing. But it definitely has been a lot harder because I’ve done some things. So and you
David Ralph [46:50]
know, you were brilliant. I was just going to ask you that question, would you have done anything differently and you, you fended me off fair. So what I’m going to do actually, is a journey that you’ve been on, and it’s a connexion of so many dots, I’m going to play the theme of the show. And as a speaker, Steve Jobs me back in 2005. And this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [47:08]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [47:45]
Can you see your path lining up as he described, they’re
Alana Hurd [47:50]
not in front of me, behind me a little bit. But it’s still I think I’m still very much a mid journey. I don’t think I’ve really got a major milestone to look back on. yet. I think I’ve I’ve learned hundreds and hundreds of different little mini lessons along the way. But I’m not in a position yet. Where I can turn around and go, I can see my Boom, boom, boom, this is and this is where I’ve got to be, if that makes sense. I think after 10 years, Steve Jobs was in a position where you could look back and he could see major milestones, and they were much clearer. But yeah, I can see. I can see big turning points in the path that I am like the path I’ve taken, for example, just what I was talking about with putting on the picture of the kids, and learning about people and learning about how to took me six months to find a way to put the dreams hop across in a way that people could get it immediately and respond to it immediately. It took me about eight months to build up over 60 testimonials. So that enough people would believe that it really was possible that this charity model is decided that it really would just be one part once they wouldn’t be charged more that it was necessary. Can I all this this huge challenges that took months and months and months to overcome. Before my minions one got any real traction at all. Because people just couldn’t believe that it was real, at least 80% the feedback was that it was too good to be true. And it couldn’t possibly be real life was possible someone else would have done it. He was much more successful than me. Because they were already an entrepreneur and they went someone completely unknown. So yeah, I think I can see turning points. But the dots haven’t quite come together yet. If that makes sense. Did you think you’ll
David Ralph [49:30]
be from where I’m sitting here talking to you, your big dot seems to be back at the boarding school. Just that you at that young age, you could see that anything was possible. It was down to you. Did you feel that that was a real major thing that’s made you who you are today?
Alana Hurd [49:47]
Yeah, I think that I’m really, really, really lucky. I’m really blessed. And that’s one of the things that I really want my money into one to give to people more than anything else. I want that sense of belief. And that’s what so now there are part of what you get for your one partnership for my minions one, it’s even if you’ve missed a lot of the Q and A’s that will live when they were happening. I filmed all of them recorded all of them so that there’s now this massive portfolio of videos and podcasts that people can watch. They’ve also all been transcribed into an E book called the principles of success, that show you with the chapter, right at the end of that shows you the sub headings, of the exact principles that all these people live by and show you. It compares all the quotes from all the different people from all the different industries and shows you that there is no secret. They all think I’m talk often word for word and exactly the same way. And I wanted to be able to give that back for that reason. Then I had that school and didn’t even realise why I had until the last two years. It’s only in the last couple of years, we felt when my boyfriend pointed out to me, I didn’t even realise until he he said do you think it’s because of this, that I had such a unique gift? When I was younger, that something was so ingrained in me that anything was possible. So yeah, I think that that was a massive, massive moment in my life, it just took me a long time to realise the value of it.
David Ralph [51:07]
And it was a positive moment, I have guests who really talk about, but he found themselves they found their big.at the worst possible time. And it was either sink or swim. But you were a moment that you were just surrounded by positivity, you’re surrounded by people challenging themselves. And in that kind of boarding school environment. It’s not like comprehensives go up, I imagine you have pushed quite hard to actually achieve an education and go on to great things.
Alana Hurd [51:36]
Well, yeah, there was this assumption that everyone who left would do well. And I think if you have that, if you have that assumption, then subconsciously if you believe that that’s possible as two thirds of the battle. But I also I do believe as well, like what you were saying when you speak to people, and they’ve said that they’re kind of their big dots were during the really tough times. I would say that that’s I would say that’s the case as well, because the other really massive turning point for me has been in the last couple of months, when I’ve had to let go, I felt like really, really bad habits have come to the surface, I’ve had to recognise really bad habits that are limiting beliefs that have held me back that I’ve had for most of my life, but haven’t paid enough or recognised before for what they are. And I’ve had to and they’ve also been holding my mini into one bag. And I’ve had to really face and change a huge amount of myself to give my minions one the chance that it needs to succeed. But that came from the that came from huge struggle. And being in a in a make it or break it place. So yeah, I think I didn’t I suppose a different turning points come out of different situations. Why what I would look at from boarding school was just that I was incredibly lucky to be given that subconscious motivation from such a young age. And that subconscious assumption that I would succeed if I put the work in.
David Ralph [52:56]
I think that’s the message. But over shows, if you put the work in, you’re going to get somewhere, even if you only get better at what you’re doing, you’re still going to be ahead of the curve. That’s what I really want my kids to understand. And I want the world to understand. But so many people out there will kind of do the bare minimum, they will just coast. So if you do more than them, suddenly you’ve you’ve gone into less competition. And the real successful people, they go into a sort of a pinnacle in a pyramid where there’s less competition, because they have worked harder and harder and harder to get to the top. And that’s where the rewards are both spiritually, financially or whatever. That’s why we are waiting for that that peak, because that’s where it’s all waiting for us.
Alana Hurd [53:44]
I think that’s true. I’ve noticed that a lot across every industry, the people who attend the events, and the people who attend the moment in turn events, people who are really super productive. They are often in a highly highly competitive industries where statistically they’re winning in my 10,000 100,000 people. And statistically, they really up against the odds. But realistically, they’re of a tiny percentage who are bothering to go to events bothering to seek out new opportunities, bothering to network, and make Connexions are bothering to create their own luck. And because of that, that that automatically so far ahead of the game,
David Ralph [54:22]
I love this conversation. But unfortunately, we’re going to have to bring it to the end because this is the end of the show now. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic. And this is where I can send you back in time, like a time traveller to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger Lana, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:56]
Alana Hurd [55:13]
So I would just say, Atlanta, I probably am be in my teenage years, I’m talking to, I would say, to live much more in the moment to commit much more to every moment, because pure commitment, and each moment will bring you much more success. I would say, Atlanta, you need to be your authentic self. And you need to find the values that you live by the make you unique, and every person is unique. And if you live by those values, you will achieve great success. And I would just say choose to be happy. Because you don’t realise it now that everyone has that choice and every single second to be happy. And that again, will bring you huge success.
David Ralph [55:56]
Atlanta, how can our audience connect with you? And obviously donate to your charity.
Alana Hurd [56:03]
If people just Google My millions, one, there’s dozens and dozens and dozens of pages to come up. That main direct link is www.my million to one.com. forward slash for a bit. Yes, if people just Google My million to one, and that’s my million and then to any, then lows, nose, nose and stuff comes up. And yeah, there’s loads. There’s ways on every single page, just join up and pay your one pound. And as soon as you join up, you get access to all of the raffle prizes and cash prizes, no lots and lots and lots of other opportunities to help you live your dreams all for one pound. And yeah, that at the moment, I’m a massive purchase. I’m really, really, really trying to make the money for these kids before Christmas. And I’ve got 10 days to go. So no pressure at all. So if anyone wants to help and make it happen, it would be much appreciated. I’d love you to come on board and join this journey with me.
David Ralph [56:56]
Absolutely. And Come on, guys. You listen to the shows on a daily basis because you want to change your life. That’s the only reason you’re listening to it. If you’re a multi millionaire, I don’t believe that you you’ve ever listened to Join Up Dots once. So you are primed for this, you have got a resource where you can spend time delving into what alone has provided. You’ve got the Q and A’s, you’ve got all the research all everything bare at your fingertips, but just a pound. So if you aren’t going to just go out and buy a Starbucks, just think about it and just put money this way because it is hugely rewarding. And she’s doing such amazing job. And I’m certainly going to sign up for it. And I would like to think that all the listeners out there will contribute as well because it is a kindred platform. I want you to get the dream. And alone I want you to get the dream as well. So Eliana, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Alana Hurd. Thank you so much.
Alana Hurd [57:58]
Well, thank you I really enjoyed it.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.