Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast With Sue Stockdale
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Introducing Sue Stockdale
Sue Stockdale is today’s guest on Join Up Dots podcast interview.
A quite remarkable lady who has been introduced to the show by the brilliant Cathy O’Dowd who appeared on the show way back on episode 88.
Now this episode is going to get us all thinking about what is possible in life.
And what we are capable of achieving, as the first thing that appeared when I checked her website out were these great words “ Life is a journey to find out what you are capable of, yet it is one that people often shy away from”
She is an explorer and lover of the big challenges in life.
But life didn’t start in such a grand fashion, as like most of us she started her career in a corporate gig, and worked for British Gas.
Although it is true to say that even within an environment like this, she was out to prove a few things and became one the youngest employees ever to reach a Senior Management Role within the organisation.
How The Dots Joined Up For Sue
It was when made the decision to spend 3 months in Kenya on her first expedition that her life truly changed forever
It was then she could start to see the first footsteps on the path that she has travelled ever since.
She developed her belief that she was capable of more than she imagined possible..
In 2013, she celebrated twenty five years since she made that first expedition to Kenya,
And since then she became the first British woman to ski to the Magnetic North Pole, which led onto expeditions to Antarctica, the Geographical North Pole and skiing with an international team across the Greenland Ice Cap.
These expeditions taught her the realities of leadership, managing change and maintaining motivation, which she now helps business leaders put into practice today through corporate coaching and keynote presentations.
So why did she decide to do that first three months in Kenya, and did she have to quit her job to do it, or did she have lovely bosses that allowed such a huge amount of annual leave?
And as we find time and time again on Join Up Dots, is it the true hardships that we learn from most, or do they just point us to the direction we should be moving?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Sue Stockdale.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Sue Stockdale such as:
How she remembers seeing a notice board in British Gas, and was convinced to go on the adventure by the fact that her salary was paid for three months. No brainer!
When she returned to the British Gas company, she knew that she couldn’t go back to her old position. The trip had made her realise what she had to offer in life.
How she now sees herself as someone who needs to explore her own potential even more than exploring the world around us.
How she always gives out commitment cards at her presentations and no matter how many she hands out, she only ever gets a few returned to her.
Why she is very aware of the legacy that she is leaving others, when she displays such go getting attitudes to the world. That is her reason for being here!
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Full Transcription Of Sue Stockdale Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com. The premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro. Check us out now at podcasters mastery.com.
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 [0:38]
Yes, hello there everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots Episode 327. I’ve woken up this morning and I got a bit of a bit of sore throat i don’t know if i was snowing through the night or what’s occurred but but I might sound a little bit sexy British show days. That’s what the ladies like, but actually just comes out sinister so it’s not good. I can’t do sexy anymore. We got a lady on the show today. I’ll be honest with you listeners, it didn’t start Well, I insulted her after about two and a half seconds of pre chat. So I’ve got to make it up to her. I said that she was English and she’s not he’s Scottish. So if you know anything about Braveheart, and all that business, that’s what we’re going to get today. But it’s quite simply that she is a remarkable lady who has been introduced to the show by the brilliant Kathy O’Dowd, who appeared on the show way back on episode 88. Now, this episode is going to get us all thinking about what is possible in life and what we’re capable of achieving. As the first thing that appeared when I checked her website out were these great words, life is a journey to find out what you are capable of. Yet it is one that people often shy away from powerful stuff. She’s an explorer and lover of the big challenges in life. But life didn’t start in such grand fashion. As like most of us she started her career in a corporate gig and work for British Gas. Although it is true to say that even within an environment like that she was out to prove a few things and become one of the youngest employees and To reach a senior management role within the organisation, but it was when she made the decision to spend three months in Kenya on our first expedition. But her life truly changed forever. It was vain, she could start to see the footsteps on the path that she has travelled ever since and developed her believe that she was capable of more than she imagined possible. Now in 2013, she celebrated 25 years since she made her first expedition to Kenya. And since then, she’s become the first British women to ski to the magnetic north pole, which led onto expeditions to Antarctica the geographical North Pole and skiing with an international team across the Greenland ice cap. Now these expeditions taught her the realities of leadership, managing change and maintaining motivation, which she now helps business leaders put into practice today through corporate coaching and keynote presentations. So why did she decide to do that first three months in Kenya, and did you have to quit a job to do it or did she have lovely bosses that allowed such a huge amount of annual leave and as we find out time and time again on Join Up Dots is it True hardships that we learn from most, or do they just point us to the direction we should be moving? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Sue Stockdale. How are you Sue?
Sue Stockdale [3:12]
I’m fantastic. Thanks, David. Good to speak to you.
David Ralph [3:14]
It is lovely to have you here. And Can Can I say while we’re live, and we’re recording, I do apologise, so I never meant to drag you into the English fraternity. You’re proud you’re Scottish. You’ve got your face painted half blue at the moment, I can imagine it.
Sue Stockdale [3:29]
Well, I must say I do live in England, but I would classify myself as either British or Scottish.
David Ralph [3:34]
So what’s against the english? What don’t you like about us English?
Sue Stockdale [3:38]
Well, I think there’s something about when you’re brought up in Scotland, or at least when I was a wee girl then we know it. We did. There was much more of a Scottish English bias. And I think that’s kind of ingrained in the culture. But you know, as I say, I’m, I live in England and I am happy to, to, you know, live with an Englishman. And, you know, I don’t think really England’s all that bad days, not bad at all. So, so where pounds to You live I imagine knowing your background now you you live on the heels of some dramatic mountain. Is that true? Well, I live in a little village in Wiltshire. So I live at the bottom of a hill, certainly. But I might have slipped onto the countryside. And with two dogs, it’s the important thing has been able to get out and walk with them within two minutes of leaving the front door and into the lovely countryside and fields. And did you have one of those white horses those chalky white horses up on the hill near you?
David Ralph [4:27]
That’s what Yeah,
Sue Stockdale [4:29]
yet we do have one in the village. So it gets a little bit paler in the winter when and then they the team from the village go out and clean it in the in the springtime and it looks all gleaming and I’m like a proper horse again.
David Ralph [4:39]
So I’m fascinated about base because I was down in Russia recently travelling around and I said to my kids, we’re going to see one of those white horses and for the listeners that don’t know and you can go on and Google this around the British Isles for some bizarre reason you probably know more about it than me. So there are sort of big choke characters with a drone into the hillside for thousands of years or these hundreds and hundreds of years. And many of those are big white horses and you can see them from a distance. But they have an absolute swine to try to find as you get closer to them, you would think that they get bigger and bigger and bigger, but you can see them for miles away. And then when you get closer, I went into a town it was devises in these workshopping devices. And it was like I was trying to get into a secret territory. Nobody would really tell me where they were. And it wasn’t any signposts or anything is it like to do weird things go on up on the white horse, but I should know about.
Sue Stockdale [5:32]
I don’t think weird things necessarily go on. But perhaps the locals are just so used to these things that they, they don’t have an adult sort of pointing and saying this, this way to find the white horse. And you’re right in that even when I’m walking the dogs up by the white horse and in our village, you suddenly come across it and you don’t even realise it. That’s what it is. Because of course it’s fair to click on the side of the ingrained into the hillside and it’s very difficult to see it up close. And perhaps that’s the attraction for bringing tourists into the The region is for them to search out those white horses, and then make it easy for them.
David Ralph [6:04]
And isn’t that a great metaphor for life? I’m trying to find a metaphor for this that I can seamlessly segue through. But a lot of times your final destination, you can’t see until you’re right on it. Is that brilliant? Is that a brilliant segue? So?
Sue Stockdale [6:19]
Yeah, I think you’ve done pretty well there. And you’re absolutely right, until you take a step further backwards and kind of look at it. Look at your life and your experiences. From a kind of a distant perspective. I don’t think always you can sort of join up those dots and get a sense of what your journey is about, or what has been about.
David Ralph [6:36]
Well, we’re obviously going to take you back in time. And we’re really going to join up your dots as we like to do on this show. But the thing that really struck me because when when I was a kid, and you heard the word Explorer, you kind of thought that these people were born to go out exploring, and they’re sort of David Livingston’s and all that kind of stuff. But when I was reading your background, you didn’t believe it until you stop actually doing it. And then once you started doing it, you realise you could do more than you thought possible. Was that? Do you remember that being an absolute mindset shift? Or was it just a gradual appreciation of what you could do?
Sue Stockdale [7:13]
Well, I think the thing that I used to love reading adventure stories and about these sort of famous explorers, and it always seemed to me to be that they were always men, and they, I had a perception that they would have a lot of money and being a young girl in Scotland, you know, with my pocket money. I guess at that time, I didn’t think about it, necessarily, but on reflection later, I realised that I had just set myself a belief that it was impossible to be an explorer. And then it was only after seeing this advert when I was working in British Gas on the company notice board that the opportunity to go to Kenya came along that that I thought, you know, wow, here’s a chance to have an adventure. And sometimes, even doing even having done the adventure didn’t even classify myself as an explorer. And I think you know, sometimes as you say, when you’re up close Doing things you don’t necessarily actually appreciate what you’re really doing.
David Ralph [8:03]
So how many times did you look at that notice board before you actually did anything about it? Did you keep on walking past it for sort of weeks thinking? That looks good, that looks good. But now I can’t fit back into my lifestyle now. No, that’s for other people, or did you just go bang? That was it?
Sue Stockdale [8:18]
Yeah, the latter. I’m one of those people that that’s very proactive and kind of grabbing opportunities when they come along. And men perhaps think a bit more seriously about it later on over there. It’s been a good idea or not. And the one thing on the notice board that certainly attracted me and I thought loads of people would apply, is that you were going to get your salary page when you went away on the expedition. So you know, I thought it was a no brainer, who wouldn’t take the opportunity to have three months of work, salary paid and go on an adventure to foreign country.
People like me,
David Ralph [8:49]
well, I must speak like you as well because that would really swing it big time. Because my first thing as I said in the introduction was, did you have to quit your job was there and you’ll leave available? But it was a double whammy, you got your annual leave and your salary paid as well.
Sue Stockdale [9:04]
Yeah, they suppose the, the challenge was and I think in the advert there was a picture of a tarantula or something like that. So they were trying to illustrate that it would require perhaps a little bit of hardship and challenge and there was also a 1500 pounds to raise in money to sort of pay for, or at least to pay for park to the place for my expedition because British Gas were sponsoring all of that was five of us that were they were selected at the end. They sponsored us to go on the expedition, they paid our way, but we had to fundraise and then the money that we raised went to help somebody that was less fortunate to also get a place on the expedition. So part of that whole process of selection and commitment really is about the hardship of raising the money because you know, that that in itself is quite an effort.
David Ralph [9:48]
It is fantastic though, isn’t it in you know a very simple statement as I’m gonna make but you look at one notice board and it changes your life. It’s it’s kind of weird that life doesn’t Isn’t it Really?
Sue Stockdale [10:01]
Yeah, yeah. And I always say to other people, and I’m always reminding myself of this, there are opportunities all around us. But we’ve got to have our kind of antenna up to be receptive to them. And if we go around, thinking, you know, or there’s nothing, there’s no opportunities, there’s nothing here for me to do. You know, or I’m too busy to take opportunities, or whatever it is, we’re saying to herself, you know, I’m a woman, I can’t do it, or I’ve got no money, then we will never grab those things. But if we have a different mindset, and see, let’s see what’s possible and let’s grab an opportunity and then you know, if it’s my always My belief is if it’s meant to be it will, it will happen, I’ll find a way to do it. And that’s what I trust that if I say yes to something or pursue a path, then you know, it will work out if it really is meant to work out in the end.
David Ralph [10:46]
I think that’s absolutely spot on about having the antenna up. I’ve never heard it phrased like that. But that is true, isn’t it when when you decide to start doing something, and you become more open to the opportunities, you’re amazed at what’s being going past you for years and years and years, and you just haven’t seen them for some reason. It’s almost like you put different glasses on and you see the world in a different way? Is it purely mindset? Or is it purely? Because you are becoming more proactive? People are throwing more opportunities that they’re seeing somebody and going, she’d look good for bad? I think I’ll throw it in our direction.
Sue Stockdale [11:22]
Yeah, I think there’s a bit of a bit of both. David, I think there’s a bit about, you know, unless you put your hand up and say, Yes, I can do something, then you’re never going to grab the opportunity, but it within with doing that, and then perhaps getting your reputation or getting noticed for for being proactive and saying yes, others will then kind of think about you in that particular way. And then, you know, as you say, they might then see or what, you know, could David do this or could sue do that? Because they know that you’re you’re kind of up for a challenge and willing to take on some new things. So
David Ralph [11:52]
when you landed in Kenya, obviously totally different country. Had you been to sort of Africa and places like that before?
Sue Stockdale [11:59]
No, I do. Never been anywhere. I’d been to Spain on holiday and that was about it. So I’ve never experienced any anywhere in Africa or I did before I even got on that expedition I didn’t own a pair of hiking boots or a rucksack so I you know, I wasn’t an outdoors person and that wasn’t in our family. And what about doing flops? Did you have flip flops? Of course Yeah. And that was one of the key still would you believe I still have the flip flops from from that expedition that I invested in a decent pair of
David Ralph [12:27]
flip flops I was being stupid.
Sue Stockdale [12:30]
Well, they sort of sandal type things that are you know, a little bit slightly more substantial and flip flops. But the you know, if you bet if you get the right pair that can last you a long time.
David Ralph [12:38]
I wonder if it’s just a British phrase flip flops or Yeah, if you all our American listeners are wondering if they’re thinking What the hell are they talking about?
Sue Stockdale [12:46]
Don’t people call them songs in some country? I’m not sure that’s a different
David Ralph [12:49]
thing over here though in there.
Sue Stockdale [12:51]
Exactly. Yeah, but I think Well, yeah, they enjoy it on your feet that are made a lightweight rubber, isn’t it?
David Ralph [12:56]
Yeah, you don’t want be wearing phones on your feet over here. You’ll be able to But for you’ve made a couple of steps down the road, I would have thought,
Sue Stockdale [13:03]
David Ralph [13:05]
not protection at the best of times. So so so you land in Kenya. And this is the fascinating part of your whole story. Because it seems to me this could have been a defining moment that you landed. And after about an hour of thinking, I’m not going to eat bad and it’s too hot and I don’t want the flies and all that kind of stuff. I’ve got this kind of image in my head. You might have gone basis the last time I ever do this, but did you embrace the fact did you embrace the sort of the the climatic changes and just the experience he was having?
Sue Stockdale [13:36]
Okay, what one thing I’ve learned over the years, and was probably very prevalent at that time, David is I’ve got a real high strong sense of curiosity. So you know, I arrived in Kenya and there was 120 other young people from all around the world that were there. So suddenly, there was different languages, different, you know, different cultures, different genders, a whole diversity of people and an opportunity to learn about their their countries and how they do things. There. So I just I was kind of intoxicated by the, the, the sort of senses amount of things I could learn about in terms of the people and then in terms of the country, the creepy crawlies, the you know the wildlife all to me it was just a journey into the unknown and an opportunity to learn and experience that for myself and you know, I’d seen pictures of a elephants and zebras and things in books but to get up close and actually to be right beside them was just amazing.
David Ralph [14:27]
You say zebras, we are in England, we say zebra.
Sue Stockdale [14:31]
Obviously not been there. I’ve not been indoctrinated into that way of seeing it.
David Ralph [14:36]
Live in England. No, because I was on a show I was interviewed on another person show and I said zebra and he just made fun of me for about 15 minutes. And so yeah, so I won’t say the show so but don’t go on there. I’ll let you know afterwards because it is with Peter pieces person. Oh, no, you won’t. You’re on each side. Yeah, you can do anything you want is zebras and zebras. So when you were out there as well, did you kind of think I should have done this Yeah they did this is this is so me I’m now joined up some of my dots and I’ve realised but yes buying doesn’t do it for me like this does
Sue Stockdale [15:08]
I don’t necessarily think I ship it earlier I just thought I was absolutely in the right place at at that time and learning so much and realising because I was working in the finance function in British Gas prior to doing that expedition and having a learned about you know, practical skills of building schools, outdoor skills, camping outdoors, experiencing Leo creepy crawlies and scorpions and, and not washing for days because there’s no water and so forth, I suddenly realised that you know, we there was a whole lot more to my capabilities that I had imagined than I had imagined previously. So it gave me motivation to go back to the workplace afterwards and actually went back and asked my boss to move me to a different department because it was a little bit I went back and said, you know, surely the company have invested in me know, taken paid my salary for three months. If you want to get the most out of me. I don’t think finance function is a place for me to be I want to be in the training department. And and perhaps that was quite a sort of gutsy thing to do. And sometimes I look back and they actually can’t believe I said that. But the the risk paid off because the manager went away and thought about things and said, Well, we can create a job for you in the training department. He said, but we did you have your commitment that you’ll be there for three years. So there was a bit of negotiation going on. And that was the best thing that ever happened really, that that took me on another path about helping other people to develop as well. And that’s what I’d see on the expedition was about when you give people an environment in which they can flourish, you can get so much more from them.
David Ralph [16:39]
Now now bad time must tie up to your your younger self that that kind of motivational, what’s the possibilities? Because I come from a training background and I’ve always been obviously amazing. You can do this. Why can’t we do that and all that kind of stuff. And it sounds like you are that kind of ilk as well. So you are sort of salted, aren’t you? Training motor. No keynote presentations because that’s naturally in you. I can’t imagine you ever well we all have bad days but more often than not you must look at this on the good side of life more than the bad
Sue Stockdale [17:11]
yeah I do and I’m always optimistic and believe in other people’s potential and sometimes that you know, that doesn’t live up to my belief in them but but nine times out of 10 i can i can help people to find the sort of spark within themselves to at least do something or take a little bit of a step forwards to go on that journey to perhaps doing more than they imagined was possible.
David Ralph [17:32]
So so if we took you right back again to the younger years, the SU in yeah eight years old, nine years old or 10 years old, and we said to you what would you want to do so when you get older would you would you upset explorer even that that word now kind of strikes me as weird my my mindset is, as you say, the old people chopping through jungles with with sword like knives and things like that. But would you have gone with that or would you have said No, I’d want to do something else.
Sue Stockdale [17:59]
But you You won’t believe what I did say what I want you to be when I grew up when I was young David, I want you to be a cook on an oil rig.
David Ralph [18:08]
The most bizarre answer you could have possibly gave given me.
Sue Stockdale [18:11]
So if that isn’t an exploring job, you know, I don’t know what it is. So I didn’t ever call it an explorer. But I love detail. I still love eating, I love cakes. And I guess I love challenge. And that and I suppose that I do not always want to go on this sort of path or a trodden by others. And to me, it just seemed like a when I was young, that’s all I wanted to do. And then there, I suppose other people perhaps or situations, sort of, you know, encouraged me to believe that maybe that wasn’t the right route to take. And in fact, I don’t even think women were allowed in those days. We
David Ralph [18:41]
may not I don’t think they were but I
Unknown Speaker [18:44]
know I’m not I don’t think they were
David Ralph [18:46]
running around with the iPad and flying behind you protecting yourself. You wouldn’t get any cooking done at all.
Sue Stockdale [18:52]
probably know, but that was that this is what I want you to do when I was young. So I think I think the one might imagine that there’s an element of exploring an adventure within That job.
David Ralph [19:00]
And so we’re in Scotland, where you sort of raised in the sort of Aberdeen area because that’s where I know about the oil rig sit outside, and you can see them from the shore.
Sue Stockdale [19:09]
No, I was brought up in Edinburgh. And although I had seen oil rigs, with my granny lifted on the Clyde, which is on the west coast of Scotland and the oil rigs, which come up the river and being told on barges to be I don’t know if they were being built or being sort of repaired or something, but there was I had seen them there, but I’m not sure. Other than that we’re actually got the idea of vinyl, Rick would be appealing.
David Ralph [19:31]
It’s probably because it was different. Do you think Yeah, but you look at it and you because I can imagine thinking, I wonder what it’s like on an oil rig. I wonder what is like, is that curiosity again, isn’t it? And when you get on Yeah, it’s probably just pull tables and table tennis tables and things to pass the time but as a small child is almost like an exotic space station, isn’t it?
Sue Stockdale [19:53]
Yeah, I think so. I think I think it’s that the unknown. I’m always intrigued by the unknown even even when I’m driving down a road and See a little footpath you know the same thing sort of public footpath going off and if it’s a straight footpath and I can see where it’s heading it’s an interesting to me but if I drive past one that looks like it’s twisty and turny and you know and you can’t see the end hours want to stop and just go down the footpath and see what’s at the end of it
David Ralph [20:16]
I tell you what you are a lovely lady but is good job that we’re not married we we wouldn’t get anywhere because every time there’s a weird turn in the road, I like to go up here and it drives my wife mad she says Come on, let’s just get there when we get them anyway but let’s just see what’s up here. So we’ve been going up all the little roads in the log never get anywhere we wouldn’t
Sue Stockdale [20:37]
know that’s true. That’s that’s curiosity gene, isn’t it?
David Ralph [20:40]
Yeah, it is. I just I just wanted to know what’s the other side of the the hill really even if I get to the other side of the hill, there’s another Hill. I just want to go further.
Sue Stockdale [20:49]
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think the unknown is for me is very intriguing. And and that’s why I guess I do what I do, and I don’t think it’s necessarily about exploring as in going to the north pole or going to across the desert or something. It’s just exploring one’s own potential. That’s what I think I’ve learned as you can do that, even in your armchair just thinking about what’s possible.
David Ralph [21:07]
Well, I think that’s brilliant, if you actually exploring yourself, and going over the next curve in your own personal life, that that’s how magic occurs, isn’t it?
Sue Stockdale [21:17]
Yeah. And I think, you know, one might say, well, that’s selfish, or that’s indulgent. For me, it’s, it’s, it’s the bigger purpose in doing that, and exploring myself and what I’m capable of. I see that as a way of inspiring other people. So So it’s, it’s a step towards the end of the journey. It’s not the end in itself. So for
David Ralph [21:34]
the listeners out there when listening to you, and I think, right, okay, you went on this journey to Kenya and obviously, we’re going to lead up to skiing to the magnetic north pole and all that kind of stuff. But did you come back from Kenya and in your wildest dreams being that you were going to end up where you are now because you came and you made that transition, which was great. You didn’t want to settle back into the old routines, which is the killer. You come back, you’ve had all these adventure and you do the old job and then you don’t must be waiting for another adventure to occur, but you transitioned and you moved on? Is that a way forward? Or do people actually have to have closure on something to sort of move on to the next stage?
Sue Stockdale [22:12]
Yeah, I think that’s, that’s really important. And, and a lot of the time, what can hold people back is that fear of of endings if you like, so they, they reluctance to accept loss and change and, and looking back at kind of what was rather than looking at what could be so I think endings that are a key part of moving on and developing yourself. So being prepared to, to build on something and not seeing necessarily as an ending, but just another stepping stone towards the next part of the journey. So when I left the finance function, it wasn’t that a, you know, I was never going to use or do anything financially related again. But I had had sort of in my mindset of my time within that function, and it was about building on that and stepping on to something else,
David Ralph [22:55]
you know, don’t you when your time is coming to an end when I was a final trainer, and I could feel it coming to an end. And people used to say to me, you know, are you ever gonna leave here? I said, Yeah, I am. And I will know of a moment. And my moment was when I felt that I was either rehashing the work, or I wasn’t performing to what I used to do. And it was a, it was a key moment, I remember standing up doing a training course. And I was looking out at the audience, and they were enjoying it. But inside I thought, I’m 10% less than I used to be, I used to be really flying here. And I just didn’t feel it. And I knew I had to move on. And we just lucky, Sue, are we lucky, but we’ve got that inside us to know when it’s time to go on and other people will just stay in the same position forever in a day.
Sue Stockdale [23:43]
And I think it’s about willingness to actually not deny that that’s the reality. So you know, you’re saying you clearly knew that situation for yourself that that was time to move on. I think sometimes people in their heart of hearts actually know that it is time to move on. But they’re fearful because they don’t know what they should should move on to the unknown is scary to them. So therefore they don’t want to take a step. Or, you know, they if they like to have a degree of certainty, they want to have some plan mapped out before they take a step. And often you find that I certainly experienced people that, you know, they have that sense like you had that it’s time to move on. But the wait for the redundancy check or for you know, this sort of somebody to give them a push rather than for them to be confident enough to take that step forward themselves. And there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. I just think it’s about understanding yourself and where your motivation comes from.
David Ralph [24:33]
I still had to push I had a boss that turned up who was a complete cow and I mentioned it all the time. And one day, I will say her name, it will slip out and then she’ll probably do me and sue me for everything I’ve got. But even though I knew that it was time to go, I needed that final push and I needed to be made unhappy by this dreadful dreadful woman. And so I can see it both sides, I can see the fact that you can make that leap when you need it, but it’s almost easier. But when you are pushed, isn’t it?
Sue Stockdale [25:03]
Yeah, yeah. And there’s no stronger motivation to get away from pain and there is towards move to move towards gain. So, you know, I think, recognising that that situation is how do you leverage both of those things, make the future, clear enough or attractive enough or certain enough that you, you know, you can see your way forwards to a degree at least around the next corner, and perhaps into remind yourself about, you know, the things that are causing causing you such anger and pain that you really want to get away from them. And, you know, people I think, can tolerate an awful lot where they don’t need to, and perhaps it’s about using that to leverage their movement forward to do something else.
David Ralph [25:36]
Well, let’s play some words now, but really emphasise well, where we are in the conversation about finding that thing that really makes you want to get up every morning. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [25:46]
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. 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 [26:13]
So when did you Well, first of all, do you buy into those words? Are they the positive words that we should get out to the world nowadays?
Sue Stockdale [26:20]
Yeah, yeah, I think so. You know, we have a fantasy around, you know, minimising risk and being safe. But it as we’re heating there, that that’s not necessarily actually reality, because a lot of things that are outside of your control.
David Ralph [26:32]
So when you decided to take that risk, that there came a time when you left British Gas, and you decided that you were going to do all these, these crazy adventurous things. Was that the scariest part of your life, or were there other things leading up to that point, but just as equally as scary as making that last leap?
Sue Stockdale [26:52]
I think that there was a sense of frustration in the job I was doing laterally in British Gas, you know, a little bit like you’re describing, you know, that you’d expect was so there was a kind of I was unsettled in my job and I wasn’t sure what to do next I saw another advert to go off and join the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia I noticed the excess Where
David Ralph [27:12]
are you? Where are you looking for these kind of adverts I get? Do you want to bring down your British Gas bill adverts? I don’t get these kind of
Sue Stockdale [27:20]
adverts? Well, I was reading The Daily Telegraph, I think that particular you’re one of those people. So or maybe it was even the times but you know, just they were in the newspaper and this was a job advert. And again, it was that idea of an adventure. I mean, going into war zone, some people might not view that as an adventure, but I saw it as an opportunity to, again to go into the unknown, see what it was like. And then I I went to my boss at the time who had a good relationship with and TC I said to him, Look, I’ve got this is adequate for this job. And it you know, I take it forward the application and I think, you know, I’d been offered the position. And I said, You know, I really don’t know what to do. What’s your what’s your advice? I said, should I stay in the company or should I go I trusted I was I trusted his decision. He wasn’t just sort of trying to get rid of me or even just say the thing that he thought I wanted to hear. And he said, so he said, You’ve been in the company 11 years. He said, You know, you either stay in the company and you’re, you know, you’ll get your gold watch when you’re 2525 years service. He said, Oh, you’ll take an opportunity like this. He said, and I don’t really see being here to get your gold watch. He said, I don’t think you’re that sort of person. He said, so well, you know, leave it up to you to think about what to do. Yeah, it they were really wise words. And I just, it was it was meant tuition. And I got feel I just said to myself, you know, logic says, This is madness. Why would you leave a comfortable corporate job to go off on a one year contract to a war zone, but my gut feel said this was the right thing to do. And, you know, I did then question the decision even on day one arriving in Zagreb in the former Yugoslavia and looking around at the war zone and seeing kind of burn down houses and things and I thought, why am I here? This is you know, I should be back in my comfortable, safe environment. I could be in Glasgow.
David Ralph [28:58]
Yeah. Exactly, I apologise Glasgow, I shouldn’t have said that.
Sue Stockdale [29:04]
But what what I, what I realised were there were other other people just like me who were starting on the same day. And they, here’s my clock, Jamie in the background. So I do apologise for that you keep it going. The I realised that I wasn’t the only person that was kind of taking a risk. And I think that’s one of the things I’ve learned over the years. When you when you’re about to take that step into the unknown, you know, you don’t have to do it on your own, but there’s gonna be other people around you to support you and help you or just to make you not feel so bad. And that’s why I learned then. So I thought, well, I’m just gonna give it a go. And what’s the worst that can happen? I get shorter. And at that time, I looked and said, Well, I actually am prepared to accept that as a potential consequence, and take that risk because I didn’t have dependents or anything else that were kind of necessarily relying on me in a particular way. So
David Ralph [29:48]
that’s interesting, but you your worst that can happen was, I might get shot at, but my worst in that situation would be what am I going to do when it finishes that I would already appreciate Actually to that, how am I gonna earn an income when I get back? He’s always having these adventures. But what am I going to do to move back on? So did you have those same kind of fears that I would have? Or did you just go? Yeah, I will deal with it.
Sue Stockdale [30:12]
Yeah, I did have those fears. And then I thought, well, I can always get a job in the supermarket, you know, there are always jobs. It’s just whether you’re prepared to want to do them and whether perhaps your ego allows you to do them. So I think one can always earn money if you really want to, and I guess that’s what I said to myself is, I can always find a job and from there, I can move forwards.
David Ralph [30:29]
I think that’s brilliant advice. And I, I remember, and I’ve mentioned this a few times in shows, but I was doing this job up in the City of London and it was really pressurised. It was a lot of money. But now I look at it. And I say to people, if you’re being paid a lot of money up in the City of London goodbye life, you know that they’ve kind of got you. And there was one lunchtime that I was really kind of depressed or I can’t do this anymore, but I can’t quit. That is too much money. I can’t walk away from this. And I went into a supermarket and I saw this woman sort of moving the crisps and the tins Beep, beep and I looked at Mo, what a wonderful job, that that’s the most wonderful job. She just beeps it through takes the money. And then at the end of the day, she goes home, and probably doesn’t think of anything. And I realised when I was thinking that, that I had no ego to move on to something different. I realised just as you were saying, I would do anything, if it was a stepping stone to somewhere else, doesn’t matter. If it gives me a little bit of money to make sure about what I ultimately want to have I get on I would do. And I’ve been, as you say, a lot of people have that ego and they’re not willing to step down. All right.
Sue Stockdale [31:38]
Yeah. And sometimes they’re even being driven by you know, what other people might think rather than just what what they might accept themselves. So I don’t deny some people you know, are they influenced by their family or other other people that are in a relationship with them? Or can they can sort of comment on their lives? I think we have to be strong enough to just say, you know, it’s my life and it’s, I will do what was right for me at this point. Taylor time and in doing that, I may then be you know, a role model or influence to other people. Often I speak to a lot of women that are looking to be entrepreneurs and startup that own businesses and they kind of feel guilty perhaps that they’re paying less attention to their family or their they’re not being as supportive as they had been previously. But then I get into think about well, you know, in what we make your children look at you differently once you’ve got this business up and running, and suddenly they realise that they can be a role model for their family and in a way that they never had imagined possibly before that so you know, it’s not about necessarily again being selfish it’s about if you do the right thing for you then you’re being authentic and then also you can be a role model and influence other people to in a positive way.
David Ralph [32:40]
Absolutely. You’re leaving your legacy did Can I can I ask you Do you have children? No, I have two dogs. You have to show other adults inspired by what you’re doing in your life. Can I ask that?
Sue Stockdale [32:52]
Well, the wag their tails when they’re about to get biscuit or a walk. So inspiration.
David Ralph [32:56]
Yeah, that’s it. That’s enough. But I find now days back. The next generation that is the true legacy people have been saying to me on this show. And I, you know, what, what do you want? What do you what do you want to achieve? And I say, I want to make sure that the next generation realise there’s opportunities, there’s possibilities. They don’t actually have to wait for something to come along. They don’t actually have to write out 1000 seabees or resumes and not get one response back, you can actually go out and create something by virtual connection and dipping into the internet. The internet is so powerful, isn’t it that you can literally connect with, you know, some weird people across the world are really doing some amazingly strange stuff. And if you’ve got that passion for it, you can make things happen. Can you just just by turning on your computer and surfing?
Sue Stockdale [33:46]
Oh, you know, I just think what my nephew is based up in Edinburgh and he’s passionate about photography. And you know, he’s been there. He’s heard my message is being a being spoken throughout the years about you know what’s possible and he’s going off No, and he knows exactly what he wants to do. But he he’s going to companies you’d like to work with and seeing, you know, your website’s not up to scratch, you know, can I come and take some photographs for you to help make your website look better. And you know, he started off at the bottom is getting that he’s getting experience. He’s doing some brilliant stuff. And you know, I’m sure he’ll he’ll actually achieve what he wants in the end. But he’s not sitting back and just saying, well, it’s not possible, I can’t do it. And he’s going out and making it happen. And you know, I commend him for that.
David Ralph [34:26]
I absolutely. And I say that to all the listeners, when you get home after a day’s work, it is not easy in work and to be honest, ideally, at work for quite a while I could do my work very, very quickly. So I made up a lot of free time in my own time. So you just turn on and you connect with people and don’t be frightened. Don’t be frightened of what this person is going to say. Don’t be frightened about the remarkable su Stockdale is going to come back to you and say Who do you think you are contacting me? More often than not literally 100% of the time these people will respond because I like to see what somebody is Showing effort. And I get a lot of emails in my very small way. But I get a lot of emails and I always respond to all of them. It may take me a little time to do it. But I will always respond because I know how much effort it takes to do that, because it is a mindset. So isn’t it is a mindset and we got to break down. But the successful people don’t want to know, but the successful people do donate.
Sue Stockdale [35:21]
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And as part of my, what I do sort of a keynote presentation to an audience, one of the things I always include is a commitment card. And that’s just a little postcard, where I invite everyone to write down one action that they’re going to take after the session. So you know what of your heritage, what’s it inspires you to do? And then I say to everybody, now, if you want give that card back to me, and I’ll follow up with you in a month’s time to find out how you’re getting on because I know that support helps you to achieve amazing things. Now I’ve I’ve given that card out to conferences where I’ve spoken to thousands of people, you may think, Wow, that’s a huge risk. You know, you’re going to get thousands of cards back. But I know that in America, no matter what the audience sizes, I will only get a certain percentage of the cards back that, you know is always manageable. Because I think that’s the reality is some people are proactive and will want that help and will seek it out. And other people will just see, you know, they’ll think, well, that’s not true, or she’ll never get back in touch with me and they don’t do it. But But I think, you know, it
David Ralph [36:17]
was a brilliant thing hold back is, by having the mindset of going out and doing it, you’ve actually got less competition Avenue, you, if you go with everybody else going, it’s never going to happen. You’re you’re playing in a packed playing field, aren’t you? And if you go to the next field, where people are actually giving it a go doesn’t have five or six people with you?
Sue Stockdale [36:36]
Yeah, yeah. So I think you’re right. It’s surprising, you know, I always say to people, if there’s somebody that you want to have as a mentor, or somebody you want to, you know, ask for help or something like that. Don’t think well, what you know, who am I to ask them think well, who am I not to ask them and and ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? They say, No, they don’t reply to your email, you know, is that really that bad? So why not just take the chance and make contact and see what actually can occur? But I I think it’s always important to be specific if you if you’re looking for help from somebody to be quite clear about what actual help you’d like from them, because that makes it far easier. I’m sure you would appreciate this statement from the letters that you get. If people are specific in the help they want from you. It’s far easier to respond to them than somebody who perhaps is a little bit more vague.
David Ralph [37:17]
And the ones that say you’re very attractive and are by your drink by always work. They always work anyone sends an email, I will be there I’ll be there as a bag of peanuts as well. That really swings it for me. So so when you when you get back from the war zone, did you end up working in a supermarket or did you transition naturally? Or did you have that fear? This is the question I want to ask. Did you have that fear well, right okay. I’ll go and get my old job back. That’s the easy route. I contact my boss he was always good our work back at the training department or was that never on the cards?
Sue Stockdale [37:51]
No, I never I never thought about that. And I came back and I didn’t know what to do next. But I you know, had a little bit money in the bank so didn’t have to get a job. In Started day one. But it wasn’t that long after I came back that and I saw this advert to go on this expedition. And I said to myself, well, if I’m really want serious about getting on this expedition to go to the magnetic north pole, a I have to raise 15,000 pounds, which is pretty enormous or it was in those days, and be and you need to put all my attention into this. So what am I going to do I need to earn money to survive, but it’s not going to be, you know, a Career Career surf step. So I took a lot of temp jobs. And I you know, I learned a lot in that time because it’s fascinating when you get to know in the company as a temp temporary member of staff, how the company treats you. But it was there, it was a means to an end for me. I earned the money that allowed me to then have flexibility and to put my efforts into fundraising and getting on the expedition team.
David Ralph [38:45]
I did temping for a while when when I sort of quit my first job. I’ve had two midlife crises when when I was 31. When I was 40, basically, and the 31 I just walked out one day and said, Oh, I can do better than this. And it was um, it was us. 2000 so the the football was going on at that time, and I still had my train ticket to London. So I used to go up and basically get drunk every day, watching football matches with my friends. It was a great summer I had a brilliant summer. But once the football finished up, or I’ve got to do something, and so I started temping, and I’ve never tempted before. And I agree with you. It was almost like, I was recreating myself, every time I could almost make myself be whatever I wanted to be when I went into a new role, because I knew I wasn’t gonna be there for very long. And I learned more by doing that than I did probably in the 10 years beforehand, working for the same company who got to know you and you kind of gave them what they expected. I found temping vitally important.
Sue Stockdale [39:43]
Yeah, I think I found it really interesting. And one of the things I also learned in that experience was that you know, not to just kind of think, Oh, I’m on the attempt, but I always made sure I delivered 200 and 210% did a fantastic job. And with one client every time they needed attempt, they always asked for me. And after a while I then said, Well, if I’m coming, I’m only going to do it at x rate. So I began began to realise my value with that particular client. And I began to dictate the terms in terms of, well, I can only work in this location, or I can only work those times, but you’ll get great service. And they were delighted with that. So you know, I think it’s about again, what you believe your own worth is. And if you deliver the best you possibly can deliver, you will be noticed.
David Ralph [40:24]
That’s a key thing as well, isn’t it when you suddenly decide on your value? That is when things and I bet from that moment on, things started moving on quite quickly, did it?
Sue Stockdale [40:34]
Yeah, it did. And you know what, I got better assignments. And I was able to raise the money to keep surviving as I was fundraising for the expedition as well. So and it was a great, great period of my life in terms of those experiences.
David Ralph [40:48]
So you are now Trivial Pursuit. You are the first British woman to ski to the magnetic north pole. And if anybody is going to pop quiz, and this comes up, salute, Join Up Dots because we’ve given you the answer. This Now does that doesn’t amaze you because I said the same thing to Kathy O’Dowd our mutual colleague back in Episode 88. I said, you know, you’re the first woman to get to the top of Everest on both sides. That’s amazing. And you went on? Well, it’s kind of okay. When that was amazing. You were the first person on the whole planet. No one can beat you. And you’re like that in the British? Yeah, well, you’re a Scottish Scottish woman. The the English I’m gonna claim to this now you see if you’ve pushed pushed us away, but yeah, okay, the first British woman to ski to the magnetic north pole. Do you? Do you think that’s amazing that no one will take that away from you. You are Trivial Pursuit worthy.
Sue Stockdale [41:38]
Yeah, I mean, I think I do acknowledge that a, you know, as you say, nobody else can be first. So, you know, there there is that element of it. That wasn’t the reason I did the expedition. In fact, I didn’t even know I was going to be the first British woman until when I was trying to fundraise and there you know, gets get certain media attention and interest in the story. Then I think somebody asked me Well, you know, will you be the first To get there, and I began to research it and discovered it, that’d be the case. And it’s all it was okay, that was a kind of extra benefit from doing the expedition. Because there was it wasn’t just me when there’s a whole team of us and there was a whole bunch of men as well and a Swedish women who became the first Swedish women to get there. And and when you
David Ralph [42:16]
the only British women in that pack? Yes. You’d be racing at that last bit, wouldn’t you up? So seeing it and trying to novel her to get there first?
Sue Stockdale [42:27]
Yeah, so there’s myself and Swedish women, and then eight British men and four experienced a British explorers as well. So 14 men and two of us females in the team. And then when you’re doing that,
David Ralph [42:38]
are you aware that you are creating history? Or is it just that you’re doing something? Well, although you knew that at the beginning, when you actually got to the magnetic north pole and until I’ll be honest with you, so until about seven episodes ago, I just bought there was a North Pole. I had no idea and I had a guest who is actually roaming around the British Isles, and she told There’s four of them, which blew my mind. But when you got to the magnetic north pole, well, first of all, did you query why you’re going to bat one and not the geographic one? Because Did you geographic ones the proper one, isn’t it? That’s the one that you think of a Father Christmas and all that kind of stuff.
Sue Stockdale [43:15]
Yeah, I guess when I saw the advert Originally, I didn’t even know where the magnetic north pole was, but it just sounded a cold place. So I thought that’s, that sounds intriguing. You stay
David Ralph [43:25]
tuned for that, if that’s all you wanted.
Sue Stockdale [43:27]
Yeah, I suppose I’d be today is about you know, here’s the opportunity to have an adventure. And it sounds it sounds interesting. And then, having then got more insight and knowledge about the realities of poor expeditions. I realised why the magnetic north pole is it slightly easier to get to and, you know, for me, it was a great sort of stepping stone into that world was it was
David Ralph [43:47]
easier, there’s more eyes to walk on or something?
Sue Stockdale [43:50]
Well, the, the geographic North Pole, which is what we would all know, as the top of the world is on frozen sea ice. So it’s Arctic Ocean, it’s moving around, and it’s therefore very sort of unstable. ice is often you know, moving and gaps opening up and it moving. So and that. So there’s a lot of drift as well. So you could be skiing one way, it’s a little bit like skiing on an escalator. And you know, the ice is moving backwards as you’re trying to move forwards. So there’s a lot of a lot of a challenges about going to the geographical North Pole, the magnetic north pole is m, well, currently, I think it’s on landmass still in northwest Canada. And so there’s your skiing sometimes on land, and sometimes when sea ice, but it’s a little bit a, you know, this, it’s a little bit easier to get to from that perspective. So I didn’t know that at the time. And I’ve only learned that obviously having done a lot of polar expeditions. But you know, somebody still had to be the first to get air from Britain. So I’m pleased It was me in terms of the female perspective. I think
David Ralph [44:43]
he’s astonishing because I I’m not the first one and I’m about the first to get out of bed in my house every morning. And that’s about the only first and I can’t imagine that I’m ever going to be the first of anything. And it is it’s amazing, isn’t it when you’re when you’re lying on your deathbed as an old lady, you can Look at that and go. No one’s going to take that away from me that is in the box. That’s that’s bear.
Sue Stockdale [45:05]
Yeah, yeah, it’s a nice achievement. And it’s certainly been a door opener to many, you know, amazing opportunities that I’ve had since because people do, you know, perceive it as having something a little bit different.
David Ralph [45:16]
Well, what opportunities vein is it the fact that they see you as somebody and I don’t know, more outgoing, more dramatic because you were the first
Sue Stockdale [45:27]
I think it’s you know, if you think about marketing, you know, or a, for sort of a, you know, a headline, if you were organising an event under confidence, you can see all the first person to do blah, that might be more appealing to people to come along to the conference than Joe Bloggs, who’s a great speaker. So so there’s something about the kind of a branding, if you like, or the marketing aspect of that, that I think then makes people either it’s going to help them because if I’m involved in something, it’s going to be a you know, sort of a way of getting an audience into their particular event, or they’re just intrigued to find out well, what was it like on an expedition? So, you know, I haven’t just been invited to various things, events and activities and been involved in things where I just meet amazing, interesting people. And I kind of think, Well, you know, I would never meet these people otherwise. But the only reason that got me here is because it’s not actually kind of me, it’s more the title that they’ve been intrigued by is the way I kind of always look at it now.
David Ralph [46:29]
Because you are the person that owns the title, and that title wouldn’t have come to you without you.
Sue Stockdale [46:35]
Yes, yes, I would acknowledge that. However, I think people are more intrigued by the title. And by nine times out of 10, they will have heard about the title, rather than heard about the person if you know what I mean. So you know, we have a great opportunity today to, for us to have a chat and people will get to know a bit about me. And then they might think, well, she’s interesting. I’d like to speak more to harder, whatever, but they’d not they’re not necessarily listening to this because of the title of what my actions Was I would hope that they would just think I’m an interesting person to learn a bit from. So So what did it teach you about yourself? What
David Ralph [47:06]
was that the harshest one or were the other one selected you because you’ve been to the geographical North Pole as well. You’ve gone to Antarctica but what were the ones when you were actually doing it thinking that this this letter that I’m just gonna go Welcome to Iceland. And that’s that’s a that’s a supermarket that’s not a country in case anyone knows.
Sue Stockdale [47:25]
Yeah, I mean every expeditions had its tough moments, there’s no doubt about that. The most difficult physically and mentally expedition for me was going across the Greenland ice cap. There were four of us from a two from Norway, one from Germany when I myself, our sledges were really heavy. And the conditions were horrendous. We encountered some really strong winds and cold temperatures. And I had huge blisters on my feet. And that just it just makes it all the more difficult to keep going every single day and that I think I’ve learned about your mental strength that you can, your body will keep going if your mind believes it can Do and therefore I think what I’ve developed over the years is a lot of mental strength and sort of determination and resilience to keep going in tough conditions. And just rather than thinking about or it’s too hard, I’m going to cry and I’m going to give up is just to say, this is really tough. How can I get through the next five minutes? And only focus on that five minutes? And then before you know where you are you you’re through that five minutes and then you go, okay, right, how can I focus on the next five minutes, and you just breaking down that sort of enormous challenge and pain or whatever it is into just the the next moment, the next second and see how you get through that and then that, having done that, that gives you the Think about the word motivation, its motive for action, having gone through those small steps that gives you the motive to continue on with your action. And that’s the way I always kind of look at situations they may seem really scared and scared and enormous and, you know, perhaps impossible, but only have to take one step to get going on it.
David Ralph [48:55]
So you we have these reality TV programmes is Celebrity Get me out of here. And I know that you was on a channel for one, which I remember seeing actually. And it was horrendous. It was like it was like mad torture, basically. And they were doing some really bizarre things. And you came second in bad. So did you think now if somebody said to you, come on. And in the United Kingdom, we have these two little God people called Ant and Dec, and they do this, this weird programme where they put a load of celebrities in the jungle, and basically starve them and torture them for about three weeks, until one comes out the top? Do you actually sort of look at that now go holiday, that’s a holiday, I’d go in there, I’ll be able to eat anything can just just get on with it.
Sue Stockdale [49:39]
And know I kind of look at those programmes and think, oh, that’s just set up for entertainment. And there’s not any sort of benefit from it.
David Ralph [49:46]
So you wouldn’t do it. Somebody come along and say well want the first British women to ski to the magnetic north pole, and we won’t pull gas going and we want to know some at singer, you would say no.
Sue Stockdale [49:57]
If it was set up in this sort of format as you’re sitting I’m sort of doing nothing for days on end and, and just challenging yourself for the purposes of television. And for me, it’s always going to be a kind of higher purpose. So if it was about, you know, a bunch of people going on an expedition and taking others who’d never had that opportunity or, you know, building a school to help local community improve, and there’s some, some interaction and learning from that, then that sort of thing appeals to me where other people are benefiting. But just to kind of test yourself and in the particular environment for TV, it doesn’t I don’t know, it just seemed to me to be the competition I took part in was a whole series of different tests that help people to understand, learn about science and think about because it was about the science behind the tests. It wasn’t just the tests of themselves. So that one night yeah, they were pretty horrendous. It
David Ralph [50:47]
was one episode. A helicopter minute in a lake, I remember.
Sue Stockdale [50:50]
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Pretty tough things. But But I think for me, it had a, there was a learning aspect to it. And I think that’s some of those reality programmes for me. Don’t have a learning aspect to them, therefore, they don’t quite appeal to me as much. I’m sure they appeal to others, but not me.
David Ralph [51:05]
They appeal to me watching it. I laughed all the way through. But there’s absolutely no way I would do that. And I never understand why it’s called a free 60 row in a helicopter. Surely free 60 brings you back to where you are. So you stop and you go.
Sue Stockdale [51:20]
It goes into the into the water, and then you’ve got to do the other half of 3060. So wanting to get you in the water, the only way to get you back, you’ve got to get back out it
David Ralph [51:28]
now. So I would query that. I would say if you’re asking me to do a 360 that’s just putting me where I am. And I’m quite happy with that. I don’t expect the extra work to get me from 180 to 360.
Sue Stockdale [51:39]
Yeah, no, that, that those things. It’s about how you cope in those situations when you’re when you encounter them. You know, I think I’m quite happy to take risks and explore my potential and sometimes maybe I take risks and they don’t work out. But in the main I’m willing to be a little bit adventurous,
David Ralph [51:55]
but I’m going to play the words that Steve Jobs said and then afterwards we’re going to talk about your new book. Because it is all based on risk and is the key part of really getting the life you want. But this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [52:07]
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 leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [52:42]
So do you buy into those words? So
Sue Stockdale [52:45]
yeah, yeah. For me, it’s about seeing the what the journey is and, and looking back in Join Up Dots. So yeah, great words.
David Ralph [52:52]
And it isn’t a big deal in your life. When you look at it and you go Yeah, that that was the moment that was the moment was it. The first advert? You saw that Last, which Which one was it?
Sue Stockdale [53:02]
I think there’s a few dots. You know, I think adverts and have got consistency around a lot of the things I’ve done I’ve spotted because it had been adverts or, you know, some opportunity has appeared, and I’ve grabbed it. And so the dots are, you know, I kind of have the milestones as those adverts, they have taken me on to a different path.
David Ralph [53:22]
So words are kind of linked all the way through your life, really the fact that you the adverts have taken you to a point and now you are an author, and you’re bringing out these these publications to the world was Was that something that you believe that you could do at the beginning? Did you always feel that you’ve got a book in you because you’ve done quite a few of them though?
Sue Stockdale [53:41]
No, I never. I never imagined was possible. And then people kept on saying to me, you know, they listen to me speak and say, oh, have you done a book have been written about your experiences? And I would say, you know, no, no, no. And then eventually I thought, well, why not just just start writing and a got a book deal to do my first book. And that was partly The impetus was not about just me writing it on spec, but it was about having a kind of reason to do it. And then I found that I was actually, you know, fairly good at writing people seem to like what I did. And, and I know as I’ve seen, it’s kind of that’s the that’s the path, it’s got the corner that you can’t see where it goes to at the end is I’ve kind of gone along that path gone around the corner and said, maybe there’s more things I can do in this in this way because it’s communicating to people rather than just the spoken word. It’s the written word as well. And you can inspire people through what they might be reading about. And there that this idea of the subject to risk which I’ve just been writing about recently with my my co author, Clive steeper, then, you know, both of us are risk takers in our own right, and I guess we believe that more people can be taking risks.
David Ralph [54:41]
So So how does this book lead on from the previous one? The secrets of successful women entrepreneurs, when you went any basically did my job you went around interviewing people and delving into their backstory. How does this progress what what is somebody gonna get if you go out and buy risk and it will be on the show notes And of course, you can go to Amazon and buy it as well.
Sue Stockdale [55:03]
Well, I think the the books designed really to help people to just think about risk from perhaps some new perspectives. You know, we’re trying to sort of show that I think in in many societies these days, we’re into risk aversion. So it’s about, you know, health and safety, and you must wear a hat and hard hat and the green coloured jacket, if you’re going to go out and do anything sort of thing, because we want to minimise the risks, but actually, are we minimising the risks? And it’s, it’s giving it was lots of examples and stories and a little bit, you know, a bit of research as well in there about, you know, we, we could actually leverage dress more effectively if we really understand what’s going on. And that’s not just in terms of this probability type thing, but it’s about your personality and how psychology plays into it as well. So do you do you think that
David Ralph [55:47]
you have grasped risk because of what you’ve done? Or is it something now you look back on it? You think, yeah, it was pretty common sense. I almost knew the answers, but I needed to progress myself to be able to pull it all together.
Sue Stockdale [56:00]
Well, I think some of the risks I’ve taken have been like going to the, to the former Yugoslavia working in a war zone. And that was probably a big risk. It paid off because I was still alive at the end of it. And I’d learned a lot about taking a risk getting a success, and therefore you’re feel confident to take a bigger risk. So sometimes I’ve taken a risk and it hasn’t paid off, but there’s been great learning from it. So rather than seeing it as a, oh, well, I better not take any more risks. It’s about well, what can I learn from this experience? And how can I then change to do things differently the next time
David Ralph [56:29]
he’s calculated risks, isn’t it? That’s the thing. You know, he’s not just jumping off a building to see if you can survive. He’s doing the calculated stuff.
Sue Stockdale [56:37]
Yeah, I’ve just recently been interesting, interviewing a whole bunch of exploiters people, though, you know, done claiming and stealing and other different adventures and asking them about risk taking, and they’re not as usually they’re not, they’re not foolhardy. Just going off and doing an adventure without any thought behind it. You actually take a lot of time and effort to really consider and manage those risks before the avenue but even take a foot into the unknown.
David Ralph [56:59]
And that is Why by achieve, isn’t it because they’re actually building that blueprint of what needs to be done to achieve that goal?
Sue Stockdale [57:05]
Yeah. But I think what you learn, what I’ve learned is about, you learn to be able to make a decision with a degree of uncertainty. So the more you make decisions, even with a high, you know, higher small degree of uncertainty, the more you kind of get data and you don’t mind about what were some of the things that you can be able to tolerate when the next opportunity comes along or the next situation. And you might have to take a risk where you kind of say, Well, okay, I’ve got 70% of the answers here, that’s good enough, I will do it rather, or maybe you’ve only got 30% but in this situation, that’s good enough for what I want to do. So it I think it’s about the practice of risk taking. So if you keep practising taking risks, even if there’s small ones, you get more accomplished after you get a sense of what what risk means for you. If you if you don’t take any risks and you know you it’s very difficult and to see an opportunity to go for it because you’re you kind of hate them by the idea of No experience of what that’s like.
David Ralph [58:02]
Yeah, it’s the listeners, you’re getting that from Sue stop down the first British women to ski to the magnetic north pole. It’s that time again. Next year it will be the 2016 winner of I’m a celebrity Get me out of here. Well, we’re knows you have to buy into that just not thinking about it and somebody will come out of the woodwork just before I send you back in time at the end of the show. So because we’re coming to the end now, what what what’s the next plan are we are coming to the end, the cops chiming again. What’s leading you on now? Have you got any more dramatic ones? And are you planning to explore somewhere nice and warm and comfortable? Or is it always a sort of snowy, snowy hardships?
Sue Stockdale [58:40]
Yet snowy hardships, the most afraid, I think quite like the cold. We’re going off dogsledding next year to Greenland. So I’m going out on a 10 day trip there. So it’s not going to be what I would call a major expedition because we’re not out for a huge long amount of time, but I’ve never done an expedition with dogs and I just want to explore Greenland in different So that’s gonna be what I’m looking forward to doing next year.
David Ralph [59:03]
I’ve got a big fascination with Green Man for two reasons number one, as as a podcast or you get global stats to where your show is being listened to. I’ve never met one person who’s had a download from Greenland. I don’t know what it is about Greenland, but they’re not big on it. So it’s just a big white block. And it annoys me, actually, you could do you could go over there and just download my show every single day and then I’ll be the only person and the other one was through. I don’t know if you saw that Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when he had his Have you seen that film?
Unknown Speaker [59:33]
No, I’ve heard of it. I haven’t seen it. You should watch it
David Ralph [59:35]
because the message is brilliant about what you do in life about taking risks and creative risk. But he ended up at Greenland. And I thought to myself, this is a place that it’s like close, there’s nobody there. You could just walk around doing your own thing. Is it like that when you’re bare? Did you feel like literally you’re the only person on earth?
Sue Stockdale [59:53]
Elon? Certainly yes when you’re on the ice cap, but there’s plenty of people living living on the community on the coast on either side.
David Ralph [59:59]
So why Downloading my show Ben. So that’s what I want to know. Well, this is the end of the show now. And this is the part where we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger Sue, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out now, because I’m gonna play the theme and when it fades you up, but this is the Sermon on the mic.
Here we go with the best of the show.
Sue Stockdale [1:00:44]
So I’m speaking to myself when I’m about 14, and I’d say, take some more risks. Don’t be afraid to follow what you really want to do and believe in yourself and make sure that you don’t let yourself then
David Ralph [1:00:58]
how can our audience connect with you so
Sue Stockdale [1:01:02]
they can connect with you via LinkedIn via Twitter and on my websites who stopped deal.com. And anyway, I’ll be really pleased to hear from them. And I hope that they get a bit of inspiration from what they’ve heard today.
David Ralph [1:01:15]
Well, I certainly feel inspired. And this is one of those conversations that really fired me up, I’m gonna go out and do something amazing. I don’t know what it’s gonna be. I might be the first man to run down my garden three times, but I’m gonna do something I’m going to become the first person. And 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 path is the best way to build our futures. So stop down. Thank you so much.
Sue Stockdale [1:01:40]
David Ralph [1:01:44]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is master Don’t come
now. 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.