Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Richard McCann.
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Richard McCann
Richard McCann is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who has had moments of huge darkness in his life for sure.
However he has made sure that the situations that he unwittingly found himself forever linked to, were never going to define him.
On a cold and misty morning in October 1975, our guest woke up as a scared and bewildered 5 year old, to discover that his mother was gone.
She was the first victim of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.
A serial killer who for several months had struck fear into the heart of the United Kingdom.
Preying on the streets of Leeds in Yorkshire looking for unwitting victims.
How The Dots Joined Up For Richard
What made this mans journey so amazing was that his first reaction, even at such an early age, was to think about how he could improve his situation.
Richard knew he couldn’t bring his mother back but he could decide how to look differently at what life had thrown at him.
And since that date, Richard McCann has moved through many different areas.
Areas where his personality changed due to the challenges that he has overcome, not least deciding that he could forgive the man that took so much from him.
Now with several bestseller books, a movie of his life, and over 200 hundred powerful speeches and presentations across the globe each year.
He has defined himself as who he is, not who he was.
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Mr. Richard McCann.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Richard McCann such as:
How for many years he lied about his past, until he realised that it was a story that was part of him.
When he realised he could inspire the world to be able to take control of their own lives!
How attending a speech by Desmund Tutu he heard words that unexpectedly changed his life. He knew that he had to learn to forgive to move forward!
Why everything we do in life has to start with the words “I Can”, but then we must make sure that you then take huge action afterwards to achieve what you believe is your right!
How his first faltering steps as a motivation speaker where there to be seen by all, but he knew that it was the first steps to his future so persevered until it came together!
How we can all have a kick ass life if we only choose to do so, no matter where we are and what our situation is!
Products By Richard McCann
How To Connect With Richard McCann
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Richard McCann 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 [0:27]
Yes. Hello there. Good morning to you and welcome to Episode 166 of join up dots the daily online show that brings the most fascinating motivational stories across the globe to you. And today’s one is an unusual story. For join up dots it’s one that certainly has got areas of darkness. But as we see time and time again, and that’s what this show is all about. It’s the step it’s the movement into the light, which is the most important thing for all of us. Our guest has had a life when basically he should know a thing or two adversity on a cold and misty morning in October 1975. He woke at the age of five to discover that his mother was gone. She was the first victim of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. Now, his first reaction even at such an early age was to think about how he could improve his situation. He couldn’t bring his mother back, but he could decide how to look differently at what life had thrown him. And this is the steps and this is the journey that we’re going to talk about today. So we’re not going to dwell on that part. But we’re going to dwell on how he has changed himself to an inspirational speaker of note, a published author, and somebody that travels the world giving sermons and seminars of motivational content. He is an inspiration to me, and he is Mr. Rich McCann. How are you sir?
Richard McCann [1:46]
I’m fine. Thanks very much David you.
David Ralph [1:48]
I’m very well, very well. I better be honest with you, Richard, this is the earliest show that I’ve ever done. So I haven’t even had a boulder conflicts. Yeah, that’s how early we’re recording.
Richard McCann [1:59]
Actually, mornings. I think you get more done if you get up early. So we’re supposed to be here so early.
David Ralph [2:04]
Yeah. So where whereabouts are you at the moment you have got an English accent, obviously. So you’re somewhere in the UK.
Richard McCann [2:10]
I’m from UK. I’m from Leeds which is north of the north of England in a place called Yorkshire and Yorkshire.
David Ralph [2:16]
What is there for for, say, the Americans if the Americans were coming across and they were traipsing around our beautiful island? What would there be in Yorkshire that would really sort of make them go wild?
Richard McCann [2:28]
Well, I think we saw it recently with the Tour de France and the the beautiful scenery, the breathtaking scenery around the around the actual region, but also the people I think Yorkshire is made up of incredible people so approachable and friendly. And not to mention all of the iconic things that we’ve got around this place at the right cameras with that Mac have gone forever with it with the kind of tourist attractions. But I think for me, it’s the scenery. And it was demonstrated perfectly with the title funds, which we all loved advertising the auction agent around the
David Ralph [2:58]
globe. Absolutely. Now, your story, as I touched on the intro it is is one that I’ve been struggling with with the last few days because there is so much darkness in it. But it isn’t that darkness that has defined you. And that’s the interesting part for me. So what I want to do, I want to start with setting the the framework of where you are now. And then obviously, we will walk back and sort of touch on those sort of key areas. So you are somebody that is a motivational speaker, a professional speaker, and you will go around the world, giving presentations on how people can change their life for the better, was bad always in you or was bad because of the situations that you found yourself, you made a mental choice to bring back area into your life.
Richard McCann [3:50]
Yes, I am a very busy motivational speaker. But if I if I think even just 10 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined for one minute that I will be not speaking events. But speaking events around the world, recently spoke at the global speakers summit representing the United Kingdom, this massive global event in or in Canada, Vancouver. And I’ve always been very shy meeting people nervous meeting people one on one, I’m terrified of public speaking. So the fact that I’m doing this, I’m doing it so well. And so often now, you know, I’m still pinching myself, this is a world I never knew existed. And it’s certainly not a place that I thought would ever get to. But I made the choice back in. And I can remember exactly what it took place back in November 2006, when I saw a motivational speaker event I was attending and absolutely blew me away with his inspiration guy called w missing from America. And when I saw him do what he did, and move them in the way that I did. Knowing full well what backstory I had, I thought I can do this, I might not have to do it right now. But with a bit of help and support along the way. And f1 just take my story and kind of craft it into whether people can connect with it and you know, make it relevant for them. And I’m sure I can make a success of this. And so that was back in 2006. So we’re eight years on, I speak about 200 times a year now and that absolutely love the experience. And especially the the feedback that I get from people having heard the story
David Ralph [5:18]
is fascinating when you say that, that it was simply I can do that I had the same thing with this show, I was listening to a podcast, and I just had that that feeling of I can do this. And it’s so powerful when you have that decision. But of course, you have to sort of go over many obstacles, many hurdles to get there. Now, the biggest one for you at that stage must have been you must have been terrified to be a shy individual to go, I can do what he is doing and stand up in front of people. I know people that literally will, you know, sweat and property at the thought of getting up and maybe to two or three people in an office. So how did you overcome but fear but when against your natural self?
Richard McCann [6:04]
it’s been a steady journey. And the fact is, I was terrified once I did it at the beginning. And I just accepted that this is part of the experience. I can survive this. I survived. You know when when we think about my mom’s death and, and dealing with that. And you know, a call from that as a young child. I think that kind of changed me inside. And he gave me something to compare, or the scary things against and almost put it into perspective. So yes, I was terrified, but he couldn’t compare to my mom. So I decided to kind of bite the bullet and get on stage. But as you just described with your friends, I realized I began to realize that for most people, it’s terrifying. Getting up on stage and speak in front of an audience. So actually, I’m not like this isolated person, this individual that’s on his own been damaged by his child. No, I’m just experiencing what most people on the planet feel, which is a fear of speaking. So I kind of thought, Well, I’m the same as everybody else. But there are other people that can get up there. So how do they do it? How do they overcome that fear? And for me, I have to say it, I think I’ll be becoming desensitized to getting up there. And it’s the same for everything, you know, you’re driving on the motorway for the first time you get nervous, but the more times you do it, the less nervous you become. And I think I knew that. And I knew that just kept doing it. One day will become comfortable for me, it took a couple of years. And there are some occasions where I’m speaking to a particular audience. We’re still get nervous, but I I just get on that and get up and do a good job. And then as soon fade away.
David Ralph [7:38]
Is it is it the same content that you deliver? Or do you three will do you spin off in different directions wants to I used to be a public speaker for many, many years. And I found that I had that key subject. But the bits that I liked was when I suddenly spun off, and the audience felt more engaged because I was off the subject. Do you have that same kind of thing? Or do you keep to the the actual solid basis of the information?
Richard McCann [8:03]
Well, I think, however, I’m speaking to spoken over 1600 times now. And every single time I speak as to some degree or another they will get some of my story. So it’s always my story, my journey through life, that the mistakes the lessons, the moments of courage, it’s always that journey that I share with them, depending on who it is, obviously, we will we will veer off and bring in certain points that might not be relevant to others that I’ve been talking to leaders. I’ve talked about the leaders along my journey that helped me grow as a person, if I’m talking to young people are talking about the lessons that they need to hear so but it’s always my story. And that’s just one of the things that I do as a as an offshoot from the public speaking I also do a presentation skills. So if I go into an organization help their leaders with their presentation skills, we will be speaking about the Richard McCann started, I’ll be sharing how I overcame my fear and and the things that I do on stage that helped me I believe, become an engaging speaker and and the things that they can apply to their own presentation. So essentially, it’s me doing my story, depend on who it is we adapt it. But then there’s presentation skills as well, which I did just two days ago to a group of male only, which was the first time which was interesting.
David Ralph [9:14]
Why was that interesting? Just having male only is there more kind of bravado, do they they feel more, but they should be naturally good at this before anybody else?
Richard McCann [9:24]
Well, I had a bit of apprehension, trepidation, because because I’m not spoken to, you know, holy, completely men in the audience. And and I was fearing that because because of my backstory. Normally who I speak to the presentation skills normally they know the backstory. And then if there’s women, if I can say this, if there’s women in the audience, they’re, they’re more empathetic, they can share their feelings more. So there’s there’s a nice balance in a room, even though it’s presentation skills, they know the story. And the elements of the story come out throughout the day. But all men, that’s never happened before. And I was unsure. We’re not the bane to in the same kind of empathetic, we’re that when we got some women in the room do actually it was incredible. And it taught me a thing or two about getting men together when all people know that we do have feelings. And because I did share some of my story in the beginning, actually, some of them started sharing things in that room that they probably didn’t intend to share before they got there. They thought it was a straightforward presentation, because now they get a little bit of me as well. Um, I started it kind of changes in the room and they start sharing things, emotional things. And I think that’s kind of part of what I’m trying to teach that we should accept who we are, embrace who we are. And the more we can be who we really are on stage. And the more engaged our audience will be our people
David Ralph [10:43]
shocked because I need to phrase this really correctly because the the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe for people across the globe, he was a man but defined a period of our our life in the United Kingdom. You know, how old are you? You bet 44. Now, Richard, my question
Richard McCann [11:04]
is almost 40 years ago since
David Ralph [11:05]
Yeah, and now I remember distinctly this happening. And I remember the fear that the country fail at that time. And I’ve been thinking about this leading up to this. Because when I was five years old, I was growing up in Essex, which is, you know, 200, 300 miles away from where this was occurring. And I don’t remember anything else about the 1970s news stories. But we, as five year olds, were all taken into a room by our teacher. And we were told, but now we’re all safe, nothing’s going to happen. And I look back on it now. And I think, well, that’s quite amazing. Because we were in the time before 24 hour news story that actually had that far reaching effect. But five year old children were going to be herded into a room and say, but nothing’s gonna occur to you is astonishing. So to find yourself in the center of bad, do you find that people are kind of shocked and wary when they first speak to you like they have to tread on eggshells?
Richard McCann [12:10]
There was there was a period David when I first became a professional speaker, and first time networking. Somebody might say to me, so what do you do? And I said, Well, I’m a motivational speaker, or they speak about, and it’s like, and you tell them, and you’re right, this shops that did not not to say it’s uncomfortable. And in fact, and you can’t blame them for this, but that would make their excuses. And they would kind of move on to the next person. And so I learned quite early on that. You don’t need to tell everybody everything straight away in a one to one situation like that. And I kind of disguised what I was talking about as a child from the stage. And but now when I’m speaking at conferences, more often than not, the client does not tell their staff who I am, what I’m going to speak about. And that’s actually part of the strength of the stories, haven’t hearing it firsthand, rather being primarily for him. And it is shocking, it is shocking, you can’t get away from that my mom was murdered by a serial killer when I was a young boy. And but that’s where we start from. And we do take them down. And it is dark, as you described early on. But there is lots of light as will go on to explain and have a happy family now. And, and I will leave them in a very good place at the end. But it is one hell of a roller coaster to go on. But I think sometimes you know, for some people, they do need to be shook up a little bit and help them maybe put things into perspective and apply some of my thought processes to what they do. And hopefully they’ll never go through what I went through. But you know, life’s difficult David, we all have challenges along the way. And it’s just, I mean, we’re not gonna go very deep today, probably. But I honestly believe that I chose this life to go through the things that did so that would go out and share that message to help people around the world and the way that I do.
David Ralph [13:52]
What What surprised me by reading your backstory Bo is, obviously, it was terrible. It was, you know, no getting away from that. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, obviously. But how it defined you for so many years. And it would rise up at maybe strange situations in your life where you wouldn’t have expected for that one night to have those sort of knock on effects. But it really did. You carried it around inside you, and you dealt with your life. But every now and again, it would just burst out of you. Can you remember when you decided but this couldn’t go on. But you really had to step away from that and take control.
Unknown Speaker [14:37]
This, there’s been a couple of
Richard McCann [14:40]
moments along the way where I’ve decided I’ve got to do something.
The way you’ve just been describing things happening when the least expect it 19 years, 19 years after mom died. I remember watching TV one night, it was a crime thriller. And I was enjoying it until this until this man starts attacking attacking a wall with a knife. And I felt as though I was watching a movie killed. And I jumped out of the sofa. And I was distressed and crying, in fact, and I decided after 19 years that would find me ask for some help and some support. And I run a telephone helpline that night. And I think that may have been start of the process of me coming to terms with what took place and moving on. But there’s been a number of things along the way. But I think the most or the best and most comprehensive piece of support that I’ve had was two and a half years of counseling from around 1999 onwards, where I finally decided that I was failing in far too many relationships very insecure. And instead of I’ve got to stop this, and I asked for some counseling, and it took me two and a half years, really digging deep and really reflecting back on what I’ve taken place and moving on I suppose so. So there’s two key points. And then the third, maybe the final change and decision to put it behind me in some way was open to my first book came out, well, that’s 10 years ago. Now, I always lied about my past, and and pretended it never happened. And in fact said that my mom died in a car accident. But I wrote that book. And it took some courage to bare my soul to the world. And that liberated me because all of a sudden, people didn’t know about my past. And I was inundated by people, sympathetic people. You know, I guess support in support me and telling me how, how difficult I had been and how you know how great it was that admitted been able to turn it around. So a few things about the joint, we’re talking about joining the dots that are some kind of pivotal dots that when I look back, that I’m so glad that I did ask for help along the way, and then finally liberate myself by accepting that this is who I am now. And I shouldn’t pretend that didn’t happen, because I’m ashamed of it.
David Ralph [16:52]
Well, when you were writing the book, was it? I suppose stupid question. It was a difficult thing to actually put everything down words. But was it cathartic as well, at the end of it? Did you feel that? It wasn’t just liberating, but you’d left something behind?
Richard McCann [17:10]
Yeah, I have to say it wasn’t too difficult writing that book, sitting down on my computer night after night, and just putting it down. I mean, it did bring some things back that I’d kind of forgotten but the process was quite easy. And but it was very emotional. And I got to the very end of the book, and I remember Simon living room on my computer, and and just realizing this is the finish. And I just burst out crying, really, I suppose. And fully realizing the enormity of the whole journey and just what I have been through along the way and whatnot, this is it. And but then the book came out and and I guess that writing of that book has now defined who I am today, rather than being defined for a large part of my life by what happened to them.
Unknown Speaker [18:01]
David Ralph [18:02]
so difficult, isn’t it? I can’t comprehend how you have gone through your life. You know, I’ll be honest, I’ve had nothing bad ever happened to me. I’ve had the most wonderful life. I’ve got lovely parents, lovely family, everything’s good. And I hear stories like yours. And I hear lots of sort of different stories. And deep down I wish I could do something about it. But how you can’t because that is naturally live bad things happen to unfortunate individuals. But it must be so difficult to be defined by something but you had nothing to do with. But you it’s not you. It’s a situation that you found yourself in. I think I would find that difficult. And I think I would almost want to sort of keep on saying to people look, just get over it. That’s not me. That was just one night. Did you have that at all in your life?
Richard McCann [18:51]
Yeah, thinking back before mom’s killer was arrested when it was out there killing more and more people. I was defined in the school playground by this song of that woman that we saw in the papers because mon picture was there. After every attack. She was there. She was the first and they would come up to me. Is it true? Your mom was this? This your first victim is actually one was a prostitute. And I had to admit that I was ashamed. And yes, I was being Yeah, I hated it. In fact, and I couldn’t get away from that look like me more everybody was talking about it. And but I have to say that beyond school, when I started when I was a young man to entering the world. I wasn’t defined so much in the same way because it was put behind me. I went in the army, nobody knew. So it wasn’t been defined in about I mean, it was inside my mind. I knew who member was but I suffer for many years, I could live almost a normal life. Although, you know, as I described earlier, when I was watching TV that night, internally, I was still defined by it. And as I say it’s been it’s been a long journey, coming to terms with it, in fact, embracing it now and it that is happened, but that there’s more to me than the son of the Yorkshire Reapers first victim. I am Richard McCann, I’m a father. I’m an author. I’m a speaker. I’m a supporter over. There’s more to me than what happened. And and yeah, and I’m not I don’t think I’m no longer defined by by that. But I’ll never get away from it. We are speaking about it today because of what happened. But the data says more to me than that.
David Ralph [20:25]
Well, absolutely. But you there is more to you. There’s so much more to you. But you you’ve written the book, which obviously has gone down incredibly well, because it is a part of the UK history that we all remember. But it is being turned into a film as well now and I know that you’ve signed a contract or you’re close to signing a contract to turn it into a movie. Why did you decide to take it to that next level? And in many ways, bring the story up again? Did you feel that it was important to share it with a new generation? Or what what was your feelings on that?
Richard McCann [20:58]
I have since I’ve written three books, by the way was the first book just about which I’m kind of most known for. And that’s the title of the film. Over the years, we’ve I’ve been approached by a number of kind of producers that were interested in making this film. And and they just haven’t been able to get the funding for the film. So it kind of was wasn’t my idea to begin with. It was other people’s ideas, but it just never came to fruition. But I met somebody last year, and who does online video website and such like and you just put it to me. So what why isn’t that beautiful made? And I just I wanted Yeah, why hasn’t that why hasn’t it been midway? Can people get the funding and anyway, long story short, and I think it’s the universe putting the right people in front of me. And there’s a team being formed as we speak. And mid October will be launching the campaign to raise the money for the film. And we’ve got a producer we’ve got, we’ve got a team being formed. And we’re now attracting directors. So it’s happening, but it’s happened because I decided to take the bull by the lawn and sit around and know I can do this. And I can create a company which we haven’t got just about films limited, who are going to make this film and it’s I’m so excited about it. So the reason that I’m happy for it to go to the next level. And now 10 years after the book and 40 years after mom was killed is because I actually feel as though this is one of those. Yes, I’m in North of England, it happened in Yorkshire. But it’s got this kind of work this message that can resonate around the world about overcoming challenges. But one thing we haven’t touched on, and it’s not something I often speak about, if at all. And that is that I did reach a place of forgiveness for four years ago, after listening to another speaker, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, it was speaking about forgiveness. And during that talk, I decided that I would forgive them and that killed my mom. And I honestly believe that that message of forgiveness is something that if only the whole world could embrace forgiveness, this whole planet would be in a different place. And I honestly believe that that film that will hopefully come out next year will be a vehicle to spread that message of forgiveness that I believe this world needs to hear.
David Ralph [23:03]
I agree with you totally. And I’m I’m still amazed. But you can actually do that. Yeah, I’ve had nothing bad occur in my life, but just the the feelings that I get on your behalf. I think that’s incredibly powerful. But of course incredibly difficult to actually forgive. I feel angry on your behalf, which is, which is strange. I don’t think I felt that before. And I don’t know if it’s because I personally feel a connection to your story because it’s it affected my life at a time, tiny little part of my life. But it did. But that that that’s how do you do that? How do you forgive? How do you do you just go? I forgive? And it’s just words or how do you get that out of you?
Richard McCann [23:47]
I think how I came to that place of forgiveness just four years ago was by being me for 35 years and realizing, realizing a particular event in London where Archbishop Desmond Tutu was speaking about forgiveness, the Truth and Reconciliation areas in South Africa and the atrocities that took place. And I realized when listening to him that yes, I’ve been here for 35 years, he doesn’t even know I’m angry, I’ve been hurting ice I’ve been harming myself. The words that I recall from this presentation that brought me to that place of forgiveness was when he said Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, You can’t force a person to forgive another. But when it occurs, it has the capacity to change a situation. And I thought, yes, I’m going to go to my grave being angry, and him not even knowing I can change how I feel, I can change what it all means, by forgiving him. And it has changed the situation. And I’m no longer angry. And actually me forgiving him for doing that. For taking my mom from me, just helped me with the smaller, almost insignificant things that upset us along the way, the person that keeps you up on the road, it’s not important, letting go. And and I’m just blessed and thrilled that I’ve been able to reach this place in my lifetime. Because I do know that there are people that don’t reach that place. And I’m not saying that we should forgive. I’m saying I forgiven. And I think you know, there’s more there’s more to it than just meeting Bishop Desmond Tutu. I’ve been working for an organization called the forgiveness project where we go into prisons and speak to perpetrators of serious crime and and helping them look at forgiveness. And I didn’t get asked to do that, because I forgive it just was at a high profile study, and had an opinion on forgiveness, which was that I couldn’t. But anyway, I decided in June 2010, that I wouldn’t I think my world is a better place because of it.
David Ralph [25:40]
I agree. I agree. Totally. And I think it’s it’s fascinating. But you have got so many more opportunities by that change of mindset. Did you really think about the sort of the sky’s the limit for where you can go with your, your message or not just what you you’ve been through? But what I like about it, BBC the soul of Richard’s website, Richard McCain, you’ve changed a couple of well for the letters I can. And that’s a real big powerful statement that you’re making to the world at the moment, isn’t it? I can.
Richard McCann [26:12]
It is. I mean, that that is my message is I can I can set up your business I can overcome my fear I can forgive. I can is one of the things I say in my presentations is, I think everything that we achieve begins with icon I think you’ve had it with this radio show. And almost only the Olympics, the last Olympics, Usain Bolt, 100 meters, it was asked by the BBC correspondent, what were you telling yourself before the start of the race, and I nearly fell off my sofa? in the living room when he said he told himself I can do this. Usain Bolt taught himself and I think that’s the two most powerful words of English language is I can
David Ralph [26:50]
I have a daughter who is nine years old, and when she was five, or probably younger than that, she used to call yourself Ashley can. And no matter what we wow asked her to do she go, yes, Ashley can Ashley can. And she almost drowned at the swimming pool because we were teaching her to swim. And she went, he can swim. And she threw herself in and we went, Oh, my God, you can’t actually swim. And we grabbed her and sort of dragged around. But she was so ballsy. And she had this kind of personality, but she could achieve anything. But somewhere in those last four or five years at school, I’ve already seen that she’s lost some of that. And she’s now kind of guy, I’m not very good at doing this. I’m not very good at doing that. Do you see that in your life now as that statement of I can. But we start off as children believing that we can do anything. And I suppose if you ask us or room of five year olds, what do you want to do when you grow up? They’re going to say, astronauts, and professors and scientists and all that kind of stuff. And then you ask them at sort of 15 and 16. And you might get shoulders shrugging, going I don’t know what I want to do. I just couldn’t just hope to get a job. Can you see back from from your position, but there is a period of our life that we lose that I can. And that’s why it’s so important that you are passing this message on to all the adult listeners listening to this today.
Richard McCann [28:08]
And also young people as well it should they get the chance to listen to this. I do do a lot of work in schools. This is actually incredible David that you would ask me this question. And and I’m sorry to hear your daughter’s last large, large part of the icon attitude that I speak about. But just yesterday, coincidentally, I went into school, my youngest child now just started big school. And I was always I was almost moved to tears when I saw my little ginger head, beautiful girl in amongst, on the floor, about to have their first few words from the teacher chatting to everybody around her and chatting to all the shine, girls, and I thought wow, and little girls start a big school. And I’m just so pleased that some of the icons rubbed off on her and she’s really confident. I walked away to the door, and I hope this teacher doesn’t listen to this. But I walked away and the teacher was like, seeing all the parents out. And I said actually getting on them. They said oh, well, and she’s a little bit chatty will go around to kind of nip it in the board and, and and deal with it move around. And I thought oh, no, hopefully, well, I hope the teachers do it take away from her that kind of spark that’s within her that helps to kind of be very sociable in that situation. And, and I spoke about it to my wife this morning. And it’s interesting, you would bring this up about your daughter, I do wonder why they do lose in my children, my oldest child is only eight. So she’s not quite there yet. But I do believe that when they enter their adult years, sorry, their their teenage years, there are influences that they have at that age that they don’t have when they’re five, like TV, like the friends and the bullying and the bickering and the who’s got this and who’s got that and maybe laughing if somebody gets up and speaks at the front of the class. And, you know, I only pray that your daughter gets that I come back when she kind of becomes a your model. But yeah, I do. I do I do. You know, over the years, I’ve been speaking now, till 2000 people gets I hear from people and they speak to me about, you know, when they left school, and their teacher said to them, of the careers advisor laughed at them. And they said they want it to be this that or the other. And I think often people lose that spark that spirit because those around do have the same belief in them that I believe they should have. So yeah, I think it’s our environment those around us that can share that. So hopefully you can sort that out David for
David Ralph [30:29]
Oh, I’m trying my hardest. And one of the things that I played her almost on a daily basis. And I play on this show, because I think is so important is this small excerpt from a speech that Jim Carrey did recently. And I’d like to play it to you and say yes, how it actually makes you feel because I think this is what we should be playing to our kids every single day of their life. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [30:51]
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. 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 [31:17]
Is that the message that we should be getting out to people, which is Yes, it is.
Richard McCann [31:22]
Simple as that. Yes, it is. Is that in a film? Or is that I’m talking about his father?
David Ralph [31:27]
Yeah, no, that was that was on a speech he did for a load of students leaving University. And the speech is about 25 minutes long, and you can get it get it on YouTube. And probably the first 1015 minutes is classic Jim Carrey playing for laughs. But then he hits this five minute bit in the middle. And that was just a small part of it. And it really is the powerhouse of the whole show. And that little clip is pretty much gone viral around the world because it touches you doesn’t it when you when you listen to it, you kind of go Yes, that’s absolutely it. And for some reason, I forgot that in my life. And literally every person that I speak to say, yeah, that’s what I wish I could go back and tell my younger self if I had a challenge, but you really have to go for what you love. And one of the things Richard on the show is that the tagline is called connecting our past to build our futures, because we’re realizing, but if you if you go to what your your daughter loves doing at the moment, and she rushes home from school, and she doesn’t want to get paid for it, she just loves doing it. But it’s the kind of thing that we should nurture so that when they come out of the education system, that’s their passion, that’s the thing that they love. But for some reason that education system stretches it out to you got to get a job, you got to get your qualifications, you know, you got to focus, you got to do that. And when we lose that spark, so in adult life, when we’re saying, find your passion, find your passion, and people don’t know what my passion is, really, we got to get them to go back and actually look at what they love doing as a child because that gives them a head start to what they should be doing with a fair window in adult life. Did you agree with that?
Richard McCann [33:02]
I think that’s right, you know, I do believe I mean, I’m my films called just to buy my books called just to buy and and if you see me in the flesh, and I am still quite young, and I still have a youthful approach to life. And I think maybe that that kind of youth human spirit that I’ve got within me that, that that willingness to, from time to time, try these things out, try these crazy ideas, try promoted in nightclubs, try maybe writing a book and speaking on stage, just try these things out. Who knows where they might go? Yes, they may fail. And but and by the way, when I first started speaking, I’ve got some horror, horrible video footage of me making a real fool of myself not knowing what I was doing. But I think if we try these things out and realize we will survive these things, and in fact, will grow because of those things. You know, what if we all have that spirit, and the world would be incredible place and and people will walk around with these imaginary bars in front of them as if they’re locked up in a prison cell not being able to achieve things? I advise my message. And that’s what I urge people to do whenever possible.
David Ralph [34:05]
Well, why why do you think we do that? But why do you think we put these limitations on ourselves? When really, it’s it’s up to us to take control on a daily basis. And I accept that people go, Oh, yeah, but I’ve got a family now. I’ve got a mortgage, I’ve got all those kinds of stuff. I can accept that to a point. But I know for my situation, I’ve thrown caution to the wind. And it’s panned out because I’ve worked so hard to make it panned out. Why did you pick think people are willing to just accept their situation?
Richard McCann [34:36]
I think people, you’re right, people fall into that kind of that routine of that nine to five job and then they get the mortgage, you get the children. And often they don’t know any better. A few days ago, if you go to my Facebook page, you’ll see I even posted this a few days ago, I was speaking to a parent in the playground and I I knew she wasn’t enjoying your work at the moment. And I asked this about how’s things at work? She’s a hater. So you must do something else then. And what else can I do? I’m kind of trapped. And I knew that she liked writing. I said, and I knew that you’d help people with writing us it could become a copywriter was that I said no people can write can help people that can try to write newsletters, blogs, and websites and such. And they get paid for that. So I think she’s fallen into that kind of traditional model of nine to five job and just not understanding there are other things that are other ways of earning a living that you might enjoy. And I just think that the more we can kind of open up and, and in her case, be honest with ourselves and realize this is not working for me. And there’s got to be more to life than this. And then just put it out there and kind of start looking for opportunities. I think once you start looking for opportunities, you’ll spot them anyway. And and that’s what kind of we need to do. But most of the people around the globe Well, at least in the UK, anywhere they fall into that same trap, they start that trap that we got taught at school, this is the way to be you get a nine to five job you do well in your exams, you’ll get job you pay your mortgage. Now there are there are other ways of kind of surviving on this planet and and it’s not just a nine to five job is certainly Scott isn’t that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. I actually couldn’t wait to get out of the bed this morning and get to the office two words, have a chat with you this morning. I love I love speaking of share a message and putting it out there. And the more people that can find those kind of on that path, the better.
David Ralph [36:25]
Did you Well, I suppose with your friend in the playground, her problem was but she was so ingrained in what she had to do. She couldn’t become aware of the possibilities. And one of the things that I like to say to people is if you are in a situation, but you don’t like if you aren’t in a relationship you don’t like you need to lift your head up and start looking around. And one of the major resources, if not the biggest one that we’ve got is the internet. And you can just flick around on the internet and see amazing stuff that other people are doing, just like I did with the show, just like like you did with the motivational speaking, you have to be aware of other ways of doing stuff. Otherwise, you’re always going to get what you’ve always got on you.
Richard McCann [37:08]
But But the first step is being aware that it’s then finding the courage that isn’t it to start the radio show or to set up the own business and, and take those leaps of faith.
It’s one of the things I shared anyways, it’s taking those leaps of faith that can often take you to a place that you that you never knew existed,
David Ralph [37:28]
where we kind of don’t talk about leap of faith here, because for a lot of our listeners, I feel that it’s too dramatic. And they’re sitting on the joy. Yeah, what we kind of promote is a slide of faith. Where if you are in a job and you think I can’t do this, because I got a mortgage, I can’t do this, because I’ve got a kids, Ben, start doing stuff around your life, make two hours in the evening, make an hour in the morning, and see if you can create extra income. So but if you did quit your job, it’s not that leap of faith, you are halfway there. And it’s not so scary. Do you believe that you should just jump and just try it and make it up as you go along. And,
Richard McCann [38:06]
okay, when I say leap of faith, that leap of faith might take you 18 months to make the final leap. And you’re right, it might take a bit of research, it might take a bit of having a go at something before you find the big leap. So I’m not endorsing people just walk away from a job tomorrow, or resigned without some kind of security. Although if that were to happen, it would mean that you would put more effort into what you’re doing. But obviously, that how big how long the leak takes isn’t entirely up to the individual. And I was in a lucky position when I when I took the leap to be a professional speaker, because I’ve just written the first book it did, you know, half a million copies. So I had some security at the time to be able to make that leap. And so yeah, but yeah, so I like your term, the slide of the faith. So the lead the slide, whatever it takes. But I do think that when you start looking and at least making some impact mental steps to get to a different place if we are unhappy with where we are.
David Ralph [39:04]
Because that’s one of the problems that people have, they see what they see other people doing, but they don’t assess, but it was a path but those other people were on. It’s almost like the overnight success. Oh, I’d like to be like Richard, I fancy standing up in front of people. But they haven’t unless they are, you know, real clever and stalkers that haven’t seen all those horrible presentations you did where you dried up, or it just didn’t work, or the people didn’t engage with you, they don’t see you that they just see almost the end product, when you’re standing up there and you look competent, and they go past what I’d like to do with my life. But there’s got to be some kind of effort involved, hasn’t there?
Richard McCann [39:43]
Yes, and it goes back to the title of the show and the joining the dots. And there are certain dots along the way that helps me now be able to stand in front of thousands of people. It took me two nearly three years to overcome our fear. And it took me two nearly three years to earn what we could say salary out of it. And I think I was in the privileged position that I had some security and I think what breaks my heart is when I see people come along to my presentation skills, boot camps and they’ve got these incredible stories that is not confident in sharing it but they’ve got these incredible stories and if they could hang in there if they could keep on the journey and and not throw the towel in which is what I see people doing which breaks my heart then after six months of getting nowhere. So you’re I mean look I go it’s okay for me I’m up there on stage but he’s taking me like now take me 10 years to get to where I am
David Ralph [40:34]
so so with you is it talent? Is it perseverance what has got you to where you are now
Richard McCann [40:44]
I think perseverance I one of the big things that I’ve on reflection realize about my life is I’ve always I’m not very academic I’ll be honest with you David but I’m not stupid. And I know that if I see somebody doing something like a a show like this, and I and I fans having a go at it all I need to do David is do what you do. And I you know, in NLP terms, it’s modeling successful people. I never studied NLP, but that’s what I did from being a young child is just find out who’s doing what I want to do and do some of what they’re doing. So every job I’ve ever done, I always look for the superstar in that particular role and then just copy them. I won an award at the Yorkshire post newspapers as a telesales, canvasser and I sat beside the star on the team, and I kind of model what he was saying. It was my own personality, but I kind of copied him modeled him. Some of the speakers, I will wasn’t born with a talent to speak, I have studied speakers, okay, it’s my own, my own version of myself with their some of the things I’ve picked up along the way added on to them are bolted on. But I’ve modeled other people. And I think you don’t need talent for that you just to make the guts to do it. And the and the persevere to sit down and study them and apply it apply again and realize it can go wrong, and then pick yourself up and do it again. And, and that’s how, over time I’ve done it in go back to the book, the book, I sent out 42 proposals to a literary agent, so they weren’t interested. But I kept going. And yeah, the combination of those things that helps me get to where I am today.
David Ralph [42:20]
And the interesting thing, it works both ways, I find that people will look at it one way, the people who are wanting to do something more with their life will look at the Richard McCann’s and go, that’s easy. That’s what I want to do. That’s where I want to go. But also the Richard McCann’s, if you’re like me, you get to a certain point. And when it starts to feel easy, you actually start forgetting the effort it took to get there, and you forget the long hours and the struggle and all that kind of stuff, because you just naturally think, but it almost becomes an overnight success for you. And it has for me, I look at it now. And it’s a it’s a proper show. And I’m getting my figures across the globe. But when I think about it, I think Yeah, I remember when there was only two people listening. And I remember when I didn’t really know how to use the microphone. And I remember when I didn’t know how to do that. And it was so many obstacles, but I really, I really have to think about it. Otherwise, it just seems seamless to me to myself, even though
Richard McCann [43:19]
Yeah, no, you’re right. And I often do forget what I had to go through to gain the experience. And in my presentation skills, boot camps, which called I can speak songs, but I can I give them I demonstrate something I want the delegates to do. And I forget that it took me years for me to be able to do that. And I’m expected them to do it. Right within minutes. And after can remind myself not to be too harsh with them and to allow them to, I guess, learn at their own pace. So yeah, I do some time after remember what went through, I think for both of us, and the most things, yeah, there is a and apprenticeship that you have to serve, and learn about the microphone not working and about whatever you might have to learn about, for me batteries, on computers. Turning off whilst you’re giving a presentation, and the microphone batteries, all those different things that might happen and go wrong. Give you an experience so that you can get it right or better next time and continually, incrementally grow and experience and confidence.
David Ralph [44:27]
Yeah, I even this show, I was honest with you at the beginning, my system is like on 50% what it should be. And I came down to my recording studio, I set it up and I thought, oh my god, it’s not working. Now 100 shows ago, I would have probably contacted you and said, Can we reschedule? I can’t quite do it. But now I just kind of go Oh, come on, we’ll do it. And we see how it pans out. And we sort of deal with it afterwards. And it is that, that that competence that just breeds up? And did you find people actually kind of connect with you because of that question, pretense that you have building up because of that success, that you’re building up those those subtleties, but you have on a daily basis, because you are more competent, it becomes more attractive to people. And then successful people are attracted to you somehow and you start developing a wider circle of people of the movers and shakers, are you finding that with yourself that people respond to the Richard because they like how you operate now.
Richard McCann [45:25]
And I think there’s two parts to this. First of all, I yes, I do attract some successful people. And I try and mix with successful people. But of course, a large part of my story is about overcoming those challenges. And, and dealing with the dark stuff and, you know, succeeding despite them. So I do attract an awful lot of people that are still in the dark, or trying to cope with what they’ve been through. And because of the story. And I think that because I’ve been through what I have, and I seem to be caught really well now, that attracts a certain type of person that might want to kind of have some of my positivity rub off on them, and maybe some some insight into how I did that to help them on their journey. So there’s kind of two parts. Yes, I’m attracting successful people in that I mean, a speaker mastermind group with some very successful speakers. And I think that’s because I’ve, I’ve got the experience, and I’ve got the success as a speaker that I have. So we’re in a very, very interesting journey. And I’ve got very interesting job and and I love every minute of it.
David Ralph [46:32]
Well, let’s play the theme of the show the join up dots speech, but Steve Jobs me back in 2005, because it’s fascinating how different people will hear it and pick key words out of it. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [46:46]
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 back 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 [47:21]
What did those words mean to you, Richard? What what are the key words to that that have any resonance if it has any resonance at all?
Richard McCann [47:30]
Well, it does, because I never heard that before, by the way.
As I went through my life, starting with the death of them, and there’s a whole series of things that I experienced, and I had no idea on the surface anyway, I had no idea that those things when joined together in many, many years time, as I approach the second half of my life that we’re joined together with would would give me not just an insight, but an ability to help people around the world deal with the events going on in their past or currently their lives. And if you’d have told me that at the time, it might have meant that, of course a little bit better. But you can’t know that at the time, you can only, you know, as he’s just pointed out, you can no when you join them together at the end of not the end, but the certain point. And it does speak to me. And and I think in some ways, it’s almost the message that I do share that at the time, when you go through an event, like the murder of your mother, you cannot possibly know at the time that that experience will equip you with a gift that you’ll be able to use in many, many years time to support other people going through the same thing. I could never have known that the time. But I do share that message in the hope that when people experience those, those let’s call them DAC dots in their lives, that that can also be a gift, as painful as it is and to help others in years to come or take them down a particular path
to another life in the future. I must what I must listen to that to the call that speech something
David Ralph [49:25]
What is that? You can go to my website and you can find all that. Yeah, under the mission statement is about 15 minutes long. But um, it’s hugely powerful. That’s just a middle section, which is obviously the theme of the show. So what would you say if we asked you the million dollar question, what is your big dot? dot that really makes Richard McCann who he is today? Not Richard McCann, who you were but Richard McCann, who you are today? What would that be? copy?
Richard McCann [49:53]
Oh David us,
almost is a little bit unfair because. And there is it’s only when joining the dots
have helped me become the person I am today. When you first asked that customer that question, despite his darkness, I did feel as though the answer should be the big dot was the death of my mom. But both but then as I kind of started thinking as you were asking the question, and I think the big.to help me be the person I am today is, is having that courage, or making that decision on the fifth of November 2006, that I was going to share my message from the stage. And in a big way globally. That’s why I told myself, I think that decision and find the courage to do that has brought me to where I am today and ultimately brought me to speak to you today. So I think I’m going to I’m going to say it’s the second Dr. The decision to become a professional speaker,
David Ralph [50:53]
I applaud you for taking those actions because it you know, has been life defining. And I can only imagine how scary it was. And the fact that you were not just doing something within your you know, your bedroom or your office or whatever, you were really putting yourself out there. But is the you know, that’s the biggest sense of courage, isn’t it? You could have fallen in front of people. But you didn’t you just knew in your heart part back was right for you. And I applaud you for doing that. Richard, thank you.
Richard McCann [51:26]
I think everyone’s still wanting you have this little voice.
Call it you’re gonna you know, your spirit, you know, your instead of me anyway, you have these little conversations with yourself. And sometimes we listen to them. And that was one of those occasions that I, I had the thought that I heard the voice that I could do this. And I just chose not to ignore it. And I have to say, by the way, some people when I shared my dream, my goal to become a professional speaker, some people said, no one’s going to want to hear this. This is not conference that this is too dark. And I chose not to listen to those people. And and I so glad that I I did listen to myself, because it’s it has now defined who I am today. Because I could have got on with whatever I was doing at the time. And I would then probably be defined by what happened when I was a child when Yes, that we can’t get away from that. But know that that decision to become a motivational speaker. And as lyst is my living now it’s that it’s the job that I do. And I continually hear from people that have been helped and inspired by me sharing that story of what happened all those years ago.
David Ralph [52:38]
I can’t understand why people would say that to you say it’s too dark, because that’s what makes your your second part so powerful, isn’t it? Because you started from such a low point. And I think it started off. You know, Richard was born into a multi millionaire family. And he’s now a multimillionaire, I’d think Okay, fair enough, he added Head Start. But the fact that it started from such a low point, that is hugely inspiring, and I’m so glad that you didn’t listen to those people. Because I’ll be honest with you, Richard, I think they’re idiots. I think they’re idiots. This is a story with light and dark. And that’s what we gain most from in life.
Richard McCann [53:17]
Yeah, I think the person who said, this is not conference material, God rest his soul is passed away now. But I’m going to forgive him. Because what he saw, it was me speaking at the very start of my career, which was a person that was able to look at the audience at a look at the floor, to look at the slides, which would really amateur forgot what it was saying, a pulled notes out of his pocket. I mean, it’s on YouTube somewhere that the actual video clip of me doing that. So you could almost forgive him for the thinking. There is no, I mean, this was an established speaker for him thinking, no one’s gonna want to listen to this was not delivered in that particular way. Anyway. So, so so so to some degree was right, people were going to want to listen to it in that in that way. But yeah, with a bit of help and support, you know, coaching this today, rehearsal and all the rest of it. Hopefully, if he saw me today, it’d be, it’d be proud.
David Ralph [54:16]
Well, I know we’re proud that you’re, you’re doing it. So thank you so much. I’m just before I put you on the Sermon on the mic, and we send you back in time to close the show with the inspirational content that you provide to your younger self. Do you think that everybody out there no matter what their situation can have a kick ass life?
Richard McCann [54:35]
Yes, I do. Yes, I do.
And I’m pausing there to receive your David because I just thought everybody, and I started thinking about Peter Sutcliffe, for some reason. So I thought, does it apply to everybody? Can he can others like him have a kick ass life? Well, I think they can. Whatever the circumstance if it’s locked up in a cell for the rest of his life, and, and I have been locked up in a cell because I, we haven’t touched on that. But I did go to prison many years ago for a drug dealing challenge, and was in that cell, as dark as it was. And what they couldn’t do was they couldn’t get into my head. And I suppose whilst I went through that process, and I could still have a kick ass life in my head. So no matter how dark it gets, we can keep those that darkness out of our out of our internal mind in those conversations. So when that’s complicated answer that isn’t it. I think we can either kick ass life to some degree or another, it might not look like a kick ass life, we can actually change how we look at a situation to make it a little bit less dark, and it might
David Ralph [55:46]
look and we just have to say I can constantly and I can then do it. And because you can say I can you’ve actually obviously is a bit of work involved as well. And it might be leaving work, set up your own business, it might be writing a book, it might be setting a radio show, you can say I can that’s where it starts. But obviously there’s a bit of work required as well. Well, let’s play the tune. Next going to send you back in time. This is the part of the show where we send you back to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back what age Richard would you choose? And what advice would you give where we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the tune. And now you out. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Richard McCann [56:48]
Well, I’m going to speak to Richard as a little boy, just after his moving killed, which is probably the lowest point of his life. And the words I’d like to say to young Richard, probably something along the lines of I know it’s tough Richard right now and throughout your life, it’s going to be tough again. But believe me, you will cope with what you’re going through. You will not want to cope with what you’re going through. But you’re going to grow by going through what you’re going through, you will survive, you will try and you will succeed. Not only that, what you might describe as your disadvantage right now will go on to be your advantage. And you will believe it on one day, you will share your experiences, not just doing writing best selling books, but from the stage around the world and you will go on to help other people wherever you go. And for every person that you help along the way, and you will help them your mom’s death will not be in vain. Gonna Richard
David Ralph [57:51]
Richard, how can our audience connect with you?
Richard McCann [57:54]
through my website, which is Richard mccann.co.uk through my Twitter, which is Twitter forward slash can inspire author LinkedIn just Google my name which and again,
David Ralph [58:03]
we’ll have all the links on the show notes. Richard, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join us. Because I do believe that by joining those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Richard McCann Thank you so much.
Richard McCann [58:19]
Thank you dude
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.