A Great Story Andrew Thorp
Today’s interview is with Andrew Thorp a speaker, writer and trainer who was asked to speak at the famous TEDx Conference. Andrew has also addressed many business groups globally, including including Unilever, KPMG, Beaverbrooks, General Medical Council, Pannone and The Academy for Chief Executives.
CD. Hi Andrew. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule. You have a unique business, can you tell our readers a little about what you do?
AT. I’m a business speaker, writer and coach who specialises in the field of communication – more specifically storytelling. What that means is helping a business tell its story better, both off line and on, but I usually start by helping clients improve (craft) the story they have to tell in the first place, making it more compelling, authentic and memorable. That might be their elevator pitch, the copy on their web site, their PowerPoint presentation or the way they use video/audio to promote themselves. We then move on to how they’re telling it (the delivery of their message), then how they’re marketing it (getting it to spread). I do this (with my business partner Sara Knowles) under the brand of ‘Mojo’ – when you find your marketing mojo you start to attract!
CD. Story telling is really important. With the way internet marketing is changing, this type of story telling helps coaches create a brand which is important in terms of ranking. What you do is really interesting, what made you get into developing others in this way?
AT. I’ve always had a passion for personal development and in a previous life I’ve taught people everything from how to serve customers in a restaurant to how to play golf (I worked in the golf & leisure industry for 22 years)! But to be honest, my own personal development has been as big a focus too.
CD. I agree as coaches we all need to continually develop ourselves. You been in this industry for a long time, what is your greatest success with a client?
AT. I’ve done work for the World Health Organisation, Unilever and KPMG but the success I’m most proud of is working with a young man who was unemployed and afflicted with a speech impediment. I encouraged him tell stories about himself (and he’s done some amazing things), a strategy which helped him find a job he loved. But even better, when I saw him some weeks later his speech was almost perfect. I guess the way he felt on the inside had improved so much that it affected him in other ways.
CD. That sounds fantastic. Using stories like this can really change how confident you feel, plus the feedback you get from your audience can give you a real boost to. I know you use a mixture of techniques to move your clients forward, how do you keep up with the latest trends in coaching?
AT. I’m a great believer in modelling yourself on those at the top of your profession. Not necessarily copying them, but learning from them. I go out of my way to interview them too, most recently David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of PR & Marketing and one of the world’s leading content marketing gurus.
CD. and who do you model yourself on?
AT. I’m a great admirer of Dr Nick Morgan. He’s based in Massachusetts and what he doesn’t know about face-to-face communication isn’t worth knowing. More locally, Cheshire-based David Cotton is a kind of mentor to me – a business coach and communications expert with many strings to his bow. He’s an NLP expert, a musician, a fantastic storyteller and a much-published author. Thank GOD he’s no good at golf!
CD. it doesn’t sound like he has much time to practice golf! When you think about developing others, why do you believe coaching is important to people from all walks of life?
AT. Because it makes us more self-aware, reflective and open minded. It helps us deal with the many pressures facing us in a competitive, fast-paced world. But it also makes us stop and think about who we are (as human beings), what we’re doing and how we’re all inter-dependent.
CD. I often talk about how people don’t reflect as much as we did in years gone by, due to the fast paced life most people live. For me being self aware is the key to achieving your ambitions. How has having a coach changed your life and helped you achieve your ambitions?
AT. Most definitely. Six years ago I was at a cross-roads in my life, having come out of a problematic business partnership. I come from a pro sports background and was coaching golf at the time to earn a few bob. I began working with an inspirational sales coach who sat me down one day and said, “Andrew, you’re like a champion jockey on a donkey. You need to climb on to a thoroughbred; for you I think that means becoming a speaker and a trainer.” I took his advice and haven’t looked back since.
CD. And what great advice that was. You have given an overview of what you do and like your mentor David Cotton you have many strings to your bow, but what area of expertise do you specialise in?
AT. I feel my sweet spot is helping people deliver a really compelling message when they’re face to face with their audience. It’s not just about style; it’s essential they have something worth saying in the first place. That’s why we work on their content before we get to grips with delivery. I like the word emphasised by Seth Godin in The Purple Cow – “remarkable”. Literally, worth talking about.
CD. What would you say is your life mantra?
AT. Everyone has a story to tell.
CD. And what a great story you have shared with us today. Finally I just wanted to ask you, where do you see yourself in the next 3-4 years?
AT. I love getting people excited about ideas and see myself doing more speaking and writing and less actual delivery. We already have associates but I’d like to see our School of Mojo brand being delivered by coaches the world over.
CD. It’s been a great pleasure talking with you today Andrew. For anyone wanting wanting to learn more about Andrews story and his company Mojo, please see the links below.
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Andrew Thorp BIO
Andrew Thorp is a business speaker, writer and trainer based in Manchester. Along with his business partner Sara Knowles, he runs Mojo Your Business, a consultancy and training company that helps companies tell their story better, thus making their marketing more effective and ‘attractive’. This applies to both on line and face-to-face communication, and includes what Andrew describes as ‘internal marketing’ – selling the companies vision and values to the workforce.
Andrew has an unusual background, having spent 22 years in the golf industry as a manager, marketeer, referee, journalist and coach. A life-changing experience took him in a new direction 6 years ago, resulting in a personal reinvention. Andrew has addressed many business groups in the UK and overseas, including the prestigious TEDx conference, and has worked with a range of companies including Unilever, KPMG, Beaverbrooks, General Medical Council, Pannone and The Academy for Chief Executives.
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