After years of wanting but failing to write a daily journal, I'm attacking it in a new way. Each weekday I'll publish a 5-10 minute podcast episode on what happened, what I learned and how I'm feeling. It's for disabled people, founders of companies and people who like edutainment!
In this episode Ross shares how his smart home setup has made him more independent in everyday life. Through his smart phone, Alexa voice control and other software and hardware he's able to do more for himself than ever before
Learn all about Pippa's lived experience of ME, using social media for answers herself, before becoming an influencer on the topic of invisible disabilities. It's a powerful story with great tips for influencers
Whether you are an entrepreneur, wish to be one, or want to be more entrepreneurial in your employed role; this episode is for you. Josh shares his story of taking an idea to help himself get on an aeroplane to market. Plus lots of tips on funding, product development, marketing and disability specific support
Over the years I've totally geeked out on both disability rights and civil rights. There's nothing better than a leader building a movement, defying the odds, and beating Goliath.
A big reason for me wanting to learn about this subject, is to inform my disability activism today.
"We have to understand the past to shape our future"
I've been blessed to learn directly from people who won legislative protection and independent living for so many otherwise excluded people.
In a particular book I learned about 2 key people - Phil Friend and Bert Massie.
I contacted both, sharing my vision, my questions and asking for guidance. Both kindly replied to me. Phil was on an early episode of my podcast, and has taken a few phone calls from me over the years. Bert was unfortunately too unwell to talk, and later passed away.
Last week Berts posthumous book was launched. So I invited Phil back on my show, to share his favourite parts in the book, and of Berts life.
I finally got to hear some of what Bert would have told me on our phone call. Luckily for you, his words are awaiting your attention too. Whether you're disabled or not, his life was remarkable, and one worth learning from. As well as celebrating.
As Phil points out, Bert was funny as well as impactful. So don't presume the books all politics and activism. There's most definitely something for everyone...
Networking has been around forever. Early homo sapiens understood that together survival was more likely. Literally.
A tribe could more easily defend itself from predators. A tribe could hunt more effectively. A tribe generally was better than going solo.
Today we don't struggle so much with predators or going hunting. Aside from a pub fight or going to the supermarket. But in our new world of technology and the knowledge economy, networking is more vital than ever.
Unfortunately some people have tarnished the reputation of such events. They think turning up, giving out loads of business cards, and pitching their product/service is appropriate.
Let's be clear. This is not effective. For the business owner and for the customer and for the overall problem being solved.
Soon after I started blogging, I met Ann Hawkins. Just like me she was using blogging, social media and tribes to change the world.
I was asked to speak at her Cambridge event for local small business owners. It was my first taste of what in person networking should look like.
Everyone wanted to help each other. No agenda. No caveats. No conditions. Yet everbodys business benefited. Amazing!
Since then Ann has used these win:win networking moments, online and offline. In this interview we hear the journey to this amazing world, and what Drive! the network is doing now.
My podcast started with disabled influencers, progressed into business and marketing from World Changers, and in the latest episode we venture into a different theme.
In the end I want to share the many amazing people and experiences I have. So you can take away from it whatever is relevant at the time for you.
Having attended Mindvalley University, I've been encouraged to grow in many personal and professional ways. One being in the theme of intuition and energy.
I also had the pleasure of meeting many cool people through Mindvalley too. One being Depika Mistry. She even came all the way from London to meet Kasia and I at home, after the Barcelona event.
In our chat you'll hear more on when we connected, how Depika found her amazing talent, what she's using it for now, and her plans for the future.
Plus we look at how natural elements are so important for mental and physical wellbeing. Throwing in some of the increasing body of scientific evidence for intuition.
This topic has pushed me hard to consider things I used to totally dismiss. Plus I'm still tussling with some of it now. So I'd love to know your thoughts and experiences on it too.
Hope you enjoy it. One things for sure, Depika is helping so many people. Moreover she is an awesome woman to hang out and put the world to rights with.
I realised recently I've been blogging for 10 years in August. Using such a relatively new tool has been hard from a business model perspective.
Authors, radio producers, tv presenters, magazine editors all know how to get paid for their craft. Blogging has had to work all this out.
Whilst I quickly found out I could be a paid consultant and speaker, I dreamed of another way to fund my blog digitally. To empower my community is priority. Paying my bills is a must.
Gradually the notion of coaching came to bloggers. After all, if you're sharing interesting ideas in your writing or videos, why not go deeper to help others.
1:1 and even group coaching can only scale so far. Finally information products were born. You just need to package your intellectual property, aka your unique experiences, into paid for content. Online learning is now a booming industry!
If I'm honest, I'm still working all this out. On Disability Horizons we support a group of people less willing/able to pay for such products. Meaning we're looking into other ways of funding it.
However I ran my first ever paid for course for World Changers this year, and the feedback was phenomenal :-)
I've now got the infopreneur bug!
On my journey I came across Bailey Richert. She's a coach and expert for infopreneurs just like me. Kindly Bailey agreed to be on my podcast and share all of her amazing wisdom and insights.
I hope you enjoy this episode...
I've had a few mentors in my life. Some teachers. Some line managers. Some absolute idols of mine.
Along the way I learned that we don't have to meet someone to learn from their experience. I've ended up with mentors from blogs, books and film too.
One of my role models is an American guy called Seth Godin. Hes the godfather of digital marketing. I read his blogs every day!
Often marketing is seen as a dirty way to sell useless stuff to people. But Seth (and I) see it otherwise.
In a world of social stagnation and sometimes decline, we need everybody to be a World Changer. To step up. To speak out. To take action.
Otherwise our education system, our business culture, our social interactions and much more will implode. We need innovation and social change like never before.
This podcast was an absolute privilege to record. I know you will take away so much value from this conversation. Its a short guidebook to using marketing for good.
We discuss being a prolific writer, teaching to change culture, and at the end we hit on what real impact looks like.
We all feel stuck from time to time. My latest podcast guest was stuck in a body, a job and a life he didn't want. The thing that changed everything was a shift in mindset. Jason realised he was in a prison that could be broken out of.
As you'll hear, I first met Jason when he spoke in Tallinn last summer. Before helping me down a step in a bar :-) What really struck me about him was his use of humour and hip hop to deliver his powerful message.
I hope you get even half as much from Jasons work as I did. Plus as a special offer to my followers, you can pick up his book Prison Break for free here http://www.GetPrisonBreak.com/martyn.
I hope you enjoy the show!
It’s not every day that I get to meet someone working in the House of Lords. It’s also not every day that I get to meet a famous sports person with countless Paralympic medals. And it’s really not every day that I get to meet someone who embodies both of these massive achievements.
One day last year, I found myself interviewing one of my heroes. The awesome Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Starting her athletic career with 100m wheelchair racing back in 1984, Tanni travelled to Seoul for her first international race in 1988, winning a bronze medal. She then went on to win 16 Paralympic medals – 11 golds, four silvers and a bronze. Added to that, she’s won many World Championship medals – six gold, five silver and two bronze.
Through her fantastic achievements, she’s become a role model and ambassador for many disabled people, globally.
In our interview, Tanni reveals how a career in athletics resulted in a new career in politics and, ultimately, making a difference for disabled people across the world.
Now influencing the laws made in the UK, the stakes are high for Tanni. In an ever-changing world of innovation and global community, Tanni is working tirelessly with her allies to protect those who may be left behind. I love Tanni’s passion for truth and change.
Thank you to Tanni for taking the time out for this interview. Not only did she spare time to record this, she’s also revealed her top five tips for political activism, which was aired in our exclusive DHorizons Tribe on Facebook. I can tell you now, her advice was also very insightful.
I knew I needed to get out. There wasn't anything dangerous going down, but I felt a pull to go and see the world. However people don't just quit their jobs. Not away from the movies anyway. So I needed a plan!
Its funny how a strong feeling and a vision can lead to serendipitous moments. Not long after I broadened my horizons, I met AJ and Melissa Leon.
I've shared a few times the impact this beautiful couple had on my life. They empowered me to create martynsibley.com, to blog, to educate, to share my vision of inclusion, and to go explore the world.
In this podcast episode I get to sit with AJ, pass on his powerful story to you guys, ask questions I'd never got the chance to ask, and generally enjoy this amazing guys wisdom.
We discuss how you should be the protagonist of your life's story (adventure is good). You'll also learn about balancing this with helping others and earning a stable income. An all important triangle.
It's all gold dust. I hope you take something extremely helpful away for yourself from this interview :-)
Thank you to AJ for giving up his time, and to both him and Melissa for being such powerful role models on my journey.
After 18 episodes of interviewing the cream of the crop in disabled talent, I'm tweaking the shows format. There'll still be disabled guests, but not every time.
You see, I want to promote inclusion. Whilst highlighting disabled influencers is a part of the mission, bringing inspirational people with world changing messages across different causes is more vital.
Ajit is a great guy, who empowers thousands of people to live the best life they want to live. His journey from an overcrowded house in India, to running a large education company (Mindvalley) is so insightful.
In this episode you'll hear how I met Ajit, his story, his insightful wisdom, all about his brand new book 'Live Big' and so much more!
In one of the first episodes of the Martyn Sibley show I interviewed Phil Friend. Along with his friend and business partner Simon Minty, they paved the way for inclusion of disabled consumers and employees.
We have a lot to thank them for!
So it was really nice to sit down and talk with the other member of the dynamic duo. Since revolutionising a whole set of industries, Simon has also branched out into other pursuits.
You will probably have heard him on the BBC Ouch podcast. He and Phil have their own podcast too. Plus Simon loves a bit of comedy. It was a really interesting and enjoyable interview to make.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. Whilst on a public transport journey and unable to communicate the situation to fellow travellers. Hannah Ensor was struggling for energy and strength. If only she had a card that could explain what was going on, everything would have been easier.
So Hannah went home and drew one of the first stickman crips. Using that exact same notion of how a picture tells a thousand words. The Stickmen were the perfect tool to educate people should a similar circumstance arrive again.
Over time Hannah saw the need for other cards in her daily life. Then other disabled people explained the kind of messages they always have to explain to people. So Hannah drew stickmen for others too.
Now you can go on the website and buy a whole range of cards. It may not yet cover every single disability or societal barrier. But it certainly is getting close.
A big reason for my more balanced view on this topic, came from meeting Samanta Bullock. Through a very difficult event that put her in a wheelchair, Sam never gave up on her dreams. Both as a tennis champion and a fashion model.
It would have been understandable for her to give up on both of these dreams. Furthermore they clearly don't lend themselves to wheelchair users to thrive in. Forget the accessibility barriers, particularly the fashion world is known for ignoring disability.
Sam is one of those people that lights up a room with her smile. She's proud of her wheelchair tennis accomplishments, and is now banging the drum for inclusive fashion. To follow her on social media makes you wonder where she finds the time for everything.
Most of all, her photos and general message are what the world needs. That disabled or not, beauty is everywhere. Even more strongly than that slightly cliche comment, is that beauty comes from diversity...
Someone who found their creative self much earlier, and has enjoyed a great career from it, is Blaine Harrison. As lead singer of the Mystery Jets he's created many albums and toured all over the world.
It's always too easy to home in on my guests disability and how they overcame their particular barriers. Naturally having spina bifida Blaine has had to navigate specific challenges through his touring adventures. But I'm starting to see that by only focusing on people's impairments, we can shy away from the many other interesting parts of their story.
Not only have I seen this interview from a newer perspective, I have to admit it's the first time I really fought against being starstruck. You see, when I was at university I listened to the Mystery Jets many times. They saw me through my home sick days, and my getting ready to go and party nights.
They stand for real nostalgic sentiment in my life. So to interview the lead singer was a very cool moment for me!
I hope you enjoy hearing this interview. Beyond his creativity, Blaine has been doing lots for inclusive music and accessible concert venues. His work with Attitude is Everything, who you will remember Suzanne from a previous episode, is very progressive.
Of course my achievement was not unique. There are many people who have pushed their limits in pursuit of some adrenaline and societal change messaging. Many of whom have a disability. Nonetheless, it's always great to meet people who have interesting stories to tell. Particularly those who really really went the extra mile!
Geoff Holt is certainly one of those people. As you will hear in our interview, this guy has really exceeded his own expectations from his individual sailing and life challenges.
In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show he shares his background, his career, and how he went on to achieve some of the most amazing sailing achievements ever known to man.
After seeing the great research and work that Scope did on this topic, I reached out to them for someone to interview. The obvious person was Robin Hindle Fisher. Not only is he from an economic background, and trustee of the charity, he was heavily involved in the project.
This project being the extra costs commission. In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show Robin and I get to the bottom of these extra costs. You will hear from Robin what Scope found in their research. And what you can do to support this difficult situation.
Hint: there is plenty we can all do to help.
Its not unusual to find other people who like travelling. In my line of work I also know many disabled people. However it is not so usual to meet a real kindred spirit for accessible tourism. Luckily a few years ago I met Carrie-Anne from Tourism for All. Not only does she love travelling, but she's also a blogger. It's honestly hard to get a word in edgeways between the two of us when we get together :-)
Carrie-Anne runs the information service for the UKs accessible tourism charity. This involves supporting disabled people and their families with the right information for their travels. It also involves supporting businesses on how to be open and accessible for disabled travellers.
In her spare time she is with her husband Darren and her beautiful dog traversing the sights of Cumbria. Somehow she still finds time to go abroad for blogging trips. Just like the one we recently both attended in Madrid, Spain.
Carrie-Ann really enjoys documenting both her experiences and the general information that helps others. Plus she throws in some really cool photos and videos to enhance her blogging content.
I met Dan virtually a couple of years ago on a Disability Horizons podcast. He'd had a couple of interviews for his new inclusive comic series. Including one on mainstream tv.
The comic was inspired by his daughter Emily who is disabled. She stars in the 'Department of Ability' stories. With her powerful wheelchair ways. Sounds familiar right?
I've watched Dan grow in his self belief, embracing the media challenges, and really pushing his message. One that resonates with me so much. A message that says 'why the bloody hell are disabled kids not in kids stories'?
The comic has since had global attention. Their theme tune was performed live with Dan and Emily on stage - in America! So rock and roll.
In this podcast episode Dan and I catch up about his journey, the challenges and dreams he has for the project. It's great to be reminded that we all should have dreams to strive for.
Share and engage
If you like this episode please share it and rate the show too. I'd also love to hear your feedback on the questions and the guests. Feel free to recommend someone you admire.
Please support Dan, Emily and the guys at Department of Ability here.
Also check out Dan, Emily, myself and the other Parallel London ambassadors here.
See you next time!
Since meeting the expert for all things travel and disability related, Cory and I have spoken a couple of times. It was cool to hear about each others travels, blogs, communities, and so forth.
However we hadn't discussed what life was like growing up with the same condition (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) in different continents. Would schools be the same? Would friendships be the same? Would transport and leisure be the same?
So when Cory agreed to be on my podcast, I was excited to explore this topic. I know you're going to enjoy listening to us discuss this.
Plus we covered Corys blog, his pass travels, and future plans. He even gives a great tip on transferring to an aeroplane seat with special pants (trousers to us Brits!).
Here's the link to the travel pants on his own website.
In particular I really liked hearing about why Cory loved Israel so much. Furthermore he's got some great plans in the pipeline!
After a break over the summer, I'm back with a new podcast episode. This time with a fantastic disabled artist.
Jason became disabled from chicken pox. Something I'd never heard of before. Through a journey of ups and downs, he's doing his dream job.
The thing that really fascinated me about Jasons work was his use of technology. He started out creating his art on his ipad. Now he's onto digital augmentation and sculptures.
As awesome are his creations, and intriguing are his tools, he's also challenging social issues. Through his own self expression, Jason is breaking down barriers that disable people.
One of the stories you'll love in this episode is how he got an accessible loo installed in the United Arab Emirates. That's absolute change and improvement in the world!
In my latest podcast you'll meet the guy who's lived his own wildest dreams. From travelling around Europe, and having it made into a tv documentary. To working on the Olympic and Paralympic Games for a tv production company.
Dom is a very cool guy. He's currently working with assist-Mi, the app connecting disabled people and service providers (you may have seen this recent article where I tried out their train feature).
In bridging the gap between service providers and disabled consumers, I'm hopeful of further progress for inclusion and equality. By visualising a world where everyone can access mainstream good and services, we'll all seek out the answers. Businesses will seek out a more diverse market share. Disabled people will seek out the innovative companies catering to them.
From his traumatic early years with brittle bone disease. From his battle into independent living at university. Finally through his determination into employment. Dom is not only living his dreams. He's making a whole community of people's dreams come true.
I first came across Storme Toolis in the Inbetweeners. Although not by name. I just remember the scene by the swimming pool. Where the lads realised they were stealing her family's sunbed. Making her cry. However I found out she'd already had a far bigger break before...In this episode of The Martyn Sibley Show, we hear all about Stormes journey into acting. The dreams. The risk taking. The support. The set backs. Plus a bit about the future. She's gone onto work in social education, whilst still growing her acting career. Storme adapted Romeo and Juliet, in turn encouraging all women to love themselves more. Body confidence is so important in today's model filled adverts. Plus she starred in one of the naughty Maltesers adverts, that we all loved for its challenging of stereotypes. And it's cheekyness.We do conclude there's more work to be done. Storme goes to show, at the same time, its all there for the taking. If you dare to dream and go for it.
When Suzanne Bull from Attitude is Everything agreed to be on the podcast, I was so excited. I really wanted to know how the progress for accessible music venues had been made. What had been difficult and joyful in getting there. Also what else lay ahead in their plans.It was fascinating to hear how most large venues are so much better now. Also how it's the smaller venues that need advice and guidance on accessibility. Rome wasn't built in a day.I hope you enjoy listening to this episode. I came away feeling very uplifted. Music really gives a natural high. Something all people should experience. Both alone and in a big community. If you haven't been to a gig or festival, please make it happen. If you'd like to read more about Attitude is Everything. Particularly if you'd like to support them with mystery shopping (including free tickets to events) then go to http://www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk.
Recently I was lucky enough to interview Liz Sayce. Currently transitioning as CEO of Disability Rights UK to new adventures. It was a great time to look both back and forwards at the disability rights movement.In this podcast Liz talks about the early battles. The hard campaigns fought just for disabled people to be heard. Let alone to win political and legal gains. It wasn't easy, quick or simple. But the original activists did it. Disabled people eventually got their legislative protection - the Equalities Act 2012 as it is now.In this great interview we agree on two very fundamental points. Two points for disabled people's rights to be upheld and improved. All people (whether disabled or not actually), should have both community participation, and universal design.
Ruth Owen faced the many barriers all wheelchair users come up against in life. The steps. The attitudes. The processes. Ruth also lived in Africa for a while, later working in the UK tech business world, and now is CEO of the disability charity Whizz Kids. In our interview we explore the amazing journey Ruth has been on. Her insights into employment, empowering others, and changing the world for the better are fantastic. The two important areas Ruth advocates for are; inclusive transport, and individual responsibility for change. I know you're going to love hearing her explanation on these poignant topics.Please can you follow/rate the podcast, share it on social media, and let me know your thoughts on new guests? Much appreciated :-)
Can art change the world? In this podcast we meet the amazing Tony Heaton, CEO of Shape Arts.Hear how in his early days he managed music bands, dug deep for his true self, and went onto become a world famous sculpture.With Queens honours, a commission for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and a career full of impact. He's certainly done something right.It seems, after all, art really can change the world!
All too often people associate difference with being 'less'. We all seem hell bent on being 'normal'!Phil Friend went through 'special school', ended up being a social worker, and ultimately was made redundant. Having broke out of segregation, he worked hard as a social worker, and understandably felt despondent.It was his wife who pointed out the important thing that changed everything. Wondering what to do next, the answers seemed elusive. Until his 'asset' was highlighted.Maybe being disabled, with a chance to ring the career changes, and a drive to improve the world could work out very well after all.Enjoy Phils story!
It seemed apt to try and get the number 1 influential and successful disabled person from the Power 100 list. Well Sarah Storey is about as cool as you can get in the world of people with impairments.Britain's most decorated female Paralympian, with Queens honours, and a lovely personality. She's absolutely worthy of the award. But would she be my first podcast guest? Evidently she said yes 🙂In this interview you'll hear about Sarah's medal moments, tough training schedule, and hopes for the future. I interviewed her from my home in Cambridgeshire to her villa in Lanzarote. Where she was training. Oh how I love the internet.