Episode 23 - Steve JudgeA Life-changing accident that changed everything. Making Conversations about Speaking Count!
Steve Judge, Motivational Speaker & Paralympian
Making Conversations about Speaking Count!
Imagine losing your limbs in an accident.
That’s a real human test. Most people would fall into one of two camps.
Feel the loss, and struggle to overcome it, before essentially accepting your ‘job lot’ and just becoming a bit angry.
Many would. And they’d be forgiven.
Then there are others, who would not let it defeat them, or define them.
Steve Judge is definitely in the latter of the two camps.
Steve Judge is a legend that leans into adversity.
Following the devastating car accident which left Steve fighting in surgery to save his life, he’s made the decision to not lean on his excuses, and instead turn them into challenges.
As a result, he’s achieved so much.
Steve opens up on how one conversation made him more determined than ever before.
Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…
Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Twenty-Three
29th March 2021
Wendy Harris & Steve Judge
00:02:05: I don’t know how I’m going to do it!
00:03:34: Sounds like a nightmare, count me in
00:07:52: Right feedback; right people
00:09:41: Visualise, visualise, visualise
00:11:51: Where’s the accent?
00:13:20: how do you come across?
00:18:02: Growth is rocking the boat
00:19:31: No such thing as normal
00:24:08: Opportunities around us all the time
00:25:10: Steve’s pivotal conversation
00:28:30: Why isn’t your life brilliant, fantastic, awesome?
00:29:57: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Have you ever seen your life flash before your very own eyes? Well, if you have woken up and your world has changed overnight, you’re going to need the next half an hour with your favourite brew in your hand to sit back and listen to our next guest, who is going to be making conversations about speaking count.
I’m delighted to have professional speaker, Steve Judge, triple Paralympian join us on today’s episode. What a wonderful surprise last week when I opened my inbox to find a review from someone I don’t know, so thank you to Innerstate Agent for the wonderful words that really have given me great encouragement that I am reaching listeners that I don’t know personally. If I knew where you lived, I could have just dropped onto your doorstep and had an embarrassing moment with you, but thank you for leaving me in a state of absolute bliss last week.
I’d like to give you all a huge thank you for listening to the show. By sending me reviews, by hitting the follow or subscribe button on all the channels, means that the show is showing up in the charts which is a fantastic feeling and just a little bit of a teaser for you, my own pivotal conversation will be hitting the episodes very, very soon. I have a guest host and everything and I share all.
Without further ado, let’s introduce Steve Judge. Steve, please introduce yourself?
Steve Judge: Hi Wendy, international motivational speaker, bestselling author, coach as in transformational coach and speaker coach and I also run workshops and that’s a little bit about me. More about me is in my journey, but that’s an introduction of who I am.
Wendy Harris: In actual fact, Steve, I think the listeners will probably agree with me that there are lots of motivational speakers, there are lots of coaches; however it’s how you got to do that that makes you that motivational speaker and that coach that you are today. So, that journey is what has formulated the life that you lead now.
Steve Judge: Do you know what, anybody can tell you that they’re a speaker, and some people do, because anybody can speak. Now, if you’ve got the confidence to stand up on the stage or do it virtually then people are, “Wow, you’re a speaker”, it’s not about that though; it’s about there’s so much to speaking, to be called a professional speaker is very different than a speaker.
I’m kind of going around and about the table here, because it’s very straight; there is no certificate that you can get that says, “You are a qualified speaker”, and this is what I’ve learned over the years really. When I first became a speaker, I was working with the Scour Media Team. That contract finished and they said, “Steve, what are you going to do now?” I said, in a superman pose hands on hips looking to the future going, “I’m going to be a motivational speaker”, and they’re like, “Wow, that’s awesome, Steve. How are you going to do that?” I replied, “I haven’t got a clue. I have no idea. I don’t know how I’m going do it”.
By that stage, through my journey through my life I’d learned that if I wanted something enough, I’d make it happen. I’d find a way of doing it and one of the first things I did was I went to the Professional Speaking Association, it’s called the PSA, I went there, face-to-face meeting and the best thing there was you enter a room full of other speakers because it is a very strange job.
To be in a room where some people have made it, some people are just starting out, you’ve got all levels of experience and knowledge but they’re all in one room; so meeting them, shaking their hand, talking to them was amazing. They said, “Steve, we’d love you to join us. In your first year, if you decide to join, you can enter a competition, a speaking competition”. I was like, “Tell me more”, because I’m quite competitive, as you will find out later.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, me too.
Steve Judge: They said, “Okay, Steve, if you enter this competition, you stand up and you talk for five minutes, no PowerPoint or anything. At the end of it you will be judged by the speakers in the room on your performance, your stage performance, your memorability, your messages, stage craft etc”. I said, “Wow that sounds a nightmare”. I said, “Count me in”.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, because I just want to get it out, however it comes.
Steve Judge: Yeah, because it’s all about communication, it’s about getting it across the right way. They said, “If you win in the region, you go through to the semi-finals representing the region; and if you get through the semi-finals, you will end up on the stage of the conference at the end of the year, in front of 300 of the top speakers in the UK”. I said, “That’s where I want to be. I said I wanted to be a speaker, I guess that’s where I need to be. I want to be on that stage at the end of this year in front of those speakers”. So, I said, “Yes”.
I joined the PSA and I obviously rehearsed and practised and ready to perform in front of my peers and I did perform, did my five minutes. Five minutes is very, very difficult because you’re timed as in, if you run over time, you lose points so you’re constantly thinking, “Oh my goodness”. You can’t just speak for three minutes because then you’re not using it fully, so it’s all got to be rehearsed and timed.
Anyway, I did the thing, and I didn’t win, and I didn’t get through and I was absolutely gutted, but loads of the people came up to me, the speakers and said, “Steve, you’ve got an amazing story. You’ve obviously got the confidence but you’re not clinical, you’re not polished, you don’t know the takeaways or the stage craft or anything like this”. They gave me loads of feedback and I took that feedback on board and it was so vital because at that time, I could then go to another region and I could perform there, which is what I did. I went up to the North East.
After taking on the feedback, changing my speech, rehearsing absolutely loads, went there, competed and I won, and I got through. I still had people coming up to me and saying, “Steve, brilliant, but have you thought about this, have you thought about that? You could do this, you could do that”, and I said, “Tell me more. Tell me more, I need this feedback, I need to take it on board, I need to be a better communicator so that I can get my messages out there”.
I took it on board, rehearsed, went to the semi-finals, now I’m competing against ten other regions throughout the UK, competed and I got through to the final stage. To stand on that stage in my first year in front of 300 top speakers was amazing; very, very nerve-racking. I almost felt sick going onto the stage, but I did it. I didn’t win the whole event but that was not my goal; my goal was to get onto that stage to be seen, to be known, and I still have people coming to me and saying, “Steve, I remember you back in 2016 when you stood on the stage”, and I said, “Good that was what I wanted to do”.
Now, since then I’ve progressed more, obviously taking on feedback all the time and last year I was actually the President of the Professional Speaking Association in Yorkshire and had a blinding year, it was amazing, got loads of newcomers and my commitment is very much to help other people. Because I believe that every single person has got a story inside them and if they want to share that story, to help others, then I want to help them in the best way to do that with highs, with lows, with entertainment, with comedy, with memorability, with props; there are so many techniques that you can use and I know what those are now, so I want to share those with others.
As a speaker coach and workshops, that’s what I’m doing, that’s one of the roles that I do and I absolutely love it and then that is very much about communicating to the wider community about the knowledge and the expertise that you have got, again so you can help other people; it’s so vital.
Wendy Harris: It’s come full circle then in lots of ways?
Steve Judge: Yeah.
Wendy Harris: When you go to the PSA like you did, you surrounded yourself with the right kind of constructive criticism as well, so that’s really important isn’t it, to be around the people that you aspire to be like.
Steve Judge: Yeah, you end up being an average of the five people you spend most of your time with, so make sure those people are the people that you want to be. You’ve got to put a mix in, so you’ve got to make sure that you can mentor some people but also, you’re inspired by others. So by going there, there are a lot of people that were able to help me.
Don’t get me wrong, I had spoken before then, but all the feedback was, “Steve, you’re amazing”, “Steve, what a fantastic journey”, “Steve, you’re so confident standing on the stage”, it was all positive. My mum, my family, my friends, everybody in the audience and so you think that you’re really good; that feedback was from the wrong people.
Okay the audience are very important but it’s only when you get feedback from professionals, who know what they’re talking about, that’s when you’re going to get the right feedback and that is nerve-racking, that is out your comfort zone.
Wendy Harris: It’s taking that feedback as well, isn’t it, from pride, because these people know you and know your journey and see the leaps and bounds that you’ve made to get there. Friends and family will always give that support, won’t they? They’re the cheerleaders in the back, but it’s taking that feedback from, “That was great you’ve got such confidence”, to, “That was brilliant because”, and it’s that hook. What was it brilliant for? Why did I hang my hat on it? And that’s storytelling that will be passed on. I think that’s the most important part about storytelling; it’s why we love so many of the fairy tales. It’s because there is a structure to what’s happened in that journey that we follow.
Steve Judge: Absolutely, Wendy, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here on the podcast, is because somebody heard me speak two years ago.
Wendy Harris: Absolutely, yes,
Steve Judge: Clearly, it was very memorable, which is the whole point and she suggested me to you and now we’re speaking, so it’s working. What I’m doing is working.
Wendy Harris: If you follow the process, you’ll get to where you want to be and to be on that stage, when you visualise something, I think visualisation is a very powerful tool as well, isn’t it?
Steve Judge: Absolutely, I’ve used it throughout my journey, when I was going through rehabilitation as an elite athlete and now in my job as a professional speaker, I do visualisation every single morning as part of my routine, visualising what I want to achieve. Now that could be the day, the week, the month, the year, the five years, but I always visualise until I smile and then I open my eyes and then I get on with my day; but that is very important to me. I have a vision board and I have certain things that help me to remind myself to always have a vision and to seize opportunities, and it’s so important.
Wendy Harris: I had a quick look at your bio, because I try not to be too presumptive about my guests. Some of my guests I know, some I don’t, and I was really quite taken aback by your journey really in terms of that sentence in your bio that says, at 28, you had a devastating car accident. Now, you touched on just before, you were a professional athlete. What sport were you in?
Steve Judge: So, before the accident I wasn’t an athlete at all. When I left school, I used to work down the coal pits of Yorkshire.
Wendy Harris: Get away.
Steve Judge: I know, it usually catches a few people out. So I left school, I worked down the coal pits in Yorkshire, I realised that that wasn’t my goal to be there. I took myself to night class and to college and I trained as a mechanical engineer, so I was being given problems and finding solutions; that’s what I loved. Eventually, the pits closed down, I moved onto other jobs. I was working in construction; I was a health and safety inspector for nine years.
I mean I did sport, I loved running, running was my passion; I’d run everywhere and anywhere. I was good at it, but I was nowhere near elite, I wasn’t doing it for that I was doing it for PBs, personal bests, always a personal best, pushing myself all the time and keeping fit and healthy and just being in a local running club. That was my passion, but things changed; this car accident happened in 2002.
Wendy Harris: Without giving your story away too much, but you had to learn to walk and to talk again. I have a burning question, and this is just me being very, very curious; once you get to know me a bit better, you’ll realise why. If you’ve got to learn to talk again, clearly your roots are in Yorkshire, yet you don’t have a Yorkshire accent; so have you retrained yourself out of that?
Steve Judge: Not necessarily talk again, it was mainly just the standing and walking again, but my accent; you’re absolutely right. I was born in Hertfordshire and I moved up to Yorkshire when I was about nine years old, so I’ve lived up in Yorkshire the majority of my life, but they say that you never lose an accent if you’re proud of where you come from. So that’s why you can hear the Irish all over the world, because they’re very proud of where they come from; they never lose their accent.
Wendy Harris: This is true.
Steve Judge: It’s true, you also find that some northern people might move down to London to get a job and lose their accent because they want to blend in, or they just feel it’s necessary. You can lose an accent and I have lost my southern accent at times, but it’s always come back, and I think it’s now very much part of me; it’s my uniqueness. But yes, I probably lost it when I was working down the coalpits. It didn’t kind of blend in too well speaking with a posh accent; it’s not necessarily posh it’s a southern accent, but it does come across as posh.
Wendy Harris: I think you’ve got a lovely speaking voice and I think that really does help. When it comes to listening to people’s stories, if you’ve got somebody that’s nasally and whiny, you’re going to turn off a little bit, aren’t you?
Steve Judge: It is so important, and I think you can find these people when you go abroad. Some people just carry on talking as they normally would to the people in the country, the foreigners as we call them. I don’t; I immediately slow down, I immediately pronounce my words better, I don’t shout, which is a typical thing and where possible, I use a few of their words in the country. That’s because I want to be able to communicate with them; I’m thoughtful about how to do that. I can’t speak their language, but I’ll do as much as I can for them to understand what I’m saying the best way possible. When you’re on the stage, again you want that as well.
You’ve got to think about how you come across; are you going to be one of these speakers that shouts a lot and tells people what they need to do, they need to pull themselves together, etc; or are you going to explain that; are you going to be laissez-faire; are you going to swear? It’s a big decision sometimes. Some speakers swear, and they use it with passion and that can be okay; I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I do swear in the household but not all the time; on the stage, I never do. I don’t think it’s necessary and you don’t know where that’s going to go, especially with film clips and YouTube, you don’t know who could listen to it, so I just don’t think it’s necessary at times.
Wendy Harris: There’s a lady who’s been on the show before, Nicky Pattinson, she’s a northerner and she swears and in the first 30 seconds of the show, I lost count of how many bleeps there were. People have said that in context to her story, you don’t notice it; you notice it immediately but then you forgive it, so I think it depends on the context of you using different methods.
Steve Judge: She does, yeah, I know Nicky, she’s a friend of mine and initially it is a bit of a shock and then, you kind of get used to it a little bit. However, sometimes you think, “I don’t know if that was really necessary”, but that’s her, that’s who she is. What frustrates me is I’ve come across speakers who are very passionate, they’ve used a few swear words and then say, “Right, I’m going to use the c-word now, okay”, and then they say the c-word.
Wendy Harris: No.
Steve Judge: You think, “Don’t tell us you’re going to do it and then say it, because that says you’re in control of what you’re saying, so be in control and don’t use the c-word or the t-word or things like that”, it really is bizarre how people say things like that, but everybody is different, I guess.
Wendy Harris: I think it’s interesting because when you’re speaking, you’re holding the conversation, you’re holding the audience and you’re taking them on a journey without it being two-way. There is the interaction and responses that you get from an audience, but how do you cope with it just being like a monologue as such?
Steve Judge: Like it is now, with virtual? Oh, my goodness, it’s very, very challenging. So I say that because, on virtual, you can’t always see your audience, you can’t see their reaction, you can’t hear them because they’ve muted themselves and you’re literally looking into the camera; so, it is challenging.
What’s helped me is my confidence knowing that I’m a good speaker, I’ve done it on the stage and when you do it on stage you can see them smile, you can see them in shock, you can hear them laughing at the right times and you hear them clapping and gasping and all of that and raising their hand and all sorts of things. I know that I’ve got that inbuilt inside me so that I know that, when I’m doing it virtually, they will probably be doing exactly the same individually and that has really helped me.
If you were starting out in this game as a professional speaker or as a speaker, then it’d be really off-putting not knowing whether your jokes are getting laughs or whether people are actually listening or anything like that, so I think it comes with feedback and confidence within yourself knowing that you’re doing the right thing, but how do you get that confidence if you’re just starting out? I don’t know, I’m not in that situation at the moment but the one thing I would do or suggest if anybody’s thinking about starting out in speaking, or not too sure whether they’re coming across correctly, is film yourself.
It’s a big thing that all of us speakers do, we film ourselves not because we love ourselves. We film ourselves and then we play it back on ourselves and we watch it and it’s hard. You think, “Why am I doing this? I know what I was like, I’ve just been there doing it, why am I watching it”, but you will see the little niggles that come out; the times you say, “er” or you touch your ear all the time or you repeat yourself.
It’s really frustrating when you hear speakers that repeat the same thing three times, not to get a point across just because —
Wendy Harris: Trying to catch up with where they are in their rehearsed pattern.
Steve Judge: — it’s kind of in their monologue, absolutely. Yeah, I’m speaking today and I’m really excited about it and I’m going to put something new in and it’s making me a little bit nervous, because mine is very much scripted and rehearsed. It doesn’t come across as scripted, it comes across as very from the heart, but I know what I’m saying; so I’m going to put something new in and this is what you do as a speaker. You are constantly moulding it and changing it and adapting it and make it better and better and better, so I’m going to put something in today and it’s made me really nervous. Half of me is thinking, “Steve, just don’t bother, don’t change it, don’t rock the boat”.
Wendy Harris: That’s growth, that’s where the growth comes from though, isn’t it? The nervousness is because you care; when you stop being nervous is, I suppose, the time where you have to think, “Do I really care what it is that I’m doing?”
Steve Judge: Yeah, absolutely, it is about pushing yourself forward all the time and thinking, “What more can I do?” This came to me last week and I thought, “I’ve really got to put that in, I don’t know if I really want to; yes, I do want to. I really want to, I think it would really help the audience, it will give them another takeaway; I’m going to put it in”. After this podcast, I’m going to do some rehearsals, give myself some confidence boosting and then I’m going to deliver it later today at 5.00.
Wendy Harris: I’ll be your first guinea pig.
Steve Judge: I’ve obviously got the confidence; the rest of my keynote is brilliant, so it will still be a brilliant keynote and this one little extra thing won’t make it terrible; but it’d be nice if people pick up on it because if they do, then I can move forward with it.
Feedback comes in various different waves and beginning of 2020 I did a talk, and a few people mentioned this one bit in my talk, and I thought, “Right, that’s really good, I’m going to have to keep going”, but they didn’t mention this other thing which I really like. Since then, I’ve dropped that because if they’re not remembering it or commenting on it, then maybe I need to drop it and it’s so hard because I really like it and instead, I’ve got just grown this other thing that people are talking about. You’ve got to listen to the audience, it’s not about you apparently, it’s about the audience and around what they like and what they get what their takeaways are.
Wendy Harris: Your keynote is very much based on your journey through life after the car accident and things like that. You’ve gone on to do some incredible things, Steve, tell us how did you fall into paratriathlons?
Steve Judge: My left leg got ripped apart at the knee, my right leg got partially amputated. I had to grow my leg back basically, my right leg by four inches. I had a cage round it, I had to extend my leg a millimetre a day.
Wendy Harris: I’ve seen the pictures.
Steve Judge: Have you? Yeah, it’s horrendous isn’t it, like torture.
Wendy Harris: How do you deal with that?
Steve Judge: It’s very much about having a vision. We’ve talked about visualisation already; my vision was to stand again and to walk again; that’s what I wanted. I was passionate about it; as a human being, I wanted to stand again. I’m six foot one, so sat in a wheelchair, I didn’t want that; so that’s what drove me forward every day.
Wendy Harris: No, your knees would be up by your shoulders, it wouldn’t be a good look.
Steve Judge: No, it wouldn’t not really. I had to twist bolts on that cage every single day, lengthening my leg bit by bit, stretching the skin and the muscle and the ligaments; but when I got to that stage, I then had to grow my leg. I had to grow my bone, so there was no bone in the gap which is bizarre. To grow bone, you had to stand on my leg even though there was no bone in it and just trust this cage that was holding it together.
To do all of that you can imagine the mind over matter, but it’s about having that vision again; what are you doing this for? Why are you pushing yourself through this pain? Because I want this goal that I’ve set myself, to stand on it, to walk on it, to do all the physio, to do the rehabilitation. When the cage came off, I was able to stand and walk; I thought I’d be back to normal, that was my goal, I want to be back to normal and I realised that at that stage, I was very different to what I was before the accident. My left leg had got limited movement and feeling; my right leg, my ankle was pretty much solid; I had so much pain and I realised then that there is no such thing as normal and it’s a big message that I talk about.
There is no such thing as normal and you’ve got to stop comparing yourself to others, to your friends, to your families, to celebrities. Everyone is different and I realised that I had to start thinking about what I could do, rather than what I couldn’t do; so I started being very active. I always had this passion that I didn’t want the accident to have had a detrimental effect on my life, that is what I was running away from, but my goal was to find out what I could do. So I started swimming, I started cycling, setting myself goals in those sports and pushing forward just for charity.
Then I was looking for another event and I found this thing called a paratriathlon; swim, bike and run. Now, I hadn’t run for seven and a half years; that had been stolen from me because of the accident. I went down to get vetted because it was a paratriathlon, so triathlon for disabled people; and they assessed me and they said, “Steve can you run?” I said, “Not yet”. I didn’t have a goal for that; my goal was in the swimming and the cycling and now I had a goal to complete this triathlon, in any way, in any hook or crook, even just walking round so I said, “I will try”, and I set off.
I can remember running for the first time my brain knew what to do, but my legs couldn’t quite keep up and I was looking down and I was running again and just smiling and looking down at my legs and just thinking, “This is amazing”. But the thing is, I was in so much pain once I’d stopped the running, not while I was running because of the adrenalin the endorphin, but when I stopped running that’s when the pain hit and so the next day I couldn’t run. So, I thought about what I could do rather than what I couldn’t do and I swam; and the day after that, I still couldn’t run so I cycled; and the day after that the pain had subsided, so I ran again, because I loved to run.
That was my training montage that took me all the way up to the first triathlon in 2009, it was a British Championships, it was down the local lake. Meeting the other Paratriathletes was amazing. These people had missing legs, missing arms, visually impaired or completely blind doing a triathlon. So we set off, the horn goes off, we do the swim, we do the bike, on the run section I’m running round 5K now, my legs are now working as hard as they can and I can see there at the sidelines everybody cheering me on; my mum was there, my brother, my sister, they were standing up, they were waving their hands and I ran through that finish line. Like I said, running away from the accident, running away from the pain and the discomfort that I had, but running towards that finish line and crossing that line was just absolutely amazing.
People have asked, “What does it feel like?” Because on that day I became British Champion, and what it felt like, it felt like a relief; a relief after the heartache that I’d been through, the rehabilitation and the training and the torment and the pain that I’ve put myself through; it was a real finish line for me. But, there lies the next part of the story, because that was my visualisation to succeed in that, but somebody came up to me and said, “Steve, you’re British Champion”. They said, “Would you like to represent Great Britain?” and I said, “Hell, yeah, I would love to represent Great Britain”.
The thing is, there are opportunities around us all the time, you’ve got to see them, you’ve got to hear them and when you do, you’ve got to do something about it and grab hold of them with both hands. You’ve got to take action and move yourself forward, and so that’s what I was willing to do; and so I had to set new goals and new visions.
Wendy Harris: Steve, I am sitting here, I’ve got goosebumps a little bit, because just to be able to almost stick your fingers up at what had happened and say, “I beat that and what’s next, bring it on”. I’m a big action girl, people will sit around me and talk about different things and I will listen and that’s fine, I think that’s a good thing to do; but if they start talking about the same thing again, I get frustrated, so I have to start taking action because it’s clear that they’re not.
If my family, for example, say to me, “I’d quite like to go and watch Hairspray at the theatre”, I’ve booked the tickets because there’s no point in having that, “I’d like to”, there’s nothing stopping us from doing it other than somebody taking action and I think that’s really important.
From all of those different things going on and representing Great Britain, some of the conversations that you must have had, not just with yourself but with other people who are perhaps worrying that you’re taking on too much, must have been fraught, it must have been challenging. But I ask everybody that comes on the show, there has to be one conversation that created a turning point for you. Is there one that sticks in your mind on the journey that you’ve been on, Steve?
Steve Judge: The one that jumps into my mind is when I was in the rehabilitation, I’d just gone into hospital, they had done the first operation and I’d come out and I’d woken up, opened my eyes and that’s when the surgeon came over to me and he said, “How are you feeling?” I said, “I feel terrible, and I feel really groggy”. He says, “I just want to let you know, Mr Judge, that we managed to save your legs the best we could, but I am afraid with the severity of your injuries, you may never walk again”.
Those are the words that I heard and it’s horrible and I think at that stage it’s very much a fight or flight in the sense that, the flight would have been for me to just roll over in bed and give in and say, “Okay, I guess I’ll never walk again”, but there was something inside me, some anger, some fire that said, “Who are you? Who are you to tell me that I may never walk again?” I always say that anger’s a good thing, as long as you use it correctly. Impatience is a good thing, as long as you use it correctly and that was a turning point for me to really push forward and prove him wrong, prove the surgeon wrong and I’ve used that throughout; and there’s been times when I was competing as an elite athlete and I wanted to become a world champion.
I remember one conversation we were having an argument with my partner and she said, “I hope you lose”, and that again just tore me apart, but eventually I picked myself up and I would prove her wrong. I went out to Beijing and I competed there against athletes from around the world and I became a world champion. Again, it’s running down that home straight —
Wendy Harris: I was watching you because I’d had my daughter that year. It was just Olympics for the whole of those first few months, so I get a little alarm bell going, “Wendy, you were watching that”.
Steve Judge: It’s when somebody says that I can’t do something, that’s what lights my fire in a way or ignites it. I get very angry and passionate. Let’s talk about what’s going on at the moment with the Pandemic and Covid-19, it’s trying to close me down, it’s trying to stop my business. I’m a speaker, I go to face-to-face meetings, big conferences of hundreds of thousands of people, not anymore because of Covid-19.
That really makes me angry and frustrated, but I will not quit, I will not give in. I will do it virtually, I will work on my workshops for goal setting and goal achieving, I will work on my one-to-ones, I’ll do an e-learning course, I will do anything and everything to make sure that my business is still alive. Presenting online, I will do that, and I will do that even better. I’m doing it now with sound effects and props and all sorts.
Wendy Harris: You phrased it as, “I will do anything to work on my business”. In actual fact what you’re doing is far deeper seated than that; it is making sure that you keep that flame lit. It’s that passion that you have in terms of helping people and being able to reach people, that keeps your business going.
Steve Judge: Yeah.
Wendy Harris: That’s what people kind of forget sometimes. It’s not about necessarily keeping the business going, it’s like what drives you, isn’t it?
Steve Judge: It’s my “why”. My why is very much to help people to experience the happiness and fulfillness of achieving their true-life goals. Put another way, it frustrates the hell out of me when people don’t achieve their self-actualisation. These are the type of people where you say, “How are you? How’s your job?” They go, “So, so; jobs a job”. “How’s your relationship?” “Yeah, that’s okay”. “How’s your health?” “It’s okay”, that’s wrong. It should be, “Brilliant, fantastic, awesome”. Why is it not? What are you not doing?
I want to help those people to make their lives better, to find out what they really want, find out what their passion, their fire is and then give them the tools to actually help them to achieve it and achieve their self-actualisation in this world.
I went through a lifechanging experience because of my car accident and I think that woke me up to we do only get one life. I was very much about goal-setting before and doing things and keeping fit and healthy, but I think the accident has emphasised everything. Now, I really want to go full throttle, full throttle becoming world champion, full throttle becoming an entrepreneur and helping other people, being a professional speaker, international speaker. What more can I do in this world?
Somebody said, “Have you got a book?” I said, “No”, so I set that as a goal, I have now written my own book. I’m now an author of a best-selling book. The book is called, “Don’t lean on your excuses”, because this is what a lot of people do and I want to help them instead turn those excuses into challenges and move forward.
Wendy Harris: Despite the situation that we’re in currently, it is that fight or flight. I know for myself last year, everything fell through the floor and I just knuckled down, got a best-selling book, now got a podcast, I’m able to talk to inspirational people like you, Steve. This is what we do, is we make the best of a terrible situation and hopefully in light of what we’re doing, that we help others along the way.
Steve Judge: Yeah and that’s what I really want to do, so if I can help anybody this is what I really want to do and it’s up to them to ask for help and I know that’s not the easiest thing.
Wendy Harris: First step.
Steve Judge: But if you are wanting help, please do it. There are various ways you can contact me. I’ve got a website www.steve-judge.co.uk, but more than that; social media. I’m everywhere, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, there really are no excuses to lean on if you want to contact me. Please do and let’s see if I can help you out, which I’m sure I will.
Wendy Harris: All of that six foot one has got enough inches there to support everybody; do get in touch with him please. Steve, it’s been an absolute delight to listen to your story and to be able to chat with you about your experiences.
Make sure you go to the podcast page www.makingconverationscount.studio/podcast and hit the follow button. Every Thursday will be a new guest landing into your favourite platform so that you don’t miss an episode ever. If this is your first time, do go back and listen to previous guests; there are some fantastic conversations where business leaders really do sink back into what has happened for them and how they’ve overcome things.
Make sure you follow www.makingconversationscount.studio/podcast. You’ve been listening to Wendy Harris, best selling author and trainer of 30 years.
HOW TO CONTINUE MAKING CONVERSATIONS COUNT…
We don’t want the conversation to stop there!
- If you have listened and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review. Every time someone leaves a good review a little happy dance is done!
- Wendy’s best-selling Training Handbook can be bought here – “Making Conversations Count: How to sell over the phone”
- If you want to carry on the conversation with Wendy, get in touch to book a free ChinWAG.
- To stay up to date with all of the latest episodes, subscribe to our Making Conversations Count email newsletter.
All of our listeners are important to us, so we would love it if you can connect with Wendy on LinkedIn and send her a message with your favourite episode!
BROWSE ALL EPISODES
Hear what people are saying about the show
I love this podcast. The guests you have on all bring something new to the conversation and definitely thought-provoking.
Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.
Thanks for sharing your guests with us Wendy, the podcasts are brilliant.
I always enjoy listening to Wendy’s Making Conversations Count podcast and admire her talent for drawing out people’s stories and getting to the heart of things for finding out what makes them tick.
We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.
It’s those details that we connect to and come to more understanding of why people do what they do.
Love this podcast series. It’s a great idea to have a theme of ‘pivotal conversations’ and the variety of guests from massively different backgrounds keeps it fresh and interesting.
Wendy is a natural host and makes people feel at ease to share their stories.