#ALB 57 – The Man who stood on an IED

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Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast #57

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#ALB 57 – The Man who stood on an IED

Who is Mark Ormrod?


 On Christmas Eve, 2007 Royal Marines Commando, Mark Ormrod was out on a routine foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when he stepped on and triggered an Improvised Explosive Device. He was airlifted via helicopter to an emergency field hospital when an innovative and dangerous procedure saved his life. He woke up three days later back in the UK with both legs amputated above the knee and his right arm amputated above the elbow. He was the UK’s first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict. Doctors told Mark that he’d never walk again and that he should prepare himself for the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Mark thought otherwise, though. And he hasn’t used a wheelchair since 2009.

 Today, Mark Ormrod is a motivational speaker, performance coach, mentor and role model to other amputees, and an ambassador for the Royal Marines Association. He’s also the star of a documentary called “No Limits,” gold medal winning athlete at the Invictus Games, and is currently writing the follow up to his 2010 autobiography, “Man Down.”


Mark the Royal Marine….


 Mark joined the Marines heated and focused and just wanted to grow as an individual and squeeze the most out of this short time that we get on the planet. Mark finished his training when he was 18. Just a young lad, who by his own admission put a green beret on his head, and thought he was Rambo. Mark spent a couple of years just enjoying it. He was born and bred here in Plymouth. He say’s “once you earn that beret you walk around your chest out a little bit”, he got in a little bit in trouble, the first couple years, but then he knuckled down, and got focused. Mark has always been that kind of forward driven kind of way.

 Mark the Marine, in the beginning, young, loving life, full of energy. Just out there being a lad. As we all do as we get older and we progress in our careers and our lives, we mature a little bit.

Mark made a lot more mistakes back then, but he learnt from them, and moved on, some of the quote-unquote failures that he experienced, and the mistakes that he made, made Mark feel a bit down about them, but as he’s got older he’s realised, they weren’t really failures, as he’s learnt from them, they were mistakes, but again, he’s learnt from them.

People always ask Mark has he always been this way, has he always been motivated, driven, and the short answer is yes.

But from his perspective, it took him losing both his legs and right arm for him to see it.


Mark’s first taste of combat…..


Mark was 19 when he had his first taste of combat. He had started his training in February 2001. 62 young lads started, only 12 of them made it through the training.

Four weeks before Mark finished his training, and was halfway through the live fire exercises, he was in the NAAFI and witnessed 9-11.

So Mark passed out and become a Royal Marine, it was looking likely that Mark would be deploying to Afghanistan early 2002 for ‘Operation Jacana’. Now, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen to the scale it was meant to be. It became quite a SS, Special Forces kind of thing.

So Mark didn’t go after all, but then Iraq came around 2003. That then became his focus, Mark was one of the first guys on the ground, working out of what’s called now 30 Commando. Mark spent a couple weeks in Kuwait, just waiting, sat in trenches, just on that border of Kuwait, Iraq, ready to go over, he got given the signal and went.

Mark came away from that tour feeling a little bit disappointed. He was all geared up, ready to put to test everything he had been training for but that didn’t happen, he thought he was going to be down on his belt buckle with a bayonet in his teeth crawling through the sand and doing this for three months solid, because he was a young lad and thought that’s what going to war was.


What happened next?


So, Mark came home, despite the lack of activity in Iraq he still felt like he had evolved a lot. He went to Norway a couple of times, endured some survival training out in the snow. Mark then boxed for the Marines a spot had come up for the boxing team, and he thought that would be all right, he would do a little bit of training in the morning and go home in the afternoon. He underestimated that, four hours every morning, four hours every afternoon for eight weeks solid.

But Mark began to think about the fact, he hadn’t really done what it was that he wanted to do. His first daughter Kezia came along early 2005 and the combination led to Mark making the decision to leave the Royal Marines in early in 2006.

Mark ended up working as a night doorman for a little bit. Mark was entitled to some money through the re-education system in the military, and flew out to South Africa, to retrain as a bodyguard, he was now 22 years old at that point, and thought he’d be walking around in an Armani suit, talking into his cuff, diving around protecting celebrities and that isn’t what the job entails. In fact he struggled to get a job , despite having a green beret, despite having experience at war, despite having qualified at a really prestigious close protection training school in South Africa people wouldn’t take him on, because he didn’t know anybody to get my foot in the door.


Time to re-join the Royal Marines……….


So, after a little period of soul searching, life not going great, really not happy with the way things were heading, Mark decided to re-join the Marines, which he did early 2007. He re-joined to 40 Commando who are based up in Taunton, and were next in the roster to go to Afghanistan. Mark did have a choice where he could have gone, it was either the Commando training centre in Exmouth which is a non-deployable unit, or 40 Commando who are next on the rotation. And he kind of felt it would have been a good tour for him.

He didn’t know what to expect. He was basing it on my tour in Iraq, but because his life wasn’t where he wanted it to be, he thought it would be healthy to get out of the country, just get away from all the distractions and things going on, reassess his life, reprioritize, come back and take it in a more positive direction. So, he asked to go to 40 Commando, Mark got to the unit, went through all the pre-deployment training, and he knew from the minute he did that it was going to be different because the training was different. It was a lot more intense, a lot more in detail.

Mark deployed for Afghanistan the 7th of September, 2007.


Christmas Eve 2007 – 


Christmas Eve, Mark and a group of his friends were called up to the headquarters compound and given a brief on the next foot patrol. It was a very brief brief, because the idea was that we they would leave the rear entrance of their camp in two sections with eight men in each section. One goes north, one goes south. They were told to patrol the immediate perimeter of the camp and not go any more than 300 metres. Before that, these patrols would be out for four, five, six miles. Eight, nine, ten hours. It was just a quick get your boots out on the ground, show the enemy watching you that you’re still out there doing something, even though we’re not really doing anything, come back in the front entrance of the camp, so now the opposite side, and then you have a couple of days R&R, open your cards and care packages from home, and try your best to enjoy Christmas, given the circumstances.

When Mark and his fellow marines had nearly completed this routine foot patrol, Mark was required to get down on to his stomach, and as his right knee hit the floor, he knelt on and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device.

Mark goes into detail about what happened immediately after this happened in the podcast.


Strict procedures and processes got Mark out of there quickly and safely……


The team completely followed the procedure, from a military perspective, the key is discipline. It’s the discipline that’s beaten into them from day one. That there are these procedures and systems in place for a reason. And the reason is, it saves lives. And that’s exactly what it did for Mark that day.


Mark is told he will never walk again……….. 


Mark spent about four days trying to process what the Dr had told him and then figured out a plan forward. He didn’t know anything about being disabled. About six days after a guy came to visit Mark. His name was Mick Brennan, he had been injured in Iraq 2005. He walked into the hospital room with two prosthetic legs above the knee And he sat down and told Mark his story, told Mark what he had achieved, what Mark could expect to achieve. Mark started to research  triple amputees, prosthetics, just searching all over the world to see anybody who had his injuries that was living their life without being confined to a wheelchair. And he found some people and that was a massive motivator.

In that instant, the impossible became possible.

What Mark has achieved since is truly remarkable, but you will have to click play to discover just how remarkable.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

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John Lamerton - Hey everybody, welcome to episode 57 of the Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast. Today we are going to be talking with Mark Ormrod about his journey and we're going to talk a lot about books today as well. So, if you are interested in books and you want to get into personal development, have a look at my top 80 books list. You can get this at the website, bigidea.co.uk/books and you'll get the top 80 books that I've read. That sounds like a lot of books, but I've read close to 1000 books and these are the best of the best so motivation books, tactical productivity, if you want to work on your mindset, your health, your sales, your marketing, whatever, there'll be something in that list for you. So, anyway on to today's guest, that is Mark Ormrod. On Christmas Eve, 2007 Royal Marines Commando, Mark Ormrod was out on a routine foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when he stepped on and triggered an Improvised Explosive Device. He was airlifted via helicopter to an emergency field hospital when an innovative and dangerous procedure saved his live. He woke up three days later back in the UK with both legs amputated above the knee and his right arm amputated above the elbow. He was the UK's first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict. Doctors told Mark that he'd never walk again and that he should prepare himself for the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Mark thought otherwise, though. And he hasn't used a wheelchair since 2009. Today, Mark Ormrod is a motivational speaker, performance coach, mentor and role model to other amputees, and an ambassador for the Royal Marines Association. He's also the star of a documentary called "No Limits," gold medal winning athlete at the Invictus Games, and is currently writing the follow up to his 2010 autobiography, "Man Down." Please welcome to the podcast, Mark Ormrod.

John Lamerton - How are you doing?

Mark Ormrod - Good to see you.

Jason Brockman - Very good.

Mark Ormrod - That's a hell of an intro you gave me, by the way.

John Lamerton - I know, I barely got there. And then so, no pressure.

Mark Ormrod - I know, I hate that motivational speaker title. I find it very American.

John Lamerton - Yeah, yeah.

Mark Ormrod - Like, it should be going out high-fiving people, and hugging them, but really it's just me telling stories on a stage. But yes, it's part of what I do, and I enjoy it. So, thank you for the great intro.

John Lamerton - But you're changing people's lives. I know what you mean by motivational speaker, 'cause everyone thinks it's tummy rubbing, it's rah-rah, it's let's turn the music up, everyone, I've been to some in the UK, but stand up on your chairs, and get clapping, and we're like, we're British.

Mark Ormrod - I know.

John Lamerton - We'll sit here and give you a polite round of applause.

Mark Ormrod - Yep. No, I remember my first Tony Robbins event, and I was looking around like, no one's going to do this, this was in London. But they all got involved, they got sucked in. By the end of three days, everyone was hugging and high-fiving and you've been Americanized.

John Lamerton - Awesome.

Mark Ormrod - Yes! Everything was awesome.

John Lamerton - So, quick note of warning for the listeners. I don't know if you've picked up on Mark's accent, he is from Plymouth, and so we have now got three Janners sat around this table. we did our sound check earlier, and we said that we're all thrasters, we're all buheez.

Mark Ormrod - Innit, bey, geddon.

John Lamerton - Yep, so if today's podcast descends into right bey, Right, yep, right mate.

Mark Ormrod - You have been warned.

John Lamerton - So one thing I'm interested, Mark, is what was Mark Ormrod the Marine like?

Mark Ormrod - Do you know what? I've talked about this a lot. It's a little bit strange to say, 'cause I don't want to sound rude when I'm saying it, but people always say, the situation I'm in now, have I always been this way, have I always been motivated, driven, and the short answer is yes. But from my perspective, it took me losing both my legs and my arm for me to see it. So when you say, what was Mark Ormrod the Marine like, I wasn't much different to what I'm like now. There was the first couple years of my career.

Mark Ormrod - I finished my training when I was 18. So I'm a young lad, you put a green beret on my head, I think I'm Rambo. Spent a couple of years just enjoying it. I was born and bred here in Plymouth like you just discussed, and so I know a lot of people once you earn that beret you walk around your chest out a little bit, and got a little bit in trouble, the first couple years, but then I knuckled down, and I got focused. I've always been that kind of forward driven kind of way. So yeah, Mark the Marine, in the beginning, young, loving life, full of energy. Just out there being a lad. As we all do as we get older and we progress in our careers and our lives, we mature a little bit, apparently. And you settle down.

John Lamerton - Do you?

Mark Ormrod - Well, apparently you do. You know that was, off topic slightly but, one of the things someone said to me early in my career in the Marines is, it's like being Peter Pan but they give you a gun, 'cause you don't ever grow up. Yeah, no, it's just always kind of this way. Just go in the Marines heated and focused and just wanted to grow as an individual and squeeze the most out of this short time that we get on this planet.

Jason Brockman - Ultimately, sort of go, you just went for 100 mph, exactly the same then as you do now?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah. I made a lot more mistakes back then, 'cause I was younger, but you learn from them, you move on, and hopefully you don't make them again.

John Lamerton - Did you learn from them at the time? Or was that hindsight of being 20 years older now?

Mark Ormrod - No, definitely did not learn at the time. Like a lot of people, I think, some of the quote-unquote failures that I experienced, and the mistakes that I made, you get a bit down about them, and you dwell on them a little bit, but as you get older you realise, well, they weren't really failures, if you learn from them, they were mistakes, but again, if you learn from them, you don't make them again, it's not a complete negative thing. And I find that I didn't know I knew that, to look at things that way, until now when I'm older. Yeah, but it was fun. It was fun.

John Lamerton - I'll bet. Going to different places, and the same machine gun on your back?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, I mean, the first taste of combat I got was at 19. So I started my training in February 2001. 62 of us start, you start out 30, it was 30 weeks back then, it's 30 now. 62 of us started, only 12 of us made it as what we called originals, which is from day one, to earning your green beret without getting an injury, without failing to meet the criteria and all that kind of stuff. So we joined in February 2001, finished in October 2001.

John Lamerton - That's an interesting time to be qualified.

Mark Ormrod - Exactly. Right, so four weeks before we finished, when we've done all the Commando tests, we're halfway through the live fire exercises, just about to go into the phase where you do all the marching and everything, and getting ready to pass out, we're in the NAAFI and we witness 9-11. So everyone's like, guess where you boys are going in a couple weeks? Being young, and again, thinking you're invincible, and you're Rambo, you get excited about it. Like, this is what we joined for. And this is perfect that this early in our career is when we get the chance to put all these skills you've hammered into us over 30 weeks to the test. So passed out, pretty much straight away out of training I was through pre-deployment training to go to Afghanistan early 2002 on something called Operation Jacana. Now, for whatever reason, that didn't happen to the scale it was meant to be. It became quite a SS, Special Forces kind of thing. So we didn't go, even after going through all the training, and then Iraq came around 2003. That then became our focus, and we did go on that. I think it was March 2003 I was one of the first guys, everyone says this, but I was one of the first guys out there on the ground, working out of what's called now 30 Commando, so those barracks down in Plymouth. And spent a couple weeks in Kuwait, just waiting, sat in trenches, just on that border of Kuwait, Iraq, ready to go over. Got given the signal and went.

John Lamerton - Is there a lot of waiting around?

Mark Ormrod - Oh, that's all our military is, hurry up and wait. On the bus, off the bus. Get on the plane, off the plane. That's 90% of what it is.

John Lamerton - But it's being ready, it's waiting and being at the ready at a moment's notice?

Mark Ormrod - I mean, you get that green light, then it's kinetic as hell for a short amount of time and then you go back and you wait again. But that tour left me a little bit disappointed. I was right with the HQ element, which is generally, I would say logistic style stuff, and planning and operating, where 2 Commando went in, and they took Palace, 40 Commando went in and they took over the oil fields, and I kind of just stayed around the Kuwait Iraq area working out of as by a Naval base not seeing a great deal. I didn't fire one round in anger, generally when you went and kicked a door down, the people just gave up straight away. There was no fighting. They would surrender. You'd take them away and someone would deal with them. Spent three months effectively sunbathing, listening to the conflict going on up North farther, seeing fighting going on in the distance, but not getting involved in it. 'Cause that wasn't my role. That's why I'm always attached to a medical branch, active casualties and stuff. So I came home and I was like, That wasn't what I thought.

John Lamerton - You felt like you'd just had two weeks of all inclusive?

Mark Ormrod - Well, honestly--

John Lamerton - That's got to be my version of you, because actually, you're all geared up for this, you've been training for, you're all geared up for the aggression and all of the shooting and stuff and you go there and spend some time not doing any of that, and then you get sent home again. It's like, what have I just done all of that for?

Mark Ormrod - It's worse when your friends, friends that I went to school with here, in Plymouth and Dartmoor that were at 42 Commando, 40 Commando, up there doing the business and there's nothing worse than when you're sat at the back and you want to be up there with them, but you're not allowed. I thought I was going to be down on my belt buckle with a bayonet in my teeth crawling through the sand and doing this for three months solid, because I was a young lad and I thought that's what going to war was.

Jason Brockman - And 30 weeks training to do that.

Mark Ormrod - And the pre-deployment training leading up to that deployment, all the lectures you go to, the different training you do all over the country, jumping out of helicopters, and what we call FIBUA, fighting in built up areas and running around made up houses in Wales shooting up rooms and stuff. You think you're going to do all of that stuff. And then you don't do that.

John Lamerton - You have to be bored now, just jumping out of a window and across the way.

Mark Ormrod - Right, not quite to that one, we didn't put a Hollywood spin on it. Yeah, and then you get there and you're kind of day by day waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping, and the next thing you know it's, "Well, lads, we're going back home now." And you're quite deflated. So I came home. I came back for two months. I said already about I enjoy growth, personal growth and development, and I came back and I felt despite the lack of activity on my part out there, I still felt like I'd evolved a lot. 'Cause I'd been out there and I'd seen it, and I'd experienced it and I'd been semi-involved in it, and then you come back here, back to normal life, and it was just strange that before you'd be at a night club, again, as a young lad, maybe someone big, and looks tough, maybe he's drunk and you get that fight or flight adrenaline and then you come back and you're in that same situation and nothing. You're just calm about it. You're like, well, it's just an idiot being drunk, and you think a lot more confident now, I can deal with that. Even without just talking, I can just confidently talk someone down and I felt different. But ultimately I didn't really done what it was that I wanted to do, so, that eventually led to me leaving early in 2006. Yeah. I came back, I started thinking, what am I going to do in my career? Did the usual things, I went to Norway a couple of times. I had some survival training out in the snow. Boxed for the Marines for a bit. 'Cause I thought that this spot came up for the boxing team, and I thought that would be all right, I'll do a little bit of training in the morning and go home in the afternoon. Wrong answer. Four hours every morning, four hours every afternoon, eight weeks solid.

John Lamerton - Wow.

Mark Ormrod - Just hammering myself. And then I had a baby. My daughter Kezia came along early 2005 so I decided to leave. Unfortunately, that didn't work out with Kezia's mother but I was kind of, in my mind, after putting my twelve months notice in, I was already a civilian. So I continued down that road not really knowing what I was going to do. Ended up working as a night doorman for a little bit. And then I took some money, an inheritance money that my grandparents had gave me, and some money that you're entitled to through the reeducation system in the military, flew out to South Africa, I retrained as a bodyguard because I thought then, I think I was 22 years old at that point, I thought I'd be walking around in an Armani suit, talking into my cuff, diving around protecting celebrities and that isn't what the job entails. And I couldn't even get a job. I was 22 years old, despite having a green beret, despite having experience at war, despite having qualified at a really prestigious close protection training school in South Africa people wouldn't take me on, because I didn't know anybody to get my foot in the door. So after a little period of soul searching, life not going great, really not happy with the way things are headed, I decided to rejoin the Marines, which I did early 2007. Now, when I rejoined, one of the units, 40 Commando who are based up in Taunton, they were next in the roster to go to Afghanistan. I had a choice where I could have gone, and it was either the Commando training centre in Exmouth which is a non-deployable unit, or 40 Commando who are next on the rotation. And I kind of felt it would have been a good tour for me. I didn't know what to expect. I was basing it on my tour in Iraq, but because my life wasn't where I wanted it to be, I thought it would be healthy to get out of the country, just get away from all these distractions and things going on, reassess my life, reprioritize, come back and take it in a more positive direction. So I asked to go to 40 Commando. And so again, I got to the unit, we went through all the pre-deployment training, and I knew from the minute we did that it was going to be different because the training was different. It was a lot more intense, a lot more in detail. Just, you know, the next level up from what we did for Iraq. And then September we deployed. Mm-hmm. Yeah, 7th of September, 2007.

John Lamerton - So that's three months later?

Mark Ormrod - Yep.

John Lamerton - That's when the accident happened. Do you want to, I know obviously you've talked about this many, many times. Do you want to give us in your own words, the brief?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

John Lamerton - What happened on that day?

Mark Ormrod - So initially we flew out the 7th of September, I went to a place called Bastion, what you generally do some people will stay there for their entire tour, six months there. Other guys it's just a holding station, where you will acclimatise to the weather, you will run some more training serials, out in the heat with all the kit on, to make sure that you can get your body ready for that. Your equipment has to be carefully maintained in a different way in the desert as it would be to here. Oiling, and all that kind of stuff, so you get all your kit and equipment ready, and then generally you get thrown in the back of a helicopter, and flown out to what's called a FOB, forward operating base, in Helmand, Kajaki, and all these places. So that's what I did. I got there, spent four days acclimatising, attending lectures, checking all my kit and equipment over, getting them ready. And then me and a group of guys were thrown in the back of a Chinook, and flown out to a base called Forward Operating Base Robinson which was in the south of the Helmand Province. And these FOB's, you know what a HESCO barrier is?

John Lamerton - No.

Mark Ormrod - So a HESCO is basically you imagine, it's a cage, so your dogs in, but they will line it with some sort of material then fill it with sand and bricks and stuff so it's like a ballistic shield and that's what they build the perimeter wall to these things out of, so it's not a brick wall, concrete structure, no, it's just these giant sand bags, basically. What these FOB's are made out of, so not much protection. So we flew into FOB Robinson, we were working with American Special Forces, Dutch Marines, US Army, loads of different people, scattered all over the place. And our job was just to go out and dominate the area. Go get our boots in the ground, we conduct these different missions day to day, go out, meet the locals, provide them with security. Our job was to win the hearts and minds of the local people there. Some guys from other units were building schools for children and that kind of stuff. And we were just going out there and basically taking the fight to the enemy, not waiting for them to come to us. Going out there, conducting these positive missions, and then if we came into contact, we did what we had to do. Now on Christmas Eve, me and a group of my friends were called up to the headquarters compound at the opposite end of the FOB and given this brief on the next foot patrol. Now it was a very brief brief, because the idea was that we would leave the rear entrance of our camp in two sections with eight men in each section. One goes north, one goes south. We were told to patrol the immediate perimeter of the camp and not go any more than 300 metres. Before that, these patrols would be out for four, five, six miles. Eight, nine, ten hours. It was just a quick get your boots out on the ground, show the enemy watching you that you're still out there doing something, even though we're not really doing anything, come back in the front entrance of the camp, so now the opposite side, and then you have a couple of days R&R, open your cards and care packages from home, and try your best to enjoy Christmas, given the circumstances. So compared to what we'd done, really, really easy, really, really basic low-level stuff. So the time came. The rear gate was opened. We left. I was second in command of the section went north, the other section went south. And we went out and did all those basic low-level infantry style things that we'd been doing to that point. About maybe six, five and a half, six hours into it, both sections now find themselves on the opposite side of the camp at the front entrance, ready to secure the location and go back in and enjoy Christmas. Now my section, were on a high piece of ground, what we call the North Fort, it was always atop, you have these things called target indicators, so if you come under attack, you can quickly shout orders to us then, it sounds strange, but two fingers right of North Fort, so they know where the enemy is, and all that. So we're up in the North Fort, we're up here. FOB Robinson is just beneath us, and then way down beneath that was the other section we left with. So we're in a very advantageous position tactically because we can see everything, and also fighting downhill was a lot easier than fighting uphill. So our job was to protect the other section. They were getting to the camp, through the front gate, and get behind that HESCO perimeter wall. They would then return the favour and protect us, when we come down off the high feature to where they were, climb up the little incline, get back in the camp, job done. Really, really easy, basic stuff. So we got up there, we got a little bit of tasking, guy in charge, a good friend of mine called Sean Helsby took half of his section and started giving what we call fire positions. I took my half and four or five minutes to my thumb, there was like a bowl in the ground. Because it was so high up, you imagine like a ridge line, like a knife edge cliff or something, normally you would take cover behind a set of trees or bushes or rocks so you've got cover from view and if you can, possibly cover from fire. We had none of that. So I thought, well, okay, we can get in this bowl, you know, it's shaped like a bowl. Get on our bellies. We're up high anyway, you're only really going to see an inch, an inch and a half of our helmet, if you're lucky. That's the best protection we could get. That's what I thought at the time, looking back I know how stupid that was because that's how they think too. They know we're going to do that, so that's where they started planting IED's and devices. So we jumped in. The guys started taking positions, I just stood back and observed for a little bit, making sure everything was cool. They then went thumb, they gave me the thumbs up that they were happy. I did a last couple last-minute checks just to make sure I was happy and that we were tight and defensive should we come under small arms fire. And then I started walking over towards the position that I set with myself. And when I got there, I went to get down to my stomach, and as my right knee hit the floor, that I was the minute that I knelt on and detonated Improvised Explosive Device.

John Lamerton - Wow.

Mark Ormrod - Merry Christmas!

John Lamerton - Yeah!

Mark Ormrod - I do remember it all. I can give you a brief description of what happened if you like. I won't go into too much detail. I'm quite proud actually, I've had six fainters and two criers when I've gone into detail about this, when I've been doing it on the stage.

John Lamerton - That's a fair warning for the listeners.

Jason Brockman - Yes.

John Lamerton - I have watched the YouTube documentary so I should have ate before I watched it.

Mark Ormrod - So you got to use your imagination a little bit. The ground in Afghanistan is very sandy and dusty and dirty, so if you imagine a device goes off, it creates this huge dust cloud. So temporarily, I'm blinded, I can't see anything. I don't know what's going on. I was in no pain whatsoever. But my gut instinct, after my adrenaline had spiked, my fight or flight had kicked in, my gut instinct was we'd been attacked. Now, I knew from where I was positioned, behind me, about 600 metres, down beneath us there was a small rectangular forested block and everything around it was just flat mud fields, so it always sounds funny when I say this, 'cause there's all this chaos going on, and it sounds like I'm sat there really calm in my thoughts thinking of this, but it's just all your natural instincts. So I thought, if anyone's going to attack us, if they've got any common sense, that's where they'd do it from, 'cause they don't want to be seen, like I said earlier, cover from view. So, in my head, I keep saying to myself, I can't see anything 'cause of this dust cloud, turn around, turn around, turn around. ID where these guys are in the forested block, start shooting, when I start shooting, everyone else would start shooting, we had a big heavy machine gun 200 metres away in the camp, someone would have got on that and they would have just, you know, torn the forest in half. So I'm going, in my head, turn around, turn around, turn around. Find where these guys are and start attacking. After maybe four or five times in my mind, of saying that, I kind of realised that I wasn't moving, and I didn't know why. So I didn't really know what to do. I just thought, well, I'm going to sit here wait for this dust cloud to settle, look around, reassess the situation, make a call on the ground, do what I can to save me and my friends in case we're under attack. So it settles to about chest height, and my adrenaline is through the roof, I'm panicking, looking around hoping my friends are okay. Can't see anybody. I decided to carry on waiting, carry on looking around.

John Lamerton - What are you hearing at this point?

Mark Ormrod - It's so crazy, if anyone listening to this has ever been in a traumatic incident, when you're looking at everything, it's like slow motion. But everything in your head is like a thousand miles an hour, and there's so many thoughts going through your mind. And it's kind of like a scene in a movie, you just look around and it's kind of echo-y and you don't know what to think or do and you're confused. But all I was thinking, was the guys I was with, you know, I'm just hoping no one's been hurt, but I couldn't see any of them. So I thought I'd better just carry on waiting. Again, this is split seconds, but it seemed like a lot longer at the time, and this dust cloud eventually hit the ground and disappeared. And as it did, and I'm looking around, I look down to where my legs should have been, and they were gone completely, from both knees down, on one of the legs my tibia and fibula were still there but it was almost like, this is going to sound really bizarre, but have you ever eaten a rib? When the meat just falls off the bone? So the bones are there, right? And they're like clean, well, they've got mud, blood, and dirt on, but they're just like clean picked. The flesh and everything is just ripped clean off. And I kind of just sat there looking down, like, what's happening? And it felt like a dream.

John Lamerton - Because you weren't feeling it?

Mark Ormrod - I felt no pain!

John Lamerton - You almost didn't believe what your eyes were seeing?

Mark Ormrod - It's like after you've had four or five pints and you look around and you're a bit floaty, and everything seems a little bit weird and surreal. And I'm looking, and I've got no pain, and I'm trying to process what's going on, and this confusion in my head, and I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do to stop this enemy that I thought attacked us and I'm thinking about all my friends and colleagues and panicking about them. And then I look, and I'm like, what's happened? This is a bit bizarre. Why don't my legs hurt if they've disappeared? Anyway, I very quickly then thought about the rest of the lads, so I snapped out of it, looked around trying to see if I can see anybody. And as I looked over my right shoulder, I saw Sean, the guy in charge. And me and Sean went through training together back in 2001, so I knew him really well and trusted him with my life. And while I'm trying to process all this chaos, I just look at his face, and the shock was in his eyes, the colour was drained out. And I didn't really even know what I was thinking right now. I'd completely forgot about my legs. I was just trying to process a million and one things. And then I looked at him, and I'm like, shit.

John Lamerton - It's real.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah. But I still didn't believe it. So I went to look back to my legs to kind of give myself that final confirmatory signal, and then figure out what to do. And as my eyes swept the floor, I went to about the three o'clock position, and I saw my arm just lying there in the sand. It was still attached, but from my bicep to my wrist there was no bone, it had shattered, it was torn open. My hand was still in pretty good nick. But I remember, I just picked my hand up, and kind of put it in front of my face, and then just dropped it. And just started this huge scream of frustration. Now, I know, from the training, in that situation, all the guys around me are trained not to get emotional. Because the first thing we want to do it to run in and help their friend, but we're trained not to in case there's other devices which incidentally there were six others around. They could set them off and kill me, or kill themselves. But I knew they all had these predetermined tasks that they had to undertake should this situation arise. And then they did it, like perfectly. No one got carried away or freaked out. Everyone got on the radio, called in the CASEVAC, to get me evacuated. The other guys started coordinating a defensive position in case there's a small arms attack, the guy closest to me was on his belt buckle with a bayonet pulling the floor up, marking the safe route for the medic. They all did it perfectly, and the medic got to me really, really quickly, gave me some morphine, tourniqueted my limbs, and then went to drag me out and get me out of there. I won't go into too much detail about what happened then, but it involved me having my right foot was still kind of attached to my thigh, there was nothing from the knee down, except this string, this muscle strand attaching my foot up the stem of my boot to my leg. So they had to pick that up and put it on my stomach. I don't know how the hell he got me out of this thing, because I read the report, and this little bowl I was in is now 12 feet deep by 15 feet around, and we're on a high feature, so he gets me out of the bowl, down the high feature to the vehicle waiting, the guy driving back ends it, across this road, he's going back up into the camp, up the incline, doctor fell out the back, and I fell out the back, they guy driving swings around, puts an arm out, grabs something to keep me in, grabs the femur bone, coming out my right leg. I didn't feel it 'cause of the morphine. He left the medic because the other section guys I talked about were still at the bottom of the incline, so he was safe. And then got me to the helicopter landing site, and the last thing I remember is the helicopter landing. And then I blacked out and apparently died. Yeah.

John Lamerton - It's unbelievable. It's amazing to think what you say about the team completely following the procedure. Because it's all well and good in training to say we've got process, we've got procedure. This is what we do in the event of this happening, this is what we do. That's great. But you said how much your adrenaline was firing, and you imagine the team, well you said, the look on the guy's face, told you immediately, oh my god, how do you not react emotionally when you see a comrade in that situation and how do you automatically reactively, instinctively follow the procedure rather than your gut instinct?

Mark Ormrod - What I can tell you from a military perspective, is discipline. It's the discipline that's beaten into us from day one. That there are these procedures and systems in place for a reason. And the reason is, it saves lives. And that's what it did for me. If one of them had freaked out, especially the guy closest to me, his job is to mark the safe route for the medic, so he can get to me quick. If he freaks out and doesn't do that, you imagine the medic comes running in, stands on a device himself, boom. You've already got two dead bodies. But they did everything so perfectly because they were trained to do it, they were disciplined to do it, and they knew how different the outcome could have been had they not done that. And I think also if I was to put myself in their shoes, had they done everything that they did, to the high level they did it, but I'd have died, they could have took comfort in the fact that they did everything properly and it was nobody's fault, you know? And sometimes it's a great thing in the military, the discipline, this is how it's done, this is what we're doing. Sometimes it's not. In that situation it was a good thing.

Jason Brockman - And it's the training, I guess, as well because actually it's real world based scenarios and you do all that training in basic and all those deployment sort of training as well so you've actually practised that so it becomes actually something that you do instantly, kind of intuitively.

Mark Ormrod - Right.

Jason Brockman - Rather than by guts, I guess.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah. And the funny thing is, in training, you'll cock it up nine times out of ten. Someone will make a mistake somewhere. But when it matters, and you have to do it and someone's life actually depends on it, honestly, I don't know how that's my lasting memory for me is how perfect those guys reacted. And that's the reason that I'm here.

John Lamerton - So you woke up three days later?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

John Lamerton - Back in the UK?

Mark Ormrod - Mm-hmm.

John Lamerton - And do you remember the first conversations that you had with the doctors?

Mark Ormrod - So the first week in intensive care is quite hazy. I was on a lot of pain relief medication, and I was hallucinating a lot. So remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air?

John Lamerton - Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - Do you remember that kind of high fade haircut that Will Smith had?

John Lamerton - Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - So, he came to visit me, and then the other Will Smith, he had the small haircut. Then another one, the medium. And then another one, with this, like you remember that Kid N Play movie, House Party? And so I spent a day just hanging out with Will Smith. There were three Will Smiths in my room. Then there was another guy driving like an ammo forklift truck around my room, putting ammo containers on the bed. Then an eight foot bottle of Ketchup, like Heinz Ketchup appeared in the corner of my room. And I was just crazy, like off my nut on this medication to the point where probably four or five days in, I held my arm up, my right arm which was injured, out from under the bed sheet, 'cause I had an itch, and I looked at it and I started giggling. And the nurse said, "What are you laughing for?" I said on this medication, all these hallucinations, it looks like my arm's fallen off. Because to that point, I thought, and I was seeing a right arm with a couple fingers missing. And I was relieving itches on my body with an arm I didn't have. And she just looked at me, and I knew from the look, she was like, how do I tell him that actually he's lost his arm right above his elbow. And I knew from that minute, but it sounds weird, but it was a fun crazy period. Just hallucinating, and nothing seemed that much of an issue 'cause of all the morphine stuff. But again, what I say about those guys, when we're talking about discipline and procedures and stuff, the way they weaned me off that medication, was perfect. They could have done it too quickly, or maybe took too long, but every day I woke up, and they were reducing things, it was the perfect amount for me to understand, bring myself back into reality, out of the morphine induced haze, and understand and accept the level of my injuries and what had happened. So I didn't wake up one day and just completely freak out 'cause they cut it too early. They did it so well that I was able to accept it gradually in a way that was perfect for me.

John Lamerton - Did you have the usual, when you have any loss or grief, whatever, you go through the grief process?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah I did.

John Lamerton - Denial, anger, acceptance. Did you start off in that phase?

Mark Ormrod - No, not really.

John Lamerton - Day one, you just said, this is what it is?

Mark Ormrod - I think there's only two ways you can go. You wake up and you do say that, you say it is what it is, there's nothing I can do, let's crack on and figure this out, or you wake up and you say, why me? I hate the world. This isn't fair. And you spent months if not years in that mindset and you never make any progress. And I think just because of the military training I had, I woke up. I don't know if it's a personality trait or I was trained to be like I'm just matter of fact. Okay, cool, two legs above the knee, one arm above the elbow, right, when I get prosthetics, who's going to teach me to walk? Let's go. And that was my mindset. But there were two, I honestly say this, what is is now, 2019? So it's been twelve years. There's only been two times when I kind of went in the other way. The first time was when I came out of intensive care, I went up to a single high dependency room, three and half weeks post-injury, the doctor comes in and tells me, you'll never walk again. He's been chopping people up for 30 odd years, he's never seen anybody with two legs missing above the knee use prosthetics successfully full-time. So that was a bit of a kick in the teeth. And then the first month out of hospital, my family was staying in a tower block of flats, and there was the bottom floor was a military welfare flat. So they wheeled me over in a chair, got in through the communal entrance, I got in through the front door of the flat, I couldn't access any of the rooms, 'cause my wheelchair one-handed was extra wide 'cause you've got to steer it and accelerate it with one hand. So I kind of sat in the hallway and had to pee in a milk bottle and eat my food out there, which was difficult. And I managed to stay in the house that night got transferred through the doorway and up onto the bed in the bedroom, and I wheeled past a full length mirror. I'd only ever seen myself from the neck up shaving and stuff in the hospital sink. And I used to be 6'2" I used to weigh, at my heaviest, like 16 stone, lift a lot of weights and be super fit, and there I was, I think I'm about three and half feet tall without my prosthetics on, now. And I was under nine stone. Really gaunt, I was like a skeleton with a bit of skin on. And I always say this, no matter when I'm on a podcast or on stage, I just cried all night. Cried all night and said I can't do this. This is not me in the mirror, I'm 6'2", wearing tight t-shirts, training all the time trying to be this alpha male, and now I'm in a wheelchair, with one arm looking like I've just been dug up, and I don't want to do it. And I broke down that night. Then I woke up next day, new day, fresh start, and was like, you know what? Let's just get on with it. Let's go.

Jason Brockman - Just dealt with it.

Mark Ormrod - Mm-hmm. That was it.

John Lamerton - So when that doctor first said to you, I've got, was it 20, 30 years experience?

Mark Ormrod - Mm-hmm.

John Lamerton - You're never going to walk again. Did you immediately accept that, and say, okay, that's what this is from now on? Or did you go, no, bollocks to that? I'm gonna be the first one to prove you wrong?

Mark Ormrod - Neither.

John Lamerton - Okay.

Mark Ormrod - No.

John Lamerton - So it came more gradually? Did it?

Mark Ormrod - I spent about four days trying to process what he told me and then figure out a plan forward. I'm like okay, I'm going to be in a wheelchair now. I don't like that because that means I need people to drive me places. I didn't know anything about being disabled. I didn't know what was available. I'd need people to drive me here, care for me here, do this for me, do that for me. I'm going to be a massive burden on people. I don't really want to do that. But what's my alternative? It's to figure something out. And about six days after he came in, a guy came to visit me. I had no idea he was coming. His name was Mick Brennan. And he walked into my hospital room with two prosthetic legs above the knee and he was blown up in Iraq in 2005. And he sat down and told me his story. And he took his legs off and he showed me how they fit and he told me the fitting process. He told me what rehab would be like. He told me what he had achieved, what I could expect to achieve. And so as soon as he left, I got my laptop I brought in my room, and this back when you had to get on the Internet over dongle.

John Lamerton - Oh, god, I remember those, yeah.

Mark Ormrod - So I got a dongle, plugged it in, and I was starting to research on triple amputees, prosthetics, just searching all over the world to see anybody who had my injuries that was living their life without being confined to a wheelchair. And I found some people and that was a massive motivator.

John Lamerton - So in that instant, the impossible became possible.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

John Lamerton - You suddenly realised actually it can be done, because I've seen it. This guy walked into my room, it's Roger Bannister the four minute mile again.

Mark Ormrod - Exactly.

John Lamerton - It can't be done, until it's done. And then, oh! All of a sudden, was it three weeks or six weeks after he broke the four minute mile 14 people have broken the four minute mile because it is possible.

Mark Ormrod - I know. And I've always believed that, whether you want to be the best footballer in the world, a multi-millionaire, whatever it is, if someone's done it before you, and you have the same set of circumstances, some people are born with severe disabilities and stuff and it may not be possible, but as long as you follow mentally and physically their processes you can get similar results. So that's what I did. I found a triple amputee out of America, called Cameron Clapp, flew out to meet him, spent three weeks with him and his team, whipping my ass, like training to be in the Marines is hard, I would very slightly put that three weeks just above it, mentally and physically how hard it was. But I looked at this guy and thought, well this guy doesn't use a wheelchair, he runs in triathlons, he swims in the ocean, he's a surfer, he drives cars that have adaptions. If he can do it, all I've got to do is copy what he did.

John Lamerton - It's a blueprint.

Mark Ormrod - Exactly. It must have been really hard for him 'cause no one had done it before and he paved the way. But I went out there, condensed I think it was seven years of his time into three weeks. Came out with similar results. That was it, 9th of June, 2009, saying goodbye to the chap.

John Lamerton - I love that. There's a story, have you heard of Scott Adams, the guy who did the Dilbert cartoons?

Mark Ormrod - No.

John Lamerton - He was diagnosed with a really, really rare disease. It affected his speech, so that he couldn't get, at any time his brain wouldn't access more than about 40 words, he had access to his words but he couldn't get them from his brain to his mouth. And the doctor said to him, there's no cure. There isn't a cure, it's a very rare disease, we don't know any. He just said, that that wasn't what he heard. The words he heard were, Scott, you're going to be the first person in the world to be cured of this disease.

Mark Ormrod - Nice.

John Lamerton - And sure enough, it took him probably like three years, but he was given the all clear and he absolutely cured himself. And it was, he said, "The only difference was, in my brain, absolutely 100% believed that I was going to be the first person in the world to be cured of this incurable disease." And it's just amazing to see that. Well, apparently the brain can come up with eight foot Ketchup bottles and Will Smith with that.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, yeah. I like humour, I just finished reading your book on holiday, I'm big into that stuff as well. A lot of people in this day and age, I don't know if it's vanity or what, they'll spend god knows how many hours and how many thousands of pounds training their body, but not their mind. And I think, this is just my personal opinion, but we're almost conditioned nowadays from birth to look at the negative. Like wake up in the morning, I've got my routine like I know you have. They'll wake up in the morning, smack the snooze button three times, drag themself out of bed, have a coffee and probably a cigarette, turn the news on and read that there's a terrorist attack, the economy's shit, this politician's done that, some poor kid's been killed or something, and they don't even know that their mind's straight into negativity. Then they get in the car, drive to work, put the radio on. They've got the same news, then someone cuts them off and they're angry as hell. Then they get to the office, and they meet with their coworkers ten minutes before they get another coffee, and they've all had the same experience and you've got a bunch of people, all of them negative, and it's not even half past eight in the morning yet, and they want to kill everybody. But no one does the opposite. Although some people do, but it takes a little bit of effort. So I get up, at 25 to 6 every morning, and I do at least ten minutes with my earphones on meditating. Then I'll have black coffee, 'cause I enjoy that and then either I'll go train, or do what I can before the kids wake up. And I have a routine, but it's a positive routine. In the car, I listen to podcasts. My social media feeds are set up for positivity. On my personal Facebook, it's great, you don't have to unfriend anyone anymore, you can unfollow them. So if they're just annoying you with all their drama and stuff you just got to unfollow, and they don't even know you've done it. But then your feed is just full of positive motivational stuff. And it just feeds your brain every day.

John Lamerton - I mean Facebook, social media is an echo chamber. What you see on there it just pops back at you. The more you like, you see a relative with the political side of things, whichever side of the fence you're on politically, let's not even go down the Brexit route, but whichever side of that fence you're on, the posts you like will show you more of that. So actually you start to believe that this is the way the world is because Facebook shows me that. All my friends agree with me. No, they don't. All the friends whose posts you like agree with you. All the friends whose posts you ignore, or unfriend you don't see those, and you don't see that point of view and actually-- Thank you, Chewy, I'm glad you agree. I saw a brilliant quote on positivity yesterday: "You can either be upset that roses have thorns, or you can be thankful that thorns have roses."

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, yep.

Jason Brockman - It's just the way you frame things, the way you look at them.

Mark Ormrod - I know, there are so many people, I don't even think they're aware of what's happening to them when they give in, they will, like you say, they'll look at a bad situation. I met with a friend on Monday or Tuesday and he's a property developer, and he was talking about a building he's gonna buy and he said, "It's really bad, "there were like needles in there "and the ceilings were falling, "and people have been in there "and they ripped all the electrics out." And he went, "Happy days they don't have to work for me." And I was like, that's a helluva way to think about it.

John Lamerton - When a property developer says things are bad, you know he's got a smile on his face.

Mark Ormrod - He was like, these vandals have come in and ripped all the electrics out and they don't have to pay them. Brilliant. So he's got a unique way of looking at things. It's awesome.

John Lamerton - So let's talk books. You mentioned obviously you read my book, "Routine Machine" available from all good books stores as long as they're called Amazon. You were featured in that book.

Mark Ormrod - I was.

John Lamerton - Because a couple of years ago you went into your first Invictus Games, and do you want to tell us a little about how that came about and how how you got on certainly your first and second time?

Mark Ormrod - Yep. So every December or mid December I would sit down and go through a goal setting process. I just literally for a minute I would I'll put some sub-headings, health, finances, career, family, whatever, and then I'd just scribble down anything that's in my head. I would just dump it out there. And then I'll kind of niche it down and then I'll start the planning process. And I'd go through that. And in 2006 in December, I was aware that Christmas Eve, oh, sorry that was 2016, I was aware that in 2017 on Christmas Eve is my 10 year what we call bang-iversary So I thought, well, what should I do to mark that occasion that I haven't done. And I sat down and I kind of closed my eyes, at home in the office, and I envisioned a jigsaw puzzle and it had family, health, career, fun, and the middle bit, I'm thinking, I just sat there, my eyes closed, going what haven't I done that I can do to fill that middle piece of the puzzle? And it was sport. I've never done any adaptive sport because I didn't like it in the beginning, and then when I went to America, my whole focus was on getting rid of the wheelchair. Everyone else was into sport and that wasn't my goal. So I thought, okay, I'll do some sport. And I think the Invictus Games were in their second year now, I think they'd been in London and Florida, so I'd seen a lot of my friends competing, bring home medals, pushing through their personal challenges and barriers. And I said, oh, I'll give this a go then. I just jumped straight in the deep end. I can't just decide to be a Paralympian and do that in less than a year, but this is the next best thing for me. So I applied, I had no idea if I'd make the team 'cause I knew nothing about the sport. I wasn't in the cliques. The only sport I'd done that was on offer prior to being injured was swimming and that was only for fun. But I made the team, fortunately. And I'd only ever planned to do it once. I thought, I'm gonna go there, train as hard as I can, do it once, tick the box and then pick back up in 2018, 2019 with other things. So like I said, I was fortunate enough to make the team, and what did I do the first year? Hand cycling, rowing, and swimming. I went out to Canada, I did okay. What did I get? Two silvers, two bronzes, and what was really cool is Jaguar Land Rover was a sponsor and out of 21 countries and all of the athletes in those countries, they'll give one award out for the best overall athlete, and I managed to bag that. And my first games, like first time at any sport and I was like, awesome! I went home, and I was like, that is great, but my set's incomplete. I've got two silver, two bronze, I need two golds. Because my OCD won't let me. So I said, well I'll go get it next year. The advantage I had the next year was that I knew a bit about the sports, the etiquette, the strategy, I didn't think there was a strategy for going backwards and forwards on a rowing machine, but there is. And I proved it the next year when I stuck to my coach's strategy and I got the two golds. What did I get in Australia? So two golds in the rowing, two golds in the swimming I think, bronze in the shot put discus and a silver for swimming as well.

John Lamerton - And so there's still an imbalance there.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, no, but I let that one go. So I'm like, oh, I need to make sure I've got four golds, four silvers, three bronzes, 'cause in my frame I'm gonna put it in, it'll be like four, four, three.

John Lamerton - I'm just trying to imagine you now in the gold medal position going hang on, I still need a silver, and slow down.

Mark Ormrod - No, sorry, I was going for silver, just because it would look better on my wall. But yeah, no I did that, and I came back and I was like, I'm happy now. And I'm officially retired from competing. For many reasons, but one of the main reasons is you've got like 500 people applying, and there are only I think this year 65 places. I've been twice, I've enjoyed it, I've got the benefit of it. I think you've got to move over and let someone else have a go. I've seen a lot of people who didn't make the team, how it's negatively affected them. My phone was ringing for a week after Australia from people that I met in Canada that didn't make the team who were upset about it. So it was like, well I don't want to be greedy, I'll back off now and let everyone else have a go.

Jason Brockman - What I find is really incredible is that you took part in several disciplines. It wasn't just swimming, it was a lots of different disciplines, whereas you mentioned Paralympian, you only ever do one discipline, so that is amazing to win so many medals across different sports, different disciplines. I think that's incredible.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, I mean, so I didn't even know what I was doing. There are people I know that do more than that. They do eight or nine different events, you literally run from one event to the other for a whole week. Bouncing around competing. But I just did the ones which I thought, like I said, I didn't know about the strategies, I just thought they were just brute force and ignorance. Just going like a lunatic for a short amount of time and as long as you fitter than the next bloke, you win. But I realised that it's a lot more complicated than that.

John Lamerton - There's a line you used just now, Mark. You said, "You can't just throw yourself in the deep end."

Mark Ormrod - Mm-hmm.

John Lamerton - Let's talk swimming.

Mark Ormrod - Okay.

John Lamerton - So how did you learn to swim after the accident? What time was this? Was this for Invictus?

Mark Ormrod - No.

John Lamerton - Had you been in a pool before then?

Mark Ormrod - So I used to be a very strong swimmer. I spent most of my time under the water 'cause I just love swimming underwater and it was faster. And about four or five years after I was injured, I was here in Plymouth, HMS Drake in that old swimming pool at lunch time, and I'd not been in a swimming pool for about six years. The lifeguard was in there reading a magazine and I got in in the shallow end, right in the middle, between the two ends of the pool, and I started swimming, just trying to figure it out. And I got, imagine being a bird's eye view, smack bang in the middle of the pool, and I started getting tired, so I let out a breath, and as soon as I did I started sinking like a rock.

John Lamerton - Your buoyancy is gone then, isn't it?

Mark Ormrod - But it was never that way when I had legs. And I panicked, and I started sinking, and I threw my head back as I went down, and the water kind of got here, so it was lucky I've got a big pointy nose it was pointing out, and I just managed to go and get a little bit of air in, and it kept me buoyant. So I literally did this, just taking these really small breaths paddling over to the side, grab the side and got out and I'm like, I'm not going in the swimming pool ever again. And I realised then that if I don't have air in my lungs, I sink really fast. And I'll be honest, it panicked me. And it wasn't until Invictus that I picked it up again and started learning how to actually swim and control my breath and how many strokes you have and when to pull to the other the strategy I'm talking about, knowing when to breathe out. The first year I did it, in the 50 metre pull, my strategy was I swim faster underwater so I just hold my breath for as long as I can and go. And in 25 metres, it's great. Is it 25? How long is it in Olympic? It's 50 metres.

John Lamerton - Olympic is 50 metres.

Mark Ormrod - In the 50 metre, the one length, it's great 'cause I got 30 metres underwater and then you can just Griz it out. But when you're doing 100, you can't do that, 'cause once you're out, you're out, when you just get slower, and slower, and slower. So again, last year in Australia, I changed my strategy a bit. I thought, I can't just hold my breath and go like a lunatic for as long as I can, so I employed some strategy. Yeah.

John Lamerton - That's really weird to see that you've gone, I'm never swimming again, to I'm going to compete for a medal.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, again, it's just--

John Lamerton - I think I've read before that you didn't actually intend entering the swimming competition, is that right? You literally decided on the day?

Mark Ormrod - No, I was signed up for the 50 metre and 100 metre freestyle, but I'd met a friend, this is in Australia, I'd met a friend in Canada called Gary who was in my classification, he was an Australian Special Forces sniper guy, such a cool guy. We competed against each other in Canada, and his coach, believe it or not, is from Torpoint, from over in Saltash, his parents were over there, so we had that in common and we were sat down and we were at the heats 'cause my classification is so small, we just go straight to the finals, and I'm sat there talking to him, and the coach is like so what's Gary in for this year? And he said, 50 metre freestyle, 100 metre freestyle, 50 metre backstroke. I couldn't do the backstroke, I just couldn't get my head around it. And 50 metre breaststroke. I said cool, I'm doing 50 metre free, 100 metre free. He said, oh yeah, but they're probably going to cancel the breaststroke. I said, why? He said, well, he's the only one in it. Now I thought that meant he'd just automatically get to walk over and get a gold medal. But they explained to me, no, they'll cancel the event because they don't run it that way. So I said, well, this is at like nine o'clock at night, the night before we're due to be in the final, so I said, well, listen, go speak to the officials and say I'm happy to jump in the race, all these people have come thousands of miles, Gary has trained for it, we'll jump in, give them a show, and at least he'll--

John Lamerton - I'll be a pacemaker for him, I'll be there for the first 30 metres.

Mark Ormrod - Right. So I turned up the day of the race, and behind the 50 metre pool is a 25 metre pool behind this screen. So I got in it and I thought I'd better figure out how to do breast stroke. So I'm doing this, like an ordinary breast stroke, and I'm going in a circle. And I was like, that's not going to work. Then I started doing this modified doggy paddle thing and it dragged me forward. And I thought, okay, that's all right. And there were no coaches or anything, and I thought, well I remember when I watch everyone do breast stroke, they always put their head under the water, when they're doing it, and I thought that might be a rule, so I thought I'd better figure that out. So I started doing this weird thing where I was kind of bobbing and pulling, and bobbing and pulling, and I'd about ten minutes so I thought, well, all right, that will do. I figured something out. At least I'm going forwards. I'd figured out, I know how to breathe, I figured that out. I kind of figured the stroke out, let's see what happens. Yeah, I got in there and we swam, and I ended up winning. But only by 0.25 of a second, a quarter of a second.

John Lamerton - You gave them a good show then.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - I don't know what happened. At the end, because I knew about my breathing now, if I breathed out, I would have sank, towards the last ten metres I got water in my mouth, like one drop of water hit my tonsils, and I needed to cough, and I thought if I cough I'm going to sink and drown. So I literally just drank the water. Every stroke I pulled I went and I was drinking pool water. And that was actually soothing the tickle in my throat which was nice, but I could see on the big screen, his yellow hat getting closer and closer out of my peripheral. And I was like, don't stop, don't stop, don't stop! And I reached out just in time, 0.25 a second. If that was a 51 metre race, I'd have drowned. Yeah, it was awesome.

John Lamerton - 0.25 of a second ahead of a guy that trained for the race.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah. But that's the brute force and ignorance thing.

John Lamerton - It is, yeah.

Mark Ormrod - You just got to, I figured out what I knew to do, the breathing, a kind of strategy when to pick up when to drop it back, I knew I had to go in a straight line, that's what I do know, so I'm just going to do what I know. I know there's a million other things I could have learned, but I didn't have the time.

John Lamerton - So one of the things we talked about in the book was your rowing training. And the thing I picked up, I think I heard it on one of your podcasts, was about the staring at the wall.

Mark Ormrod - Mm-hmm.

John Lamerton - This is where the success came from was the real boredom, the tedium of training day in, day out, just saying, okay, it's five am, the alarm's gone off, it's the middle of February.

Mark Ormrod - It's freezing at home in my garage as well.

John Lamerton - Do you want to talk us a little bit through that?

Mark Ormrod - I mean there's not much to talk about, that's what it is. It was literally, an alarm went off, got up, a little pre-workout black coffee, knew it was going to be freezing cold in there, went in anyway, and then it was what my training days are, short 20 minute session, 45 minutes, an hour of just backwards and forwards, building up endurance. And at that time, I don't think I had any decoration on my wall. It was just a white painted wall in the garage. So it was a case of literally going backwards and forwards, backwards, just staring at the wall. And again, it was visualisation. And I knew, I'm going to butcher this quote, but it's something to do with, the winning's not done when you step in the ring, it's in the weeks and months leading up to it, the training is when you win. And that was what I kept thinking of. Every time I didn't want to do it, I'm like, well, the guy that beat me last year is probably training now, so I'm gonna train. And that would push me on, motivate me. 'Cause I was like, I'm not coming back with silver medals. I want the gold, and I'll outwork anybody that turns up in the days beforehand to try and achieve it.

John Lamerton - I heard an interview with Mike Tyson about two weeks ago and he was talking about his training days. And he said that I would get up at five am, on a snowy day and I would go out, and I'd pound the streets and I would run. He said, I know, the other guy

Mark Ormrod - He's not doing that.

John Lamerton - Is not going out till 7 am and he's going on the treadmill.

Jason Brockman - Yeah.

John Lamerton - He said, I'm gonna do what he won't do.

Mark Ormrod - I heard that, was it with Joe Rogan?

John Lamerton - It was Tony Robbins.

Mark Ormrod - Oh that was, you're right. I heard that one too. And that's it, that's what it takes, to win. Even though maybe the two hours before may not be a massive contributing factor, but mentally, running in the snow to a treadmill, I think is. That's when you're like, well he's on a treadmill, he's comfortable, he's warm, he's got his water bottle there, I'm going to go out in the snow in my shorts. Right, where it's freezing cold and I'm gonna force myself to do what the other guy isn't willing to do. Now, when you get in the ring, and everyone's tired and they've got no gas in the tank, that's when you know you can force yourself to do what they're not going to do.

John Lamerton - Do what you have to do.

Mark Ormrod - Right.

John Lamerton - Do what you need to do. So let's talk books! So your first book came out?

Mark Ormrod - 2009.

John Lamerton - 2009. And that was "Man Down."

Mark Ormrod - It was, yep.

John Lamerton - Talking primarily about the accident and the immediate aftermath of that?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah. That one kind of wrapped up when I got married in 2009 so four years before I went to America me and my wife Becky were married. That's where that one finishes. So it's very much a--

John Lamerton - A nice happy ending, you sail off into the sunset.

Mark Ormrod - Right.

John Lamerton - I'm never writing another book. That's me done, I've got a happy ending.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, but that one's very much, look at me, I'm the big hairy alpha male, macho man, I can kill people. Aren't I great? Blah, blah, blah, guns, guns, knives, blown.

John Lamerton - I'm Rambo, yeah.

Mark Ormrod - But, again, a young guy never written a book before. This new one is gonna pick up four weeks after I got married, when I went to America. And it's going to be a much different book in terms of like, this is a civilian version. You've got the military one, the civilian one. This is more of the inspiration one of when I meet Cameron, this is what they taught me about building the right people around you and what you can achieve from it. It's a lot of interviews in there, from people that were flying the Chinook that evacuated me, the guy that was holding my femur, friends and family that I've known for a long time, so we're gonna recap the day that I got injured, but with their perspectives as well and then talk much more about overcoming obstacles, adversity, things we talk about here. Tools, techniques, strategies, that kind of stuff. So we're about over halfway through, and literally two days ago, just booked my ghost writer to come back she's got another holding next month she's in the house in the roads, we're gonna mail that out. Hopefully get that out and ready for Christmas. And we've got a couple of other projects on the go. I want to write a children's book hopefully, or a couple of them.

John Lamerton - Wow.

Mark Ormrod - I know this friend, I'll show you after this on my phone, Just randomly I got a message one day and he'd drawn me into a super hero, so it's go the prosthetic arm, the legs, I'm up with a cape on, flying above a city, and it says Invictus Games, No Limits, Rammers, which my nickname in the military, and then someone said one day, I showed them, they said, that would be a really cool kid's book. And I was like, that would be a cool kid's book. So I talked to her, we came up with an idea of how we're going to approach it. And I'm more excited about that than anything else. Just getting stuck in, I want to use it for, obviously it's a children's book, so children are hopefully going to read it, but there were the things like dispelling myths about disabled people. It's not like the old days where you would cross the street when you saw a disabled person 'cause you didn't know what to do or what to say.

John Lamerton - Don't ask any questions. Shh, shh. Don't point, don't look.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, I'm hoping I can try and make this, being disabled actually kind of cool. Where people are like, wow, cool bionic legs and they can do this and that. Obviously, I'll ham it up a little bit in the book, being able to fly and time travel and kind of stuff, but I want to put tangible messages and lessons in it, like injury and change their perception a little bit.

John Lamerton - Have you seen Jocko Willink's series?

Mark Ormrod - I haven't read it. "Mikey and the Dragon?"

John Lamerton - Yes.

Mark Ormrod - I haven't read them, but I listen to Jocko's podcast. I asked him to go on his podcast a couple of months ago, we were talking on Twitter.

John Lamerton - Really?

Mark Ormrod - But I stupidly, didn't know how big California was. And I was nine hours north of him, and I'm like, I can't really drive down there, I'm meeting a friend, so I thought he would be like an hour away. But we're trying to do it next time I'm up.

John Lamerton - That'd be fantastic.

Mark Ormrod - I am going to read that, though. He's a cool guy.

John Lamerton - Yeah, now Jack, our oldest has got into them. It's brilliant, it's personal development for kids. But it's written in the colour of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" style, but it's all about discipline, and pull-ups and diet and friendships and dealing with all the crap that kids have to put up with at school. So there's a lot of kids, a million kid's books out there, but I think if you can get one that's got the right angle, and the hardest part is getting the kids to pick up the book and read it.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, but I mean, they're subliminal messages, in a way, aren't they?

John Lamerton - Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - You make it fun, 'cause they want to read it, but they don't even know that they're learning things. You're planting seeds in their minds, where, I don't know, maybe the school bully reads it one day, and then he goes into his old routine about to bully somebody, and he's like actually, this isn't the right thing to do, you know?

-John Lamerton  Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - And then changes because of what he's read. So that's what I'd like to do with these books. Kind of change people's opinions, perceptions. Bullying is one of the things I want to cover, 'cause I was bullied at school. So I want to kind of time travel back to meet myself when I was 13 when I felt bad about people picking on me 'cause I was fat. And teach myself, as a grown up in the book, lessons when I was a 13 year old. And I hope that people read it and be like, oh, cool, okay.

John Lamerton - 'Cause you kind of want the people who are bullied to read that, but you also want the bullies to read it,

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

John Lamerton - To realise what impact they're actually having on people.

Mark Ormrod - Exactly.

John Lamerton - One thing I've been wanting to talk about was the options available for disabled people. So it's no longer just you get disability benefits, and that's your life. There's so many options open with the Internet, with podcasting, with books and anything. You're saying I want to create kids books, I'm writing this book, I've got a podcast, I've got a YouTube channel, I do this, and I'm flying off to Australia. If someone is newly disabled, or is actually thinking what can I do? It's all right for you, Mark, that's one line I keep hearing, it's all right for you.

Mark Ormrod - Overnight success.

John Lamerton - Yeah, exactly. They see you here, now and think, well, it's all right for him, he's got it all made. He doesn't worry about money, and he doesn't worry about this, where actually, you've been there, you've done that. So what message would you give to that person who's thinking well, I'm stuck in a rut, my mindset perhaps isn't right, that I'm thinking oh, this is my lot, and that's never for me, because, you know, it's a Plymouth thing, we've had to put up with, right?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah.

John Lamerton - We're only from Plymouth. Little Plymouth. We can't be successful, because we're from this little sea-side town.

Mark Ormrod - The one thing I say all the time, when I'm meeting people face to face, to say to people like this is that, obviously I can't tell you what the future holds, but if I was ever going to become disabled in my life, this is the time and day and age I'd want to do it. You can run a business from your mobile phone. You can become a social media influencer and get paid to post stuff. You can literally, we're saying how you go and we go through mobile phones as advancing equipment, I talk into my iPhone in my car, and I can do a podcast, and I can upload it, ready in seconds. And you can start a career that way. You can bypass gatekeepers and things whereas, maybe you want to reach out to someone, and you need a bit of help, or support you can ask them for something. Whereas before you'd have to go get the Yellow Pages and search through it and spend a week, you just Google it, or go on social media and reach out to them. You can do whatever you want, and people do. I mean, look at these YouTubers. They make ridiculous money, right? My kids sit there, every morning, my daughter goes, can I watch Play-Doh movies on your phone? So I sit there, and I'm watching it, right? And there's a pair of hands, and there's a couple Play-Doh pots and they'll open an egg, and then they'll put the Play-Doh into a lollipop mould, and they'll go, ooh! Ooh, Ooh! And they've got 15 million views. And I'm like, what? You're talking about Play-Doh!

John Lamerton - My kids, so we just went on holiday, so Jack, my oldest, and two kids that he made friends with on holiday have all got YouTube channels, so three of them are playing hide and seek in the hotel, with their phones, average of 150 views after a day. So these kids are watching other children they don't know play, rather than playing themselves.

Mark Ormrod - My son asked me for an Xbox. A friend of mine gave us his Xbox 'cause his kids have got like 15 different consoles and he got the classic Minecraft, and I go in the front room one day and I'm watching him watching someone playing Minecraft in America. I'm like, your Xbox is in the dining room, go play it yourself. "No, I want to watch this kid." And this kid's--

John Lamerton - He's having more fun than me.

Mark Ormrod - And I'm like, so this is my point, people say, disabled people, well, it's all right for you, and there's not opportunities. You don't have to go work for Morrison's from 9 to 5, in a wheelchair, you do whatever you want. Whatever you're passionate about, if it's collecting Pokemon cards, or playing with Play-Doh, or talking about baseball caps, you can monetize it from a mobile phone. And everyone's got one, because I was driving down The Barbican the other day about nine o'clock at night, and I went past, you know, when you go to the main drag, and there used to be a club on the right called Lavish?

John Lamerton - Yeah I know that one.

Mark Ormrod - There were two people and I was assuming they were homeless people, sat there with sleeping bags with a smartphone watching a film. Watching a film on a smartphone and laughing. And I'm like, okay, cool, everyone's got a smartphone nowadays. Right, well get on the Internet and everyone can start a business, get the information you need, do what they need to do.

John Lamerton - Yeah. Is the barrier to entry is gone? If you go back to the likes of Simon Weston.

Mark Ormrod - Right.

John Lamerton - Well, he had to actually work hard. He had to write the book first, and then write to a publisher and say I'd like you to publish this book, rather than I just upload it to Amazon and it's done.

Mark Ormrod - Right.

John Lamerton - He had to go out and get an agent, and get a PR, and also he had the big news coverage, but he didn't sit there feeling sorry for himself, going woe is me.

Mark Ormrod - No, he cracked on.

John Lamerton - I mean he's got this lovely saying, I found it the other day: "If you're looking for sympathy, "it's in the dictionary between shit and syphilis."

Mark Ormrod - Yeah I know I've heard that before. And 30 years later he's still mega successful.

John Lamerton - Yeah, he's still doing public speaking, and he's made that career of that.

Mark Ormrod - He did it the hard way, like you say. He had to knock on the doors to get on the BBC and the mainstream media because social media didn't exist. And he did it. Nowadays I could go on, when we finish here, go on a livestream to 28 thousand people on my Facebook. You know? So we've got everything's there, and you know, kit and equipment. Right now, I've got 90,000 pounds of prosthetic legs on. I could not get in your house here in a wheelchair. No way. You've got four steps to get in here, and it's upside down and there's stairs everywhere.

John Lamerton - I'd have left left you on the patio in the rain which would not be good.

Mark Ormrod - But you know, I mean that barrier is gone, and I understand not everyone gets these prosthetics, but there's something out there that can improve your level of independence and take you closer to being where you want to be, whatever it is you want to do. So I hand on heart genuinely think we're very lucky now, the disabled, that there's all this stuff available.

John Lamerton - So the opportunity is there, a lot more than they were even ten years ago, but certainly 20 years ago. Social media has just opened up, and as you say, just about everyone's an influencer now, about something.

Mark Ormrod - In something are they looking yet?

Jason Brockman - But whatever brand you are as a company, if you'll find someone who is absolutely evangelical about that brand and has got the ear of other fans and all they want is to reach their people. So this podcast, Mark, is called "The Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast" what does an ambitious lifestyle business look like for you? I know I've seen you work full-time as well as your own businesses, but what does that ambitious lifestyle business look like for you?

Mark Ormrod - You mean kind of where am I headed with everything? So I just rewind, we talked about earlier the Tony Robbins seminar, the first one I went to was probably nine years ago.

John Lamerton - Was that Unleash the Power?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, up in London. And I really got into that. And I went through all of his programmes. And this is probably a story for another time, but it was bizarre, I went to, and I knew what they were doing, I've studied NLP, up to master practitioner and coach level.

John Lamerton - Everyone agree, say aye!

Mark Ormrod - But yeah, you know when he's building you up and getting you in the mood to go sell yourself, and I knew what was happening, but I really enjoyed myself. So I went to the back of the room to sign up for the next level. And then I told someone about it, and by the way, the ticket I got to UPW was free from a speaking engagement I mentioned his name and someone went, oh, we'll get you a ticket. So that was free, then I went back and I think I paid six and a half grand to go on this course, and I told someone about it, guess what? He gave me the money back. A company paid for me to go. So I go out there, I'm in Spain, doing the Life & Wealth Mastery, they get me on stage to tell my story. I go out to the toilet, come back, everyone in the room has put 10, $20 in a thing to go on to the next one. So I go to Business Mastery in London. I'm at Business Mastery, I'm having a pee, and this black bloke stands beside me, he's about seven foot, and you know how you can feel someone willy watching? So I'm peeing, like let's get out of here, this guy's massive. And I come out of the toilet, and this guy grabs me, and he's like, I'm an American veteran, and he was a Platinum Partner. And that's $60,000 a year to a Platinum Partner in Tony Robbins. And we start talking, and he then goes, without me knowing to the Platinum Partners and then they pay for me to go to the next thing. So I do all these, like 50 grand's worth of personal development that I've not paid for, except for flights and accommodations, paid nothing for. And everything that I learned along that way, I've actually implemented, so things like the way my family finances are run, investments, all making things, systemizing things. Compounding.

John Lamerton - Pretty good routine machine, there aren't you?

Mark Ormrod - Pretty much, yeah.

Mark Ormrod - That's why I love books like this so much, and now I implemented it all. And invested and this, that, and the other. So for the future that I'm just carrying on down that road investing in things, property, businesses, and diversifying all of that, so that I can get complete financial freedom, and then really carrying on just doing what I'm doing. I just love doing that. I've got so many plates I'm spinning right now, that's taking me where I want to go, but I don't think, I mean, I don't need to work. But I don't think I'll ever stop, because I enjoy it. I love doing it and it's the challenge. I've had three meetings this morning about bits and pieces. And sometimes I sit there and I'm like, oh, that's going to be a lot of work, I don't really need to do it, but then I'm like, but I want to get my teeth stuck in. I want to.

Jason Brockman - As long as you enjoy it still.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah!

John Lamerton - And you know the difference you make in people's lives as well.

Mark Ormrod - And that's the thing as well! It's not about money. It's not, oh, I've got to do this and then all I'm gonna do is treat everyone like crap and work on the bottom, it's I want to do this because I enjoy it, and there's so many people that are getting helped. And then you get the nice email, and a nice tweet, and you're sitting there and you're like, this is really cool. I'm helping people, making a difference to their life, and earning a living to support my family from doing it, you know?

Jason Brockman - Yeah.

Mark Ormrod - That's the magic formula for me.

John Lamerton - And you've done that by implementing, like we said, with the Tony Robbins step of going through all the courses. It would have been very easy, particularly as you say, people were covering the fees for you, to go, I've done that course, what's next? Cool, what's up. But you're actually going, I've done that course, and now I'm going to actually implement the lessons. I talked about it in the book, about the frog and the chicken. Yeah, read that book. Read that book, read that book. What's next?

Jason Brockman - Ribbit, ribbit. Read it, read it.

Mark Ormrod - I met so many people like this. They're like, oh, I've read that book.

Jason Brockman - What did you do?

John Lamerton - What did you do as a result of reading it? Ah, yeah, I didn't really get around to that. So I'm reading the next book. And some people, that is the difference, I think between the successful business owners and the less successful, is just they're implementers. They take the time to identify what needs to happen. Not just go in 100 miles an hour in any direction. They take the time to learn it, they take the time to do these courses, to get mentors, to get coached, but then they don't just go, well, I've got a coach. It's like you training for Invictus. You know, I've got a coach.

Mark Ormrod - That's all that I need.

John Lamerton - He's telling me what to do. That's all they're for. He's giving me a diet plan, so that's it. I don't need to follow the diet plan, I don't need to actually eat the food, I've got the diet plan on a bit of paper here, that's fine, that's all I need to do.

Mark Ormrod - Yep. When I read your book, the other week, I was taking notes as I was reading. I was getting up first thing in the morning, sitting out on the balcony, with a coffee reading it, 'cause what I do is, I made the mistake in the beginning of trying to do everything I was reading in books, but then I was like, well that's not even relevant to me, and I overloaded myself. And I thought, well that's useful for me and where I'm going. And I was taking notes in my phone as I was reading and now the whole this is I add that to my routine of I don't like to really call him to do this, but what I need to achieve, but add those notes in strategically and then take action. I geek out on it. I'm dumb. I'm a complete nerd with it all.

Jason Brockman - So specifically, what have you taken from John's book that you've implemented? If you've taken anything yet?

Mark Ormrod - I'll show you guys the notes later, but it just kind of reaffirmed for me the importance of routine, and the thing, I think there was a couple of times you've said now, what I took away was the whole patience aspect of it, of all right, you may not see results now, by changing that smocha choca tall latte with 16 shots of caramel for a black coffee, when you're trying to lose weight, but in a year, just making that tiny little change will. But that's in respect of diets, but as for your finances, well, do I need an 80 pound phone bill? No, I've got a 50 pound one now, well, it's only 30 pound a month, well after a year that's what, 3, 400 quid. So that's the thing for me, making those small changes. And that's actually what I do Sunday night, I do the whole family finance thing every quarter, Sunday night is my time for that. And I go back, do I need this? Do I need that? That's too much. Chip that back. Are my savings on track? Ba-ba-ba, am I getting the best return? Geeking out again on that stuff. And it just--

John Lamerton - It's very easy to sit and look at the phone and say, ugh, it's only 20 quid a month,

Mark Ormrod - I know.

John Lamerton - And I've got to pick up a phone and actually speak to someone to get that changed. But that's 240 pound a year, 10 years, actually chuck that Internet in there so somewhere like 10% comparing to all that, oh wait a minute, that's four grand. Four grand for a phone call. Go on then.

Mark Ormrod - I know, and that's just one example. But it's like with, I'm not a PT trainer or anything, but for some reason people message me all the time about this stuff, and I say look, I won't go into the science about why your body holds onto fat, but when you do these crash diets, and you lose loads of weight quickly, your brain's like, oh my god, he's starving himself, we need to use fat for fuel! And then as soon as you eat normally again, it goes, blech, back on, because your body wants more fat, because it panics.

John Lamerton - Yeah, I've used up all my stores, so I need to stock up again.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, but if you make these little changes, like I say, all right, I mean you talked about the beer drinking stuff. All right, I'll that on the head. It doesn't make a difference today, or next week, but in a year's time, financially, physically, mentally, you've made a massive, and that's one thing!

John Lamerton - Financially.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, it's one thing. People don't have the patience to find anything out

John Lamerton - Yeah, 'cause the hard thing, is you have to have the pain of giving up the booze now, but you don't get the benefit until several months later. And same with cigarettes. You get the beauty of actually being able to air in your lungs, and the financial benefits, and all the increased blood flow and all of that six months down the line, but you've got nicotine withdrawal now.

Mark Ormrod - I call it short term pain for long term gain. People said to me a long time, when you lose your legs or a limb, you get a thing called phantom pain, or a phantom sensation, where you can feel the limb.

John Lamerton - That's where you were scratching that itch with fingers?

Mark Ormrod - Kind of. You imagine, like for my feet for example, it's like a lightning bolt hitting you in the toe, but you can't relieve it because you can't reach, there's nothing you can grab and scratch. Or you've got the sensation of the limb still being there.

John Lamerton - Okay.

Mark Ormrod - So early on in recovery, the guys in America said to me, you ought to desensitise your legs. You take your prosthetics off, go start on a mattress then stand up and put weight on your femurs. Then go to a pillow, then go to a rug, then to a carpet, then to a tile floor. It took about six months. And the first time I did it, tears were coming down my eyes, just 'cause of the pain. But I was like, short term pain, long term gain. I ditched the medication, I was on about 24 pills a day. Ditched them, this was 16 months post injury, ditched all that, six months later, no pain, no sensation, rest of my life, happy days.

John Lamerton - You built up your calluses.

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, short term pain, long term gain. And it's the same with lots of things.

John Lamerton - We have that at Darthing, the one I would refer to most is staffing. We have a problem with the staff, we need to have a different conversation or something. Do you want that short term pain, of I'm gonna have a difficult conversation, or I'm gonna let that person go, or I'm gonna ask that girl out, or I'm gonna do something that's really tough? Or do you want the long term pain, of being on your own sat in your bedroom?

Mark Ormrod - Yeah, I agree.

John Lamerton - So this episode is going to be coming out in October. Your book, "Man Up," is not going to be coming out long after that then?

Mark Ormrod - I'm hoping. I'm hoping November.

John Lamerton - Okay. Where can people go to find out more about that?

Mark Ormrod - Nowhere right now. But they will, social media. I'm on there every day, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, not so much YouTube, for a few vlogs every now and then. But Instagram or Twitter are the main ones. I'll be tweet-agram-booking about it nonstop when it gets to the time.

John Lamerton - So basically, when it's out, everybody will know anyway.

Mark Ormrod - Yep, they will. They will.

John Lamerton - And obviously they'll still hear you on Jocko's podcast, then as well?

Mark Ormrod - I hope so. And everyone else's podcast I can get on. And mine.

Jason Brockman - Yours.

John Lamerton - Definitely, good. Obviously, you've got your own podcast as well. Is it just Mark Ormrod Podcast?

Mark Ormrod - It's called the "No Limits Podcast." I've been really slacking it the last two months 'cause of work. And I've just started one at work for the Royal Marines charity to do every Monday. But I'm gonna pick it back up now.

John Lamerton - I think, do you only ever record episodes in your car? Because it seems.

Mark Ormrod - It's the only place I can get any peace. I just find a little quiet corner of a car park somewhere, just record my thoughts into there and upload it.

Jason Brockman - Brilliant.

John Lamerton - Any closing thoughts you want to leave us with, Mark, anything for the listeners?

Mark Ormrod - I don't know, I mean I think I've covered most of it in the chat, just, what you were saying, if you're thinking about something, the only way to make it happen is to take action. And we are lucky in the day and age we live in that you can do literally anything you want. These YouTubers make ridiculous money talking about Play-Doh. If you're passionate about something, whether it's stamp collecting, or X-Men comics or whatever, and you think, oh, I'd love to make vlogs about that, just do it! But again, what we said just now, it takes patience for the success to come. Some people are mega lucky and they're in the right place at the right time, and they nail it. Then most of us, it takes a good five ten years to see the results. But just go do it.

John Lamerton - We're on episode 57 of this podcast now. Most podcast average six.

Mark Ormrod - Okay.

John Lamerton - Because that's when they rank and they're going, ugh, it's actually hard work. And there's no one listening.

Jason Brockman - And they don't see return They don't see their return on the investment, they're like, oh, I've got three hours out of my day, and I got planning, and you know. But some people can make--

Mark Ormrod - Short term pain for long term gain.

John Lamerton - Yep, that's it. That's it.

Jason Brockman - Thank you so much for joining us.

Mark Ormrod - It was a pleasure guys.

John Lamerton - We talked forever to be honest, and we seems to be loads of subject areas we could still cover which is amazing. So yeah it was great to have had you in the chat and we thank you so much.

Jason Brockman - Thanks a lot, Mark.

Mark Ormrod - Thank you guys for having me. Cheers, guys.

John Lamerton - See you later.
“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.” Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

#ALB 57 – The Man who stood on an IED

#ALB55 – The Black Belt Wedding Singer


This episode is with soon to be black belt wielding, wedding singer Jamie Reeves from The Best Singing Waiters


So,who is Jamie?

Jamie started out as a DJ when he was just 16 years old and travelled around Europe at the age of 20 as a singer. After establishing himself as a Robbie Williams tribute act, he set up his own entertainment agency and started managing various different tribute acts including Take That, Meatloaf and Amy Winehouse. Jamies’ entertainment agency was primarily aimed at the wedding market, and that is where the idea for “’The Singing Waiters’ come along.  

Jamie is also a keen singer songwriter and has even had his own top ten hit on itunes. He has written and worked with people whose credits include Beyonce, Take That and Sir Paul McCartney. 

You might also have seen Jamie in several episodes of Eastenders, riding a moped through Albert Square. But not if you blinked…


What is a singing waiter?

Everybody has probably been to a wedding, corporate event, birthday etc and typically you will have an idea of how the day will run. 

This is where The Best Singing Waiters come in, they take the ordinary and make it more extraordinary. After dessert has been served, they spring into action, suddenly breaking with their “waiter” character, and bursting out into song, getting everyone singing along and essentially break every type of rule you can think of when it comes to party etiquette. They literally get the party started! 

The “reveal” is something that you simply have to see to believe (They have more than 900 videos on their YouTube channel), and it’s this magic moment that wedding guests talk about for years to come.


What does an Ambitious Lifestyle Business look like for Jamie?

Jamie is a married proud dad of three, so for him it’s all about being with the family. Two of the three children are sports minded and love football, karate and dance and the two-and-a-half-year-old is just into everything!!  

For Jamie, working from home is a must – he has no desire to have an office (his office at home does look pretty smart though – check it out in the video!), however that doesn’t mean he is a one man band – Jamie has a team of staff, and has built robust systems and processes which enable him to have the freedom to work from home.  

He also still does some gigs, performing between six and ten gigs per year. Clearly, Jamie’s company do a LOT more gigs than that – more like 200 a year. But again, Jamie has no desire to be racing up and down the motorways of Britain on a daily basis, doing back-to-back weddings, and spending every weekend away from his family.


How did Jamie design his business to deliver his ambitious lifestyle business?

As with most guests on the ALB podcast, it was a bit of design, and a bit of luck! 

As a literal one-man-band, Jamie started to get more and more offers of gigs, that with the best will in the world he simply couldn’t keep up with, so he brought on some singers to lighten the load. 

Before he knew it, that turned into a team of six singers. 

Similar to how Jon Monks told us back in ALB44 that he was “the conductor of the orchestra”, Jamie directs his team, and designs the systems and processes from his home office, so that multiple weddings can all happen at the same time, at opposite ends of the country, and all whilst Jamie is sat at a football match with his family. 

Whilst he did reference Jon Monk’s “conductor of the orchestra” comment though, Jamie explained that his version was a bit more like “waving your arms about and blagging it!” 

Jamie firmly believes that the key to running any business is down to the processes and systems that are in place. (If you want to go deep on systems and processes, have another listen to ALB14, where we look at the story of Ray Kroc, and McDonalds, through the lens of the movie The Founder. 

For Jamie, admin was the first to go – as a creative person, this was something he just did not enjoy, so he was very quick to get someone else doing the paperwork.  Every single thing that he does within the business is fully documented, so that a team member can follow the exact processes to the letter. 

Jamie also likes to record videos of himself on zoom performing key tasks and pop it into a shared dropbox folder, so it is accessible to all of his team, and they can all see visually, exactly what Jamie wants to happen – every time.


Is Jamie a Routine Machine? 

When Jamie started a family, all of his routines changed. He now feels extremely lucky that he works for himself, being able to pick and choose his own hours.  

He doesn’t have to miss a sports day, he can take his son to football and his daughter to dance classes, and he believes that it is all thanks to putting those routines, systems and processes in place.  

As an ambitious, lifestyle business owner, Jamie can dictate life on his own terms.  Routine plays a really important part of this for Jamie. If you want to become a Routine Machine, then you can now grab a free chapter of John’s latest bestselling book of the same name.


How has the One Percent Club helped Jamie?

Jamie’s main reason for joining the One Percent Club was to align himself with like minded people who all have similar values. He read John’s first book (Big Ideas… for Small Businesses), and he wanted a platform that enabled him to be closer to John and Jason to copy their model.  

As John says in Big Ideas… “Who you hang around with REALLY matters. We’ve all heard it said that ‘you are the sum of the five people closest to you’, or ‘your network is your net worth’.  

Well, this is one cliché that is true. That immediate environment around you sculpts who you are. 

Your best chance of becoming a millionaire is to hang around with five millionaires – their habits, routines, ways of thinking, ability to spot an opportunity, the language they use, the networks they have access to. 

This will all rub off on you via osmosis, and before you know it, you’re millionaire number six.”


3 Grades away from a Black Belt

Health and well-being are important to Jamie and he is currently only 3 grades away from obtaining his black belt in Karate.  

Jamie believes that the skills learnt from Karate can be transferred into his business life and his own personal development.  He feels they are similar in the sense of continual repetition, for example making his kicks sharper and harder, learning how to block faster and be more in touch, becoming more flexible. 

He’s also not afraid of groundhog day, he embraces the boring repetition, repetition, repetition that ultimately leads to success, whether in martial arts, or in business. 


Top ten hit on iTunes

Jamie wrote a song for his wife when they got married in Jamaica. The song was called ‘Let’s get married’ and it hit the top ten reggae chart on iTunes, up there with alongside legendary Bob Marley, Shaggy and Kevin Little. How long did Jamie hold his spot in the top ten?  

You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out!


Some more Big ideas

Hula Hooping for self confidence!

Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard


John Lamerton: -we thought about doing the same thing over and over again, routinely.

Jason Brockman: I was waiting for it. I was going to say, “It’s in my head,” and I was going to say, “Which of you are going to say routinely first?”

John Lamerton: Hey everybody, it’s John Lamerton here alongside my good friend and business partner, Jason Brockman. We are here for another episode of the Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast, whereas always it is our job to help you get more customers, and make more money, without just working harder. So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into this month’s episode.

John Lamerton: Everybody, welcome to episode 55 of the Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast. On today’s show we are joined by a soon to be black belt wielding, wedding singer, [crosstalk 00:00:47]. But before we get to that, I need to let you know that my brand new book Routine Machine, is out now. No, it isn’t actually out now because we are recording this before it goes out. So Jason, how’d you think it went?

Jason Brockman: It went really well.

John Lamerton: Do you think it’s like best seller? Nobel prize winning?

Jason Brockman: It is. Nobel?

John Lamerton: It’s been out for a few weeks now. But yeah, you can get a free sample chapter of my new book Routine Machine at RoutineMachine.co.uk. Just go over there, pop your email address is, and I’ll send you a free chapter of my amazing, really well received, soon to be award winning book, Routine Machine.

John Lamerton: Back to today’s guest. So, today’s guest is Jamie Reeves from the best singing waiters. Now Jamie started out as a DJ at the age of 16, while travelling around Europe as a singer at the age of 20. After establishing himself as a Robin Williams tribute act, he must have met a lot of Pollys at the time I think, he set up his own entertainment industry and started managing different tribute acts including: Take That, Meatloaf, and Amy Winehouse. The agency was focused towards the wedding market and that’s where the idea of singing waiters came along.

John Lamerton: Now the wedding entertainment agency bombed, but The Singing Waiters idea took off and now, nine years later, with over 1,500 events performed, it’s still going strong. Jamie is also a keen song writer and he at the top ten on iTunes, and has written and worked with people whose credits include: Beyonce, Take That, and Paul McCartney. He also learned to ride a moped on Albert Square, and he’s three gradings away from becoming a black belt. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jamie Reeves.

Jamie Reeves: Hi, how are you doing?

John Lamerton: Very well.

Jason Brockman: I sound quite good there don’t I?

John Lamerton: [crosstalk 00:02:37] yourself really isn’t it?

Jamie Reeves: I’m looking around going, “Who’s he talking about?”

John Lamerton: So, first place I have to go with this mate is, how did you learn to ride a moped on Albert Square?

Jamie Reeves: Back in the day when I was working as a singer, I used to do a bit of extra work on lots of different t.v. programmes. The guy that got me to gig he said, “You can ride a moped, can’t you?” And I’m like, “Has it got gears?” He went, “No, it’s not got gears.” So I went, “Yeah, I can ride a moped. No problem then.” And just [inaudible 00:03:12] it and I must have done it about seven, eight times went down one summer and I was kind of a moped rider for the summer. So, every time I came, the mechanics guy, because the moped it always gave him grief. “Oh bloody, not you again. You can shove that element up your ass.” And that was it. He used to drive the bus and I’d be there on my moped and we would have a little races trying to see if we could off first and not knock each other over while they are trying to film something. So, it was kind of fun.

John Lamerton: I would like to go back and find just a video of Phil and Peggy up on a little ding dong there and then the zip load just tiering down on a moped.

Jamie Reeves: But it was the days of Peggy and Mike Reed’s friend Frank Butcher and all them. So, yeah.

John Lamerton: I never thought I would see the day where we would have a Mike Reed impression on the ALB podcast.

Jason Brockman: Is that what you think of my [inaudible 00:04:08] impression?

John Lamerton: Well, I don’t know about that. It was something like that. So, Jamie, what is for those listening [inaudible 00:04:16] about a singing waiter? What is a singing waiter?

Jamie Reeves: Well basically what we do, we pretend to wait on during an event like a wedding, or a corporate event, or a birthday party, or something like that, and then usually around about the dessert time, we will propose a toast or bring out a cake and then just burst into song. Surprise everybody and just get everybody singing and dancing on the chairs, and kind of breaking every kind of rule that you can think of when it comes to dinner party etiquette. We are there and we kind of liven up the atmosphere and get everybody going.

John Lamerton: Fantastic, I’ve seen some of your videos with the guys have got the napkins, and just waving it in the air, and people stood on chairs singing. It’s not what you expect from your traditional wedding meal is it?

Jamie Reeves: Absolutely not, no. It’s very much getting the party started in the afternoon.

John Lamerton: Fantastic. So, this podcast is called the Ambitious Lifestyle Business podcast. What does an ambitious lifestyle business look like for you?

Jamie Reeves: For me it’s being able to do the things around with my family. I’ve got three kids, who two are very active, the other one’s only two and a half yet, so give him time. But, my sons very much into his football and karate. He is very sports driven and my daughter is very much into dance and gymnastics. So, being able to kind of work around their activities is very important to me. I also enjoy working at home as well. So, I don’t want to be in a big office. I want to be able to manage my business from home. Still have people within my team because we do that, one of my [inaudible 00:05:58] works, is part of my sales team. I have my admin based up in… I use a VA4 that are based up in Manchester alone. So, there are all people within my team. I’m not just the one man band. I’ve processed this that I’m not just a business owner. I probably go out and do six to ten gigs a year now. And to give it some sort of context, we probably did about 200 gigs this year.

Jamie Reeves: So, very much I am not the business anymore. I was when it first started, but now it’s me running the business so that I can still deliver that kind of really personal kind of best ever wedding feed into people, but still be able to take my kids to football. Take my kids to dance. And run the kind of life style I want to live.

John Lamerton: This is the harking back to [John Munts 00:07:01] from I think it was actually 44′, where he said, “I’m the conductor of the orchestra. I’ve got an orchestra here, and I’m just the conductor.” And that seems like what you said up there Jamie.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, and anyone that knows conductors, all they do it just wave their arms about and black it. And that’s kind of what I’m talking about is technique.

John Lamerton: That’s all I’ve ever seen them.

Jason Brockman: And that’s all Jamie knows.

John Lamerton: So how did you actually go… because obviously this is where you are now. You’ve got this business, you work from home, you are the conductor of the orchestra, you got 200 gigs a year happening of which you are only doing a handful, up to ten. How do we get here from where you were? How did you start designing that and decide, okay actually I want to have a lifestyle business rather than actually I am the business. Where did that transition happen?

Jamie Reeves: It kind of happened because I was getting more and more offers for gigs, so to do singing weddings you need singers, because you don’t tend to… you do some solo gigs, but it tends to be in twos. Ones, twos, and threes. So I was getting singers on board to kind of help me out with the different gigs I was doing. And we were getting more gigs and I was thinking, “Well, if I send them out to there and we go and do that one, then that’s all good.” So, within the first of like twelve months, we had a team of six singers on board. And bear in mind, going back sort of nine, ten years ago, it wasn’t… singing there was quite few of us, believe it or not. So, at the time, we were the only pop singer, or ones around at that time. There was another pop act that they were very much kind of quicker audience clap kind of thing. They sang songs and surprised people, but they didn’t interact in the way that we did. They weren’t to be beating around and waving napkins. We were very much unique in what we did.

Jamie Reeves: So, it was just building a team of singers to start with and then obviously as the operation gets bigger, then you need to bring on admin, then sales, and take care of things and that. And you just start building processes. It was probably… If I would have tracked it and diaried what I’ve done over the last nine, ten years, it would probably be like a crap version of E-Myth. So, kind of some elements done right and some elements done wrong and it’s kind of suck it and see what happens and see what works. Then we’ve just built a series of processes over the years and I think that is the key to running any business. It’s all about the processes. Whatever you do, document it. Zoom is such a great tool nowadays because you don’t even need to write it down. You can just video yourself, do a screen grab, and show what you are doing. Record it, and then just stick it on Dropbox so that right… that’s what we need to do that process. How do I do that? There you go. It’s in Dropbox. Look into that and you’ll find it.

Jamie Reeves: So, whichever member of your team you bring in, there you go. That’s the process. Done and dusted.

John Lamerton: That seems like a better version of the E-Myth. You improved on Michael Gerber’s work there some, aye?

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, maybe I just brought a bit of tack into it.

John Lamerton: Yeah. E-Myth for the 21st Century.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah.

Jason Brockman: Which processes do you think are the most important to set up first in order to get yourself out of the business? Which ones were important?

Jamie Reeves: For me? Or for somebody that would want to kind of [crosstalk 00:10:50]. For me personally, because I that’s… being a creative admin is kind of like, “Ah, really?” And so that was the first bit I wanted to get rid of. So, it was making sure that the process, is it done? So when we do a gig, two months beforehand, we will have a function sheet that goes out to everybody. So, we will send out the song choices, contact the venue, make sure we know what to wear, if they want any insurance certificates, and PAT test certificates, we get them sent out to them. The customer will choose their songs, tell us what time the guests will arrive. Then we will create this little sheet that goes to the customer, goes to our singers, and that’s that. Everybody knows what’s going on then.

Jamie Reeves: So, that was probably the first thing that we did was kind of make sure that the admin side of things was looked after.

Jason Brockman: Quite a time hungry process as well, I guess, because actually you have to make sure everybody has everything, you’ve got to get it all together, and you’ve got to send it all off, you’ve got to bring it back, you’ve got to create it, you’ve got to send it out again. So, for you, that’s something that would really take some of your time and your energy, especially as a creator would you say?

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, because you are always chasing people. Whenever you ring up a venue, they’ll be on their day off or they will be on the phone so you’ve got them ring back. You’ll send the song list site to the client and they will be like, “I’m busy at the moment.” So you will wait, and they will forget about it so then you have to chase up again. So, all these things take time. It is very much time consuming.

John Lamerton: Let’s say you don’t need to be the person doing that. You can design the process and you need to hand that off and… Did you, I know a lot of business owners when they first start handling things over, actually struggle to let go.

Jamie Reeves: Certain tasks, yeah. And because I dislike the admin tasks, I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. So, it was bringing stuff in, but there are certain things like now when I was kind of learning all this stuff [Paul Marshall 00:12:59] I got very into Google AdWords at the start. That was kind of what helped drive leads into the business. So, Paul Marshall, I don’t know if it still is but it used to be, sort of nine, ten years ago was the god of Google AdWords.

John Lamerton: I think he still quoted it. I don’t know if he still is the Google-

Jason Brockman: He still is.

Jamie Reeves: He’s certainly the granddaddy anyways if nothing else. And he used to talk about doing ten dollar an hour jobs, hundred dollar an hour jobs, and ten-thousand an hour jobs. And I didn’t want to be doing ten dollar an hour jobs. I wanted to be doing the hundred dollar an hour jobs. I wanted to be pushing to do, back in the day when I wanted to build a bigger business than what I’ve got now, I wanted to be doing the ten-thousand dollar an hour jobs. So, I had to let go of those admin jobs. I mean, there is one job that I enjoyed doing now that I think I, like every business owner, think that I’m definitely the one that does this best. Which is putting… but I don’t particularly overly enjoy doing it, the videos that you talk about, I put them onto YouTube and to Facebook.

Jamie Reeves: Now, putting a video up is, anyone could do that. But I like to write the witty comments that go with it so I watch the videos and pick the right ones and what not. So if… I don’t want to admit this… but I like love Island. Okay, it’s out there. I’ve put it there right? Put your hands back out your head. But the thing that makes Love Island is the-

Jason Brockman: (whispers to John)

Jamie Reeves: Shut up… The thing that makes Love Island is the comedian that does all the voice overs. Because he is so witty. And the way that he kind of reacts to it. That is the funny bit. That is the bit that makes you laugh. They do the daft stuff, then he comes up with these little bits that add on to it. You’re laughing. You’re into the story then. And that’s what I think I do when I am doing the videos. I think I am that comedian that’s there kind of going and putting those bits in. And that’s probably a job I could do with going like, “Okay, what do you really want me doing? Do you want me doing these ten dollar an hour jobs? Or do you want me doing these hundred dollar an hour jobs?” So it kind of like [inaudible 00:15:12].

John Lamerton: Well it’s the impact and it’s… you know, on the face of it, it’s a ten dollar an hour job, but if you can have a greater impact, and if you’re going to put, lets say 2,000 views through a YouTube ad or through a Facebook video, and if you can increase the conversion rate as a result of having that comedy, that witty banter in there, then actually the impact you’re having isn’t a ten pound an hour job. If you imagine you are… let’s imagine, Come Dine with Me, without Dave Lamb’s commentary. Let’s imagine, or remember, you’ve been framed before Harry Hill, when Lisa Riley was doing it. It was the same content, wasn’t as impactful.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, definitely. And I guess I’m selling myself short then and kind of I am doing a hundred dollar an hour job. But, I’m keeping [inaudible 00:16:16].

John Lamerton: There you go. To be fair, you know, it’s very easy to say, “I must not do those ten dollar an hour jobs.” But, what if that is what you truly love? And for a lot of creators, when actually the creation, well actually the creation is what I enjoy and yeah, I could outsource that, I could get someone else to do that, but I love that bit of the job.

Jamie Reeves: It’s the writing thing. It’s the song writer in me, because at the end of the day if I could go and do what I do from home, as a songwriter, then I can sack everything else off, because that’s my passion. But, as many song writers would tell you, especially now with Spotify and Apple Music, there’s very little money in writing songs. So, I got to write videos, and sales letters, and Friday Funnies, and stuff like that. So, that to me is sharpening my writing skills, which is what I love to do.

John Lamerton: Yeah. You touched on something just now Jamie, you said about, “Back when I was growing a bigger business, about when I wanted to have a bigger business than I’ve got now, and I was doing these ten thousand dollar an hour tasks.”, what changed between wanting that bigger business and, “I want to work from home, I want to craft it around the kids activities.” That sort of thing?

Jamie Reeves: Kind of my kids growing up. Falling on my backside a little. Taking a little dip with the business. So, there was a time where we had an office, where we had six staff, and it was all in house. And then we stuck on a bit of tuff times so we kind of scaled back and then grew back again. So, having been there and kind of looked at what we were getting from having that bigger business, and then scaling back and seeing where we are now and what we are doing with the business now, and growing a lot more slowly, and a lot more remotely. It’s a lot less stress. I’m not doing twelve, fourteen hour days. Like I say, I… maximum my due is seven, eight hour days unless I’m on a gig. So, that’s much nicer. I don’t think with having three kids and everything else, that I’ve got the energy to do twelve, fourteen hour days anymore. I think I’d be in a really bad mental place if I went and did that. I think I’d be burnt out really, really quickly. I’m not like myself, I’m not a big fan of the hustle and grind and that’s not where I want to be.

Jamie Reeves: I want to be… I want my business to be successful and have an impact on people. But, I want it so that it runs as a vehicle, fit of what I can do with my life.

Jason Brockman: Sounds very much like my story.

John Lamerton: It does.

Jason Brockman: Just runs exactly parallel to me.

John Lamerton: Yeah.

Jason Brockman: Yeah, absolutely.

John Lamerton: The children, the struggles, the-

Jason Brockman: Falling out of it, getting back up. Growing slowly and getting what we want from the business. And kind of actually the lifestyle bit that we want. And [inaudible 00:19:32] hours of working in the hustle and the grind of it in order to spend time with the kids. It’s just happens. An absolute [inaudible 00:19:39].

John Lamerton: Do you think we need to have [inaudible 00:19:42]? That you need to you need to fall down? And to make the mistakes of, “This is how you grow a business. If you are in business, you need to have a big business, and you need to have staff, and you need to have offices.” And then when it all falls down house of cards collapses, you realise that actually having fifteen members of staff, as we did, two offices, and suddenly looking at it and saying, “Actually we need to earn 350,000 pound a year just to open the doors.” And having that realisation that, “Well actually, if its just the three of us and everyone worked from home, we need to earn forty grand to keep the doors open.” We know how to do that. We can do that standing on our head. Do you need to have that?

Jason Brockman: You need to have a purpose I think and those life changing things: the children, the falling down in business, the natural stuff, revisits that purpose. What you’re in it for. Some business owners don’t ever find that. They are doing the due, doing the work, working really hard, working harder, they are getting more hours, they are doing that. They are paying the mortgage, they are doing the keeping themselves and that all kind of works out very well. For some that is right and proper, and that’s how they do it. But for others it’s kind of actually this [inaudible 00:20:51] comes along and then, “Actually I got my purpose.” And it’s actually like, “no I want to spend time with the kids.” Or, “I do want to go and have some holidays or I do want to go and have [inaudible 00:20:55].” It becomes a purpose of mission that actually you need to then re-identify what you are doing and re-identify what your business is doing so that you can move forward in a nice orderly fashion. Much like Jamie just said.

John Lamerton: I mean everyone thinks that the path to success is this nice straight linear line that just goes up constantly and it’s not. It’s a roller coaster. It has massive drops and then there are massive highs when you feel absolutely on top of the world, and then the next day, you come crashing back down to Earth with a real reality check, you know?

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, it’s hard. It’s not easy. It’s not straight forward. You do get sleepless nights, but then being able to kind of… like Amelia has started doing competitions now. And she won her first two metals over the weekend. So, seeing her face when she comes back during that, that makes it all worthwhile.

John Lamerton: Definitely, and it is those moments I think once… certainly for me it was the big change, it was having kids because the minute, I mean the minute that I found out [Sara 00:22:00] was expecting, my path completely changed. Just everything I thought I wanted just vanished. Just like it was a mirage. “You don’t actually want any of this stuff.” You know, the yacht, the helicopter, the skyscraper, the massive country house. I don’t actually want any of that. And it was that realisation of, “What the hell am I doing? Why am I working towards this?”

Jamie Reeves: For me it was when [Jack 00:22:25] went to school, because once he started going to school, you have to kind of conform to the Monday to Friday routine. So, where I was kind of working during all weekends, and taking days off with the family during the week, it meant that, “Oh. Right. Okay. Well, if I work all weekends, I’m not going to see him.” Because I am going to be there working all week. The day I take my day off, he is going to be in school. I’m only doing twelve hour days, for five, six days a week… What you doing it for?

John Lamerton: Yeah, exactly. It is that purpose, that big why, isn’t it? I think kids really do give you that, because it is that complete unconditional love. Complete dependence, and I think that we have an opportunity that perhaps our parents didn’t. Because there is no way that my dad could have worked from home, part-time, you know? Building his own business, you know, leveraging the internet or anything like that. It wasn’t possible. The only thing that he could do to provide for his family was to go and work away. So, you know we live in [inaudible 00:23:38], he worked in Manchester. And he would come home for a weekend every three weeks, but that’s what he needed to do. Times have changed now. I don’t need to do that. And I think, for me, perhaps that’s a driver as well. Because my dad was away for three weeks on end, I’m there every day. I’m doing school runs, I’m there every evening. Maybe that’s a driver. I don’t know.

Jamie Reeves: When I’m at football practise, Jack goes, he’s really keen on his football, and we train most evenings. Because it’s not like a ten year old can go out and play in the street nowadays, is it? Like the three four hours, and we called him when the street lights come on or once he’s ready. So, he’s out most nights doing sort of an hour or twos training, every day pretty much. And when I talk to other parents they’re like, “Well, how do you manage to do that? How’d you manage to fit that?” Well, I’m lucky I work for myself. I can pick and choose my own hours. That’s what having your own business and putting those processes together means that you can do. You can do those kind of things. You can dictate life on your terms.

John Lamerton: That’s very true. I think back to, let’s go back fifteen years, twenty years, lifestyle style businesses used to mean, “Oh, you make jam in your kitchen.” Or, “You’ve got this little embroidery thing that you do.” And it’s a hobby that gives you a few quid and maybe covers your cost. That was the definition of a lifestyle business. What you’ve described there now, is what I would call a lifestyle business now. And it’s just got nothing to do with the money, and you can earn three million pound a year as an ambitious lifestyle business, but you probably don’t need to. You can earn thirty grand a year as an ambitious lifestyle business. It’s the freedom it gives you. And it’s not the money, it’s the time. It’s the freedom to say, “You know what? Yeah, my kids got training, football practise every day between six and eight. I’m going to be there. Oh, it’s my kids sports day, in nine days time. Yup, I’ll be there. I’ll take the day off. Absolutely fine. Oh, you know, Harry has a hospital appointment on Monday. Cool, I’m there.” And it’s that freedom to go, “Yup I can do that.”

Jamie Reeves: Like you say, like you are with your kids, I’m there for every school event. And there is so many dads that aren’t. When you were talking about sports day, I don’t know about your school that your son goes to, but with the weather like it is at the moment-

John Lamerton: Yeah we [crosstalk 00:26:22] back up date as well.

Jamie Reeves: There will be a back up date. And parents will be organising themselves, right, I’ve got these few hours off work so that I can come and see. Knowing full well that the weather outside is absolutely hopeless. It’s not going to happen on that day. Whereas I’m like, “Okay, well that one is not done. Brilliant, I’ll go and do that.” For me that is not a problem.

John Lamerton: I’ll always be praying for rain because I’ve blocked out a day for sports day, and if sports day doesn’t happen, I’ve then got a free day. Ooh what shall I do on my free day? Ooh, I could do some [inaudible 00:26:54]. I could just… I was going to say sit in the garden and read, but if it’s raining I won’t be sitting in the garden at my house.

Jason Brockman: You’re playing golf, and that’s what your [inaudible 00:27:02]. [inaudible 00:27:03] that wasn’t fun.

John Lamerton: It is that freedom. And I think, you know, I always come back to my ultimate job descriptions: doing what I want, where I want, when I want, how I want, if I want. And I think all of those, when you want is most important because we’ve all got to do the work at some point. It’d be very easy to say, “I’m running a lifestyle business, and I just do what I want when I want. And I never want to do anything, and I just literally sit on Facebook all day looking at kitten videos.” Well, that’s not really a lifestyle business. Sooner or later you’ve got to do the work, but being able to choose when to do the work, and in what environment, and how that work is going to be done, that for me is the main freedom.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah. I’ve had some issues with the business where some things have gone wrong, so I’ve had to get back into the business to tidy them up. Which has meant that some of the jobs that I’m supposed to do, haven’t got done. So, now I’ve been making sure that I put into my calendar and give myself little kind of bonuses, if you like, that I can go. If I do five [inaudible 00:28:17] in a row, I can go to Starbucks and get myself a coffee. So, it’s making sure routine is under control, you’re kind of-

John Lamerton: Well, I was going to say there is a book about that I’ve heard.

Jamie Reeves: Is there? I’ve heard of it. I’ve got a review on Amazon. So, there’re things that you have to do still, you still aren’t completely free, but life is a series of choices isn’t it? And if you can build your life where you can choose what you want to do, and when you want to do it, that’s got to be a good thing.

John Lamerton: Yeah, absolutely. So you’ve been one of our one percenters for a while now. How is the percent book helped you with that?

Jamie Reeves: It’s always important to align yourself with people that have got similar values to you. And when I read your first book, I was like, “That’s how I want to run my business.” And it was probably at the time where things were going a little bit wrong as well. I was like, running a business like that makes total sense to me. So, that was the main reason was so that I could be closer to you guys, so that I could copy your model and put that into my own business. That’s pretty much what’s happened. So, over the last… when did I start… I had a guy that was helping me with admin and we worked remotely, because when took our little bit of a dip, we decided to get rid of the office, so he worked from his home and I worked from my home. And we just built it from there and got more people on board. I’ve given away more tasks, which has freed up more time for me to either spend with the kids or do more income generating tasks.

John Lamerton: Good, good. Yeah, it’s one of those things if you can surround yourself with… I keep saying like-minded people… it’s almost a cliché to say like-minded people but actually you are who you surround yourself with. And often if you want to grow your business, you surround yourself with business growth people. But, actually if you want to grow a lifestyle business, perhaps you don’t want to surround yourself with Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone, and the guys who are building hundreds of million dollar businesses. These are the guys who do want the yachts, and the skyscrapers, and helicopters. And if that’s what you want, that’s who you want to surround yourself with. But actually if you want is the freedom to be able to do school runs, and to go to sports day, and to say, “You know what? I’m not going to work Wednesdays or I’m going to take every Friday afternoon off. Or I’m going to take a lot of time off in the Summer so I can play golf. And then I’m going to do a load of writing in the Winter.” That freedom can come from surrounding yourself with people who either have done it, or are doing it, and are on that common journey isn’t it?

Jamie Reeves: Yeah. I mean for me the next stage that I’m going to get to is that I’m only in the business one or two days a week. Because then I can do a bit more Summer and take the Summer a little bit more seriously. So, that’s kind of where I want to get to. So the next, we’ve got one sales person within the business, so now it’s growing the business to make sure that it could feed two sales people and do that on a regular basis, and make sure that the results are consistent. And the next stage will be to maybe up the leads a little bit more so that you can feed two and a half people maybe. So that we can get that other person in and then keep it ticking over like that. So, there’s always kind of that next stage of where you are wanting to go to, so the ambitious part, the ambition is still there because Disneyland doesn’t come cheap-

John Lamerton: No, it doesn’t.

Jamie Reeves: -and neither do football lessons, and neither do dance lessons, gymnastic lessons, and martial arts lessons, they all come at a cost. So, the ambition is still there to grow the business and take it to the next level, but doing it on my terms rather than doing it on an 80 hour week.

John Lamerton: Well, if you look at what you defined as your goal there, it wasn’t I want to earn 250,000 pounds a year. It was, I want to work one day a week. That’s the goal. And so many people start with a monetary goal and they say, “Oh, I need to earn 50 grand or 100 grand or I want turn over a million pound, I need a million pound business.” Why? Why do you need a million pound business? Other than willy waving and to show off to your mates, why do you need a million pound business? If a million pound business serves you and it meets your goals of what you actually want for your life, happy days. If not, why the hell are you slogging your guts out to get a million pound business just to say, “I’ve got a million pound business.”

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, it doesn’t make sense. It’s everything after it aligns with your goals and your purpose. So, if you want a house that’s like a… say the most important thing to you is like a six bedroom house with two acres on, then you’re going to need to push a little bit harder than somebody that wants to work one or two days a week.

John Lamerton: Yeah.

Jason Brockman: So how does getting a black belt fit into your goals and things?

Jamie Reeves: It’s just health and well being. When Jack was born, I was working a stupid amount of hours. I was trying to get the wedding entertainment industry up and running. I was singing and doing gigs. The singing quite a bit was starting to take off. I had a full time job, because life is this thing it can be quite topsy turvy just like a business owner. You have so many peaks and drops, so I ended up working for a debt collection agency. And the reason I was working for a debt collection agency is so I wasn’t chased by the debt collection agency.

Jason Brockman: [inaudible 00:34:40]

John Lamerton: You’d just put your file on the bottom every time.

Jamie Reeves: So, yeah you’ll be all right, just keep paying me. Give me a bonus and all will be good. No, so we weren’t quite at that level, but that regular income I needed because the singing stuff was just so up and down. And the irony was, any time I took a full time job, my singing work would go (hands go up). And I was then trying to juggle, “Oh, well they won’t be down in [inaudible 00:35:10] on a Friday night and I’m placed up in [inaudible 00:35:12].” How the bloody hell am I supposed to work till five o’clock and then get down to do a gig there? So, it was kind of the juggling everything, and holidays, and sick days, and things like that to make sure that things worked. I was working 80, 90 hours a week. And just the burnout of that made me feel really, really low. So, I ended up having some cancelling because I was just working so, so hard, and it made me feel mentally fatigued and I wasn’t looking after myself. I was just kind of work, work, work, work.

Jamie Reeves: I ended up, because there was enough singing work coming through, and The Singing Waiters started to take off, I was able to ditch the debt collection agency and then just kind of work solely on looking after the singing waiter business. But, it’s always meant that I got one eye on my health as well, from that experience, and I was taking Jack to martial arts for about two years, and I’m just like, “You know what? I’m sitting here scrolling through Facebook, looking up. Am I supposed to be doing something?” So, I joined in, that was probably about two and a half, three years ago, and I’ve gone through all my normal gradings now the next grading is end of September where I go from my red belt and then there’s two more after that to get to your black belt first Dan. Which will probably be in about eighteen, twenty-four months time.

John Lamerton: So we did tease you as soon to be black belt wielding.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, that-

John Lamerton: We just need to delay this episode by about eighteen months.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, it depends on your definition of soon.

John Lamerton: Hey, I’m a [inaudible 00:36:59], be as [inaudible 00:37:01] as you want.

Jamie Reeves: For some people twenty-four months is soon. We keep telling people in the wedding industry that. “My wedding is 2021.” Well, that’s soon. My black belt is 2021, so that’s soon.

John Lamerton: And as the soon to be parent of a ten year old, yeah, eighteen months is nothing, you know? So what skills have you picked up from the karate that you could then bring into your business or your own personal development?

Jamie Reeves: Oh wow, that’s a really good question.

John Lamerton: Thank you.

Jason Brockman: He’s been waiting on it for a little while.

Jamie Reeves: Um, yeah… I would probably say just continual repetition I guess. Because when you do the martial arts lessons, sometimes you think, “Oh bloody hell. This is Groundhog Day.” But, it’s just repetition, repetition, repetition. And it’s kind of making sure those kicks are sharp. Making sure those punches are sharper, that those blocks are sharper. It’s by doing them over and over again, you become more flexible so that you can kick high, you can punch harder, you can block faster. So, I’m guessing if you put that into business perspective, by copywriting on a weekly basis and sending out your weekly emails, you will be more in touch with your list so they will have a better relationship with you, because you are doing it on a weekly basis you should get funnier and wittier and more on point. Depends on what industry you are in. You don’t want to be too funny if you are in funeral care or something like that. Do you know what I mean? But for what I do, it is quite an entertaining way of inter-living, so I can be quite witty and cheeky and things.

Jamie Reeves: But it’s that kind of weekly repetition of doing stuff there. Making your calls, making sure that I do my fifty [inaudible 00:39:05] a day. Making sure I put my three videos a day out onto my social media channels. So, I’m guessing from martial arts, it’s not being afraid of Groundhog Day, and repetition, repetition, repetition.

John Lamerton: It builds, whether you’re talking about copywriting for business, [inaudible 00:39:24] a day, or martial arts, you’re talking about muscle memory.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah.

John Lamerton: And you’re talking about doing the same thing over and over again routinely.

Jason Brockman: I was waiting for it. I was going to say, “It’s in my head,” and I was going to say, “Which of you are going to say routinely first?”

Jamie Reeves: Can’t you see how I avoided it for nearly two minutes, like let’s see how that works.

Jason Brockman: I just waited for it to come out.

John Lamerton: Yeah. But it is. It’s that let’s start with the basics and if you become a black belt, and is it karate that it’s been doing?

Jamie Reeves: It’s a mixture. It’s mainly Taekwondo based, but it’s a mixture of karate, taekwondo, and Muay Thai kickboxing.

John Lamerton: Okay, so you becoming a black belt in karate, Muay Thai. If you then suddenly decide you want to do jujitsu, congratulations Jamie, here’s your white belt.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, absolutely, because it’s a completely different skill set. The martial arts that I do is more about striking, whereas jujitsu is more of kind of like holds. So, it would be like, I guess, going from being a copywriter, where you are writing and sending different things out, to then picking up the phone and being a sales person. Because they are two very different disciplines.

John Lamerton: Absolutely. And what is the best way to become a good salesman? Sell every day. What is a good way to be a good copywriter? Do copyrights, one copy every day. It is building that muscle memory and actually… but also, having that coaching, that mentoring that says, “Just adjust your stance a little bit there Jamie. Balance your weight a little bit onto the right foot.” And it’s that little bit of, “Okay, you got the muscle memory, let me just tweak that for you.” We have it with the golf coaching. We are building the muscle memory of our swing, and then the coach will just wonder behind and say, “Put your chin up a little bit. Drop your left shoulder. Adjust your grip slightly.” Not all at the same time, but it was just random things that just need a little bit of tweaking. A little bit of improving, iterating, polishing. And then, the more you do these things the easier it becomes. So, actually you’re copywriting, your Friday Funnies, or your weekly emails, or whatever. It’ll be easier. The more you do them.

John Lamerton: Once you’ve done a weekly email for three months, in the beginning it’s going to take you an hour and a half to do one. In three months, it’s going to take you thirty-three minutes.

Jamie Reeves: Don’t even take me that long, ten minutes.

John Lamerton: Oh yeah, I’ve read yours. Sorry, five minutes maybe?

Jamie Reeves: Well, I probably was building the part there. You’re probably right. Doesn’t take them longer to send them to my segmented list than it does to write them, because as I’m doing the videos over the week, I know which video I want to send out and I’ve already written half of it within that system. Just putting it in an email and then sending it. So, yeah I do it while the kids are having breakfast.

John Lamerton: So, the last thing I want to touch on, just before we are coming up on time here is, when you started out you had this agency that was managing other tribute acts. Then you kind of went into the wedding market, and now, all of a sudden, we’re a singing waiter with a top ten iTunes hit.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah.

John Lamerton: How did you fall into the right business for you?

Jamie Reeves: Trial and error. So, which has always been the way since I started really, because I was a DJ to start with, as a 16-year-old, and I wanted to do either radio, or be a football journalist. I did a journalism and radio course, which kind of worked alongside the DJing a little bit. And from that I’ve got [inaudible 00:43:15] to do the radio and the DJ side of things. So, I headed off down that route. And from being a DJ, I did a bit of singing to get people going, and people said, “Oh, you should be a singer.” So I went and was a singer. Then when we came back from Cypress, getting married, having kids, that was all in the cards. So, I wanted to have something to fall back on than just my singing.

Jamie Reeves: Because I knew how erotic being a singer could be when it comes to income and having loads of gigs one minute, and being quiet as a door mouse the next. So, that’s when I started the agency. People were always getting married, so that seemed a good thing to do. So I had the wedding agency in one hand and then I had good knowledge of the tribute market in the other. So, that’s why I started managing a few people and started helping them out. From building the wedding entertainment agency, I found out about operatic singing waiters. For some reason Google ranked us really highly, so we got lots of inquiries. But, the people that we were dealing with were all operatic, all kind of very, “Well, you’ve got to pay this, and then you’ve got to pay this for travel, this for equipment. We want hotels, this, that, and the other.” The money that they were asking for I thought was kind of, “Wow, that’s just mega money. We are never going to convert those.”

Jamie Reeves: And there was no one doing it in the way that I would do it, which was kind of pop sing along. So, that’s when I thought we will give it a go and see what happens and run it alongside the other things and see if any of those convert. So, we got a few gigs and then things just went, “Oh, this is interesting.” So we spent a bit more time promoting the singing waiter stuff. At the time, I was also a Take That tribute as well. And I was thinking, “Well, we’ll do the Singing Waiters alongside the Take that tribute.” Because the Take That tribute is going to be the one that gets more of the work. But if we do that, then maybe it will give us a few extra gigs.

Jamie Reeves: I think we did about three or four gigs as the Take That tribute, and the rest was pretty much all Singing Waiters. So, one more time spent on the Singing Waiters that the wedding had the same agency, to a few bits and bumps here and there, it was really hard work. And in the end we were like, “Well, I can focus all my time on this, or I can continue doing both.” Bye Bye went the entertainment agency, focused on the Singing Waiters and then just did that. Because did so well, I was coming up to my 40th birthday, and I wanted to record my first album, so went in the studio, did that, and one of the songs it’s a song called Let’s Get Married, which I wrote for my wife about our wedding in Jamaica, so it was a little pop radio chain and that got into the top ten.

John Lamerton: Very well done. How did that feel getting a top ten hit?

Jamie Reeves: It was just mental. It was just really, really surreal. So, in fact it came up, it was about four years ago, it came up on my Facebook memories last week, and I was like constantly screenshotting. [crosstalk 00:46:44]. And-

John Lamerton: Who was around you? [crosstalk 00:46:49]

Jamie Reeves: Who else was in the top ten with you?

John Lamerton: Bob Marley, Shaggy, E-40, Kevin Little. So all these kind of real big run, known reggae tunes. And I’m there and we got retweeted by UB40.

Jamie Reeves: Wow.

John Lamerton: It was just kind of really, really surreal. And don’t get me wrong, it was only for a day, but it’s something that you can say, “Yeah, that happened. There you go, that’s what your dad did.”

Jamie Reeves: Did I tell you, I’ve got a screenshot that says, “Best selling author.” You know, I’m above Richard Branson, Duncan Bannatyne, Alan Sugar, you know. Yes, it was probably for a couple of hours, but I’ve got that screenshot.

John Lamerton: Yeah, absolutely.

Jason Brockman: And no one will take it away from you.

John Lamerton: They’re not. Well I hope not anyway.

Jason Brockman: So Jamie, tell me how if you would like to book the Best Singing Waiters, how is the way that they would find what you are up to and how to get a hold of you?

Jamie Reeves: So we have a website which is www.thebestsingingwaiters.com. If you type Facebook.com/singingwaitersUK, you’ll find our Facebook page there. On YouTube as UK Wedding Music. I’m on Instagram as… The Singing… if you put the Best Singing Waiters you’ll find us on Instagram. I’m not sure off the top of my head what the sideline bit is. Um, Best Singing Waiters-

Jason Brockman: I bet people are going to be really intrigued to visit YouTube. I think these are the people [inaudible 00:48:18] your routine videos. [crosstalk 00:48:19]

Jamie Reeves: If you put The Best Singing Waiters into YouTube, or just go on the website thebestsingingwaiters.com, click the YouTube icon, and there’s over a thousand videos on that YouTube channel. So, you’ll be able to get that lost in that and watch something different to cat videos.

John Lamerton: I must come up with something other than cat videos to use as that type of- [crosstalk 00:48:43].

Jason Brockman: You use that all the time don’t you?

John Lamerton: I do yeah. Kitten videos. There you go.

Jason Brockman: Thank you so much for joining us Jamie.

Jamie Reeves: Yeah, thank you for having me.

John Lamerton: Yeah thank you for joining us. It’s been an absolute pleasure, been great speaking to you.

Jamie Reeves: Absolutely, thank you very much.

John Lamerton: Just a reminder to everybody that you can grab that free sample chapter of Routine Machine if you want to build that muscle memory in your business on your personal development. Go to routinemachine.co.uk you’ll get that free sample chapter of my hopefully best selling book Routine Machine. We also have all the show notes. You can watch the video of this interview with Jamie. He’s in his home office so literally, we’ve mentioned how important it is to him to work from home. I’m looking behind him now and I’m seeing a keyboard, I’m seeing a guitar. There’s lots of fun happening in that home office I reckon. So, you can watch the video, we have the transcripts of everything talked about in all the show notes. And that is at bigidea.co.uk. All else that we can say is thank you once again for joining us on the Ambitious Lifestyle Business podcast, and we will see you next month for Episode 56. Thank you, bye bye.

John Lamerton: So there we are. Another episode in the count. How was it for you? Please let us know how do you listen to these podcasts? Please leave a review on that platform. Let us know what we can do better, or what you like, or what you don’t like, and how we can improve to make this show even better for you. We’ll see you next time.

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.” Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

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John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

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