Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward. —James Altucher
These are just some of the valuable, life defining principles that we’re never taught in school. And, when you’re running your own business, being willing to redefine yourself can quite literally be the difference between living a life of meaning or settling for a life of mediocrity and regret.
I should know because I’ve been there.
Picture this: after leaving my job as a national newspaper reporter, I decided that a career as a publicist was my true vocation. I had no real idea what a publicist did, except look after clients and make them famous. If they were already famous, well, then I’d make them even bigger. Simple. As a PR consultant or publicist, I quickly discovered I had that gift of persuasion and disarming charm (he says with a modest smile) that meant I could sell any clients story to anyone.
One newspaper described my ability as ‘native cunning meeting desperate intelligence.’ I thought of it more as possessing nothing but wit, grit and bulls***t. Whatever it was, it worked. Within a year of leaving the newsdesk, I had an office in Harley Street, I was looking after The King of Uganda, mistresses of President Clinton, a host of sports and TV personalities and a number of fairly prominent politicians. I even had my own TV show on Sky (all about fame and celebrity. What else?) and co-hosted a radio show broadcast in Spain. But just as I thought I was rising to the top, I realised I was incredibly unhappy and very, very tired. I was working around the clock doing an endless series of TV shows, radio interviews, press interviews around the world and documentaries. Some of these were for my clients. Most were for me.
My modus operandi was a unique one: promote myself as much as possible and let the clients come to me. It worked but it took its toll on me. I remember being in the office and seeing a celebrity on the news. I turned to my office manager and said ‘we should get him.’ She shook her head and replied: ‘we already have him. You’ve been representing him for a year.’
That’s how burnt out I was. At that point I decided enough was enough. I had to get out or otherwise I’d be heading for rehab or an early heart attack. So, eventually, and after lots of sleepless nights, I closed the office. My wife and I sold our houses and we moved to France. Living in what seems like a million miles away from the hectic, relentless world of spin doctors and celebrities, I’ve redefined myself as a publisher and showcase of excellence.
I produce books that help people become better entrepreneurs and publish a magazine dedicated to doing the same thing. I also run a number of international awards showcasing excellence and (next month) I’m launching a podcast show called Kizzi’s Friday Game Changers. It’s been a difficult and sometimes traumatic transition. But it’s been worth it.
That’s my story.
What about yours? After reading my tale of rediscovery and reinvention, I’d like to ask you: what would you do if you knew you could do anything in the world? Got an answer in mind? Good.
Now today do just one thing towards your goal. It doesn’t have to be something dramatic. Just one thing. And tomorrow take another step. Each step forward is a step closer to living life on your terms.
Every failed experiment brings you a little closer to success. Live your true story.
About the author:
Kizzi Nkwocha is the publisher of Money and Finance, The UK Newspaper, The Property Investor and The Sussex Newspaper. He is also chair of The Ethical Publishers Association. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus
of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain. Nkwocha has published a number of books on running your own business and in 2011 his team won the Specialized Information Publishing Association (SIPA) award for best use of social media.