all my life I have striven for excellence, yet only now do I realise that all I really wanted was to be different...

What a life...

Without a doubt, I've had a good life. I left school without any qualifications, not that it stopped me from progressing through life. I tried a number of times to improve my education by going to university and have the accolade of being asked to leave all three of them before I got any where near graduating.

I started by working life as a bricklayer after spending a year at a pre-apprenticeship college in Leeds. This proved to be my first turning point. I found something I could do and more purposely what I wanted to do.

Throughout my 9 years as a bricklayer I met many people that influenced me one way or another and on I moved to a new role; as a building instructor. I enjoyed that role and expanded my career until the time came to move on after 15 years of passing on skills and knowledge.

By this time I had a young family but the desire to do something different was pulling me. I'd had experienced working with government departments in my last job so quite strangely I went from a building background into a new world of hair and beauty.

No, I didn't become a hairdresser but went to run a quasi government body to develop standards, qualifications, and help the hair & beauty industry in the UK become one of the worlds success stories.

Get the most out of it...

And what a turning point that was for me. Once again I found that I was good at something and that was developing the hair and beauty education system in the UK.

It was a role that took me all over the world and on to meet so many people who were either influencers or detractors but it's what you do with the knowledge you gain from people that makes you different.

I met countless politicians from many countries; I met them when they were on their way up and when they were on their way down (not a career option for me). I went to places most people only dream of. I spent 25 years in a job I loved almost everyday (just hated board meetings).

Then one day, I said to my wife "I need to go to the doctors, there's something wrong with me that I can't work out". So off we went in November 2010 to my GP and we did some tests and suggested that I see a neurologist. (To read more about this click here).

To get straight to the point. I found myself diagnosed with Parkinson's at the tender age of 57.

Life's not over yet, so get the most out of it when you can...