Speaker Profile: Neil Hedley – WIBN 2012 Conference

 

The unofficial version of Neil…

1. Tell us about your business. 
My "business" has several prongs to it, actually, and I fell into it by accident. I was in radio and television for thirty years, the last twenty of which were spent as a radio morning show host. Along the way, I picked up bits and pieces of expertise here and there that made me an almost literal "Jack of all trades". I ended up needing to try and find a descriptive umbrella to put them all under, so I picked the term "Media Services". But that covers a lot of ground, because now I work as a television personality (I prefer to use terms like "talking head" or "professional pot stirrer"), author, columnist, speaker, copywriter, web host, WordPress expert, and a number of other things that I probably have forgotten. In short, my business is me.

2. Tell us about yourself.
I sometimes work too hard. I sometimes get overwhelmed. I sometimes have crises of confidence. I sometimes have trouble believing in myself and what it says on my resume. I sometimes don’t react well to people who don’t give 100%. Sometimes, in the heat of things, I lose sight of how unbelievably fun and cool my "job" is, and am blessed to get reminded at times when I least expect it. There are things I do that I don’t talk about much; some of them are things fewer than ten people are aware of. Those things I keep to myself largely because I didn’t get into them as "revenue streams"; I got into them in the interest of helping people, and right now I’m not interested in blurring the line between the two.

3. What motivated you to do what you do in business? Was there an “aha” moment or a moment of innovation?
The complicated thing for me is that I do a lot of different things, so there have been dozens of "aha" moments and motivations on this road. And when I look around me, I realize that everything I’ve picked up in nearly 35 years in the workforce has given me the pieces for the puzzle that has become my life now. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never had a job I didn’t love. I’ve never done something simply because it was a paycheck. So what motivates me in a "big picture" sense is very simple: Happiness.

4. How do you overcome challenges and obstacles in your business?I’m about to give you a name, and it’s not because I get anything for doing it. It’s because I found Nirvana. No, not the band, and not the state of mind, either. If you’re a person who, like me, has a million things on the go all at once, and sometimes has trouble keeping track of everything, I’m going to recommend two things to you. First, read a book by David Allen called "Getting Things Done". It will change the way you look at work. Once you’re done with GTD, go online and sign up for a FREE web application called "Nirvana" by going to app.nirvanahq.com – use the invitation code "lifehacker" to get in. Once you’ve registered for the "N2" beta (make sure you get the "N2" – contact me if you have trouble finding it), you’ll be in on the ground floor of the one and only website I’ve found in fifteen years of searching, that allows me to keep track of things the way I want to. I’ll admit, that though I’ve read "Getting Things Done" a dozen times, and have spoken to David Allen over and over again, I sometimes fall off the "GTD Wagon". Nirvana is the one tool that allows me to stay on track – the challenge for me has been teaching myself that there finally IS a system I can depend on. Nirvana is free for now, and I’m told that there will ALWAYS be a free version available, but when the beta test is over later this year, they’ll move to a relatively cheap "pay as you play" option. They’ve earned a customer in me, regardless of what they’re going to charge. I can’t say this emphatically enough: There are a hundred websites out there that claim to help you manage your tasks and projects better. I’ve tried most of them. Nirvana is the only one that has ever worked for me. But read "Getting Things Done" first – all the way through – and have the courage to try it. It’s radically different from what you’re probably used to. And it works.

5. What are your greatest strengths as an entrepreneur?

My steadfast refusal to accept "good enough", and my insatiable quest for knowledge are both things I consider strengths. When it comes to "knowledge-based work", I believe that anyone can learn to do anything. But there is no greater strength for an entrepreneur than to have a core group of people – or even one person – whose belief in you never wavers. I’ve been blessed to find that in my wife Tatiana, and in a special cadre of friends who keep pushing me toward dreams I never had the courage to pursue. Some of the people you’ll meet at this Conference are people in that group, and one of the greatest challenges I face is finding a way to adequately express my gratitude to them.
 
The Official Neil Hedley
Neil Hedley is an award-winning broadcast veteran who spent thirty years in radio in both Canada and the United States. He’s also an author, speaker, television personality, stand-up comedian, singer, occasional actor, world record holder, and is one of those almost annoyingly proud Dads.
 
Neil’s first book, What Was That Number Again? Crime Against Advertising and How To Prevent Them, will be out in February 2012, and builds on Neil’s time as a copywriter and ad agency creative director.  He’s currently working on his second book, called Radio Is Dead: Long Live Radio, which features interviews with the living legends of the music business and examines the changing relationship between the recording industry and broadcasters.
 
Neil has also helped raise on the order of five million dollars for charitable organizations, through events that he either created or led; in 2007, he was responsible for the largest local charity fundraising event in the history of Internet radio, and has been cited by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for his commitment to supporting the community.
 
After 20 years of #1-rated morning shows, Neil is finally sleeping in past 4am; in addition to his work here, you can find him on his personal blog and follow him on Twitter.

 

 

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