From its humble (and slightly nervous!) beginnings at the start of a global pandemic, Island Influencers has celebrated a significant milestone of 100 episodes.
We’ve featured a diverse range of guests during that time, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the most valuable lessons they have shared.
Beyond the technicalities involved in podcasting (!) and my growing confidence as a host, these guest insights are intended to share the collective wisdom shared by the Island Influencers.
Guests on the podcast have generously shared insights and ideas. But what I capture here is just scratching the surface of the many valuable thoughts collected in the first 100 episodes.
It’s a genuine privilege to be in the host’s chair for Island Influencers, talking to these wonderful people who live on the Isle of Man.
Passion as the Driving Force
Every guest on Island Influencers is driven by a passion for what they do. Their resounding message is clear: do what you love, or reassess your choices.
Life is far too short to spend on pursuits that don’t deliver personal growth and happiness.
In Episode 51, Josh and Ali, owners of Veg and Vitality, said, “If you’ve got the passion for it, you’ll get there. Then you’ll never work a day in your life.“
A Love for Sports and Music:
Guests on the podcast shared their near-universal appreciation for sports and music, a common thread connecting people from various backgrounds.
In the world of sports – a pastime I find essential and stress-busting – the podcast shared some fascinating stories that challenge the traditional narrative.
Tom Mazzone’s journey reflects his chasing dreams and adapting to new challenges. He shared his forward-looking perspective: “I’m so future-driven that all the major achievements are yet to happen.”
Greg Ellison, founder of AI Strategy Ninja, said, “I always think exercise and music are two friends that will never let you down.”
Love for the Isle of Man
Unsurprisingly, most of my guests express their love for the Isle of Man. With its stunning scenery and unique sense of community, the island is more than a place to live; it’s a source of pride and identity.
Kevin Furlong’s (among many others) decision to make the Isle of Man his permanent home after a holiday in 1989 reflects a sentiment echoed by many who find the island irresistibly charming. Kevin is the co-owner of the brilliant Elite Fitness gym.
The unique “sense of place” on the Isle of Man, as highlighted by Jo Overty, is another example of the deep connection residents feel to their surroundings.
Ealish Greggor’s love for the island’s sense of community, especially during challenging times, underscores the supportive environment that makes the Isle of Man a true home.
Beyond its natural beauty, the Isle of Man stands out for its genuine sense of community. Nicola Bowker talked about the authenticity of relationships, noting that on the island, people are seen for exactly who they are, fostering a society free from pretence.
Island Challenges and Opportunities
The Isle of Man also offers many opportunities.
Phil Craine, an advocate for the island’s natural beauty, guides visitors through the natural landscapes and uses this platform to raise awareness about global issues. This sentiment is shared in his episode with challenges attracting visitors to the island.
From tourism to environmental concerns, we’re reminded in Island Influencer episodes of the vast opportunities beyond our shores.
Chris Kissack’s analogy of a frog in a well serves as a poignant reminder that, while content in the island’s charm, it’s crucial not to overlook the broader world.
Guests on Island Influencers took different paths to reach where they are today. Several of my guests shunned the conventional academic route.
Richard Reid found his calling as a psychotherapist during a chance encounter in Patagonia, providing an example of how life’s direction can suddenly change.
Nick Preskey and many others (including myself!) challenge the idea that success hinges solely on academic achievements. I’m also a believer in the ‘school of life.’
Sarah Ingrassia’s career, featuring blue-chip companies, reflects the unpredictability of life after school, illustrating the potential for success even without a predetermined path.
Jo Cutsforth’s story challenges stereotypes, proving that it’s never too late to learn and excel, especially for those who may not have thrived in traditional academic settings.
Donna Thomas, owner of Heavenly Beauty, defied expectations by returning to college at 23 to pursue her passion for beauty therapy, building an empire from the ground up.
Emma Lings pursued her passion instead of financial gain, sharing her school memories to become a successful furniture maker and house builder.
Advice for Success
Each Island Influencer shares practical advice for success. Common themes include the importance of enjoying your work, listening to your gut, and thorough research.
Conor Cummins highlights the significance of diligent research to avoid making rushed decisions. Nicola Bower talked about the importance of people over data.
Trust is another common theme among guests, as noted by Richard Reid, who recommends a shift towards working smarter, empowering people, and fostering a culture of trust within a team.
This sentiment was echoed by Debbie Scrimshaw, who recognised that a thriving business is only as strong as its people, talking about the need to develop and retain individuals with loyalty, competence, responsibility, and respect.
The power of personal connection is another regular theme, with Neil Taggart stressing the importance of picking up the phone and speaking to someone (!) despite the ease of text/e-mail communication.
According to Sarah Ingrassia, leadership is most effective when built on kindness rather than fear, a philosophy grounded in the belief that a positive work environment stems from positive management.
Sean Moffatt emphasises the impact of one’s surroundings, urging individuals to choose their circle wisely and cut away negative influences for personal and professional growth.
The collective wisdom of these Island Influencers is invaluable; success is more than financial gain. Instead, it’s about cultivating a culture based on trust, kindness, and empowerment, with a strong focus on people and purpose.
Mental and Physical Health
My guests shared insights into the essential link between mental and physical health, advocating for a holistic well-being approach.
Haafizah Hoosen-Charles, co-founder of Lyph Lab, highlighted the significance of understanding this interconnectedness between mental and physical health.
I’m proud that Island Influencers has become a platform for spreading the importance of kindness, especially as it surrounds mental health, and this message comes from guests who have experienced burnout.
Ged Power’s story is marked by ups and downs and reflects the close relationship between mental and physical well-being. Ged’s episode also reminded us that success is about navigating the intricacies of mental health.
Within my conversations with Island Influencers, there’s a recurring theme about the importance of being true to oneself.
Lyle Krause gave us succinct advice to ‘back yourself’, capturing this message of personal authenticity that many guests shared in their episodes.
Clara Isaac questions why kindness is not the default in human interactions, advocating for a life approach that expends less energy on negativity and more on kindness.
Guests share a range of financial stories, from the rags-to-almost-riches tale of Conor Cummins, who grappled with economic challenges when pursuing his passion for racing, to guests like Neil Morris and Roy Moore, whose early experiences shaped their perspectives about money.
Every guest’s story reminds us that financial success is more than accumulating wealth; it’s a journey featuring personal growth and choices.
Island Influencers also explores childhood memories and early encounters with money, from Donna Thomas’ scavenging for change behind her sleeping father to Steve Rodan’s car washing ventures that instilled a lifelong savings habit.
These stories remind us that everyone had a different upbringing, and our childhood experiences often profoundly impact financial behaviours today.
Among my guests on Island Influencers, there’s a recurring theme of inspiration and role models. Famous figures and family members or friends serve as inspiration for my guests.
I ask each guest for a favourite quote, serving as inspiration and offering a glimpse into personal beliefs and experiences.
Howard Parkin’s detailed recollection of the 14th of April 1961, when his interest in astronomy was sparked as the first human entered space, demonstrates the profound impact a singular moment can have.
His belief that “there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet” reflects a worldview rooted in connection and shared humanity.
John Shakespeare’s assurance of sleeping with a clear conscience encapsulates a lifetime of integrity and a commitment to ethical living.
Gail Yeowell’s decision to “be brave” and establish her business, SmartHR IOM, was propelled by a poignant moment at an airport, showcasing the transformative power of personal experiences.
Island Influencer David Talbot draws inspiration from Martin Luther King’s timeless question about our contributions to others, a query that resonates just as profoundly today as it did in 1957.
The poetic wisdom of Georgina’s Grandad echoes through the quote, “Go on cause a splash, make some waves, at least have your say, then when you go, you can leave some ripples that only slowly fade away.”
Georgina’s quote is a timely reminder that people who have since left us can have an enduring impact on our lives.
Island Influencers features many more remarkable stories of daring leaps into the unknown, discussing chance, luck, and seizing opportunities.
Positive Change Over Politics
I intentionally avoid discussing politics with my guests. Instead, our conversations focus on fostering positivity and effective positive change in the community. Entrepreneurs and business owners are critical in contributing positivity to the world.
Looking back at some of the highlights from the first 100 episodes of Island Influencers, I think I’ve probably got enough content for a book!
As the podcast has grown, I’m proud to provide a platform for my guests to highlight a commitment to positivity, diversity, and community engagement, which was always the aim!
Through the many stories guests share, Island Influencers has become a platform for conversations, inspiring change and celebrating the unique spirit present on the Isle of Man.
The stories shared on Island Influencers reflect the multifaceted, modern life on the Isle of Man, with each episode standing alone and contributing to a broader picture of island life.