Andrew Thorp

Founder, Speakeasy Groups
Manchester, United Kingdom

About Andrew

Bio

Resident Manchester (UK)
Communication skills trainer and Founder of Speakeasy Groups, a mechanism for helping people craft and deliver a compelling story. My goal is to help people do more pulling and less pushing with their marketing - by having and communicating a great story. I hate information-heavy presentations; I love authentic storytellers (and I'm not alone!).

I also co-founded a concept called MojoLIfe, whose purpose is to help people, companies or organisations rediscover their core purpose and come alive. It's a terrific response to redundancy and a great way to reinvigorate a company.

My brother is a golf pro and taught me to play to a high standard when younger. I went to Manchester University to study History & Politics but played golf for my country at university level before moving into the golf industry for 20 years.

As a PGA Tournament Official I refereed in the Ryder Cup and went on to manage and market commercial golf & leisure clubs around the UK. I taught golf as a business networking tool, worked as a golf journalist for a while then had a life-changing experience (explained below) that led to the discovery of who I was and what I really really good at.

I look back at it and consider it both the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me.

Final Thought:
Tony Robbins talks about getting more of what you focus on. Boy is he right! Having got my life back on track thanks largely to the inspiration of TED Talks, I was talking to a friend in a railway station cafe in Manchester about who I admired and revered amongst the TED greats. Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson and Malcolm Gladwell. As I uttered the word 'Gladwell', in walked a familiar looking gent to order a coffee - yes, Mr Gladwell himself!

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

Networking and Relationship Building, Public Speaking & Presentation, Storytelling for Business Coaching & Consulting

An idea worth spreading

To use the empowering nature of storytelling in business and elsewhere to facilitate positive change. I'd like to have storytelling groups running worldwide to help people understand who they are and what they have to offer, to encourage them to do that story justice and to help them build a network around it. For me, stories enable people to self-lead and start something that's worth following.

I'm passionate about

Storytelling, communication, effective presenting, nurturing potential, relationship-building, family, having a passion.

Talk to me about

Pull marketing, authentic storytelling, effective networking, life after redundancy, how to reinvent yourself, personal branding.

People don't know I'm good at

Karaoke (limited range of songs!).

My TED story

In 2007, when I should have been at the height of my career, I had my life-changing experience. I was in a business partnership and for a whole host of reasons it fell apart. I was left broke (worse than broke!), couldn't afford to run a car, split up from my wife and kids and to cap it all, my mum (my only remaining parent) became very ill and almost passed away.

But I turned things around by mixing with some great people and being exposed to some new perspectives. I was introduced to TED and found new heroes in the form of Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson and Malcolm Gladwell. Despite having no money, I rediscovered who I was and set about reinventing myself. I started writing, developed my passion for public speaking and told my story at TEDx. I founded a storytelling concept called Speakeasy Groups and that's now in the UK and Australia. And I co-created MojoLife, a movement for helping others effect their own reinvention.

Comments & conversations

112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
Have you reinvented yourself, or started a movement?
Some terrific contributions here folks. I especially like James Walker's take on reinvention - that it's not really necessary if you expose yourself to a multiplicity of experiences. Once you get curious about the world around you, it becomes a very rich place indeed. But I do believe people can discover their purpose and passion through this process of curiosity. It seems to me those who speak at TED combine a thirst for learning (in many areas) with their particular focus or niche.
112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
Have you reinvented yourself, or started a movement?
We had a terrific meeting in Manchester (UK) this morning. It's a concept called MojoLife and 4 of us co-founded it to help people find their purpose and passion. There are so many people bumping along the bottom (as Sir Ken would say), unfulfilled with their lives, looking for work, feeling flat or kind of at a cross-roads. They've lost their spark, but we believe that when people 'find their thing' they come alive. All the co-founders went through some kind of life-changing experience but have now found their purpose, and we're attracting new opportunities all the time (eg to present the concept to our Prime Minister in July!). We invite people with great stories (especially of reinvention or new starts) to join our meetings and share their journey, and this morning we heard from an extraordinary lady, Shari Royle, who lost half of her face in a horrendous car accident. She now runs a funky promotions company in South Manchester, but also campaigns for people who've suffered facial disfigurement. I guess our message is you CAN move your life in a direction of your choosing, but it takes courage and support and not a little inspiration to find your path.
112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
Have you reinvented yourself, or started a movement?
Thanks for your contributions so far. Like Jessica I found the Sivers talk wonderfully inspiring - makes you want to get off your backside now and make a difference. I love the way Seth Godin talks about social media really being an opportunity to LEAD - "we own the means of production now!" unlike Marx's classic factory owners. And I was blown away by Simon Sinek's message of the Golden Circle (TEDx talk). Start with your WHY, not your what or how when you describe what you're about. People who are on a cause attract attention from people who find something resonant in their message. The key, he says, is to find people who believe what you believe. Empowering stuff - love hearing your stories.
112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind
William, you're an inspiration to millions and I've used your story many times to make a number of points. I think you immersed yourself in something you had a passion for - then things started happening for you. I doubt you knew (or even considered) where things might lead when you began, but you've created something truly profound through your skill, enthusiasm and tenacity. It also demonstrates the power of social media and storytelling, but only because what you did was worth hearing about. Your (great) idea was truly worth...spreading! I wish you every success - and hope many others learn from your example.
112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
A wonderful talk Brene, delivered with the humility and vulnerability about which you talk so profoundly. I refer to this talk all the time with my networking clients who wear their mask of invincibility and never make more than shallow, transactional contacts (not connections). Thanks for helping me understand something I've been trying to figure out for a long time!
112423
Andrew Thorp
Posted over 3 years ago
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
It's a wonderful concept Simon, so simple yet profound. We've been talking for years about mission statements and visions but this seems a much better way of explaining the common purpose behind an individual, company or organisation. Mission statements gather dust in the drawer, but a WHY that's constantly articulated and replenished through word and deed keeps things alive. I also love the notion that they key is finding people who believe what you believe. There's a company in the Lake District in NW England called Herdy and their web site isn't dominated by its product list, prices and 'buy-now' flashes - it says, "This is what we stand for, want to join our tribe?" Simon, you've changed the way I think about explaining my business - thanks for helping me see the light!