The other day I was driving home and listening to “Desert Island Discs”. This is a British institution, where a celebrity is interviewed and offered the opportunity to select their favourite records/music tracks, part of which are played on air.
As the programme draws to a close the interviewee is asked to select the one recording that they would take with them if they were to be stranded on a desert island.
In this instance, the interviewee was Marcus Wareing.
When Marcus was 18, he moved to London to work at the Savoy, a top class hotel in London. He loved the experience of life in a high-pressure professional kitchen and was quickly promoted.
In 1993 he joined Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine, creating one of the most celebrated London restaurants of the time. He went on to launch a number of Michelin star-winning restaurants, often working with Gordon Ramsay and his company, before a much-publicized falling-out.
Marcus now runs a group of restaurants in London, founded with his wife Jane, and since 2014 he has appeared as a judge and mentor on the TV series MasterChef: The Professionals.
Now if you are a foodie, you will really enjoy the pictures on his restaurant website
And on his Facebook page:
Marcus had no choice in the career he ended up following. His father decided for him. But here is a man that could have had options.
Now the thought comes to mind, if I had a choice to start again
“What would I do?”
Then a river of options flooded my mind, quickly followed by a bigger flood of my limitations.
My list kind of assumes that I would have absolutely no difficulty in school, sailing through all the exams that I might need. False!
It assumes that I am physically capable of doing the many things that I might want to do or experience, be it height, or athleticism. I am no athlete.
As a young person, I was always interested in Physics, Electronics and Chemistry. These channels potentially offered me a career.
Until I took a careers guidance session.
There were about 150 young people in this hall. We had 30 minutes to answer a series of questions on a pre-formatted piece of card. We used a pencil to fill in a square for the answer which we thought was most appropriate to our choice of career.
The cards were handed in and a few minutes later a well dressed gentleman came out and called out a group of attendees who were then directed to leave the hall and go to another room. Then another group, and another.
After about 20 minutes, I was the only person out of the group in the hall.
Hello, I thought. What is happening here?
The well-dressed gentleman came up to me and said. Sorry but the choices you have made are not ones you could possibly follow, because you are colour blind.
The only option for you is to study accountancy.
Franky that was the last thing I wanted to do. Although ironically some 5 or 6 years later that was exactly what I did.
But it brings to mind that we all have our limitations. We are not all the same. We cannot for one reason or another “Do anything we like!”
On the other hand, there are options which are open to each and every one of us.
With the right guidance, we can start our own business and that is what I would recommend to anyone today.
A good place to start would be John Thornhill’s Partnership to Success Programme.