Max: My Proudest Moment
I have been thinking long and hard about what to write this month! You’ve probably read the hopefully interesting introduction to my somewhat rather random life, so now for something witty? Profound perhaps? Or juicy gossip about the Dragons: their ferocity, car collections or evil ways? But I’m going to talk about something completely different following a defining moment earlier this month...
Journalists often ask me what my proudest moment is? Naturally they are prompting me to talk about Dragons’ Den, as it makes for a rather nice story. Until now I have always obliged without thought, and told them about the fake stairs, my two-hour pitch, and my drive home from the Den during which I lost my voice singing too loudly to the Killers in complete disbelief that I’d walked away with investment from Theo and Deborah!
I would officially like to retract these previous comments!
Yes, I am immensely proud that little old me from Sandy, Bedfordshire, ventured into the Den with my humble little cottage industry business and gained investment from two of the country’s best known and respected business people but is that really my proudest moment?
A week or so ago, I received a text from my brother saying that his daughter, my goddaughter Heather had been admitted to hospital. (She is wheelchair bound but has never moaned, groaned or felt sorry for herself.) He told me that she had badly burned her leg after accidentally falling asleep against a radiator due to the fact that she cannot feel her legs. Long story short: she requires skin grafts and a not so fun two weeks in hospital.
Heather has never wanted for anything, and when I asked if she fancied something to make her stay more pleasurable she surprised me, rather than the standard, “No thanks I’m fine,” she said “some music would be nice, and possibly a Sudoku book to pass the time.” I searched online for some puzzle books, and took a quick look at iPods – onto which I planned to download all of her favourite music. During my search I unintentionally stumbled across the iPad, which I have been lusting after for years but never been able to justify the purchase price. Twenty minutes later an iPad was winging its way to York Hill hospital in Glasgow with her name on it.
When she called the following day to thank me, firstly I found myself apologising to the nurses for her screaming on opening the box, and then I suddenly felt a surge of pride like I’d never felt before. Little old me (I’m not actually that old!) through years of hard work, late nights and heartache, was able to buy my niece a gift that will hopefully make her next few years in a wheelchair slightly more fun, and increase her social life through the various apps, gizmos and features this amazing contraption has to offer. I am so proud of Heather for her bravery and lack of moaning.
I am proud of many things I have achieved in my life, my first swimming badge, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a 2:1 Degree in Product Design, and more recently my late father asking me to look after my mum as he lay in his hospital bed… pride is much more than ten minutes on TV.
I recently attended a charity auction evening where the keynote speaker was Digby Jones, the guy is a business guru. He spoke of how being successful and making money is something we should be proud of, not ashamed of. He covered many subjects, most well above my comprehension levels but I picked up on one theme in particular: With money businesses can basically do one of two things, grow the business, which in turn creates jobs, resulting in additional taxes, or spend it, which creates even more tax to be pumped into the NHS, police and alike thus improving the services we rely on as a society.
There we have it, when asked in the future of my proudest moments I will mention Dragons’ Den as one of many small accomplishments I am proud of along with swimming and academic certificates.
The thing I am most proud of however is that I got off of my backside, refused to rely on handouts, and started a small business from absolutely nothing. And with the money we are now making we are employing staff, paying suppliers, paying tax and supporting the local café (sometimes a bit too much!).
Through my hard work and determination I am now able to pay myself a modest salary, which allows me to take my mum out for dinner occasionally, and buy my poorly goddaughter an iPad.
Sorry if this sounds more like a Sunday school preach, but I promise we will return to talking a load of rubbish next month!
P.S. I still can’t justify an iPad for myself…
P.P.S. I am not on commission from Apple!
Until next month, Max.
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