As a young girl I used to sit with my mum and watch Mr Motivator on TV, famed for his brightly coloured spandex outfits, Derrick Errol Evans MBE set a world record for selling the most fitness DVDs.
Mr Motivator has had an amazing TV career that spanned more than three decades, making him a memorable part of people’s lives.
During the pandemic he inspired the nation with a return to our TV screens, and I am beyond excited to have welcomed him onto the Write Business Results podcast where he shared his top five secrets to personal and brand success:
- Look after you
I was over the moon to hear about his journey, and finally I got the chance to ask him how it all started.
Derrick: “I had a lightbulb moment in 1983. I walked into a leisure centre and heard ladies making all this noise; when I peeked through the window I could see that they were exercising to something called pop-mobility. I knew I had to do something with that
Here I am now at 68 years old. I look good. I feel good, and people need to follow some of the lessons I’ve learned if they want to feel that way too.”
Derrick is one of those people I could listen to all day because he is so passionate and has channeled that passion into a natural strategy for success:
Derrick: “When you speak from your heart the passion should come out of your pores. It’s all in your voice, your intonation, the way you dress, the way you walk. When I walk into a room I want to take over that room, because when I leave there must be footsteps that people want to follow.
No matter what you’re doing in life you can’t stand still. If you have a business don’t let it trickle over. Find ways in which you can inject new life. Find ways to be creative. It might be something as simple as changing your motto, or changing or rewording your objective.”
Getting your name known and being recognised for what you do isn’t something that comes naturally to some people but Derrick finds so many ways to express himself that you can’t help but feel inspired and remember him.
“There was a time that I worked on a building site and for food business Hovis McDougall and it was there that I learnt about marketing, selling, distribution, production; when Mr Motivator was born the marketing element came to its fore.
Marketing is critical no matter what you’re doing. Car manufacturer Henry Ford said that the man who doesn’t market or advertise himself is like the man who turns off the light to save electricity. You’ve got to market yourself.
The message of fitness needs to come in a sugary coating so that it tastes really nice. If I beat you with a stick and say you must do this, you will want me to leave you alone. But if I say to you that when you walk into the kitchen to make a cup of tea you use 250 muscles that is much easier for you to swallow. We have to recognise that this wonderful life is a gift.
The best way for me to deliver my content was through music, attitude, sharing thought provoking sayings, for example, if you want to see a rainbow you’ve got to be prepared to put up with the rain. That resonates with people and helps them remember that they can come out the other side of whatever they’re facing feeling better.”
Derrick’s on a mission to help people look after themselves, and this is as relevant in life as it is in building a personal brand.
Look after you
Derrick: “You’re the most important person in the world; every day you should treat yourself like that. Why do you spend your time looking after other people, when in fact what you should do is look after yourself first, then you can look after other people. Why do you treat yourself second best?
Who am I to tell you that you should be a size 8? If you’re comfortable in your skin that’s fine. I have lots of flaws but I embrace them. And as you get older you need a little bit of fat around the body; look in the mirror and say I’m fabulous. Don’t wait around for other people to tell you that they love you. Love yourself and that makes you open for more love.”
Weigh up your friendships
In personal development we often hear that you become like the people you associate with the most and I was keen to hear Derrick’s perspective on this. What does he do if he has people around him who do not inspire or contribute to happiness?
Derrick: “Don’t hold on to people who don’t add value to your life, move on because they’ll slow you down. They’re going to be a weight on your heels. When you want to fly they’re going to tell you you can’t take off. Get rid of people like that. Have people around you who make you feel good, who say to you that what you want is possible; that is so much more uplifting.
Be crazy, be stupid, be silly; laugh. Life is too short to be anything but happy. If I’m sad for one minute I’m missing out on 60 seconds of happiness.”
There’s no doubt that the lockdown over the past year has been tough in so many ways. Some companies have thrived and made rapid progress, and others have suffered, but Derrick continues to find ways to appreciate so much, even in times of challenge.
Derrick: “Something good comes out of every single thing that happens in our lives that we think is bad. This is probably my busiest 15 months ever. That’s because companies invited me to share ways to help their staff feel good during the pandemic; just look at the trees out there. It might be autumn and they have lost their leaves but they still stand tall. Why? Because now look at them, they’re green or they’re flowering again. That’s us.
I had this wonderful property in Jamaica that has zip lines and paintballing, but was I enjoying it? No. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now so no matter what plans you made about retiring or what you’re going to do the only thing you can be certain about is what you do now.
You guys need me in the UK. I don’t have to be perfect but I’m here to inspire you. Let people be inspired by the flaws because that makes me flawsome, which is exactly like awesome.”
This idea of flaws and fitness was really interesting; it’s not just about bikini bodies and looking good. In 2020 I broke a leg while bouldering and I couldn’t walk for most of the year. One of the first things I did when I no longer needed crutches was to hire a personal trainer but there’s more to that than fitness. This is something Derrick goes on to explore:
Derrick: “One thing we’ve learned throughout the pandemic is that we’ve been really neglectful when it comes to the older person. I maintain that young people are freaks of nature, and older people are works of art. I want to look after the art in all of us. That means I have to give you a platform where you feel inspired, where you can do some physical exercise but also exercise the mind. We need to get your mind in gear so that you can be successful.
Fear stops a lot of people from making decisions but you need to make decisions, that’s what I kept doing and in time it took me from being homeless and hungry to working alongside TV presenters and producers such as Gloria Hunniford, Lorraine Kelly, Eamonn Holmes. On top of that, let’s share life stories about overcoming difficulties. These experiences are really important and that’s what the Mr Motivator Club is all about.”
Derrick’s enthusiasm is apparent in everything that he touches, and his concluding words to our conversation lived up to expectation.
Derrick: “You don’t have a good or a bad life, you have one life. It’s up to you to make it good or bad.”
Derrick has now partnered up with a range of experts to offer the Mr Motivator Club. You can find all the details here.
If you’d like help to build your personal brand by publishing incredible content, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3752 7057.