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North West Expo

By  Victoria Willis

The Four Gifts

  • Name of event: North West Expo
  • Date: 26th November 2015
  • Location: Old Trafford Cricket ground
  • Cost: Free
  • Course content: 4
  • Quality of speakers: 5
  • Audience Interaction: 5
  • Venue: 5
  • Value for money: 5

Overall rating: 4.5

The first thing I immediately noticed once I went inside the event arena was the simple fact that there was a man dressed as Spider-Man handing out leaflets.

I knew straight away this was going to be a friendly event.

The first speech I attended is actually the one I’ve decided to write about, as I personally feel it had a significant impact on me, and my notepad.


Above: The North West expo website

Rather than tips on the industry, marketing schemes or anything actually work related, it was more about caring for yourself before you start a business and imminently preparing for the stress of it all. 

During the small time I’ve been attending events and listening to talks I have to say I think this was my favourite, and potentially the best words of encouragement I’ve ever heard, never mind it being my chosen talk of the day.

The lady giving the talk was called Debbie.

Once everything was set up and there was a reasonable audience present, she explained (in the least cheesy way possible) that she had come all the way from Birmingham to give whoever attended this talk ‘four gifts’. She refused to call her talk a motivational one, as she feels motivation is only temporary and would rather give someone something with a lasting impact, have them learn something from her.

The first gift was courage.

Debbie began by telling us that everyone has room for self-improvement. Everyone can, and usually, wants to be a better version of themselves, but it sometimes takes a lot of bravery to go about and make these changes. It could involve hugely altering the way you live, perhaps ending a relationship with someone who regularly brings you down, or switching up your day to day lifestyle in order to fit in more of something you love or need to do.

She believes everyone needs a wake-up call, and then went on to share with us what was her wake up call.

The wake-up call

Debbie used to work for the NHS and claimed to enjoy it thoroughly. Her pay was decent, and it meant she could lavish her family with gifts and materialistic love quite often. She said working for the NHS seemed to be a good time – until she had her wake up call.

Her wake up call involved coming home and finding her 17-year-old son lay unconscious on his bed after attempting to take his own life.

The spoiling of her family had actually turned out to be a bad thing. The job providing generous wages had taken away the most important thing that seemed to be what her son was lacking the most – time.


Above: Debbie giving her talk

Precious time with his mother that had been swapped for maybe nice meals, new clothes, and extra spending money, Debbie claimed it wasn’t fair and no amount of money should cause circumstances to result in her son feeling worryingly ignored.

Finding her son like this was her moment of revelation, the time she realised her positive assumptions were incorrect.

“Presence can never be worth more – it is priceless”

I agree entirely. I don’t believe anything shows more willingness and effort than purely being there, whether that applies to the world of work or relationships.

She quit her job, took her family on holiday and got her son the help he was in need of.

It was hard for her, and as she factually told us this story I felt such shock and sympathy for her, but admiration as she realised her life needed change, and she actually went and did it, something which many of us plan on doing but never act upon.

Debbie exclaimed she loves talking to someone and witnessing their ‘revelation’ moment when they realise there is another way of seeing things differently, especially when it seems like Debbie caused it through advice or anecdotes.


The next ‘gift’ was commitment, being able to progress with something even when it seems to get tough, or when the path to getting what you want isn’t as you imagined. The saying ‘Why give up on something you once wanted?’ was used a lot.

This links to her gift of consistency. Debbie acknowledged that finishing projects is hard, that she herself is guilty of growing bored and swapping attention. Both have to be a matter of mental state and having enough motivation to push through procrastination.

The final gift was choice, a seemingly necessary human right?

It was at this point Debbie addressed the fact that one spokesperson at one event cannot physically give us presents through speech, she can actually do no more than motivate and remind us what we can do to succeed.

We have the choice to live with simplicity, whether we realise it or not.

Debbie used the old ‘everything we do, we have a choice’ with the added fact that there is always an easier option. Being simplistic is not lazy, if anything it’s acting with more logic and understanding you can enjoy whatever you do and act without guilt.


Above: Her talk coming to an end

This was Debbie’s speech concluded, she asked us all to find her on Twitter (@DebbieHudson) and contact her regarding putting her words into action, following her advice. We all applauded, I was still frantically taking notes as I felt like I had so much to absorb, all of it I actually wanted to absorb.


Above: Market stall after market stall of business promotion

As I mentioned previously, I feel like in my short time of attending events and listening to speeches, Debbie certainly captured my attention.

This post was tagged with; Events, Old Trafford, Workshop.
Victoria Willis
This post was brought to you by: Victoria Willis

Victoria started off as one of our youngest nuts, joining us at a mere 16, and fulfilling a blog editing apprenticeship. Youth is generally linked with immaturity and carelessness, but in Victoria’s case she has an eye for precise detail and thoughtfulness, particularly where art and design is concerned. She was originally a college student fumbling through A-level work, before making the bold move to officially become an adult and work full time at Nuttersons. View more articles from Victoria Willis

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