So, Sir Steve, what made you get back in the boat?

It’s not every day that you get to meet one of your sporting heroes.

My chance came yesterday when I met the Olympic legend, Sir Steve Redgrave.

I’ve been fortunate in my public relations career to have met and worked with a lot of interesting business figures. I’ve even chaired press conferences for James Caan and Sir Richard Branson.

However, meeting a sporting hero feels very different, however famous he or she may be.

My chance to meet him and to ask him a question came at a business conference run by Entrepreneurs Circle, a group I’ve been a part of for just under a year, to help grow my business and for whom I now write a regular column.

Fielding many questions, including my own where he revealed that Matthew Pinsent was the best athlete he ever rowed with, he also explained that it was a family and career decision to get back in the boat one more time after Atlanta, that the sheer will to win was behind much of his success and that his medal from Seoul in 1988 doesn’t fit in his medal box, made by his best mate at comprehensive school.

For a legend, he is incredibly down to earth.

Sir Steve certainly had huge natural talent but he had to step up and challenge the norm to get to where he got to. It is no good just improving a bit to catch up with your rivals, they will be doing the same, maybe more. To make the GIANT leaps required to close the gap and overtake your rivals, to DOMINATE as he and his Great Britain colleagues did for so long, means you have to embrace change.

He explained that the team’s original training schedules were not closing the gap on the top nations. He wanted to do something differently. A gamble? That depends how you view it…if the current way of working isn’t closing the gap on your goals, why not change it up? You have nothing to lose.

This was part of his wider message to the business owners in the audience with me, some 300 of us. You need to set BIG goals, chunk them down into bite sized pieces and then, tweak, refine and improve to ensure that every day, you are moving towards your goal. That might be revenue, customer numbers, market penetration, new products or good old profit. The bottom line for all businesses.

For me, my goal is to tell 2020 stories by 2020. If I started in January 2018, that’s 1010 a year. Call it 1000. The extra 20 on 2020 are for charitable causes. So 1000 a year, that’s 83 a month. Call it 84. That’s 21 a week and just over 4 a day.

Thankfully, I started this a while ago now.

It is still a hell of lot but I have a team now to help me and they know this goal. They know their role in it and they are all working with me to get there. Will we make it? I am positive we will but if we start to miss our schedule, if our performance starts to fall back,  I will not be afraid to make changes to how we work and to amplify our efforts.

So, what is your big goal for 2018? Share it with me and maybe I can help make it happen, especially if it involves getting your story into the press. If you want a free guide on how to do just that, you can grab it here.

PS – the other question, who is taller, me or Sir Steve? Well…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.