Three and a bit years ago I was lucky enough, or maybe destined, to meet AJ and Melissa Leon of Misfit-Inc. They spoke about social media at the Institute of Fundraising convention. I was working my way up in fundraising at Scope and finding my way generally post uni. Their strategy was simple and yet powerful!
Tell your story
Build a community
Change the world
Ever since we launched www.martynsibley.com, I’ve been relentlessly telling the story of a 20 something, life loving, travelling, ambitious and disabled guy. I’ve written articles, taken photos and made videos. I’ve explained my limitations, my needs, my relationships, my hopes, my fears, my success, my failures and my dreams.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself and other disabled people. The message is strengthening every day – disabled or not we all have limitations, yet with the right support and mindset so much is possible.
I’ve met amazing people on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Some are friends, some collaborators and some I progressively debate with. With a stronger message and community; how am I changing the world?
After some sleepless nights, good family support, cool friends, some failures and mega hard work; I’m blogging to great feedback, co-running www.disabilityhorizons.com to huge numbers, delivering e-learning projects (webinars, ecourses and econferences), speaking in person and on multiple media platforms (tv, radio and print), meeting politicians, consulting with large organisations and doing crazy projects such as the #EEDR.
I’m feeling healthier without being in a confining office, for grabbing more winter sun, managing my own time, working with amazing people and waking up with an unbelievably innate passion!
I still have worries; running too many projects for one person (let alone 10 people) and so much more to learn. I am currently spending quality time with family/friends post travel; chilling with my new wheelchair and PA team, about to write a book for the #EEDR (yes, I am about to become an author); growing Disability Horizons and launching some great new resources there; promoting the dConference; and finally I am being asked to speak, train and consult on cool projects (providing the horribly necessary £££).
Having feared failure, kept going, adapted, stayed true to myself and asked for help when necessary; I have a new energy, some financial oxygen and a good feeling until next Spring. I also found out I have been accepted on a professional partnership grant in Aviles. This is where I volunteered in March and April this year, where we made this cool accessibility video!
I’m not going to preach or spell out what this means to you. Only you can decide this. However this is more than an update on how happy I feel and well things are going. Partly because it also explains how bumpy and uncertain things have been, partly as the next year will be as challenging, but also because I want it to spark change for you. It might mean sharing the message, contributing to Disability Horizons, being on my next elearning project, working in partnership or something else ‘disability’ related.
Moreover, I hope it might just change your view on disability generally, for you to take an action in everyday life and also to go and grab your own dreams. If I can do it, the lad from Cambridgeshire with SMA, you certainly can.
Please do me the favour of sharing this article with someone you think will enjoy and benefit from reading it. It would mean a lot to me…
Until the next trip, project, video and article; stay well