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James Shuttler - entrepreneur, adventurer, self help guru

Our guest today is James Shuttler who is an engineer at heart although he is now more of an entrepreneur/adventurer/self help guru. We hace conducted an interview with him.

Which is the first most important skill you reckon a polymath should have?
A polymath is 'a person of wide knowledge or learning' so at the very least you need to be curious. In terms of the most important skill, I would say you need to be able to teach yourself things - be an autodidact. This may seem a daunting concept but it can be as simple as reading an article or a book - anything that provides you with new information. Talking to people is also a valuable tool in anyone's arsenal - it's amazing what you can learn from a simple conversation.

Where have you travelled and been that stimulates you the most? What were the outcomes?
The most interesting and stimulating place I have travelled to is China, where I spent a week during the 2008 Olympics walking part of the Great Wall for charity. Because I was in a group of around 50 people I broadened my horizons through interacting with people of all ages and from all walks of life.
To put it simply, who would you rather interact with and help? Someone who makes the effort to ask a question in your native tongue or a rude, ignorant tourist blustering their way through your world, stepping on every sensibility you possess?

How do you define 'self-help guru'?
I think labelling myself as a 'self-help guru' may have been a bit of a misnomer on my part. It makes it sound as if I stand on stage around the world and sell 'get rich/thin quick' schemes that only work for a handful of people.

What I really meant is that I wholeheartedly believe in the ability of people to help themselves and develop their skills, personality and life to lead a satisfied, happy existence. Most people can achieve this with the right guidance and mentor, a role that I would now like to try to fill. Having spent close to a decade battling with my own mental health issues (namely manic-depression and anxiety,) I have now reached a place in my life where I have the time and stability to guide others and help them live the life they desire.

What are your aspirations for the self-help industry which is an $11 billion dollar industry?
As you point out, the self-help industry is a commercial behemoth that continues to grow and develop. While this is no bad thing, unfortunately I think that the true ideals of self-help have been lost along the way to commercial success.

As with any business, it should have its customers as the highest priority - without them you can't do business at all. Sadly I have experienced many businesses where this is not the case and the bottom line (profits) have superseded customers as the highest priority. Money is everything.

Business, especially the self-help industry, should help someone through the products and services that are offered. If a product doesn't help you, why would you trade your hard-earned money and time for it? After all, the self-help industry has 'help' right there in its name. If you're not helping people then what's the point?

My aspirations are that the self-help industry will focus less on profits and more on doing what it says on the tin - helping people. There's no need to worry about the bottom line if you're actually providing a valuable product or service - if someone wants your help, they will come.

What is your recent campaign about and how can readers who are interested in it participate?
I have recently launched a few campaigns but perhaps the most important is #slothslow, the method I have developed to help me relax, worry less and slow down so I can actually live my life rather than fight against it.

It's in its infancy but I would really like people to participate by inviting me to come and talk to groups about the programme, how it's helped me and how it could be used to help them. Feedback is very important and what works for me will not necessarily work for someone else so I need to have dialogues with others and learn from them to develop a methodology that will work for the majority of people.

James Shuttler - entrepreneur, adventurer, self help guru Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:02:00 PM Rating: 5
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