The Way We Roll

High on a Hill was a Purple Goat

July 17, 2020 Simon Minty and Phil Friend Season 2 Episode 2
The Way We Roll
High on a Hill was a Purple Goat
Chapters
The Way We Roll
High on a Hill was a Purple Goat
Jul 17, 2020 Season 2 Episode 2
Simon Minty and Phil Friend

Now in his mid-30s, Martyn Sibley suggests he prefers slippers and hot chocolate to hot air ballooning. However, he admits there are still a few adventures he would like to undertake. Martyn says he’s ‘a regular guy who happens to have a disability called 'Spinal Muscular Atrophy’ (SMA). 

He is driven by his mission. When he wakes up, he knows he’s going to be working on one of his several projects and businesses. His degree in economics, his Masters in Marketing and his love of entrepreneurship combined with his wish to help create a more inclusive world drives him.

We speak with Martyn about growing up and his travel exploits. Soon we move on to his projects such as Disability Horizons and the new Purple Goat agency. This is a vehicle to help organisations market to consumers as well as enable disabled people to earn a living. 

Martyn takes Phil and Simon deep into the world of social media and marketing and we just about keep up. We also ask Martyn what’s next for him and what are his hopes for wider society. 

http://martynsibley.com

http://purplegoatagency.com

https://disabilityhorizons.com




Show Notes Transcript

Now in his mid-30s, Martyn Sibley suggests he prefers slippers and hot chocolate to hot air ballooning. However, he admits there are still a few adventures he would like to undertake. Martyn says he’s ‘a regular guy who happens to have a disability called 'Spinal Muscular Atrophy’ (SMA). 

He is driven by his mission. When he wakes up, he knows he’s going to be working on one of his several projects and businesses. His degree in economics, his Masters in Marketing and his love of entrepreneurship combined with his wish to help create a more inclusive world drives him.

We speak with Martyn about growing up and his travel exploits. Soon we move on to his projects such as Disability Horizons and the new Purple Goat agency. This is a vehicle to help organisations market to consumers as well as enable disabled people to earn a living. 

Martyn takes Phil and Simon deep into the world of social media and marketing and we just about keep up. We also ask Martyn what’s next for him and what are his hopes for wider society. 

http://martynsibley.com

http://purplegoatagency.com

https://disabilityhorizons.com




Announcer:

Welcome to the way we roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend.

Phil:

Welcome to the show. My name is Simon Minty. And my name is Phil Friend. And our guest today is Martin Sibley. Martin says he's a regular guy who happens to have a disability called spinal muscular atrophy. He runs disability horizons and wrote everything is possible. You've got a degree in economics and a master's in marketing. He also set up a Accommable with Srin Madipalli, which was a n Airbnb for disabled people, which I think is just a great idea. And he's gone on to start various businesses and projects. Some of which we will discuss today. Martin had us on his daily broadcast a few weeks ago. So it's only right and proper that we ask him back on to ours.

Simon:

Travel is big for Martin. He's about to get married and we keep calling him the next generation, but he did tell us he's 36 . So I kind of, I know, are you the next generation that you already in? It

Martin:

I'd like to steer it towards being the next generation, but I fear maybe not anymore.

Phil:

Martin, before we get into finding out a lot more about you, I've just got this one thing I want to ask you, which is that we know that you're a big adventure and you travel about and all sorts of stuff, and I've always thought it would be good, fun to go up in a hot air balloon. Now you've done that. What stops me doing it is I can't figure out how you land while you're sitting in a wheelchair without either b usting the chair or busting you. So can you please explain to me how you avoided both those eventualities when you did it?

Martin:

Yep . Happily. I think the first thing to mention is they give you alcohol while you're up there. So what happens when you land? It doesn't matter, but it was , um, I wasn't in the wheelchair. They wouldn't allow me to because of their heavy wheelchair. So it was an adapted Recaro seat . So it was very supportive and I was strapped in. So I had to be lifted from my wheelchair into the seat on the, in the balloon. And they were able to crank the height of the chair up. So you could see over the basket when there , when all was well at all with smooth. And then I did it twice with the Catalan tourist board. And the first time we were ridiculously close to some overhead cables , electricity cables, and we landed and it started tipping and the ground crews just grabbed the basket before we went sideways . Now hopefully the straps would have done the job, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out to be honest.

Simon:

That's terrifying. I was curious, cos I know restricted growth association, which is an association for short people. Many years ago, they made a bit of a fluff and there was a prize for a raffle, which was a hot air balloon ride. And all of us went, but we can't see out. Why, why are you giving us that ? We're too short, but you said they've got an adjustable seat they had, so you could they'd rise you up and you could see out.

Martin:

Yeah. And the whole reason I was doing it was we were helping promote the accessibility offerings in parts that I live in the surrounding area. And they really went all out, with all sorts of that was like a hoist that caught me lifted into a little sailing boat and I went snorkeling and there was a tail sort of like a ramp to get you off the boat into the sea so that there was a bit of grit and determination around it as well. But there were adaptions to be fair to them.

Simon:

I'm going to be really cheeky. You've made me think , uh , hanging out with Liz Carr, occasionally who's someone who's got very limited mobility in terms of, you know, being able to put her arm down if she was falling or something like that. And presumably similar with you that grit and determination where you say, I've just got to hand myself over here and I could flop out. I could fall over. Have you, have you adjusted to that or is it always a little moment

Martin:

I've adjusted in that, I'm not as keen on doing it anymore.

Simon:

Ha!Ha! Not the next generation anymore.

Martin:

No slippers and hot chocolate is where I'm at now .

Simon:

Gotcha.

Phil:

There's just kind of wind back a bit then. So I'm going to ask you a little bit about your upbringing, your family and stuff, because it feels important if only to kind of get some idea of why you're as mad as you clearly are when you do these stupid things. I mean, what's your family. I mean, you obviously were born with SMA, although at the time I'm guessing it didn't become evident until I don't know what your early childhood or something?

Martin:

Yeah. So I was diagnosed at 18 months, so I don't remember anything about that. And it was the age that a child would be more crawling and starting to be more active. And my cousin was pretty much the same age and interestingly was born profoundly deaf. So we were quite a duo because they knew I had a physical disability because I wasn't moving as much as him, but they knew that he had hearing problems because I reacted to noises and he didn't so it was quite interesting . And then his younger brother, my other cousin was born with Downs syndrome. So all of the boys on my mum's side of the family, have got a disability. but they're not connected by a specific genetic reason. And all the girlsI my sister and two other female cousins outside a re not disabled. It's quite interesting that in itself, because t here i s a , a prevalence of d isability in the family. Yeah.

Phil:

So, I mean, going back to the hot air balloon, the sledging and all these stunts, well not stunts, the things that you've done, are your family the sort of, let's go for it type o r, or did they wrap you up in cottonwool? C ause f or the classical position for disabled people is either get on with it, there's nothing wrong with you or don't you dare breathe outside this house because we're frightened some it might break you.

Martin:

Yeah. It was definitely more the former , the more the get out and do it. But when I decided, for example, I went to Australia with two personal care assistants when I was at university, that was where my mum hit her limit. Like she encouraged me to do so much, like, you know , get to school, help me go to social clubs. She picked me up from nightclubs at one in the morning, so I could go clubbing , but there was no wheelchair accessible taxi. So yeah, like my mom and dad definitely pushed me to, to, you know , be included and to do all those crazyier things. But yeah, the traveling to the other side of the world and the sort of stunts , if you like the adventure and stuff. I know that cause my mum, particularly my mum, quite a lot of anxiety. So there was a, there was a limit to how much she thought I would. Do

Simon:

You , I think you've written it either on your website or somewhere about Australia being this Epic trip. And when I read it, I have a feeling about Australia, for me being a , a life changing trip when I did it. And was it that for you? I always feel when we were abroad, it's, it's a new game where we're learning something different and we're learning about ourselves and learning about disability. How was it for you? Why was it so Epic?

Martin:

Yeah. I mean the first thing was to just be able to go. I had a bit of extra funding from the local authority because my social worker wanted to help make this possible. And obviously this was pre financial crash pre austerity but they were able to get a bit of extra budget for my care assistance . Right. So that, that was a bit of a sort of element around being able to just fund the care team and then to know how to go on a plane with a wheelchair when mum and dad had always done that when we were growing up, when I was a kid that was another learning curve, shall we say? And then accessible hotels, accessible transfers. Like it was a year in the planning. So it was Epic just to literally be able to do it. And then on the trip, the two care assistants fell out with each other. One of them got really ill in Melbourne and you know, I met some crazy bloke in a bar that, where it was frightening to break my legs. And it was like, because and there the worst bits. But of course there was the goosebumps at Sydney Harbor and the, you know, going in the Outback in near Brisbane. And so yeah, it was, I think it was the challenge. And just to come home in one piece and say, I survived. It was pretty cool. But yeah, some of the memories and the people we met were not what I would have got just bumbling around Cambridgeshire, as I had been,

Phil:

You said it took a year. How did you, how did you evaluate and then manage the risks? Cause you're very much, you know, you're reliant on so many other people to do stuff aren't you and risk is, you know, I mean, I think me Simon and you probably share the same healthy skepticism about risk we've done stuff, but how did you make sure that you kept the risks within limits or management with that ? Can you remember the process or yeah ,

Martin:

I think now I've done a lot more, you know , some , some work I did for Scope for five years in a larger organization. And then since then the business is it in the end it's project management. But when I was 20, 21, I didn't see it through that sort of prism, but it was just, this is the goal . These are the barriers, where are the solutions? How long do I need to create these solutions? And yeah, I think there's also that you can't control everything and that things will go wrong. And to just back yourself and back others , the, if I got ill or if anything, any kind of million things that was running through my mom's head when wrong, then like, we'll find the answer then, but let's not worry about that now

Simon:

As an adventure. So what is still left to do? I mean, I don't know about you , but I have a little list of things that I still want to do or what to go to. And I appreciate it's a bit slower these days, but do you have, that are a couple of things on there that you must do.

Martin:

So I've been to a lot of countries, but there's still some other countries that you would say are less developed that have been harder to fly in the wheelchair access and everything. So there's definitely like Hawaii, India , you know, probably China be interesting . Um, so yeah, some other countries I'd love to go to , um, the only activity that I've not done that pops up, but I think it's more of a societal one around jumping out of a plane and skydiving. I think it's like almost a cliche that like you do it for charity. And that's like, whereas I'm not sure my body would survive a skydive. So I am not saying I want to do it, but it's just something I've not done that pops up in my head sometimes, but I've done scuba dive in Husky, dog sledding in minus 30 degrees in Finland and flown a plane over S tonehenge. And so there's a lot of things I did in my late twenties, early thirties. A nd, u m, I'm quite happy, y ou k now, watching Netflix t hese d ays

Simon:

It is on my list, i t'd be, it'd be lovely if you could go and just do a little reccie for me and see if it will be a ll r ight, when you say you're if your body, which survive it there's some, I forgive my language but is it frailty or breathing or what,

Martin:

I mean, it , it was flippant, i n terms of just the idea of falling out, b ut there is a with SMA, like I have very limited muscle strength, upper body, lower body. So like if I'm not sat forward in my chair, my head will fall back w hen I can't p ull it up. So I'm just s ort o f thinking if you're falling out of plane , f....k.

Simon:

send me the video. Okay.

Phil:

Well I suppose one next adventure for you, which we know is , is imminent . I'm not, you can tell us when it is, is you're getting , you'll get married, aren't you? That's the next year. And I know, sadly it's been put off because of COVID and so on. So what's the, what's the update. Cause that's another adventure. Believe me, I'm married.

Simon:

Some would say a risk!

Martin:

I know I was thinking, I didn't want to say no. I think, I think that's a really great way of looking at it that , so those adventures where , you know, I was late twenties, early thirties and I also was living in London and uh , lots of things I dreamt of doing. And you know, it's not to say that I'm now not doing adventure, but it's more, I'd say marrying. And like the business side, you know , we've been launching some new stuff lately. And I think the , the, the adventures are just different in their nature. Now I've been with Casha since 2012, but we were due to finally get around to doing the actual wedding at the end of may in Poland. I mean, even if it was in England, we wouldn't really have been able to do it end the may , because I think the weddings have only just started to be allowed. We were , we were sad to reschedule it, but we ended up having this online gig where a friend of was , was I'm really climbing to do this sort of online experience of music and playing or the sort of drunk singalong that we do at parties and weddings in general. And yeah, like most of the people that would have been at the wedding logged on to this, or like gig and it wasn't the same and we're not married yet, but it was a nice way to celebrate the non wedding that I feel like.

Phil:

I was there. I saw some of it. It was, it was very good in a sense that takes us to where we are now with you. Doesn't it because you've embraced social media and the possibilities that offers. And clearly this virtual celebration you've had when you couldn't actually get married was, was a great example of that. So should we talk a bit about that now?

Martin:

Yeah. So I guess two points, a good to frame. It is a , I did economics and a master's in marketing at uni. So there's that business-y background and interest . And then the five years I did it at Scope really inspired me and impassioned me around disability rights, disability inclusion, but also getting more confidence in public speaking and you know , all that kind of developmental stuff that, that I, and any other people would need when you're just coming out of uni, you sort of think, you know, everything, but you then go into the world of work and realize that there's quite a lot of reality checks that take place as well. So with those two points, I was then working in fundraising at Scope. There's a thing called Institute of Fundraising, which is a sort of conference and a body for all of the different fundraisers and all of the third and charity sector. And there was an American couple that gave a talk all about digital storytelling and social media. And they were talking about how they'd done it to help a charity builder, you know, fundraise and build a school in Africa. So it wasn't about disability, but I just saw the potential. And so 2009, you know, you've, you've not got social media been around for that long. I can't remember the exact years it was out that Facebook was probably what 05 or something. Yeah. So, you know, it was pretty early days of social media and blogging. And within the disability world, there was not a lot of that going on. And so I reached out to the couple after their really good workshop. And you said, I don't know what it is I want to do. I want to learn. I just know there's something here. And they were like meet us in a Starbucks next week for 50 quid and we'll pay , we'll build you a website. I always sounds a bit dodgy when you say it now, but they were starting out on their journey of a similar age, not, not as I say, not from any disability background and 50 quid for a website , so it's a steal and for them. It meant that they could cover their costs in London when they were away and all that. And they've become my mentors and my friends. And they've taught me how to blog, how to grow community. They help to start Disability Horizons with Srin, which is the online magazine we've done. And yeah, like that was a world shaking moment for me to have someone that saw something in me, they wanted to invest in and to give me their time and knowledge and nurturing really. And, you know, I had lots of questions and, you know, a lot of that time was taken up in a nice way, but I took a lot of that time up. And , um, yeah, martynsibley.com led to being involved in mainstream media and traveling led to Disability Horizons. And all the other more recent things,

Simon:

One of those more recent things is , uh , the fabulous Name. Purple Goat. Tell us a bit more about that.

Martin:

Yeah. I know it's sort of partly what Phil was asking. I think that all these disparate projects are connected by wanting the world to be inclusive for disabled people and on a personal level, it's the kind of things I wish I'd had when I was growing up that, that, that sort of community that's , that I can speak to someone in Australia or in line with spinal muscular atrophy. And it's so easy now. So all those kinds of things of like what I wanted when I was growing up and what I still felt disabled people would need from a , a sort of , um , product or service business perspective. Um, but yeah, in the end, the values are around inclusion, but social enterprise, rather than charity, I really feel that when we talk about the purple pound, the value of disabled talent, the value of disabled consumers to everyday disabled people, it might start to sound too businessy, but it's the really powerful message and narrative that is more and more waking businesses up to having more inclusive practices. But I feel like storytelling and digital community is, is the way in my belief is a , a vehicle to create change and create inclusion. And Purple Goat is, is another one of those things that we we've dreamt up and launched. And the basic offering of Purple Goat is to help businesses with marketing campaigns, but using disabled talent and let and disabled consumers be more represented in advertising. Whereas previously you never saw a disabled person and out of that

Simon:

And for the non kids Goat is the greatest of all time? Presumably.

Martin:

Yeah. Yup . So our partners and co founders, the Goat agency have become the global sort of advertising influencer agency. So it's very much about generations Z generation Y greatest of all time Goat and then purple obviously is synonymous with disability and the purple pound. So hence Purple Goat,

Simon:

And I'm think comedy circuit at the moment, if you're a big headliner, you can earn a massive living. If you're anybody else it's quite hard to earn money. I sometimes feel that with social influencing social media, that if you're at the top end, you're going to be fabulous, but there's a whole bundle of other people constantly. Is that, is that true? If you're not a certain level or can everyone make a living?

Martin:

So what the goat found on a mass, level, what Purple Goat. Since we've launched, there's already got clients are running campaigns and we've already seen it as well. Is that a celebrity with a big following on social doesn't actually perform as well from a marketing campaign perspective as what we would call a nano or a micro-influencer . So we want because our duty we're being paid by the client. So there's Disability Horizons is about everything that the community need . And what's everything that as much as Disability Horizons can do, it's about what the community need . And one Purple Goat is about what the brand, the business the client needs and wants . So that drives sort of the performance, but it's brilliant because we're working with people that have got into the ground following us, you know, 5,000, like the lower numbers, but they're getting paid, you know, 50, 100, 200, 300 quid for doing bits of work. But the more clients we're getting in , more they're getting paid more. So we're creating, you know, money making opportunities for bloggers and disabled influencers. But also it's amazing if Tesco ran a campaign, that's got real disabled people talking about real life, you know, it's just, it resonates more.

Simon:

It also adds to that whole bit I mean, we've had it during locked down where, okay, the way we work has all changed. And they're saying, well, if you have a disability and working from home works for you, but you're already doing that with that. There's a whole bundle of people who can be spending most of their day in the bed, but can knock this stuff out and earn a living. And I mean, that's pretty cool. Yeah . I.

Phil:

I'm sitting quietly at the moment cause I'm sort of learning a lot. Cause Goat, ment goat to me, it was a thing that hopped around in the fields and I'm now learning. I've seen it , but being serious for a second. Um, the majority of disabled people are older. So I'm wondering how they fit into this commercial . Cause let some of the work we've been doing, RIDC Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is about the longevity economy stuff. It's about older people and how they're being left out the design isn't including them. What's your take on that Martin cause clearly Purple Goat has a role there, doesn't it for commercial company to , how do we penetrate markets of older disabled people? For example?

Martin:

Yeah, I would , I think the first thing to mention is if you're a brand that then maybe doesn't see younger, disabled people as a viable market, we looked at a couple of statistics around 18 to 30. There's apparently 2 million people with a disability in the UK. So just, just wanted to make that general, there are still 2 million people that are 18 to 30, but no you're absolutely right. The majority is in the older population. And if, and this is what I'm having to educate every day, when I'm to brands is that influencer marketing. Isn't someone on a beach selling perfume and swimwear, and they've got a million followers on Instagram. Like there are older people that are influencers, even if they're not even massively on something like Instagram and the way I've been Facebook has really, it's more sort of 50 plus is more where Facebook is. I think now, whereas Instagram is probably sort of, I mean , I know again , I'm being really generalizations hear, you know, not offending anyone that's on the different side of the lines I'm drawing, but yeah, Instagram's probably like millennial my sort of generation and then Tik Tok is teenagers. And then, you know , you get parents and grandparents that join that app because they want to see what their kids and grandkids are up to. So I would say that Facebook is a platform where older people are and influencer marketing can just be around content creation and then you can distribute and amplify it in other ways. So you don't have to have the same person creating cool storytelling content and being the marketing channel as well. But very often you do get both in one person, which is obviously a very powerful,

Simon:

I think Phil's sort of itching for a role here. That's what I think what he was saying.

Phil:

I would certainly and Martin and I've talked elsewhere about this. Um, know the panel at RIDC which has 1600 disabled people of all shapes and sizes. It's certainly there to be used. U m, but I , I, I was thinking more about, u m, how, u h, social media, you know, that kind of flash in the pan stuff, how it i t's very transitory. It keeps moving at such a pace. How do you stay ahead of the curve? In a sense,

Martin:

I think we have to use social media in the context that we had. There was print radio TV, and this is another media platform. And then, you know, Facebook is BBC one and you know, Instagram is ITV and it's literally, when you're doing marketing, it's, what's your product? What benefits are there? What problems does it solve? But most of all, it's who is your audience. So if you know that your audience or your marketing campaign is for a , certain age or indeed a certain impairment group, then you just have to know where they are and how to speak with them and to them. And whilst things are changing, I don't think that that sort of, methodolgy or solution changes weekly or monthly. I mean, Facebook's been around for 15 years or more. Um , and isn't going away tomorrow, you know, TikToks, the new kid on the block, but like, that's going to take a while to find its feet, but Facebook and Instagram, you can find most sort of, you know, segments of audiences that completely

Phil:

Reminds me of the book, the Tipping Point. I don't know if you read that. by Malcolm Gradwell and it's basically very briefly, it's a story of how hush puppy, for example, were. a fashion used by older people. And then they went out of business more or less. They d isappeared. And then some black guys in New York started wearing them. And the whole thing, t he book is based around how you bring together six or seven different kinds of drivers. So you h ad black guys who w ere very seen as very fashionable. Other people needed there to be marketeers or good at selling stuff. And the book is actually about how, when you get that right, the whole thing just drives itself. It sounds a bit like that's what you're doing. You're looking for people in the communities that you operate in that can pull the leavers that t hen k now it's that sort of approach. Yeah.

Martin:

Influ ence is a very fluffy, wooly word. It doesn't really define anything properly, but it does come in different forms and say, yes, there are people that can make one post on Instagram and reach a million people and change all of their followers, consumer habits. But you've just got other people that I've really known and respected and they maybe don't have much of a social media presence, but they're still an influencer. But look at the power 100 list. I mean, the influences in there are not only digital influences, so you're absolutely right. It's about pulling different leavers . And just to mention with the RIDC, I've got , um, the , the new CEO coming on the show or is it Gordon Gordon? Because we, you know , we want to collaborate. It's about, we're trying to get brands to finally see the marketing and the business benefit of all this because they just never, they've not, not gone on it. But I think marketing and advertisers that is to me , Phil, years ago and I've followed it to the r ule like it's marketing and advertising is the next battle around inclusion. And I feel like influencer marketing is the way w e were able to drive.

Simon:

Um , the New York bit. The last time I was there, I saw very cool new Yorkers wearing pink sweatshirts made by Champion. Now in the eighties, this was the antithesis of the worst clothes you could ever buy. But because these were the cool new Yorkers wearing this pink sweatshirt with Champion on it, I bought one. I was that I love new shiny completely if it's new and it's different, I buy it cause I'm not excitable, but that was just from that. But I have to then bring it on the edgy streets of the Crouch End and say, no, guys, this is cool, and it's quite hard. But , um, I Phil and I out, let me run the business very rarely, but every now and again, y ou come across a business a nd organization, t hey g o, Oh, we c ould do it like this. And i t'd be really great. And we get, no, you can't do that because t hat undermines disability rights. Or it puts us in a box that we don't like, do you have challenges like that every now and again, you have to kind of push back and steer them in a better direction.

Martin:

Yeah, of course. I very few people in high level marketing positions, in mainstream brands that we're talking to. And unfortunately, even in disability brands, the marketing team, maybe don't always know enough about disability as they maybe should do. And so the reason we get paid is partly because we know marketing and influencer marketing, but it is because we are founded a nd our team is of disabled people. It's by disabled people for disabled people. So I think we have to lead. And most of the time people are happy to listen and take that, but sometimes they've got their own ideas and sometimes you have to step away and say, well, good luck, but we're not going to join you on that journey. But w e also talk about social media and digital and virtual because t he COVID-19 there's a lot. And I was saying before we started t hat I've not been an early adopter in t ech, I've just learned what I h ave needed because I'm very mission driven and I'm starting to h ear a lot more about augmented reality and virtual reality. And there's a lot of ways that this technology can do education in ways that are going to be really helpful for different people with different disabilities. It's going to help research in tourism like my Australia trip. I could have checked that the hotel had an accessible room before getting on the plane , um, and gaming as well. That all sorts of ways that, you know, this is the next step in the evolution of technology. And I think, you know, there are opportunities to use that but it's about it's going to be more inclusive, but we also have to push back against the risk that, that overtakes the need to make the real world more accessible. And that's a balance we have to strike.

Phil:

I mean, you've touched on virtual reality and the potential for that. What do you think the next two or three things are if you've got a crystal so that Simon and I can then set up our business to really, you know market that ? (Laughter)

Martin:

Love it! Well, I suppose the first thing is like, if you look at me some one within my , um, career and products and services, I've launched me as a blogger . I still blog every day as the co founder and CEO of Purple Goat, but I still blog every day. And I still do that with Martinsibley.com but once a week on that website, but on social media every day, and then Disability Horizons is still growing and we're finding a funding model finally, since 2011, the there's a shop and that's starting to now, you know, sell enough that if we could fund the editor role that Liz does, that would be amazing that Horizons can do what it's always done, but have just one role leave . And that would be phenomenal and who knows it could grow funding and grow roles . So, but that was me understanding how influencing works in terms of publishing and all that, and working with other disabled influencers. So with Purple Goat, it's actually an evolution and building on all those previous things as it is when I've done speaking and consulting with other companies and governments and charities. So in a way that they've, they are disparate, but they've all led me to Purple Goat. I would like to say and think Purple Goat is going to be here a long while now because we're able to work in so many parts of the economic industries. And we've so many different brands and so many different disabled influences that whatever the new next shiny thing is that I chase, we've got a really powerful structure vehicle to make impact via Purple Goat. So I think that's hopefully going to be more sort of a longer term stable business that I'm involved in now, but in terms of general trends, I think, yeah, it is the digital world and it is all t his sort of home delivery of shopping and it's cryptocurrency, as we, as we evolve more digitally and rely less on nationalities and borders, I think there will be t hese sort of a cross border cryptocurrencies. U m, a nd from s omeone l ike my perspective as a wheelchair user digital is easier. It's just, I don't have to get someone to get my wallet out. I don't have to go to the shop and all that sort of stuff. So for me, it's great. But as I said, w e just have to make sure that disabled people aren't left a t home without a choice, but it's the choice to do both is really important on the social mission level.

Simon:

Um , I'm struck by the mention of Disability Horizons and finding a model after nine years to , to fund it. And I think that is part of the thing that people don't recognize with entrepreneurs and, and the missions and the ideas you've got to stick with something because you still know it's a good idea, even a bit takes that long. And that , I mean, that's, that takes a bit of gumption to stick to that.

Martin:

Yeah. And the truth is my main reason I get up and I work long hours and weekends. And, you know, even when I'm not feeling well, I'm still cracking on it . Cause I really believe in the mission. And it's only been the last year or two that I've and the half decent salary most of the years, I've not really been able to pay myself very much at all. So if I was in it for the money, there's a million other jobs I could have gone and done, but yeah, with H orizons, it was never in doubt because we just so believe in what we're doing, that it makes a difference to people. And I think even when you are, you know , looking to learn more money or grow a business, which is sort of still on the table in the future, hopefully, but you always need that, that purpose and passion, otherwise you just burn out and you just, you know, no one ever did something for decades just because they're writing good money. You have to enjoy what you do.

Phil:

I think that's, I I've known you for a fair while now, I suppose I don't know how long it is. I've known you, but it is a while. And you've always been enthusiastic. I can't think of a time where you haven't been, you know, selling some idea or promoting something. And I think you're right. I think when I Simon and I look back and I look at the people that had the biggest influence on me, it's always people who believe in what they're doing. You know, the people that want to build a big business and get a good living. Okay, good for them. But , uh, it doesn't, it doesn't quite do what, what people like you are doing, which is not just only hopefully going to earn a reasonable living at this point, but also changing the way the world works. One final thought, really Martin for me, what about the people that, you know, can't deal with the social media side of things either they don't have the tech or the ability to use it or cause that's a big worry. I think, you know, that we're creating another underclass. Any thoughts on that?

Martin:

Yeah. When I heard a story about a lady that we saw about a lot of the funerals that were done virtually and she couldn't attend, whether it was partner or family member that couldn't attend the funeral because she didn't have annoy pad that align how to use it. So I don't, I don't think we're going to stop the digitalization and the trends in that direction. So I think there is maybe more around provision of hardware and skills. Um, maybe on a governmental level for those that are being left behind that, that's the only solution I can see. Um, I think there are people that would just don't want that and would rather not go digital, but it's going to be harder and harder not to do it because that's where all the banking and the shopping and everything is heading.

Simon:

I, I think that's a valid point then there's, there's some who don't want to, and I feel for them because, but I remember 15, 20 years ago getting computers from my parents cause they don't finish work before digitization happened, but I knew it was going to happen and they're great. They can use that. Um , I also, think we've got a bigger challenge. You could buy, 'em a tablet for the cheapest probably than you ever could before. And there were unbelievable people like Barclays , who do they , we teach leaders and they will train people. So there is stuff out there, but it feels a bit piecemeal and maybe that's Phil's point, which is , it should be something that underneath that means we're going to sweep up those people, particularly if they want to that's the point.

Martin:

On that social issue you've pointed out of those that are left behind digitally. It does fit much more square with what we are doing with that . Will go is of course the mental health around being on social media and being an influencer with trolling. So I feel that as we are , we're a startup , we launched two months ago, right. But as we get a bit more going and get more clients and more resources, I really want to be able to invest in giving influences the support to be better at being an influencer, but the downside of it as well. I think there's a lot of awareness and stuff we have to work on in that area as well.

Simon:

I think that's immencely sound. And uh, whenever I put a tweet out, I have a little moment of hesitation and I just think, why am I worried about this? But I do. I don't know where it's gonna land. And, and that's a weird place.

Phil:

We're going to have to draw this to a conclusion that was really helpful and very interesting. And I, and I, I, I'm sure we both wish you every success with Purple Goat. I love the Goat idea . Um, but it's been a pleasure and thank you so much for coming on and sharing your thoughts with us and good luck at the wedding. Whenever it is.

Martin:

Thank you for your support both of you And , uh , yeah , been a pleasure to catch up as always.

Simon:

Thanks, Martin.

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