Episode 285: Learning the Importance of Marketing with Mr. Motivator MBE
Keeping ourselves healthy is just as important as being successful in our careers because if our health goes down the drain, everything else follows suit. This is why Derrick Evans MBE, also known as Mr. Motivator, has made it his mission to inspire people to take charge of their own health and well-being.
Recently, Derrick gave a fantastic talk at a Gold Circle event where he sat down with Adam to discuss his journey from fitness icon to the motivational powerhouse he is today. During the talk, he shared some of his best advice on marketing and building a personal brand. He also stressed the importance of prioritizing our health and constantly improving our knowledge to achieve ultimate success.
The entire talk has been captured and put into the latest episode of Adams Business Growth Secrets Podcast.
- Challenges Derrick faced in his early years of fatherhood
- The encounter made him realise that he wants to do fitness
- Flying all the way to Los Angeles to learn ‘Cardio Funk’
- Learning how people do things badly so we can do them better
- How the marketing and building of the Mr. Motivator brand was started
- How Derrick got his big break on Television
- Leaving and breathing what you enjoy
- How critical marketing and advertising were for Derrick’s brand
- How Derrick thrived during the COVID-19 Lockdowns
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Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.
Adam Stott: Welcome back to Business Growth Secrets. You’re with your host, Adam Stott. Super excited to introduce today’s episode. Today’s episode is an extract from my Gold Circle event. Very recently, I invited the one and the only Mr. Motivator to come and myself, my clients that I mentor and coach in the Gold Circle Group.
Now, if you don’t know what Gold Circle is, gold Circle is my mentoring program, which includes lots of one-to-one coaching, 12 live days with me, where people spend time together in a big network of brilliant business owners. Looking to grow and scale their businesses. We teach all the different concepts from mastering you as a business owner to marketing, sales, business strategy, numbers, and branding.
And we take people for a step by step process to really help them to grow and build their businesses. We get amazing results. We’re constantly having, business owners. get massive breakthroughs from the first a hundred thousand to 250,000, all the way up to 10 million in revenue in terms of businesses growing.
So it’s an excellent program and often what I do is I bring guests in, like Mr. Motivator, for life interviews, where people can learn from him, get to meet him, have photos done with him, and so much more. And this is an extract from that particular, so you’re getting a real behind the scenes. What did Mr. Motivator say to help motivate my Gold Circle members to grow and push on even further. And look, if you would like mentoring, coaching, handholding, support, and to be surrounded by a massive, brilliant people that can help you to grow and build your connections. And you want to learn more about Gold Circle? Go over to www. Adamstott.com and submit a message and we’ll be really happy to, have one of our team chat to you about how we can help and support you. In the meantime, hope you enjoy the episode, which is going to be, you know, I think it was brilliant. It was really, really motivating for everybody there. He shared so many cool insights to his career. Talked about becoming one of the most famous people in Britain, and certainly the most famous fitness person in Britain during the nineties, all the way through the nineties, and even doing stuff during lockdown as well. So I think it’s a brilliant episode that you can get tons of value of. I hope you enjoy.
And, of course we don’t run ads on this, podcast. We don’t do sponsorships. We don’t sell anything. So all, all we ask is if you could share this with somebody. It’s just the touch of a button to go and share this with somebody that could grow. That’s the way this podcast grows. We do it to help business owners just like you.
If you could share this with somebody that you feel will get great value, we would be eternally grateful. Now, let’s jump into the episode with Mr. Motivator. It’s good to see everyone getting moving a little bit and, and I think that where we kind of wanted to start today is you’ve, A huge career. Huge career, and I think it’s really actually very telling that when I announce somebody in Gold Circle, every single one of you know who he is before he gets here.
Now that is branding in itself. When we talk about branding, it is perception. It’s about being known, and you’ve cultivated and built that brand over time. How did we start out? Was it intentional? How did that all come about? You know, what’s the journey been like?
Derrick Evans: I think every single one of us are pretty far removed from where we began.
You know, when you left school, you all had your intentions, you knew what you wanted to do, and then you make a series of decisions based on your circumstances, which takes you all over the place. And for me, there was a kind of lots of different triggers on. That made me do things. But initially it was all about survival.
It was about feeding my family. It was about feeding. I was a one parent family at age 20. And I wanted the responsibility of looking after my daughter. And so I even took my girlfriend then to court and I won custody. Right. And I started looking after her. And that was kind of the, the trigger point for me initially is that number one, I had the responsibility of looking after a young child who was a daughter.
And you can imagine, right, the problems that led to, and you know, we were living in one bedroom, flat. There was a point at which we. We were homeless together. There was a point at which when in fact I had to make a decision about whether I fed her or fed me. The thing is, we are judged based on the car you drive up in, but no one realizes that.
Well before that you are on roller blades or you walk around barefooted and that’s how it was. And when you’re given away a three months of age, you don’t know what direction you’re going to go in. So in answer to that question you gave me is that it’s what led me here was just a series of things that happened in my.
That made me have to make a decision about survival initially feeding my daughter next. And then after that it was being out of work. What do I do? Do I turn to crime? And that was always in front of you. Your, your friends were always there trying to give you a shortcut in terms of how to get on. And I wasn’t really interested in that route because I had the responsibility of my.
So in terms of becoming Mr. Motivator, that was a progressive thing. And you know, there was a period, I remember back in 1983, I walked into a ledger center in Harrow. And when I walked in I could hear all this noise coming in from the back of a room. And when I went round there, I saw all these women doing well, let’s move movement and stuff like that.
and I. I was transfixed. And every Tuesday I was back there at the, at the back of the room just watching them doing this stuff. They called it pop mobility. And when a different track of music came on, they’d do different moves. And I, I was, I thought, this is me. I thought this, this would be great. So I, I had a word with two ladies at the front and I said, listen, if I got a hall, would you come and take some classes for me?
And they said, yes. So I quickly went down to Newland Lane and I found this new church hall was being built, and the Vicker said, you can rent this if you want. And we started Derek’s classes, not Mr. Mo Derek’s classes, and people would come in and they’d do their pop mobility, but I didn’t feel satisfied within myself.
I felt I needed to be teaching this. So I was making notes, I was recording it, and those are days we didn’t have mobile phones, so I had the old camera and. . And I also remember after about two months, I said to them, look, I think I could teach this class. So I took over and that allowed me to start branding it as me and the hall started filling up and people would be traveling 20 miles to come to my classes.
We would have 120 people packed in a room using benches. You think the steps that you see nowadays is where it began? No. It was benches up and down on benches. Right. We did all that. We, we would do interval training and circuit training, which then now called hit, but we were doing it the whole way before and, you know, punished them.
I was like a sergeant major. I’d have them on the floor doing 50 press ups if you eyeball. And you didn’t do the 50 press-ups. Everyone in the class had to do 50 press-ups, . But a class that became public, we’d have athletes who would come to be trained with me, and I didn’t know anything about fitness other than what I’d learnt.
But what did I do after that? I immersed myself in the subject. I love that. That’s what I did it. I lived and breathed every single thing to do with wellness. Every book I could find, I, and it was only one Bible. In 1985 that you could get, and it was, it was by Dr. Cooper and he was, and he spoke about aerobics and I got this book and I was reading and then videos.
What videos? There weren’t many around. Jane Fonda had video out. Right. Jane Fondant, she wore the My mom down that one, right? Yeah. . That’s right. Right. Jane Fonda. But then there was a lady in America called Karen Voigt, and she was considered to be the queen of fitness, and she had this wonderful studio in LA and I remember traveling all the way to la.
and I got there, right? And I went into the studio and it fueled me. And I came away with cardio funk and cardio. Funk was, a guy called Billy Goodson, who worked for her, came up with this idea for music and movement and he’s funky. And I came away with that and I started teaching people cardio funk.
And so we used to run classes, and I’ll always remember one of the first ladies who came to the class with a lady called Caroline Brown, who was the personal trainer for Princess. . I actually used to come to my training sessions, right, and I was there teaching everybody how to do cardio funk. And what was happening to me was my knowledge was increasing all the time.
Because the more and more I did classes, the more and more taught people, the more and more I was getting information from them about how I could improve, how I could be better. The more and more I shared what I was doing with other people, they were feeding back at me and telling me, listen, how about doing this?
How about doing that? So my class structure changed, which is the lesson of life. That’s why you are here. Yeah. Right. The sharing aspect is really kind of important. So I’m going to give you the chance to ask another question because the whole, I want to how become motivated. It’s such a long journey. No, you know what I want to say is, is, is because success essentially leaves close, and we’ve been talking a little bit today about product launches, things like that.
You launched this class, this initial class before you were ready. Oh, yeah. Before you said it wasn’t perfect. What made you do that? Where a lot of people wouldn’t do that. Right. And that’s the message that we try. Why did you go and attack it? What do you think it was? Was, was that out of survival?
Was it out of Yeah, it’s, I think it’s a combination of loss of things.
I think what, what happens is that if you see that there is a need and the evidence is clear because people are traveling far and wide and coming to it, there was a need for something in the way I was delivering. I wanted to grab it there and then, What do they say? Opportunity knocks on the door, but once, but disappointment leaves on the doorbell.
So you grab it. And, and for me, in my life, it’s never been a question of waiting for my ship to come in. I’m swimming out to it. No one owes me anything, so I’ve gotta go out there and grab it. But marketing of an idea is really important. Absolutely critical. Right. And I believe, and when I, when I, in fact, we jump ahead right to 92, I’d spent 10 years before that trying to get into television, and they put every obstacle in the way.
The worst thing to do with me is to tell me no or can’t, don’t tell me that that’s the fuel that what makes me want to prove you wrong. . So don’t tell me that. And they kept telling me advertisers won’t advertise around a black man doing fitness. There’s no way that a black man doing fitness, it had to be a white person with two children.
No, there’s no way this could ever work. I can’t see it. And I was for 10 years trying it. T VM Studios down in Camden Lock. I was down there every month, right. China had the editor on the floor trying to show him what I would do. He said, no, we’ve got mad. Well, she was mad. I don’t what I mean, she was totally mad.
I mean, honestly, but they say that someone’s life can be an inspiration or a warning. She was a warning of how not to do it.
so, so I, I learned, in fact, we must always look are people who do things badly cuz it tells you what you need to do to do it well. So we always. No. No. Surely not. Yes. In fact, sometimes you have to mix with those people to work out whether the journey you’re on is the right journey. Yeah. Because you know, they’ll always be telling you, no, this can’t be done.
Nah, you can’t, there’s no way. Trying to get someone to share your dream is the worst thing in the world. And I had this vision of just being able to get on television, do fitness in such a way that people would swallow it and not think. It’s a bit like when your parents wanted you to eat vegetables.
What did, what was it we did put it in a pie . That’s what I had to do with fitness. I wanted to dressed up in such a way that, in fact, you didn’t think about it as been fitness. I never said to anybody, you must lose weight. You must get, I say, listen, come on, let’s move the body. What am I doing? I’m dressing it up, but the marketing of Mr.
Motivator. Came about because one of the first jobs I got was working for a company called Rank Hovis McDougal, and they had a training program called Essentials of Management, and they sent you away to learn about marketing, selling, distribution, production, and I came away from that, so charged and they would keep sending you away to it.
So you learned all those essential elements. There were times I was working in Tesco, stuck in shelves. So in all of our facings, I know which of the most important shelves to be. Not up here. Not down there, the middle. That’s why I’ve won fights for it. And there was a time when I was doing merchandising for them and I’d go in and you’d move someone else’s product out the way to push yours in there,
But it was training ground. That’s what I was learning all the while. And I was learning the importance of how I should market myself. How am I going to be different to anybody else? What did we learn from the Green Goddess? You don’t necessarily do her exercises, but you remember the name, you remember the color that was important.
So therefore for me, if I adopted something to do with color and then I make my exercises fun, and I use music with an attitude, and there’s something about using an American style accent. It does work, . And that’s what I did. And so how did he evolve in terms of the unitard? Initially there was no bum bag.
Initially it was just stretch liker. No one was making it for me. I was taking one off the shelf. It was shelved. It wasn’t very attractive because it didn’t show the bit that he should show. It was bagging places that it bag in places where it shouldn’t be baggy. So I found a guy down in Brighton, right, who made up all my clothing.
and he made up the very first suit. He fitted me and he said, listen, every week I will send you two or three different unitards for you to wear. But how did he get on television? How did, how am I going to get on there? I’ve got the ideas. How am I going to get on there? And that’s the next part.
Adam Stott: And I want to ask you, why did you want to get on there?
Because a lot of people don’t actually realize, you obviously realize the power of that. What was it that was driving you towards that goal?
Derrick Evans: I, you know what? I don’t think I recognize the power of it because I think every other fitness person on there, I’ve never seen him, them showing any sign of real success.
You knew they were on television. I knew I wanted to get on television. I knew I wanted to promote the fitness. I. and you know, my classes I said, were so popular. I’ll always remember Gloria Harford’s, production people came out to see my classes because they’d heard about it and they said to me, would you like to appear on her Sunday show?
And I did. I went on to her Sunday show and she offered me the opportunity to come and train her her. This is 1992. I start, I would travel all the way from Mill Hill all the way to Kent, three times a week to. Why did I do it? The money was okay, but that wasn’t the reason. I felt like there was something fueling me, something driving me on down this route.
So I did that, and then she would say, you are to be on television. And the more she said it, the more I believed it. the next minute. Right? She introduces me to Amon Holmes, right? Who said come and train me. He was working for gmtv. . You see how all the dominoes are stacking up? Mm-hmm. . And that’s all because you did something here.
It wasn’t paying forward. You do a good job here. They speak about you. That’s better than any advert in the world. When someone tells says, that was great, that was brilliant. I’m going to tell you to recommend you to my friends. So Amon Holmes. Now I’ve got me, I’m there training. Aon Holmes. Lorraine Kelly comes down.
The weather people, Sally mean Simon Biji. They were all there with me training. From there, I’m sitting inside the reception waiting one morning and there is, a guy walking in over there had a larger than life belly
so I went over like that.
Adam Stott: You imagine that night
Derrick Evans: I went over and I prodded him in the belly. I don’t know till this day what got in me to do it. I didn’t know. I went over, I’d pot him in the belly and I said, Adam, you need to sort that out,
He said, I don’t have time. Said to me, I said to him, if you don’t make time, you won’t have time. Oh, . He said, feed me alone. And he stormed off. . I went, I went up to the receptionist. I said, hello Jackie. How you doing? Who was that? She said that was the program controller of gmtv . What did I tell you? That was the fuel that made me the next day coming with my exercise bike, get in the lift up to the fifth floor, push my bike in his office at court to eight and run away.
I went and trained the presenters at about one o’clock. We got back. I went up to his office, knocked on his door, and I said, excuse me, sir, you have my bike in your office. You need to use it to seize every opportunity. Yeah, he said to me, I don’t have time. I said to his secretary, I said, Please come here a moment. She came in, I said, will you just tell him that he needs to make time? She says He. She said to me, he, you need it. He said, okay, can you book me in next Monday? She said, well, Monday’s a busy day.
How about Tuesday? The Tuesday I was booked in. I went up, started training him. He was there. He was dressing her. Then I realized I didn’t know anything about personal. As I told you, there were no qualifications in those days. So I said to him, I ought to ask you some medical questions before we go any further.
Is there a heart history of heart, heart disease in your family? Yes. My dad died at age 42 with heart disease. Anything else? Oh, yes. My mother also had a heart problem and he went through all this list of things and I got worried and I told him, slow down . And he said to me at the end of about a month, he said, you need to be on Televis.
So everything we do opens up new doors. Yes. When you’re at a crossroads in your life, don’t stand here trying to figure out what the result is going to be of your decision. Make the decision and believe in yourself. Believe that if you are thrown in the deep end over here, new people are seeing you. Because when you are here, these people on the fringes can’t see you.
They don’t know you here, but the moment you go here and make a decision, they can see you. They can see. , you’re creating new opportunities and these are the lessons I’ve learned. Listen, I’ve been 70 years on this earth. I know you’re looking at me and thinking, come on, , you look about 45 . Well, I was 17 November gone, right?
I’ll do anything, anything for a clap, , find what you enjoy and when you. Live, breathe it. Let nothing be single minded. Be selfish. Go for it. But do not be selfish about your health because there’s no point. You’re working hard. And then when you reach, require your health, you’re over here, but your health is way over there playing catch up.
You gotta take it with you. My wife will tell you every day in my office, the alarm clock goes off every. And every hour he reminds me to stand up and I’ve got some dumbbells in my office. I do my dumbbells, I do some squats, whatever, every hour. You only do it for two minutes, five minutes. You don’t have to do more.
10% of every hour should be donated to your health. If you take nothing away from this session take away that 10% of your time is all I’m asking you to do, and I promise you, number one, you’ll be more productive. Number two, you’re going to feel good. Number three, you’ll have another conversation that you can have with people.
Number four, every single client you call up. Even if the alarm goes off in the middle of a meeting, I will stand up and still do my exercises because what are you doing? You’re treating yourself as an important person. You’re looking after you and you are important. You are unique. Every day you should get up.
Look in that. Stand in front of that mirror and marvel what you see. It takes me half an hour to move across any reflection , I’m doing. What is that? You not. You flip me. , you’re joking. I’m proud of me. I love. , come on. Love yourself. Come on. And the way you’ll show appreciation for the love of yourself is to look after yourself.
Right now, you can change the way in which you look at life right now. If you just put your feet flat on the floor, sit up straight. Imagine there’s an orange between your shoulder blades. Your vision of everything going forward has changed. Just try it now. Orange between your shoulder blades and just gently squeeze out juice that.
Yeah, you can feel it running down your back, can’t you? if you do that every hour as part of your five minutes, it’s going to be great for you. The other thing is don’t forget, you know, we carry our attention here, all our tensions here. I’m going to give you four letters. I know we, we you got, I’m going to give you four letters.
I want you to remember, and we’re going to do it from a seated position. Give me a why. We doze a y. Imagine that’s a y shape. Push your thumbs backwards like you’re pushing it to the back wall, so you’re squeezing your shoulder blade together. You can feel it. Come down to a W, push your thumbs behind you again, feel it in.
So when you’ve been sitting at the desk for hours, I want you to remember these four letters. W gimme L. At this moment you’re probably putting your hands on someone’s breasts,
and your hands are too low to be too Ls. Get them off his balls.
Alright, so you got two L and then this one’s going to stick it in their nose. T. Right? So if you remember that, always pushing your thumbs behind you, so you start Y W L T, you will live taller. Nice.
Adam Stott: Look, loving it. You know, I think it’s, amazing advice for, for everyone. Amazing advice for me. Hey, hey, look, you know, it’s, amazing. I’m often being
Derrick Evans: sold. Yeah, but Adam, you work hard. Yeah. Come on. You work hard, you work harder. You are here mentoring people and so often, right? While we are helping other people, we forget about ourselves on the airplane, they tell you, put your mask on first before you can help anybody.
But yes. Still, what do we do? And I learned to my detriment a year ago, the, the, the crime, when you spend your time looking after everybody else, we had a death in our family. I’ll share that with you. It was December LA last year, the year before our granddaughter. And I was not going to cry. I was going to be there always with my daughter.
I was going to be the strong one. I was going to be the one right, who was never going to show any of those emotions because no, they needed my support. Eventually my body broke down. There was a point at which I collapsed in the room collapsed because the, one of the, one of the worst thing in the world is for you to feel that you are, God, you’re not.
We’re human, we are flesh, we are breathing. And grief is horrible. Grief is horrible and it can drain you. And every one of us in here, if we haven’t suffered loss, will suffer loss one day. It’s a fact. It’s, it’s, that’s the circle of life. But your health is real important. And what the doctor said to me if I wasn’t as fit as I am now, would not be here today, but the remedy was in the February.
After going through all that, me being really sick and stuff like that in the February, I sat down with my wife and my el, my youngest daughter, and I said, I just realized why I got ill. I was all the time not refusing to cry because everyone else around me was crying and I felt the only way I could show strength was by not crying, and I bold my eyes out that day, and that was the point at which I found relief.
That was the point at which I realized, and I say this to every man, , you’re a man if you cry.
And so when, when I, when I come to events, either I do loads of events, I talk about you look, there’s loads of people say they’re motivational speakers. You can get it from a textbook, whatever they, I’ve lived, whatever I’m talking to you about. I don’t need notes, I don’t need PowerPoint. I’m talking to you about what I’ve lived through and when I talk to you about the importance of your.
And I say to you, grief is something that no one can give you a textbook for. No one can say, this is how you handle it, right? Because around the same time as losing my granddaughter lost my best friend of 60 years and I’ve just lost another friend of 50 years last Thursday. But that’s the circle of life.
And guess what? There’s an upside to everything. You know? Because we often go someone’s life, you talk to them and they go, I’m not that significant. If you think you’re not that significant, if you think your life is not that significant, imagine a darkened room and there’s a mosquito in there.
Yeah, A mosquito may be insignificant, but look how powerful it is. So every one of us, how powerful and what we are doing out there, what we are creating. Everything that you’re working. Can have such an impact on every single person out there. As long as you work hard, you’re considerate, and you’re kind, then amazing things are going to happen.
I’ll repeat that. Work hard, be considerate, be kind. Amazing things will happen in your life. So I’m here just basically sharing the experience that I’ve had. I never went to university, but I can hold my own with any graduate I never went to. The only school I’ve been to university is the seven universities I spent 10 years in, in each one of them.
And I’m here to say to you that it’s great you’re on that journey. It’s great that you’re trying to create, or you’ve got your business there, but don’t please, please, if you listen to and nothing else, don’t leave your health behind. Take it with you. Yeah. And it’s never too late. Never too late. You can start today.
The moment you start any condition you have, you’re going to slow down the rate it comes to the surface. I’ve got an online club called the Mr. Motivators Club, which is all to do with empowering people and getting fitness and health and stuff like that. And we’ve now got two major London hospitals who have started recommending patients to us prior to operation.
So if we’ve got two weeks, six weeks, eight weeks before cancer operation, they come to us, they follow pathway of exercise. Why? Because they know that if you go into an operation fitter and healthier, your recovery is much. Even if all it did was made you mentally feel stronger and feel like you’re doing something that puts you in a great space.
The evidence is there. It’s clear, right? And it’s nothing to do with size is to do with you looking after your health. You can be any size you want to be, as long as you love you. Come on. That’s what’s important. Absolutely. As long as you love you, I mean, what the hell, who am I just telling you? Should be a size eight 10.
First start too. If you’re too small, right? At nights, there’s nothing to.
So, so, right. You know what I mean? Adam
So, so yeah. Look after you, look after you be proud of who you are. Come on. When you leave here, you can’t really look at yourself in the mirror and you realize how uniquely different you. What did I say? Beautiful, beautiful lamb. Teenagers are freaks of nature, but beautiful. Older people are works of art.
Adam Stott: Great.
Derrick Evans: So on the journey in terms of building your brand Yeah.
Adam Stott: We, we go on GM TV. What happens next? , what happens to you?
Derrick Evans: You know what, I remember August 23rd, 1993. Came about purely because after being told so many times that a black man on fitness, doing fitness on television would never happen. There’s one day I’m wait, waiting for these guys again, and I went up to the office to meet up with Damon Holmes and as I’m walking by it, there’s a lady on the phone and she’s calling up the Key Fit Association of Great Britain, which has just recently been set up and saying to them, we would love you to come in and actually do the fitness on television.
And I knelt down by the side of her and I said, please, just put the phone down. Please just stop putting the phone down. . She put the phone down. She said, who are you? I said, well, I’m Derek. She says, oh, Mr. McCue has told me all about you, that you train him and you get him fit. But we have spoken to the advertisers and they reckon that.
They don’t see you working a black man doing fitness, so that ain’t going to happen. I said, come on. She said, no, I don’t think so. She said, but look, this is television things a way of changing. A month later, she called me up, her name was La Lingham, called me up and she said, listen, the young lady who’s doing fitness on television, by the way, lesson to all of you, lady who’s doing fitness on television, it’s going away on holiday for two weeks.
We’re going to put you in there. I want you to try it. She says, but we need to see what you’re going to do. I said to her, well, I don’t plan anything I’m going to do. I don’t choreograph anything. I never, I never have, I never go up Four steps. Left four steps, right? I just comes from in here. She says, but the director on the floor needs to know.
I said, could you take me down there? She took me down to the studio and there’s five cameras. She said to me, I said, how do I know if the camera’s on me? She says, well, they’ll all be on you, but the director behind is normally saying Camera one, camera two. I said to her, well, look, how about we do it this way?
Let me teach you like I’m teaching a class and I go, okay, I’m going to work the biceps. When I say, That camera will know to come in and when I say I want to go on the floor, I’ll speak to the camera like I’m speaking at home, come down with me onto the floor. She says, well, we’ve never done that. Let’s try it.
I said, five 23rd of August, I went in 10 to seven and the rest is history.
I want to ask, which I think is a really important question, is getting that feedback. Yes. And, and essentially there’s obviously a racist undertone to that as well. Yeah. How, how did you. Manny, you, you maintained a massive positivity in that area. You didn’t let that defeat you.
No. You could have, you just actually just kept playing on and just like, I don’t care what they say, I’m going to do it anyway. What, how, how did you manage to take that mindset to it? Because some people don’t take that mindset.
No. No they don’t. But you know, the thing is, I was on a mission. I didn’t know what the mission.
I knew that I wanted to be the best at what I was doing. I knew I needed a platform to be the best. I knew that television provided a good advert. I never expected. to be as popular as I became. The station were at the bottom of the ratings. When I joined Roland Rat was on the other side and a bit top of the
I always a member, Greg Dyke, who was then the the guy at iv and he came over to me one day. I was just coming down the lift. This was at the end of the first week and he said to me, by the way, do you realize that you are the role and rat of I. But he did say one thing. He said, if ever they get rid of you, let me know because I’ll have something for you to do.
Trust me. Then got sacked,
Anyhow, so when, when it happened, I’ll always remember on the Thursday I started on a Monday. On the Thursday, I’d just done a workout to Bob Marley and I came upstairs and when I came up there was 200 people in the office and everyone stood up and applauded and Mr. McCue said, come, we want to talk. And I walked into the office and he said, look, we want to offer you the job on tv.
I said, no thanks, . I said, I’m only kidding. . . And that’s how it happened. And then all of a sudden it was everywhere. And you know the fun. Here’s the funniest thing.
Adam Stott: After the first one. Yeah. What type of And when you did it and prove, when somebody tells you, you can’t do sang for so long, you can’t have it.
You can’t have it. You can’t have it. You can’t have it. Yeah. You can’t have. Then you get it and you literally smash it out the park. What did you feel like when they said that they wanted to offer you that job? But
Derrick Evans: what I, it look, it was a wonderful feeling. I mean, but the thing is, I didn’t get as excited as most people do.
I mean, my wife would tell you that most things that I, I go for once I get to the point where I’ve got it, the excitement was actually getting there. It wasn’t actually because I really believe that it would happen anyhow. It was only a question of. So I love that, but I, but what it is, it was the nice things that happened after that that made me feel good.
I remember I came out on the, the Thursday I think it was, and I went into a little cafe and I ordered a sandwich and I was about to pay him, and he said, no. I said, why? He said, no, no, no, no, no, no. He said, you bring me joy in the mornings, and I thought, My goodness, that is so heartwarming. Mm. That’s, so, I got a call from, a guy who ran a TV station in America.
He was in his hospital bed in London having treatment. And he called me up and they, they put him through to me and he said, You know what? There’s just something unique about you. Here’s my number and stuff like that. I want to meet you, right? When, if you can get to America and stuff like that. That’s the type of thing that opened up.
The doors just started opening up all over the place Station would sent me to Vegas, the closest strip in Vegas for us to launch a new video. Don’t forget my videos and I’d still the biggest selling videos, fitness videos. In this country. Wow. Right. But I’m very protective, Adam, about brand motivator. If you notice in the press.
I don’t go to the parties, I don’t do all those things. I say no to a hell of lot stuff because brand motivator should be trusted. I remember Disney, we had a project on with Disney and they did a market research and they said that the characters that they have are trusted the same as Mr. Motivating. In other words, parents would go, I’m quite happy putting the kids in front of the cartoons in the same way they’re happy putting in front of me.
That is important to me. My brand, I mean, listen, I get offers to. Use it in all kinds of ways. And I say, no, purely because I must remain true. And that way you must trust me. And if you trust me, it means that hopefully you’ll listen to what I say. I sort your fitness out as I smash your face in
Adam Stott: So how did you, how did you handle the growth course? How did, did it, were there some times because it’s, it’s an amazing journey. You know, congratulations on your, on your massive success. How did you handle the. and the new things that were coming and the opportunities, did you have some moments where you then found it even more difficult?
Did you have some plateaus? Whether there’s some difficulties that came up after you started succeeding?
Derrick Evans: You know what, it’s, it’s kind of interesting. It’s been 30 years now, and the last two years, the two years of lockdown have been my busiest years. I had to move away from television because television was only interested in the entertainment I bought to fitness.
And the deeper side of wellness is what I’m about. Wellbeing is my whole mantra, and that’s why I was given the B last year. It was for services to health and wellbeing of this country. That has been my whole focus all along. And by going away from television, it allowed me to actually kind of rebrand myself a little bit, still keep the same vehicle I was traveling in because that’s the other.
Don’t change course. Don’t jock away. If you got a shop and our shop’s doing well, when you expand, don’t close that shop. Don’t close it. Whatever you did, right? Don’t analyze what you did, right? In fact, look at how you can use what you did there, there to propel you forward. So for me, every single thing, my friends from the past of the people I engage, because in television you don’t forge friendships.
They all want to be there. I used to hold for the station 200 people. We used to take over a nightclub every. And I’d invite the whole staff in for a party cuz I believe my success was not just me alone, it was them. It was the guy who was cleaning up the bathroom. How many people here know the name of their cleaner?
We should all know the name of the cleaner. That’s the most important job in any company. when the MD goes away, everyone wants to be md. When the cleaner goes away, no one cleans the bin. fact. Yeah, that is fact. Yeah. . And so I say that’s the most important person. There’s, if I go into any building and I see a cleaner, I’m speaking to that cleaner because most people look down on, and that job, right?
That job is the most important job in your business. Yeah. Anyhow, a sidetrack. In terms of Handy, I, it was really difficult. The press office have never seen anything like this before. I used to have two people allocated to me. Wherever I went. There was always chaperone, someone looking after me. I didn’t know anything about this cuz as far as I’m concerned, I was just a fitness instructor who happened to be on television.
With a different job to everyone else, but it was good for the station and for eight, nine years they exploited it the fullest. And then guess what they did? I used to have an all my shoots, three or four cameras because I’m very spontaneous. I do things just based on feeling. So you gotta be there to capture it a bit like if you go to the Freddy Star Show, he’s got all these cameras around because one minute he’d be setting his hair on light.
Next minute you won’t know Fred Star, you youngsters, . But, and, and so with me, with with exercises, I’m also spontaneous. Even my videos never choreographed, but we just do it. So you gotta capture it there. And as soon as they got to the top of the ratings, they started dropping a camera off till eventually we were going out to do a shoot with one camera, which meant I had to repeat things and I don’t like repeating things.
And that was another reason why I had to move on. Can you say that again?
Why did they do that? Because they got what they wanted out of me.
Adam Stott: and then they started. They started
Derrick Evans: breaking and working. They started, what they started doing was taking away the quality of what I was doing, the spontaneity, the, you know, everything about me was spontaneous. I see. If a helicopter came across, I go, gimme a shot of the helicopter.
You don’t get it out. It’s real. It’s real. That’s what’s going on. But they didn’t want that any longer now, right. I mean, honestly, we had some, but listen, it was good that they did that because it made it easier for me to break. Right, and I thank God for the opportunity they gave me because it did, it launched me and it made me who I am today.
You know, it’s a real important platform, but marketing is so critical for all of us. Henry Ford said, right, that the man who turns off the light, no. The man who doesn’t advertise is a bit like the man who turns off the light thinking, I can save some money. You need to advertise. And I did that. I went into it fully.
I mean, everything about me. I kept marketing it, marketing even when I was away from television. I did that. They brought Is it
Adam Stott: natural for you to do that? Yeah. It was actually natural.
Derrick Evans: Yeah. Yeah. It was based on everything I learned from ran Hovis, McDougal, marketing, selling, distribution, all that came into four.
But then you see the BBC very cleverly just before lockdown brought me back. But I said I would only come on television dressed in Lyra if I could also do some stuff, which is to do with wellbeing, which said yes. And that was a turning point. So the result was after doing, as soon as I did that, I remember the first call I had was from Talk.
Talk who said, listen, our staff are all over the place. We need to get in touch with them. Could you do put it together, a little program for them? So I did this thing called a Motivation Experience, and that was 10 minutes of movement to music and a 20 minute talk. After we did that, they booked me two or three times after that.
Then Google heard. . So I was getting up at four o’clock in the morning to transmit to Singapore, India, Australia, and then at 10 o’clock I’d do Europe and 11 o’clock in the evening I do America. Same thing, to keep all their teams just focused and make them know they’re important and just give them the talk that I’m giving to you.
Now that’s opportunity comes about, not because we planned it, it’s because they’re there all the while right in front of you. Why some people more successful than others? Because they seized the opportunity they saw. They ran with it. They didn’t just say, it’s a great idea. They ran with it. And that’s what I do with everything I right now.
I’ve got so many projects on the go. Why number one? Because I always want to behave like a 12 year old. I never want to get old. I believe you get old when you stop being young. So I want to be busy. That’s number one. Number two, I believe right now I’m in my most important years of my life now, right?
This is when it all matters. I must continue to stand up straight, and that means every one of. And we go back to the old health again, that straightness is real important because as we get older, this is what happens and it doesn’t have to happen. We work on saga ships where the average age group is probably about 70, 80% are sitting down and bent over when they arrive.
By the end of three weeks, we got 80% standing up. because what it is they, the reason why they fall is because they forget. Muscle memory disappears. And so if you start now making sure the muscle memory works, it’s a bit like me saying to you, move your small toe. It’s real difficult, isn’t it? Cuz you’ve broken the link to that small toe.
But if you touch it, you reestablish the link. That’s what we’ve gotta do with everything is create the muscle. So that way when as we get older, it’s there, you’ll never see me lounging for. I have to stop
Adam Stott: and he, you said to me outside, like, I don’t have to sit down for this interview, do I ?
Derrick Evans: That’s what he did.
No, no, no, no. You’re crazy. Never as long, as long as you’re right. I may sitting there no problem, never, never. I don’t cross my legs neither. I
I’ve got a bit to learn. I think, Hey, we’re going to have to, Hey, we’re going to have to hang out a bit more. Right? Clearly.
Adam Stott: So in terms of what’s happening now, you, you, you, and I’m very honored that we’ve gone from talk, talk to Google to Gold Circle. Is that bring Good
Derrick Evans: everyone, you know, so, so thank you for, for joining us.
Adam Stott: What, what’s next? And, you know, what is, what’s
Derrick Evans: the sort of future looking like? There are a number of things we have to empower. You know, there’s. What got me into this was, there’s a lady when she was a hundred years of age, she, all she wanted was to work out with me and there’s a charity called a Fans Network based in Colchester.
They got in touch and said, would I do this virtual workout for her, which I did. And so we transmitted it to a lot of care homes who at the time were really getting a bad, a bad message. You know, it was terrible what was going on. She was 102 last. So I drove all the way from Manchester Colchester, and we did a surprise thing 102 right this later, and we transmitted to all these care homes.
And it made me realize, right, that number one, even the person in there with Alzheimer’s or dementia knew Mr. Moor. The moment I walk in, they’d go, Mr. Moor, right? The smile on their face. And so my message is still relevant now, even though it. Mm, you know, 40, 30, 40 years ago. And what is it? Because I believe I need to be an example to everyone.
I need to say, look, if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you, right? If you want success, no matter where you’re striving for it, adopt the same principles that I’ve always had. And that is, you know, you can’t do it alone. What did they say? If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together.
And that’s why these great, great settings for you. Cause that way you can share ideas, right? You’re not necessarily sharing your dreams, you’re sharing your experiences and those that is really important. And all I’m doing with you is just sharing my experiences. So my platform will always be that. We’ve got our online club that we have set up, right, which is for everyone, right?
And it’s all doing on there is not using words like aerobics or fit or this kind of stuff. We are making the safe movement. I work with saga ships and they keep wanting to put me loads. We have class on saga ships in the biggest room, which is about twice as big as in here. Class class at nine 30, a quarter to nine.
People are cuing up to get in walkers the whole lot, including , right? 30 minutes later, they’re just buzzing, and these are people 75, 80 in five years of age. So when we find what’s us, trust me, the audience will. But you’ve gotta be enjoying your journey. If you’re not enjoying your journey, you’re in the wrong place.
I closed out many businesses I had, I had a concession business before accessory shops. I used to trade in lady at Lord John. These are the names you probably won’t remember, Jane Norman. There was top Shop, all those we used to rent space in their store at the front. And we had D’S accessories, right?
I had 18 of these units all over the country. Knightsbridge Ox, Oxford Street. The very first shop we opened up was in 38. 2 62 Ox Oxford Street. It was Jane Norman shop and I went in, I just, an idea I had, I had a tray with some costume jewelry and I asked the CD, MD and he let me in and I walked in with his tray and I said, listen, I want to set up some shop within shops within your store.
He said, I haven’t got a clue what you mean. I said, I said, literally, we’ll get some units made up. I don’t need my space, and I believe I could be taking one 2000 pounds a week. He said, prove it. So I went down Barrack. Inberg Street, they have all these costume jewelry places down there. And I used to be down in the warehouse and I thought, no, I don’t know much about the fashion business.
I’m doing my fitness. Dunno much about the, what am I going to do? I tell her what we’ll do, let’s be different. So I go down in the warehouse and I take out all the, or dear Monty that they had, and I have the sprinkling of whatever the fashion colors are, and I design up all the stands, right? And we had these units at the front, set up these accessories.
The very first week, this took 3000 pounds. I’m talking about 1985 here. He said, on the base of that you can have 3 88 Ox Oxford Street, which is just by Selfridges. And guess what? We took more twice that amount of money. Was I enjoying it? No. I prove I could do it, but I was still looking out for what was me.
So this was pre the fitness, pre everything else. That’s what then next minute I, I had a great idea. I thought, you know what? I could set up a building. Oh, by the way, the reason why that business went belly up in the end is this, all the while to expand and survive. It was relying on my judgment alone. I would be the one who go out, choose the stock.
I’d take it back real, had a flat, I was up in the attic. I’d be there sorting it into little allocated bags for each shop. And one year, because we were making so much money, I thought, let’s get in touch with some fashion forecast. Which I did. These fashion forecasters, they go to Paris and they go to France and they work out what the trends are going to be for next year.
And they give you all the color guidelines. The little swatches cost a lot of money, but I did it. But I bought my stock now of all the hair combs and stuff from France. Right. Based on the colors they dictated. It was carkey. They said it was going to be big that year. So we had carkey ties and all the accessories that you need to go with it.
We put it on the stand, nothing sold, all the belts, nothing. Why we’re a year too early, one year too early before I was actually reacting to what the demand is and supplying it. Whereas here now, I was trying to forecast and predict what will be required totally wrong. I changed the very basis of my business.
So in the end, we had to close it down. So what did I do next? Building business. I thought, you know what, I could be good at this. So I got myself a barber. I got my Wellingtons and I’ve always, from a friend I was talking to, he said, look, if you got a good carpenter and an architect, you can, you got the beginnings of a building business.
So I did that and the very first job we got was in Bethel Green conversion of this three story house. Can you believe it? I know nothing about it, and I’m freezing in the middle of winter and I ain’t doing nothing. I’m merely just saying, you do that. You do that. I didn’t stay there for long. I moved on, so I tried everything, but when I found what was me, oh my goodness.
Fitness, health, wellbeing, making people smile, making them laugh. I mean, I’ve arrived. I mean, I just think this is it. Nothing else matters and that’s why I live and breathe it to this day. That’s amazing. Big applause.
Adam Stott: Just Scott, we’ll open up you right to a couple of questions from the audience, but just one last question from me.
Okay. Where do you go?
Derrick Evans: . Well, you see, I’ve learned, I’ve learned two things in life. Adam , if you’ve got money, you don’t have to be a good athlete because you can buy a trophy. I can be the, I can, I can go look, I’m going to buy a hundred meter record trophy and put my name on here. So I’m no good at athletics, but when it comes to my clothes, I decide to buy the tailor.
No, I didn’t. I actually got them. They make up all my stuff. Someone makes up all my things That makes me uniquely different.
Adam Stott: It’s, it is very unique, very different, and it
Derrick Evans: gets you noticed, isn’t it? Everybody? Tell me about marketing. Yeah, marketing. No point.
Adam Stott: It’s really quite a unique way of marketing, which is why I, I want to ask it.
I have admit that I wasn’t immediately drawn to listen, because I predicted it would be a bit cheesy or flat.
Man was I WRONG!
My bad for pre-judging what is a actually a really good, insightful, inspiring and entertaining presentation. So apologies for that admission, and thanks for bringing us another aural gem!