I am 25 years old and my life is not going to plan. I had not followed the expected path of ‘A’ levels and University. I went to college but more time was spent in the common room or playing football than being in the classroom.

I was distracted and it wasn’t books that had my full attention. My grades were poor. Later I started a degree in Computer Science but dropped out after the first year. I decided to study again but once again I was not fully committed.

My mum was famous for her parables, and one of them was, “you can’t suck bone and blow whistle at the same time,” which in translation meant you cannot be studying, partying hard every night and expect to pass your course.

I was deluded as I thought I could do it all. It would take me years to learn multi-tasking was not one of my strengths.

I went home one evening and one of my older brother’s were there. He was receiving the brunt of her frustration about his wayward brother as she was tired talking. He asked me to drive him to his studio and the conversation during that drive, which lasted no more than 15 minutes, and which my brother can never recall – changed the course of my life forever.

It has led to me developing a career as a successful Business Consultant.

In essence, he said, “if you don’t commit to your studies you will be of no value to anyone – least of all yourself.” “Without a qualification, you will have little or nothing to offer any girlfriend or wife, and ultimately she will not respect you if you don’t have anything to offer. You have to make something of yourself.”

Like a bee buzzing in your ear which you cannot swot, those words stayed with me long beyond the drive back. I was shocked and upset with the candidness of it all but deep down I knew it was the truth.

It was the flame that made the difference.

Sometimes in life, especially as a young man, we think we know it all, but in fact, we know very little.

Pivotal truths can come from the least expected places. I didn’t expect to see my brother that day, but that conversation was instrumental in turning my life around.

I knuckled down, completed my course and was accepted onto the 2nd year of my degree.

Valuable conversations come in all shapes and size and can have either a positive or negative aspect on your life as in my experience with my brother. This happens with clients also.  Never underestimate the value of a conversation.