NEIL MCCOY-WARD – Personal Story

Neil McCoy-Ward is not your average Entrepreneur…

From being bullied at school to becoming an Army Sergeant…
From earning £5 per hour to now as much as £5,000 per hour…
From being broke and helpless to helping 300k+ people globally…

This story is about Persistence, Authenticity & GRIT

Early Beginnings…

I grew up in a rough area in the City of Coventry, often surrounded by gangs and drugs. Constantly being beaten up, and attacked both on the street and in school

Once being so badly attacked by a gang that I was almost killed and spent 6 months on crutches with intense physiotherapy…

For me, there was no escape from the gangs, and so at aged just 14, I joined a gang to protect myself from further attacks…

By 16, I had failed my exams and schooling and had no real future prospects except minimum wage work…

It was at this time, that I applied to join the Royal Marines.

After 6 months of back and forth & gruelling tests, I was declined for not having the strength and size required for the job…

Feeling worthless & deflated, and at home surrounded by trouble, I instead devoted my time to the gym, fitness and 6 martial arts classes per week: MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Aikido & Tae Kwon Do.

In 2001, I finally joined the British Army. After a further 6 months of rigorous testing, I was accepted into the ‘notorious’ Pirbright British Army basic training centre; the youngest of the 120 man intake, at aged just 17.

Basic Training was the hardest thing I ever did in my life up to that point, I had never really worn boots before or carried a heavy rucksack, so my feet were constantly blistered and bleeding and my back constantly ached. I was told on 2 occasions by the Medical Officer that I needed surgery for my feet as they were so badly damaged that the heel had grown extra bone to compensate. I also had shin splints & a twisted spine from the weighted speed marches…

Basic training saw me grow from a young immature boy, into a man in a very short period of time; teaching me the value of: discipline, persistence and GRIT.

The ‘Moulding Process’ – Army Days…

After completing basic training, I had to wait until my 18th birthday before I could join my first Unit…

My instructors said that due to my sheer aggression (due to years of physical bullying), I had been selected to be attached to the Parachute Regiment, as a new private soldier

Little did I know that when I arrived, I was placed in an office role within the unit, as a way to indoctrinate and initiate me into my new place and position – at the bottom…

I then spent the next 4 years in Colchester, working with several ‘Airborne’ units deploying on the first wave into Helmand Province, Afghanistan in early 2006

Afghanistan was a whole new ball game, the heat was so intense in our tents that we couldn’t even sleep, and with the constant mortar rounds coming in to the camp every single night, we all had insomnia – it was like torture. We spent every day eating food out of bags and drinking water so hot, you could make a cup of coffee with it – Helmand Province was hell on earth…

I spent 7 months in Afghanistan and received 1 of only 3 Commendations given out for the operational tour by the Commander of British Forces.

With medals and commendation in hand, I was requested to attend a ‘support staff’ selection briefing for the British Special Forces in Hereford

Serving with British Special Forces

At the special forces interview process for a support role, I was told that I was “too small, too short, too skinny, too soft” – anything you can think of, I was told I didn’t have what it takes and was shown the door!

All this did was remind me of my childhood bullies and how they stopped me at every turn and made me feel like I was nothing; it was at this point that I exploded! I can’t remember exactly what I said to this Officer in charge but I think I must have taken him by surprise… Because as soon as I’d left the room, he said: “That’s our man right there!” – I started just 6 weeks later.

Unlike most jobs in the Army, the special forces is very different. Everyone starts right at the bottom again, regardless of your rank…

I had to start right at the floor, making cups of tea and coffee & doing paperwork everyday. It was quite boring to be honest. And all the while, I would be hearing of the incredible heroism and stories of the men in the units working in counter terrorism or the middle east. I dreamed of the day that I ‘might’ be able to even get close to that kind of work…

In 2008, after 6 months of probation and constantly pushing myself to the limit over the Brecon Beacons mountain range twice weekly carrying a rucksack weighing 45lbs, I was finally allowed to join an actual special forces unit of 50 of the most highly trained soldiers in the World…

Out of respect, I don’t discuss those years; but I will say that I experienced the best years of my life during that period. I was rarely ever at home or in the UK, often having experiences that money couldn’t buy…

Those years moulded and formed me into a much more rounded person, learning what it means to be the ‘best of the best’ and what’s required for that type of mindset. A mindset that works just as well in the military as it does it the world of business… and it is learnable.

The key to the Special Forces mindset is this: DISCIPLINE, PERSISTENCE, and above all else – GRIT.

Never give up, no matter what, ever, until the job is done…
When everyone else has had enough, that’s the time to push harder…

NEVER GIVE UP

From Introspection to Discovering Success…

I left the Army in early 2012 having reached the rank of Sergeant…

Due to my injuries (right index finger, right shoulder tear, right knee damage, right hip, back, etc), I knew I wasn’t going to being able to rejoin Special Forces work again…

It was a blow, but I felt it was the right time to pursue the next stage in my life and walk a different path…

——–

Many people believe that with so many awards, I just breezed into an amazing job or created my own company after the military… NOT TRUE!

I applied for over 700 JOBS in my first 9 months, not getting more than 5 interviews. And eventually had to turn to ‘temp work’ working for a furniture delivery company!

It was the lowest point in my adult life, the boss was a real piece of work, he was the exact opposite of everything I stood for and the opposite of the incredible leaders I had served under

It was in that moment that I knew I had to QUIT – I couldn’t work for someone I had no respect for…

After this, I started to spend ALL of my time studying personal development programs, sometimes for up to 10 hours every day – 7 days a week… I was relentless in my pursuit of studying SUCCESS and BUSINESS…

After several months, the study turned from external to internal, with a lot of personal reflection, therapy, counselling and meditation retreats, often fasting for 10 days or more in absolute silence with nothing but a cold hard bed and pillow…

It was at this point that I found true success and happiness in life, after experiencing what it truly means to be a human being…

And here’s a clue – it’s not working a 9-5 job for 50+ years and then trying to enjoy the last 10 years of your life when your health has already left you…

Within 5 years of leaving the Army and being totally broke and homeless, I had built up 7 different businesses within the Forward Thinking Group UK – mostly all started within the latter 3 years of that period…

Many people completely underestimate what they can achieve in just a couple of short years – it’s all about finding the right mentor and doing exactly what they say, when they say it, even if you don’t like it or think you know better – this is the biggest challenge I see with people – they are unable to control their ego and always think they know better, which then sets them back.

Being from an Army background, I had a HUGE advantage over the average person because I had been trained to listen and do exactly what I was told to do by my Commanding Officers. So when I found a mentor, I applied the same discipline – I did exactly what I was told to do and within 6 months, I became successful…

How it all Changed…

Sometime after the Army, I attended a business conference in London… totally broke, not a penny in my pocket, and sleeping on a friends sofa and eating his food in exchange for doing some odd jobs…

It was in this moment, on this day that my life changed forever…

It was a freezing cold Winter morning and I had no coat, so I borrowed my friends wife’s winter jacket…

I remember walking the 1 hour to the venue through the streets of London as I didn’t have money for the train, tube or bus and didn’t believe in sneaking on without paying…

I arrived into the event late, because I didn’t have a smart phone or Google Maps to navigate either…

The room was packed full of over 5,000 people and there looked to be no spaces anywhere!

I searched and searched without luck, until I then spotted a seat right in the middle of the room. With no shame, I squeezed past dozens of people to get to this empty seat…

I sat in the seat next to the most beautiful lady I had ever seen in my life. Even though I was single, I didn’t dare speak to her in my current financial situation, what would be the point anyway?

As I sat and listened to the speaker, I was mesmerised by his word weaving, stage craft, vocal tones and showmanship – up until this point in my life, I had never seen anyone speak the way this man did – it was mind blowing & I was star struck; it made me wonder: “Could I be a speaker one day?”

It was at this time, that the speakers Skype conference call went down, live from stage! The audience gasped as he stood there trying to maintain his composure…

He called out to the audience for his Executive Assistant (sweating) – “Kristin, Kristin, are you here?!” 

With that, the lady to my left, jumped up from her seat and calmly walked to the stage to get the Skype call going again…

Having saved the day, she calmly sat back down and I said: “Well done, you did great” – and she blushed… just a little…

After Daven had finished his speech, I told Kristin how amazed I was by the speech and she said: “Oh, I can introduce you backstage if you like? Come with me…”

As I rushed off to meet Daven, I actually got nervous for the first time in as long as I could remember…

My First Genuine Business Mentor

As I met and shook Daven’s hand backstage, we just seemed to really hit it off, like we were old friends reuniting again; then he asked:

“How would you like to come to my Mastermind session this weekend? It’s normally $10,000 for the day, but you can come for $2,000 as my guest if you like?”

“Errrr…. Yes I’d love to!” I replied

After the event, Kristin said she would send me the details… and they promptly arrived just a few hours later, at which point my jaw dropped:

‘Daven’s Elite Mastermind Event, this weekend at his home in the Hollywood Hills’

“Hollywood Hills?! How am I going to get to California, I’m broke!”

I sat at my friends house so conflicted, ‘What am I going to do? This is the opportunity of a lifetime!’

And it was at this point that I did something that I hadn’t done since I was a child…

I asked for help…

Some of my friends offered to loan me the money for the trip, and 2 days later I was on a plane to Los Angeles!

Hollywood Hills to Chelmsford…

I still remember the day I arrived at Daven’s house like it was yesterday…

It was a 3 or 4 story house, balanced on the edge of the Hollywood hills, overlooking beautiful scenery and also… yeah you guessed it – the World famous Hollywood sign just opposite!

That weekend changed my life forever and exploded my mindset

Within weeks, Daven offered me a marketing role within his business and had become my first official mentor

There was one thing Daven told me that I had also read in other books which was this:

“There are 2 skills that any entrepreneur need’s to master, the first is MARKETING & the second is SALES

I committed there and then to learn as much about marketing as I possibly could from Daven (since he was a World class expert in marketing)

After six months of working remotely for Daven from home, I knew I had to move on to the next step: SALES

I handed in my notice and moved on to a direct sales role in Chelmsford selling renewable energy products…

It wasn’t quite the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles and California, but it was a necessary diversion to my path in order to learn Direct Sales from the masters…

The £15,000 month, Private Jet & Monaco…

Around the time of my birthday in July of 2014, things had started to turnaround…

My now ‘Fiance’ Kristin (yes, Daven’s PA and part time actress!), introduced me to her good friend from LA – the one and only – Les Brown!

Les Brown was always a huge role model for me, Les embodied everything I respected in a man with good honest Christian values

I studied Les, and watched his speeches regularly to improve upon my own speeches…

Without knowing it, Les then became another mentor to me…

And the pattern continued, as I met each new personal development or business celebrity, I allowed myself to absorb everything they taught me…

Before long, each mentor passed me over to another mentor to continue my rapid and voracious development

I had met some of the leading experts in the World in: Personal Development, Sales, Marketing, Business, Health, Social Media, Branding, Finance… all within a short space of time.

But this wasn’t all, it was at this time that I had gone from being the worst salesman in the company, sometimes not even earning a single penny in a week in my ‘commission only’ sales role… To being the first salesman in their company to hit a £15,000 commission check in a single month…

This was unprecedented, and as a reward, my director chartered a private plane and took me to Monaco for the day where we had a 500 Euro meal in the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo whilst watching the Monaco Grand Prix, finally flying home that night – again by private jet…

It was at this point that I finally realised, I had made it… but being a salesman, working for someone else wasn’t what I wanted for my life…

This wasn’t what FREEDOM looked like, it was just a distraction that paid very well…

Going it Alone – The Lonely Path…

That Monaco trip stuck with me, it was the first time I truly understood my true financial worth as a human being, and that other people saw that in me too…

Walking the streets of Monaco and seeing that every car was a Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini and other supercar opened my eyes to another World…

My financial goals seemed like small change compared to these people…

It was then that I realised what I wanted to do… I wanted to own my own companies and become a MENTOR to others in the process…

I had read every book and studied every course going, I also had a solid mindset… I had been at the top of my game in the Army, and at the bottom in the real world… I knew what pain felt like, and I knew I couldn’t get any lower than when I left the Army

I realised how fortunate I am to live in the Western World, because I came to the conclusion that even if I lose everything, I still won’t starve! The Government will look after me! How blessed are we?!

With this knowledge in hand, I just went for it knowing the worst case scenario and I started my first business.

Professional Speaker…

I was always told by my teachers at school that: if there were such a thing as being paid to speak, I would be a millionaire, because every time I opened my mouth, all the students in the class stopped listening to the teacher and started listening to me instead!

I was always an inquisitive child and liked to question everything I heard, much to the dismay of my teachers…

As a result, I spent the majority of my school years in detention alone, which is one of the reasons I failed my exams…

I really feel that I was misunderstood as a child, my teachers simply didn’t understand me or know how to deal with me. I wasn’t intentionally disruptive, I just found the content boring and un-stimulating. I just didn’t see the point in remembering facts such as the year of a certain military battle or how to measure triangles… It just didn’t make any sense to me…

Having been subjugated for so long, by the time I left school, I lacked confidence in my intellectual ability…

It was only once I joined the Army and got to my first unit, that I was actually praised for my unique insight and the way my brain worked that I started to believe in myself…

After just two years as a private soldier, I was selected for officer training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

After commencing the officer training process, I found that it was simply not for me and I requested to rejoin the ranks of the regular soldiers where I could be myself again…

It was at this point that I really found my gift as a trainer, and despite being half the age of many of my fellow soldiers, I found that I naturally became their leader and was promoted…

Upon leaving the military, I joined a public speaking club called ‘Toastmasters International’, which I credit for my fast progression in the world of professional speaking…

Since 2012, I have now spoken to in excess of 100,000 people around the globe, I truly believe speaking to audiences is one of my true callings in life

To be able to walk into a room full of people who are desperate for change, and after 45 minutes to one hour to leave that room feeling energised, fired up and ready for improvement in their lives, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time or to serve humanity

The Property Investor…

I bought my first property in May 2005, at just 19 years old…

The property was a 2 bedroom mid terraced house purchased for £85,000

I then spent £15,000 and the next six months renovating the property

At the end of those six months, the property was revalued and I was able to pull out the equity in the house to reinvest into my second property in 2006… a 3 bedroom end terraced property…

Fortunately during this period, there was a certain mortgage lender who was offering 100% mortgages which I quickly took advantage of and was able to purchase more property over the coming two years right up to the 2008 financial crash…

2008 hit me hard, I was very fortunate that I managed to keep my head above water due to the rent payment still covering the mortgages… I was extremely lucky and learned some extremely valuable lessons from this experience

I still invest in property to this day and I have my own portfolio as well as a property management and property sourcing company…

Despite having been involved in dozens of investments, I still consider property to be the greatest investment of our generation due to the double payout: first for capital growth and second for monthly cashflow which pays down the mortgages every month…

The Forward Thinking Group

I never intended to create The Forward Thinking Group, there was no long term plan or ambition to create so many businesses in such a short period of time…

It just kind of happened; when you’ve got people throwing money at you from every direction because they want a service from you, you just sort of go at it and see which business you enjoy delivering the most…

Richard Branson always says: ‘Just say yes, then figure it out later…’

I don’t know what the future holds for me beyond serving humanity through educational services for entrepreneurs as well as philanthropical pursuits…

I know this is my calling because when I needed help and mentorship, there was simply no one qualified to help me

The mentoring World is full of sharks and I wanted to turn that around, I wanted to offer a service that would turn desperate, deflated people stuck in jobs they hate, into empowered, financially free people doing work they love…

I know that my gift to help you to create your own financial future for you and your family, on your own terms… .

For information on Neil’s Mentoring program: Click Here