Dare to dream

Marcus Orlovsky

Imagine the excitement of buying, selling and racing cars at aged 19 and making enough money  to not only pay for yourself to go to university but to buy a home for your mother and grandmother.

Imagine starting work at one of the world’s biggest firms of accountants and owning two Ferraris and therefore not toeing the corporate line and getting promoted again and again because, instead of telling your bosses what they wanted to hear you told them what they needed to hear.

Imagine owning a string of antique shops while still working in the corporate world.

Imagine borrowing £7,000,000,000 (that’s £7 billion) and re-building vast areas of London, including Broadgate, Ludgate Circus and Stockley Park.

Imagine owning Tiger, Tiger the famous bar and club in London’s West End, a software house (PLT) and starting Lazy Town, the internationally renowned children’s entertainment and lifestyle brand that has a direct and measurable effect on the health of children.

(Marcus has asked me to point out that in most of these projects he was part of team and didn’t do it on his own)

What kind of a man manages all of these achievements?

Imagine having a father who was so violent he beat your mother and threw you down a set of concrete stairs when you were just five years old.

Imagine being taken into care when your father went to prison and your mother was sectioned and incarcerated in a mental health institution.

Imagine working to get yourself through university and caring for a mentally ill mother who committed suicide one day when you forgot to supervise her medication.

Imagine losing £2.25 million when your stock crashed and you chose to try and help others recover their investment, instead of taking the easy way out and selling it while you could.

Imagine raising and giving away millions and bringing all of your remarkable talents and qualities to bear on challenging an education system that consistently fails those who don’t conform and helping to change the curriculum, teaching styles and the physical environment.

Is it any wonder that Marcus Orlovsky left an impression on his audience that most of them will never forget?

Before divulging his own background, Marcus got the audience thinking about why it is better to do the right thing than the done thing. He used examples from the food industry, the oil industry, education and others where decisions that caused misery could have been avoided if there had been stronger leaders instead of managers, willing to speak up.

He asked us to name the CEOs of the world’s five largest companies. We couldn’t.

He reminded us that feelings are more powerful than knowing, talking and thinking and asked us what we would all wish for any new born child.

cute baby picture

The answers, universally, are to create unique human beings who show happiness, helpfulness, kindness, creativity, inquisitiveness, inventiveness, resourcefulness and love. And yet their formative years are spent learning facts and they are judged, often for the biggest part of their lives, on how well they remember lessons in maths, history and science and hardly ever on the things we all wish for them to achieve.  Worse than that, their dreams are often dashed and they are forced into pigeonholes and punished for displaying  behavior that doesn’t conform to the accepted norms of our educational systems that should allow students to go to this site to find the best educational assistance they can get.

And yet there are remarkable examples of people, like Marcus himself, who don’t fit the system and succeed against all the odds. Of the 200,000 iphone apps, many were invented by under 14 year olds and 40% of employees in Google have autism.

Marcus now spends his time at the educational consultancy http://www.bryanstonsquare.com/ bringing his prodigious talents to bear on improving education and helping to build an environment that gives children a chance to make their dreams come true.

The reaction from many members of the audience was that Marcus caused them to re-think their definitions of success and question their own assumptions

He left us with this thought: “If it has never been done before, there are no experts” with the subtext “So dare to dream and give it a shot!”

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I’d love to hear your views so please leave a comment below …..


5 replies
  1. Chris Thomas
    Chris Thomas says:

    The Inspiration Group lived up to its name today. First, Daryl Brown and Anthonia Brickell introduced us to the donation funded Magpas, where volunteer doctors and staff give their time to respond to emergencies in the East of England. By ambulance or helicopter, Magpas ensures that accident victims get the fast first repsonse so critical to saving lives. A lean organsiation where the CEO can find himself giving promotional talks on one day and out at the cutting edge on another. As the keynote speaker, Ann Hawkins had invited… ( continued here http://www.hbn.org.uk/node/2847 )

  2. Katherine Connolly
    Katherine Connolly says:

    Last week I attended the Inspired Group event and heard Marcus Orlovsky share his story. He talked of making and losing great fortunes, mentioning figures in their billions with casual aplomb. He talked of daring to dream. He talked of success and failure and challenged the view that academic success is the only kind of success there is.

    In my world, success and failure have always been clearly delineated. I’m from the school of thought that says it’s better not to try than to try and fail.

    So, Marcus not only challenged my beliefs about what makes a person successful but he took them and shook them upside down, giving them a good kicking in the process. I’m still figuring out what to think and do next. I can say without a doubt that my views will not emerge unscathed.

  3. Gary Dickenson
    Gary Dickenson says:

    I’ve heard it said that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not working. And arguably you’re not learning either.

    After struggling to develop a viable electric light-bulb for months and months, Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Mr. Edison if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.” And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb.

  4. Chris Ellis
    Chris Ellis says:

    Folks, just a note about the meeting last week. I’ve never, ever been to a ‘networking’ event where a group of people were so enthralled and moved by the keynote speaker. To say the evening was “emotional” would be an understatement. Marcus is remarkable. His story is remarkable. His achievements are (and will continue to be) remarkable.

    I’ve heard the “dare to dream it” mantra before from other speakers – albeit phrased slightly differently – but the context of Marcus’s dreams, set against a nightmarish childhood make his achievements so much more astonishing. His instinct to do the right thing, not the done thing, is a priceless gift and a trusted compass for charting an extraordinary life.

    My outtake from the evening was just one line: don’t let your history define your destiny. Now that is one single-minded inspirational thought. And well worth the ticket price.

    Keep up the great work Ann!

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  1. […] can go from nothing to being a 'success' look up Marcus Orlovsky or look at this biography of him – Have your dreams been dashed? Have you forgotten how to dream? | Inspired! I went to a conference for school governors a couple of weeks ago and he was speaking and was the […]

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