Want to know the 10 steps to success?
- Credit: Rankin
When you next buy a National Lottery ticket, dreaming of life-changing millions, you may be interested to know that the chance of winning the Lotto jackpot is one in 45 million. You have more chance of being struck by lightning (one in 1.2 million in the UK) or becoming a movie star (1 in 1.19m according to William Morrow’s The Book of Odds.
But what about winning the lottery of life – your life? What are the odds of achieving your own goals in your career and life in general? Sharry Cramond, marketing director at M&S Food, is perhaps the unlikely author of a new book on the subject. She’s not a psychologist and isn’t a New Age guru with thousands of Instagram followers, but Win Your Lottery: My ten simple steps to be as happy and as rich as you want to be has been billed as ‘the best pep-talk ever’ and TV presenter Amanda Holden is a fan.
Sharry, who lives in Hitchin with her husband, David, and their children, Charlie and Daisy, grew up on a council estate in central Scotland. It was here that she learned an early lesson in the power of a positive mindset.
‘When I was 11 years old, I was the only child at school in the wrong blazer. We had bought it from a second-hand shop unaware that the school had introduced a new blazer (still blue, but a totally different shade). I felt like every child at school pointed out that I was in the wrong colour and to each and every one I replied: “Yes, I do know, but I actually prefer this colour,” (even though I was actually mortified). By the end of the day, I found that I genuinely did prefer my blazer colour. The things I learned that day stuck with me for life.’
Sharry became fascinated with how positive language can affect our thinking, outlook and success. ‘I became obsessed with reading and learning everything I could about the power of positive thinking, and that’s what has helped me stand out and get on in life. It’s not because I am the smartest person in the world – it’s from thinking and acting differently to others.’
It was at a leadership conference in America that fellow speaker, journalist Kelly Wallace, who was working for CNN, told Sharry that she loved her presentation and she should incorporate it into a book. So Sharry took the plunge. She was however determined to write something that was ‘uniquely simple’ and accessible to all.
‘I want this book to appeal to people who would never normally read a book like this. I use examples from hairdressers and builders, not from the boardroom. It should be defined as a self-belief book rather than a self-help book. It’s all about backing yourself.’
Are we going to get rich quick? In short, no, says Sharry, there is no magic formula. It takes hard work, with attitude and mindset playing a huge role.
‘Lots of people tell me how lucky I am to have the job I have and to live in the house I do – but I spell luck as hard work. I truly believe that getting on in life is about your attitude way more than your ability. In the book I talk a lot about how we all have a responsibility to choose our attitude. Having a positive, can-do attitude has been a key part of my success.
‘My grandad was a coal miner. I can’t think of many tougher jobs than that, but he left the house whistling every day. He said: “Well, I have to go down the mines, so I can either go down whistling, or
I can go down moaning and groaning. Which one do you think will put me in a better mood for the day?”
- 1 A fond farewell to Torbay from the captain of cruise ship Eurodam
- 2 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 3 10 great hill walks in Cheshire
- 4 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 5 Rare gold medal of Nelson's Norfolk protégé expected to sell for up to £80,000
- 6 35 great Surrey pubs with beer gardens and terraces
- 7 Win £500 of English wine from Lyme Bay Winery
- 8 17 of the best spots for al fresco dining in Essex
- 9 12 outdoor dining experiences in Surrey
- 10 10 of the prettiest Villages in Dorset to visit
‘There will always be hurdles and things we don’t want to do, but I can tell you that no one wants to work with miserable people. We all know those people who seem to drain all your energy away just from speaking to them and we equally know those people who light up a room just by walking into it. Whenever anyone asks me how I am, I always respond with “never better!”
But what if life could be better? Sharry believes that although you can’t always change a situation, you can change how you react to it.
‘If you are stuck in a traffic jam you can shout or you can say, OK, I have time to listen to that podcast. Neither option will get you out of the traffic jam but which one will put you in
a better mood?’
So positivity is important, how else do we start fulfilling our ambitions? Sharry is unequivocal: ‘You have got to, got to, have goals. And you have got to have them written down,’ she insists.
‘I talk in my book about be less squirrel. Thousands of squirrels are squashed in the middle of our roads as they freeze and can’t decide which way to run when the car comes.
'Make a decision. Write down your goals. Then commit to achieving them. Work out where you are now. Decide where you want to be. Be clear about what steps you have to take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. And then commit to taking those steps. It sounds simple, but most people just don’t take those steps. Lots of people want a healthy bank account and a fancy house and car but they also want to lay on the sofa looking at social media for hours on end.’
Sharry argues that our drive and focus should be noticeable: ‘Change like you have dyed your hair pink,’ she says. ‘If you dyed your hair pink, would everyone notice? Of course they would. Well, that’s the degree to change in terms of how much you are going to focus on achieving your goals.’
But being driven doesn’t have to mean being hard nosed or difficult, in fact, she says, one of the most important lessons she has learned is that ‘it’s nice to be nice’. But how does that translate to pressured or even cut-throat environments?
‘Growing up, I was always told “whatever you give out in life, you get back double”. So if you are good, you get double the amount of good things happening to you. And if you are bad, then you have a whole lot of bad stuff coming your way! Now if that is only a tiny bit true, then isn’t it worth always just being nice?
‘There’s a great story about a man who stole someone’s car parking space, and then gave the other driver a whole lot of abuse when they pointed out that he knew they were about to go into that space. The man was going for an interview, and of course, you can guess who turned up to interview him. To get on in life, you want people doing stuff for you and helping you because they want to, not because they have to. Building emotional loyalty is so key. I always try to leave everyone feeling better as a result of an interaction with me than they did beforehand.’
If the proof is in the pudding, then Sharry is now among the top in her marketing profession. ‘I feel totally blessed that I get to work at M&S with some of the most talented people. What I love is getting the opportunity to sample some of the most incredible new products while they are in development. It does mean you are trying a lot of Easter eggs in the summer, but who wouldn’t love that?’
Win Your Lottery: My ten simple steps to be as happy and as rich as you want to be by Sharry Cramond is out now