‘Don’t feel intimidated by so-called experts — you are the expert and you know more than they do! — When I first met a committee of politicians, I thought I would learn something from them. As it turns out, politicians don’t know a great deal (except perhaps on their specific subject), and they tend to want to pick your brains, not the other way around!’
Pirie Jones Grossman from Authority Magazine recently interviewed Sue Wilson and she writes:
‘Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Wilson.‘
A long-held love affair with the country sparked Sue’s dream of retirement on a Spanish Costa. Little did she know that the move would come sooner than expected, or that retirement would look so different from her vision, thanks to Brexit. Formerly disinterested in current affairs, the Brexit referendum turned an aversion to politics into an obsession, bringing with it, new challenges and new skills. Sue now spends all of her retirement campaigning for the rights of British citizens living across Europe.
Originally from Oxford, Sue Wilson lived in London and Cambridge, working in sales, management and training. She moved to Spain in 2007 and worked as an English language teacher. Sue became Chair of Bremain in Spain — a group campaigning against Brexit — shortly after the 2016 referendum. As a pro-EU activist, she has been involved in many rallies and events and has worked closely with politicians and campaigners in Westminster and Brussels. Sue was lead plaintiff in the ‘Wilson versus The Prime Minister’ (Theresa May) legal challenge, over the validity of the Brexit referendum. Sue lives in the Valencian Community with her husband and four cats, and although officially retired, campaigns full-time for the protection of British citizens’ rights across Spain and the EU.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My younger brother and I grew up in Oxford. My father worked at the car factory, and my mum worked part-time for the NHS. My brother and I left home the same summer — me at aged 18 to move to London, and he at aged 16 to join the Navy. I lived in London for the next 15 years, and met my husband there.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My dad always had a few of those — the one that resonates the most is “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. It’s a mantra that has followed me throughout my career, and in my personal life.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
A positive outlook has been incredibly important, not just for my own sanity, but also as a basis for dispensing hope and motivation to others. As a team manager, and as a campaigner leading a group of 6000 members, an optimistic outlook has been vital.
I have always been well organised and making plans and breaking tasks down into bite-sized chunks helps me make sense of work, and life. I could go into more detail, but I’d need to make a list first!
I’ve been fairly successful at building strong links with people — both professionally and personally. I like to think that is down to my being honest and open, and willing to share. Some enjoy confrontation whereas I prefer to avoid it.
You can read the full interview over at Authority Magazine.