#037 – Hospitality Meets Mary Jane Flanagan – The All-Round Inspirer

When we started the podcast, we wanted to tell the stories and journeys of the people of hospitality but we also wanted to shout from the rooftops about anything incredible that people are doing.

Mary Jane Flanagan (MJ), founder of MJ Inspire (www.mjinspire.com) fits into both categories effortlessly as not only does she have a really interesting journey, she’s doing an incredible body of work to support job seekers at a time when they need it the most. Bravo MJ!!!

There’s a lot crammed into our chat and that includes, positive greetings, country house hotels, left field opportunities, business evolution, the importance of travel, attitude over skill, Pre-battle pep talks, Winning or learning, Adding value, Job Seekers toolkit, careers advice, psychology, being a morning person, When it’s OK to kiss the health inspector and a massive dose of Fun.

It’s a cracker, as always there’s some brilliant anecdotes as well.


Show Transcription



Wed, 9/30 10:51AM • 1:07:15


hospitality, people, MJ, restaurants, cv, running, industry, buy, skills, job, inspire, feeling, brilliant, business, psychology, interview, thought, stories, person


Phil Street, MJ

Phil Street 00:01

Welcome to hospitality meets with me Phil street where we take a light hearted look into the stories and individuals that make up the wonderful world of hospitality. Today’s guest is the inspirational managing Flanagan, creative director and founder of MJ inspire limited. Coming up on today’s show. MJ talks us through some tough, tough learning.

MJ 00:22

What do you mean? You don’t know? I could be running a Brothel

Phil Street 00:25

Phil reveals one of his more repeatable nicknames. I got the Mickey taken out of me me relentlessly for it because they used to just call me Mr. Disney. And MJ tells us the lengths you’ll go to to get a good environmental report.

MJ 00:38

And the chefs are looking at my dad, and they’re looking at me. And they said, Why did you just kiss the health inspector,

Phil Street 00:43

all that and so much more as MJ talks us through her story and journey to date, as well as the incredible and inspiring work she’s doing through lockdown to help job seekers at this tough time. In addition, look out for the many wonderful nuggets of wisdom from MJ, And dare I say it from myself. Not to be missed? Don’t forget, we launched a brand new episode each week telling the amazing and always amusing stories from hospitality. So make sure you hit that subscribe button and give us a like and share across your networks. Let’s share these stories as far as we can. Enjoy. Hello, and welcome to the next edition of hospitality meets with me Phil Street. One of the objectives of the show when I started this was not only to tell the amazing stories and journeys of the wonderful people that exist within hospitality, but also to shout loudly about anyone incredible that that comes along any new ideas, innovations, and that sort of thing. Today, my guest easily fits into both categories and so I’m delighted to welcome to the show, the founder and creative director behind MJ inspire Mary Jane Mary Jane Flanagan should get that right. Welcome to the show.

MJ 01:48

Hi, hi, Phil. Let’s make it easy. Call me MJ.

Phil Street 01:52

I thought everybody calls you MJ don’t they?

MJ 01:55

They do.

Phil Street 01:56

Thank you know that is much, much easier, especially at 9.21 in the morning when the coffee has not quite kicked in yet.

MJ 02:03

Or midnight when the club you’re running is slammed.

Phil Street 02:06


MJ 02:06

Then I’m just MJ.

Phil Street 02:08

Yeah. I bet. Yeah. So how are you anyway? How’s things?

MJ 02:12

Do you know? Well, I’m marvellous as I always say to people, I’m very lucky. lockdown is tough. But I’ve had a huge learning curve. I’ve got a back garden. I have a running tap of frozen watermelon Margarita is so life could be a lot worse.

Phil Street 02:31

You know the the great thing about your reaction there when you said marvellous is that I remember way back when I still worked in in kind of operations and things is that I absolutely conditioned myself to no matter how I was feeling to just say wonderful. And when people asked me how we were and that was we always used to got the Mickey taken over me relentlessly for it because they used to just call me Mr. Disney as a result of it.

MJ 03:00

Boom, I’m exactly the same. Yeah. People don’t need to hear in hospitality out our issues or our problems. They’re with us to have a good time.

Phil Street 03:09

Yep. Absolutely. And actually, it’s just a little moment of joy you can give someone by if if they’re feeling a bit down and you just impart this exuberance and positivity then it plays its part and impacting them.

MJ 03:24

It certainly does. It certainly does. And actually, if you say enough during the day, you end up feeling it anyway.

Phil Street 03:30

Yep, absolutely. It’s the same old thing about the psychology around, you know, when you give somebody a smile.

MJ 03:37


Phil Street 03:37

You know they take it with them. I don’t know what the actual cliché is, but it’s something along those lines.

MJ 03:42

No, no, it is and their brain is conditioned to smile back. It’s part of our DNA. And before you know it, they’re smiling naturally. Yeah. I love that one. Don’t probably need it more than others.

Phil Street 03:53

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. We’re two minutes and 47 seconds in and we’re already talking psychology.

MJ 03:59


Phil Street 04:01

So just give us a quick snapshot if you would of what you you do under the banner of MJ inspire. 

MJ 04:09

Okay, so company formed in 2016. And mission is to help organisations and individuals be the best that they can possibly be through strategy, learning and development, and of course, inspiration. Yeah. And it can be coaching one to ones it can be working on the strategy of mainboards opening new hotels, running conferences, the I ran the Chewton Glen iconic hotels conference, about a month before lockdown. Wow, the two days with sir Clive Woodward. I mean, that was fantastic.

Phil Street 04:49

That sounds amazing.

MJ 04:50

It really was, God I get to speak with some amazing speakers.

Phil Street 04:54

Yeah. Got put me on your invite list for future events.

MJ 04:58

Yeah, definitely. And Chewton Glen is always a joy. It’s my happy place.

Phil Street 05:03

Yeah, I’ve never actually been it’s, it’s on the hit list for sure.

MJ 05:08

I thoroughly recommend it. It’s not stuffy. It’s relaxed, very, very chilled. And the food and the wine are superb.

Phil Street 05:17

Yeah, I know. It’s sort of benchmarking how to do Country House Hotel.

MJ 05:24

Yeah. But to be fair, you know, Cliveden, Whatley. Hey, I love The Pig. Yeah, they’re all just, you know, they do what we do best. They make us feel fantastic. Yeah.

Phil Street 05:37

Yeah. And that’s your that’s hospitality in a nutshell, right there, isn’t it?

MJ 05:41

Yeah, absolutely.

Phil Street 05:43

Well, thanks for coming on the show.

MJ 05:45

Nice to be here. I’ll just start quickly that I don’t just work with hospitality. I’ve got global it clients, banking firms, a national veterinary hospital chain, and my current clients, of course.

Phil Street 05:59

Yeah. Well, I know they can all do with inspiration, I’m sure. Exactly. Great stuff. Okay. So before we get on to kind of talking about the the excellent work that you’ve done, I suppose as a result of the situation that we find ourselves in, I want to want to go all the way back to the beginning. And I’d love you to walk us through your journey and to how you’ve ended up doing what you’re doing.

MJ 06:25

Okay, okay. And I’ve got a few funny stories in and tries to get too long. You know, why do they and in 1973 So, parents bought a guesthouse in Brighton when I was 12. So you could say I grew up in the industry of waitressing on Brighton seafront, and from there decided to study hospitality in Huddersfield. And then on graduation, had to come back to London and find a job. Yeah. And I was thinking about this this morning, because back then, I’m very old, didn’t have the internet. You know, I was in the Huddersfield library, looking at the caterer or the grocer, trying to get information

Phil Street 07:09

my life. I remember that

MJ 07:11

I remember one of the jobs I applied for, for a salary assistant manager, six and a half thousand pounds a year. Well, that was the starting salary was for rishu restaurants. So that really upmarket restaurant chains, one in Piccadilly, with Michael de Costa. And I remember coming down for the interview, you know, I look my best and walk into his office, absolutely petrified. Yeah, a one page CV because I’ve got no experience other than the waitressing on Brighton seafront. And yeah. And he said, Tell me about my business. And I just looked at him blankly said, Well, I don’t know. He would. What do you mean, you don’t know. I could be running a brothel. Get out of here, go and find out about my restaurants and come back in an hour. Fair enough. I thought, Oh, my God, I’ve lost the job. before the interview, went to the local restaurant, which a restaurant had lunch, interviewed, the restaurant manager, went back, told him about his restaurants and got the job. Right. And then never took it.

Phil Street 08:17

Lesson straight away though, right?

MJ 08:19

Absolutely do your research

Phil Street 08:21

Be prepared.

MJ 08:22

And so I then actually went on to my first restaurant was a restaurant called tarts on Chiswick highroad. a burger joint

Phil Street 08:30


MJ 08:30

It looked like a brothel actually had a big red sign and..

Phil Street 08:33

and has a brothels name as well.

MJ 08:36

But and of course, I thought I ruled the world straight out of college, I know how to run restaurants. Then you go and run one. Within a month I was the manager, right? And boy, we know how to hurt to work hard in hospitality. But there were lots of instances had somebody runs through a plate glass window, blood everywhere. Middle service goodness, once got held up and I’m there in the middle of service. I’ve got somebody with a knife to my throat and I’m yelling instructions call the place lock details don’t get the chef’s up the kitchen because I was worried they come out with knives and table for once about the sharp knife and I remember yelling all this stuff and then when the police came and it was fine, but yeah, that’s what happens. And then I just carried on with service

Phil Street 09:25

Goodness gracious me.

MJ 09:27

So from there ran various restaurants. I was Rocco Forte’s trouble shooter for his in house restaurants and his his Moscato fresco chain. ran down Mexico way because I wanted club experience. And we opened the first Gaucho grill in the basement of de Mexico. We actually then went on to got headhunted went on to set up the bar one chain and ran that for the first three years which was fantastic. We played the music, we wanted to help Yeah, we drank the wine we wanted to drink. It was everything we wanted in a bar, which is why they’re still going today. I was gonna say they’re still going strong, really strong. Yeah. And then work my way up to MD and operations director and then MD of Tiger Lil’s working for fantastic Alan Lorimer, who now owns piano works. Yeah, he is one of the nicest guys in our industry. He’s a superstar and taught me so much. And then set up a chain of bars for Robert Earl, and got made redundant. So I know exactly how it feels. I was 24 years old. So still quite young, and thought, what the hell am I going to do? Yeah, I went off, studied for my wine exams and went travelling around Europe. Great picking, came back and he gave me a job at 5151 is a wine buyer. So I got to have a love of American wines. And then moved into learning and development Actually, I started to work for pen Comm. Who, who owns the service that sells brand? And the English franchise was run by Michael Gottlieb. Okay, so one day I got a call saying name your hours and your price just work for us. And I just had my son, he was 10 months old at the time. So went off to do that a couple of days a week. then went on to work as training director for learn Purple. Purple cubed as it is now. Jameson Lee and then set up my own business, as I say in 2016. So really went from operations through to consultancy, but I will always be an operator. I mean, being a caterer. It’s in your soul. It’s in your heart. You’re born with it. You’re not made you made better but you’re born with it. What Why would we do it? So now I literally train and develop and strategize for lots of industries. But with those lessons from hospitality, you know, there’s nothing like running down Mexico way. You know, it’s a 250 c two restaurant, four floors club. And believe me, stag nights, hen nights and tequila. What a combination.

Phil Street 12:20

Yeah, for sure. There’s a line that’s going in the intro for sure.

MJ 12:25


Phil Street 12:26

That’s a belter. It feels that that I mean, that’s obviously the the short version of of your, your journey. It feels like jobs came, kind of easy to you. I mean, you just you mentioned there a couple of times that people were you know, offering you.

MJ 12:42


Phil Street 12:43

jobs before you’d kind of even stopped to think about it.

MJ 12:46

Yeah. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. I’m, I’m very social, and I’ve always networked. Yep. And something that’s really important that people could learn now is always do favours for people and expect nothing in return. Just do it. Yeah. So the reason why I got that call from Michael Gottlieb that time was because we were actually running competitor restaurants. I was a down Mexico way. He had his Dover street restaurant, but I helped them out sometimes. And he never forgot that that’s how he knew me. Yeah. So you know, get around and never upset anybody. It’s a very, very small industry. Yeah. So he’s somebody that people want to be with. Down Mexico way I applied for I looked at my CV and realised I had a gap with high volume, sort of nightclub experience. And so I went to a portfolio at the time and said, Okay, these are the five properties I want to work in don’t mind which one it is, you know, they were all the clubs at the time loss low costs down Mexico, so I’m not in any hurry, but when a vacancy comes up in one of those, can you ring me because I’ll take it, huh? So what I also did, I was quite strategic in my career, where I would fill gaps so a bit like when I got made redundant, I realised I was running wine bars but had no one wine exams. So I decided to go off and do that. Yep. What working for in between all that and a task was actually owned by cross which was then bought out by Kennedy Brooks, which was then bought up by Forte’s, which is how come I ended up working for Forte’s but within that there was some real fine dining restaurants. I mean, Roy Ackerman was part of that, you know, they had for jack was part of their chain. So I also within that had some fine dining experience as well. Yeah. So I was trying to hit each box to give me a real range of expertise.

Phil Street 14:45

Yeah. Do you know the interesting thing about that about being strategic, I think that’s a pretty key factor. I think in really, truly knowing what direction you want to head in and where you’re where you want to go, but equally I’ve found my experience is that you’ve also got to be open to the left field things that come your way because they can also take you off into something that perhaps you hadn’t even thought of. So getting that balance is, I think, absolutely key in moving forward.

MJ 15:18

Without doubt, and especially today where I think people are going to need to be more flexible, more agile. And they may have to take something out of left field, but guess what? They might love it. Yeah, absolutely. You know, so you just don’t know. And I know since I’ve started MJ inspire some of the consultant jobs I’ve taken have been really leftfielder I had to fly out to Riyadh to train the team that were opening Nobu out there, you know, and I’m a girl that likes a glass of wine. So imagine wasn’t necessarily my first choice. But having said that, what an experience I was there for about five days, I learned so much, I had to wear Habib 11 hours a day. That was hard going because I’m not used to it. But I also got to interview some of the women on my course that mostly men that had four women, one actually was a finance director. And I really got to understand the dynamics of some of the Arabic culture Arabic families. And my biggest question to them was, how should teams treat you in the UK when you visit? Because we’re all we know what we think we know. But you tell us yeah, you know, and then I use it in my training. You know, it’s so interesting. Probably wouldn’t go back. But I don’t need to I’ve been there now.

Phil Street 16:43


MJ 16:44

But who knows? I might tomorrow cuz I might get asked. So

Phil Street 16:46

yeah, the interesting thing about that is that the there’s actually a really great business lesson there as well, in the sense that a lot of businesses form the the crux of the the business out of the, your, the rune idea as to what I would like, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with that, that’s a really great place to start. But if you really want to then move forward, you’ve got to, you’ve got to go out to market and go Okay, so that’s what I want to give you. What do you actually want that kind of fits within this? And how can I evolve that and make it better? And that’s exactly the concept of what you’re talking about there about, just being able to truly understand the guests that are coming into your business?

MJ 17:31

Yeah, really understand them, and, and not from a textbook, you know, you’ve really, really got to discover these things firsthand. And I have to say, anybody that’s entering the industry now, albeit a bit harder these days. But I travel, I would now if I was entering, I’d go and work in as many countries as I could to learn from as many countries as I could. Yeah, and then come back to the UK.

Phil Street 17:57

Yeah, I think that’s wonderful advice. And I and I’m kind of a product of that ethos myself, having been lucky enough to get a job on a cruise ship as a 21 year old. Can’t imagine a better career at that time of life when you’re getting started in hospitality, because it just one it sort of exposes you to high volume, high intensity, hospitality, but also the being able to wake up somewhere new every morning, and you’ll get the opportunity, even if it’s only for a couple of hours to just go and experience, culture and experience a different way of doing things, seeing things really does broaden your mind. And I think it just prepares you and gives you a lot more balanced view of things, I think.

MJ 18:49

I think so. And you know, it helps with your tolerance, you know, inclusion. I have to say if I see a CV, and maybe they haven’t had a lot of hospitality experience, but they’ve travelled a lot. When we were opening or one by one. Those are the people we took on. Yeah. Because we knew that they would be interesting and interested. And they had life skills. Yeah. And we were very rarely wrong in those choices.

Phil Street 19:16

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve had a couple of people on on here talking about the way that they recruit. And, you know, I think there’s an awful lot of, you could ask a lot of people and they’d give you a very similar answer, which is let’s hire for attitude over skill. What actually the reality is when it comes down to it, when people under pressure that they’ll they’ll revert to recruit for skill because it’s perceived as a lesser risk. But in actual fact, I think if you’re if you start with the attitude, then everything else really does fall into place. skills can be taught

MJ 19:53

Thing is the skill could be the skill they’ve learned elsewhere. And it’s not how you want to deliver a service then You’d have to unteach them everything and then reteach them. And that isn’t always the best idea. Whereas if you hire for attitude, they’re generally much more open. Yeah. And fun, actually. Absolutely. can have a bit of fun in there somewhere.

Phil Street 20:15

Yeah. And you know, the other thing about about that is, is that the, we shouldn’t expect people to hire people into roles for them to stay there for the rest of their life, because that’s not what they are thinking. So you then need the attitude to be able to say, Okay, so this person has come in as a restaurant manager, but you’re actually, we need to figure out a way to get them to develop into your other areas of the business, and so on and so forth.

MJ 20:42

Yeah. Many years ago, when I was working for purple cubed, I used to run team brief training for stadiums. In fact, you name the football club, you name the sporting event, I was probably there running team brief training, and sometimes hundreds at a time. Yeah. And I absolutely loved it. You know, I’m a big Chelsea fan. So I couldn’t think of anything better than going to Chelsea, for example,

Phil Street 21:05

Your lot are playing my lot this weekend

MJ 21:07

Ah yes (Laughs). But I remember being in Liverpool, and Anfield. But we also had a entry there Racecourse teams there as well. Yeah. And they’re going into groups. And the idea is because there’s thousands that come on a rate on a match day. And so you have about 100 or so team leaders that will deliver a five to 15 minute team brief, you know, that rah rah at the beginning of a shift that I am so passionate about. Yeah. And so you put them into teams. And I remember one team just blew it away. So the he had to this lad had to then deliver that brief to 120 people in the room. He downloaded music to his his iPhone, I mean, he’d really gone for it. And it was all about, the game’s not over until the game’s over. And he was actually talking about David Beckham. He had us in tears there was and this was all in the space of about seven minutes. Yeah, it transpired that this lad was actually a kitchen Porter. But he was studying law at university, and it was a part time job. After that training, they he was no longer a kitchen Porter. He spent every season just going around every department delivering team briefs. Brilliant. And I love that, because you don’t know who you’ve got, you really need to get to know your team. Yeah. Because, boy, do they have strengths,

Phil Street 22:37

for sure. And that’s the thing that don’t pigeonhole them into something. That’s your job. And that’s the end of it. Let them exist, let them you know, emit whatever they’ve got to emit. And, you know, some wouldn’t want to emit, and that’s fine. Yeah. But also there. I mean, that story kind of highlights that the age old argument of can you inspire through words? Or, or is it actions? And obviously, I think it’s both?

MJ 23:05

It’s both? It’s got to be both?

Phil Street 23:06

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, just look at the I’m a massive rugby fan. And, specifically, the biggest event in world sport for me is when the the British and Irish Lions come out to play. And that only happens once every four years, which makes it very, very special. Yeah, there’s a DVD comes out, or Blu Ray, I suppose let’s keep keep up with the times or download whatever it is. Every time they do a behind the scenes documentary of the the build up to the tour, the tour itself, what goes on in the dressing room on the training ground, and all of that sort of thing. And you get this insight into that moment before the match when you need to bring everybody together to all fight for the same purpose. And it’s exactly the same principles when it’s maybe not quite as the same sort of battle, but it is going into a service. Yeah. You wanted it?

MJ 24:04

Yeah, I think it is. I mean, team briefs originated, there was stump speeches. And it was during the American Civil War, when they were fighting each other, and they would go from town to town, and they would stand on a tree stump, and they would try and keep the troops they had and get more. And so they would entertain on this stump and you know, yeah, do it for us. Well, it’s exactly the same thing. You know, it’s just evolved slightly, but you are essentially going into battle. Yeah, you know, with all the adrenalin and power that you’re that you’re going to need. Yeah. Having heard that your, uh, your rugby fan, obviously having just this conference with sir Clive Woodward. Yeah. There were a lot of lessons that he gave during that conference. But one of the My favourite, he said you either win or you learn Yeah, never lose.

Phil Street 25:01

Yeah, well, he is probably, obviously everybody knows him for his great success in the 2003 World Cup. And that, you know that that was a journey that Well, that wasn’t just just, they didn’t just arrive at being the best team in the world. But also he has tenure of the lions was the worst in history. So he took a lot of learning from that. Yeah, very different beast, taking a team of the same nation together and getting them going in the same direction. But when you pull your four nations together, yeah, and you’ve got four weeks to put this together. I mean, that is a task.

MJ 25:41

Blimey. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Phil Street 25:43

Anyway, that’s, that’s not hospitality.

MJ 25:45

But it’s interesting.

Phil Street 25:47

That’s me indulging in my loves. Interesting you said earlier on about, about adding value about, you’re giving something without expecting something in return. And I’m really, really, really on board with this. Yes. Because I think do these things have a habit of coming back to you when you least expect it?

MJ 26:09

Yes. Yes. You know, what, have gained a reputation for doing good. Yeah. You know, at the beginning of lockdown, and, you know, like many in our industry, it’s not just the restaurants that suffering here is anybody that supports those restaurants or hospitality should say hotels. Yeah. What have you. So as a consultant whose business is primarily hospitality, yeah, yeah, we’ve all been hit. But you can go two routes on this, you can either say I’m going to hunker down, I’m going to go under the covers, and I’ll come out when this is over. Or you can say, Actually, you know what, I’m going to do what I can when I can to help the industry and I am not gonna charge for it. I will just do it. Yeah. You know, I jokingly say conquer yourself MJ inspire unless you’re willing to inspire people.

Phil Street 26:57

That’s fair.

MJ 27:00

So you know, from from literally the minute of lockdown I was running free live Facebook training sessions never done it in my life. I all I had is what we had in the garbage because you can get any equipment from Amazon because everybody sits sold out within, you know, an hour for us. Yeah, I had my son I my phone, my son’s phone. Luckily, two stands that I had, I luckily had a projector screen and a projector from the 1600s. And cobbled together, the training, which went on to you know, Facebook, live and Instagram Live, just to be able to inspire all those clients and all those teams that we’re now stuck at home.

Phil Street 27:43

Yeah. Probably need inspiration more than ever before.

MJ 27:46

Yeah. And it’s like, I’m the party. You don’t know if anybody’s going to turn out. Yeah. And you’re watching your phone. And suddenly you start seeing all these comments and hearts come through and you think, Oh, my God, there are people here, then listening. Yeah, they’re still available on my Facebook page, by the way, skills bootcamp by Jane spire, one z. One is how to inspire and motivate remote teams, and one is how to work from home successfully. Yeah. And that, you know, one minute energises three minute videos. I did a crypt of my office. Just anything I could to make people smile. Brilliant, really important.

Phil Street 28:23

Yeah, totally. I you know, there were some. There’s another great podcast out there. Obviously, I’m saying that because that then implies that my podcast is great as well. But I don’t know if you’ve listened to smash the box.

MJ 28:37

Oh, I’ve heard about it. Yeah, actually,

Phil Street 28:39

yeah, put it on the list. Mark Pitcher is the is the guy who does that. And Mark was kind enough, before I started this podcast to give me some some of his time to, for me to just chew the fat really on the pros and columns of podcasts and your what to look for, and what not to and all of these sorts of things. And one of the big takeaways for me was, is just genius. He says his, his marketing plan is number one, add value Number two, add value. Number three, add value.

MJ 29:14


Phil Street 29:15

And that was that. And I just thought, you know what, that resonates with me so much more than this is definitely not the time to be asking people for business. Everybody is fighting a battle at the moment. And I think that the people who are going out there and knocking on people’s doors to try and take business from people I think it’s your there are ways that you can go around that and I think it’s a time for relationships more than ever before.

MJ 29:43

Yeah, actually you’ve and you’ve reminded me of something and they deserve a big shout out. The contract caterers got together because they decided just that we are not going to go into competition with each other. Yeah, we are going to come together and they formed the Service circle, which is food service service available actually through the UK hospitality website, right. And what they realised is there’s all this fantastic stuff out there often for hoteliers and restaurant tours, but not necessarily for contract caterers. So they’ve joined forces to put together a website that has jobs that has my job seekers toolkit on it, that has tips, tools, videos from all the owners across all contract caterers. And this is the first time that they’ve ever come together in such a way. And because they said, We have just got to help this industry in any which way we can. And I remember Wendy Bartlett ringing me and on a Saturday morning saying, how’d you feel about donating the jobseekers toolkit? And I said, done. So when I have finished a sentence yet, I don’t care. Yes. Right now, yes, let’s do this. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, so anybody that’s in contract, catering is concerned, go take a look at that site, food service circle, you won’t regret it, that they’re really gaining momentum with it.

Phil Street 31:08

Yeah. Let us be a prime example as well of what good can come out of adversity, there’s usually always good. I mean, there’s always bad, of course, that’s the nature of the word. But the the amount of good stuff that’s come out of this tough time. I actually, yesterday, I was on a feed on LinkedIn and a conversation. And I just out of the blue, this little sink in came into my head, which was when the going gets tough, the tough add value. Yeah. And I thought, well, write that down. 

MJ 31:39

Yeah. I’m using that as well. Yeah. 

Phil Street 31:45

Oh, you see? Yeah. So you mentioned the job seekers toolkit. They talk assassinate are very good. Basically, this is your strategically working your way through this conversation very nicely. And talk, talk us through that.

MJ 32:00

Okay. So as I said, I committed to doing as much as I could to help this industry that I love. So one of the things I realised was that with all these redundancies, and Sadly, many more, there are an awful lot of people out there that will be having to re enter the job market that are scared that at all levels. Yeah, kitchen water all the way up to director Yeah. But also, I’m not earning any money. So the original idea was to build a learning management system, on my own website, never done any of this before, record learning videos, and actually sell it at a highly subsidised price mean dead cheap, off the shelf to organisations, so that they could put their whole team through it. Yeah. And it would work out about, I don’t know, 30 per person. I mean, it was ridiculous. Yeah. What I realised was, and some people did buy that the Good Book, the good guys, but what I realised was the people that needed it most were the ones that whose companies weren’t going to buy it. Yeah. And we all know who those companies are. And I thought, I’ve got to give them access, because they really need this. And then thought, well, I can’t sell it to one half and not the other. I don’t want to do two different levels. That doesn’t work. So for two weeks, I was really battling with myself. And then Wendy Bartlett rang me. And they had already bought it. She was on the first people to buy it. And she said, Look, we donated for free to everybody else. And I said, Yes. And it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Yeah, the hardest thing was telling two companies that had just bought it that they didn’t have to pay for it that I was going to give it to them at zero cost, which I think make my husband cry. No income, but the right thing to do. And you know what, I have never looked back. So far, over 1000 people have accessed it. Right. I have also now run it as live sessions for some of my clients free of charge as well. actually did one on Tuesday. That was pure joy. And this morning, one of the people on that course, set up his LinkedIn and asked me to follow him. Brilliant. So let me tell you a little bit about what it is. Yeah, it says accessible through my website at mj inspired.com. It’s front and centre. So you don’t have to go searching everywhere for it.

Phil Street 34:30

Yeah, I can vouch for that. And I was doing my my research front and centre there as

MJ 34:36


Phil Street 34:37


MJ 34:37

Right in your face. Yeah, you have to register. But that’s purely because of spam. And you might have to do that twice, because sometimes it kicks it back. But then it you’ll get through the second time. And you’re faced with for 20 ish minute learning sessions like this one’s 24 minutes, one’s 23 minutes. It has to be less than half an hour per session. I’m actually went on to study psychology and honest in psychology. So I know the optimum learning time is actually 30 minutes.

Phil Street 35:07

Well, I was gonna talk to you about that. So we’ll come back to that.

MJ 35:09

Yeah. Okay. So what you do is you start off your first session is adopting a positive mindset. Notice I said the word adopt, because you can’t just change your mindset, you’ve just been made redundant. You feel like crap. The world’s gone to Paul, what the hell do you do. And I’m a huge fan of cognitive behavioural therapy and building tools and techniques to help you survive. So all of these sessions have tools and techniques in that will help you so that first session is about how you get your confidence back. Breathe, you know, tell some stories, tell them how I met got made redundant. So that first session is just what on earth do you do now? How do you survive? We then move to right, let’s get your CV built, shall we? And it’s really practical. So there’s a presentation, but they can see me in the corner, the window. And there’s actually there’s activities. So for example, I bring up a CV, a really bad one. And so right now pause me. Right? How many mistakes can you see? Right, press Start now have a look. And it really is practical. And it takes them from a blank piece of paper to having a CV? Yeah. And I actually talk about applicant tracking systems, and just how they work. So because so many a recruitment agencies and now businesses will put through CV through an applicant tracking system. And even the best person may not get through that.

Phil Street 36:44

Yeah, well, that’s a shambles

MJ 36:46

For example, if you’ve got a photograph, you may not get through it, you’ll get kicked out no matter how good you are. So I talked through that, and how you can adapt your CV accordingly and cover letters from that we then move to it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So how do you network in this day and age. And I actually screen record me setting up a LinkedIn account. So I show them how to do it, how to put the open to work on how to get endorsements, how to request connections, how to reject connections. So really practical, let’s get your LinkedIn set up if you do nothing else, but also how to use other social media. And then for example, top tip for everybody, you’re going to apply for a job, Google yourself, Google your name, and Google your image. And make sure that there’s nothing that comes up that you don’t want a prospective employer to see. And you should really be doing that at least once a month. Now, what you do want to come up is what you want people to see. So if you’ve you know, won competitions, or your great chef, and you cook great food, flood the internet with fantastic photographs, food articles, because that will come up if anybody searches you. Yep. From that it then moves to great. You’ve got an interview. Now, what do you do? So again, really practical tools about relaxing about, you know, how you answer questions you should answer. You’re really that I’m an operator. So it’s incredibly, incredibly practical and suited to everybody from a kitchen Porter to a director. It’s pitched right across. Yeah. They can take it in any order. They can pause it, they can go back to it, they can and they can go in as many times as they like, and it will be free from that set. I’ll never charge for that one. Yeah, it will always be free for people. Even though that, you know, you’d have to be in hospitality to do it. Yeah. So and what I’m hearing, I’m now beginning to get people telling me they’re getting jobs as a result of it that they’re just beginning to trickle through now that the comments have been fabulous. One of my favourites is I’m actually not a fan of online learning.

Phil Street 39:06


MJ 39:10

Just electronic voices drives me mad.

Phil Street 39:12


MJ 39:13

So it’s very much me chatting. And one point I say that go make a cup of coffee. Put me on pause, like come back. Let’s just recap where we are. It’s that kind of style. And I can remember Mary Soper who works in HR for Bartlett Mitchell. He’s, I asked him to go through it all for me and give me comments. And he said, he put me on pause, went made two cups of coffee and came back because he made one for me. Because it felt like I was in the room. Yeah. And that’s what I want for people because it’s incredibly scary. actually even doing online learning is pretty scary for some people. Yeah. So yeah, it’s, but there are other elements to it. I’m going to add two more little 10 minute sessions. One is how to make A video CV, I’m actually going to question a videographer to give me tips. And I’m also doing another one, which is around life plans, how you work out your life plan how you get some life audit together. Yeah, there’ll be two little 10 minute bonus sessions if people want to do them. That’s great. Now, in addition to all of that, since the beginning of lockdown, I have been interviewing the great and the good from our industry. Yes. mentioned earlier on Rachel Stevens, was one of them.

Phil Street 40:30

This was on my list to talk about. So go right ahead.

MJ 40:34

Three questions in three minutes. So what I’ve been doing is emailing five questions to hundreds of hospitality and facilities professionals, and asking them to answer three of them. CV tip, networking tip, interview, tip, favourite book, most inspiring person at the beginning lockdown tips. They record them on their own mobile phones and send them to me. And then I post them twice a week on YouTube. Yeah, so at the moment, there are 42 on YouTube. Everybody from Joanna Taylor Stagg to Danny Pecorelli to facilities Terry from Lloyds of London head of facilities, Lloyd’s of London, all sorts of people. And I’ve got also another 40 in the bag. And I will continue to post them. Brilliant. Now what we are doing is we’re taking little mini clips of those, and we’re adding them into the training now. I’m video editing them in, or I’m doing little mini videos, I’ve just done one for interview skills, where I clip together some of the top tips. For example, Angus bryden. Again, Bartlett Mitchell says, Don’t waffle, which I love. Absolutely love. And I’ll do some more of those. I’ll do a little CV montage, a little interview montage, a little networking montage. And all of those are available on my YouTube channel at MJ inspire as well. And they also enhance that training.

Phil Street 42:09

That’s great. No, absolutely. Because I think the thing is, is that there is an awful lot of knowledge out there. And once again, actually, if we come back to the point about businesses starting something because they’re passionate about it, you can actually apply the same methodology to your career. Yeah, you’re just because you think that this is what people want to see on the CV. But that might not actually be the case. So you’re better getting the advice from people who are going to be reading your CV? Yes. And the actual fact I had done a little bit of CV writing in my time. And the one thing that I always said to people when giving them advices is that you have to put yourself in the shoes of the person who’s going to read it. Absolutely. How are they going to get the information that they need from you quickly? If they’ve got 150 CVS to get through? or whatever, you know, you’ve got to get the mission quickly.

MJ 43:06

Yeah. And in fact, they go I’m gonna put you on the spot on air. Three questions in three minutes for me if I send you the criteria?

Phil Street 43:13

Absolutely. For sure. Yeah, I was hoping you would do that. I’ve got about I got about 60 questions I could probably answer on this sub. Yeah,

MJ 43:21

I think you probably have. Yeah, yeah. And something that people should be aware of? Is that somebody that they may have an interview with? Could have recorded three questions for me. So it is really worthwhile going to my YouTube and subscribing and going through the list, because you will hear first hand what they want. Yeah, absolutely. That, you know, I certainly didn’t have that when I went to see my Michael De Costa in the 1980s.

Phil Street 43:49

Imagine the power of that you’re sat in front of Danny pecker? Oh, I can’t even pronounce his surname.

MJ 43:55


Phil Street 43:55

Nice one. Yeah. So he’s gonna kill me for that. But yeah, and he, you know, has word of advice. And then you’re in an interview with him. And you say, what I remember when you said that you were and all of a sudden he goes, Well, you’ve done some research.

MJ 44:11

Yeah. And, you know, if they recommend a book, and the books are recommending a brilliant, you know, and Andrew McKenzie course setting the table, why wouldn’t he we all love You know what? Go with the book, borrow it or somebody?

Phil Street  44:25


MJ 44:26

Because then it will give you something to talk about. I noticed that you recommended that book actually went and read it. Thank you. It gives you something to talk about. Yeah. That will make you stand out.

Phil Street 44:37

Yeah, absolutely. And actually standing out is going to be more important than ever. Because the the flip that’s happened in the job market in in six months, as you know, six months ago, it was very easy to pick the job because there wasn’t enough people for the jobs. But now, we’re going to have exactly the opposite situation. So all of this time where you might have been thinking, well, it’s quite easy to, to get that done. No, you’re gonna we’ve gone back to how it used to be, which is how do I make myself stand out from the crowd?

MJ 45:10

Yeah. And I think something else is really important is that we have so many transferable skills. Now I don’t want to lose people at the industry. This is the industry I love. But I also know at the moment people need to work. You know, Anthony Bourdain said this. Think about all those skills, you have the capacity for sheer hard work. Jesus, we work hard in our industry, we’re proud of it. Yeah, we can read people. You know, we’re economists, we’re rev people with data driven with you know what, there isn’t a role within hospitality that isn’t out there in the wider market. And so just think about all those incredible skills that you’ve, you know, learned over the years, no matter what role you are, because you can use them elsewhere. I’m living proof of that. I work across all industries now, in running global service excellence courses, one of the biggest banks in the world, for example. So don’t underestimate just how brilliant you are. Having worked in this industry, I’m so passionate about that.

Phil Street 46:18

Yeah. No, absolutely. You nailed it earlier on. And one of the first things that I would imagine it’s tough to take in a time like this, is that confidence takes a bashing. So yeah, how do you how do you get your mental state, you know where it should be to actually not come across as somebody who’s in desperate need of something? It’s, there is a psychology behind it. Which brings me nicely onto my next point. You’ve got a degree in psychology, I believe.

MJ 46:51

Yes, that’s right. Yeah, I am. I was asked by somebody if I wasn’t in hospitality. And if I could go into my life again, what would I do? Yeah. And I still love hospitality, but I would have been a psychologist. Yeah. And so they said, Well, why don’t you just go do it then. So I took myself off to night school, Open University took me six years. But I came out with an with an honours in psychology. And I, you know, I’m so proud of that. Because, you know, that combined with hospitality was a winning combination. Hmm. I was gonna say that must add value to the work that you do, hugely. I, you know, I, I could specialise in some modules I specialised in, in counselling. But what I can do is bring a bit of science to what I do. I can also, as I said, I’m a big fan of cognitive behavioural therapy, and I am not a cognitive behavioural therapist, I’m just a fan of it. But you know, the the ethos behind it, which is developing tools to help you overcome your confidence is a really good example of that. Now, I’m a huge fan of that, because I’m a pragmatist. And what I’ve been told is, I’m able to simplify the complicated. So I will take some of these incredible studies, and then say, Well, look, how are they relevant to our teams today, or our leaders today? So I definitely bring it into learning and development? Very much. So actually.

Phil Street 48:21

Well, I mean, psychology rules a lot. Yes. Yeah. I mean, you’re nothing without your brain really being able to move you forward, in whatever that that be actually one of the I’ve written a blog piece on sort of similar points about, you know, getting yourself in the right place to go job searching. And one of the things that I always advocate is to do not drop an exercise routine. exercise for me is a massive, it’s massively helpful in making sure that the brain is moving in the right direction.

MJ 48:56

Yeah. If you talk to Andrew Stembridge, about this, he is, he’s a brilliant person to interview by the way. Yeah, he’s passionate about the power of exercise, and just to be your mental health, very much so. And he’s right in our industry, specially when we work hard, we have to find space. And sometimes the way you find space is through exercise or walking or running or something that just can switch your mind to a different place.

Phil Street 49:23

Yeah, absolutely.

MJ 49:24

One of the tips that I talked about in giving confidence, and anybody that listens to this, it may help them is two things really, number one, your job has been made redundant, not you. Yeah, you are still the person, the brilliant person that you always were, and remind yourself of that number to get a book and go and find every comment, every letter, every email that people have given you, giving you compliments, and put them in those books so that when you’re feeling down, just go back and remind yourself of that not to be arrogant, but you might need reminding of it. But the third one and probably the most, and it sort of is my favourite book as well. And have you heard of Mel Robbins. I can’t say that have Mel Robbins, Ted Talk, CNN reporter husband ran restaurants. They were going through a really bad patch, the restaurants were going bust. And instead of being activated to help, she withdrew, and she just found herself at the lowest depths, and I’d lost all confidence and couldn’t find a way out of it. And one day, she was watching NASA rocket, take off satellite take off 54321 boom. And she thought, what if I were to do that in my own life. So the next morning, she set the alarm early. When it went off. In her head. She went 54321 feet out of bed. She knew exactly what she had to do to get back on track. Whether it be exercise, I don’t know an exercise. 54321 get out the door. She picked up the phone, she found the people she had to find out each time she used the 54321. And it worked. By the way. She’s probably a millionaire by now TED Talk authoress. But she wants to find out why it worked. So she went to study neuroscience psychology again. Yeah. And she discovered that when we are at risk, and we are all at risk, at the moment, we will revert back to comfort to safety. Our brain is programmed to protect us. Yeah, it doesn’t want us to take risks. So it can trick us. So what happens is, when you want to pick up the phone to apply for a job, your voice will try and protect you and oh, no, no, don’t do it. No, no, no, no, no, no, they won’t like you don’t go there. But that voice doesn’t kick in for between 10 and 15 seconds. If you can pick up the phone and five, press that email in five, you are more likely to do it. So again, I talk about tools to help you with confidence. That is by far, one of the biggest, easiest tools I can give you. That’s brilliant. 54321. press send

Phil Street 52:25

It’s genius in its simplicity,

MJ 52:27

isn’t it? Now you don’t have to buy the book. If you do. Can you buy off my website? Because at the moment every 11 p helps. Yeah. Actually, you don’t have to buy the book. She’s got a TED talk. Just go watch her TED talk. I recommend everybody does it. I will build your resilience. I use it. I’m using it at the moment. I use it all the time.

Phil Street 52:50

Yeah. Well, I think that’s that’s the thing, right? Even for for those of us who are lucky enough to have our kind of positive outlook on things, there’s still still days, there’s still moments whereby, you know, the alarm goes off, and you don’t say 54321 you go snooze. And the funny thing about this is that I I’ve never been a morning person actually wrote another article on that very subject a couple of years ago. And actually how you don’t have to be a morning person to be successful. It’s about understanding your own patterns. Yes. But I on the flip side of that, in lockdown, I totally became a morning person. And I don’t know why. I’ve got no idea. But but all of a sudden my body clock went, it’s okay. You can get out of bed. 630 Yeah. And I then went on a break a few weeks back, and I’ve come back and I’m no longer a morning person again. interest. Yeah, I’m back into that when the alarm goes off, or God. I’ve got to get up. But not it’s not from a I can’t face what I’ve got to do. I’m just yeah, I’m just dead tired.

MJ 53:58

Yeah, yeah, I am actually a morning person. And when I was studying for my degree when, you know, so working full time still have my family. I would get into London if I was training at nine or 10. I got to get into London by six 630 and study and I remember being at the Met hotel. So Andrew Thompson was hotel manager then and I think orchard. Tom orchard was the MD November sitting writing an essay in their reception area. So about 630 in the morning, and I put a post on social media saying I bet not many new students are sitting in a five star hotel right in there. So six o’clock in the morning. And Andrew Thompson picked it up. And he saw me on the camera, and he delivered breakfast to me. And with a little note saying good luck with the study and here’s his cup of tea on me. And it was so sweet. Sweet. Love it. Proper hospitality right there. I was just about to say that’s what hospitality is about. Yeah, that is about noticing and it’s those small things, but they make the most enormous difference. And, you know, people think you have to give lots of things away. But you know what you don’t you just give a bit of yourself. You know, that cup of tea when I needed it the most and little nod that says, God, I’m so impressed. You’re working so hard. Yeah. Brilliant.

Phil Street 55:17

Yeah, absolutely. So from your illustrious and, and long, if you don’t mind me saying that career so far. Have you got any funny stories you could share with us? 

MJ 55:29

So yeah, one of my favourites. And it was very early on in my career. I had to try and get the chest clean the kitchen. And good luck. You know, they were cleaning it, but not as well as I’d like. Yeah, I’m for that work musicians more than chefs in that particular restaurant. And I thought, right, I do I do. I find my dad. And I’ll get him to wear a white coat. And I’ll get him to come in with a clipboard, and pretend his health inspector gave him a script. And I said to him at the end, you’ve got to say to me, you’ve got 52 days to correct this. So he does it. He walks out and I say to the team, right? You know, this is it, guys. We’re going to all weekend. I think we will close on Sundays. We are going to scrub this place spotless. And of course it worked. Yeah. Brilliant, spotless kitchen. And then you know, but then of course, it’s my birthday about three months later. So in walks my mum and dad. Yeah. And I had an open kitchen. And the chef’s are looking at my dad, and they’re looking at me. And they said, Why did you just kiss the health inspector? Hello. I know when our boys Let me tell you something. I could never do it again. That was for sure. Yeah. But yes, yes. And lots of stories from down Mexico way. I do. Remember, we used to have to change turntables. And we had a particular table to top and they wouldn’t move. And I had 50 people in reception for a party. And this two top wouldn’t move. And I do not advocate this now. And I don’t put it in my training. But their bill was like, I don’t know. 40 quid 50 quid. It wasn’t a lot. And in the end, I just had enough and I walked up to the table picked up the bill tore it up, said this one’s on me now fo fat, my restaurant 50 people downstairs that we’re about to walk out. I thought I can’t do it. I have to have them in. Yeah. So yes, walking into hotel rooms where people were, you know, all you name it. You name it. We’ve been there.

Phil Street 57:32

And you know, the thing about this is that so many people I asked this question to know, and it is one of my favourite questions because I do love fun. And but the majority of the fun things that happen, you would never share in a social public environment other than if you’re having a pint with your friends or something like that. But certainly not afford them like this. And I think that’s that’s actually a really important message for me, actually, in terms of the fun element is that a lot of these fun things really, really stretch your comfort zone. I’ve been exposed to all manner of things when I worked on cruise ships that you just you get a phone call and you go, oh God, what’s this gonna be? No. Yeah. And you go and deal with it. And you’re and it’s like, you’re at the end of it, you’ve learned learned something, and then you can look back on it fondly. But that’s, that’s massively important. These things are frequent. The fun is frequent.

MJ 58:27

It’s people and when you deal with people, people are funny. Yeah, they are really funny. So, but you sometimes and often really can’t share most of the stories. Yeah, probably get taken to go. They deny them. No. And yeah, and you know, they are and you get to the end of the day, and you know, you get to the end of that shift and you think, Oh my god, what just happened? Yeah, you know, all bar one. I remember running the door on all bar one in Sutton when we first opened them and I run the first one had a Wetherspoons opposite. And I remember it’s Christmas is the Friday before Christmas, which is always a nightmare in any bar. Yeah. And I’m on the door with doormen and I look across and a doorman has grabbed a guy from inside, bought him out. He’s thrown up on the doorstep, and then the bouncers thrown him back inside again. Yeah. And I just think I’m so pleased and running. I mean, I used to have the police, the fire brigade, ambulance service or drink and my boss, I would encourage them to drink there. So I never had any problems because they were all my regular customers. If I ever wanted anything, I knew who to go to.

Phil Street 59:46

Yeah, well, that’s great, great working relationship building right there in terms of Absolutely.

MJ 59:52

I shouldn’t really say this, but I will tell you one very little funny story when we used to go to the licences. We used to play games, which was you had to get a word in, if you had to stand up in the dock to or, you know, say what you’re going to do. So occasionally you’d get questioned and say, you know, well, what are you going to do about the local environment? What are you going to do about noise at night? That kind of thing? And I remember my word was elephant. And if you could get it in, you didn’t have to buy lunch afterwards.

Phil Street 1:00:25


MJ 1:00:25

If we got the licence?

Phil Street 1:00:26


MJ 1:00:27

So I had to get the word elephant in. And I remember saying, Well, one of our customers, Miss Ella. Fant once said, The ferrets that just looked at me shaking his head is like, I don’t believe you’ve got it in there. I do not believe you did that. That’s the Richmond licence.

Phil Street 1:00:47

That reminds me of Actually, I wasn’t personally involved in this. But the there used to be on on ships, the deck department would run these little challenges of trying to get a word in at the midday announcement. And I always remember one more than any other because it’s a little bit blue, as they say, Yeah, but I’m gonna I’m gonna say it anyway, because it’s, I thought it was hilarious at the time. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, this is the midday announcement. As you know, we’re pulling into Gibraltar today at two o’clock. One of the main points of Gibraltar is that you’ve got fantastic duty free. So if you’re feeling really indulgent, you could maybe buy some jewellery, and if your wife’s feeling particularly lucky, you could get her a pearl necklace. Oh, and that’s that was what they had to get in? No, yeah, I was on reception at time serving guests. And the executive purser who was, for all intents and purposes would be the hotel General Manager, came racing out of his office, and was absolutely spitting bullets about this. And we’re all biting our bottom lip, you know, trying to keep it together. And the guy did get reprimanded for that. But nevertheless, it was a moment of joy.

MJ 1:02:05

Reminds me when I worked for Robert Earl, and the MD was Louis Macmillan. And we were in Hanover house that was our head office. And I was a bit cheeky, quite quite cheeky at the time, and we had one of those awful answer phones where they put the tape in.

Phil Street 1:02:22


MJ 1:02:22

And play moo Zack.

Phil Street 1:02:24


MJ 1:02:24

It was comic relief. So I changed the tape to a Billy Connelly sketch. And the managing director who was out at the time phoned, and he got put on hold whose phone to speak to somebody else got put on hold. And it was the Billy Connolly diced carrot sketch.

Phil Street 1:02:42

Oh, yes,

MJ 1:02:43

restaurant company. And you get back to receptions and says put me through to Mary Jane. And you said I know it was you. Don’t deny it. You’re the only one that would have had guts to do this. Go down there now and take that tape out.

Phil Street 1:03:00


MJ 1:03:01

Yeah, I think I sat I just got told off.

Phil Street 1:03:04

Yeah. Well, you know, if it’s sometimes good to test the limits, yes. But you know, I think you also have to remember to have fun because there’s a lot of serious moments where you have to be tuned in switched on. The fun and laughter give that a release, give it

MJ 1:03:26

There’s dark humour as well. My industrial placement was on Eastbourne Pier and one of the training sessions will have to deal with dead people because so many people, you know, we’re very old and died on Eastbourne Pier. Yeah, you’re dealing that one minute and then you’ve got dark humour next, because it’s the only way to survive.

Phil Street 1:03:43

Yeah, absolutely. Great stuff. Okay. Well, if you were to, if somebody wants somebody to ask you why I should come into hospitality and start this as a career, what would you say to them?

MJ 1:03:57

It’s fun. First and foremost, you will meet people and they will be your friends for life. We’re family, you will develop skills that are transferable to any other industry. It can take you all over the world. I travel all over the world. I often travel club pass paid by clients. And that is because I started in hospitality and let those skills Yeah. So and you know, it gets a bad rep. It really does. for all the wrong reasons. for all the wrong reasons. It’s, you know, you don’t work 24 seven, you still have days off. Actually, I’ve always earn a good wage. But first and foremost, you will have the time of your life.

Phil Street 1:04:46

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And that’s really the point on you know, working hard in this industry. I’ve said this before and a couple of chats is that does not define the industry. If you want to get get on in any industry. You have to work hard.

MJ 1:05:02

Yeah. Yeah. I mean lawyers work 24 seven all through the night. Yeah. No, no, it’s it’s the best industry in the world, I think.

Phil Street 1:05:12

Yeah, I completely agree. We might be biased, but I don’t care. Superb. Okay, so if people want to reach out to you and chew the fat and just learn a little bit more about what you do, or take advantage of these wonderful things that you’re creating for people at the moment, what’s what’s the best way for them to do that?

MJ 1:05:30

Go to my website, mjinspire.com. You’ll find the job seekers toolkit on there, you’ll find out all about me. Say hello at MJ inspire. There’s there, you can email me on that, go to my YouTube channel, please subscribe at MJ inspire. That’s also on Instagram, and Twitter. And if you go to my Facebook page, it’s skills boot camp by MJ inspire. And watch this space because I’m going to produce some more online learning to give supervisors the skills they need. And some of those Junior managers have skills that they need as people are leaving, they’re going to need to really hone their leadership capability. Now, I may have to charge for those because this is the real world. But I promise it will be worth it. And I’ll add value.

Phil Street 1:06:22

Yeah, well, you’ve been adding value in lots of different spaces. So I absolutely salute you for what you’ve done in this very weird time that we live in. And anything I can do to help, then then please do let me know.

MJ  1:06:35

Thank you. But I’m going to keep to that three questions, and I’m gonna email you them

Phil Street 1:06:38

Consider it done. Thank you. Fabulous. Yeah, lovely to chat. I’m pretty sure we could have carried on for another seven hours, but but there we are.

MJ 1:06:48


Phil Street 1:06:49

Take care

MJ 1:06:50

I will, and you. Thank you.

Phil Street 1:06:51

No problem. Bye bye now

MJ 1:06:53

Bye, bye.

Phil Street 1:06:54

And there we have it. What an amazing body of work created by MJ through this strange time we live in. If you’re out of work or under threat, then head over to her website for some superb resources. Thanks, MJ. Don’t forget, we launch a brand new episode each week. So hit that subscribe button and give us a like and share where you can. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.