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  • I think it is harder to succeed when you're disabled.

  • I think there is a lot of... the odds are stacked against you.

  • It's harder to get into school, a local school.

  • It's harder to go to university, it's harder to get a job.

  • So really success is far further away when you're starting out.

  • However, when you have a disability you learn certain things, like resilience and communication, just because it's how you get by in day to day life.

  • And if you're able to harness those in the right direction and the right way, then I think that enables you to be successful.

  • [Martyn is a blogger, author and entrepreneur. He was born with spinal muscular atrophy.]

  • [In 2017, one of his businesses was sold to Airbnb. He has travelled to 20 countries.]

  • My first tip is "dream big."

  • I can remember watching Michael Palin on the TV and thinking, "Wow, I'd love to just travel the world like him."

  • When I was at university, I decided I would go for a trip on the other side of the world.

  • I can remember being at Sydney Bridge and looking over the harbour and having goosebumps on my arms that I was there, I'd done it.

  • And it was such an amazing feeling of achievement.

  • I've not been able to stop travelling ever since.

  • I'm definitely not suggesting that everyone should do the kind of adventures I've done, but I think it's very important for people to push their own comfort zone,

  • because it just gives you so much confidence and a feeling that you can achieve anything and you can put that back into your day to day life as well.

  • So my next tip is "write 10 ideas a day."

  • Creativity is like a muscle and you have to train it.

  • Every morning I write my 10 ideas on my phone.

  • I write down the numbers 1 to 10, I pick the topic.

  • That could be about business, or it could be about how to improve my health and wellbeing, or it could just be about how to have some fun tomorrow.

  • The point of the exercise is just to come up with ideas and there is no pressure or expectation to actually use any of them.

  • The first five normally come really quickly, but as you're starting to get near the end it gets really hard and that's a bit like going to the gym, you know that you're stretching the muscle and improving it.

  • "Say it straight" is my next tip.

  • Good communication is key to all relationships in life, personal and professional.

  • So with my disability sometimes it's difficult doing handshakes and there's been some quite awkward moments where people think I'm leaving them hanging and it's just a bit uncomfortable.

  • But I've learned to say, quite directly, please can you shake my left hand because that just enables me not to have to take my other hand off the joystick.

  • So I would say overall, you don't ever have to be rude or nasty to people, but you should always speak your truth.

  • My final tip is to "make jokes".

  • Having a good sense of humour is a powerful tool and it breaks down lots of barriers.

  • Particularly in my life, there are definitely times where people see the wheelchair before they see me and I could get angry by that, or I could try to be very educating and serious.

  • So I find that humour is a good way of putting them at ease and opening up a more normal and relaxed dialogue.

  • When I look back on the achievements it's quite surreal.

  • It sometimes has felt, the last couple of years, that my life's been like a movie.

  • So I think there's a bit of... it's still sinking in to some degree as well.

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I think it is harder to succeed when you're disabled.

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