Edson Williams

edson williams

We enjoyed speaking with Edson Williams and tapping into his experience and wisdom. It is clear how much he believes in coaching for good and helping people find their purpose. It’s impressive how much he has invested in training programmes to improve himself. Edson is the founder, leading coach and keynote speaker at Lead by Example. He has corporate as well as entrepreneurial  experience working at Nike HQ for several years, co-founding the image design department and later establishing the international renowned artist agency www.ew-agency.com . Today Edson is based in Hove and has coaching clients from all over the world. With over 10 years of personal development knowledge and experience Edson is also an NLP master practitioner.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl. I give this book as a gift to new clients and it is a book that has really changed my life. It has given me the answer to a question I have had for many years, from when I was a teenager, which was, ‘What am I here for?’. I know that life doesn’t revolve around me, I’m just one of many, so what’s the point of me being here? When I came across this book, I learnt that there is no script for each person, it is our job to find and recognise our gifts and then use that to go and serve and contribute. My real feeling of fulfilment came from helping others in all kinds of ways. We all want to feel useful and to do something that matters. 

Another book that I recently started to gift is The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It’s magical! I have a t-shirt that says ‘The secret of living is giving’ and that’s what this book is about. It’s a fictional story of a go-getter who learns that in order to be successful in life, it’s not about getting, it’s about giving and it allows the reader to learn all of these beautiful principles. For me, this is confirmation of the principles I live by and the things that I do. You contribute, create relationships and invest in giving and you can change somebody’s life with a gift, that’s a superpower. 


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?) 

I was gifted the book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin is a music producer who has produced countless great artists. I am a fan of his because he is not in the foreground but a creative producer behind a lot of music that millions of people are listening to. This book is helping artists and people who are creative. Rick understands the process so he recognises the frustration and pain points and brings confidence and trust in the creative process and guidance. He encourages you to ride it out in the moment that an idea comes to you without allowing yourself to be stopped in between by any insecurities that you have. The book gives a lot of insight into how the creative brain works and it makes me feel like, ‘It’s ok to be who you are’. (The book teaches us what it means to be a creative.)


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

I wouldn’t want to go back and do something different because every single thing has been a learning experience for me. I dropped out of university, and actually, it wasn’t a failure, that was so good for me to do because I was so unhappy there. I quit my job which was also a really good thing to do. What I have learned from this question is that ending things that are not working is an absolute gift that I would love to give to as many people as possible, for example, dysfunctional relationships, and quitting something that is not working for you anymore. I have a love for resilience and persistence, it shows and builds character but it’s also about having the wisdom to know, ‘Hey, this is no longer serving me’. 


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

“Live with purpose and make sure that whatever your purpose is, it is in service of humanity or nature.”

“Use your talent. There is something that you can do that comes naturally to you. Living a purposeful life doesn’t mean that it needs to be a struggle.“

I firmly believe that we all have an opinion about something and we all carry something within us that we want to contribute and make a difference. By you phrasing that, you’ve also helped yourself towards your contribution, that can create a different world. If you’re a dancer and you can put smiles on millions of faces and make people happy then do it for that reason and not for any other reason, other than ‘My mission is to put smiles on people’s faces through my self-expression as a dancer’.  If you have a talent, which we all do, use that but then with a purpose. 

“Wake up in the morning with that purpose in mind, ‘How can I be of service through my talents? Whose life can I impact positively?’, rather than the fear of, ‘I don’t have enough’, or ‘people are out to get me’.  


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Books and personal development training. I trained with Landmark Education, Tony Robbins, and to have a one-on-one session with Doctor Stephen R. Covey and go through the exercise of learning to listen with him, all of these moments were investments. Training with one of the founders of NLP, Dr Richard Bandler, was another worthwhile investment. When people say that the training or coaching is so expensive, my response is that it lasts you a lifetime. 

Investments in myself in terms of knowledge and skills, even my boxing coach qualifications are so valuable, because it allows me to help so many people. 


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

When I wake up in the morning, I bounce, like pogo jumping for 2 minutes. I’ve been taught to do that by Tony Robbins then I got confirmation from a nutritional therapist that the bouncing helps to realign your body and to stimulate the lymphatic system, every time you bounce your body does a toxin release. I do a breathing exercise when I’m bouncing and afterwards, I drink lots of water to flush the toxins out. 

I also do morning stretching and have my Wheatgrass in the morning with my vitamin D. 

I use a saying I learnt from Dr Maya Angelou, “Beware of the naked man who offers you clothes.” I reframe this slightly for myself and it’s because I don’t want to be the naked man giving out t-shirts, that I give this time to myself in the morning, it fuels me up and then the rest of the day I can be of service. 


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

I have been a solo operator and learned that I’m in a phase in my life where I don’t want to do things alone anymore so I’m very open to collaborations and working together. I’m coaching some clients together with my dear friend and coaching partner, Selina who is supportive and loves it. It’s such a beautiful yin-yang that we have, for example, she has a different insight or she asks a different question, she brings a different skill set, specialism to the coaching session and we compliment each other and the client benefits from the combination.

From solo operator to synergy searcher. I’m looking for people that I can vibe with or who are kindred spirits to work together with. 


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

Monitoring is incredibly powerful and I don’t do it. There is a book called ‘Measure what matters’ by John Doerr which is based on the idea of documenting your progress and your actions for anything you want to achieve on a purpose led base. Numbers do work. For example, when it comes to client reach-outs, the moment you count it (because that is the information that matters), you build in consistency because you have the accountability of needing to write down how many reach-outs you’ve done. I’m really bad at it but I know that if I do it, it will change my life. I do it with my clients and I need to do it with myself.


Topic: Tribe Tuesday