Wednesday, 19 March 2008

If I were Heather...

I did feel a bit of empathy for Heather Mills but I really don't think her impromptu outburst outside court this week did her any favours, and of course The Establishment (run by the Alpha Males) was always going to make an example of her.

If I were Heather I would either a) immediately give my entire settlement (or at least £20million of it) to the charities which I work with, or b) bugger off with the money and live in New Mexico.

The Alpha Males may think they have won but I really hope Sir Paul has built a clause into the settlement that Heather and Bea must remain in the UK - because option b) must be looking pretty attractive to Heather right now...


GuyClapperton said...

Heather's problem isn't the alpha males in the establishment. It's the fact that she claimed to have given 80-90 per cent of her earnings to charity, and then the tax records showed no donations at all (she claims her accountant forgot to tick the box). It's the fact that she wrote in her autobiography that she left home in her teens because of falling out with her parents, then her sister said this simply wasn't true (she was there until her twenties and left on perfectly good terms, says her family). It's the fact that when she had her outburst on TV AM or whatever it was, she was heaving great big theatrical sobs - but if you watch the film back, no actual tears (this could of course be genuine, but in context...) It's the fact that in different interviews she's claimed she didn't know who McCartney was when she met him, or that she thought 'wow, it's the man from the Beatles' - the one excludes the other. They can't both be true.

I could go on. Personally I believe - and this is a bar-room type opinion, not medically qualified or anything like that - that she's unwell. Most of the lies above are unimportant - does anyone care whether she didn't know McCartney or whether she was his biggest fan? Do I mind whether she keeps her earnings or gives them away? So why bother, unless you have some odd compulsion? As to the court proceedings, the judge euphemistically refers to her 'inconsistencies' and basically takes her to pieces.

(Of course this has the effect of polarising views - it ends up looking like Heather=bad, Paul=good, when actually Sir P is a human being and whether he likes it or not he's part of this mess).

My own wish for her is that she takes some time out of the limelight, calms down, gets well and works on a way she and Sir Paul can get on together so that their daughter suffers the minimal amount of trauma following her parents' rather messy divorce. I also think - and this is one area where I agree with her - that it's a pity the judge's documentation was made public, and that anything that follows is none of anyone else's business.

I wish all parties involved well, and I look forward to not hearing another word about it...

Stephen Ryan said...

A great example of magnetic marketing though! push - pull PR.

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Actually Guy I think you are absolutely spot on.
Having had my mini taste of 'fame' I have to say there is a tendency towards a kind of schizophrenia; there is the public 'you' and the private 'you' and often a big gap between the two. Also when the public 'you' is polarised into two extremes (i.e. people either love you or hate you) there is also a third character in there to manage.
If you read Billy Connolly's biography (written by his wife ex-comedienne Pamela Stephenson who is now a psychotherapist) she explains all about this and how important it is for the celeb involved to try to bridge or if possible close the gaps between all these characters to preserve sanity/mental health...
In my case it has helped to really be honest about my feelings on all issues - and when you (I hope!) come to review my book when it comes out soon, you will probably see I have actually gone a little too far !!!
Sorry couldn't resist that plug :-)

Anonymous said...

Rachel, I must admit it's a little sad hearing the continued cry of bitterness you appear to have from the RLD collapse.

I honestly feel that you will only be able to move on when you accept responsibility and stop the blaming.

All of this Alpha-male carry on is ridiculous.

My mother had an almost identical experience to you and she has carried the same bitterness through her life never shaking it. Please trust me when I say you do not want to find yourself we she does now. It will destroy you from the inside out.

I'm sure there is 100 automatic justifications you have on tap, but I would encourage you to simply take it on board and digest over time.

Stephen Ryan said...

Mr or Mrs Anonymous. How can you move on when everyday you are reminded of your loss. Its not so much failure that hurts - its the constant feeling of loss. Loss of what you built in your youth and the difficulty in middle age of looking back and knowing that it will never be the same again.

It has been my experience that when you lose an innovative brand you built and at the same time realise that with it went your youth - it is extremely difficult to plot a way forward - and be satisfied.

Having said that, it sounds like Rachel has a lot more in her life than her career. That seems to me to be the answer.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, when you accept responsibility you then take ownership of your failure. Once you own it you can accept it, learn from it, and then grow with the lessons learnt from it.

I feel your analogy is likely more a reflection of your own experience as apposed to an accurate description of Rachel’s based on what I interpret.

Rachel in my opinion you were a totally different personality prior to this Dragons Den exposure and RLD liquidation. I hope you find your way back.

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Funny how many 'anonymous' comments I am getting of late isn't it? All trying to wisely tell me what to do without ever revealing their identity. Hmmmm...

Anyway, yes 'anonymous' it is true I am a different person post RLD/Dragons Den, but these days I am only interested in going forward not 'back'.

You do not know me, and you cannot claim to know me based purely on my Blog; speak to anyone who does know me and I think they will tell you that your comments are wholly wrong.

I suspect you are connected with the new RLD and have an ulterior motive for placing these comments.

Stephen Ryan said...

I think the new RLD know that they made a big mistake when they ripped the heart out of the brand when they let Rachel go.

It always happens that way. What they did is to pour shame on the brand by branding her a failure and then pretend to be building a new enlightened brand from there.

Brands always lose their way when you rip the soul out of them.

If Peter or Theo ever built something from nothing - then they would know. Do you remember doing that guys?

It needs to be said. It makes me so angry! All they needed to do was to give her the money - or close the thing down entirely.

Why spoil it? This is where ego gets in the way of good business sense.

Anonymous said...

Despite what you may think Rachel, I was very much your admirer. Just because my comment is anonymous doesn’t forsake its validity.

Based on what I have seen the below is the simplified course of events you can likely expect over the next 15 years if you maintain the level of bitterness you seem to process currently.

1/ Major business failure
2/ Bitterness towards a business world dominated by men and a sense of them ultimately "winning" by causing your business failure.
3/ Resentment towards specific males you target as being the cause of the failure.
4/ Resentment towards males in your own family as you begin to draw comparisons between them and the ones you still believe lead to your business downfall. These will include your husband, likely creating pressure on your relationship, you father, likely leading to resentment on your upbringing, and ultimately given time your sons when you start to identify traits of dominant males in them.

5/Amongst this you will be prone to a conspiracy based reality, constantly feeling that the males that interact with you have a motive to "take you down".

6/ This will lead to a mentality where it is extremely difficult for you to work with others. You'll feel an overwhelmingly strong desire to speak your mind and straighten issues out that likely don't even exist.

7/ Friends will become fewer and fewer as you start to judge those around you with ever sharper criticism.

8/ Ultimately you will find yourself operating in a reality that is diverse from those around you and it will be very, very lonely.

9/ Why do I think I know this, as I said...I've watched it happen step, by agonising step.

Vent on these comments all you like, the only reason I write them is on the remote change that days or weeks after the responses the penny may drop and a future of emptiness will be avoided.

I know this post will generate emotion especially because I referenced your family, I didn’t do that out of disrespect, only due to what I have seen. While feedback from people like the “stephens” in our lives is nice because what ever we are doing we get a pat on the back and feel warm and cosy…it’s the anonymous comments that can lead to if nothing else, a fresh look at ourselves and the world around us.

All the best.

Rachel Elnaugh said...


I have absolutely nothing against men; I grew up with 4 brothers, learned to fight with the toughest of them, have had many male friends over the years, some great male business colleagues and contemporaries, and now a fab husband plus 5 boisterous young lads.

What I do have an issue with is the 'Alpha' male, this is a very different thing, and I have explained it in the next post.

Remember, I used to be an 'Alpha Female' !!! Before I learned that other approaches were more effective and rewarding...

Interesting, but I have learned over the past few years that people's comments & criticisms of me tell me much more about them than they inform me about myself.

Stephen Ryan said...

your words are undermined by the fact you remain anonymous.

You read people as if you truly know their situation - but you can't really know. You say you were close to someone who had a similar situation. That is not the same as being that person.

By remaining anonymous it shows that you are reckless with your advice. You have nothing to lose by stating your opinion in such a cowardly way.

I don't think Rachel needs a pat on the back from me. She doesn't need to prove anything to anyone. She already built £100million "innovative" brand. That's the problem, in many ways. She is still young and yet she has already acheived more than most people on this planet.

There are many entrepreneurs who have made a fortune in business, but very few who understand the complexities of brand and have the intelligence and love to create an "innovative brand"

I feel this issue affects me personally, because i have been in a similar'ish situation and been attacked by the "thought police", finally being hounded out of a business i founded - that incidently, eventually failed because they either didn't understand what they were doing or couldn't read the signs of what is required to develop a world class brand.

Sure, you can take the company away from the brand - but it is simply bad business to do it!

St Andrews Halifax, AOL said...

Hi Anonymous - just catching up on Rachel's blog, so suppose this is a discussion that has long since past.

But I'd like to add my response to your comments about Rachel.

I have recently begun to get to know her in a business (& personal) capacity (I'm a client of hers, not a supplier, so before you say it, I have no need to creep!) & am delighted to say that she's not at all like the Dragons Den persona.

But more importantly, she is not at all negative about the RLD experience, as you seem to think.

Neither is she anti alpha-male at all. And as a fellow female in business, if she was ever going to share her thoughts, it is likely to be someone like me. But this has never been mentioned in our many discussions, formal or otherwise.

So perhaps you need to reassess your opinions. But irrespective of that, why do you insist on being so personal & quite happy to potentially upset someone? I guess it must give you a feeling of satisfaction to vent your thoughts so publicly, but do you have any idea what reaction you're causing?

I'm sure Rachel won't be bothered in the slightest, as she is incredibly clever at brushing off negative comments so they don't affect her, but I have been subject to similar quite wild statements from people via the web/email hiding behind the anonymity it provides - think about what type of reaction you may be causing. And would you really say these things to her face?