Anything is possible… if you put your mind to it.
About Neil Kirby
Neil Kirby is a professional coach, author and speaker who has spent the last twenty years proving that ‘Anything is Possible … if you put your mind to it’. He left a career in accountancy to become a professional life and business coach. As CEO at the The Red Rubber Ball Company, he works with individuals to help them be, do and have more of the things they want in life. He is a Challenger, Encourager and Optimist – that is what he is and what he does.
Neil is also the founder of The Red Rubber Ball Foundation, a charity set up to offer Kenyan children the life-changing opportunity of a full education. Through its sponsorship programmes and other projects, the Foundation helps hundreds of children to have an education they would otherwise not be able to afford.
The Foundation has been life-changing for Neil as well as the children. It has seen him commit 5% of his business income to community projects, raise over £400,000 in fundraising activities and put over 230 Kenyan children through school. He has climbed mountains, had the support of an Oscar-nominated actress, seen President Obama’s grandma become his charity’s Patron and had many adventures along the way.
Neil is not superhuman – he is just an ordinary guy doing unusual things. His story demonstrates that anything is possible… if you put your mind to it.
Neil is available to speak at events to show that ‘Anything is Possible … if you put your mind to it’. He tells his story in an engaging way to entertain and inform business audiences, societies, charities and interest groups.
Lessons from the Slums
When Neil was encouraged to chase his own ‘red rubber ball’ little did he realise that he’d chase it halfway across the world to Kenya. An offer to raise funds to feed orphan children in western Kenya would change his life as well as theirs. By sharing his story with friends and family, colleagues and contacts, many others offered to lend their support. It would see hundreds of children get the chance of a secondary school education, go on to university and find work; make friends and climb mountains; and become part of a family again. Setting out without a plan it would see Neil achieve more than he could ever have imagined.
Lessons from the Slums is his story and shows that ‘anything is possible … if you put your mind to it’.
I can’t imagine how it could be possible for me to complete my high school studies four years ago without your intervention. In a nutshell, RRB gifted me with the rare opportunity to better my future. I won’t take that for granted but rather, I am deeply grateful.
The Scarecrow’s Song
Neil’s first story began on a park bench while eating his lunch. He was attending a training course and had been asked to describe a situation he was facing, but could not reveal the actual details.
He began by roughly sketching out how he was feeling. By the time he returned for the afternoon session, he had the basis for his story. It had been quite therapeutic.
When he later shared this story with animator Ana Azpeitia, her charming images brought The Scarecrow’s Song to life.
The stories we tell ourselves and others, about our situation are seldom complete and often distorted. And this can have a big impact on our lives and the results we achieve. We create a character which exaggerates our flaws and limitations and overplays our fears and doubts. And as a result, we can hesitate and hold ourselves back.
The Scarecrow’s Song reminds us that these are just stories. Neil realised that he didn’t like the way the story was playing out. So he changed the ending. He began The Red Rubber Ball Foundation – and started a whole new story.
“A day filled with hope, dreams, discovery, purpose and a bit of play – what a wonderful world! The book’s illustrations create a unique perspective and raise the reader’s curiosity to turn the page. The images serve as a marvellous complement to the story which raises one of life’s BIG questions – can I make my dreams come true?! The Scarecrow’s Song gives a resounding response to us…yeah, yeah, yeah!”
Messages and thanks
Congratulations for being a great inspriant and mentor to Kenyan children and other people. You have really done a wonderful job and through you I believe that many people around the world like to emulate you.
Chief Encourager Neil Kirby! You have taught me to move past fear and to totally go out chase my Red Rubber Ball and be that Encourager never shying away from testing ideas, trying them out and helping others as much as possible. Neil has taught me the power of WHY NOT. He encouraged me to think big and boldly not being afraid to test ideas for fear of failure and to be an Encourager understanding people and their contexts. Meeting you has been nothing short of life changing and many are the lessons you continue to teach me. I never quite get the chance to thank you properly, so let me say what I have meant to say for some time now. You are truly a game changer and have affected the destinies of so so many.
Shujaa Neil, as I keep saying you are nothing short of our Honorary Education and Youth Affairs Secretary! Thank you for teaching us by your constant love, support and coaching that we can do it! Many are the lives you have so far touched through numerous bursaries you have so far awarded to your Kenyan youth. You are influential, supportive, compassionate and a true leader. Never give up on us!
Thinking of paradise, we all had it. This is the paradise you decided to offer us. I really much appreciate it. You make me a star and I promise to shine bright.
I lack words to express my sincere gratitude for what you have done in my life. I am deeply overwhelmed.
I lack words to express my great gratitude inter you. I’m deeply overwhelmed on what you (have) done to my life.