Martyn Sibley – Masters in Marketing

Martyn Sibley - Masters in Marketing Disabled

Martyn Sibley is an author, speaker, blogger, coach and podcaster. He advocates all over the world for people who are differently abled and needing to use a wheelchair for mobility.

Due to spinal muscular atrophy, Sibley uses a wheelchair to get around. In the beginning, he spent a lot of time overcoming challenges. He had to go through and recover from spinal fusion surgery, manage those attending to his personal care, struggle with housing that was inaccessible for people in wheelchairs, do fundraisers for mobility equipment, cope with societal stereotypes and fight pneumonia several times.

Martyn Sibley - Masters in Marketing Disabled

He maintained a positive attitude despite everything that life was throwing at him. He maintained focus on hard work and being resilient. Despite challenges, Sibley obtained his master’s degree in marketing, gained employment with a big NGO in London and learned how to use his hands to drive a car.

He eventually left the NGO and worked as a founder for other companies, such as Disability Horizons, which did not take long to become successful venture. He went on to travel the world, author “Everything is Possible” and work as a presenter for the BBC.

Martyn says that his life has been awesome. He is working and living his life identically: helping, learning, smiling and ambitious to experience new things alongside amazing people.

Martyn Sibley - Living Life As A Disabled Man

Sibley’s vision is to live in a world that is free of prejudice, barriers or discrimination. He says that he believes that this is possible as long as all people play their role in helping to achieve it.

Martyn’s goal in this world is to inform, change and inspire the world about social issues. He believes that big impact comes from small actions that accumulate over time.

In 2016, Powerful Media published their list of the 100 most successful people with a disability in Britain. Sibley was named number three on this list.

How long have you had to use a wheelchair?

I was diagnosed at 18 months with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2. Meaning I’ve never walked and have a weaker upper body too. So after outgrowing buggies, I had my first power chair aged 3.

What are your biggest challenges you must face as a wheelchair user?

As a wheelchair user I face 3 types of barriers: environmental, attitudinal and procedural. To overcome the environmental barriers, like steps, I need ramps and lifts. Obviously always in my chair. For attitudinal barriers, like asking my Personal Assistant how I like my tea or nastier prejudices, I’m outwardly educational. For procedural barriers, like phoning for rail ramp assistance 24 hours in advance, I’m both prepared and always ready to fight for my rights. Most of all thought, I’m a positive optimist, who looks for the good in every moment.

How has being in a wheelchair changed the way you deal with your daily life?

I have a team of Personal Assistant for my personal care, house work and getting out and about. With my chair and PA support; I work a lot on my businesses, travel the world regularly and enjoy a rich social life. I’ve never known another way of life, but I’d say I just have to think ahead and plan for all eventualities.

Who helped you the most to become who you are today?

There’s been lots of different influences. My parents fought for me to attend the local school, and ensured I was always included in everyday activities. I definitely get my can do attitude from them. Some teachers encouraged me to go on to higher education. Many friends were there during rougher moments, and family too. Now I have many mentors and coaches for my business. Some I’ve met, but most through blogs, books and videos.

Were there any books, podcasts, events, or people that helped you along your journey?

I’ve always enjoyed biographies. Richard Branson and Barack Obama stand out. I also read a lot from James Altucher, Seth Godin and Vishen Lakhiani. For great disabled people, I’ve had Baroness Jane Campbell as a mentor on our rights and our culture. Plus on my podcast I interviewed many disabled influencers. I regularly attend Mindvalley University each summer for inspiring speakers and community connections.

Please tell us how you got to where you’re at today

It’s impossible to share everything in an article. My book Everything is Possible shares my younger years, and all of my world travel and adventure.

Basically I had a good childhood, but my spinal fusion operation aged 15 was tough. I then finished my GCSEs, A levels and headed to university in Coventry. Having care support from new people, not mum and dad, was hard at first. But settled in, made friends, and got a 2:1 in Economics. Before getting a Masters in Marketing.

During the time, I learned to drive a car from my wheelchair, with my hands. Plus I took a trip to Australia with 2 PAs. I definitely got a taste for adventure. So I subsequently visited USA, Mexico, Japan, Egypt and over Europe many times.

Since leaving a great job in London to pursue my dreams, my businesses are supporting World Changers to make social good, and running Disability Horizons to empower disabled people. This has taken me to speak at global conferences, work with governments, collaborate with businesses and raise money for charity. I’m also a presenter and have worked for the BBC.

When I’m chilling, and not reading, I love music and football. I’ve watched Tottenham and England play many times. As well as blogging about gigs and festivals. More recently I like playing with our golden retriever puppy, and enjoying yummy meals with my fiance.


You can learn more about Martyn at Martynsibley.com and Disabilityhorizons.com.


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