Katie Piper survived an acid attack to become a bestselling author, international speaker and TV presenter. In this fascinating interview, Rob talks with Katie about her passion for passive income, how she spends her day and her story post her attack. This is an inspirational story of overcoming a tragic event in their twenties to creating a successful personal and business career. Katie talks through how to become more confident in your life, how she has created multiple streams of income and how to deal with rejection.
How has the attack defined you and your work now? There are so many things that have defined me. I am a different person now to the woman I was in my 20s. I always think that there is a good thing around the corner even when the shit really hits the fan. I’ve always been self-employed and know the stress and excitement of being self-employed. I trained as a beauty therapist, and worked harder and harder, longer hours to make a bit more money. The attack changed me in a second, but the stress I experienced before prepared me to become more resilient
What does your week look like? No day is the same, which is why I want this path. I thought I was stupid at school, but I realised I just wasn’t academic. When I was childless and single I said yes to everything and that has led to burnout. But nowadays I say no to more things, and I do work for free doing things. I’m a massive believer in creating passive income, and I want to spend more time with my kids. My charitable things have helped my commercial ventures as well.
What do you do for free? That would be on a case by case basis, and I get hundreds of enquiries every day. If I think I can help, I’ll say yes, but if it means I will miss my kid's bedtime for the third night in a row then I would say no. You can set up a business and not pay yourself but it’s an asset for the future like my podcast. I’m interested in investing in property, because in the media the income can be up and down month to month. Progressive gave me the confidence to invest in property. I try and not put all my eggs in one basket.
Katie was a stage name. Before I got attacked I wanted to have a stage name. In the hospital, I saw a psychologist every day and they asked me to write things down. This helped me process those deep and dark thoughts. I decided to put these together in a manuscript and sent it off to publishers. I was rejected for one year. I would post it off every Friday and got rejected a lot. After my documentary, I gained a platform and was able to gain a publishing contract for my autobiography. I’ve been writing ever since.
How do you become more confident? I don’t think it is a fixed thing. I’m confident in some areas of my life, and not so much in others. A lot of people want to have consistency in confidence. Confidence is often associated with appearance a lot of the time but this can sometimes be momentary and not sustained. Confidence is about acceptance about how the world is. You should always try and learn more things and gain confidence that way. In the modern world with social media, it can be easy to end up envying others, and believing in a facade.
I want to show my kids what the world is really like. I’m really honest with my kids about stuff and treat her like an edited adult. I like people to treat me honestly in life, and it’s easier to deal with rejection that way. If we stop talking about these things then they become a negative bigger thing.
Getting things done has real satisfaction. This changes when you have staff though. I went through a period with my business where we had people leaving all the time. Not everyone works in that way, and it can be difficult. It’s hard to understand when everyone doesn’t want to get stuff done in your way. You have to realise that you need different skills in a team, and you need people different from you.
I get nervous, and a little bit of self-doubt before I go on TV. That responsibility is good. That nervousness is something that you can embrace. When that stops you have gone flat. It’s like reviews however where they are really individual opinions. You can be the best version of you and do the best speech you’ve ever done but some people will always hate what you’ve done.
If you do care about people you can’t empty your cup because then you can’t help anyone. In Britain, we don’t always tell the truth. When we ask each other, ‘how we are?’ we don’t always tell the truth. You have to take this on a case by case basis however, you don’t have to tell the truth all the time. You can have a facade sometimes to protect yourself but other times it’s good, to tell the truth.
Money does rule me because I associate money with security. Money gives me opportunity and choice. I accumulate money but I don’t really spend it. I don’t really spend money on designer labels, I wear Topshop, and rent a designer dress for the day to go on TV. If I did a job different to mine then I might have spent my money differently. I send my most money on food, I always cook from scratch. It’s in the £100’s of pounds for seven days. I want to live long and I don’t want my injuries to shorten my life.
What does disruptive mean to you? It’s about being unapologetically you. When I was younger people put limits on what I can do. I would put a picture of myself without make-up one but a lot of people will not like that. That might not always turn out well, but that doesn’t matter what people think. It’s about being accepting of who you are.
‘What happened to me was a very small snapshot.’
‘If you’re a victim you didn’t survive.’
‘I’ve always known that struggle and have to have a work ethic’
‘When I was in my twenties my job was connected to my aesthetic.’
‘I always think that I experienced something that people experience in their 70’s.’
‘I was like a toddler in my twenties.’
‘I learn in a different way.’
‘I’m a big believer in charities, as they helped me so much.’
‘I don’t carry guilt if I’m working hard.’
‘Private healthcare can’t stop you from dying.’
‘I’ve become less interested in money, and have a less traditional relationship with money.’
‘It never really is working for free.’
‘I want to put good stuff out there.’
‘I am a controlled risk-taker.’
‘Life is unpredictable.’
‘My book was in the number 1 bestseller Times list.’
‘With self-help, a lot of it is recycled.’
‘I don’t always believe in no, just no right now.’
‘Confidence is about acceptance.’
‘Online you can start envying a facade.’
‘Sales don’t define books.’
‘Nothing is as catastrophic as you think it is.’
‘It’s hard to understand when everyone doesn’t want to get stuff done in your way.’
‘Don’t judge people on your own standards.’
‘Ego is also not asking for help.’
‘Depression isn’t a choice.’
‘To be vulnerable is scary but you can develop your resilience.’
‘The purpose of a critic is to keep us in balance.’
‘Sometimes people put you on a pedestal and it isn’t always helpful.’
‘I invest in my health more than my clothes.’
‘I got criminal money and then didn’t do anything with it for two years.’
‘Some of our judicial systems is not fit for purpose.’
‘Don’t oversell a product, be real.’
‘I was forced to be me, after being disfigured.’
Episode #340 T.D.E With Dom Joly iTunes | Stitcher
ABOUT THE HOST
Rob Moore is an author of 9 business books, 5 UK bestsellers, holds 3 world records for public speaking, entrepreneur, property investor and property educator. Author of global bestseller “Life Leverage” Host of UK’s No.1 business podcast “The Disruptive Entrepreneur”
“If you don't risk anything, you risk everything”
Rob’s official website: https://robmoore.com/
About the Guest
Katie Piper is a best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner. Katie made the decision to share her story in a remarkable film for the Cutting Edge strand on Channel 4 called ‘Katie: My Beautiful Face’ which was watched by over 3.5million viewers and nominated for Best Single Documentary at the BAFTA Television Awards in 2010.
In 2009 she set up a charity The Katie Piper Foundation to help people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities. Simon Cowell supported Katie by becoming the patron and remains actively involved to date. The charity’s vision is a world where scars do not limit a person’s function, social inclusion or sense of well-being. In addition to her charity and writing commitments, Katie is also a TV presenter.