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Marsh, Nigel 1964-

Marsh, Nigel 1964-

PERSONAL:

Born 1964; married, 1993; wife's name Kate; children: Alex, Harry, Grace, Eve (twins). Education: Holds a degree.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Bronte, New South Wales, Australia. Agent—ICMI Melbourne, P.O. Box 2311, Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia.

CAREER:

Author, motivational speaker, and performance coach. Worked as a railway worker, stand-up comic, squash coach, and health educator; worked in marketing in the United Kingdom at AMV BBDO and D'Arcy agencies; D'Arcy Australia, chief executive officer, 2001-2002; Leo Burnett Australia, chief executive officer for three years, became chairman. Founder of environmental initiative Earth Hour.

WRITINGS:

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Fat, Forty, and Fired: One Man's Frank, Funny, and Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life, Bantam (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2005, Andrews McMeel Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 2007.

Observations of a Very Short Man, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Fat, Forty, and Fired is being adapted for film and radio.

SIDELIGHTS:

Nigel Marsh is a businessman, author, and motivational speaker who documented a pivotal time in his life in the memoir Fat, Forty, and Fired: One Man's Frank, Funny, and Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life. Marsh had enjoyed a successful career in marketing in England before moving himself and his family to Australia to take over that country's branch of the powerful D'Arcy marketing firm. During his tenure in that position, D'Arcy rose to the top position in the UK New Business League, a significant achievement. Marsh's career success was considerable, but his personal life was suffering. He was overweight, felt distanced from his family, and was stressed by the pressure of maintaining his family's high-priced lifestyle.

Everything changed drastically for him when he lost his job due to corporate restructuring. About that same time, he had to undergo surgery as well. In a dramatic move, Marsh decided to allow himself a year to stay home, rather than throwing himself immediately into a new job search. He estimated that if his family readjusted their standard of living, they would have enough to live on for a year. He wanted to take that time to reevaluate his life, his health, and his relationships with his family. He discussed the matter with his wife, and they decided to go ahead with this plan.

Marsh threw himself into child care and involvement with the children's school, vowed to lose weight, and to spend time reconsidering his life. He wasn't prepared for how difficult the transition from his executive lifestyle would be. In an article published in the Guardian Online, he wrote: "A few weeks into my new life, I was shagged. Completely drained in a way that work never affected me. Work pressure energised me; the relentless domestic grind took my life force, crushed it…. But as I got further and further away from my office-slave routine, I started to gain glimpses of how a family could exist happily as one. The relentless grind got steadily less exhausting; the school run gradually ceased to be hell. I found I could get enormous amounts of joy out of the simplest of things."

After nine months, Marsh had regained his ideal weight, acknowledged his drinking problem and become sober, bonded with his family, and begun training for a swimming competition. After nine months at home, he was offered a new job. As much as he had come to love his new routine, he needed to go back to earning wages so he accepted the position. He felt his outlook had been changed irrevocably, but after only a few weeks back at work, he noticed the old patterns beginning to return. He also realized that his job was important to his identity, and that victories in the work world could actually be more rewarding than the daily realities of child-rearing.

Pondering the difficulty of maintaining balance between his personal and professional life, Marsh stated in Guardian Online: "I haven't got any answers. But I do look at things differently now. I have stopped looking for perfection. Life is hard. Most of us will have to struggle, whatever choices we make. Admitting this to myself was liberating. I started to put my focus on trying to enjoy the struggle rather than attempting to create a mythical stress-free nirvana. I started to praise myself for the small victories rather than beat myself up for the bigger failure of not having a perfect life."

In writing his account of his pivotal year, one of Marsh's goals was to be completely honest, even if it put him in an unflattering light, or forced him to say something that might make others uncomfortable. A Publishers Weekly reviewer believed that the author's best writing was in "the intimate and often humorous moments he shares as he reconnects" with his family. Fat, Forty, and Fired is written in a light tone and contains many comic moments, but successfully takes on serious issues as well, resulting in "a very funny but also enlightening and inspiring" narrative, according to David Pitt in Booklist. Marsh, in his interview on the Andrews McMeel Web site, stated that many people found his book inspirational, which he thought was "wonderful … but also a little weird as I wasn't trying to be anything other than funny and honest. For other people to get something more from the book than I intended is a lovely bonus."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Marsh, Nigel, Fat, Forty, and Fired: One Man's Frank, Funny, and Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life, Bantam (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2005, Andrews McMeel Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 2007.

Marsh, Nigel, Observations of a Very Short Man, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Australasian Business Intelligence, September 22, 2003, "Leo Burnett Rehires Chief," p. 1008264.

B&T Weekly, September 8, 2006, Heather Jacobs, "Nigel Marsh Steps Back from Leo Burnett," p. 1.

Booklist, April 15, 2007, David Pitt, review of Fat, Forty, and Fired, p. 8.

Bookseller, June 2, 2006, review of Fat, Forty, and Fired, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, March 12, 2007, review of Fat, Forty, and Fired, p. 47.

ONLINE

Andrews McMeel Publishing Web site,http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/ (November 25, 2007), biographical information about, and interview with, Nigel Marsh.

Claxton Speakers International Web site,http://www.claxtonspeakers.com.au/ (November 25, 2007), biographical information about Nigel Marsh.

Guardian Online,http://www.guardian.co.uk/ (May 20, 2006), Nigel Marsh, "Fat, Forty, and Fired."

ICMI Speakers and Entertainers Web site,http://www.icmi.com.au/ (November 25, 2007), biographical information about Nigel Marsh.

Nigel Marsh Home Page,http://www.fatfortyandfired.com (November 26, 2007).

Saxton Speakers Bureau Web site,http://www.saxton.com.au/ (November 26, 2007), biographical information about Nigel Marsh.

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