What do you currently do?
I am co-founder of Calm People. We design and deliver Emotional Resilience Programmes for organisations. Many companies have mission statements that say ‘Our employees are our greatest asset’. We help them really deliver on that mission statement. My role is one of product development, marketing and being an ambassador for our brand. This involves me in working with partners to develop emotional resilience programmes for their teams with the broad aim of enhancing ability to deal with change, stress and the bigger challenges that today’s business environment brings. As an Ambassador for Calm (that’s what it says on my business card) I spend a lot of time giving talks and speaking at seminars about change and how our ability to change the world has far outpaced our evolutionary speed.
What is your inspiration in business?
No one person inspires me but I see strengths I admire in many famous people such as Richard Branson, Duncan Bannatyne and Bradley Wiggins. They show a remarkable emotional resilience and the inspiration that they give me that I would share is that when a business fails, that means it failed. It does not make the person in the business a failure. William D Brown said “Failure is an event. Never a person.” I am also drawn to Bradley Wiggins because of his ability to win cleanly in a sport that has long had a problem with its values and beliefs. He is a great role model.
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
With the benefit of hindsight I would not have given up so much control of marketing and branding to someone else. I could have had more confidence in my own ability and passion for building a brand that has meaning and that communicates my ethos. Now I am in control of my own brand everything I say and do is in absolute alignment and congruence with what I want to achieve and how I want to help the wider business community change.
What defines your way of doing business?
A personal connection with the work I do. I am aware and very open and honest about my own personal journey and that the road I am on is long and continuous. I do not pretend to be the finished article because there is no such thing. My life is one of rising every day and meeting the challenges of being human and individual whilst also wanting to be part of my tribe. The key to personal development is realising that it is integral to life, business and personal and not something separate that we do for maybe one hour a week. Those that get this are those that will be evolving, changing and adapting continually and leading productive, enriched and happy lives. I could have shortened this paragraph by simply saying ‘I live my work’.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Take advice from experts. Make sure your marketing budget is the largest budget you have and then double it. Do not hide behind the internet and do not think a website will generate sales unless you are in a commodity-led business. A website rarely gets you anything. Be imaginative with your website. I use my website to engage with people by providing interactive tests such as our free Stress Test. This also supplies us with data which we can use to support press releases about stress. We write blogs that engage people and enable them to do their own research into what we are talking about. Finally, I find a great way of connecting with people is the public and conference speaking I get employed for. Connecting with people gets you into conversations that develop into propositions that lead to deals. Finally, take your emotional resilience seriously. Starting out involves dealing with rejection, having setbacks and still staying strong.