What do you currently do?
I’m a Principal at Northstar Research Partners, a market research and consultancy company, providing insights and direction to a range of Fortune 500 clients in multiple markets.
We call ourselves a “global boutique”, big enough to operate on the world stage but small enough to provide a tailored service. We invest where it matters – in thinking and knowledge, not process – and have a ‘best of breed’ model working with local partners selected to help us solve each client’s problems.
No faux proprietary tools, no cod “branded processes” – instead a bespoke service from informed thinkers – experts in brand strategy and sensitive to commercial needs – our people are our biggest assets.
What is your inspiration in business?
It all boils down to one word – CHALLENGE. Although I do enjoy certainty in my life, I rely on my work to balance this out and provide some uncertainty. A good consulting challenge makes me feel alive, it’s why I do what I do. Staff development is also a key component of this as I watch over the progress of highly intelligent graduates as they transform into experienced veterans – this is our business model and there is no greater satisfaction for me!
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Not a chance. Everything I’ve gone through over the years has led to this moment. Don’t get me wrong, striving for something is no easy feat and there were times in my career where the grind was almost unbearable. But with persistence, dedication and an ever enduring desire for growth and contribution, I was able to literally power through those tough moments that now define me in this business. Clients come to me get the “tough jobs” done, and that’s a position I would never want to relinquish.
What defines your way of doing business?
Work hard, play hard pretty much sums things up. As an entrepreneurial company, everyone “fires on all cylinders” each and every day. But we continually encourage, train and develop as well as reward our people. Our team’s mindset promotes overachievement every day and they all care about the success of the business. They always help each other and foster a ‘community of care’ – it’s like a family really and that makes all the difference.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
There are only three bits of wisdom really, the rest flow from these. The first is a positive, can-do and cooperative attitude. It sounds like a cliché but it’s true and there is no substitute. Selfishness and negativity have no role in this business. The second is determination and faith. You need to have goals alongside the willpower to, and belief in, achieving them. Striving come before both thriving and arriving. The third piece of advice is balance. You can easily get pulled into a work-oriented lifestyle but you’ll need to balance it out in order to sustain yourself and achieve your goals. Be patient but persistent, things don’t happen overnight but they will happen. Success is a function of time, and time is needed for experience, maturity and wisdom. The journey is the destination so enjoy the ride.