Mark is someone I met via Twitter and we have just been chatting ever since. I first found Mark on Twitter when he posted a video of his 2 year old daughter ‘teaching HIM some things’ the video was adorable! As I am sure you can imagine. From there we had some Skype calls and have become great friends. Next year Mark will be making his way down to Austin for SXSW and I look forward to meeting him in person and hanging out with him. If you haven’t connected with Mark, go ahead and do so now. 🙂
Mark on Twitter.
How did you get your start?
I was working in hospitality at the time. I always wanted to have my own business, be my own boss, create something with my own DNA running through it’s veins. I was working 50+ hour weeks in an industry which is brutal and in many ways thankless, nevertheless if you’ve worked in hospitality you will know it is a great learning curve and helps you build character.
During this time of soul searching and wanting to establish my own business, I came across a woman called Dani Johnson whom I had seen on an American TV program back in England. The language Dani used spoke deep into my heart, Dani talked about Market place ministry, working with people and communities to make a difference. The words Dani shared resonated with me, the touch paper had been well and truly lit, the only disappointing thing was Dani lived in California in the USA and I lived in England. To my amazement before the program finished Dani announced she would be coming to London England for the first time for a 2 day conference. I had to be there. I booked my ticket that night and made arrangements to stay in London and attend what was the kick-starter of my own Mentoring business.
I remember my boss on Friday asking me what I had planned for the weekend. I had shared how I had came across Dani Johnson and I had paid to go away for the weekend in the hope I would better myself. My boss was blown away by my desire to improve both personally and professionally that he paid my own hotel accommodation out of his own pocket. I will never forget that act of kindness and I give my old boss Kudos in my book “ Inside Job”.
We all need a helping hand and my boss gave me the encouragement I needed to maximize this 2 day event with Dani. The fundamental lesson I learned during this 2 day break was this “ Increasing your skill will increase your value, increasing your value will make the marketplace pay more for what you do and the way you think “
The way I got started was investing in myself, that is the greatest and most exciting way to get excited. The greatest opportunities are not out in this world, the greatest opportunities are already within you. You just have to get them out.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
My hunger and desire to want to positively influence all that I meet and engage with grew and grew. I had a natural gift for creating an environment where people felt comfortable being themselves and encouraging them to be brutally honest in order to move forward.
My own personal development journey enabled me to not only benefit personally but to create a map of strategies which I could then encourage others to tap into and reveal other secrets in order for people to become the best versions of themselves. I began reading lots of books, interviewing and asking great questions to super achievers. I began and completed leadership courses, business consultancy and life coaching diploma’s. I took something from each sphere of influence and grafted together the nucleus of key components which resonated with me to create a personal GPS system which I utilize with all new clients which reveals blind spots, efficiencies and deficiencies.
I will never stop learning, I don’t focus on other coaches or mentors, I focus on improving me, the way I think, act and behave. I continue to self educate and listen. I take time to reflect and I have a personal development plan. We must all follow the success equation, find you passion, add to it what you are naturally gifted at and apply it to the people and organisations you want to do it with, then it’s a question of producing actions which are measurable and effective and having faith in your own identity and purpose.
How do you define success as a business owner?
I have asked this question to thousands of people on my radio show “ Talk Business” which I host on behalf of Radio Plus Coventry. Many people share many different views. I personally believe that ONLY you can define it. What success looks to you may not look like success to me. I am happy with my definition, having contemplated the question for 2 years I am finally settled on my definition, but it is down to you to decide what it is and then go get it. My definition of success is simple “ To be at peace with myself “ For me, success is a internal accomplishment and not an external one. It is a journey and not a destination. When I go to bed each night, I asked myself “ Am I at peace with myself “ Honestly? My answer can change from day to day, however this is my goal. Can I put my hand on my heart and say, “ I gave the best of myself, I was authentic and true to myself, If I can, then I am at peace, if not, I go again tomorrow.
If you were to design the perfect team of 4 people to help you run this company, what characteristics would those four people have?
I love questions on “ Integrity ” and “ Character “. I am a firm believer that the greatest asset any business has is an incredible “ reputation “ A person and or business success will be determined by the health of their reputation. With that in mind, one of the key characteristics of any people I decide to work with has to demonstrate and live out of high levels of Integrity. Integrity is about what you do when nobody else is watching – CS Lewis.
Coupled with High levels of Integrity they have to have grit. A mental strength that despite the challenge, obstacle or set back, will regroup, take stock, reflect and go again.
They must have a drive and vision to be the best version of themselves and demonstrate high levels of enthusiasm and a “ Can do “ attitude. You can always develop a skill or talent but you either have the right attitude or you don’t. Having a characteristic which insists on self development means an individual will stay teachable and as they grow personally and professionally in turn the business will flourish with greater ideas.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
That is an awesome question, I seek advice from my success buddy. Everyone should have someone whom they check in with regularly to celebrate wins, confess losses and seek advice and help from. I work with mentors as I believe in the process of mentoring and fully believe you can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.
I am constantly reading and listening to podcasts from fellow change makers and thought leaders. I have different mentors for different areas of my life, from physical to spiritual mentors who can advise me. When you seek council, you are really wanting to know the way someone thinks towards a situation and hopefully they have been through the scenario and can prevent you going through some unnecessary pain.