Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alex Darby, Director of Alex Darby Co., located in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I always say I'm a revolutionary! I help people revolutionise their lives and businesses using leadership and coaching techniques whilst having a focus on health and mindset. I work with startups, CEOs, and those wanting to make an impact in the world. I also help women navigate their menopause, making sure it doesn't mess with their plans.
Tell us about yourself
For twenty years, before starting my own business, I worked for the UK's largest hospitality business. I ran flagship venues, employed big teams, managed vast crowds, and made millions. I saved lives on dance floors, launched national brands, managed massive corporate events, and became head of communications for the entire business. On the surface, my life was perfect. I had a big job, a good salary, and a recently extended house. I was married with a wonderful baby daughter, had a large group of friends, and had a swanky car on the drive. Everyone thought I had it all. In reality, my life was a mess.
A serendipitous turn of events meant I had the good fortune of being diagnosed with breast cancer, which gave me the opportunity to see just how unhappy I'd become. My marriage was a disaster; I hated the extension on my house. I was up to my neck in debt, and I spent so much time running around avoiding having to think about it that I was completely exhausted. That was the start of my revolution. My life has been one big revolution in the ten years since that diagnosis. I left my big job and started helping others revolutionise their own lives to help people experience what I had, minus the cancer.
I went from poor health, no exercise, bad debt, toxic relationships, and that sinking feeling each day to meeting that man and marrying him, running a marathon, being in the best shape of my life, owning my own business whilst constantly evolving. I'm motivated by the fact that life can be amazing, sometimes, we need someone who's got the credentials and the experience to show us the way, and if I can be that person for as many people as possible, it's all been worth it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being the front cover story for the Shropshire life magazine when my first book was published and when I launched my business was a wonderful start. Networking and learning from some exceptional business leaders have been mind-blowing, but the best accomplishments I will always experience are my clients' results. There is nothing better than seeing transformation and joy unfold.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a new business owner, I wanted to do everything myself. Preserving cash whilst creating a brand, a marketing strategy, and social media posts, all whilst pitching to clients, can only be a short-term strategy because there are only so many hours in the day. It's a necessary part and really exciting part of starting your business. My advice is to get help before you think you need it to enable you to grow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Schedule everything, even when it's time to walk the dog. I used my schedule to create my boundaries, so I didn't drift. Going from a corporate environment with structures already in place to your own business, if you're a solo worker to start with, use your schedule to create your structure.
- Build a network of other entrepreneurs so you can ask those questions that have the ability to hold you back. It can be a lifesaver to be able to pick up the phone from someone who gets it.
- Ignore what everyone else is doing. Comparisonitis is a thing that can drive you wild and create all sorts of self-doubt. Stick to your plan.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I left a 20-year career with the same company, I was totally institutionalised! Working for myself has been the best thing I've ever done with my career. So go for it! You'll never feel ready, and there'll be days you forget your reasons why, but have those reasons somewhere close so you can refresh your memory. Let your values guide you towards your vision.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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