Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Shields, CEO of The Life Practice Academy, located in Hitchin, England, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an international transformational training academy and creators of the world-renowned CAM Transformational Coaching Methodology. We attract students from all over the globe who want to become certified CAM Transformational Coaches with a view to setting up private practices to help people achieve profound change in their lives.
Tell us about yourself
I was a former director for an international bank and reached the pinnacle of my career. I had the perfect life living in the Channel Islands with my family and managing a global investment business. One day by chance, I saw a television program called the Life Guru. The program showed real-life examples of people with lifelong deep psychological problems fixed live on television by the show's expert. It fascinated me. I contacted the show's expert and asked him to train me to do the same. A year later id left my big job and set up as a life and business strategist transforming people's lives and businesses. Everyone thought I was mad; after all, who would give up everything for seemingly nothing other than being able to help people change their lives? We went from strength to strength with regular appearances in the media, radio, and tv; a highlight was getting a business executive with a life king fear of flying onto an airplane live on television.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being recognised as one of the top training academies in the world with over 12 awards in the last five years, including three global 100 awards. In addition, seeing our CAM Coach book sell thousands of copies in over 30 countries, with the content appearing on the health degree syllabus at several UK universities.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
We love what we do and have such a passion for every facet of our business we rarely switch off and dedicate time to things that are not related to what we do. What I do every day is not like going to work; however, I am aware I need to do more outside of the business and take more proper breaks and put the business down regularly and have "me time "every month.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you have a good business idea, do your research, start by working out who your ideal client is and start from there. Many do it the other way around.
- Don't let fear and anxiety stop you. Recognise we're all afraid of the unknown, and it's quite normal to be nervous when starting and growing a business today.
- Manage your finances extremely robustly. Cash flow is king. Protect it like the Crown Jewels and forecast all spending and its impact before parting with your cash.
- Be resilient, always persevere and never give up. Change and Pivot when you need to and embrace the change rather than resisting it.
- Model excellence. Have a vision for your business and find a business in the world doing something similar that is successful. Model excellence, behaviours, approaches, and most of all learn the psychology of the business creators and directors. Model the psychology.
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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