Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and organisational development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Hughes, Co-Founder of Quintessential Performance, located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, UK.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Quintessential Performance is a global Human Performance Agency. We see a world where every person has the knowledge, skills, and attitude required to unlock their potential and maximise their own performance. We are on a mission to build peak-performing individuals, teams, and organisations.

We are results-focused, purpose-driven, and action-oriented. We work with people who are aligned with our values and standards, people who are dedicated to improving their own lives with the guidance that we can provide.

Tell us about yourself

It was a miserable winter Sunday evening in 2016; I was on the road for a number of hours driving back to work, leaving my family behind for another week away yet again. My mind began to wander, there must be more that I could do, a more positive impact that I could have on people’s lives.

It was during this drive that the kernel of what would become QP was born. In 2017, whilst out of the country for 6 months with work, I made the time to design and begin to build QP. I reached out to a very close friend, someone who I wanted to take the journey with me, and in 2018 we registered QP as a company... now it was time for action.

The passion that keeps me going every single day is the love I have for helping others, the challenges and rewards running your own business can bring, and the fact that we are positively impacting the people we serve.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have three: first is the fact that the business exists at all. QP was born through adversity, grew during a global pandemic, and continues to thrive during an economic downturn. Second, our first paying client was an FTSE100 organisation. Third, the work we are doing alongside women in business to help balance the gender inequality that still exists in the corporate environment.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The buck stops with you. You are responsible for everyone and everything that goes on in the business. Failure or success, you are to blame. This is a humbling duty that is entrusted upon every leader within the business; we are trusted to do the right thing whilst doing things right. It is difficult at times, especially when others are relying on you and your decisions. It is also the greatest privilege to have.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Figure out what you are really good at, and double down on these skills.
  2. Figure out what you are not so good at, and try to develop these skills, or pay someone to do them as soon as you can.
  3. Take action! A strategy without action is just a dream. Take action, learn from the experience, adapt, and then take more action. You will never be perfect, and if you wait for perfection, then you will never begin. Once you begin, you will find out what works and what does not.
  4. Enjoy the process. If you don’t, then you need to find something else.

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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