Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. John Blakey, Founder, and CEO of The Trusted Executive, located in Solihull, West Midlands, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Trusted Executive is a leadership development organization whose mission is to create a new standard of leadership defined by trustworthiness. Our customers are board levels leaders and their teams in the private, public and third sectors.
Tell us about yourself
My motivation comes from my faith. I have a ten-year personal mission to gift over £1m to UK-based Christian-led charities that are inclusive at the point of need. This is why I set up The Trusted Executive in 2016 as a not-for-profit that gifts all its profits to our charitable foundation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Accomplishment can be measured in many different ways. I am immensely proud that five years into our ten-year mission, the business has gifted £0.25m to our charitable foundation, and this money is being used to transform the lives of disadvantaged people. I am also thrilled that the Nine Habits of Trust model that came from my six years of doctoral research at Aston Business School has now been used by thousands of leaders around the globe to help them build high-trust business cultures.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing about being a business owner is that the feeling of responsibility is with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When it is a business founded on your own research and writing, then everything is highly personal. It is your 'baby,' and you take it all very seriously. I have to work hard to 'switch off.'
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start with why: be clear about why you are starting a business. What is the mission that will sustain you through difficult times? It is unlikely that making money alone is a sufficient purpose.
- Tap into the experienced advice that always surrounds you. I have two Non-Executive Directors whose support and counsel are invaluable.
- Create a scaleable system. Your job as an entrepreneur is to work on your business, not in your business. How can you create the team, systems, and processes that will allow you to step away in due course?
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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