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For this weeks Start-up Series, Abi spoke to Darran Hughes from The Mindful Man. 

What did you want to do when you grew up?

Have I ever grown up? When I was growing up as a kiddie I wanted to be an adventurer and then a solider but once the world took hold I wanted to become an engineer.

MM LogoWhat inspired you to start The Mindful Man?

The freedom! I spent the majority of my adult life working for other people and helping them to build and lead their business. Then I realised that all the success I was bringing wasn’t actually mine and I wanted the freedom to live my life on my terms and make the choices that I wanted as opposed to being confined to another persons ideology

What were you doing prior to The Mindful Man?

I spent about three years on consulting projects and contract work, and prior to that I was invited to go over to Canada to build a business over there, so that was my last time of employment.

What have you found most rewarding about having The Mindful Man?

Freedom! It’s the very fact that it’s your decisions. You get to choose how hard you work, when you work, why you work and who you work for. While there’s a misapprehension that you stroll in at 10 o’clock and have a three-hour lunch, ultimately, I work as hard now as I have ever done. The difference being it’s on my terms and for my business’ benefit that I have designed to benefit me.

What have you found most challenging about The Mindful Man?

I don’t think I’ve found anything challenging, there are things that I might find a little bit harder and those are the things that are the difference between being an employee and a business owner. You have to do everything yourself, I was used to having a team of accountants, I was used to having a HR department taking care of everything. Particularly as a sole trader like myself you do everything, even if you don’t do it on a functional level you are still responsible for outsourcing it. You have to find the right people.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 5-10 years time?

I’ve got to the point now that to try and imagine anything in 5-10 years time is crazy but in saying that, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be doing what I love and I will still be doing it with that sense of freedom. So what my business looks like I wouldn’t try to predict but I know that it will be on my terms.

Do you have any tips for starting a business?

I have lots of tips for starting a business, being a business coach! However, I would say that fundamentally the one thing you have to understand is why you’re starting your business. Without the why, it doesn’t matter how much of the techniDarrancal side of running the business you know, it’s got to be the why that determines how quickly you bounce back from any set backs and how much you’re really willing to commit to making your vision and business a success.

How did you find your niche?

By accident! All of the jobs and success I’ve had, were about building and leading businesses and then one day I decided I wanted to go out on my own. On a little bit of reflection I identified that I was a success in those things because of my ability to coach. My nickname is ‘the hammer’ because of my ability to hit the nail on the head in terms of both business and as an individual. There is something very rewarding about being able to take a person or a business from where they are today to where they want to be.

If you could, would you do anything differently?

Yes! I would start earlier! I shouldn’t have waited all those years! However, having said that I think I had to go through those years to know what I know now and to give me a big enough reason to start my own business!

Thank you Darren! If you want any more information on The Mindful Man you can follow their Twitter, Facebook or go to their website