- October 11, 2016
Where did you grow up and study?
I was born in Birmingham but brought up in Nuneaton (town next to Coventry). I studied for my BSc and MSc in Salford (Manchester) with a year spent in Toldeo, USA. I then studied my PhD in Leicester, at the MRC Toxicology Unit.
What were your family values instilled at an early age and what did you learn from your parents?I grew up with 3 siblings and with a very large extended family of cousins close by. We grew up in each other’s houses. So from a very early age, family was very important to me. Being one of the eldest, I was always told to look after my younger siblings, be more responsible and to try and be a role model for them and my cousins.
My educational drive was from my mother who would always help me (where she could) with my homework when I was very young. Whereas my strong work ethic was instilled by my father, who would always make me work on the factory floor during school holidays. I used to also accompany him on delivery runs to London on weekends.
What was your life like whilst growing up?Growing up as a child in the seventies and eighties seems completely different to as it is now when I look at my own children. I would stay out late playing my with my siblings, cousins friends in the local parks, on our bikes, trekking around the local farms and along the river. There was never an element of fear for our safety or that we would get into any danger. There were plenty of bumps and scrapes – but this was part of the journey of growing up.
A very fond memory is the weekly ritual of going down the pub with my father for a glass of coke and a packet of smoky bacon flavoured crisps.
What is your current job?…if it’s your own business, did you spot gap in the market?…what have you learnt from this experience?My current role is an IT Service Delivery Manager for an Oil & Gas major. I’ve been working in IT for the past (nearly) 18 years, mainly in Investment Banks.
But my passion is my coaching. Having had enough of just doing the daily grind of being in the corporate world, I started on a path of self-discovery and self-development. About 18 months ago, I started my own Executive Life Coaching practice under The Clear Coach brand (www.TheClearCoach.com). This has brought me clients from different backgrounds, different cultures and different business. I’ve had opportunities to network, make new friends and enjoy life with a new vigour. Most importantly, it’s shown me how I can be better for my family.
Anyone who has started their own business will attest that not only do you need to be a specialist in your area, but you also need to become good at marketing yourself and great in sales. This experience has made me a better networker and has taught me that it’s not about how many connections you have on social media, but how you build a relationship with them.
In which direction or path you want your career/job to takeInteresting question, as I think if you ask most people, they probably would not know or would only give you an answer related to their current role and the trajectory that would take. It was definitely the case for me.
I now know that I want to take my coaching practice full-time and it is just a question of building it up to make that eventual cross-over from my ‘day job’. Alongside my coaching, I know there will opportunities for motivational speaking, delivery of workshops and many other opportunities to inspire people to discover their purpose.
My life used to be about the pursuit of wealth, but now it about the pursuit of happiness.
What advice would you give to startups, young people studying or leaving University?I’ve come across to many young people who have jumped into the first job that has come along, without really thinking if they will be happy in it. Or others who have business ideas that have not been fully though through.
My advice would be to build your network (join networking groups like Asians In Business), engage with it and learn to give before expecting anything in return. Friends and family are great for advice, but they mainly ‘keep you safe’. But to really make it, you need take risks as well. So get yourself an advisor, a mentor or a coach to guide, support and challenge you.
Can you give us a closing comment for this interview?We worry too much, we overthink things, we judge, our evolved brain focuses on safety first – the negatives, we give up easily or we don’t try hard enough. I always say to my kids, “Life is simple.” But to ensure it is simple, you need to change your outlook on life. You need to become resilient.
There’s a quote from Rocky Balboa that resonates with me that I’d like to share, “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”