I am a huge advocate for female entrepreneurs
Women today are independent, focused and making an impact
By Nika Jazaee
Mark started off his entrepreneur career at the age of 27. He has a long experience in the entrepreneurial industry and is currently writing for Entrepreneur Magazine and has released his second book ‘Plot Twist’. You can also find him speaking business on his latest radio show ‘Talk Business’ for Radio Plus Coventry. He is currently working on an online platform and an online show with co-presenter Natalie Crawford. Mark tells us here about his belief of how we change what is happening on the outside by changing our inward dialogue.
When did you first realise that you are an entrepreneur?
It’s an interesting question. I speak about whether entrepreneurs are born or made in my book, Inside Job. I talk a lot about having the right environment to birth that entrepreneurial gene. I believe, as human beings, we all have an entrepreneurial spirit within us, but this doesn’t always mean we’re all entrepreneurs. Just as a butterfly started out as a caterpillar, becoming an entrepreneur requires the right environment and culture to be able to go through the necessary metamorphosis. Not all caterpillars turn into butterflies and not all human beings will have the right opportunity, environment or culture to be an entrepreneur. I must admit the word “entrepreneur” is brandished around quite a bit. The definition of the word includes being a risk taker or bearer of risk. We could get hung up on the definition, and we often do get hung up on titles and positions. I always had an itch to create my own money, to have a self-sustaining life by generating my own economy. My grandparents were serial entrepreneurs, and I certainly think that DNA and level of exposure opened my eyes to it.
I always had an itch to create my own money, to have a self-sustaining life by generating my own economy.
Research indicates the majority of entrepreneurs had a problematic childhood. Mine was no different. Coming from a broken family, my childhood was challenging but also served me in many ways. An entrepreneur has a great ability to problem solve. I had to grow up fast at only 8 years old, and that caused me to adapt, be resourceful and find solutions to problems. That is one of the key fundamentals to being an entrepreneur— finding problems and being the solution. The entrepreneurial itch was there from a young age, but I didn’t start to take business risks and provide solutions to problems until I was about 27 years of age. It wasn’t until I started to invest in myself that the required environment took centre-stage, and I could transition from the industrial revolution to the entrepreneurial revolution.
Tell us a little about your debut book, Inside Job?
I love to write. Writing is a great vehicle to impact the way people see the world. I had been working with entrepreneurs for a couple of years and decided my unorthodox approach was having an affect on my life and the lives of those with whom I was working. I believed some of the teaching, strategies and blueprints would serve more people by making it more broadly accessible in book form. I often say everyone has a book in them, but I also don’t believe everyone has two books in them. This is one of the reasons I wrote my latest book, Plot Twist. I wrote Inside Job because I believed that if it impacted just one person in the whole of the world it was worth writing. I also didn’t want only the people who could afford my fees to benefit from such a wealth of knowledge, failings and successes. The basis for Inside Job is that we are all only as good as we think. If we want to change our outward experience, we must first change our inward dialogue. We hear over and over again that everything we have starts in our mind. We become debt free in our mind before we see it manifest in our bank account, we decide to lose weight first in our mind and then watch the manifestation of losing weight in reality. Everything in the world began with someone simply thinking it. We have a great responsibility and challenge to create actions from our thoughts.
We have a great responsibility and challenge to create actions from our thoughts.
Inside Job shares lots of stories, life hacks and strategies to really help strengthen you, solidify your WHY and keep you moving forward. It challenges the reader to make this life a really great one because we only have one shot at it. As Healy said on Amazon, “I received #insidejob this morning and had read from cover to cover by the afternoon! Mark Sephton’s book is a compelling and inspiring examination of the power of our thoughts to fully unlock our potential to achieve success. Having completed two post graduate leadership qualifications, I’m well versed in the skills and actions required to effect positive change and improvement. Sephton’s book is a uniquely brilliant and insightful guide, examining the concept, that, by paying attention to our thoughts, attitudes and reflections, we can unlock our fullest potential and attract great and exciting opportunities. Because the magic happens when you draw a line in the sand and say to yourself – “I’m going to become more.” And you know what? I AM! Thanks, Mark!”
What do you think is the future for women in business?
I am a huge advocate for female entrepreneurs. Eighty percent of my clients are women. Women are some of the most hungry and teachable people on the planet. As a man, I know women haven’t always been treated fairly and sometimes still aren’t. We’ve seen that firsthand when looking at what female presenters for the BBC are earning in comparison to men and in many other arenas. That isn’t right. When it comes to pay, rights, etc. men and women should be treated equally. I do plea a word of caution though. For me, men and women are beautifully different. It is clear that women, in most cases, are better than men in some areas and vice versa. Of course, there are exceptions. We must stop fighting and start complimenting and celebrating and utilising the skills and strengths of both sexes to form partnerships that expand and grow our communities and influence. The future for women is bright because, in most cases, they’re more teachable and more determined than ever that their place isn’t just at home raising a family. Women today are independent, focused and making an impact in their daily lives and in the world at large.
What key advice can you give for women who want to make it as entrepreneurs?
Regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, the rules are still the same. We have to find solutions to big problems. The bigger the problem, the more impact and scalability your business will have. This is determined by the solution you bring to the table. We have to keep inventing and creating solutions to problems. That is vital to making a difference. Too often, we get caught up in our business and ourselves, but your business isn’t about you— it’s about your clients and customers. Showing off our accomplishments and all the recognition we have received to the detriment of any substance is a fatal error that doesn’t stimulate a potential client to action. We must all constantly review the way we communicate both online and offline. We need to provide our customer base with information, inspiration and education to take our businesses to the next level.
What are your plans for the next five years in your business?
The magic happens when we set a maximum of 12 months goals because the here and now is crucial. The world and its opportunities are moving too fast to fully stay focused on a 3 or 5 year plan. I focus more on impact and standards of what I want my life and business to look like further on down the road. In many ways, I have laid the foundations of my own life. I am driven by influence. I want the way I think, act and behave to positively influence those around me. Everything I commit to now, whether that be people, projects or opportunities, I ask myself the simple question, “Will this give me the opportunity to positively influence and impact on a person or community?”. If the answer is, “Yes,” I may well jump straight into it. If I consider the work I do, there is a lot of variety but always the same mission. People say I have many hats, and I do, however it’s always the same head. Whether I am in the media, broadcasting my latest radio show Talk Business for Radio Plus Coventry or writing an article for Entrepreneur Magazine or mentoring entrepreneurs through a one-to-one or mastermind group or taking to a stage to talk about self leadership or hosting an awards dinner, each of them creates a platform for me to positively influence and impact others.
The growth within my business has not been and likely will not be so much about doing anything differently but about with whom and on what stages I do it. Those things will change. I would love to transition from radio to TV, and I would love to work with even more influential clients than I already am now. I am currently creating an online platform for female entrepreneurs, which will launch by the end of the year. I’m also near to launching an online show called One More Round with my co-presenter, Natalie Crawford. The magic always happens close to the here and now. In a world of noise, we must be present and work with what we currently have in our hand while never losing focus of our why and purpose.
What inspires you to wake up every morning and continue with your business?
I encourage all my clients to create a personal mission statement. Mine is to positively influence all that I meet. To get inside people’s heads to inspire change and growth. I want to start fires in the hearts of men and women who become so focused on their own purpose they will not compromise or quit despite discouragement, setbacks and obstacles. I want to be remembered for my positive outlook, my energy, my ability to problem solve, my ability to love deep and for every human interaction to be one where I have given of my very best, so that I leave something positive, inspiring and helpful in the hands of every woman, man and child— especially to my nearest and dearest. This is my mission, I don’t always achieve my mission, but I am focused each day to contribute a little bit more to mankind. I have committed my skills and passions to all that I do. I only commit to the things that excite me, those things I am good at and the things that will take me to the next level.
We all only have one shot at this life, and I want my life to matter. I want to leave my world better than when I first was born into it. I love making a difference, I love receiving letters from people all over the world who thank me for the books I have written. They have regularly shared how my own vulnerability and struggle has brought them comfort and healing in their own lives. I have work to do. I am still on a journey. There are things in my life I need to let go of, and things in my life I need to improve. We are all on a journey. Each day God breathes life into my lungs is a great opportunity for me to be better than yesterday. That’s true of you too.