Mark Sephton is the United Kingdom’s first personal mentor to entrepreneurs. His mission to help others has seen him break into global markets while working with startups and millionaire entrepreneurs around the world. Mark began his professional journey while working in the hospitality industry, where he served for 12 years. Mark’s love for personal development and self improvement took him on a series of life discoveries, during which time he took on many business and leadership courses and received a life coaching diploma. Mark has drilled down to the essence of these experiences and created a business to help draw out the magnificent potential of each and every client. Through his enthusiasm and remarkable communicative ability, Mark has spoken on countless business stages, where he has shared his story, motivated attendees and promoted entrepreneurship.
Magazine MN: Mark, you started your professional journey while working in hospitality industry, where you served 12 years. What was the biggest lesson you learned during that period?
Mark: I believe it was my ability to both listen and serve. The hospitality industry has no place for an ego. It gave me massive opportunities to learn to be patient and mindful of the needs of others. When you work in a restaurant you are not always spoken to in the correct manner or tone. You have to deliver a service regardless of who you are serving. It was a great place to under promise and over deliver. It taught me how to build a rapport and build a community. If you are easily offended the hospitality industry is not for you. I applaud those that have given countless years to what sometimes feels like a thankless job. You have to be able to read people's body language in the industry. Understanding when a customer or guest is not happy, way before they even say it. Reading people’s body language has been extremely useful when mentoring entrepreneurs.
Magazine MN: What are the critical success factors for the restaurant business?
Mark: The restaurant industry is all about creating positive memories. It is no longer just about stuffing your face with food and drink. People want and expect to be entertained, for positive memories to be stimulated. People want to experience a theatre like occasion which is embraced with laughter and a good time. The best restaurants are the ones which create a positive identity where people can relax and switch off, experience incredible food embraced by an amazing environment of entertainment and theatre.
Magazine MN: What sparked your interest towards mentoring?
Mark: I am obsessed with people development, I have always looked to invest and equip all that I have worked with. It’s so important that if you establish your own business it’s built around your skills and passions. I love giving people the tools and mindset shifts to unlock their potential. It was a natural progression to enroll in various leadership courses, life coaching diploma’s and business consultancy, in order to establish a business I was naturally skilled in, but had a huge passion for. The ability and opportunity to invest in someone is an incredible privilege and honour.
Through my own life journey of setbacks, obstacles, challenges and successes I believed the road I had taken would resonate with others and help them find the courage and strength to no longer be a victim, but to become a victor. After-all we are the authors of our own lives and I want to empower others to take hold of their lives again.
Magazine MN: You’ve been mentoring numerous entrepreneurs from a variety of industries worldwide. What, in your opinion, are the key traits successful entrepreneurs have in common?
Mark: Entrepreneurs often come from problematic childhoods. One of the key ingredients of an entrepreneur is the ability to solve problem, to have a key ability to think on their feet and act. When you’ve gone through a family divorce at a young age, you have to grow up fast. You have to take care of yourself, you have to find solutions to problems. When we experience occasions like this in our life, while it is painful at the time, it can often stand you in good stead in years to come. When I have heard the countless stories of entrepreneurs I have worked with, the majority have shared a dramatic or difficult childhood which has really encouraged the need to solve problems.
Magazine MN: Recently you’ve published your first book "Inside Job". What inspired you to write it? Why did you name it “Inside Job”?
Mark: Inside Job is built on your capability to work on the way you think, act and behave. Your beliefs about who you are determine your behaviour. The way we think, our attitude and mindset toward ourselves is an ’inside job’. Discovering your own identity and purpose is paramount to achieving extraordinary shifts in the way you live, develop and advance. In this way, you can fully understand who you are and live out of your own identity.
As a society, we’re only one thought away from a cure for AIDS and cancer. We must create an environment where we each intentionally strengthen our ability to harvest the thoughts that could bring liberation, breakthrough and success – not just for ourselves, but for our communities and our world.
I wrote this book as I believe we all have a story to tell. The tried and tested mindset shifts, practical adjustments and the ability to work on what you think have seen great success with my entrepreneurial clients. Inside Job is an extension to the thoughts and strategies which have unlocked so many people to reach their full potential.
Magazine MN: What, in your opinion, are the key positive habits that lead us towards living a more meaningful life?
Mark: Your purpose is in your passion. We must create a life which is full of those things we love and are good at. If you want a meaningful life you must be true to yourself, discover who you are and live out of your personal brand.
Other ways to live a more meaningful life include :
- Celebrate somebody else’s achievements
- Believe in your ideas
- Invest in the areas where you’re already influential
- Follow your gut
- Embrace a lifestyle of grit and a resolute mentality to progress
Magazine MN: Do you agree with the following statement: “Failure is a stepping stone to success”? How can one overcome fear of failure ?
Mark: I recently said “ I have learned so much from mistakes, I am ready to make some more”. It is inevitable if you are out there, experiencing new opportunities, taking risks, being in the public eye. You will make mistakes. We can’t escape that reality, neither should be afraid of it. One of the chapters of my book is titled “ Setbacks”, below that I quote: “ The only people who don’t get flat tyres are those who don’t drive”. If you don’t want to fail, don't leave the comfort of your own bed, nobody will know that you exist. That’s no way to live, failure is not to be feared, we can overcome the fear by facing it, looking in its eyes. Regardless of how we feel, we have to push through and do it anyway.
Magazine MN: What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Mark: Oh that is difficult. I have read some incredible books. However, the one that unlocked me was "Spirit Driven Success" by Dani Johnson. It really spoke to my heart, it taught me to believe in myself, to rediscover my identity and purpose. That is one of the keys to the kingdom - find out who you are quickly and that will lead you to your purpose. It is not a coincidence that you both like and dislike certain things in your life.
Magazine MN: What’s your best advice for the first-time entrepreneurs?
Mark: Believe in yourself. Find a solution to a problem that effects as many people as possible. If you want to make a million pounds, you’ve got to find a product or service which provides a solution to a problem which effects a lot of people. The bigger the problem, the greater return if you provide a significant solution.
Mark is a huge fan of twitter, his handle is @sephtonmark. Mark also produces weekly Youtube video’s to inspire and educate (http://www.youtube.com/
Mark Sephton was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska