This week I caught up with James Layfield as he prepares to speak at NACUE's annual Student Enterprise Conference, which will be held in Nottingham on February 9th & 10th. The full interview is below.
Can you give me a bit of background about yourself:
Well if you want the full story you should come to see my talk. But in a nut shell I'm a restless soul who has been on the hunt for what he loves. This started out in media planning, it is the less well known part of the advertising industry, via Virgin, airports, eggs, sales, marketing and now at last my dream, helping people realise their true potential.
What is Central Working?
Central Working provides the ideal environment for growing businesses. We offer our members the support, infrastructure and tools needed to create the connections, momentum and recognition that will grow their businesses. Its a soulful and loving place that really cares about it’s members and the UK economy as a whole.
Your keynote at the Nacue Student Enterprise Conference is called Lazy Geek Done Good, what can people expect from your talk?
They can expect to see hear how fun, easy and thrilling it can be to do your own business. How challenging, enabling, rewarding and wonderful life can be if you throw yourself into it. Also that everyone in the room has the potential to do it.
The words lazy and entrepreneur don't usually go together, but what tips do you have to stay productive?
My number one tip to staying productive is love what you do. If you do this then the rest is easy. Or maybe be restless, that too can push you on to do more.
In practical terms find systems that work for you, little tools, tricks of techniques which can help you stay on track
You have had multiple businesses in your time, including more than one at the same time. How do you effectively manage our time?
Well the question is have I managed to effectively mange my time. I would say in general like a lot of entrepreneurs I have focused a little too much on the shiny new thing. So perhaps I have not really managed to do this yet. It is a skill I think we keep on learning as we go through life.
Have you always been the entrepreneurial type?
I had my first business as a child, I told my class at 8 or nine I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I think I have created a lifestyle which lends itself toward what I do. So in a sense yes.
If you could start again, what would you have done differently?
If I could start again I would focus sooner, not worry as much about the opinions of others and generally go with my gut more.
Running a business comes with many ups and downs. How do you get through those downs?
The best way to navigate the downs is to have a life beyond work. Enjoy life to the full, live it, embrace it. I think that meditation, yoga, the gym, stamp collecting, a wife, family any of these wonderful things can help you shift your focus and put things back in to prospectives. After all what is the worst that can happen?
How did you make the transition from the 9-5 working world to starting on your own? and what was it that gave you the push to make that change?
I don’t think I have ever been a 9-5 type of person. I try to love what I do, I care about it, I am passionate about it, so the idea of work time and life time are blurred. They don’t sit in separate boxes which cannot mix. They dance together to form my life. So, if there was a transition, it was just mental, to embrace life.
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneurs who have no business or even working experience?
Start. It is that simple. Just start, Stop talking about it and do it.
Some great advice from James and I certainly can't wait to hear his talk at NSEC2013! Find out more about The Student Enterprise Conference 2013.