Start Up Stories: Mind Fit Ireland

Have you ever worked in a corporate environment and felt “There has to be a different way to do business”?  Have you ever worked alone and felt “It would be great to have a business partner so I’m not so isolated”?  If your answer is yes, then you’ll be some way to understanding how Mind Fit Ireland was born, just over twelve months ago.  It’s also the reason we’re unemployable.

According to the business books, this is completely the wrong way to go about setting up a new business.  You’re told to identify a customer need, research the market, and only then, start the business.  In a way though, setting up Mind Fit was the end of the beginning.   Gráinne Harte Kennedy and I met about seven years ago, and concluded that, though we came from very different business backgrounds, we’d like to find a way to work together

Gráinne is a serial entrepreneur, with 18 years’ experience working as an independent marketing consultant, and 10 years in international advertising.  I ran sales teams for many years in f.m.c.g. (fast moving consumer goods), and classified advertising.

Having decided to work together, it was a question of finding the right vehicle.  That’s where Mind Fit Ireland came in.  Gráinne saw Mind Fit work elsewhere, and thought it could be the platform on which to build a business using our combined skills from the corporate and SME worlds.

What is Mind Fit Ireland?

  1. Business Fit – Practical Advice & Hands on Help: Strategic Planning, Sales and Marketing Consultancy.
  2. Knowledge Fit – Your Competitive Advantage: bespoke training programmes, specialising in Sales, Market Research, Leadership and Management.
  3. Mind Fit – breaking through from ‘Can’t Do’, and ‘Won’t Do’, to ‘Can Do’ and ‘Will Do’ group workshops and coaching programmes, motivational speaking.
Most business owners have a vision of what they want to achieve, whether a formal strategic plan, or a clear idea of where they want to take their business. They are already Business Fit.   They generally are experts at what they do - they are Knowledge Fit.  The biggest challenge for many is to get their mind set right so they can successfully implement their plan and apply their knowledge.  That’s all about being Mind Fit.  Once business owners get their own heads straight, then it’s time to bring the team along too.

The greatest lesson for Mind Fit Ireland has been the old adage of ‘talk to the MAN’, the person with the Money, Authority and Need.  The challenge is to find the balance between people’s need for our services (which is great), and their ability or willingness to pay for them.  That’s all about explaining the cost of having unproductive or unhappy people in an organisation.  Clients need to understand the Return on Investment we bring.  Otherwise, what we do can be regarded as ‘nice to have’ rather than important.   Our big question is, “How does not investing in your people help grow your business?”

Tips for other entrepreneurs

  1. Listen and respond to your customers’ needs.  Remember, your clients want to buy a product/service that meets their needs, and not necessarily what you want to sell.
  2. Allow double the lead time (business seldom comes as quickly as you’d like).
  3. Have a realistic plan, and be flexible enough to change it.  The business environment is changing at a furious pace, so no matter how prepared you are, you need to constantly revise your approach.
Our mantra at Mind Fit Ireland, “Talk to positive people”.



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