Belfast Telegraph

'I'd love to run a beach bar in a far-flung destination'

Q What is the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given? A Always hire people who are the best in their field and specialists in their profession. Don't be afraid to hire people better than you. Life is not a dress rehearsal, so live it and make your future what you dreamt it to be. Make the hard decisions.

Q What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?

A Firstly, are you really an employee or employer? If the latter then be ready for late nights, early mornings and lost social time. You will need exceptional self-belief and the drive and determination of a marathon runner. If you have all that, you have a chance.

Specialise within a particular sector, know the profession inside and out and do your market research before you start. Continually build on your successes and learn quickly from any mistakes.

Q If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?

A I always fancied the idea of running a beach bar in some warm, far-flung destination.

Q What are your hobbies/interests?

A My main hobbies are reading, cars and golf.

Q What is your favourite sport and team?

A I support and sponsor Armagh GAA and my local GAA Club Whitecross GAC. I've also been a Liverpool season ticket holder for over 25 years.

Q And have you ever played any sports?

A I've played Gaelic football and soccer. I've got the creaking knees and long-term injuries to prove it.

Q What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A My last holiday was in Lanzarote at Easter. I'll be heading to Portugal for the summer. We have had a house in Vilamoura for over 10 years now - it's our home from home. We've made some great local friends there.

Q If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A I am a ferocious reader of newspapers and business magazines; my wife calls me a news junkie. On holidays, I read autobiographies and I am also midway through the Clifton Chronicles series by Jeffrey Archer. He is a great writer and his books are real page-turners.

Q Have you any economic predictions?

A I called the Brexit vote correctly as you could see the disconnect between the UK government and its people. This is a perfect opportunity for politicians in Northern Ireland to take advantage of the uncertainty and pitch for a special economic zone for Northern Ireland. With the reduced corporation tax level we could be an attractive proposition for real foreign direct investment (FDI).

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