Karl Paul’s commitment to his team is reflected in their commitment to his company’s clients.
What’s your story?
I always wanted to be in business from a very young age, having been inspired by family and films! I just never knew exactly what in business I wanted to do!
I currently own a digital growth agency alongside my business partners, and have also owned businesses in the marketing, financial services and hospitality sectors.
Although I am over a decade in as a business owner I still feel very much in the early days of a long journey of fun, learning and personal development.
I know the next steps for me will be even bigger.
What excites you most about your industry?
I’m not as involved in the digital agency as I used to be and what excites me now is the opportunity to help the team there continually develop and push the business forward.
The next part of my journey is heavily focussed on growth through acquisition and I’m currently looking at a number of sectors.
M&A excites me as it’s an opportunity to help business owners crystallise their gains and move on to their next chapter, as well as taking on new and larger challenges.
Every opportunity looks different too!
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
For me it’s the personal challenge. I come from a loving family where I had plenty of opportunity as a child to try many things, sports and hobbies. It was instilled in me from a young age that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I’ve always carried that view through life.
I know I’ll never be the brightest but I am consistent and I’m not afraid of hard work, rejection or failure. I also love the challenge and the chase!
For me it’s the fact that I love what I do that pushes me continually forward.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Learning to sell and always being honest and ethical has been a great skill to have through this journey. Whether that be selling our services to potential customers, or selling our vision to new employees, it has allowed us to continually develop and grow as well as building a solid reputation.
Now I’m talking to business owners about buying their creation, I’m selling myself as well as the vision on why I am the right buyer.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
What got you here won’t get you to the next level. That single piece of advice makes me continually review all that I do.
Who inspires you?
I’ve been inspired by many people over the years. A famous person being Warren Buffett. A true master of discipline and consistency. I’m also continually inspired by people I consider mentors as well as the team around me.
I truly believe that we can learn and take inspiration from anyone.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Over the last year I have learnt the true power of rest and relaxation.
I spent the best part of the last decade working 6 – 7 days a week building a business. And in 2020 I stepped out of the day to be able to focus strategically on it rather than in it.
The clarity of mind from not just seeing the business from a new angle but also with a relaxed mind has certainly helped to visualise and plan the bigger picture as well as make better decisions.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely start building a team earlier than I did. Seeing the team evolve and develop the business with their own ideas is truly satisfying. And now witnessing the businesses true potential materialise is just fantastic.
With the business where it’s at today and the team driving it forward, I have every confidence I could leave for a year and return to a bigger and stronger business.
That’s the power of having the right team, treating people right and allowing them to flourish in their roles.
How do you unwind?
You can’t beat family time! I have three daughters and a wife I adore, so we spend as much time together as we can. Even if that’s a simple trip to the coffee shop for drinks and a cake, or a holiday somewhere hot.
I also love a challenge! So unwinding for me could also be the pain and sweat of an ultra marathon or hiking up a mountain.
More recently I’ve been learning to play the guitar. That’s both relaxing and feels progressive.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
In 2010 we lost our son Oscar who was born premature and survived just 28 days. That was a key turning point in my life and mindset. Since that day I knew nothing could ever be as challenging or cause me stress, so I am very relaxed even when faced with any pressures and now I can always find the positive in any situation.
So no matter how hard things get in the business or with our people, I always know there will be someone going through worse, and I’ll be able to tackle life’s challenges with a smile.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Mean Business; How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great by Al Dunlap:
Not only are there many great lessons in this book, its also a fantastic read!
Shameless plug for your business:
Smarter Media is a digital growth agency and simply put we help our clients grow!
So if you are an established business who wants more of your ideal customers, we help them find you online.
Not just that, we’re a great bunch to work with too…
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.