A belief in the spreading of ideas, and an altruistic attitude to the difficulties of others are the motivators behind Stephen Barnes business.
What’s your story?
A decade ago I faced ruin. As an L.S.E educated lawyer, and Hong Kong immigration expert, I’d invested in businesses outside my core competencies. In need of a reset, I focused on my expertise, Hong Kong Immigration Services, but also knew that in order to survive, I needed a business that was fail-safe and could be built with a zero budget. Knowing we’d transition to operating online, my business partner Martyn and I set out to build a monopoly in the Hong Kong Immigration space. We learned along the way, developing a business model called Intelligent Content Marketing.
What excites you most about your industry?
With a complete overhaul inevitable, it is exciting to see the Connection Economy finally coming into its own, and that everyone has an opportunity to prosper in a world that was once restricted to a few.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
Developing a business model that empowers service professionals to realize their entrepreneurial goals is a great motivator. Because we have been where many currently are – nervous of the future, possibly financially compromised, and probably more confident in going it alone – we can be mentors to others, which is extremely rewarding.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Without a doubt, First Principles thinking.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The most valuable piece of advice was one I took from a recording from the early 80’s. It was Dr Anthony Campolo who was presenting a speech to the Dallas convention of the Million Dollar Life Insurance Roundtable, where he said ‘you can achieve anything you want in this life as long as you have the courage to believe it.’
Who inspires you?
My first source of inspiration are those selfless people who give everything of themselves for others – I hope one day to be able to dedicate myself solely to the same, at scale, to be of benefit for those less fortunate. My second source of inspiration, believe it or not, was Joan of Arc who said “I am not afraid, I was born to do this”
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently watched Fehmi Krasniqi’s Great Pyramid K 2019 The Movie. I was fascinated by the sheer brilliance, and scientific knowledge, of the ancient Egyptians and how their measurements were based on a universal constant size of a drop of water, being 1cm. If you haven’t yet watched it, I suggest you do. It’ll blow you away as it did me.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Despite some bumps on my journey, I have absolutely no regrets for the life I have lived. If I could tweak my past, I would like to have understood earlier on that I should have “picked myself’ – hindsight has shown me that listening to others has cost me a decade – but I gained a huge amount of experience along the way.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by taking a daily walk, keeping fit, and continuing my journey of life-long learning.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
My greatest mind shift has been that the Connection Economy inevitably ends in monopolies. It’s a simple, clean notion to get your head around when you get to that ‘a-ha!’ moment of how it all works.
Everyone in business should read this book:
In broad terms there are two suites of books everybody should read. The first is a collection by Robert Greene, and the other, by Stephen Pressfield. If you have time for only one, I suggest Robert Greene’s “Mastery”, where he sets out how an individual can self-actualize.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you are entrepreneurially-minded and are looking to build a monopoly in your professional services niche, I unashamedly invite you to sign up at the Encyclopedia of Intelligent Content Marketing. It contains every piece of information you need to monetize your expertise, FOR FREE.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?