Joseph Ashford is the founder of the investment firm K4 Global in Bournemouth, UK, a company with assets that stretch across multiple industries. As a marketing expert and PR guru, he makes it possible for leaders to find their footing and target their ideal audience. His history as an entrepreneur is rife with lessons that he learned from the frontlines. He opens up about his experience and shares tips with anyone considering jumping into the fray. 1) Consider Where You Add Value This can be one of the more difficult objectives for any entrepreneur. If you’re just getting started, generating revenue is likely at the top of your mind. So how can you really think about your business in terms of giving rather than getting — particularly if you’re under pressure to succeed immediately? Ashford says as tough as it can be, his success came from scouring opportunities where his expertise and talent would mesh well with the venture. K4 Global is built on a foundation of helping other companies reach their full potential. 2) Surround Yourself with the Right People This means more than just finding people who are technically qualified. While skills and experience are extremely important when it comes to hiring, it’s equally important to find people who believe in the venture. If an entrepreneur is surrounded by people who are showing up only because they ‘have to’ and not because they understand the vision behind the company, it’s very unlikely to be successful. 3) Track the Growth Sectors The pandemic has revealed plenty about the economy, including just how adaptable the human race can be. Ashford says that the effects of staying at home have sparked trends that are unlikely to fade anytime soon. How we buy, how we work, and even how we eat has fundamentally changed, and it’s critical for leaders to remember these shifts when they’re making big decisions. In addition, solutions for climate change, including products like solar panels, meat-free foods, and quality insulation, are going to see continued traction for the foreseeable future. Entrepreneurs who can find ways to service these emerging needs will undoubtedly hit the ground running. Some of today’s best technology, like the rideshare and delivery-apps we use everyday, simply didn’t exist a decade ago. Staying on top of growth sectors can give you a product or service idea that can take off in the future. 4) Don’t Be Afraid of Asking for Help Entrepreneurs, by definition, can be intense people. They’re tasked with building something from nothing, taking little more than raw materials and spinning them into success. There’s no tried-and-true recipe for it and the frustrations that come from failure can be more than just a setback. Joseph Ashford had a difficult childhood, one that landed him a diagnosis of PTSD. He has been extremely open about his struggles with mental health because he hopes to encourage people to ask for help when they need it most. No matter what challenges a person comes up against, there are ways to navigate them without letting it destroy you or your business. 5) Focus on the Small Things No matter how much money Ashford makes, what he values has nothing to do with what he can buy. Exercising and living a healthy lifestyle are there to battle the doubts in his head. Happiness and laughter are there to carry him through the darkest parts of the day. Entrepreneurs can often get wrapped up in what their profit margins are, but this can ultimately blind them to the true value of what they’re doing. Ashford of K4 Global in Bournemouth recommends keeping an eye on who’s stepping up to the plate, how employees are interacting with one another, and when you’re starting to feel dejected. Sometimes it just takes a short walk around the block to break a negative cycle. 6) Put Fitness First While certainly everyone’s entrepreneurial experience will vary, Joseph Ashford’s number one tip for leaders or entrepreneurs is to concentrate on fitness. Exercise opens a host of benefits to the body and mind, including chemical rushes of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. It’s a way to feel naturally happy and give yourself a much-needed boost when it seems like the whole world is keeping you down. Joseph Ashford says that clean living has the power to transform a person who is depressed into someone with the self-discipline and motivation to keep going. There’s nothing easy about committing to this kind of lifestyle, but the benefits couldn’t be more convincing. When you step outside your comfort zone, you remind yourself that you can do things that you didn’t think you were capable of. Wrapping It Up Being an entrepreneur comes with a slew of potential complications, any of which can stop quality companies from getting off the ground. However, as a successful leader, Ashford would tell anyone that the risk is worth taking.