Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

If you be­lieve in some­thing strongly enough then just do it. There will be plenty of peo­ple to tell you why it won’t work, but don’t lis­ten to them. Go with your gut. Too many times I have not gone with my gut feel­ing, and it even­tu­ally turned out that my orig­i­nal in­stinct was right. Sur­round your­self with a great team. If there are as­pects of the busi­ness that you’re not good at, don’t do it. Stick to what your strengths are and trust oth­ers to do their job. Don’t hire peo­ple and teach them to be nice; hire nice peo­ple! Spend a lot of time re­cruit­ing the right high-en­ergy peo­ple that love what they do. Get the book Top Grad­ing by Dr Brad Smart. It gives an ex­cel­lent sys­tem for hir­ing the best peo­ple. When in­ter­view­ing a can­di­date that you are try­ing to de­cide on, ask your­self, ‘Would I like to spend an evening in their com­pany, have din­ner with them?’ If the an­swer is no, then don’t hire them. for and, in 1995, he set up the first Mo­ti­va­tion Clinic, in Dublin’s Daw­son Street.

Rais­ing the cap­i­tal to start his new busi­ness proved a chal­lenge. When the bank wouldn’t fund the ven­ture, Paul made the coura­geous de­ci­sion to sell his house in Sandy­ford to raise the cap­i­tal needed. His wife Ais­ling, from Terenure in Dublin, had been work­ing in Sherry Fitzger­ald up to this point. She then be­gan work­ing part time in the clinic and liked it so much that she joined full time. Both Paul and Ais­ling have since gone on to study psy­chother­apy and cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy.

By the time they had grown to three compa- ny-owned clin­ics in Dublin, Lim­er­ick and Cork, Paul and Ais­ling found them­selves trav­el­ling ex­ten­sively and do­ing ev­ery­thing them­selves — from ac­counts and mar­ket­ing to lo­gis­tics and train­ing.

This ex­pe­ri­ence led them to choose the fran­chis­ing model as a way to scale fur­ther. Today they have 16 ded­i­cated fran­chisees through­out the coun­try along with 10 of their own clin­ics.

Based on client feed­back, they re­cently set up an on­line store where clients can pur­chase pro­tein prod­ucts, vi­ta­mins and mo­ti­va­tional tools as well as a mo­bile app where clients have ac­cess to a wide range of mo­ti­va­tional tools.

“We also have a full-time nu­tri­tion­ist and have just pub­lished our own recipe book, aptly ti­tled De­li­ciously Healthy,” Paul says.

The cou­ple are also look­ing at the var­i­ous op­tions to ex­tend their ser­vices into North­ern Ire­land us­ing both the fran­chise route and via on­line and dig­i­tal — such as de­liv­er­ing their weight loss pro­grammes via Skype.

“I would also love to see a time when the Health Ser­vice would work with clin­ics like ours to pro­vide the one-to-one sup­ports that pa­tients need. This would be a far more cost-ef­fec­tive way to ad­dress the be­haviours caus­ing obe­sity rather than to ad­dress the huge health prob­lems obe­sity throws up fur­ther down the line,” Paul sug­gests.

While this is a suc­cess­ful busi­ness, it’s not about the money for Paul and As­ling.

“Our sat­is­fac­tion comes from help­ing over 5,000 peo­ple a year to reach their weight loss goal. It’s grat­i­fy­ing to hear our clients tell us how much of a dif­fer­ence our work has made in their own lives and the lives of their fam­i­lies. That’s our buzz and what makes all the ef­fort worth­while,” Paul says. mo­ti­va­

Sean Gal­lagher with Paul Con­nolly. Photo: David Conachy

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