Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Steven Innes, Aberdeen-based MC, supplement ambassador and business owner.
How and why did you start in business?
I’ve been self-employed since I was 30 and love the freedom of being able to work at my own pace. It would be very difficult for me to return to “employment”, and likely very difficult for a potential employer.
I’ve been a professional master of ceremonies and compere for 15 years, and with Synergy for about nine years. Both businesses came about due to a particular set of circumstances. I’m a firm believer things happen for a reason. I simply love the buzz of it all.
How did you get to where you are today?
In 2014 I was delivering a speech at a dinner event and experienced a health scare on stage. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. From that moment on I decided it was time to take action to become a healthier version of myself.
I started eating healthier, exercising more and taking supplements from Synergy. As a result of this change in lifestyle and support from Synergy, I’m now two-and-a-half stone lighter and feel better both physically and mentally. It’s all about getting something that works for you on a consistent basis, and no daft diets or crazy regimes.
That is why, as well as continuing my master of ceremonies and compere work, I’m now an ambassador for Synergy Worldwide.
Who helped you?
I work long hours and am often away at different events, so it’s important I surround myself with good people. I’m lucky I’ve a lot of like-minded friends.
Over the years I’ve had a number of great mentors including my sadly departed pal, Bert Jukes. I’m currently getting a huge amount of help and guidance from Rudy Pedroza, one of the top business leaders with Synergy.
I recently joined the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to expand my network. They regularly have a stand at the Aberdeen Business Show, run by Hashtag Events in October, so I knew exactly where I could catch them.
The membership benefits of FSB have been great. Even though I’m using my voice all the time at work, I really enjoy networking and chatting with other business owners.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
“Fortune favours the brave” and “why don’t you have a look at Synergy Worldwide?”.
I know I’m an ambassador, so you might expect me to say that, but I wouldn’t be in the shape I’m in now without them.
What is your biggest mistake?
I didn’t look after my mental and physical health. I suppose, like many folk and men especially, I thought I could keep striding through life without addressing my unhealthy habits. It took that very public health scare for me to give myself a shake and make the lifestyle changes I needed to make.
What is your greatest achievement?
Not giving up. Hang on in there and your time will come, and sometimes all you need is patience. I get such a buzz hosting the various events I do. I still get nervous each time, but the buzz is worth it.
How are you managing rapidly rising costs and how could the government help?
Sadly, I feel our governments are distanced from the real world and unaware of the challenges of business.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I’m currently mentoring and training others to replicate what I do with Synergy Worldwide. Many people now realise how important it is to have an additional income alongside their job. It gives me huge satisfaction to help others grow and develop.
What do you do to relax?
I’m a huge Aberdeen FC fan and addicted to playing golf. I play three to four times a week, all year round. It’s great to switch off and enjoy the fresh air.
What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?
I don’t watch a huge amount of TV but enjoy listening to podcasts. I’m currently reading Greenlights, by Matthew McConaughey.
What do you waste your money on?
I don’t waste money but my wardrobe is probably bigger than it needs to be.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I’m a creature of habit. I take my supplements and porridge at home, then head to my favourite coffee shop for my daily fix.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
I drive an E-class Mercedes but need an estate car to carry my business show kit and, of course, my golf clubs.