Richard Walton founded his first successful business at the age of 22. Straight out of Kingston University, London, he secured funding and founded the now 22 year old, massively successful global volunteering company GVI – www.gvi.co.uk. Here we have shared his top entrepreneur advice tips.
Just 7 years later, he had a major health scare due to the exceedingly high-stress levels and unhealthy lifestyle that are so common in high-performance individuals. Deciding he needed a drastic change, he moved his family and business to Costa Rica. Although his intention was to return to the UK after running his company remotely for 6 months, he ended up staying for 10 years – successfully tripling the size of his business.
In 2015 he moved to Cape Town, South Africa and founded his next company, AVirtual. He is an avid advocate for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, surfs most days and regularly practices meditation. His most important piece of entrepreneur advice is that he realised he could be a better husband, father and businessman when he was fit and healthy. He talks about growing to recognise that working all the time isn’t synonymous with being successful.
His businesses follow the philosophy that a happy, non-micro-managed employee is a far more productive one. Many of his 500+ employees work remotely and flexibly.
“One of my biggest tips for entrepreneurs involved in multiple companies is to never interfere in the day to day, because the good people will leave if you get in the way”
Richard’s 7 Entrepreneur Advice Lessons
- Importance of networks
- Value of mentors
- Value of people who know more than you
- Focus on health
- Value of hiring really competent people
- Believes attracting very good people involves offering a work-life balance, flexible hours and freedom from micromanagement
- Good for startups when money is so tight
- Lots of people are driven and motivated by having a better balance in their lives – not just equity
Useful Links and Top Podcasts
1. Financial Times “Startup Stories” Podcast
2. Empowering Dads podcast
3. Why you need help with building your business
4. The truth of running multiple businesses
5. Letter to my 21-year-old self