By @SimonCocking

Jack Black @jack_mindstore was a big hit at the Pendulum Business Summit in January, with a lot of tech companies and startups in the audience, as well as investors and VCs. We thought it would be interesting to get his take on Dublin and developing successful businesses. He will also be back in Dublin on June 11th for the Grow Your Business event. You can book here for an early bird ticket.

How did Pendulum Summit in Dublin go for you?

I really enjoyed having the privilege for the second year running of opening The Pendulum Summit in Dublin. Given my own approach to coaching I was delighted with what you call the “new age” emphasis. Highlight for myself was having the 1800 delegates participate in an exercise with me which involved them all doing something that looked like meditation. It must have been a success because a few days later I was invited to do a gig at the EMEA headquarters of Google in Dublin.

We found it to be an interesting mix of business and new age ideas

What was your take on it? It seems like a lot of the US West Coast tech start up ideas and approaches are having an influence on more traditional businesses too.

To be honest I was delighted that the pendulum summit took the risk to close it this year with Deepak Chopra. However I was not really surprised because I’ve been coming to Ireland for some 20 years speaking at conferences or delivering in-house events together with my open courses and many of the big companies and institutions of Ireland have participated over the years.

Any differences between an Irish audience and others? 

My experience with Irish audiences points to them being very open and more importantly willing to learn new tools and techniques for improving performance.

How did your background lead you into where you are now, and what you currently do?

I got into this work by accident when three people over a fortnight died suddenly and I realised that the reason for this was stress and then collapsing myself I went looking for how to manage it. The discoveries I made caused me to give up my career in Social Work and Education and to go out on my own to share my own ideas on how to manage stress and more importantly how to maximise ones performance and succeed.

You have a strong element of giving back in your approach to business, how much resistance do you encounter to this concept from people you work with? 

I am aware that lots of my corporate clients do engage in giving back encouraging their staff to get involved in fundraising and providing resources and services to charities. I have been consistently inspired by the degree to which entrepreneurs continue to give back and significantly do so without seeking recognition.

You use a lot of online resources to get your message across. At the same time being online can be a real challenge to concentration and ability to focus. How do you walk the path between productivity and distraction?

Again I have to be honest here and admit coming to social media and youtube almost kicking and screaming as I didn’t really want to get involved however it is clear that this is the way forward. I just have to accept that checking social media and doing the odd video is yet another task that sits alongside looking at my emails everyday. To be honest I don’t find it a distraction, I just get on with it.

How was 2014 for you? What wins did you have?

I feel 2014 was a good year for us but I was particularly excited at being able to test out new ideas and given the questions above I was able to introduce even more right brained and what you call “new age” material in my solutions and designs for clients

What would you do differently?

Spend more time developing online products and resources for my clients.

You mentioned for 2015 to work more on giving time to good causes, as well as that, what other goals for 2015?

I need to rewrite and update our books and as I said above develop more online material for present and future clients.

What gadgets / tech tools do you find useful?

I am not overly confident with techie things however I do thoroughly enjoy using my iPhone and iPad.

Tips for new businesses, trying to find the balance between working hard and not burning out?

I think what’s critical in the beginning is to include quality recreation and family time in your goals while emphasising them in your weekly schedules. I know from coaching many successful entrepreneurs over the years that establishing these good habits early on is really important. Someone somewhere else said “it’s really important to stop and smell the roses.”

I am looking forward to presenting a MindStore Business Master Class in Dublin on June 11 out at the Stillorgan Park Hotel, promoted in tandem with Platinum Events in Ireland. Click here for more info, and read more about it here.

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