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An interview with Claire Young in the series inspired by Seth Godins blog “16 questions for free agents”

19/07/2010

Owing to huge popularity, I have decided to serialise “16 questions for free agents”

The interview encourages inspiring and prominent business figures to share what inspires them in business. For this post I am proud to introduce Claire Young.

Claire Young was a Finalist in the 2008 series of the popular BBC 1 programme, The Apprentice. Claire is a Business Woman, an Ambassador for Youth Enterprise, Writer and Public Speaker.

Self proclaimed chatter box Claire prides herself on great communication skills. She even impressed Sir Alan Sugar with her presentations. Gaining nicknames such as the Motor Mouth and Rottweiler Claire is animated, confident and always delivers to her audience. Having a non business background she hopes to motivate and inspire others with her story. 31 years old she fast tracked her way up the blue chip career ladder working for brand leaders in marketing, sales and retail before embarking on The Apprentice. Since then she has launched two businesses and successful juggles a busy, diverse media career.

Walker Fox (WF): Hi Claire, A few minutes of your time if I may to answer a few questions? If you’re starting out as an entrepreneur or a freelancer or a project manager, the most important choice you’ll make is: what to do? As in the answer to the question, “what do you do?”

Claire Young (CY): Hi Rob.

WF: Who are you trying to please?

CY: Myself and to make a difference to the students who I work with.

WF: Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy?

CY: Make a difference, have a positive impact on young people.

WF: How will the world be different when you’ve succeeded?

CY: I hope that I’ve inspired many to work hard and have high aspirations!

WF: Is it more important to add new customers or to increase your interactions with existing ones?

CY: Both, always grow!

WF: Do you want a team? How big? (I know, that’s two questions)

CY: Yes, and Nationwide.

WF: Would you rather have an open-ended project that’s never done, or one where you hit natural end points? (How high is high enough?)

CY: All projects I work on have a goal with end targets.

WF: Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it?

CY: I’d do anything I ask my team to do, I like selling.

WF: Which: to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue, but better?

CY: Invent a category and then set the benchmark.

WF: If you take someone else’s investment, are you prepared to sell out to pay it back?

CY: Yes, but I’d hope to find another way to repay.

WF: Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force you to change and develop yourself?

CY: Always learning.

WF: Choose: teach and lead and challenge your customers, or do what they ask…

CY: The former.

WF: long can you wait before it feels as though you’re succeeding?

CY: When you hit your goals, it doesn’t matter how small they are.

WF: Is perfect important? (Do you feel the need to fail privately, not in public?)

CY: Important to do your best but nobody is perfect.

WF: Do you want your customers to know each other (a tribe) or is it better they be anonymous and separate?

CY: Know each other.

WF: Thank you so very much for this, it’s much appreciated I very much look forward to meeting you soon.

You can connect further with Claire on Twitter @ClaireLYoung or visit her website www.claireyoung.co.uk

The original interview held with Sarah Beeny was inspired by a recent blog posting by the acclaimed Seth Godin; Seth’s bog can be read here

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