“We’re living in an age where personal brand is vital and so important in business”
In an exclusive interview, we chatted with Tim Hayden, the CEO of Hagley West. Tim told us about the importance of personal brand in business today, his tips for businesses considering overseas expansion, and what the future holds for Hagley West.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became an entrepreneur?
I was in sales and sales management in my 20s, and then started my first business with some friends in IT services when I was in my 30s. I got to my 40s and semi-retired to enjoy spending time with my family. By the time I got to my late 40s, I’d had the idea for Hagley West and decided to just go for it.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your entrepreneurial journey?
My biggest challenge was the decision to go all in – I knew that I would have to sell my house, so I didn’t take any money out of the business. It was a big decision to fund the business, look after my kids and give up my comfortable lifestyle.
Has acquiring such a huge TikTok following been beneficial in your professional career?
It’s been hugely beneficial. In this day and age, it’s important that you have a personal brand. We’re living in an age where personal brand is vital and so important in business.
For example, if you look at Logan Paul and KSI, you see what they’ve been able to accomplish with Prime. What The Rock has done with Teremana and Zoa. A strong personal brand is really important now. Now that we’ve got social media, it’s so vital.
Any tips for other entrepreneurs when trying to establish an online presence?
Authenticity and transparency are the two major key factors. What I mean by authenticity is be yourself. If you look on social media and everyone who’s trying to make it, they’re copying somebody else. Once you’ve established yourself, I think the three main things are consistency, persistency and patience. It takes time and you must keep doing this day in, day out.
How did you come up with the idea for #Loveyourjourney and what is this about?
I came up with Love Your Journey through my own personal life experiences. The realisation of the importance of the journey over the importance of the goal. It’s a realisation I came to in my 30s.
I’ve lived my life going from one goal to another and I think it was in my 30s that I realised it’s much more important to be grateful for what you’ve got than to take stock of where you are. Enjoy the process, that’s my ethos in life.
What is your plan for growing your business as you relocate to America?
The plan to further develop the business all relates to growing the personal brand to get more reach. It’s going to be about making a human connection with as many people as possible by doing challenges, meeting people, and by showing gratitude towards them. Connection to your audience is key, and understanding and thanking them is so important.
The best way to grow a business is through word of mouth, and so I’m doing as much activity as possible to encourage this. The brand is growing already, so I need to think about what I continually need to do to promote and get people talking about me and Hagley West. That is the main driver.
Collaboration is another part of our plan for growth. Working with the right people to get the right results. We’re going to be doing this too out in the States.
Have you had any other experience with overseas expansion? If so, what tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are considering expanding abroad?
If you use social media, you’re going to get general around-the-world coverage anyway, as long as you’re persistent with that. But one thing I would also say to any business thinking of expanding abroad is to not spread yourself too thinly and focus on one region at a time, which is why we’re focused on the US, and we’re going to be focused on the US for the whole year.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re going for worldwide reach! We’re really looking forward to this venture into the US market and this move we’re making over to the States. It’s going to be one hell of a journey and as well as expanding the brand, there are going to be so many opportunities to meet new followers and fans of the brand and collaborate with other creators.
I think this move signifies the next chapter in the Hagley West story and I’m really looking forward to bringing my audience along for the ride and looking forward to meeting as many people on their own journeys as possible.
We’re also looking at producing clothing later this year, which we’ll be launching in July, but that’s all I can say about that for the time being!