During the interview we asked Doug to give readers a brief description of his company D&S Performance Optimisation. Doug tells us that D&S Performance Optimisation is about Coaching, Consulting, Corporate training and keynotes. Specialising in High Performance training, Stress Management, Sales and marketing training and consultancy, Presentation and C-Level pitch skills training and Wellness programmes.

You can visit D&S Performance Optimisation here

How did you get the idea/ concept for your business? 

  • 21 years in the Hedge fund and investment world as Sales Director and Head of Sales and Marketing for two of the top investment companies in Europe.
  • Qualified sports performance coach and former premier league national league hockey player.
  • Had a near death experience.
  • I was asked to speak on stage and got some very kind feedback.

Give a brief account of your education background.  

Degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Management. Masters Degree in Computer integrated Manufacturing. Qualified Fund Manager – Investment Management Certificate. Qualified Investment Advisor – Investment Advice Certificate. Performance Coaching Certificate. Master teacher of five modalities of healing. Meditation and mindfulness coach.

Did you always know/ever think you would become an entrepreneur when you were younger? 

No, I was always very successful in the corporate world. However, I did set up a proper league football club from scratch when I was fourteen with no adults involved.

Is entrepreneurship a common trait in your family? 

No, father was President of a large corporation, brother is a Doctor and other brother an Investment Advisor.

Did you have prior knowledge of the industry before setting up your company? 

While working in the investment world I worked at firms who managed $490Bn which meant in the room access with some of the top CEOs in the world for analyst meetings. This gave an understanding what works and doesn’t work in business. These CEOs were from all industries and sectors. 

Plus, I now have interviewed over a hundred and ten film stars, NY Times bestsellers, top CEOs, Chairman, International Sports Stars, International Rugby Coaches, Guinness Book of record holders, and other inspirational people on my radio show. This helps in understanding the secrets of success in business and life. My radio show has grown from zero to 132,000 listeners. 

Finally, I have now had the pleasure of speaking on stage in front of thousands of people speaking alongside ex-prime ministers, film stars, NY / Sunday Times bestsellers, famous CEOs and TV Celebs.

What was your previous work experience (if any)? Do you think this gave you an advantage when setting up your business?

As said before 21 years in the Investment world working for Fidelity, Lazard, HSBC, Aviva Investors, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Davy Asset Management. Working my way up from customer services to Head of Sales, Marketing and PR. Clients were the top investment heads in the world for the largest financial institutions in the world.

I also grew a sales region from $50m in a year to $1.75Bn in a year within 6 years. In terms of motivational speaking I was pitching to CEOs and CIOs in some of the top global banks, stockbrokers and pension fund managers in the world pitching for and winning mandates in excess of £285m. 

Managing large teams of sales, marketing, sales support and PR also helps. Plus, I reported directly into and worked very closely with some of the top CEOs in some of the top firms in the investment world.

How did you initially fund your business? (self-funded, government funding, etc) 

I initially Self-funded the business.

Looking back, would you have changed the method of funding you chose?  

No, I have been very fortunate in all of my career and am now using that success to help others.

Did you encounter any financial difficulties in the first year of operation? If yes, what did you do to surpass them? 

No, I was fortunate not to encounter any financial difficulties starting out.

What characteristics do you feel benefited you most when starting your business? 

Freedom to work with and help as many people as possible. Also, ability to follow my passion to inspire people to better lives.

To what do you attribute your company’s success/growth to? 

The pure intention to inspire and serve others to the best of my ability. Plus my experience of sales and marketing.

What is your opinion on the importance of a professional network for an entrepreneur?

Sales and business growth is all about long term relationships and professional networks are a great medium for collaboration and new partnerships.

Do you think entrepreneurship has changed in recent years? 

Yes, through digital transformation. Social media and online presence are key.

Would you ever consider starting another company or involving yourself in new start-ups again? 

Yes, I have so many investment fund manager contacts, private equity contacts, venture capital contacts and hedge fund contacts, So, I am able to help and get involved in start-ups in terms of cap-intro and advice in areas of investment, sales, marketing, PR and High Performance Success without Stress.

If you had one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur, what would it be? 

Find out what you are truly passionate about and see if you can make money out of it. You need passion and purpose to truly perform to your best and I can help you get there!