[quote style=”boxed”]Nothing. My path has made me the way I am today. Mistakes are a form of education, and you learn how to be successful by making mistakes. The key is to not give up. [/quote]
Mark Williams is the founder of Fathers Reaching Out. He is British champion in three different sports, a life coach, a public speaker and an author who just finished writing his first book. Fathers Reaching Out is just one of Mark’s many projects. It helps men and carers of women who have suffered with postnatal depression. While the man or carer has to deal with the illness, he also has to worry about the bills, the workplace, the household chores, his partner and newborn baby, and the stigma of mental health. If not supported, the man or carer can become depressed himself, which can lead to families splitting up.
After the success of his projects, Mark has just been awarded Inspirational Father of the Year. He hopes to carry on helping people and families while doing something he really enjoys. Another one of Mark’s projects is Tackling Depression, which involves sports and the illness. Mark has done radio, print and TV interviews for research and films. He hopes that he can change the way people think about mental health throughout the world.
He has a loving family, fantastic friendships, and a son who is the best gift in the world. Volunteer work has been a big part of Mark’s life, and he has been lucky to travel the world. He trains in kickboxing and enjoys socializing. His motto is, “If you’re going to do a job–regardless of how big or small it is–do it by giving it your best.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on setting up support groups for women suffering from postnatal depression. I’m also working on a project called Tackling Depression, which I know will help so many people.
Where did the idea of Fathers Reaching Out come from?
I had this idea when I was going through postnatal depression with my wife seven years ago, but was afraid to take a chance. But since I have, it has just snowballed and I’ve never been happier.
What does your typical day look like?
My days change all the time, but I’m just excited and feel I’m on the right road at last. I don’t see my typical day as work at all. I make sure I maintain a balanced lifestyle with my family.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I visualize my goals and fear no one.
Whats one trend that really excites you?
The feeling of helping someone who needs help excites me the most. There’s nothing better than someone praising you for helping them and their family.
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Sales. The money was great, but I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do in my life. However, it taught me about marketing, people skills and management. I also learned it’s important to listen to people to find out what they really want and need.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. My path has made me the way I am today. Mistakes are a form of education, and you learn how to be successful by making mistakes. The key is to not give up.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing that you do over and over again and recommend that everyone else do?
Be positive and avoid negative people.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Doubt or skepticism. I avoid negativity and move forward.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change the societal pressure to own material things; trust me, they don’t make you happy. A good balance in your life is always important, and the simple things in the life take the pressure off. I think life coaching should be taught in schools, as this would give the next generation of kids the tools to have good, balanced and happy lives.
Tell us a secret.
White chocolate gives me a lift when I’m feeling a little flat.
What are your favorite online tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They are amazing if used correctly, and also save us money on stamps.
What is the one book that you recommend on community should read and why?
Chicken Soup for the Soul. It’s just amazing.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Caroline Carr, Stephen Fry and an account associated with a hobby you enjoy.
When was the last time you laughed out loud, and what caused it?
Yesterday, my son yesterday beat me in a game of pool, with an amazing shot on the black. It took my breath away, and I laughed out loud at his reaction when he saw the black went down the pocket.
Who is your hero?
My wife, Michelle. If it wasn’t for her open mind, I wouldn’t have been able to start Fathers Reaching Out. She is my amazing soulmate. Also, my son keeps me grounded. I’m just happy to be around him when times are tough. Family and friends are important, and they have always been supportive too.
The late Stan Norris M.B.E. is also my hero, because he took me aside when school didn’t go my way, and got me into sports, which gave me confidence.
What is your greatest achievement?
My son, Ethan, and the youth work and projects I’ve done so far in my life. When I am on my death bed, I will look back and be proud of the things I have done–the honesty way–in my life.
What matters most to you?
My wife, son, family and friends.
Fathers Reaching Out on Twitter: @fathersreaching.
Fathers Reaching Out on Facebook: Facebook.com/groups/231960730218829/
Fathers Reaching Out’s website: www.fathersreachingout.com
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.