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How did you get in to specialising in personal growth and mental wellbeing?
I got into this field through my own personal experiences of suffering with poor mental health. I felt very lost in life at a young age, I hated my career path, and I studied for a five-year degree before realising I did not want to work in that field. I was deeply unfulfilled and struggling to make sense of the world. “Is this all there is?” was a common theme. I started reading self-help (personal growth and wellbeing) and became hooked. I started applying the tools I was learning for myself (in-particular journaling) and then I started sharing it with the world. Ironically, this then led to pursuing a career in this field, which helped overcome these obstacles related to career issues. I wrote my own self-help book and then with my business partner Nathan Marr, we started creating bespoke planners and journals for organisations, as well as coaching in this field to work alongside the products. I use the mental wellbeing aspect to understand my own thoughts better, then I use the personal growth element to create my own goals and ambitions for my own future.
I always say I am not ‘fixed.’ I am human and I still have extremely challenging days, but I have found a field which not only serves my own mental wellbeing and personal growth, but positively serves others too. It’s a win-win.
Who or what inspires you?
There are many names who inspire me in this field including the likes of Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins, Paul Mort etc. There are also many great business folks who inspire me.
However, in general, people who are completely themselves really inspire me. I feel we live in a society where there is a lot of expectations of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to act.
I fell into it… “go to college, go to university, get a job and live happily ever after” and I found out the world does not work like that. It was making me really unhappy working in jobs I simply hated. I believe we should all define success on our own terms.
It’s very cliché, and my tagline is “none of the fluffy stuff”, but everyone is completely unique. Some people will like you for who you are, some people will dislike your approach. However, fundamentally, your happiness and wellbeing are the most important things in the world. Not your parents, not your bosses, not societies. Its why personal growth is so important because it makes you stop to ask yourself these deeper questions. Its also why I believe in journaling so much.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into personal growth and mental wellbeing?
I personally believe some of the tools we teach within our businesses should be taught in schools from a very young age, that’s how much I believe in the subject. For me, I would have taken so much more value from learning about my emotions and how to handle my thoughts, as opposed to Pythagoras’s theorem.
When it comes to personal growth and mental wellbeing there is no ‘one size fits all’, however, I cannot see any downsides to trying to learn tools to manage your wellbeing and make growth on a personal level.
One of my ethos is that ‘nobody is perfect’ meaning that we all make mistakes in life. However, we all have areas we can be working on to improve too. That’s what personal growth is about. I genuinely believe the path to personal growth is never ending. Therefore, it’s a field that you can apply for all of your life.
My advice then would be to embrace this field. Read books and learn the tools. Give things a go.
Without the tools I have learned I would still be working in jobs I severely disliked and merely just floating through life. Now I am constantly setting goals and trying to improve myself. I don’t always hit them, but it makes life more meaningful.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of my job is the creation of the bespoke planers and journals. I genuinely love making them as I believe in the tools so much. Taking all the research from positive psychology and the self-help field and creating the product from design stage into the hands of the client. I love the process of it. We have a core framework of personal growth and mental wellbeing, but no planners or journals are ever the same. For each client, they want something a little bit different, so I enjoy the feeling of knowing nothing else exists like it on the market once its complete. I also love the feeling of ‘we made that’, it gives me a real sense of pride. I have a shelf in the office which documents each new planner or journal we make. Whereas footballers have trophy cabinets, I have that, it probably gives me the same satisfaction.
I enjoy all aspects of the ‘hands on’ work in the subject field.
That said, it’s worth noting the flip side too. I am terrible with admin, I despise emails, and I would describe myself as quite ‘chaotic.’ Thankfully, I have my business partner Nathan who does this side of things very well, keeping things in order. The opposites work well.
What has been your most memorable moment to date relating to your business journey?
I pinch myself how fortunate I am to be in this position. The biggest up for me is getting to work for yourself every day. I love the freedom.
Some other wins include securing investment to get the business off the ground. Working with some amazing organisations such as Teesside University, Middlesbrough Council, Beyond Housing amongst others.
However, that said, I do not take anything for granted at all. I have found running a business extremely hard at times. It certainly ties in well with the field of personal growth.
Thankfully, due to the support of Nathan my business partner, Semester Student Planner has just had its second birthday, and growth planner co. is starting to gain some traction.
I am enjoying the rollercoaster journey, but its all about celebrating the little wins along the way. Hopefully, there will be many more to come.
What are your favourite magazines?
I am more of a book person. However, anything related to self-help, mental wellbeing & personal growth, I am all in.
What’s the future hold for Joe Hilton ?
I want to grow our businesses to a level that we can bring in my business partner Nathan full time. He does so much to support me, that it would be great to have him permanently working with me.
It would also be great to get to a position where we also had a team working with us.
I want to keep improving my knowledge of the field, grow my personal reputation, as well as the businesses and see what opportunities arise.
On a personal level, I want to publish a second book, as I know so much more now compared to when I started.
But most importantly, I just want to keep enjoying it, keep making a difference, and hopefully this will all take care of itself.