A strong believer in the power of positive stories, Sean currently writes in the Sunday independent, Irelandâ€™s largest selling newspaper with a readership of almost 1 million people. Each week, Sean profiles successful entrepreneurs and inspiring role models in business who share with him the lessons that they have learned about everything from strategy and innovation, to focus, leadership and resilience.
Sean calls these entrepreneurs unsung heroes. Few are famous or household names. Yet each one of them, through their drive and entrepreneurial spirit, have created meaningful and sustainable jobs in their communities. They, along with thousands of other small and medium sizes companies, remain the driving force for recovery and economic growth. They are part of the glue that holds our communities together. You can read some of their stories hereâ€¦.
From Two Saucepans of Milk to Farm business with â‚¬3.7m Sales
When Valerie Kingston earned â‚¬110 after selling homemade cheese at a farmersâ€™ market, husband Alan saw his cows in a new light. It’s early morning when I arrive at the family farm of Alan and Valerie Kingston in Drimoleague in beautiful west Cork. It is here that the husband and wife team run Glenilen Farm, a farm-based business specialising in the production of yoghurt, cheesecakes, desserts, creams and butter.
Fit-out king is loving it after turning disaster into global gold
It wasnâ€™t always plain sailing for the young man who led a management buyout of a kitchen supplier firm but success came thanks to grit and adaptability, Napolean Hill, one of the great writers on success, wisely remarked that “no person ever achieved worthwhile success who did not, at one time or other, find themselves with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure”
Franchise king rises from ashes to Aim for New Heights
Brody Sweeney got burned when Oâ€™Brienâ€™s found itself in difficulty but that failure has inspired him to succeed with his new venture. In his book, The Psychology of Winning, Denis Waitley addresses an issue that is common in today’s business world: failure. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It should be viewed as a temporarydetour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
Success is in the Bag for Farmers who Ploughed a Fresh Furrow
The Keoghâ€™s Crisps story shows how you can create an entirely new business by building on experience you already have. In 2011, Tom Keogh set up Keogh’s Crisps. His is a story of how one young potato farmer launched an exciting new food company, by turning the potatoes that were being grown on the family farm into a business making farm cooked crisps.
Innovation and positive outlook keep Frank in the Driverâ€™s Seat
Frank Lennon has overcome setbacks in both his business and personal life to steer his specialist bus outfitters on the road to success. For many people who are out of work, the road back to meaningful employment can often be a challenging one.
Frankly, they give a dram: friends aim high with their spirits
Two deep-sea fishermen and a food scientist have turned a passion for whiskey into an award-winning enterprise with ambitions to expand in the next year. It was Michelangelo who said that â€śthe greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low.