Life coach and mentor, Mike Pegg has been running his business for 40 years. He mentors people, teams and organisations, and provides practical tools that they can use to build on their strengths and achieve success.

1. Why did you set up your own business?

In the 1970s I was running therapeutic communities for challenging people. The approach we took was to encourage people to take responsibility, build on their strengths and work towards achieving their picture of success.

I was then given the opportunity to teach this approach to psychiatrists and others, running treatment programmes in Scandinavia. So that’s when I set up my business.

Initially, this was working with people in the treatment professions. But then I got invited to run programmes for people, teams and organisations that wanted to know how they could build on their strengths.

2. What’s unique about your business?

My approach is to study what works, simplify what works and share what works. Providing people do the work, it works.

I take people through the process of inspiration and provide tools that enable them to integrate what they learn into their daily lives and work.

The first step is to clarify the client’s idea of what success looks like to them. It’s then to share positive models and practical tools that people, teams and organisations can use to achieve their goals.

My approach tends to be extremely practical. I provide lots of positive models and practical tools that work. I provide concepts too, but also lots of concrete examples.

I don’t claim to be able to provide all the answers; I like to encourage clients to ‘take the best and leave the rest’.

3. Have you taken any risks with your business and have they paid off?

Not really. But I work with many entrepreneurs and those I know are actually conservative. It is a myth that they take big risks. But they do have dreams, and often find it difficult to live with themselves if they don’t follow those dreams.

I like to compare them to mountain climbers. Once the mountain climber has considered what the key strategies are to give himself the greatest chance of success, it would be a greater risk for him not climb the mountain than to climb it.

4. Who or what has been your inspiration?

My Encouragers – my parents, teachers, friends, my wife, mentors and many of the customers with whom I have worked.

Plus, the great writers who provided a positive view of humanity’s possibilities. People like Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, Virginia Satir, Al Siebert, Peter Benson and many others.

Also, Alec Dickson, the founder of Voluntary Service Overseas and Community Service Volunteers, was of particular help. He changed many people’s lives and took a particular interest in encouraging me in the 1960s.

He explained to me that in the act of giving, the giver often gets as much as the receiver. That is the joy of being able to serve.

5. Where would you like your business to be in 12 months’ time?

My role is changing. Most of my time is spent producing articles for my blog. This focuses on the many positive things that are happening in the world. There are so many people doing pioneering things in business, social enterprise and education.

My work on the road has changed. I now do only 50 days a year working directly with customers. Next year I will be 70, but I still hope to be able to continue working with those positive people who want to be pacesetters.

My aim is to continue to pass on practical tools that they can use to achieve their picture of success.