Joseph Ashford is the founder and owner of K4 Global, an investment firm specializing in the properties, services and technology sectors. K4 Global is based in Bournemouth, where Ashford grew up under difficult circumstances. His childhood has been a driving factor in Ashford’s personal and professional success and is also the basis for his advice to prospective entrepreneurs.
Ashford lives and works in Bournemouth, which is a coastal resort town in Southwest England. It has a population of more than 180,000, and virtually all its economy is based in the services sector. K4 Global is a true passion for Ashford, who views it as an opportunity to elevate businesses and bring value to them, especially in Bournemouth. He takes a hand-on approach to the companies he invests in, working closely with their leaders to unlock their full potential. K4 Global’s staff includes a team of experienced business troubleshooters who can offer creative solutions to solve the challenges facing the companies they invest in. These strategies generally involve keeping the agile, so it can respond quickly to changes in its market.
Joseph Ashford considers three factors when deciding to invest in or acquire a company, including staff, leadership and culture. A company’s staff is by far the most important factor for Ashford, who says, “If the people who work within the business do not believe in the product or don’t share the values and goals of the company, then it is doomed for failure.” He also looks for leaders who are communicative, engaged and transparent with their staff, ensuring they set examples for their staff to follow. Culture is also a crucial factor in Ashford’s investment decisions, as “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” according to management expert Peter Drucker.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the growth potential of companies in many sectors. The use of conferencing platforms like Zoom exploded in 2020, when the pandemic began spreading across the globe. Food delivery services also experienced record growth, as did property investments. These are long-term changes, as the pandemic has altered the expectations of both businesses and consumers in the products they use.
Climate change is also a major factor in determining the companies will grow in 2022. It has the potential to affect many sectors, some in ways that may not be immediately apparent. For example, property owners performing renovations are more likely to make additions that reduce their carbon footprint, including insulation, heat pumps and solar panels. Environmental concerns are also leading more consumers to consider plant-based diets, which have greater sustainability than meat-based diets.
Ashford has always been upfront about the fact that his difficult childhood has resulted in mental health challenges that he still struggles with. He was diagnosed with complex PTSD after all his close family members passed away within a short period and found that he had suppressed his feelings about it to avoid appearing weak. He also discovered that small life changes can make a dramatic improvement in his happiness and wellbeing.
Ashford wants to set an example for others who are suffering from poor mental health by showing them that it doesn’t need to hinder their personal and professional development. Everyone has a unique journey towards mental health, but seeking help is usually the first and most challenging step to take. Ashford has great sympathy for anyone struggling with mental health problems. No one is immune to them, as they can often be triggered by events such as a hormonal imbalance or personal loss.
Ashford firmly believes that his personal experiences have directly contributed towards his success as an entrepreneur. They have provided him with a mind-set that drives him to succeed, so that his children never experience the problems he did when growing up. Ashford says that he still has highs and lows, which caused him to take medication for a short time. However, he stopped because he didn’t need medication to understand who he was. Instead, Ashford found that a healthy lifestyle provided better results.
Ashford’s advice to entrepreneurs suffering from mental illness is to follow a healthy fitness and diet program. In addition to the physical benefits, regular exercise also develops dedication and self-discipline. Ashford exercises every day and enjoys being drenched in sweat after a workout. He has also found that pushing himself out his comfort zone helps give him a sense of accomplishment, making it easier to cope with the stress of growing a new business. The scientific benefits of increasing the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine is also important to an entrepreneur’s success.
Proper diet and hydration are also important for improving mental health. However, this change can take time, causing some people to struggle with this long-term commitment. Another factor to consider when pursing a better diet is that it generally costs more, so a healthy diet can be prohibitively expensive for people with a low income. Joseph Ashford looks forward to addressing this issue as one of his future philanthropic endeavours.