Mitch Hahn is the owner and CEO of Nordens Chartered Accountants, a dynamic and creative firm of accountants and strategic business advisors who are passionate about helping our clients achieve their goals, however how ambitious they may be. He has expertise in the fields of Business Development and Strategic Business Planning. Outside of work, Hahn plays semi-professional football and captains the Team GB football team (double silver-medallist).
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Barkingside, a small town outside of London. My parents were very working class, so I didn’t have many possessions, no holidays or big lavish gifts. What they did though was to push me to succeed in my passions which ultimately let me live my life. They never steered me down a path they wanted for me and I will always love and respect them for that. You make mistakes but you learn from them.
One experience that sticks out, is when my dad was trying to get into the football and soccer agent industry. He was negotiating with a Premier League footballer at our family home and they ended up arguing. The footballer basically said, ‘You’re not as rich as me and I’m out of your league.’ I was only 8/9 years old but it really stuck with me. I wanted to make something of myself so that never would happen to me or my family ever again and it gave me a hunger to help as many people as I could whilst not looking down on them.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Everything happens for a reason. If you didn’t know something back then, there’s a reason for it. One of the things I always revert back to is knowing that you can break through a barrier of limiting beliefs. I’ve learned that once you’re in control of your own destiny and you stop feeling sorry for yourself, you are able to work hard and achieve anything, ultimately being bigger than your own thoughts and fears.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I don’t like it when accountancy firms charge based on time. I hear lots of horror stories where companies add on minutes and overcharge clients. I prefer to be results-based, that should be the most important thing. Accountants should essentially have a purpose in mind to help their clients, rather than to just make as much money from people as possible. I’ve never done this and never will as it just promotes distrust, which will always come back to bite.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
When I left football knowing that I would never make it as a professional footballer, I found myself in a really dark place. My dreams were crushed and I ended up in a hole where I struggled with anxiety, I couldn’t sleep and I was on antidepressants. There was a lot of stuff in the media about mental health awareness which I kept reading and I just decided to open up and talk about it. I mentioned it to someone who offered me help and gave me a book to listen to (Zero Limits).
It took me back to the zero point, which was pre-programming myself, wherein I could reinvent and reteach myself. I still get whiffs of anxiety occasionally but it’s all very much controlled. I came out of it by speaking to and helping others through life coaching and consultancy, which essentially helps me. What I learned was that you can overcome anything and you’re in control of your own destiny no matter what.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Reading and listening is the key change which I’ve initiated into my life which has brought about plenty of positivity. I don’t know everything and never will, so hearing others who have gone through certain experiences and using their methods in my own world has been a huge factor in achieving success. I’m forever learning and educating myself which is a must for anyone wanting to accomplish goals and aspirations.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up between 6 and 7 every morning, I change my alarm every single day even by one minute so I don’t get myself into a routine. This is essential to me as I love breaking habits. I brush my teeth, have a black coffee and read through all my notes, and crack on with the day. I treat every day as a different day as it helps me to feel refreshed and ultimately in control. Changing even the smallest of things on a daily basis gives me a new perspective and allows me to focus on the important things in life and business.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I do the usual stuff like go to the gym and keep fit as much as possible. As previously mentioned though, I do all I can to try and break habits and keep things different day by day. This gives me the thirst and hunger to treat each day uniquely which makes me want to succeed in life. Since the law of taking responsibility for everything that comes into your life came into effect, my world has changed and improved for the better. I’d recommend this to anyone who is looking for motivation as well as to take action and control of their own destiny.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Making sure everything I do comes back to the original purpose. I think it’s also imperative to take time out where possible, whether that be just relaxing or going for a walk or run. This time by myself gives me the thirst to come back to my work whilst also giving me time to reflect. Alternatively, I’m a firm believer that surrounding yourself with like-minded driven people can only push you forward and inspire.
I also think investing time into my team and staff is one of the most productive things you can do in business. Doing this has resulted in me being able to take time away from business so I can relax and not think about work as I know it’s taken care of competent and trusted hands. This is a win-win for everyone.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I always listen to Audio Books. One of the books I always recommend is Zero Limits by Joe Vitale and Haleakalā Hew Len. I first listened to it when I was going through a rough time in my life, with a lot of mental health and anxiety issues, and the book essentially set me on the straight and narrow whilst instilling purpose into my life.
Another book that has really helped me is True Wealth by T Harv Eker, which explains how you have to take responsibility for everything that happens in life, even if it’s not your fault. It really helped me to dig deep into my true self and grow as a person.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
‘It might not be your fault but it might be your responsibility’ – T Harv Eker. This relates to taking ownership of your actions and consequences, thus moving forward. I revert back to this quote constantly, when times are good or bad, and this has helped me become the man I am today.
‘For what is a man, what has he got, if not himself, then he has not’- Frank Sinatra. This one’s a bit cliché but it really hits home. It reminds me of my grandfather who was a holocaust survivor. He was only 14 during the holocaust and he always said that what got him through was belief in himself. One right or wrong decision could be the difference between life and death, so it was all about trusting your gut to help you both survive and succeed. Whenever I hear ‘My Way’, it reminds me of him and the challenges he had to face, which gives me inspiration in any task or test I have to contend with.