Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire, a leading UK social media marketing agency that helps businesses turn social media into a consistent source of leads and sales.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I moved from London to Liverpool when I was 3 years old, meaning my formative years were all spent in Liverpool. No surprise then that I became a Liverpool supporter – which has led to so many friendships and business relationships being formed in later life.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Focus on improving the things that are going to have the most material effect on your results, rather than spending more time doing the things you are already good at. Or accept that you aren’t the right person to be doing those things and then delegate or outsource them as quickly as possible.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Hire a youngster to do your social media, which will ensure you have someone who’s grown up with social media and who really gets how to use it to its full potential. The flaw in this argument is that knowing how to get real business results from social media – for the specific type of business you run – requires having deep expertise in that particular sector and experience of what works and what doesn’t work for that type of business. Simply being comfortable and confident using social media is only one tiny element of success.

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?

My elder son got Leukaemia at age 3. While treatments have improved massively over the last couple of decades, there was nonetheless a possibility he might die. There were also several years of treatment ahead of us all that would take precedence over everything else.

In these years, I definitely learned that we can all overcome adversity and challenges that are put in front of us when we really have to. I also learned about the value of a business supporting its staff through tough times.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

During my summers at University, I traveled to the US and sold school books door to door. This taught me so much. The importance of a positive mental attitude. The need to hear “no” a lot of times in order to hear a “yes”. The fact that you must learn to control the controllable and let go of worrying about the things you can’t control. The positivity that this instilled in me I think has been a major contributor to my success.

What is your morning routine?

I have run a remote business for the last 22 years. Meaning I work from home and my morning routine is focused on having some quality family time before the working day begins. Getting the kids ready for school and starting the day with the minimum of stress is what my morning routine revolves around. Typically that means waking up at 6.45 and being at my desk by 8.45

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Getting a dog and making walking the dog a part of my life has had a massive impact. Forcing myself to regularly get outside and away from my desk, plus giving myself some thinking time each week, has improved my life and given me quite a few “aha” moments when it comes to my business.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I try to be ruthless about delegating and outsourcing tasks. For anything that needs to be done repeatedly, we will craft training modules and ensure that other team members can take responsibility for those tasks. It’s a constant battle, but it means that we as a team are always collectively looking to free up my time to focus on the things where I can have the biggest impact on the business.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Winning! by Clive Woodward made a big impression on me. Woodward, the former head coach of the England rugby team, reveals how he was able to transform the team from also-rans to world-beaters. One of his secrets is his attention to detail. He instilled a culture of excellence in everything the team did, from their daily training routines to their match preparation. He also created a clear plan for success and communicated this to his players so that they knew what was expected of them. Finally, Woodward made sure that everyone in the organization was focused on the same goal: winning the World Cup. The whole book is written in a way that you can apply the lessons learned to your own life and business goals though. By following Woodward’s example, you can learn how to create a winning culture in your own organization.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.” This quote by Zig Ziglar is simple yet profound, and it speaks to the power of helping others. When we help others, we open up the possibility for them to help us in turn. We also create powerful relationships that can provide support and opportunities. I try to live my life and run my business with this quote in mind.