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Welcome to episode 45 of What I Know Now, the personal development and leadership podcast.

This week’s guest is Colm O’Brien. Colm is a bestselling author, seasoned businessman, business blogger, business coach and CEO mentor. He is also a naturally relaxed public speaker and he uses the ups and downs of his career to inspire the listener to take one more step towards the Life and Business they really want.

Colm left Dublin in 1998 to run the operate the Bewley’s Cafe Franchise on Cruises Street in Limerick. Despite this business failing, it led to the founding of Carambola School Lunches in 2005 that now supplies packed lunches to 30,000 children daily all over Ireland. Carambola has a turnover in excess of €8m net annually and employs over 120 people.

Prior to that, O’Brien spent 20 years in the corporate world, a highlight of which saw him enjoy a stint as General Manager of the world famous Bewley’s of Grafton St. His best-selling business book, ‘Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business despite the Roadblocks’ is a popular favourite amongst those looking to get more out of life and business.

His latest business venture, Colm O’Brien Motivation helps fellow entrepreneurs, business owners and senior managers get more out of their businesses, their teams and their life. This business sees Colm work with select SME clients as a Business Strategist with his program “2020 Vision” designed to bring the business owners clarity, growth, accountability and prosperity. His philosophy is that a Good Brand plus Great Systems run by Even Better People is the formula needed for success.

In this really inspiring podcast, we discuss:

  • Colm’s journey to now
  • How he kept going after his first business failed
  • How he made his Carambola venture more successful
  • DBMP/BMS and MBE – the two necessary skills to build leaders in your organisation.
  • The man on the Train
  • Creating a 2020 vision
  • Never let your business outgrow you
  • The importance of networking
  • What advice Colm would offer to his 18-year-old self



To find out more about Colm, you can check out his website and his latest “Coffee with Colm” blogs on colmobrienmotivation.ie You can also follow him on Twitter @colmobrien31 and connect on LinkedIn.

I would love to hear what you thought about Colm’s podcast and what advice you took away from the interview. Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

If you liked today’s podcast, there are plenty more fascinating podcasts here on the website, as well as all the latest daily videos and blogs.

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