High Flyers: 'Success is knowing you've done everything to be the best version of you'

Andrew Kelly

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Andrew Kelly, owner of digital content creation company eightyfive90.

What was your first job?

My first job was working in retail at Christmas. It was non-stop and really made me appreciate how hard people in that sector work. If you can survive working in retail in December, it sets you up for any career.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a BSc degree in public relations from Ulster University.

What do you attribute your success to?

I believe with the right attitude and ambition anyone can be successful. Being creative and willing to take a risk to be different helped make my work stand out. Also, having managers who believe in your abilities and let you do what you do best was hugely important.

How would you describe yourself to someone who'd never met you?

Creative, ambitious and determined.

Who do you look up to in business?

When I started my career in public relations, I worked with a lot of ambitious individuals who have gone on to set up their own successful companies. It would be unfair to name one but my last line manager had a big input into my career direction. He instilled a trust and belief in my work and allowed me to express my creativity with clients.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

I have my own team of freelancers who work with me on certain client projects. They’re experts in their own fields and when we work together, I believe in treating each fairly and with respect to achieve results. Northern Ireland is a very small country and its easy to gain a bad reputation for being difficult to work with.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

I think we don’t shout enough about how successful some of our companies are. We have some fantastic businesses that are hidden gems, but maybe that is just the Northern Ireland way.

What website or app could you not do without?

Instagram. It’s a great platform to advertise my work for free and I get a lot of new business through it.

What was the last book you read?

The Battle by Paul O’Connell. There’s a great reference to success at the end of the book that talks about it being a state of mind. He defined success as not ending the season with a trophy but instead knowing you’ve done everything possible to be the best version of you. That’s stuck with me and I actually took that page from the book and framed it on my office wall.

What car do you drive?

I drive a Renault Captur S edition. It has great boot space for all my equipment and is a rugged little SUV for tackling any road.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I’ve had a champagne breakfast in the Grand Canyon. We got a helicopter at sunrise and the views were unbelievable. It was my first time in a helicopter and was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What's your greatest passion outside work and family?

I’m a big advocate of healthy mind healthy body. I enjoy the gym and use to be the joke of the office for my relentless calorie counting! Until the last year, I tried to visit three new countries a year for long weekends. I like exploring new cultures, trying new foods and speaking the local language (no matter how bad I sound).

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