This weeks spotlight is on Colin Crawford; founder and CEO of C9 Foundation:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m just a standard, run of the mill guy. I have a young family, 3 kids, and I’m married. I love watching TV, listening to music, and eating food.
What made you want to start your charity?
I’ve been fundraising for different charities since about 2012/13. I’ve always been interested in helping others. My life has pretty much revolved around football. And after my forced retirement and mental health breakdown, I had the idea to join those two things together and help those who have, and are, in that position I found myself.
Who are your inspirations?
My kids inspire me to be my best me everyday. I push myself for them to have a better life. Tom DeLonge is a huge influence. His whole love movement with Angels & Airwaves really speaks to me, and wants me to spread just that – love.
What’s your biggest success or achievement so far?
Setting up the charity and my clothing range. The clothing range is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was really young. Nobody knew about that dream, and I finally thought “just go for it!”. The charity, it is so much hard work, but the work is 100% worth it. Breaking down stigma in one of the highest places for it is a task, but we are certainly seeing some results so early in our existence.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Watching football, Marvel movies, or Brooklyn-99. These help me release my stresses of day to day life.
What can you not live without?
Music. Music is so powerful, and can help me deal with so many of my emotions. I have playlist for every feeling, activity, and need.
What does work-life balance mean to you?
For me it’s being able to have time to shut off from work completely. Especially working within mental health, it’s great advocating and trying to break down the stigmas attached, but you definitely need time away from it and to shut off from time to time.
What’s next for you/your business?
We are still in our infancy, so it’s really getting the word out there, and letting folk know who we are, and what we are all about. We have achieved so much in a small space of time, with the right team in, we will be able to help more people.
How do you handle criticism or setbacks?
People are always going to criticise, sometimes just for the sake of it, so you need to evaluate it all. Criticism can be a good thing if then looked at constructively. It’s always about growing and bettering what you are currently doing. Something we should apply in every aspect of our lives.
What advice would you give to people starting out?
Build yourself a good team for support. Not just “yes men”, people who will tell you they think an idea isn’t as good as you think. People who will have a discussion, a sit down looking at the pros and cons. People you can really trust.