Paul Hughes

Training Consultant at Impact Factory

Born to a Brazilian mother and English father, it was the Brazilian footballing gene that was clearly more dominant in Paul as he spent his early professional years playing for Chelsea FC. Scoring on his debut against Derby County in 1997, Paul played over 25 first-team games for his local club and was involved in both their FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup victories in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Despite fulfilling every young boy's dream of playing Premier League football, it was a career, Paul felt, it didn't quench his inner fulfilment and desire for personal growth. He believes it was this conflict that resulted in a major turning point in his life - illness. After 13 years in professional football, Paul developed M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had to retire from, what he thought was his dream career.

"When you're unwell for a prolonged period of time you certainly get to know yourself extremely well, you start searching and establishing your core values and discover what's actually important for you in life."

These core values led Paul into business as he founded a website company with his friend which was aimed at helping fund and support sport at a grassroots level. The huge success of the company led to it being sold 8 years later. The insights and experiences gained from years running his own company gave Paul a great interest in communication skills, effective leadership and, dare he say it, conflict management!

He is particularly passionate about getting the best out of his team and fulfilling the potential of individual team members. Words commonly found coming out from Paul's mouth are, 'There is always a way.'

"I remember a fantastic coach I had in my early years at Chelsea FC. As a young, inexperienced player, I was riddled with doubts about not being good enough and had a strong fear of failure. He gave me the confidence and self-belief to help me overcome these negative blocks. In a sporting environment... in any environment, I found this key in helping fulfil potential."

Paul's introduction to Impact Factory proved timely as the sale of his company and the journey he had been on meant he was primed and motivated to move into coaching and the 'self-discovery' ethos of Impact Factory was something that Paul could completely identify with. He duly completed our internal training program and has been involved in Presentation Skills, Personal Impact and Assertiveness courses amongst many others.

When Paul is not working he can be found every weekend rekindling his love for coaching and football by managing a non-league football team in West London. He is a frequent traveller and loves to visit a new country each year. Volunteer work in India and Thailand being his favourite experience and Brazil being his favourite country, we wonder why!

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