Hi, I'm Alastair Hazell. And, yes, my initials are indeed A.R.G.H. Trust me, it sounds more painful to live with than it is. My name gets even better if I shorten my initials to include just forename and surname. At that point, I become a new element in the periodic table: AH! - the 'Element of Surprise!'
While it’s obvious to say I was given no choice of having them as my initials, ‘ARGH’ has somewhat come to represent a mantra that sits at the very core of my beliefs – that success often follows failure, and the ability to learn from such failures and power through them defines those who ultimately succeed.
What’s it like being the Element of Surprise?
Well, it won’t surprise you when I say it’s predominantly good. But, it hasn’t always been so – there have been many ups and downs, and I engage in a continuing battle with my nemeses – anxiety and depression. I’ve come to accept that the brain that has helped me achieve great success in the business world also gives me a fair slice of pain and torment in return.
I didn’t follow a conventional path to business success. I found education challenging but soon realised that having a good idea and a desire to make it work was equally as important. Instead of following the conventional path to university at the age of 17, I entered full-time employment and took a role in technical support. It is there that I unearthed an innate ability to brainstorm ideas, strategise and problem solve. I also discovered that I thrive on a challenge – don’t tell me I can’t do something!
I left full-time employment at the age of 22 to start my first business in the health information industry – Medical News Today. After 15 years of growth, it sits proudly as one of the top 10 health websites in the world with over 30 million monthly visits. I sold the site to health industry titan Healthline in 2016 before semi-retiring at the age of 37.
Of course, I’ve not actually retired at all. I now spend my time split between interesting projects. I founded and now run the highly popular website ‘The Calculator Site’. I also mentor young entrepreneurs, invest in and advise startups and assist business owners and event organisers with strategy and marketing.
I’m a keen philanthropist, having invested heavily in local projects and events. I’ve also supported local charity projects including the development of a new seal pool at the local RSPCA centre. I recognise I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life and choose to give back to the world to help others who haven’t been so lucky.
Oh, and I also adopt hedgehogs…
What is ARGH.com?
I created ARGH.com as a hub for both my work with others and as a way to inspire, teach and engage through words.
Since coming to terms with how my own, chaotic brain works, I’ve been fascinated by the mindset, energy and determination of entrepreneurs to make things happen. Through my experience and learning, I’ve identified key characteristics and ideas to share with you.
I’ve also chosen to share stories of inspiration with you on ARGH.com. I continue to be fascinated by how people who consider themselves to be every day, ‘ordinary’ people find themselves able to stand up and make an extraordinary difference when the situation requires it. In a remarkable set of circumstances, they somehow find something deep down inside them.
I’m excited to share all of this with you on ARGH.com.