Elaine Carroll is CEO and co-founder at the All-Ireland Business Foundation, an independent national body that identifies, acknowledges, supports and celebrates the country’s most ambitious and visionary businesses and their leaders. She is wife to Noel, mother to Jack, Tara, Kevin & Paul (the twins!!), a Limerick adopted Tipp native and aspirational tennis player!
Q 1- How does your normal day begin?
Our cock (Spartacus!!!) crows from 5.30 am and I’m up for 6 am. I take 30mins to myself every morning to think, plan and get a head start. By 7.15 all the house is up. With 4-year-old twins heading to pre-school, my 9 year old daughter Tara heading to primary school and my eldest Jack (12) heading to secondary school, there’s plenty to do before I’m at my desk at 9 am!!
Q 2- What are your biggest daily challenges?
Fitting in all I have to do. For me it’s a case of prioritising – not what’s ‘nice to do’ – rather what’s necessary and important to help me and the business move forward. Then it’s the struggle of balancing my role as a mother, a wife and CEO of the company (as well as some volunteering with our local tennis club!!).
Q3- What do you love most about your job?
I’m blessed that I’m the captain of my own ship with a fantastic business partner to hold me to account!! I love the variety of Irish businesses that I deal with on a daily basis – each with their own inspiring story. And seeing how our work here at AIBF helps to acknowledge them and spur them on to achieve even greater things – is so very satisfying.
Q 4- What do you do to relax?
I love to play tennis – and yes I do like a competitive game!!! Walks with our lab Rosie are also cherished (but I’m unsure as to who walks who!!!). I’m always signed up to some personal development programme – I think it’s so important to be continually ‘sharpening your saw’ – as Covey puts it.
Q 5-Favourite staycation destination in Ireland and why?
I love Wexford. The long drive from Limerick alone makes me feel ‘relieved’ when we arrive – it really does feel like we’re away from it all. The long sandy beaches are just majestic with lots of adventure sports and also the National Heritage Park.
Q 6-Favourite holiday destination worldwide?
I love SE Asia, particularly Thailand. I spent a few summers on Koh Phi Phi before the Tsunami hit and to me, it was heaven on earth – not a road or car to be seen!
Q 7-Favourite Business motto?
I have two – ‘’Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’’, and secondly, “There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin
Q 8. Advice for young business entrepreneurs
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”, so dare to dream. Dream big. Visualise what success means to you and have a plan. But don’t be afraid to deviate and alter the plan as long as you keep the end in mind. Enjoy the journey!