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Mark Oakes, managing director of MO Consultancy and Investment, shares some of his favourite moments and top tips on creating your perfect home. 

What's been the the proudest moment of your career to date?

I guess some of the awards we have won have made us proud, as it’s always nice to be recognised by your peers. That said, on a personal level, the proudest moment is always meeting up with a client a few months after they have moved into their property and seeing how happy they are in their new home.

Who has inspired you to pursue your current profession?

I think my wife has to take a lot of the credit. I’m a commercially wired individual, whereas she is very creative.

Over the years she has really opened my eyes to design, art and style. I’d also have to say Justin Risley, who has been our architect on several projects. He’s an exceptionally talented individual!

What's the best thing about working in a creative industry?

By far the most satisfying thing is starting with a blank sheet of paper, developing a brief and watching an idea grow unto the final finished product. It’s such a collaborative process, whether that be with the clients, architects, suppliers and trades.

You are constantly learning in this environment, which is a great thing.

What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was early on in my career. It was, ‘it’s OK to say you don’t know’. When you’re starting out and want to impress, there’s a reluctance to acknowledge you don’t have all the answers, which I now observe in meetings. I think it’s a skill which comes with age and experience coupled with confidence in your own ability.

"I have to say, my successes have come about as a result of my learning experiences."

Your personal motto?

I think that would be something on the lines of… in order to grow personally, professionally or spiritually, you have to be prepared to take a risk. Ironically, I’ve learnt more from my mistakes than from my successes. But, I have to say, my successes have come about as a result of my learning experiences.

Your go-to song whilst working?

I love music, particularly when it’s live and I have an eclectic taste. But, I do like silence when I’m concentrating in the office. If pushed, and as a proud Mancunian, I’d go for something from the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays or anything from the Hacienda playlist.

What's your idea of the perfect day off?

Cycling first thing with mates, followed by brunch and a chat. Then home to prepare a big Sunday roast and a sit down with the family over a few glasses of red. Three items you always take with you when you travel Phone, earphones and sunglasses.

What's the last book you read?

Impossible is a Dare by Ben Cooley.  Ben is CEO of a charity called Hope for Justice and I met him around eight years ago and weve become good friends.  The book is about how he took an idea or rather a desire to eradicate human trafficking and grew it into an international presence, fighting the cause on several continents.  Its truly humbling and inspiring and whilst hes not motivated by profit, the start- up principles and pains are pretty much a blue print for any budding entrepreneur.