Episode 07 – Dom Sheffield: The Extraordinary Ordinary Series.

Dom is genuinely one of the all round most driven, kind and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, work with and also mentor. Everything he does he does with care, quality and at a speed you just couldn’t really match. He has a true passion for friendship, cultural experiences and a real thirst for knowledge.

I met Dom whilst he was working full-time for Nestlé and also doing his leadership and business degree. If anyone can multi-task a degree alongside a full-time role and career and make it look easy, it would be Dom. He is now pursuing his goal of travelling to many countries and cultures, before he takes on his next workplace adventure and task. I know that whatever he does, he will do well, and inspire and make others laugh whilst he is doing it.

As I interviewed him, he was spending his last few days in Indonesia before hopping on a plane to New Zealand. That’s pretty extraordinary and I was so grateful he took the time out of his adventures to answer the below, as the insights are brilliant.

Dom is an avid reader, loves music and sports and is focused on his health and wellbeing. For someone who is so driven and good at what he does, it’s inspiring to know and see that he always puts people first and cares more about how people feel and his impact he has on them over material or workplace success. He is a kind, empathetic and a real people-person with his priorities all right.


So here are his answers to my twelve questions:

What makes you happy?

I would say practically and day to day it is things like exercise, speaking to my family and things that make me laugh. Good memes on Twitter, funny TV shows and of course socializing.

However on the larger scale, it’s definitely the bigger things, such as having the freedom to choose what I want to do on a daily basis, and doing nice things for other people. I don’t do the latter enough considering how happy it makes me but it’s something I am trying to do more every single day.

What book had the biggest impact on your life?

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

Tools for Titans easily had the biggest practical impact.  It changed my behaviour because it helped me make clear and actionable changes, from great and inspiring advice.

‘The Last Girlfriend on Earth’ by Simon Rich

However if I was to choose based on more of an emotional impact, it would have to be ‘The Last Girlfriend on Earth’ by Simon Rich. I am a sucker for romance, and the book is just a perfect mix of humour and love. It has the perfect fine balance between the two, and includes so many relatable messages it’s just brilliant.

What quote, or saying, do you live by?

I would say that a main one I try to live by is

‘Variety is the spice of life’

I like to use this to influence and inspire me to try something new, something different, each and every day where possible. Don’t get stuck in a rut or routine.

How do you remain, or regain, your focus?

I keep my focus by always having the end goal in mind. If I am wavering from doing something today, such as going to the gym or settling down to study, picturing the end goal and why I am doing this always makes me get back on track and keep motivated.

Day to day you might not see the impact, but by having a vision of what you are trying to achieve or where you are headed, it helps you keep going.

What inspires you?

People who are happy, without a doubt.

I look up to people who are truly happy with whatever it is that they are doing. I also like to learn from them and use this knowledge to try new things. If it makes them happy, it might make me happy, so why not try it and find out!

What are your top three priorities?

  1. Happiness
  2. To be a good person, which makes me think of another quote I try to live by, which is ‘judge someone by not who they are now but, how many people turn up at the funeral and what people say about them then’. It’s all about the impact you have, and how you decide to live your life and treat others that matters.
  3. Family and keeping in touch with them. I try to do this as often as possible, especially when travelling.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

When I asked Dom to give me his answers, he gave one on the spot in the interview but after reflection chose another. I decided to include both as I think they are both really insightful and honest of him to answer.

Original on the spot answer: I think that people believe that as I am quite jovial and like a laugh, that I don’t take things seriously all the time. For example, when I get into a difficult situation or have a hard problem to solve on the spot, my first defence mechanism is humour. However inwardly, I am taking this problem seriously, and quickly deciding how to best respond to it as quickly and responsibly as possible.

After reflection: I am naturally quite self-depreciating an it can sometimes come across that I am perhaps not confident in myself or my abilities. But I wouldn’t say that is the case.

What two purchases have you made this year that you really value / had most impact?

  1. My quality 40L backpack for travelling. It’s made life a lot easier, and is brilliant for always being on the go.
  2. Not being a cheapskate and upgrading to Spotify premium for on the road. Music has kept me going on the long journeys and transfers.

Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do?

If someone wants to go travelling like I have done now, I would just advise that you don’t worry too much about being prepared for everything like I thought you had to. Just save up for your flight tickets and first few weeks of accommodation, and then go. It’s hard to take that leap and do it, but when you do, as long as you are willing to talk to people and step outside of your comfort zone, you’d be surprised how easy stuff just falls into place. You can find work, places to live and people to explore with as long as you look, ask, and remain open-minded.

For my work experience so far, I would say that I think it’s genuinely been a mix of luck, hard work but more than anything real-life experience is so important. Don’t spend years on the theory (unless your profession needs it) and instead just get a role and begin learning. Any job, any role, the experience and networking matters more than theory and more courses ever will.

What are you most proud of?

Recently I did my open water scuba diving course in Thailand and I was terrified of the sea and not a strong swimmer, but reasoned with myself that if there was ever going to be the ideal time to do it, it was now.

The course was fantastic and I was fine, although I did only stop truly panicking at the end when it was over. However overcoming my fear, doing it and being part of that experience was a real test and I am so glad I did it.

An unusual habit of yours?

Oh man, I know I have so many, I am quite the unusual guy.

Okay here is one. I am terrible for just imagining conversations that could possibly happen but are not happening in reality. For example, I could sit when waiting for a flight for a good 15 minutes making up different versions of conversations that could happen, and actually finding myself getting really emotionally charged and invested in the situations, before realising that they’ve not actually happened and are not real.

What do you do every single day?

Check social media

Check the BBC News app and Sky Sports feed

Always get some form of exercise or challenge in. Whether it is a long walk, weights or press-ups, I like to have done something on a daily basis.

Practice mindfulness. I was much better at earlier in the year but as my work routine slipped this did too. I have found that when I do it, even for just five minutes a day, it has such a big impact so I like to keep it up.

Thanks Dom, I really love all your answers. You are the second interviewee to choose Tools of Titan’s as your key book, so I would recommend people perhaps give it a read. I also love that you’re currently following your dreams and travelling, it’s inspired me to make sure I one day have my gap year too!

His Key Advice:

  • Making other people happy brings a lot of self-happiness too, and it’s so important to do it.
  • Experience is more valuable than theory when it comes to working.
  • Invest in good music subscription services when travelling!
  • Test yourself and do things you are nervous about, it’s rewarding.
  • Exercise and mindfulness both make a massive difference and are important to do daily.

If you want to follow Dom across the globe, you can find his envy inducing Instagram here.

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