Out of office – Andy Acton talks travel, cooking and Formula 1
Andy Acton discusses becoming a grandfather, his interest in Formula 1 and why he thinks sport is important.
Please introduce yourself
I am Andy Acton, married, four kids, one granddaughter and nine pets!
I am the co-founder of a specialist provider of business services to the dental profession. The best known part of this is Frank Taylor & Associates, which values and sells dental practices. But we deliver a full set of business services to help dentists thrive from video marketing to finance and legal services.
Across a 20-foot wall in my office it reads: ‘We exist to change lives; to help our clients achieve their dreams’. This sums up what we work towards every day.
Most of my time is spent strategically developing the group, working with the profession to debunk myths and sharing positivity.
What do you get up to in your spare time away from dentistry?
On Christmas Day last year I graduated to the role of grand-dude which I am loving! She is a bundle of joy and taking on a new role within the family has been so rewarding.
I am currently working on a book, which I hope will serve as a guide for young entrepreneurs to learn from my mistakes and successes.
Are you a foodie?
I’m not a foodie in the sense of nouvelle cuisine. But I love home cooking and have been known to dabble with some home creations! The highlight this year was a three-tier chocolate orange drip cake for a family Come Dine with Me event; my low point attempting samosas – they were just awful and I quite rightly got roasted on Instagram!
I eat anything, but recently have been enjoying Thai food made extra special by using herbs from my own garden I’ve cultivated this year.
Are you into any sport?
I’ve always enjoyed being active and still enjoy a variety of sports. I played badminton to county standard as a teenager. I’m thankful my parents encouraged and enabled me to try many sports as a kid from canoeing, horse riding, archery, rock climbing and all the racquet sports.
I like the discipline and the wider life lessons sport provides. I’m fascinated by the mindset of high-achieving sportspeople, especially Olympians and what it takes to be the best in the world on their day.
I still swim most days and more recently have been playing golf with my youngest son, which has been a lovely way to spend time together.
What type of television/movies do you like – any guilty pleasures?
I am drawn to documentaries (The Last Dance was fascinating) and fact-based movies over drama.
That said I recently saw The Gentlemen again with a fabulous performance from Hugh Grant. You really shouldn’t like his character but somehow I was weirdly drawn to him.
I also think I might qualify as a binge-watcher of The Morning Show on Apple TV, which is superbly well-written and acted.
Do you like to travel and do your hobbies take you anywhere in particular?
I love to travel and last year managed to mix some travel with my interest in Formula 1 and took one of my children to the Grand Prix in Hungary. It was in Hungary that I first used Google Translate on my phone and saved myself from having a mincemeat and onion puff for breakfast!
A few years ago my wife and I trekked through the Sahara Desert in memory of her father. That was just incredible. It was the first time I really appreciated the Milky Way. I found myself each night taking an hour to marvel at it.
I am also a massive fan of waterfalls – I find this raw power of nature quite mesmerising. To stand at the foot of Yosemite Falls in California was a real highlight.
Why is it important to have hobbies away from your profession?
My father said to me many years ago ‘do something you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life’. I am so fortunate to love what I do and be inspired every day. That said having a hobby or interest which engages the brain in a different way is healthy.
There are times when my daily routine can be quite sedentary. So for balance I am drawn to physical activities, such as hiking, when away from the office. I am a firm believer that we need to look after our body and mind alike. One is dependent on the other.
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