Meet Michelle Sephton, our new Non-Executive Director – and read her invaluable tips for business success

I’m thrilled to start 2019 with a new Non-Executive Director across both our businesses – 14fiftyseven, and our sister company Progressive Travel Recruitment, which recruits for the travel industry. So, welcome to Michelle Sephton, former Managing Director of Elegant Resorts, the specialist luxury travel company.

Michelle brings with her a wealth of experience, having been with Elegant Resorts for 25 years. She worked in every department of the business, starting her career in finance, and shaped this successful brand. On stepping down from Elegant Resorts Michelle is assisting other ventures, and we’re thrilled to be working with her.

I have worked with Michelle for many years, recruiting for her team at Elegant Resorts via Progressive Travel Recruitment. Michelle fully understands the importance of hiring the best people in to travel companies (Progressive Travel Recruitment) and in the home (14fiftyseven), and she will help with our growth and plans for both brands. She will be a great asset to the continuing development of 14fiftyseven.

Michelle says, ‘I’m excited to work with 14fiftyseven. James and the team have always been very successful at providing me with excellent travel staff. My background in luxury travel affords me insight across business, particularly in the luxury sector, from personalised services, luxury goods, desirable destinations, to many other bespoke offerings. I have witnessed the finest of service and facilities delivered with true emotional engagement, and understand that this is what makes a company successful. I believe that if a brand and its people apply trust, integrity, and commitment, then that brand will prosper; the people both on the inside and out will show loyalty and longevity.’

‘Coming from a financial background, I also know how important it is to have a good business plan, vision, and investment. But companies that truly stand out and grow into respected worldwide brands are those that invest in emotional engagement. Both from a financial and luxury background I look forward to sharing best practice, and from hands-on experience recognising future opportunities and bringing them to fruition with James and his companies.’

Read Michelle’s top tips for a successful business:

Nurture your team
You don’t have a business if you don’t have a team in my opinion, no matter how big or small, get to know your team and genuinely show interest in them, their life and ambitions.

Treat people well
Treat everyone how you want to be treated and don’t ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.  

Share your knowledge
I have experienced those people in senior positions who withhold useful information, wrongly thinking this gives power to themselves and their standing within the business. How wrong this is. In my experience, it causes mistrust and is frustrating for those around them.

Have a plan
Keep it simple, keep it real and share it where possible. Adhere to the plan and don’t deviate unless it is an agreed course of action. Ensure timely reviews, mitigate any threats as quickly as possible and most importantly celebrate each success, however small – even if it’s just with a pat on the back.

Have a plan B
Business is never straightforward and can take a wrong turn due to influences out of your control. Have a plan B ready, even though hopefully it’s a piece of work that never sees the light of day.

Be honest
Above all be honest and even if you can’t tell everyone all you know, make sure what you can say has integrity.

Excellent advice from Michelle. It’s onwards and upwards for us at 14fiftyseven. We look forward to keeping you updated here via the blog throughout 2019.

James Roberts


Talk to 14fiftyseven director Susie Osborough about hiring lifestyle managers, PAs, nannies, house and estate managers, and more. Call +44 (0)208 616 1457 or email to start the conversation.

14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.

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