Entrepreneur with a heart, Matt Haycox sets up foundation for disadvantaged children

Entrepreneur, Matt Haycox has set up a foundation to support a multitude of causes after being inspired by his experience of donating £16,000 and helping a young schoolboy suffering from cerebral palsy raise £50,000 for a life-changing operation, which would enable him to walk unassisted and pain-free.

As you have your own charity, what do you think is the best way to give back to others? Everyone gives back in their own way and within their own resources. I don’t think there is necessarily a ‘best; way’, as everyone’s needs and situations are different. But putting your skill-set, whatever that may be, to use to solve a problem or improve a situation is all we can ask for anyone. It isn’t always about throwing money at a problem, often just giving time and a bit of TLC that can make all the difference. I started into ‘charity’ quite late on in life and I really wish I had started sooner. I can genuinely say what a satisfying and humbling experience, it has been, and continues to be. I would urge anyone to get involved in causes that matter, no matter how small. It really is a win-win for all!

On Arts Muse, we like to know what creatively inspires people. So Matt, what music do you play when you need to get inspired? 

My playlists are pretty varied, but I am a big fan of 80’s music, as well as American Country Music. Between those two genres I can usually find a song for every occasion, but rarely a friend who wants to listen with me. 

What is a book that has significant meaning to you? I don’t get a great deal of time to read and unfortunately nowadays when I do, it tends to be a business-related book. But one of my favourite books I first remember reading from when I was a kid is Jeffrey Archer’s ’12 Red Herrings’. I have since re-read it a few times and even listened to it as an audiobook. Archer is a great storyteller and his short stories are clever and punchy tales.

What is your ‘must see’ film? Here is one I am sure you weren’t expecting, Tom Cruise’s ‘Days of Thunder’, which came out when I was 11. I saw it maybe 8 times whilst it was still in cinema and I must have seen it 50 times since them. I just love it, it never gets boring.

You wrote a book yourself, what did you do to keep yourself motivated? Fear of failure always keeps me going. I have a daughter who I always want to give the best to. I also get scared of letting myself down and failing to achieve. Different people need to achieve in different ways, but for me, fear of a negative is a more powerful push, than the promise of something positive.

What is your main creative inspiration? I often disappoint myself by failing to be creative and original, and I find that most of my successes are refinements and improvements on existing concepts. If I want to get really creative or solve a problem, I have to get away from it. Whether that is a peaceful walk in the middle of nowhere or sat on a quiet beach with no distractions. I find phones and technology fill our minds with permanent distractions, I have to get away from it all to be truly creative and productive.

If you could have dinner with 5 people (living or dead) who would it be? Every time I met a hero or celebrity I have really wanted to meet, I have been sorely disappointed. So hopefully this bunch wouldn’t let me down and will allow me to be the perfect host. My very diverse bunch who would be guzzling my favourite red wine would be:

Amy Schumer to provide the laughs.

Rick Astley to provide the tunes.

Kiefer Sutherland, the star of two of my favourite shows. We can talk about Jack Bauer all night.

Kate Upton for a bit of eye candy.

My daughter Harlie, always my favourite ‘plus one’ and my best pal.

Do you have any hobbies or ‘creative outlets’ no one knows about? Many I want to do, but never anything I seem to find the time to do. When I was younger my hobby and passion was magic. It even became my first job as a table magician in my local restaurant. But eventually, I found less and less time for it. I keep promising myself a couple of weeks away from work to learn my old tricks again, but it never seems to happen.

Since you are a hard working businessman, how do you spend your ‘down’ time? I am an avid player or both poker and polo.  I love the challenge of them both, being involved in a competitive polo match really helps me relax and get a clear head. Chasing around horses and hanging on for dear life really helps me relax and get a clear head.

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