Biz Extra

Published: May 28, 2020 | Updated: June 4, 2020

20 Questions with Paul O’Connell, Owner and Physiotherapist, Bridge Health & Wellbeing

Paul O’Connell: Best bit of my job? Working for myself! It’s brilliant to be able to be my own boss and make decisions quickly.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His favourite dish is Beef Wellington, his ideal car companions would be Freddie Flintoff and Gazza and he’d like to be remembered for being a great husband, father and friend (and not a bad businessman and physio as well!).

Paul O’Connell, Owner and Physiotherapist, Bridge Health & Wellbeing, Christchurch, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: I have to say (otherwise Louise my wife will shoot me) anything sport related so Question of Sport, Match of the Day, Sunday Supplement, any sort of televised sports tournament and normally the highlights as well. I also really like comedy so any stand-up that is on and Gogglebox really makes me laugh.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: The sports theme continues so someone like Freddie Flintoff or Gazza who have had their demons in the past but have great stories to tell. I have also listened to Gary Vaynerchuk quite a bit since setting up the clinic so spending some time with him would be really interesting.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Working for myself! Having worked in the corporate world for over ten years, which was great, it is now brilliant to be able to be my own boss and make decisions quickly. As a physio I also love working with people and helping them feel better.

Q: And the worst…?

A: Cleaning! As a start-up we can’t afford a cleaner yet so it’s all hands on deck.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: Back to sport again and I have to say Gazza, especially after watching Italia 90.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: Anything related to cooking like freshly baked bread. Louise loves baking as well so walking into the kitchen with a chocolate cake just out of the oven is amazing.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: We live in Southbourne so the beach is definitely number 1. The high street is also great with new shops, bars and restaurants opening all the time.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Don’t rely on work to come to you, even in a big, well established company. You need to get yourself known, go the extra mile and even do the odd job that maybe you don’t really want to do.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: Oasis – Definitely Maybe.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Nothing really gets me angry but I do get very frustrated if people don’t do what they say they will and people who lack professional courtesy. It only takes a second to say hello or reply to an email.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: It has to be ‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang. It was the music we walked out of our wedding to.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: You need to have a good CV to get the interview but after that all I am really thinking about is how are we going to work together and will you fit into the team. If you don’t engage, communicate well and ask us questions, it won’t go well!

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: This changes all the time but at the moment I would say Beef Wellington.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Sponge pudding every time but I would be cheeky and ask for ice cream rather than custard [Very cheeky but granted, Paul! – Editor].

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: The lifestyle, especially now we have our own business. I can do the school run, pick-ups and take the kids to clubs all around work, which is great. Being virtually on the beach but also only a few minutes from the New Forest is brilliant as well.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: I would really look at the sports facilities around the country and see if there is any way that these could be improved. When you travel through countries like France and see what they have, there is almost no comparison.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: I have had a great life so far and can look back with very little frustration. If I hadn’t gone straight to university I would have loved to have done at least one ski season.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: Like the food question, this can change quite a bit. Since having the kids and also being a keen cyclist, Majorca is right up there. We recently went to New York for our 40th birthdays and loved it there as well.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Having just opened the clinic I would be very disappointed if we weren’t running a successful business and making a real difference to the people of Christchurch.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Being a great husband, father and friend (and not a bad businessman and physio!).