Patrick Mulcahy aka The Mindful Farmer is the owner of Ballinwillin House Farm, the only combined organic farmed venison, wild boar and goat farm in Ireland and the UK. He is a serial entrepreneur and his business interests include the production of handcrafted artisan food, a boutique B&B at Ballinwillin, a vineyard in Hungary, the annual music festival, “Indiependence”, which is held on his deer farm and “RetrEAT” a weekend experience to nourish the body and mind.
During his childhood, Pat developed a system to cope with the challenges of growing up on a small farm. From as young as 8 years of age, he was practising mindfulness which he acknowledges helped him immensely during his work in his first career as a Garda. In 2017 Pat created a “Thinking Path” on the grounds of Ballinwillin House Farm and in 2018 he added a holistic garden with areas dedicated to mindfulness, meditation and forgiveness. He has a huge interest in health and well being and is an advocate for nourishing the mind and body.
Under what conditions do you get your best work done?
In peaceful conditions – very early in the morning or late at night.
Have you ever been professionally stuck? How did you become unstuck?
Absolutely! I usually go into my garden to meditate and pray deeply and it may take time but it will ease its way out and I feel wonderful afterwards. It is as if it was meant to happen.
What advice would you give your younger self?
BE. MORE. PATIENT.
What qualities do you believe are the most important to be a leader? If not all these qualities come naturally, do you have any tips on how to cultivate them?
Honesty, courage and flair are all leadership attributes. I firmly believe that some leadership qualities are inherited. For example a strong work ethic, loyalty and honour. You can be born with self-belief or it can be taught by a good coach but you must have the seeds of it within you to begin with. A sense of fairness is very important when you are leading a team. Working with leaders you admire and being mindful of their qualities is a good way to identify them and strive to emulate them.
If you had to name three characteristics of great leaders what would they be?
Honour, loyalty and courage.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, people, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
Personally, I am a people’s person so therefore I look to meet people I admire as leaders. I believe that you won’t follow all or maybe any of their advice or attributes but you can choose to do so and in so doing you will be personally stronger. Many of these leaders may disappoint you because of some of their standards but it is all life experiencing.