Bulletproof Entrepreneur

Alan Smith

A podcast for entrepreneurs – reverse engineering the formula for successful scale, sale and exit.

Inspired conversations with world-class entrepreneurs and the specialists who support them.

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Episodes

S03E16 - Peter Cowley - Public Success, Private Grief
Today
S03E16 - Peter Cowley - Public Success, Private Grief
Peter Cowley is one of Europe’s best-known angel investors and active supporters of entrepreneurship. He studied computer science at Cambridge and founded his first company in 1984.Since then, he’s launched no less than 12 companies, some of which he exited from successfully, some of which failed, and one that is still going over 40 years later.As one of the UK’s most successful business angels, he’s invested in 76 technology companies, and his book, The Invested Investor, is widely recognised as the business bible for the startup and entrepreneur communities.But behind his incredible success are a series of dreadful experiences in his private life.A personal battle with alcoholism, the loss of close family members and tragically, the death by suicide of two of his children. Sadly, Peter is currently battling Stage 4 cancer and has just published what he expects to be his last book, Public Success, Private Grief, in which he documents his journey, both business and personal.Peter still has an immense passion for the entrepreneurial community. During our conversation, he offered invaluable advice and insight to anyone building a business or planning to start their journey.He also details the challenges he’s faced and how he’s managed to keep going despite unfathomable life experiences.A truly inspiring man and I was honoured to speak with him and share the conversation with you. Links:Peter CowleyPublic Success Private Grief: The extraordinary life of an angel investor, cancer patient and dadProject Cancer — Peter CowleyPapyrushttps://www.linkedin.com/groups/13019244/https://www.linkedin.com/in/alancapital/This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E15 - Jeremy Harbour - A serial entrepreneur reveals the secret to building incredible value in your business.
Mar 21 2024
S03E15 - Jeremy Harbour - A serial entrepreneur reveals the secret to building incredible value in your business.
I’m pleased to share a fascinating conversation I had recently with Jeremy Harbour, one of the most successful and experienced entrepreneurs around. Jeremy is a born entrepreneur who started selling jeans, watches, and even Cadbury creme eggs at age 11! He left school at 15 and has gone on to build, buy, and sell multiple companies. He’s currently more active than ever through his company and network, The Harbour Club.Jeremy has deep insight into the strategies and tactics needed to build value and think beyond the traditional model of organic growth, one client at a time.During our conversationHe described the three levers of business growth and introduced a fourth, often overlooked lever, which can be a game changer for many entrepreneurs.He talks about business failure and the two vital lessons he learned when things didn't work out as planned. As any business owner knows, disappointment is an inevitable part of the journey, so knowing how to manage it is vital.He also shares the specific tactics you can deploy as you prepare your business for a successful sale, including one idea that any entrepreneur can use that could increase your profits by 40%. That idea alone will ensure that this episode will be an excellent investment of your time.A high-energy entrepreneur and a wonderful storyteller, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Jeremy Harbour.LinksJeremy HarbourHarbour ClubThe Harbour Club by Jeremy Harbour - LEARN HOW TO BUY AND SELL BUSINESSES FOR A LIVING | LinkedIn Jeremy Harbour (@harbour.jeremy) • Instagram photos and videosGo Do Deals: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Buying & Selling Businesses eBook : Harbour, Jeremy: Amazon.co.uk: Bookshttps://www.bizbuysell.com/This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E14 - Russ Haworth - On The Business of Family
Mar 7 2024
S03E14 - Russ Haworth - On The Business of Family
Let me set the scene by telling you that one of my all-time favourite TV shows is "Succession”. It's a fascinating tale of a wealthy family wrapped up in the complexities of their business empire led by the founder and patriarch, Logan Roy, brilliantly portrayed by the actor Brian Cox.If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend you do. But let me give you a quick overview: "Succession" is not just about wealth and power; it's a saga of business intrigue, sibling rivalry, and the delicate art of succession planning.Now, while most of us may not hail from billionaire clans in New York, family businesses are a cornerstone of our economy. 90% of private enterprises in the UK are family-run, employing nearly 14 million people and generating over £1.7 trillion in annual turnover. They're the backbone of British entrepreneurship.These businesses may be owned and managed by a couple, there may be siblings or other generations involved, or they could simply be run by one owner-founder who will usually bring with him or her some level of personal family dynamics.Yet, despite their prevalence, the intricacies of family businesses often remain unexplored. That's why I'm excited to introduce today's guest, Russ Haworth.Russ is the UK’s leading authority on family businesses. A former financial planner who now runs his own consultancy business, providing advice and insight to families as they navigate the inevitable challenges faced by business owners and those closest to them.During our conversation, Russ shares his experiences exploring the human side of the business which is  even more important than the financial side of an organisation.We discuss the tricky subject of wealthy business owners and their choices  about whether or not to help their children financially - or to allow them to carve out their own path in life. This is something that comes up regularly in my conversations with successful entrepreneurs and is an important issue.And Russ explains why it’s important to have what he calls a ‘lifeboat drill’ -  a form of dress rehearsal to make sure that the family and the business can be well prepared to meet any future challenge, expected or unexpected.Family businesses exist at the intersection of money, business, emotions - and the family itself, so there are few more complex and challenging institutions. And there are millions of them across the country!It’s a fascinating and important subject, and Russ is a proven expert in all the nuances and complexities.Now, discussing everything you need to know about the family business, ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Russ Haworth.  Linkshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/russellhaworth/?originalSubdomain=uk https://familybusinesspartnership.com/ https://www.questforlegitimacy.com/ https://fambizpodcast.comhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Wealth-3-0-Future-Family-Advising-ebook/dp/B0CBJ41FYR https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Family-Wealth-Bloomberg-Hughes/dp/1119453216This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E13 - How to increase the value of your business 12x and get ‘exit ready’ - Business Mentor of the Year, Christine Nicholson.
Feb 22 2024
S03E13 - How to increase the value of your business 12x and get ‘exit ready’ - Business Mentor of the Year, Christine Nicholson.
Let me start by sharing some statistics with you, which I find rather shocking.90% of SMEs are unsellable50% close down for zero valueOnly one in 2,000 are sold for the full market value. It was today’s guest, Christine Nicholson, who shared that data with me, and as awful as the numbers are, the good news is that she’s developed a business owner’s toolkit to ensure that you’ve got the best chance of being that 1 in 2000 who do have a successful exit.Christine is an extraordinary lady. Having left school at 16, she quickly realised that working in a bank was not for her. So, she qualified as an accountant and embarked on her own entrepreneurial journey, which involved multiple businesses, several exits, and many lessons learned along the way.During our conversation, Christine talks about;Why you need to start planning for your exit much earlier than you think  - and the dangers of leaving things late.The steps to take to massively increase your business valuation – some of which may surprise you. She shares the details of how she helped a business increase its sale value 12x in less than 2 years.She explains the process she uses to ensure you’ve got the right people on your team, allowing you to spend time working on your business strategy more effectively.Towards the end of the conversation, Christine shares the details of some amazing tools and online services available to you as a podcast listener free of charge.Now, for a masterclass on how to successfully build scale, sell and exit your business, ladies and gentlemen, I give you  Christine Nicholson.Resources and Contact Detailshttps://christinenicholson.co.uk/https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-nicholson/?originalSubdomain=ukhttps://getexitready.co.uk/Ted talk re timing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNpx7gpSqbYBusiness Made Simple https://www.amazon.co.uk/Business-Made-Simple-Leadership-Marketing-ebook/dp/B085XNKHMBJohn Cleese on creativity  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb5oIIPO62g This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E12 Alex Chisnall  - What working with Sir Richard Branson taught me about entrepreneurship, resilience and taking big risks.
Feb 8 2024
S03E12 Alex Chisnall - What working with Sir Richard Branson taught me about entrepreneurship, resilience and taking big risks.
Alex Chisnall is the creator and host of one of the UK’s leading podcasts called Screw It Just Do It and is now a highly successful entrepreneur in the content creation space.The name of his podcast is a reference to the time he spent working at Virgin and observing his then-boss, Sir Richard Branson, at close quarters. Screw It Let’s Do It was a phrase often used by Sir Richard and the title of one of his books.During our conversation, Alex talked in depth about the resilience needed to be a successful entrepreneur and how he needed to dig deep to get through some really difficult challenges, some of which he described as the worst time of his life - and he has some words of encouragement to share that I think you’ll find valuable.He discusses the vital importance of maintaining strong physical and mental health and his strategy for dealing with tough times. These are vital lessons for us all.And he shares his thoughts on the impact that building a personal brand can have for any business owner and his belief that every entrepreneur should have their own podcast together with some practical first steps to get started.Towards the end, having experienced a personal and business rollercoaster ride over the last 20 years or so, his one-word definition of True Wealth is worth hearing and reflecting on.If you’re building a business, I'm sure you’ll be able to relate to his wise words.So, once again, thank you for being a loyal supporter of the Bulletproof Entrepreneur. Please hit the subscribe button, but for now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Alex Chisnall.Links:Alex ChisnallPodpreneurhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-chisnall?originalSubdomain=ukRich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No (Acquisition.com $100M Series Book 1) eBook : Hormozi, Alex: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & PhotoHow I Built ThisBossBabeThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E11 - Rand Fishkin, the founder who turned down a $250 million offer, reveals the painful truth about life as an entrepreneur.
Jan 25 2024
S03E11 - Rand Fishkin, the founder who turned down a $250 million offer, reveals the painful truth about life as an entrepreneur.
My guest today, Rand Fishkin, is the author of one of the best business books I’ve ever read, and trust me, I’ve read a lot of business books!It’s called Lost and Founder, and it charts his journey as a marketing tech business entrepreneur who raised money from Venture Capital investors and was growing at 100% year on year.It’s a ruthlessly honest book in which Rand breaks down the details and behind-the-scenes experiences of an entrepreneur. I think it’s essential reading for any founder or business owner looking to scale and seek an exit.During our conversation,He reveals the truth about raising capital and the secrets that the VC world doesn’t tell you when you’re seeking investment.He explains his decision to turn down an offer from Hubspot, which would have resulted in a $250 million exit.We also explore the concept of “enough” and why creating economic security is essential for any entrepreneur.And as someone with almost half a million followers on Twitter, Rand gives thoughtful advice to entrepreneurs on building their own personal brand - spoiler alert, it’s not what you might think!Now, for an inspiring and refreshingly candid conversation, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Rand Fishkin.LinksRand Fishkin's Bio, Speaker Rates, Contact Details | SparkToroLost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World: Amazon.co.ukNo Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed eBook : Fosslien, Liz, Duffy, Mollie West: Amazon.co.uk: Books Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not OkayTo sign up to receive the Bulletproof Entrepreneur newsletter, go to www.bulletproofentrepreneur.netThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E10 - Ray Trapani from Bitconned (now streaming on Netflix) - an insider’s experience of investing in cryptocurrency.
Jan 11 2024
S03E10 - Ray Trapani from Bitconned (now streaming on Netflix) - an insider’s experience of investing in cryptocurrency.
Hello, and welcome back to the Bulletproof Entrepreneur podcast, the first of 2024.We’ve  got something special for you to kick off the New Year!‘Bitconned” is currently one of the top shows streaming on Netflix around the world is and it features my guest Ray Trapani.It tells the story of 3 young hustlers who get caught up in the murky world of crypto investing and ultimately create a criminal enterprise and make millions.There are so many twists and turns, and if it were a fictional story, you’d dismiss it as being too far-fetched to be believable, but it's true and it’s quite extraordinary. Frankly, our conversation is a warning to anyone thinking of investing in cryptocurrency. To hear from someone who spent years deeply involved in the shady chat rooms and learn how he was able to manipulate the system should be enough to put you off going anywhere near it - or at the very least, doing lot of research before you part with a penny And make sure it’s money you can afford to lose - as there is a good chance you will.Consider this a public service announcement and share it with anyone who is considering getting involved.Early in our conversation, Ray candidly shares a traumatic childhood experience that had a huge impact on the man he became and the life choices he made.We discussed the role that Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) has on the market and why people see prices going up (often artificially through market manipulation) and are desperate not to miss out.We explore the role of celebrity endorsements and so-called finfluencers - if you see a celebrity endorsing any financial product, view that as a red flag and give it a miss.Ray shares exactly how he invests his money now as an insider who knows about crypto and what goes on in that market. - you may be surprised by his adviceAfter everything he’s experienced, his own personal definition of true wealth that he shares towards the end is profound.From Long Island, New York, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Ray Trapani.Netflix - https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81507283  Connect with Ray https://linktr.ee/raytrapaniThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E09 - Victor Haghani - Author of The Missing Billionaires, discusses how entrepreneurs can build and keep wealth.
Dec 14 2023
S03E09 - Victor Haghani - Author of The Missing Billionaires, discusses how entrepreneurs can build and keep wealth.
Most business owners that I know aren't entirely focused on making money or on the financial rewards, but nevertheless, creating economic security for you and your family is a vital part of why you started your business in the first place.So whether you sell your business in the future or simply use it as a vehicle to build your personal wealth, having some deep insight into the world of money and financial success can never be underestimated.So, I couldn't think of anyone better to round off the year than our guest, Victor Haghani. His background and experience are highly impressive.From graduating from the London School of Economics through his time in investment banking on Wall Street, he was a founding member of one of the most celebrated hedge funds in the world, Long Term Capital Management.After that blew up in spectacular fashion, he went on to try numerous different roles and is an entrepreneur who knows the ups and downs of business life intimately.As Victor explains during our conversation, he's made money, he's lost money, and he truly identifies with what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, both from a financial viewpoint and also from a business and personal one.He’s recently published a fabulous book called The Missing Billionaires, and I recommend it as part of your essential toolkit for understanding the important aspects of personal wealth.It’s often said that keeping money is harder than making money, and the numbers that he quotes are staggering.It seems that the vast majority of the wealth that successful entrepreneurs have created over the last hundred years or so has disappeared for multiple reasons.He explains some of the key strategies and tactics that you can embrace in order to preserve wealth within your family, both now and for future generations. He also shares a fascinating experiment that concluded that most of us, even experienced professionals, struggle with basic decision-making principles around money and risk.Towards the end of our conversation, Victor breaks down the precise steps you should take to make smart decisions with your money. Links:The Missing Billionaires: A Guide to Better Financial DecisionsThe Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Little Books. Big Profits)The Four Pillars of Investing, Second Edition: Lessons for Building a Winning PortfolioWhere Are the Customers' Yachts? or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street: 32 (Wiley Investment Classics)Beneficiary, The: Fortune, Misfortune, and... by Scott, JannyWhere are all the Billionaires? & Why should We Care?: Victor Haghani at TEDxSPSCoin Flip - Elm PartnersThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E08 - Bruce Whitfield - The Secret Sauce of Successful Entrepreneurship - learned from 50,000 interviews with business leaders.
Nov 30 2023
S03E08 - Bruce Whitfield - The Secret Sauce of Successful Entrepreneurship - learned from 50,000 interviews with business leaders.
I was in Cape Town a couple of months ago, speaking at a conference, and I was in the audience to witness one of the best keynote speeches I’ve ever seen, certainly the best keynote on the subject of entrepreneurship.The speaker was Bruce Whitfield, who is a big-name broadcaster in South Africa, hosts his own daily business show and is a writer, journalist, podcaster, and incredible storyteller.During his career, he’s met with, interviewed, and spent time with some of the best business builders, creators, and successful entrepreneurs on the planet, so he’s ideally placed to share what he views as the characteristics essential for success in business.He talks about the importance of optimism and looking for strategic opportunities even during the most challenging times.The lessons we can all learn from Dr Seuss and how to create solutions to problemsHe shares the incredible journey of Nandos and its co-founder Robbie Brozin and what it took to build a global business with over 1200 outlets in 30 countries- some brilliant insights from an incredible entrepreneur.Towards the end, Bruce explains the vital importance of leadership in business and how the most successful business leaders approach the role.Packed full of stories and anecdotes involving business rock stars such as Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, and even Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama!If you fancy eavesdropping on an inspirational conversation during these challenging times, you will enjoy this episode.From Cape Town, South Africa, via London, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Bruce Whitfield.Links:https://www.brucewhitfield.com/https://twitter.com/brucebusinessThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E07 Dave Butler, CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors - From pro basketball to leading a $600 billion investment business; timeless money advice for entrepreneurs.
Nov 16 2023
S03E07 Dave Butler, CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors - From pro basketball to leading a $600 billion investment business; timeless money advice for entrepreneurs.
In my ‘day job’, when I speak with entrepreneurs and ask them what their single biggest financial concern is once they sold their business and received a capital sum, the answer is often ‘I don't want to lose it  - I don’t want to mess this up!’ So I started this podcast as a resource for founders and business owners - those who’ve taken the leap, created a business and are now in the process of growing it or possibly already sold and exited.Anyone who’s started a business knows how difficult it can be,  and if you manage to navigate the inevitable rollercoaster ride that being an entrepreneur involves and created some economic success, the last thing you want to do is be exposed to unnecessary risks.That's why I was delighted to invite Dave Butler to share his wisdom with our community.Dave is the CEO of what I've often called The Best Kept Secret in Investment - Dimensional Fund Advisors and is one of the smartest people in finance.I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him several times and I can tell you that he’s a deeply thoughtful guy, super high integrity and incredibly passionate about helping investors succeed.During our conversation he explained his journey from playing pro basketball through his early days on Wall Street and now leading Dimensional  - and the lessons he’s learned along the way, such as:Why business owners with money to invest should be wary of hiring a specific type of fund manager or wealth adviser.The three essential areas you must focus on to maximise your chances of long-term investment success.His checklist of essential attributes to look for if you plan to hire a wealth adviser or money manager.Towards the end, after over 30 years in the money management business, and now running a company that manages hundreds of billions of dollars, his personal definition of True Wealth is just brilliant.Packed full of stories, anecdotes and words of wisdom, you're going to enjoy this conversation - ladies and gentlemen I gave you Mr Dave Butler.Links:Dimensional InvestingTrillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Foreverwww.capital.co.ukThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E06 - The Water King - Allan Feldt sold a business making just £50k profit for £15 million and then went on to a £75 million exit. An inspiring entrepreneurial story.
Nov 2 2023
S03E06 - The Water King - Allan Feldt sold a business making just £50k profit for £15 million and then went on to a £75 million exit. An inspiring entrepreneurial story.
Since I began the podcast as a resource for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, I’ve aimed for a blend of real-life conversations with founders and owners as well as practical ideas and insights from the people who can help and support entrepreneurs, such as lawyers, accountants, wealth advisors, and bankers.But my favourite episodes are the entrepreneur stories. The real-life experiences of those who had a spark of an idea and began working on it to create something, to build something out of nothing, and hopefully to enjoy the success.This week's episode is an incredible story of a crazy guy who had the idea to sell water in Scandinavia.My wife is Scandinavian, and as a result, I’ve spent a lot of time in Sweden and Denmark over the years, and I can tell you that the water that comes from the tap there is as pure as you can get it. So who on earth would come up with the mad idea of bottling water and selling it in Scandinavia and then across Europe?The answer is our guest today—Allan Feldt, who spoke to us from his home in Copenhagen.During a truly inspiring conversation, he shared his ideas on;Knowing what it is that you are really selling—in his case, he wasn’t selling water necessarily, but was selling cost savings and employee happiness to his business clientsHe explains how he cracked the code of creating a product that everyone needs and then employing an incredibly successful sales tactic that almost any business owner can use in their own companyAnd he shares his experiences on the art of negotiation and some invaluable tips when it comes to sitting down and agreeing on the terms of the sale of your businessTowards the end of our conversation, Alan shares his deeply reflective thoughts on family, money, children, and how to live a joyful life.I absolutely loved my conversation with the Water King  - ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Mr Allan Feldt.Resources:https://twitter.com/AllanFeldt_https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-feldt-62a757/Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials): Amazon.co.ukThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E05 Richard Bearman - Managing Director, British Business Bank. Ideas, insights, and inspiration from the banker who loves to help entrepreneurs.
Oct 19 2023
S03E05 Richard Bearman - Managing Director, British Business Bank. Ideas, insights, and inspiration from the banker who loves to help entrepreneurs.
Have you ever had an idea for a business but thought there were too many challenges and barriers to getting started? Whether it's access to funding or more importantly, access to good quality business advice and mentoring,Or maybe you've been in business for a year or two and you’re facing some headwinds- the economy is challenging, getting access to capital is harder than ever, and finding reliable sources of high-quality impartial advice is difficult.Or it could even be that you’re currently working for a company and think that you could do things a bit better than the way things are done, but it’s too big a leap to take. - you’ve got bills to pay and a family to support, and starting on your own without the finances or guidance - it just seems too risky.If so, this may be the conversation you’ve been waiting for, and I think you’ll want to get to know this week’s guest, Richard Bearman, managing director at the British Business Bank with a focus on start-ups and early-stage businesses.I must confess that although I was aware of the British Bank, I wasn't clear on the full range of services and support they offer to British entrepreneurs. - from start-up through scale-up and beyond, they provide a complete suite of services both directly and in partnership with other organisations.I really enjoyed my conversation with Richard, and in particular, some of the inspiring stories he shared about founders who have benefitted from the services provided by the bank and who’ve gone on to achieve remarkable things in business, regardless of the headwinds they’ve faced.What comes through from the conversion is that Richard really cares; he wants to help, he wants to make a difference and he wants to encourage entrepreneurship across the UK.I think Britain is a very entrepreneurial nation, and there are so many people with an idea bubbling inside of them that if only they could find a way to get started, it could change their lives. If that's you or someone you know, I encourage you to check out the positive things that the British Business Bank is doing, starting with the vast resources they provide free of charge on their website, and I've posted a link in the show note for you to take a look.Apparently, it was Mark Twain who said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Sometimes we need a spark of inspiration, something to compel us to action.I really think you’ll enjoy this inspired conversation - ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Richard Bearman.Links:https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-bearman-48291118/https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/our-people/richard-bearman/https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl/episodes/playerThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E04 Lee Robertson - pioneering financial services entrepreneur on scaling his business through the power of PR and selling to colleagues via a Management Buy Out
Oct 12 2023
S03E04 Lee Robertson - pioneering financial services entrepreneur on scaling his business through the power of PR and selling to colleagues via a Management Buy Out
Lee Robertson is a serial entrepreneur, having founded no less than 3 companies to date. One didn’t work out and is no longer around; one became a huge success, and he sold it to his colleagues in a management buyout; and the third one is currently thriving and keeping him busy.Lee, who came from humble beginnings and spent his early career in the Royal Navy, entered the financial services industry as a direct salesman in his twenties. In the days before Google, he made cold calls every day from numbers he found in the Yellow Pages, which must be a fantastic way to develop thick skin—something that all entrepreneurs need! He’s always been considered a pioneer and keen to employ forward-thinking innovations, which helped propel his success. An early adopter of the concept of “personal brand”, Lee was a regular in the press and on TV, which gave his company a huge boost and provided fuel for their growth.During the conversation, he shares a step-by-step guide on building your own personal brand to help grow your own company.And he shares his views on an organisation called “The Company of Entrepreneurs”, a City of London Livery Company that he found incredibly helpful as he evolved his career and grew as an entrepreneur. - worth checking them out as they’re very much open to members - link below. Towards the end, he offers some wise words about what matters and what’s really important - something that all entrepreneurs need to be reminded of from time to time.And he signed off with some fantastic book recommendations, most of which I'd never heard of but will certainly be checking them out - and if you’re building a business, you should too.Packed with insights and ideas that I know  will be helpful to you, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Lee Robertson.ResourcesLee’s Twitter (X)Lee Robertson Chartered FCSI FRSA | LinkedInOcto MembersWorshipful Company of EntrepreneursDo the F*cking Work: Lowbrow Advice for High-Level Creativity eBook : Buirge, Brian, Bacher, Jason, Richburg, Jason: Amazon.co.uk: BooksBreak From the Pack: How to Compete in a Copycat Economy eBook : Harari, Oren: Amazon.co.uk: BooksHigh Frequency Change: why we feel like change happens faster now, and what to do about itWord of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking eBook : Sernovitz, Andy, Godin, Seth, Kawasaki, Guy: Amazon.co.uk: BooksChris Do - CEO & Founder at The FuturThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E03 Bootstrapping his business to £50m annual revenue - Gurinder Dhillon of Otto Car
Oct 5 2023
S03E03 Bootstrapping his business to £50m annual revenue - Gurinder Dhillon of Otto Car
Gurinder is the founder and CEO of Otto Car, the company that provides cars and finance to most Uber drivers in London.Currently, over 5,000 vehicles on the road are provided through the services of Otto.In the few years since the business was founded and they were operating out of offices in shipping containers in a West London car park, they’ve hit £50 million in annual revenue and are growing faster than ever - and they've done it all without having to give up any equity or selling to VCs or PE.Coming from an immigrant family background, Gurinder was quick to identify cultural shifts impacting his dad's business, and he used the same strategy to get on board with new and emerging trends in his own business. He realised the importance of hitching your wagon to a company or sector that was growing fast - a bit like a support frigate for a huge aircraft carrier - in his case the aircraft carrier was Uber.According to Gurinder, the foundations of Otto’s success are their core values and being mission driven. He explained that when it comes to values, ‘you can't do mission without marching’ - in other words, you need to walk the talk and demonstrate it through your daily actionsHe describes the period during COVID when his company was losing £6,000 every hour and he really found out who his allies were - and crucially, who they weren't. - he uses strong language, but it only goes to highlight exactly how important this is to him - and if you’re an entrepreneur, I think you will understandTowards the end of our conversation, he shares an anecdote that involves expensive wine and a life lesson, and it’s worth listening just to hear that!I learned a lot and was greatly inspired and entertained - and so will you be.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gurinder Dhillon.ResourcesOtto Carhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/gurinder-dhillon/?originalSubdomain=ukZero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future: Amazon.co.ukBlue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition IrrelevantThe Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership: Amazon.co.ukThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E02 Back From the Brink - the incredible story of a husband-and-wife team that built an amazing business over 30 years. And then nearly lost it all
Sep 28 2023
S03E02 Back From the Brink - the incredible story of a husband-and-wife team that built an amazing business over 30 years. And then nearly lost it all
This episode is a first.After 35 episodes of the Bulletproof Entrepreneur podcast, I thought it was time we explored the dynamics where a husband and wife set up in business and have to manage two different relationships - the business partners working together and the life partners raising a family and having a quality home life away from the business.Richard and Sonia Dixon met when they were young and started working together at a small travel agent in a less salubrious part of Birmingham where a business partnership blossomed kind of at the same time as a personal partnership.Their story tracks the evolution of the travel industry front the time when the only way to book your holiday was by walking into a shop on the high street through the early days of the internet and online booking and took them to a position where they had a team of over 200 people and a thriving business.Before it all came crashing down.You’re going to hear about what it takes to grow a business from almost nothing to become a significant player in a highly competitive sector.You’ll learn the meaning of the word Resilient when they explain that they were so close to hitting all-time revenue targets that they were about to take the entire team on a trip of a lifetime to Mauritius when the pandemic arrived, and their company was literally a few days from bankruptcy.And of course, you’ll learn how they cracked the code of building a world-class business together whilst building a happily married family life together - so many valuable lessons for all of us.And towards the end, Richard shares insight for all business owners who find themselves in a position of leadership when they haven’t actually formally been trained for it - and let's face it, that’s most of us.If you work with a family member or simply love to hear an incredible business and life story that encompasses more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster, you're going to enjoy this inspired conversation.Ladies sand gentlemen, I give you…Richard and Sonia DixonLinks:https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-dixon-4aa76721/?originalSubdomain=ukm Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and PurposeThe Leadership Book by Neil Jurd: A step by step guide to excellent leadership: Amazon.co.ukThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S03E01 Roheel Ahmad - CEO of one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe shares his secret sauce of business success.
Sep 21 2023
S03E01 Roheel Ahmad - CEO of one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe shares his secret sauce of business success.
Roheel Ahmad is the co-founder of Forsythe Barnes, a recruitment company, but not just any recruitment company. The business has been listed on the FT250 Fastest Growing Business list for three years running.In under 8 years, it’s grown from zero to almost £100m in revenue, has a team of 80 and has recently opened an office in New York with plans for LA and Dubai.And they’re just getting started.During the conversation, Roheel shared the 7 key ingredients that make up the secret sauce of his business success. Some of the highlights include.How to disrupt an entire industry by embracing digital content and simply doing things differently to the way they've been done for decades.The vital importance of relentless ambition and reminding your team about it regularly Creating a meritocracy where, if you're good enough, you're old enough.Towards the end, Roheel shares a thought that most entrepreneurs will relate to. It’s about using his business as a platform to see discover what he’s truly capable of - a platform for achieving his full potential.Our conversation is full of practical ideas and real-life experiences that will be so helpful if you’re building a business.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Roheel AhmadLinks:https://www.linkedin.com/in/roheelahmad/https://www.forsythbarnes.com/https://wondery.com/shows/business-wars/https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shoe-Dog-Memoir-Creator-NIKE/dp/1471146707https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habitshttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Grover-Winning-Collection-Hardcover-Relentless/dp/9124214019/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1694868379&refinements=p_27%3ATim+Grover&s=books&sr=1-3This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S02E15 Piers Linney shares his entrepreneurial journey from modest beginnings to Dragon's Den and the advice he got from Sir Richard Branson
Jun 29 2023
S02E15 Piers Linney shares his entrepreneurial journey from modest beginnings to Dragon's Den and the advice he got from Sir Richard Branson
You probably know Piers Linney from the TV show Dragon’s Den, where he appeared for two seasons, giving advice and investing his own money in startup companies.Something of a reluctant celebrity, he left the Den and has gone on to start several other businesses in technology, media, and communications, including his latest venture, Implement AI.During our conversation, he explainedThe importance of storytelling when pitching your business to raise finance, find investors, or just selling your products to customers. Every entrepreneur needs to know how to sell.He talks about the advice that Sir Richard Branson gave him when he was considering becoming a Dragon  - you’ll realise why Sir Richard is as successful as he is.The challenges faced by founders who come from a minority background or maybe didn’t go to the right school or university, and how to overcome that and succeed.Towards the end of our conversation, Piers speaks passionately about the technology tsunami healing our way called Artificial Intelligence and what small businesses and SMEs should do to make sure they don’t miss the boat.Piers is a real champion for SMEs and has just launched a new company to help small businesses harness the power of AI, which he believes will be transformational.Finally, in an act of incredible generosity, Piers has provided the Bulletproof Entrepreneur audience with free access to his online course for entrepreneurs - which he normally sells for £198.The course offers 10 hours of personally delivered advice over 15 modules and over 76 lessons. If you’re a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, it's designed to save you time and money and reduce risk to maximise your chances of success and wealth creation.The link to access the course for free is in the show notes.But for now, sharing his reflections, insights and wisdom, I give you Mr Piers LinneyLinks:https://startup.pierslinney.com/p/startup?coupon_code=BULLET&product_id=1369146 Or use code:  “ BULLET” for a 100% discount to access the course.https://www.pierslinney.com/https://www.implementai.io/ai-business-sme-financehttps://twitter.com/pierslinney?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthorhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/pierslinney/This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S02E14 Entrepreneur Bootcamp with Serial Founder, Bob Norton (with 2 free ebooks)
Jun 15 2023
S02E14 Entrepreneur Bootcamp with Serial Founder, Bob Norton (with 2 free ebooks)
Bob has enjoyed 100% launch success returning over $1 billion to his investors. He’s founded six companies, sold four and is still running two.He’s grown two startups to $100m and $156m in sales in 5 years and 3 years respectively.During our conversation, Bob explainsThe vital importance of having a crystal clear vision for your company and what the 11 elements of a successful vision are that comprise what he calls his Vision Pie.The main reasons that startups fail (the most important one accounts for 42% of failures) - and what you should do to avoid being one of them!When the data confirm that only 1 in 400 companies secure funding, he shares his evidence-based reasons for this and explains how to ensure that you are one of the companies that do get funded (it's not about your pitch deck!)Bob has also kindly provided the Bulletproof Entrepreneur audience with access to several valuable resources - see the links below.Links:https://homegrownclub.co.uk/events/rockstar-series-founder-of-leon-henry-dimbleby-in-conversation-with-alan-smith/Bob Norton - Fractional CEO/COO Helping Companies Reach 50%-100% CAGR, Scaling Guru, Leadership Operating System - AirTight Management | LinkedInhttps://clevelenterprises.com/Recommended_Reading.htmlhttps://www.ceobootcamp.us/top8 - Free eBook - Top 8 Reasons Companies Fail to Raise Funds – From my experience as a Serial Entrepreneur and also angel investor.https://www.ceobootcamp.us/top20  - Free eBook Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail And How to Avoid Them – This based on research of hundreds of startup postmortems. Free course on the top 40 skills entrepreneurial teams need to build a successful companyWebinar replay for Mastering the Top 10 Challenges of Growth and Scaling any business. – The challenges of scaling are statistically 1.260 harder than building a successful startup because these skills are so rare and only learned by experience. No university teaches these things.Webinar replay: How to Raise Millions for Any Company – Learn the 30 other sources of capital beyond angel and VC and how to prepare a company and get it into the top few percent investors see.The 11 Elements of a Successful Vision article and diagram – The Vision Pie and Vision Cone concepts to be way beyond the average understanding of how to develop and use a complete vision. This is on Bob’s Blog with over 175 other articles searchable by topic and keyword 6 Professional Certifications and 40 Courses can also be seen at www.EntrepreneurshipU.com – I believe these courses can easily triple a company’s chances of success because they are jam-packed with dense content that includes thinking models, checklists and “How to” stuff for almost any entrepreneurial challenge. This podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management
S02E13 Question Everything - the mantra used by Ian Humphris to fuel his marketing scale-up and £23 million exit.
Jun 1 2023
S02E13 Question Everything - the mantra used by Ian Humphris to fuel his marketing scale-up and £23 million exit.
Ian is an entrepreneur who built and, after 7 years, sold a highly successful marketing agency for £23 million. In this episode, he shares the lessons learned on his journey so far.Ian had a postcard on the wall beside his desk at his first job with 2 words on it - “Question Everything” - and he’s lived his life by that mantra ever since.A deep thinking entrepreneur who has always challenged conventional thinking,  and so I let the tape run as he was sharing so much wisdom. You’re going to learn: The importance of finding a co-founder with complementary skills  to your own and where, as Ian says, 1 + 1 = 3  otherwise you're wasting your time. His unique view on how to build a business and win new clients - a core skill for any successful company but particularly one that has the ambition to scale up. The value of spending time with your business advocates and partners, sharing your story explaining your future plans and vision - and it was this that eventually led to the sale of the company to a PLC.Towards the end of our conversation, Ian explains the importance of challenging conventional thinking particularly when it comes to pricing your services. This is a subject that we've done a lot of work on in my business and one that every entrepreneur should reflect on. Remember - “Question Everything.”Links:https://www.lbbonline.com/news/communisis-acquires-life-in-23-million-dealhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/ian-humphris-5bb8a413/?originalSubdomain=ukhttps://nokamo.com/Mark RitsonKotler on Marketing by Philip Kotler (1999-06-07) HardcoverHow not to Plan: 66 ways to screw it upHow Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know: Amazon.co.ukEat Your Greens - Wiemer Snijders: 9781789016758https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choice-Factory-behavioural-biases-influence/dp/085719609XHow to Build a Car: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Formula 1 Designer eBook : Newey, Adrian: Amazon.co.uk: BooksThis podcast is produced by GR Media Sponsored by Capital Asset Management