Today’s guest is Rob Waddell of Yorkshire, England. He has decades of experience in marketing, including direct response tv advertising for some of the UK’s biggest food brands, which gave him the experience of managing a half a billion dollar brand when he was just 30 years old and now specializing on digital marketing since launching his business in 2006. We talk about trusting your instincts learning by mistakes, and how to prioritize. Enjoy, Rob Waddell.
- 2:01 – Product Lunch
- 8:49 – Single Digit Margin
- 12:53 – Long term Gains
- 20:21 – Digital Data
- 22:30 – Transition
Learn more about this guest:
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
And listeners, thanks for joining us for another episode of learningfromothers.com, Damon from SEO national with Kyle and today, Rob Waddell from, you know, I didn’t know this until today, which is super cool. Rob’s born and bred in London, England, and moved North to New York Shire. Uh, so Rob, welcome to the show and is York shy where you’re at right now?
Yeah. And they I’m sad. All of the Yorkshire Dales, beautiful countryside and kind of five minutes out of my house. I mean, to the roads. Lovely countryside. Yeah. I was waiting for him to say it. Say it again, Robin. You’re sure. You’re sure. Yorkshire before we started offline, we were kind of talking about the subtle nuances in, in voice.
And I heard David say York Shire and I was waiting. I’m sure I’m going to slaughter a lot. Right? If you’re English and you live in the shires, then yeah. You live out. You live at the stake. So you’re not, you’re not far around, but, but you don’t share. Well, well, I probably even ruined your last name. How do you pronounce your last name?
No. No, you take it. You take it. Yeah, that’s good. All right. Cool. Well, uh, you know, Rob brings a diverse background. He’s got a wealth of experiences and I’m excited to learn a little bit about. The retail world over in the UK. So Rob comes from a background where he’s worked with, uh, companies like, uh, I’m gonna, I’m definitely gonna slaughter this McVitie’s yeah.
McVitie’s Hey, I’m too far. Well, no, I’m two for three. So I’m like video is a biscuit brand and Rob helped them with, uh, you know, grow their business. They’re a half a billion dollar company. Is that right? Yeah. You had a pretty big, bigger than that now. Cause they measured other businesses did that at the time I was working out.
Yeah. But 500 million. Well, why don’t we start there? So you, you created a, launched a new product for them. So how did you get in the position? Was that what your responsibilities were at McNees and tell us about that product launch. Yeah. Sure. So kind of put a bit of context around this. Um, when our left, uh, my kind of education, having done a degree in business studies and marketing, I went into various, uh, businesses to, uh, learn the ropes through marketing.
And then my second, third job then was at Betty’s, which, uh, was the number one brand in the UK, uh, kind of a big role name T the other size brand. And, um, I kind of climbed, climbed a few steps on the ladder as you do from first job, second job for a job. So I had some experience about how to run, uh, brands and products, but I’d never had the opportunity to launch, you know, a big brand.
So these intimate VCs, I was there for five years. And then one particular project that we worked on was a completely new chocolate biscuit bar. So it’s a snack product effectively, but chocolate where we literally from concepts, you know, where the idea for what the right kind of product would be for the customer, right.
The way through to launching it. A national exposure, TV advertising. The whole premise of the business at that time in that marketplace was to be a number one in a sector. So it was hugely exciting and got me in front of a lot of people exposed to a lot of new stuff, which I hadn’t done before, but also the whole thing around things like CV advertising, making ads from scratch and as well as designing the product.
Uh, so it was about a nine month journey, um, from concept rather than through to getting on the shelf. But it’s on that to be one of the biggest launches in his sector at the time. And, uh, certainly with, uh, Costco. So is, uh, the UK number one, grocery retailer. It was the biggest launch that they had, uh, in that category as well.
So it was a huge amount of focus on it and it got me exposed to a lot of things. So that’s what it was in a nutshell, uh, nine months of graph, but it was fantastic experience. Get it launched. What was the primary method of advertising for that launch? It was primarily headline, uh, TV advertising. So a major brand in the UK would be looking to advertise in a prime time slots, you know, uh, soap watching, uh, over in the UK is a program called coronation street, which is the number one that was at the time number one ranking program.
So you were looking for huge TV audiences. So it was a typical mass market, big brand launch, a TV was the headline. But behind that was a huge number of promotional activities in store across media. Um, you guys may not be familiar, but in the UK, there was a pregnant called gladiators at the time, uh, which was on ITV, which is the number one station and gladiators, uh, was, um, a bit like, um, one of these courses that they do nowadays with various, I call it American gladiators here.
Yes. We adapt to that. Yeah. And one of the, one of the brand development areas that we worked on to get publicity was to, we talked to a three week company and at the point where gladiators were going into new scenes and it was already well established as a Saturday night, um, we got them in working with us on a sponsorship deal to name the chocolate snacks.
That was also our brand name. And we did a whole load of round the country, PR activities with him, headlining it. Um, so it was, you know, typical budget, multi faceted marketing PR promotions to grab, you know, we were talking offline and I had mentioned that we had done some consulting for a company over in the UK called EVU.
And in one of the discussions I had with them, I found it interesting how heavily. And how effective TV advertising is in the UK relative to the U S you know, it’s dying off quite a bit here. Um, and I know that McVitie’s was a while ago, but how do you find TV advertising performing now? Is, is, is it still the primary method to, you know, reaching a mass audience in the UK?
Yeah. The short answer is yes. Um, it works into res it has certainly become a lot more fragmented. So the big difference nowadays versus 10 or 20 years ago was that the size of the audience is, are massively smaller. So, uh, something, when I was advertising on TV coronation street, 10, 15, 20 million viewers nowadays, you’d be lucky to get five or eight.
So the cost of TV advertising to the size of the audience has been diluted. And that’s because now they sky, uh, digital and, uh, Netflix and everything else has fragmented the market. It used to be that four or five main channels, but now we’re following the way that the States has gone. I think we can market is now heavily, um, mostly pay-per-views, but fragments viewing audience system nowadays, you can actually.
Get on sneezy, uh, more cheaply in terms of, you know, your dollar. However, the cost per reach on the audience means that big brands are not only advertising on TV, but they’re having to go into Facebook. They’re having to go into the other methods. Um, but certainly that you can still emphasize and CV and the big brands do because it’s, it’s a bit like running.
Um, I’ll meet Blake people, still blessed loss in the middle of the TV soaps. And the big Saturday night shows because that’s where the audiences are. So if you want the coverage and you want to be seen as being the way to go. Interesting on a, I have a question and Kyle could probably chime in on this.
Um, I make videos where with, um, a marketplace product, um, w was the, was that product primarily to just sell through grocery stores? Right. Um, so Kyle’s experience in grocery stores, correct me if I’m wrong. Kylie here in the U S it’s like an average of 1 cent profit. Per product, is that right? They say they make, yeah.
Yeah. They say they make about one to two pennies for every UPC scanned, you know? So if you’re at the cashier scan 10 items, they made 10 to 20 cents off of it. We are off of your order. So, yeah. Yeah. So, uh, most, uh, occupations, the short answer is that retailers will say they only make single digit margin.
Uh, but that’s because of their operating costs, but headline gross margins are a lot larger than that, but of course, the big players, the likes of Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s and Asda as a warm up, we’ll say, yeah, but we’ve gotta pay for stores and the staff and your lighting and the heating. So they in their books.
Yeah. Ultimately the only make single digit model, but that’s because of that massive overheads, but the headline yeah. Gross margins. That makes sense. If you’re in this kind of business, it’s not the manufacturers that make the gross margins, you know, it’s the retailers that, um, because they own the shelf space.
Um, so in the UK is rude and highly concentrated at the top, the top three or four only like, you know, 70% of the market. Wow. Yeah. That makes sense. Is it all at Sally’s? Oh, he’s down to the books, what they say. Um, you know, so I want to get into talking about more, what you’re into nowadays, um, and to kind of transition into that, uh, right now you have your own consultancy and coaching business.
Um, why don’t you give us a little bit of a background on what you’re doing now, and then I want to kind of bridge the gap on what you were doing in historically to get to where you’re at now. Yeah, sure. I’d love to. So at the moment, yeah, you’re right. Most of my work is strategic, uh, business and marketing, uh, more collections and consultancy.
Although I still do a fair bit of that predominantly the online. So split my business at the moment is 80% of that’s online. Uh, I’ve just literally come back today from being a, for the training workshops. I still do some, some face to face training with people. Um, but mostly I’m coaching business owners too.
I the, um, get out of their own right, and work out their priorities or more importantly, grow and scale their business. So I’m able to put in all of my traditional, you know, business understanding and learning about CrossFit and mounting, so then help them make better decisions and scale their business up.
Um, and that can be people working for themselves. Um, maybe these people are running their own small products business. People that want to get their products onto the supermarket shelves. Um, or it could be people who are running their own businesses, making them selling websites, but they need some direction.
And often they need steering into, uh, making some good strategic decisions about how to grow their business. Um, but most of it is coaching. So Rob, you said, um, you’ll help people get out of their own way. Can you give me an example or two about what you mean by that? Sure. Well, it’s kind of honed in on, well, I kind of focus on is a lot of business owners are trying to do for themselves.
There’s so much to do so many priorities. The, what happens is they get overwhelmed. You know, uh, they know they’ve got to generate more. They know they’ve got to keep the existing customers happy and they’ve got a whole load of stuff in the background. Yes. They may want to improve their websites. Maybe we want to improve their magnets.
I think just struggle to prioritize the work so often what I find is helping them get out their way. What I mean by that is we’ll break down. What they’re trying to do, and then help them and to prioritize and stop doing the stuff, which is slowing them down and making them we’re kind of used an expression of the UK, like walking through treacle.
So you imagine trying to Wade through a quick sand or tree and you just get stuck. So what I do buy, you know, clients obviously questioning out or ease, get them to find out for themselves, what is the one or two things that they must do and focus on those only. Do you have, uh, so what do you do with those three and four things that, you know, still might be relevant to the business, but aren’t the top one or two priorities.
Do you defer them or do you just kinda take the initial loss for the longterm gains on those tasks? Uh, I guess it depends what it is. So then he will take examples if it’s, uh, something which they can, uh, get someone else to help them with. So if it’s stuff, which they like themselves, but it’s time-wasting then maybe they just need to subcontract that work out.
So sometimes it’s worth paying someone 50, a hundred dollars a month or something just to get some, some stuff done that needs to be done. It could be even hiring a VA, something really simple. Um, but if it’s important stuff then, or we do easily phase it and we make sure. That the work gets done in the right order.
So if it’s, um, generating leads for customers, then what is going to be the biggest thing that makes the most impact. So if that rule is helping them systemize and automate, let’s focus on that. Or we go at it for two or three weeks before we then move on to the next part. So I guess it all depends on how, how big the item is and how important is it that they do it versus actually get someone else.
Someone else to help them do that. And it’s a bit like the, um, uh, the old adage about actually, if you could spend $50 make a hundred dollars, why wouldn’t do that? A lot of group of worry about spending the $50, uh, because they see it as a cost. Uh, what I’ve got to do is try and help them see that actually, if they spend forestry, someone else does the road for them, it frees up their time, which is right.
Now, do you have a typical kind of client that you help? Do you see a common trend in the type of business owners or entrepreneurs that you work with? Um, it’s a very wide range, so there’s not commonality in the types of businesses I work with, but there is a commonality in terms of the they’re kind of the feeling of overwhelm.
And most of that will be because what they’re trying to do. Is concentrate on existing business running. We’re actually what they need to do is generate more leads and more customers facing the front end. You know, it gets really comfortable for business owners, be busy, satisfying your existing customers.
And if you think about it in terms of retail, for example, if you’re selling products into retailers, your whole focus on is keeping that customer happy. But if you’ve got all your eggs in one basket and maybe you’re not spreading your business, and actually the focus has to be on generating more customers.
Yeah. You know, it where you don’t have a specific client that you work with it and you’re able to apply your skill sets to a variety of businesses. Um, you know, that that’s a good opportunity for us to go back into your background a little bit to where you kind of gained all this knowledge. Um, you know, there’s, there’s two things that you mentioned offline that I found interesting that I’d like you to kind of speak on, uh, another.
Another business that you worked at is McCain. And you had mentioned that you turned around a 10 year loss. Can you talk about that process? Yeah, sure. Um, so, uh, this, uh, I walked into a business in the UK, which is really well established in sensor a and you can either call them chips or you guys call them fries.
But, uh, had been well established by, by McCain as being a transformative product, but also had a large business in selling crows and they were number one in pizza. Um, but at the time when I joined the business, uh, piece of being in decline, you know, becoming an incredibly competitive marketplace and, uh, it’s hard to, to realize the scale of a manufacturing operation that she actually walk around inside.
And it only realization that there are Wheaton employed working in factories. Uh, the, you know, rely upon the sales that go out the door and it feels a huge responsibility actually. So, um, this particular, uh, time in my career was it transferred obviously if in one regard, and that is the fact that you feel responsible for people being employed, you know, and when you don’t sell enough, Put on out the door and, you know, the three shifts goes down to two shifts and so she’s got one shift it’s actually pretty damn important.
Um, so you know, that working with a really good team of people around me, um, But that’s many people. Uh, the man, so outside agencies, we basically went through a process of really heavily breaking down and analyzing what the problem was. We went through a huge amount of scientific research over why is it that, you know, we weren’t selling enough products in those days.
Uh, data was available, but nothing like it is nowadays. Uh, it’s easy nowadays to, to analyze, uh, things like Google analytics and Facebook beta, but in terms of sales data that we had, we actually had to go back to the consumers. We have to go back to the customers and we actually looked at the entire marketplace.
And the whole process and the learning out of this is that unless you don’t really analyze what the problems are, you can’t fix the problems. So we didn’t know why the products weren’t selling as well as they used to. We knew that there was competition in the marketplace for years, new entrants come in, it was highly competitive.
Pricing was tough, but it didn’t really explain the problems. So we worked through a process of scientifically understanding research wise, why the product was not performing. Combination of factors, but it’s kind of long story short. We’re able to work out, working with consumers that used to buy the products.
What they liked about them, what they didn’t like about them. We, we looked at the way the products were made. We looked at the way their products performed both cold, as well as hot when they’re reading. And we were able to, I think he found whether or not we could succeed in this marketplace and looks like a commercial decision, a huge commercial decision.
Well, we put a lot of investment into the forward plan and that meant. New factory equipment, new processes, multimillion pound investments. Um, and it was decided that the return versus the risk was one of those decisions that had to go. That’s up to a board level and the decision was taken that we were not going to invest in trying to do what we were doing before into an, even within a new rate.
And actually the decision was to go out in the market place in a complete direction. So out of that entire process, we launched a product called micro pizza. So microwave chips. Micro in the UK. So instead of trying to compete with main Neal princess, we went in with micro pizza, other micro snakes, chicken wings, rubs all sorts of microwaveable snack.
And that was a different way of looking at it because it’s all driven by consumer. Need and the way the lifestyle was. So the message out of that was analyze the program properly, create lots of different solutions, work out prices. And the person is looking at the investment plan, return on investment, again, back to priorities, where do you prioritize your business?
But out of that comes some really, really good stuff. And the business is stronger because of those changes. You had talked about the availability of data now versus how you do consumer research back then, have you noticed any surprising insights that have been revealed having big data from digital channels versus getting data from consumer research before has that digital data provided any, any surprising insights and trends that you’ve noticed over the years?
Probably not a surprising sense of the changes, but a huge surprise in terms of the way in which you can get to, um, particular behaviors. So, uh, when it was when big data was kind of fairly new before we could analyze it, if he hits her, it’d be very sounds oriented to what you couldn’t do. Which you can.
Now it though, she’s where it’s really exciting is you couldn’t break down your consumer groups or your customer groups into what’s. Now, now known as micro-niche is, you know, beforehand you could look at, um, Demographics, you could certainly break down demographics and sense of people that are buying the products.
So I was able to get to yet the primary market is 25 to 30. Working with one child might be as a example, but what we couldn’t do and day now. And the thing that I do find is it. You can break that down into Navy. 10 or 20 different elements. You can micro target consumers, get to them. In particular ways.
We talked earlier about seeing the advertising. We didn’t then have the way in that you can nowadays jump onto Facebook and actually look at the behavior and the niche positioning of particular target markets. Um, so does that answer your question? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Um, so with that data, you now gone on and use that within your skill sets to, to do your consultancy.
Now, what, um, What was the transition where you went from being employed by somebody to self-employed you had mentioned that there was, um, a work experience where you learned how not to treat fellow coworkers, which I can actually relate to that. The last, uh, gentlemen that I worked with before I started my own company, definitely taught me not how to treat employees.
So, so what, what was that experience that, that made you finally make the jump and start your own consultancy? Sure. It’s one of those life experiences. You kind of what was on the EK is the penny drops, you know, finally what I kind of instinctively or actually came to cancer reality. So others watching corporate life, Norman’s going up the corporate ladder.
Yeah, that’s great. I thought, well, I want to run. I want to run a business. I want to be a managing director or CEO. That’s what I was going to do. Um, but, uh, I worked for four, four, four and a half years and a smaller business, which was transformed in many regards. Um, but, um, it made me realize that if I really wanted to have control over my own future, it was going to be, to run my own business.
And that pudding realization came around because I want any sort of business. For the plan and what needed to be done to make this a really successful business. And that invitation that I had at the time, uh, benefiting from the growth of that business and the profits that came out of that. So effectively I would get profit share from the growth of the business.
So imagine that her business grows in high times its size. Yes, the problem is that when did it as an employee, even those, that kind of direct level pleased that you would get a share of that growth, future works would be secure. That’s the way that I thought it was going to be. But the reality is people that are, um, like giving out, share of their business.
Um, and certainly my experience was. Well, I was led to believe would happen actually, when it comes to the reality or this district is another employee. And I was never going to get shared the business, that realization that, you know, there was going to be a sharing of the wealth of the business. And that’s what I was promised.
And it turned out that the end of the business, um, and I had to make that decision anyway. Being controller of my own GHD or my family’s security to set myself up. And it was a huge leap of faith. And it’s incredibly frightening if you’ve never done it before, but I’m glad I did it. And I learned so much from doing it.
Um, but the reason for it, if you’re not in that specific company, it was that we just came to a point where we can see eye to eye and they were not going to budge from their previous behavior. Continuing. How long of a transition. Was it from when you made that mental decision to when you actually went and, and exited that company?
Probably around like nine months, um, when, when your hand is forced, um, it could be a lot quicker than that. Um, but it was one of those things where I had to get used to the idea. It was something which I thought, how am I going to do this? So the way in which he wants to go about it was to know how I was going to exit and what would happen immediately afterwards.
Um, I’m quite a planner, you know, in terms of my, my psyche. I like to kind of, okay. Second up. What do you put it at nine months from start to then. So, so now you do consulting, you help businesses. Um, you had mentioned 80% online, um, but every once in a while you do face to face, uh, you had mentioned a four day training workshop.
So what do you, what are your coaching sessions look like? You know, what do you dive into? What do you ask your clients to give you so you can better understand their business and then how do you turn around and educate them to make changes? Uh, always go away, start with the objectives and the strategy.
Um, there’s no point getting into any of the things to change or the things to do differently unless you’ve got absolute clarity over, what are you trying to do with your business? Um, what have you currently got in place and how do we, so that the strategy is going to deliver against those objectives? A lot of that sounds very easy to say, but it’s actually quite hard to do.
A lot of people just talk about wanting to sell more or service more clients, but they may not often have a clear plan of action. One thing that I learned through my whole corporate career was about the forward plan. So the strategy for me is, okay, you’ve got an objection. If you’re on a treadmill size of your business, how quickly do you want some people want to do it in 12 months and other people talk about a three to five year time plan, and that leads.
The question is which I then go on to ask them. So my, my, my style, it’s all about making absolutely sure that we are clear why they want it, what they’re saying they’re going to do and the objectives and what is the current plan. And if that plan doesn’t look like it’s going to achieve the goals, if that’s when we start getting into the strategy and saying, well, actually let’s explore this, what it, we look at that and you change and you adopt.
A slightly different approach to the strategy. Um, sometimes, you know, the strategy is clear and it’s a good strategy. But as I said before, sometimes it’s just the not getting it right. But that’s where I always start objectives, strategy and timeframe. Do you have any transformative success stories that really stand out over the years of clients you’ve worked with.
Um, lots of different degrees. Um, for example, uh, one particular business, uh, as employed consultancy originally, um, I was just hired there to do. So two to four weeks of helping them get a, a, a five year commercial strategy in place. Um, that’s a, a road. Yeah. And so two months rolled into 15 months of working with this particular business.
Because over time we improved something, it led to another opportunity to open up more and more. I can’t share the name of that business video, but if I was to say it was, uh, moving, uh, from a. Old style, technologically technology business, um, and moved into an online digital business where they were able to provide consumers with an instant product rather than having to wait for it, uh, made a huge difference.
Um, but the transformation came about because this business never found out. Anything about its consumers. It never actually done any research or found out whether what their offer was to their users was the right product makeup at the right price. And so we went through a process of looking at the product offering and is this meeting the needs of the customers?
And it didn’t. So we changed a few things, lumps and new products, and it really started to transform the business where it was being produced. Uh, so that was one big thing. And the second big thing was they didn’t actually realize how much profit they were losing. So a key thing, which I helped them to understand is the profitability of their business.
Um, a lot of people sell products and they, and then how much to charge, but they don’t actually know how to look at the profit. So a lot of costs are hidden. So by looking at it products, which companies sell often, what I found is the transformation is not about generating twice as many sales. But it is about improving profitability by 50%, by 100% because they, they don’t really think smartly about how to improve their cost base.
So some sorts of transformations of being your gross sales by 10%, if you can improve profit by 50%, it makes a bigger difference. Sometimes it’s as simple as pricing I’ve worked with businesses. Actually, we’ve talked about. You’re selling a April up for, you know, let’s say it’s a hundred. Um, but actually, you know, if you push the pricing to 110, 120, see what their response is to the consumer consumer purchasing.
So often people are scared about putting prices up, um, but often the easiest way to make more profit, put your prices up because if you put prices up by 10% and you lose 20% of customers, ultimately sometimes you’re better profit wise. Right. So let’s just couple of examples. Um, it varies massively, but my focus is helping people deliver more profit, not just making more sales.
No. It’s interesting. You’re talking about how, um, they hadn’t that your client hadn’t really dug into understanding their profits, or you helped them transition into, uh, digital marketing channels. Um, likewise, we have a client, I won’t mention their name, um, but they’re a huge household name. And until the last year they had never done any online.
Um, you know, demographics research, is there a persona and they haven’t done any digital advertising at all, which was even a huge, huge surprise for us, with them coming into our doors. So, yeah, it’s fascinating. The businesses that you find out, um, you know, a lot of businesses, it sounds like they get comfortable understandably with the, their advertising, and there’s just so much that’s being left behind.
Yeah, I love a lot of what I’ve learned. A lot of businesses are incremental in their thinking. So when they talk about, they want to grow their business, they get comfortable and they get into this horrible routine of being happy. But they’re growing by 2% or 5%. Because they don’t want to lose what they’ve got.
Whereas transformative businesses actually say to themselves, if I were a competitor and I wanted to destroy my current business, am I still thinking because it stretches you and a lot of businesses get comfortable. Yeah. So you had talked about how the opportunities kept presenting themselves as you work with that client and, and you’re consulting with them continued.
Uh, how do people usually engage with you? Is, is there a, I’m assuming it’s on a case by case basis, but is it month to month? Um, is there kind of an average time commitment before you can drive results? Uh, yeah, so I kind of, I run, I run the model in, in three different ways. Um, so, uh, the way it breaks down is, uh, I have a six week intensive package, which is basically allowing a lot of work to be done very quickly.
You know, so that’s kind of a brought into six weeks deal where I’ve put more of my time into working closely with that particular business. And sometimes it’s some done for you services as well within that, but that’s for businesses that want to make some changes and are prepared to. Roll their sleeves up and dedicate the time to work with me for six weeks.
And we’ll do that really quite heavily. Um, other businesses actually prefer to engagement on a monthly basis. So I typically say to them, there’s a three to six month commitment and I’ll kind of hold your hand as we go through the process and that’s a monthly engagement. Um, so one, this is at the moment I’m just starting out with we’ve agreed.
The best way forward is to work on a three and a three month basis, but I’m actually said to them to be absolutely Frank with you. I think we can get this done in two. So we’ll be on a two month basis. And then if we want to continue working with each other, we can roll it. And then the third way is I R to support him through that, the whole journey.
So I’d say a standard monthly retainer. Now, with all the success that you’ve experienced over the years, um, and you know, trials and mistakes and learning curves and successes. Uh, is there anything that you could tell our listeners or if you were to talk to your peer, your younger self that you think would be a benefit?
Yeah. It’s great. Looking back over your shoulder. Um, I think my biggest lesson, uh, was not trusting my gut instinct. So, let me give you three examples. Um, I think it’s true to say that when you go through school, you listen a lot to what you’re told and when you’re young and you’re creative, all sorts of things that you don’t even stop to think about, but as you get older, You know, there’s a fear, there’s a safety factor, all sorts of other stuff that gets in the way.
So actually one thing that I really, really wanted to do was I wanted to be a professional photographer and actually I look back sometimes and think, you know what? I really still wish that I did that. Um, but the logic that you hear, other people talk to you about tends to dissuade you often from trusting your initial instincts.
And I don’t just mean what you want to do in life, but also sometimes when you take decisions, uh, we allow, um, you know, it could be, it could be a parent saying you’re going to do that as a career. Cause it’s going to be dirty and nasty. Why don’t you do this? And you get pushed in certain directions. It takes quite a strong individual nowadays to actually do the right thing to do and go against.
So I do think it’s important to actually trust yourself and. I often find that your gut instincts is very wrong. Um, I’ve made some bad decisions in my corporate life where I’ve gone into business, but actually I shouldn’t have done, you know, and I knew something inside of me said, don’t do this, but I still went and did it anyway.
Uh, so I would say, you know, trusting right instinct is really, really important. Um, and the second thing is, you know, if you can systemize stuff that use processes or other people to help you grow and scale. Um, don’t repeat, you know, don’t reinvent the wheel. Um, there’s so much out there nowadays that you can use a system, don’t be a slave to the automated processes.
Um, but try and map it out, try and working out what your process is so that once you’re successful it, you can repeat it. And that’s where scaling makes things so much easier. But, but the process is really are there to help you. And people don’t use them often enough, you know, even if it is get a clean sheet of paper and just sketch out what is the process?
Um, I often use decision trees, which are decisions. You know, if I do this, what’s the consequence and you just follow that plan or relay through. And I learned that from the early stage of consumer research where, you know, people deciding to choose a versus three nowadays, um, processes are incredibly helpful.
But people don’t often see the benefit until they yeah. You know, processes are something that’s been a huge value to our company. Kyle can, can remember the days where it was just the two of us and our processes were we’re horrible lists on spreadsheets. And know we finally said, all right, in order, in order to not be dependent on.
On ourselves, just like you said, Rob, for scalability, at some point, we’re going to have to pass on these responsibilities and it took forever to document all the processes and then a lot of white board meetings. Yeah. You know, document them and then you have to kind of dumb it down and simplify it. So that it’s foolproof and then go through and put it into your CRM or wherever you’re going to roll it out.
But at once that was done, man, that’s been a lifesaver and it’s been a key to our growth over the last few years. Yeah. And I have to pick up what you said that I, one, I don’t know what the number is on now. Cry. 70% of people are visual. So if you count, sketch and know, get it out and pipe sketch it.
Because it’s easier to see it and then improve it, change it, but that’s it, you know, if you can see the whole picture, same good strategy. If you can’t see the whole picture, then you know, you’re not actually going to make good decisions. Yeah, exactly. Um, you know, before we get going here in a moment, I w um, you know, what, uh, what do you do outside of work?
What are you, what are your hobbies? Uh, right now kind of three things really. I still love to take photographs, but I don’t really put enough time into it. I’d love to create your side of things. Um, so that’s one, one real hobby that I’ve built. I still like using a camera. I don’t like using iPhones to take pictures.
Just, it’s just not me. This was not me, but they are brilliant things. So photography, I love, I used to get up at four o’clock in the morning and pictures of the sun rising, you know, the countryside, things like that. So I get a great kind of. Yeah, peace, peace from that. Um, but mostly now, um, it’s like doing up houses and refurbishing.
So a lot of DIY stuff, I’m always, you know, cutting myself or falling off ladders or something dark like that. But so, yeah, my wife and I have always done our here and moved on from there. So yeah, currently just, uh, three-quarters away through refurbishing our current house again. um, do you, have you had talked offline about, um, the value in mentoring in your personal life?
Do you, uh, work with mentors and you know, what area do you look to most improve within your own life? It’s hard and kind of, I, I didn’t do it for a long time. I have well, has mental is not the right word. I have someone that I like to talk to on a regular basis that I find incredibly useful to guide me.
So yeah, mentor in that sense. And that is because we’re going to have all the answers and a bit like I help my clients get out of the way. Sometimes I need some help to get out of my own way. Um, and it’s, it’s great to. Uh, educate people about what you’ve learned, but sometimes you can’t see the roots of the trees and you need somebody else to give you that objective viewpoint.
And I really like being able to bounce ideas around with other people. And that’s where the most benefit is either having a mentor or someone that you can actually discuss, you know, the way in which you do things or what you’re going to do. Um, and I think that’s incredibly invaluable. So yeah, the investment has to be there.
You’ve got to invest in yourself. And I said it benefits to that for the last well, I’ve been working on one particular person for the last two years, and that’s just opened my eyes up to about stuff, which perhaps I would have been resistancy before. And, uh, there’s there was one, one thing that is absolutely true.
I’m a perfectionist. And the biggest lesson that I learned from this particular individual is, um, the phrase, you know, it’s better, it’s better done than perfect. And in the display nowadays, it is so true. All I would pull for hours and hours and hours over getting something right until it’s just perfect pitch document or be it proposed or whatever it is.
But the reality is it’s, you know, time is money, but it’s getting it done even if it’s not. Yep. Yep. I think, uh, I think that we, uh, you’re preaching to the choir on that one. Yes. Yeah. It’s, it’s hard. It’s not, when you’ve not done it, see the value in it, but you know, you can’t work on your own. It’s really hard, particularly if you work online and most of your stuff is done in a day, a lot of people suffer with that.
Yeah, well, Rob, I appreciate your time and your insights. If our listeners want to get ahold of you or find out more about your services, what’s your, your website or social media or any information you want to put out there. Yeah. Thanks very much, indeed. Um, so it’s, uh, the initial enters AMC, are you for alpha and from other CIF jelly eight MC number four eight, NC amc4growth.com.
So we’re focused on growth, same name on Facebook as well. So eight for growth. That’s the easiest place to find me, uh, both on the website. There’s a science, my background, and some free time in my calendar. The book, if you want to have a discussion, uh, be great. And I’ve got work, uh, figures on Facebook as well.
Great. So Rob, we leave our guests with a surprise random question. Generator question for you. So your random question is what do you miss most about being a kid? Ooh. Wow. Well, great question. What I miss most about being a kid, uh, summer holidays, playing football with my best name. That’s a good one. Very, very specific.
I like it. The store memory. Great, Rob. Thanks again for your time. It’s been great talking to you guys. Nice to meet you. Yeah. Best of luck. Thank you, Robin.