An interview with Jay Allen – Chief Sherpa at My TrueNORTH and Founder of the #ADDAZERO Business Challenge
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a Business SCALE Expert?
How long is a piece of string, would be my initial response to this question! I’m not sure there is a definitive date on which I suddenly began to do what I’m doing and attracting others to benefit from that.
I recall at 5 years old, when the school I attended announced they were going to host a sponsored walk to raise money for the local hospice. They planned for us to walk around the perimeter of the grounds for an hour during lunch break. I refused to come back in, insisting on walking round the grounds ALL afternoon as I had been sponsored PER LAP, and knew I could raise more if I kept going! And so, my quest to serve others had begun.
I joined the British Army in the Winter of 1992 as a Combat Medical Technician. I chose that career, because I wanted to be ‘of service to others’ and for the next 12 years put my own life on the line in favour of my Queen, My Country and my fellow colleagues. I may have left the British Army, (through injury) but I’ve never left the life of service.
The Army gives you the ability and opportunity to benefit and master a whole host of skills, and I’ve used these to great benefit in my post military career, which in turn has seen both my clients, my colleagues and myself be recognised for their achievements. This in turn, coupled with the genuine desire to help others is often some of the most frequent comments we get from clients old and new, which tend to attract others who see this, and the results we help people to achieve as desirable qualities and outcomes.
One of the biggest things I took from the military was some of the Corps motto’s to which decades and decades of people have lived and died. My own was ‘Inardious Fidelious’ which translates through to ‘Faithful throughout adversity’. But also that of the Royal Gurka Rifles ‘Better to die than live a coward’ and that of the parachute regiment ‘Ready for ANYTHING’.
Working at boardroom level within 2 of the largest brands on the high street I was able to demonstrate how these were transferable skills and by doing so how teams can OVER perform.
Since branching out to become an Entrepreneur I’ve instilled the same mentality, coupled with the ongoing dedication to Personal and Professional Development and observing the best practices of thousands of business owners. Having studied for 4 years Business FAILURE to understand what causes it, and how to circumvent it, has enabled me to develop and master an understanding of SCALE beyond that of many of my peers.
Having applied this within my own businesses and seen first hand the pro’s and cons of SCALE and had to work these myself prior to becoming a coach/mentor has enabled me to deliver this personally devised and created methodology with competence and confidence
Who are your clients exactly?
That’s somewhat easier to answer, as we’ve done LOTS of work on our Ideal Target Clients. Whilst this not an absolute “if you DON’T meet ALL of these criteria we cannot work with you” it does give an idea, based on our experience gleaned over the past decade, of those with whom we work best, and get the best from us.
Our research and experience has shown us they tend to be 35-55 year old Business Owners of Services based businesses. Or 42-60 year old Business Owners of product based businesses. They are likely to be the founder of the business, but if not; have worked within it for some considerable time. The business has been trading for over 3 years, but unlikely to be more than 15 years with a small but dedicated team of employees.
They may or may not be married but do have a significant other (be than partner or children). They either already live in, or have a clear understanding of exactly what is their ‘dream home’ and working towards this as one of their outcomes.
They are well dressed, well mannered, smart people with an absolute focus on business and its many requirements. They are happy to ‘roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty’ but keen to build a team of dedicated employee’s to which subsequently run the business, ultimately freeing up their time to either spend more time with family or on other projects.
If this sounds alot, or even a little like you, then there is a good chance we, and what we have to offer is likely to work well for you. If, on the other hand, you are very far removed from this description, it may be that we are not aligned and therefore best suited to the many other coaching options available.
Having worked within this industry for so long, I’d be more than happy to have a conversation with you, to either assist you however which way I can, or recommend a fellow colleague, friend or acquaintance within the industry, better suited to assist in your current / future needs.
What happens if you haven't yet worked with people in my field?
Although I have a vast experience of working with business owners from HUNDREDS of different industries, sectors, countries, experiences, backgrounds etc. It may well be possible I may not have actual hands on working experience with someone in your field! – And that’s GREAT.
You see, I’m not going to become an employee, and certainly not going to be working on the day to day decision making and management of the business. The simple fact is I don’t NEED to know, and probably SHOULDN’T Know the day to day, ‘nuts and bolts’ of the business. That is what you have a management team for. My role, and something I’ve twice been recognised for internationally, is to bring a wealth and breadth of experience from ‘other’ industries to get you to look at things from an alternative perspective. I’m a FIRM believer of the “you don’t know what you don’t know” philosophy and that by acknowledging this enables us to remain curious. The fact is “The Business of Business is BUSINESS” and that means as long as we both understand the preferred outcomes for the business and the business owner, and able to determine what is required to be achieved by whom and when in order for this to be achieved, the remainder becomes schematics! It’s my job to help you determined exactly WHAT can be achieved, to help you establish what YOU want to achieve and how best we are going to achieve that within the timeframe to which we both set and agree!
How are you different from other "business coaches?"
Whilst in recent times there appears to have been a sudden influx in the amount of people turning to the role of ‘Coach’. And, there are MANY within this profession who are exceptional at what they do and help clients deliver amazing results.
I would like to think that a few of the ways in which I differ from others is the experiences I have had which have led me to create, test, amend and implement MY patented SCALE methodology in the manner and style to which I deliver it.
My formative education and studies into Psychology, Human Behaviour and Communication. My years of service within the Armed Forces, and the experiences of teams, outstanding results, application of self, consequences. My years working with some of the largest brands on the High Street and within the Public Sector. Prior to having either bought, acquired or set up 4 of my own businesses. Through which I have grown and exited twice, prior to even beginning too work with others supporting them to SCALE and EXIT also.
I know that my ‘style’ of coaching is not for everyone and so gladly recommend and refer those with whom I meet with whom I feel others may have a better approach or style to suit their needs.
What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?
Whilst my clients are geographically spread all over the globe, and come from numerous walks of life. With a vast array of background, experience, ability and determination. A few characteristics they all have in common is their dedication to their business, and to their family. They are open to trying new things and being challenged. They understand the benefits of collaboration and the concept that “givers gain”.
In terms of expectations of you. I can only work with that which you share. If you fail to share everything, I can’t work with everything. I very much respect the privilege I have in working at this level with business owners, but in doing so, do need permission to ask you the RIGHT questions. This can sometimes appear intrusive, or challenging. But need your permission to go there, in order to establish and satisfy me that what you are doing is for the right reasons and to achieve the right outcomes.
We have our own 10 commandments called our Rules of Engagement. These are:
- You are ready and prepared to invest in yourself every month throughout this process, be on time and focused throughout each session on the task in hand without interruption (No phones, no laptops, no lateness, no early finishes or other interruption).
- Become a good listener (rather than simply hearing) and show a genuine interest in listening, considering, and trialing new things.
- You will not criticise, condemn or complain but both offer and be ready to accept honest feedback. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly. In order for us all to provide the best, we need to know when we do, and given the opportunity to amend things should we ever fall short.
- You will remain honest, truthful and upfront with your SCALE Sherpa and any fellow client of My TrueNORTH you should be introduced to throughout the process.
- You accept this is a process, and that success doesn’t either grow on trees or happen overnight! The value of the outcomes from our proven #ADDAZERO methodology shall reflect by the value you apply to the process. However, no-one other than yourself can be held responsible for the decisions you choose to take.
- You will remain realistic with your expectations of yourself, your business and what we can work together to achieve, however also open to being challenge on whether you’re thinking BIG enough!
- You will be prepared to set, share and work towards your goals and be willing to ‘try new things’ as suggested and discussed during each session.
- You are prepared to change in order to achieve new heights within your business.
- You will remain respectful of others opinion, and not judge others based on their knowledge, experience or viewpoint, but accept we are all unique, and that others opinion are as valid to them as yours is to you.
- You will remain respectful of equality and diversity. Neither actively participate in, encourage or defend any action considered to breech the promotion of such.
If you think this sounds like something that sparks your interest, then you are probably who we are looking to speak to. If, on the other hand you think any one of these are demanding or in some other way unlikely to fit with you and your preferred method of operation, then we may not be the right solution for you – And either way that’s ok!
For what type of professional is this program NOT going to work?
It’s not so much the profession it doesn’t work for but the professional. There have been a few occasions in the earlier years when we accepted clients onto our program only for them NOT to get the results we would have expected. On closer examination this was where WE had FAILED to do sufficient due diligence on the client to determine if they are likely to implement that which we share, or more likely to be a ‘I’ve tried that’ type!
We KNOW that what we deliver has MASSIVE impact on both business and business owner. But just like having gym membership doesn’t make you fit, neither does becoming a client of My TrueNORTH but not turning up regularly, and applying yourself FULLY to the exercises we work on together to review, amend, upgrade our thinking and our actions.
“If we always do, what we’ve always done; we’ll always have (at best) what we have already” therefore if we want a different set of results, it begins with a new level of thinking!
What exactly is #ADDAZERO™ and what does it include?
Perhaps to answer this fully, it is first a requirement to say what it is not!
- Our #ADDAZERO Methodology is not the answer to your every future business problem.
- It will not replace a member of staff, nor will it pick up a phone and creates leads or convert those to business!
- In fact, at worse #ADDAZERO is a whole lot of reading with NO results!
But that only comes if you treat it as THE answer to your every problem! In this scenario the REAL problem starts and ends with YOU!
The fact is,
- We either don’t know what we need to do, (or not do)
- Or we know it, but don’t have the confidence (or willingness) to change and apply it!
Either way, there is little point commissioning the help, support, guidance and accountability we bring to business owners if your unable or unwilling to do what is required within YOUR business.
We’ve done at least 80% of the work in researching, testing, refining and implementing the systems and processes we share within the #ADDAZERO methodology but you will be left to implement this within YOUR business and follow this through in order to see the results it is capable of delivering.
In terms of what is included, we review the current status of your business agai9nst our holistic SCALE audit and provide an in depth, bespoke report on the CURRENT sustainable SCALE of your business. From this we will identify the current shortcomings preventing you from scale, and we can then begin working through this to determine what is required and who, what and when this will be implemented.
The coaching, mentorship, guidance, support, and accountability are all within the programs also, but it will take a determination and commitment from you also to implement that which we share and agree upon for this to be anything other than ‘another coaching program’.
Does this really work?
Rather than me answer this, I’ll share with you just a few of the most recent examples of HOW this is working, WHO it is working for and what THEY have to say about the #ADDAZERO program.
Starting with Kamlesh: A chartered accountant of some 30+ years, with a small family practice in the Manchester suburbs, keen to SCALE but uncertain as to what to do in order to achieve this.
“I had never won an award before working with Jay and the ADDAZERO Explorer program. Since then we have won some of the most prestigious awards within our industry, have grown our practice and revised the goals and aspirations of what is now possible. I am proud to acknowledge Jay as my Mentor”
And Liz: A Lawyer and founder of a boutique law firm in the suburbs of Leeds. With an ambitious set of goals, but seeking steer as to how to achieve them all.
“Jay is referred to as my knight in shiny armour within the book I have published since meeting and working with him. I now live in my ‘forever’ dream home and have expanded my ambitions even further still since working on his ADDAZERO Mastermind”
And Richard: A chartered surveyor with a thriving practice in the city centre of Chester.
“From first meeting Jay at a networking event, I was immediately drawn to his thinking process on how to SCALE a business. Since working within his ADDAZERO Mastermind we hit our previous years turnover by the end of July and DOUBLED it by Christmas”
And Catherine: The Managing Director of a Marketing Agency based in the West Midland, who had fallen out of love with her business and was seeking inspiration.
“Jay quickly helped me to identify and understand the root cause of my frustrations within the business, and by working to address and overcome these, have enabled me to fall back in love with my business, my life, and my new partner!”
And Matt: The founder of a notary business in the suburbs, with a fabulous team, and great ambition. But had previously followed, what proved to be some very poor advice and was struggling to determine how best to address.
“Within the first meeting with Jay, he had both understood the problem, found nearly £40,000 of additional revenue and given me the hope and inspiration to address this head on. We now have offices in 4 countries, are invoicing 8 x our previous turnover and able to really enjoy what the business enables us to do as a family”
And Amanda: A Marketing Architect based in Cheshire.
“I realise now, that before I joined Mastermind, I was mixing with the wrong people, and was working HARD but not SMART. Joining mastermind has been the biggest transformation for both me and my business, and has enabled me to add zero’s both personally and professionally.”
What results can I expect?
In order to offer ANY assurance to this question, it is first important to state: You will NEVER get more out than you put in! Just like joining a gym WON’T make you fit, or even attending the gym but NOT putting the WORK in will not make you fit either. Joining My TrueNORTH will NOT make you RICH! I’ve done as much as I can in the research, testing, refining, re-testing, tweaking, testing again to create and provide a SCALE methodology.
I will provide the help, the support, the guidance and the accountability to support YOU apply this to YOUR business. Last year, as a minimum our clients LAST year grew by 26%, and the investment they made to achieve this, was rarely more than 12.5% of what they grew by. However these are LIVE averages as I cannot offer any guarantee’s as to how well YOU will take on all that is shared and implement this within your business?
What I can confirm is that unless I can see you making progress, I will NOT allow you to continue within the program. We ALSO have a reputation to uphold, and so if I cannot see you are applying what we have agreed and benefiting from this I will discuss with you your future involvement with My TrueNORTH.
Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it's like to work with you?
Of course. We’ve got NOTHING to hide. We regularly host DISCOVERY DAYS where a number of our current clients kindly come along to share with those interested in My TrueNORTH their experiences of the program and with whom are willing and pleased to offer their experiences and feedback.
How quickly can I expect results?
That often depends on the current SCALE status of your business, your ambitions for where you want the business to scale to, and your aptitude and dedication in implementing that which we agree within our sessions?
Many clients report noticeable differences within just a few months of working with us, (some even weeks). Others have taken longer than this, but on closer examination was owing to their resistance to change, and unwillingness to fully commit to the #ADDAZERO process.
How can I guarantee myself that I will #ADDAZERO?
In this life, ANYTHING is possible, it all depends on HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT IT? I’m happy to guarantee MY commitment to you and to this process. I’m willing to offer assurances of the testing, continual development and refining of our systems and processes to support our mission to help 10,000 business owners to #ADDAZERO to their personal disposable income.
What I cannot, and WILL not guarantee is YOUR commitment?
Will I recover the investment I put into this coaching program?
Yes. There is NO REASON as to why the INVESTMENT you make with My TrueNORTH will not be recovered. I’ll even go as far as to say, if having completed ALL the actions set within our #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind, on time, to the level discussed and FULLY embedded within your business. You STILL haven’t recovered your investment? I’ll continue to make the resources available to you for FREE until such time as you HAVE recovered your investment!
How will we work together and what does the program entail?
Our CUSTOMER JOURNEY starts with a call to determine WHAT it is you are aiming to achieve, and the current progress you have made towards achieving this. You will complete both a FIRST THINGS FIRST assessment AND a Current SCALABILITY audit.
From this we can establish the size of GAP between where you are currently and what you want to achieve? The current and future considerations in HOW to achieve this? And the current scalability status of the business.
Dependant on what we uncover will determine if we believe you would be best suited to our SAS Pathfinder, #ADDAZERO Explorer or 1:1 Mastery services.
- Pathfinder usually requires a minimum of 2 days per month commitment
- Explorer usually requires a minimum of 2/3 days per month commitment
- 1:1 usually requires a minimum of 1 day per month commitment
How long is the program?
Pathfinder requires a minimum commitment of 6 months
Explorer requires a minimum commitment of 12 months
1:1 requires a minimum commitment of 3 months
That said, the majority of our clients choose to retain our services for 5+ years
What are your coaching programs like?
Our SAS Pathfinder is delivered via ZOOM. Therefore enabling each member to attend this wherever they are in the world. Whilst this monthly event is LIVE, it is then recorded and saved, for those who have been unable to attend the LIVE session to be able to re-watch and catch up later.
Our #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind comes in 2 specific parts:
These are delivered monthly in rotation.
1:1 Mastery sessions can be delivered Fortnightly or Monthly dependant on requirements.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. Whilst the majority of our clients prefer is to take payment via Direct Debit (We subscribe to the world’s leading DD online platform: GoCardless with whom processes all our DD payments).
We do also accept payments via BACS. For those wishing to pay via credit/debit card, we have facilities through STRIPE (online) or IZETTLE (in person) for payments to be taken in this manner also.
OK, I know which program I want. How do we get started?
That’s great, I’m really looking forward to having a conversation with you about both you, your business and your ambitions for the future. Simply visit: www.mytruenorthuk.youcanbook.me to book a call. Alternatively, send an email to Enquiries@Mytruenorth.biz or call 01925 699069
If I'm not sure I'm ready to get started, how can I sample your work at low cost to see if it's the right solution for me?
We DON”T invite business owners to work with us, unless they have already booked and completed a FREE call with you to understand you, your business and your ambitions for the future. Simply visit: www.mytruenorthuk.youcanbook.me to book a call. Alternatively, send an email to Enquiries@Mytruenorth.biz or call 01925 699069
I have a family and a busy life. Although I want more clients badly, I don't have much time to spare. How much time do I need?
You will NEVER get OUT of this more than you are prepared to put IN! Furthermore, you have exactly the SAME amount of time as me, every other client, and every other competitor.
Therefore, what you are actually saying here is, “I’ve already got a lot of commitments I’m not sure if this is a high enough priority to apply the time required to achieve the results I’m seeking”
Trust me, we have some exceptional techniques I can teach you to improve your time management sufficiently that this will NOT be a future problem. However, as you have read to here, I’m guess you understand this IS a problem we can resolve IF you are willing to address it?
OK, I'm ready to do this, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I call you?
Sure thing. Either use THIS LINK to get direct access to my diary where you can pick a slot that works best for YOU. Or you can call 01925 699069 and one of my team will gladly take your name, number and a short message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able to (Although this may be in a few days’ time, as my time is also important and often fully allocated some time ahead).