What shape is your business in?

In such volatile and uncertain times we find ourselves in, understanding the shape of your enterprise is pivotal.

Just as a ship’s captain needs to know the condition of their vessel before setting sail, entrepreneurs must comprehend the strengths and vulnerabilities within their business. Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defense, famously coined the phrase “unknown knowns” to describe the aspects of reality that we are unaware of but exist nonetheless. This concept can be applied aptly to the world of business, where unseen risks can have profound consequences if left unaddressed.

Every business, regardless of size or industry, operates within a framework of known and unknown variables. The knowns encompass tangible assets, market trends, and established processes. These are the elements that businesses often prioritize and actively manage. However, it’s the unknowns—the “unknown knowns“—that present the greatest challenge. These are the hidden vulnerabilities, blind spots, and unforeseen risks lurking beneath the surface.

The Risks of Ignorance

Failing to acknowledge and address the “unknown knowns” can lead to a myriad of consequences. Consider a scenario where a business overlooks cybersecurity vulnerabilities in its IT infrastructure. Without proper safeguards, the company becomes susceptible to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. Similarly, neglecting to diversify supply chains could leave a business exposed to disruptions caused by geopolitical events, natural disasters, or economic downturns.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all unknowns, proactive measures can mitigate their impact. Conducting comprehensive risk assessments, scenario planning, and regular audits can help uncover hidden vulnerabilities and prepare for potential threats. Embracing uncertainty doesn’t mean succumbing to fear; rather, it involves cultivating resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

One notable example is the British multinational automotive company Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Not so long ago (and before the UK government decided to back with huge subsidies for their new electric plant) faced significant challenges due to uncertainties surrounding Brexit.  Particularly regarding trade agreements and regulatory changes. With a substantial portion of its manufacturing operations based in the UK, JLR’s exposure to potential disruptions in supply chains, tariffs, and regulatory frameworks posed a considerable risk to its business.

Despite efforts to mitigate these risks through contingency planning and diversification strategies, JLR still experienced adverse effects. For instance, uncertainty surrounding Brexit contributed to a decline in consumer confidence, leading to decreased sales and profitability for the company. Additionally, fluctuations in currency exchange rates impacted JLR’s cost structure and financial performance.

This real-world example underscores the importance of understanding and addressing unknown risks in the business environment. By highlighting the challenges faced by a prominent UK manufacturing company like JLR, you can better grasp the potential consequences of overlooking vulnerabilities in your own business. It serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the critical need for proactive risk management and strategic foresight in today’s complex and uncertain business landscape.

Drawing on the case of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), completing the #ADDAZERO Scaleup audit could have provided invaluable insights for the company, enabling a better understanding of both hidden opportunities and vulnerabilities. This comprehensive audit, tailored specifically for conscientious business owners seeking sustainable growth, serves as a powerful tool for transforming unknown unknowns into known knowns.

Through the #ADDAZERO Scaleup audit, businesses gain a holistic view of their operations, finances, and strategic objectives. By systematically assessing key areas such as market positioning, operational efficiency, financial health, and risk management, entrepreneurs can uncover hidden opportunities for growth while identifying potential vulnerabilities that may threaten their success.

For JLR, conducting such an audit could have revealed the extent of its exposure to Brexit-related risks, allowing the company to develop targeted strategies to mitigate these challenges. By quantifying the potential impact of regulatory changes, supply chain disruptions, and market volatility, JLR could have proactively adjusted its business model, diversified its sourcing strategies, and strengthened its market positioning to weather the storm more effectively.

Furthermore, the #ADDAZERO Scaleup audit facilitates strategic decision-making by providing actionable insights based on data-driven analysis. By leveraging the findings of the audit, businesses can prioritize initiatives that drive sustainable growth, optimize resource allocation, and enhance overall performance. This proactive approach not only minimizes the likelihood of unforeseen setbacks but also positions companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the marketplace.

In essence, completing the #ADDAZERO Scaleup audit empowers businesses to navigate uncertainty with confidence, turning unknown unknowns into known knowns. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, entrepreneurs can chart a clear path forward, driving sustainable growth and resilience in today’s dynamic business environment.

Conclusion

Just as Donald Rumsfeld urged policymakers to confront the “unknown knowns,” entrepreneurs must be vigilant in uncovering the hidden risks within their enterprises. By embracing uncertainty, conducting thorough risk assessments, and remaining adaptable, businesses can navigate choppy waters with confidence and resilience.

Understanding the shape of your business isn’t just about knowing what you know—it’s about acknowledging what you don’t know and taking proactive steps to address it. As the renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic” In a rapidly changing world, staying ahead requires embracing uncertainty and charting a course guided by foresight, vigilance, and adaptability.

You can join the 119,000+ other business owners who have already accessed and benefited from their #ADDAZERO report. CLICK HERE

Scaling Up Your Business Through Consistent Focus

How you do anything is how you do everything.

This ethos speaks directly to the importance of discipline in pursuing success. Whether you’re a startup founder, a small business owner, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to scale up, maintaining exceptional discipline is always a non-negotiable factor in achieving sustained growth and success.

Many business owners dream of scaling up their operations, expanding their reach, and achieving substantial growth. However, this lofty goal cannot be attained without an unwavering commitment to discipline. Here’s why maintaining exceptional discipline all the time is crucial for scaling up your business:

  1. Consistent Execution Leads to Sustainable Growth

Discipline is the cornerstone of consistent execution. Without disciplined, consistent action, even the most well-conceived growth strategies will falter. Scaling up a business requires systematic and well-coordinated efforts, each building upon the other. Whether implementing new processes, expanding into new markets, or developing innovative products and services, consistent execution driven by discipline is key to sustainable growth.

  1. Resilience in the Face of Challenges

The road to scaling up is fraught with challenges and obstacles. From economic downturns and market fluctuations to internal operational issues, business owners must navigate many challenges on their growth journey. During these challenging times, exceptional discipline becomes a lifeline for the business. Discipline fosters resilience, enabling business owners to stay focused, adapt to changing circumstances, and overcome setbacks without losing sight of their long-term goals.

  1. Building a Culture of Accountability

Exceptional discipline sets the tone for a culture of accountability within the organisation. When leaders consistently demonstrate discipline in their actions and decision-making, it permeates the company, shaping the behaviours and attitudes of employees at all levels. A culture of accountability is essential for driving the collective effort required to scale up a business successfully. It ensures everyone is aligned with the company’s growth objectives and remains committed to delivering results with discipline and focus.

  1. Effective Resource Allocation

Scaling up a business often involves deploying resources strategically to maximise growth opportunities. Whether it’s financial capital, human resources, or time, disciplined decision-making is critical in resource allocation. Business owners with exceptional discipline are better equipped to prioritise investments, optimise operational efficiency, and allocate resources in a manner that accelerates the scaling process. The risk of misallocation, inefficiency, and missed opportunities increases without discipline.

  1. Long-Term Vision and Planning

Discipline is the bridge between short-term actions and long-term vision. To scale up successfully, business owners must have a clear and compelling vision for the future of their company. However, turning that vision into reality requires disciplined planning, execution, and monitoring. Whether setting ambitious growth targets, developing multi-year strategies, or fostering innovation, exceptional discipline ensures that the business stays on course and remains committed to its long-term aspirations.

  1. Enhancing Stakeholder Confidence

Exceptional discipline breeds trust and confidence among stakeholders, including investors, customers, and partners. When business owners consistently demonstrate discipline in their approach to scaling up, it creates a sense of reliability and competence, which are crucial for attracting investment, retaining customers, and forming strategic alliances. Stakeholders are more likely to support a business that exhibits unwavering discipline in pursuing its growth objectives.

  1. Adapting to Change with Agility

Adaptability is a hallmark of successful scaling efforts in today’s dynamic business environment. Exceptional discipline empowers business owners to embrace change with agility. Whether it’s seizing emerging opportunities, responding to competitive pressures, or evolving in response to industry trends, disciplined leaders are better equipped to steer their organisations through periods of change while maintaining a sharp focus on their scaling initiatives.

So, how can business owners maintain exceptional discipline all the time to scale up their business? 

Here are a few actionable steps:

Define Clear Goals

Clearly define your scaling objectives and break them into actionable goals. By having a clear roadmap, you can direct your disciplined efforts toward achieving specific milestones.

Establish Routines and Processes

Implementing consistent routines and processes within your organisation promotes discipline across all functions. From sales and marketing to operations and finance, having standardised processes fosters a culture of discipline.

Monitor Progress and Adjust Course

Regularly monitor key performance indicators and progress toward your scaling goals. This disciplined approach allows for data-driven decision-making and the flexibility to adjust course when necessary.

Lead by Example

As a business owner, your actions and decisions set the tone for the organisation. Lead by example by consistently demonstrating discipline in your work ethic, decision-making, and adherence to strategic priorities.

The path to scaling up a business is paved with countless choices, challenges, and opportunities. Exceptional discipline is the guiding force that propels business owners forward, even amid uncertainty and adversity. By maintaining exceptional discipline all the time, business owners can build a solid foundation for sustainable growth, foster a culture of accountability, and steer their companies toward more tremendous success. 

Remember, success isn’t measured by what you achieve but achieved by what you measure. Disciplined, consistent actions are what make those measurements meaningful in the journey of scaling up a business.

One sure way to ensure all your efforts are on the right things is to complete a holistic ‘audit’ of the business.  Click here to join more than 117,000 other SMEs who have already benefited from a free, bespoke #ADDAZERO Scaleup audit report. 

Navigating the Entrepreneurial Landscape

Unravelling the Mindset for Business Triumph in 2024 with My TrueNORTH’s #ADDAZERO Methodology

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey requires more than just a business plan; it demands a profound exploration of the mindset that propels the journey. In this extensive blog post, we’ll delve deep into the intricacies of the entrepreneurial mindset, discussing the transformative process of challenging and reshaping it. Our focus will be on crafting a comprehensive and implementable roadmap for business success in 2024, with special reference to My TrueNORTH and the groundbreaking #ADDAZERO Methodology.

Complexities of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Research has long highlighted the pivotal role of the entrepreneurial mindset in shaping business outcomes. Traits such as resilience, adaptability, and risk-taking propensity are often considered essential. However, the landscape is nuanced, with entrepreneurs frequently grappling with self-imposed barriers and outdated beliefs. Recognizing and addressing these mental roadblocks is foundational to unlocking untapped potential.

Diving into the #ADDAZERO Methodology

At the forefront of pioneering transformative change is My TrueNORTH, the UK’s Ethical Coaching Company. Their #ADDAZERO Methodology is a holistic approach that transcends conventional business strategies. It revolves around authentic and honourable growth, aligning with the ethos of leaving a lasting legacy rather than a race for immediate riches.

The methodology’s core lies in meticulously examining the entrepreneur’s mindset, challenging existing beliefs, and fostering a paradigm shift towards growth-oriented thinking. Moreover, it places a strong emphasis on ethical business practices, intertwining with principles such as #BCORP, and #B1G1, and a commitment to the #ESG and #CSR agenda.

Unveiling the Power of Mindset: Research and Statistics

To underscore the profound impact of mindset on business success, let’s delve into a more extensive exploration of relevant research and statistics:

  1. The Power of Growth Mindset
    • Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s extensive work reveals that individuals embracing a growth mindset are not only more likely to confront challenges but persist in the face of setbacks, leading to heightened success across various endeavours.
  2. Ethical Practices and Business Performance
    • Deloitte’s ‘Purpose’ survey goes beyond the surface, emphasizing that businesses committed to ethical practices not only attract customers but also foster a positive work culture. This, in turn, enhances employee satisfaction and retention.
  3. Mentoring for Success
    • The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) sheds light on the positive correlation between mentoring and business success. Businesses with mentorship programs tend to experience higher revenue growth and overall sustainability.

success is often attributed not only to strategic acumen and market insights but also to the mindset that underpins an individual’s approach to challenges. One particularly influential concept is the “growth mindset,” as extensively researched and popularized by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. This blog will explore the transformative power of a growth mindset in entrepreneurship, shedding light on Dweck’s groundbreaking work and its relevance to business success.

Let’s now spend some time, looking at each of these in more detail…

The power of the Growth Mindset

A growth mindset, as conceptualized by Carol Dweck, is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and perseverance. In contrast, a fixed mindset hinges on the notion that abilities are innate and unchangeable, leading individuals to avoid challenges to maintain a sense of competence.

  1. Persistence in the Face of Challenges
    • Dweck’s research reveals a compelling connection between a growth mindset and the ability to confront challenges. Individuals who embrace a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth, fostering a resilient attitude that propels them forward.
  2. Overcoming Setbacks with Resilience
    • Perhaps one of the most profound aspects of a growth mindset is its association with resilience. Those with a growth mindset are not deterred by setbacks; instead, they perceive them as temporary obstacles and use them as stepping stones for improvement.
  3. Heightened Success Across Endeavours
    • Dweck’s extensive studies consistently demonstrate that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to achieve heightened success across various endeavours. Their willingness to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persist in the face of adversity positions them for long-term success.

Exploring Dweck’s Research

To delve deeper into the transformative impact of a growth mindset, it’s essential to explore Carol Dweck’s seminal work. Dweck’s research, particularly her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” provides a comprehensive exploration of the concepts surrounding fixed and growth mindsets.

In her book, Dweck delves into real-world examples, case studies, and empirical evidence supporting the idea that mindset significantly influences achievement and success. By adopting a growth mindset, individuals can cultivate a love for learning, embrace challenges, and ultimately unlock their full potential.

Applying a Growth Mindset in Entrepreneurship

Now, let’s explore how entrepreneurs can apply the principles of a growth mindset in their endeavours:

  1. Embrace Challenges as Opportunities
    • Cultivate a mindset that views challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Instead of shying away from difficulties, approach them with the belief that overcoming them will lead to enhanced skills and knowledge.
  2. Learn from Setbacks
    • Rather than viewing setbacks as failures, consider them as valuable learning experiences. Analyse what went wrong, extract lessons, and use that knowledge to refine your approach in future endeavours.
  3. Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning
    • Infuse your entrepreneurial journey with a commitment to continuous learning. Stay curious, seek out new knowledge, and encourage your team to embrace a growth mindset collectively.

Within entrepreneurship, a growth mindset is essential as a powerful catalyst for success. Carol Dweck’s research illuminates the transformative impact of believing in the potential for growth and development. By adopting a growth mindset, entrepreneurs can not only navigate challenges with resilience but also cultivate a mindset that propels them towards sustained success. As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, consider Dweck’s insights as a guiding force, empowering you to overcome obstacles and unlock your full potential.

Reference: Dweck, C. (2006). “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” Random House.

Deloitte: Unveiling the Impact of Ethical Practices on Business Performance

In recent years, ethical practices have evolved from being perceived as mere regulatory compliance to becoming critical components that influence overall business performance. This blog explores the profound impact of ethical practices on business success, drawing insights from a Deloitte survey that highlights the connection between ethical commitments, customer attraction, positive work culture, and enhanced employee satisfaction and retention.

Ethical practices encompass a broad spectrum, from fair labour standards and environmental responsibility to transparent governance and community engagement. The Deloitte survey delves into the intricate relationship between these ethical commitments and the overall performance of businesses.

  1. Attracting Customers through Ethics

The Deloitte survey underscores that businesses committed to ethical practices hold a distinct advantage in attracting customers. In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their purchases, ethical considerations play a pivotal role in shaping purchasing decisions.

  1. Fostering a Positive Work Culture

Beyond customer attraction, ethical practices contribute significantly to the internal dynamics of a company. A workplace built on ethical principles fosters a positive work culture, creating an environment where employees feel valued and engaged.

    • Key Findings from the Deloitte Survey:
      • Businesses that prioritize ethical considerations tend to create workplaces with higher morale, collaboration, and a sense of purpose.
      • Ethical practices contribute to building trust between employees and leadership, fostering a healthy and transparent organizational culture.
  1. Enhancing Employee Satisfaction and Retention:

The link between ethical practices and employee satisfaction is a cornerstone of the Deloitte survey’s findings. Employees increasingly seek workplaces aligned with their values, where ethical considerations are integrated into the organizational fabric.

    • Statistics from the Survey:
      • Organizations with robust ethical practices report higher levels of employee satisfaction.
      • Employee retention rates are positively influenced by a workplace that prioritizes ethics, leading to lower turnover costs.

Deloitte’s comprehensive survey serves as a valuable resource for understanding the impact of ethical practices on business performance. Conducted on a diverse range of businesses, the survey provides real-world insights into how ethical considerations can be a strategic advantage in today’s competitive market.

  1. Survey Highlights:
    • The survey analyses responses from businesses across industries, exploring the correlation between ethical practices and key performance indicators.

Applying Ethical Practices in Your Business

Based on the insights from the Deloitte survey, here are practical steps to integrate ethical practices into your business for enhanced performance:

  1. Define and Communicate Ethical Values:
    • Clearly articulate your company’s ethical values and communicate them to both internal and external stakeholders.
  2. Integrate Ethics into Decision-Making:
    • Make ethical considerations a fundamental part of your decision-making processes, ensuring alignment with your company’s values.
  3. Employee Training and Engagement:
    • Provide ongoing training to employees on ethical practices and their importance. Foster a workplace culture where employees actively participate in ethical discussions.

Ethical practices have transcended mere compliance to become integral components of a brand’s identity. This blog will take you on a comprehensive journey, exploring the principles and impact of three key ethical frameworks: BCORP, B1G1, and the ESG/CSR agenda. Let’s delve into each of these pillars, understanding how they go beyond superficial considerations to shape a business’s core values and contribute to societal well-being, ultimately fostering customer loyalty.

  1. BCORP: Redefining Business Success

BCORP, or B Corporation certification, represents a transformative approach to business that extends beyond profit margins to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Achieving BCORP certification requires businesses to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Key Principles of BCORP

  • Social Impact: BCORP-certified businesses prioritize positive impacts on employees, customers, communities, and the environment.
  • Environmental Responsibility: These businesses actively reduce their environmental footprint, championing sustainability and responsible resource management.
  • Legal Accountability: BCORPs legally commit to balancing profit with purpose, ensuring long-term positive effects on society.

Impact on Brand Identity

  • BCORP certification transforms ethical practices from a checkbox to a brand-defining characteristic. It signals to consumers that the business is committed to a higher standard of corporate responsibility, instilling trust and loyalty.
  1. B1G1: Business for Good

B1G1, or Buy One Give One, is a global initiative that intertwines business success with social impact. It operates on a simple premise: for every product or service sold, a business gives back to a cause, creating a ripple effect of positive change across the globe.

Core Tenets of B1G1

  • Micro-Giving: B1G1 encourages businesses to make small, impactful contributions with every transaction, making giving an integral part of their everyday operations.
  • Diverse Causes: Businesses can choose from a wide array of causes, allowing them to align their giving with their values and engage customers in the process.
  • Transparent Impact: B1G1 emphasizes transparent reporting, enabling businesses to showcase the tangible impact of their contributions.

Brand Identity Transformation

  • B1G1 transcends traditional corporate philanthropy by seamlessly integrating giving into business operations. This approach transforms ethical practices into a customer-engaging strategy, fostering a sense of shared purpose.
  1. ESG/CSR: Navigating the Triple Bottom Line

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represent a holistic approach to business that considers not only financial performance but also social and environmental impacts.

Components of ESG/CSR

  • Environmental Impact: Businesses focus on sustainable practices, energy efficiency, and reducing their ecological footprint.
  • Social Responsibility: Prioritizing fair labour practices, diversity, and community engagement to ensure a positive impact on society.
  • Governance Standards: Upholding ethical governance practices, transparency, and accountability to stakeholders.

Elevating Brand Identity

  • Adopting ESG/CSR principles goes beyond compliance, transforming businesses into socially conscious entities. This not only attracts socially conscious consumers but also contributes to long-term brand loyalty.

The Deloitte survey sheds light on the multifaceted advantages of ethical practices, from attracting customers to fostering positive work cultures and enhancing employee satisfaction and retention. By incorporating ethical considerations into your business strategy, you not only contribute to a more responsible and sustainable business environment but also position your company for long-term success in an increasingly conscientious marketplace. The link to the Deloitte survey provides a valuable resource for those looking to delve deeper into the intricate relationship between ethics and business performance.

And, that the integration of BCORP, B1G1, and ESG/CSR principles into business operations signifies a commitment to ethical practices that go beyond surface-level considerations. These frameworks redefine business success, fostering a brand identity deeply rooted in social and environmental responsibility. By embedding these principles, businesses not only contribute to societal well-being but also cultivate customer loyalty by aligning with the values of an increasingly conscious consumer base. The journey towards ethical business practices becomes a powerful narrative, shaping a legacy of positive impact and responsible entrepreneurship.

Deloitte Reference: Deloitte Survey

The Power of Mentorship: Accelerating Small Business Success

Over the last 2 decades, the role of mentorship has emerged as a transformative force, fostering not only guidance but tangible impacts on revenue growth and overall sustainability. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has conducted extensive research, shedding light on the positive correlation between mentoring programs and small business success. This blog explores the key findings from the FSB, delving into how mentorship can propel businesses towards higher revenue growth and sustained success.

Understanding the FSB’s Insights

The Federation of Small Businesses serves as a crucial resource for small businesses, providing insights, support, and research that illuminate the path to success. One of the pivotal findings from the FSB highlights the profound impact of mentorship programs on the growth and sustainability of small businesses.

  1. Positive Correlation Between Mentorship and Revenue Growth

According to the FSB, businesses that actively engage in mentorship programs experience a notable uptick in revenue growth. This correlation is not merely coincidental but reflects the strategic advantages that mentorship brings to the table.

    • Key Statistics from the FSB
      • Small businesses with mentorship programs report, on average, X% higher revenue growth compared to those without mentoring support.
      • The impact is particularly pronounced in the first few years of operation, showcasing the immediate benefits of mentorship.
  1. Enhanced Overall Sustainability

Beyond revenue growth, the FSB’s research underscores the broader implications of mentorship on the overall sustainability of small businesses. Sustainability here encapsulates not only financial stability but also factors like adaptability, resilience, and long-term viability.

    • Insights into Sustainability Metrics
      • Small businesses engaged in mentorship programs demonstrate a higher rate of survival and resilience during challenging economic climates.
      • Mentorship contributes to the development of robust business practices, ensuring sustained success over the long term.

The Dynamics of Mentorship

  1. Knowledge Transfer
    • Mentorship facilitates the transfer of experiential knowledge from seasoned mentors to business owners. This knowledge encompasses not only industry-specific insights but also practical strategies for navigating challenges.
  2. Networking Opportunities
    • The mentor-mentee relationship opens doors to valuable networking opportunities. This not only broadens the mentee’s professional circle but also introduces them to potential clients, partners, and collaborators.
  3. Strategic Guidance
    • Mentors provide strategic guidance, helping small business owners make informed decisions. This includes everything from financial planning and marketing strategies to navigating legal and regulatory landscapes.

Based on the FSB’s insights, here are practical steps for small business owners to implement effective mentorship programs:

  1. Identify Potential Mentors
    • Seek out mentors with relevant industry experience and a willingness to guide and share insights.
  2. Establish Clear Goals
    • Define specific goals and objectives for the mentorship program, aligning them with your business’s growth and sustainability objectives.
  3. Foster Open Communication
    • Create an environment where open communication is encouraged. This includes regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and a willingness to learn from both successes and challenges.

The Federation of Small Businesses research underscores the pivotal role of mentorship in driving small business success. From accelerating revenue growth to enhancing overall sustainability, mentorship programs offer tangible benefits that extend far beyond traditional support structures. As small business owners navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship, embracing mentorship emerges not only as a strategic choice but as a transformative journey towards sustained success. The insights provided by the FSB serve as a beacon, guiding entrepreneurs toward the profound advantages that mentorship can bring to their businesses.

Crafting an Elaborate 2024 Business Plan

Let’s now dissect the process of seamlessly integrating the #ADDAZERO Methodology into your 2024 business plan:

  1. In-Depth Mindset Analysis
    • Begin with a comprehensive assessment of your entrepreneurial mindset. Pinpoint limiting beliefs and areas ripe for growth, aligning with the overarching principles of authentic and ethical business practices.
  2. Comprehensive #ADDAZERO Integration
    • Embrace the #ADDAZERO Methodology as a guiding force in your business strategy. This includes delving into 1:1 mentoring, leveraging group coaching dynamics, and tapping into valuable resources like the #ADDAZERO Podcast and the #ADDAZERO Institute for unparalleled training and coaching experiences.
  3. Embedding Ethical Practices
    • Go beyond the surface of ethical considerations by deeply embedding principles of BCORP, B1G1, and the ESG and CSR agenda into your business operations. Ethical practices become not just a checkbox but a fundamental part of your brand identity, contributing to societal well-being and fostering customer loyalty.
  4. Transitioning to Legacy Building
    • Shift the focal point from short-term gains to long-term legacy building. Consider how your business can be a force for positive change in the community, contributing meaningfully to the mission of eradicating unemployment in the UK.

Conclusion

As a budding Entrepreneur, constructing a business plan for 2024 isn’t just a recommendation, but a necessity.  Our business planning when done correctly transcends traditional approaches. It necessitates a deep dive into the entrepreneurial mindset, a process underscored by My TrueNORTH’s #ADDAZERO Methodology. This transformative approach aligns seamlessly with ethical practices and legacy building, providing a robust and reliable roadmap for conscientious business owners seeking not just growth, but a meaningful impact. By integrating these principles, you lay the foundation for a successful and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey, ensuring sustained success for years to come.

To learn more about our BATTLEPLAN Masterclass, including a comprehensive Business plan template, and user guide.  Visit: https://www.mytruenorth.biz/business-coach-mentor/masterclasses/

Business Leadership 2024

As the dawn of a new year unfolds, I often compare this to the poised anticipation before a swimmer takes that crucial dive off the starting blocks.

Many business leaders find themselves on the brink of a fresh beginning, with apprehension of what the year ahead holds in store, the strategic significance of a well-earned break and the profound insights gained during moments of reflection.

Picture a swimmer, muscles tensed, standing on the starting blocks, ready to break through the water’s surface. And, within business, the return from a well-enjoyed break mirrors this poised anticipation—a delicate balance of eagerness and trepidation. The initial thrust off the blocks sets the tone for the entire race, just as the first steps back into the business world can chart the course for the year ahead.

And, like the swimmer encountering varying currents, business is filled with unpredictable challenges also. Something I’ve recognised as both a distance swimmer and business leader is that resilience is not just a trait but a prerequisite for success. Over my extensive research into what is required not just to grow but sustainably scale up businesses, I recognise that our ability to prepare for and manage turbulent currents are an inherent part of the journey.  And, just as my swimming (both in terms of distance and time/energy) has been transformed through coaching. I assist business leaders navigate challenges with a graceful stroke, turning adversity into an opportunity for growth.

Over the past few years specifically, we’ve all seen and been impacted by the fluidity of business. And, just as in the open waters, we also saw the critical importance of pivoting – adaptability is the key to staying afloat. As a swimmer, I recognise the need to adjust my stroke to the changing tides. Similarly, #ADDAZERO Methodology shows the importance of adapting strategies to the evolving landscape. Your ability to pivot, much like a swimmer adjusting their technique, ensures not just survival but a competitive edge in the ever-shifting fluidity of commerce.

One of the most impactful transitions I’ve made in the pool, is slowing each stroke down to examine in detail every part. Every kick, every turn, every breath.  I’ve shaved almost 6mins of my mile, by recognising success hinges on the precision of each stroke.  Likewise, business success demands meticulous planning and execution.

“Everything you have ever done has led you to where you are right now.

However, if where you are right now, isn’t where you want to be?

It may take reviewing and revising everything you now do, to get you to where you want to be”.

Eye for detail

With a discerning eye for detail and a willingness to ask awkward questions, I ensure every decision you make is a purposeful stroke propelling your business forward. Everything I do is a carefully calculated stroke towards our larger #ADDAZERO mission.

One of the other significant breakthroughs I’ve had within my swimming this year is to really get a better understanding of my breathing. For the business leader, so often ‘always on the go’ this translates through to the willingness and ability to stop and ‘take a breath’.  Strategic planning and better financial acumen become the oxygen for sustained business endurance. The #ADDAZERO Methodology ensures that the business not only survives but thrives in the long swim to success. This attention to both financial health and the importance of stopping to ‘take a breath’ aligns seamlessly with the ethical business practices advocated by My TrueNORTH.

Any competitive swimmer seeks to break personal records, constantly pushing the limits of their own capabilities. And, in the last year, I’ve seen this in both distances covered, and time taken. Culminating in completing my first-ever triathlon in August. And, as we enter 2024, fuelled by the #ADDAZERO ethos, I both encourage and hold to account business owners to push their limits ethically and authentically. The goal is not just financial success but achieving a personal best in creating a positive impact on both their business, community, and profession.

Eagerness to get started

Like many an entrepreneur, over the last 2 weeks, I’ve grapples with the subtle weight of apprehension that precedes the return to business in a new year. I’m sure I’m not alone, and this resonates with many other conscientious business owners, particularly those aligned with the ethos of #ADDAZERO, seeking to grow authentically and ethically. The apprehension, far from a deterrent, becomes a driver for meticulous planning and strategic thinking.

Therefore, the break over Christmas becomes more than a reprieve; it’s a calculated pause in the constant pulse of business operations. I not only understand but fully advocate the strength of reflection during these breaks. It’s a time to recalibrate, recharge, and, most importantly, to gain fresh insights that can fuel the momentum for the year ahead.

However, for this to be anything more than a physical pause, reflecting on the past year cannot be just a cursory glance at achievements and setbacks.  But used as a deep dive into the nuances of the entrepreneurial journey. To get its true value, you must be willing to go beyond the surface, ask those difficult questions, and extract the valuable lessons from triumphs and challenges alike. Our VIP EXPERIENCE days have proven for many this year a golden opportunity for a highly skilled and experienced scaleup mentor to meticulous review the actions and outcomes, offering guidance, advise, recommendation and resources for refining strategies, setting informed goals, and steering your business to #ADDAZERO.

As we welcome in a New Year, and I return to the helm of My TrueNORTH, this is far from a mere resumption of routine. It’s a plunge back into uncharted waters, armed with a reservoir of new ideas and a commitment to ethical business practices. The #ADDAZERO ethos isn’t just a slogan—it’s a pledge to leave a legacy. Which is defined by personalised 1:1 mentoring, backed by the multi-award winning and accredited #ADDAZERO Methodology playing its distinct role in shaping the UK business owner landscape of sustainable business growth.

As a fellow business leader, I invite you to take the plunge by completing the #ADDAZERO Scaleup Audit, and see for yourself the shape your business is in.

As my swimming coach has assisted me in assessing my strokes and techniques, this audit serves as a mirror, reflecting the hidden opportunity and vulnerabilities in your business strategy.  What better way to start the year, than to refine your approach, align with ethical practices, and set a course for sustained growth

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the #ADDAZERO Scaleup Audit. Your scaleup journey begins with a single stroke…

Additional Resources

What I learned as a Digital Nomad

I can hardly believe it’s the end of November already after I packed my bags in August to test life as a Digital Nomad.

The first stop, was a rather cold and wet Dublin.

Of all the times I’ve flown into Northern Ireland, I’d never been to Dublin. A busy and vibrant metropolis where business was being done everywhere and a sense of optimism and purpose filled the air.

I’d hired an Aparthotel to host a VIP experience for a new client, only to learn (as he arrived) that prior to being converted to an apartment, it had been a marketing / PR agency – the same one he had the company logo designed by 18 years earlier!

We spent the day working on a new offering launch strategy and devised the entire campaign, offering, pricing, target audience demographics etc. That he could walk out and implement with certainty the following day.  And we got time to experience not only a little of the amazing architecture in the city but some great fine dining also.

Next stop, the weather couldn’t have been more different, as we arrived in Bermuda! 

We arrived on the cusp of hurricane season! Which, if you’ve seen films like The Perfect Storm, Twister, and Take Shelter you may be thinking Why on earth would you visit during hurricane season?

The reality is, Bermuda is a tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, just 21 miles long, and less than 2 miles wide.  There is nowhere to evacuate! And so, they have become damn good at weathering the storm.  The entire island is geared to bracing for hurricanes with really solid-built buildings, strong shutters, storm warnings and regular ‘drills’ to ensure minimum disruption.

Several hurricanes passed during the month we were there, and every time a person did their thing and hours later, everything was ship shape and back to normal.

My other observation from being here is determination.

The cost of living in Bermuda is about three times more expensive than in the USA, at least 250% more than in Canada or the UK. And so, if you live on the island, you work and work hard.  The Bermudian entrepreneur is devoted, and creative and doesn’t take no for an answer. 

Next stop, Corfu.  Or rather, A flight to Athens, to hire a car, to drive almost 600 kilometres to Igomenitsa to catch a 90mins ferry into Corfu Port! 

You see, Corfu is a seasonal island. It’s ‘open for business between Early May and Late October when around half a million tourists visit every year. Out of season the island pretty much ‘closes down’ with many returning to family in either mainland Greece, or, further afield, and the population drops to a little below 100K.

Having already been in the summer, and enjoyed the weather, the food and everything being open.  It was a very stark contrast to the high streets boarded up, almost ghost towns as the work for the year is done, and taking a well-earned rest before the 24hrs, 7 days a week for 6 months next summer.

My main observation from being here is balance.

When it’s busy, it’s busy. All effort is geared towards tourism and income generation.  The island is alive, thriving with energy and keen to be ‘of service’. But, with the ying, there is yang. And so, once the last aeroplane has taken flight and the airport closed. The attention turns to family, rest, and recuperation.  All the jobs that didn’t get done in favour of service, now become a priority as the tables are turned, as focus turns elsewhere.

Final stop, Southampton! Another new client to visit and onboard.  As well as having teamed up with Henri Ghijben to host TSA – The Tree Surgeons Academy. A hybrid online/in-person training, mastermind community for Tree Surgeons and Arborists across the UK. 

My main observation from being here is perspective.

Henri has built a thriving community of tree surgeons, all with a devotion to both them and their businesses, as well as family and future prosperity.  However, brute force and determination will only ever get us so far.  And whilst building a business is a priority for us all, putting the right people, systems, and processes in place.  Setting boundaries and non-negotiables. Determining the priorities is essential to prevent burnout, frustration and another trip on the merry-go-round called life!

I’ll be back shortly, with another insight on what I learned from being interviewed LIVE on stage in front of 500 entrepreneurs by Expert Empires CEO – Nick James!