Are you a firefighter?

Are you a firefighter?

In the fast-paced business world, it’s not uncommon for owners and leaders to find themselves caught up in a never-ending firefighting cycle. Constantly tackling immediate problems and putting out fires are necessary to keep the business afloat. However, this reactive approach can lead to many risks and challenges without a well-defined strategic plan.

Today I want to highlight the dangers of relying solely on firefighting and emphasis the critical role of an independent mentor in challenging current business thinking to prevent burnout and ensure long-term success.

Firefighting, by its very nature, is a reactive approach to problem-solving. While it may seem necessary in the short term, it often diverts attention from crucial long-term objectives.

In firefighting, the primary goal is to extinguish fires and prevent further damage. Similarly, in business ownership, constantly tackling immediate problems is akin to putting out fires. It involves addressing urgent issues to minimize their negative impact on the business.

Just as firefighters take preventive measures to minimise the risk of fires, business owners need to implement strategies and processes to prevent problems from arising in the first place. This can involve proactive planning, risk assessment, and implementing safeguards to avoid potential crises.

Firefighting is a reactive approach, responding to emergencies as they occur. Similarly, constantly firefighting in business means being reactive to problems as they arise without a proactive plan. Effective business ownership requires a proactive approach, focusing on prevention, long-term planning, and strategic decision-making.

Firefighters work to contain fires, preventing them from spreading and causing further damage. In business, containment can be compared to managing crises or challenges effectively, limiting their impact on operations, reputation, and overall business stability.

Firefighters rely on specialised equipment and tools to combat fires, such as hoses, fire extinguishers, and protective gear. Similarly, business owners need the right tools, resources, and expertise to navigate challenges and make informed decisions. This can include financial management tools, technology solutions, and access to expert advice.

Firefighting often requires collaboration and coordinated efforts among firefighters to tackle complex situations. Successful ownership often involves building a strong team, fostering collaboration, and leveraging collective expertise to overcome challenges and achieve shared goals.

Firefighters undergo rigorous training and preparation to be ready for emergencies. Likewise, business owners need to be prepared for potential challenges with a well-thought-out business plan, risk management strategies, and contingency plans.

After a fire, the focus shifts to recovery and restoration. Similarly, when challenges arise in business ownership, the emphasis should be on recovering from setbacks, restoring operations, and learning from the experience to prevent similar issues in the future.

Here are some of the risks associated with business firefighting:

With a strategic plan, business owners and leaders may gain sight of their long-term goals. They become consumed by immediate issues, losing the focus and clarity needed to drive the business forward.

Firefighting consumes valuable time and resources that could have been allocated to exploring new opportunities, expanding into new markets, or developing innovative products or services.

Constantly tackling urgent matters can lead to haphazard resource allocation. This reactive approach wastes time, money, and effort, as resources must be strategically deployed.

The relentless nature of firefighting takes a toll on business owners and leaders, leading to burnout, increased stress levels, and diminished overall well-being. This can have a detrimental effect on decision-making and overall business performance.

A firefighting mentality can make it difficult for organisations to adapt to changing market dynamics and emerging trends. By focusing solely on immediate problems, businesses may miss out on opportunities to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

So what’s the answer?

It starts with a strategic plan acting as a business roadmap, providing a clear vision, goals, and a structured approach to achieving long-term success.

A strategic plan helps businesses define their purpose, vision, and mission. It sets specific objectives and outlines the steps required to achieve them. This clarity of direction ensures that efforts are aligned and focused on long-term goals.

It encourages a proactive mindset, enabling businesses to anticipate potential challenges and take preventive measures. By addressing issues before they escalate, organisations can avoid unnecessary firefighting.

Once the strategic plan is in place, businesses can allocate resources more effectively. This includes financial resources, human capital, and time. By prioritising initiatives aligned with the strategic objectives, resources are optimised for maximum impact.

Furthermore, it enables businesses to stay agile and adaptable in a rapidly changing business landscape. It systematically evaluates market trends, competitive forces, and customer needs, facilitating timely adjustments and positioning for future success.

While having a strategic plan is crucial, more is needed.  Therefore, coupled with having an independent mentor who can challenge current business thinking is equally important. Here’s how an independent mentor can help prevent burnout and enhance business performance:

I bring an outsider’s viewpoint to objectively feedback on the business’s direction and decision-making processes. I challenge assumptions and encourage critical thinking, ensuring business owners avoid tunnel vision and embrace new perspectives.

I have experience and expertise that can guide business owners in developing and refining their strategic plans. And help identify blind spots, set realistic goals, and ensure alignment between the plan and the overall business vision.

Furthermore, I hold business owners accountable for their actions and progress towards strategic goals. And provide ongoing support, motivation, and guidance, ensuring the strategic plan is implemented effectively.

Overall, A mentor acts as a source of knowledge and experience, providing valuable insights and sharing lessons learned from their own entrepreneurial journey and that of the many others they have supported to their success. They encourage continuous learning, enabling business owners to develop their skills and expand their business acumen.

As the pressure of business, environment, climate, and competition continues to grow, constantly firefighting without a strategic plan will lead to numerous risks, including lack of direction, missed opportunities, inefficient resource allocation, burnout, and limited adaptability. To mitigate these risks and ensure long-term success, it is essential for business owners to develop a strategic plan that provides clarity, focus, and a proactive approach. Furthermore, having an independent mentor who challenges current thinking and provides guidance and support is critical.

As a Global Award-Winning Coaching Company, My TrueNORTH brings fresh perspectives, holds business owners accountable, and helps foster a proactive and strategic mindset.

By embracing strategic planning and seeking the guidance of an independent mentor, business owners can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with greater clarity, and resilience and ultimately achieve sustainable success.

The Importance of Knowing What You Don’t Know

As a business owner, you always look for ways to scale and grow your business.

However, one thing that could be holding you back is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

This famous quote from Donald Rumsfeld highlights a crucial concept that applies to businesses of all sizes – the idea that there are blind spots and gaps in our knowledge that we may not even be aware of.

The Importance of Knowing What You Don’t Know

As the business leader, you are an expert in your field, with years of experience and knowledge. However, even the most experienced and knowledgeable business owners have blind spots and areas lacking expertise. These blind spots prevent you from seeing opportunities or potential challenges that could and will impact both you and your business.

Not knowing what you don’t know can be especially damaging when scaling your business. Scaling is significantly different to growth and takes a different set of skills and experience.  It not only requires a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and your industry. But also requires identifying and pursuing growth opportunities while mitigating potential risks, whilst considering the size of the company and the ongoing strategic considerations at each stage of growth. You need to fully understand these factors to avoid missing out on opportunities or making costly mistakes that will prevent your business from reaching its full potential.

The Benefits of Mentorship

Working with a mentor is one way to overcome the limitations of not knowing what you don’t know. A mentor has experience across many industries and can offer guidance and advice based on both their own experiences, and that of the many other clients they have supported. They help you identify blind spots and gaps in your knowledge and provide insights and strategies for overcoming them.

Here are but a few of the ways a mentor can help you scale your business:

  • Mentors can provide an objective viewpoint and offer fresh perspectives on your business, which can help you identify new opportunities and potential areas for improvement.
  • Mentors can share their industry knowledge and experience, providing insights into trends and best practices you may not know.
  • Mentors can offer guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of scaling your business. They can advise everything from marketing and sales to hiring and finance.
  • Mentors often have their own network of contacts and can introduce you to potential partners, clients, or investors.

This is why I’m often surprised to see how few leaders actively seek out the independent assistance of someone capable of supporting them to avoid (or embrace) challenges with more competence and confidence.

What are the risks of not accessing the support of a Mentor

One of the biggest risks of not accessing a mentor’s services is the possibility of missing out on opportunities. Mentors have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help identify areas of growth and expansion that a business owner may have yet to consider.

  • A business owner may make costly mistakes without a mentor’s guidance and expertise. These mistakes can range from financial mismanagement to poor decision-making, which can significantly impact a business’s long-term success.
  • A business owner may lack direction and focus without a mentor. A mentor can help create a strategic plan and provide guidance on achieving specific business goals, which can help keep a business on track and moving forward.
  • Without a mentor, a business may stagnate and fail to grow. A mentor can provide fresh ideas and insights to help a business stay relevant and competitive in a constantly changing business landscape.
  • A mentor will help business owners expand their network and introduce them to potential clients, partners, and investors. A business owner may miss opportunities to build valuable relationships and partnerships without a mentor.

And in the longer term, not accessing a mentor’s services will significantly impact a business’s growth and success. The business may need a mentor’s guidance and support to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. This can lead to a lack of innovation and stagnation, ultimately making the business irrelevant or failing altogether.

Furthermore, with a mentor, a business owner may be able to develop the skills and knowledge needed to lead and manage a successful business. A mentor can help a business owner build expertise in areas such as finance, marketing, and sales, which can significantly impact a business’s long-term success.

However, one of the biggest observations I’ve made in the past 10+ years of Business Mentoring is, not being accountable to anyone can also have a significant impact on a business owner’s ability to succeed. While being the boss can empower and give a sense of autonomy, it can also lead to blind spots and biases hindering a business’s growth.

With a mentor or advisor, a business owner may receive feedback and input from those who report directly to them or share similar views, limiting their perspective and ability to make informed decisions. This can result in missed opportunities, poor decision-making, and an inability to adapt to changing market conditions.

Additionally, being the boss leads to a lack of accountability, as there is no one to hold the business owner responsible for their actions and decisions. This can lead to complacency and a lack of urgency to address issues or take risks, ultimately harming a business’s long-term success.

Mentorship provides a sense of accountability, challenging business owners to think critically about their decisions and actions. They can offer objective feedback, highlight areas for improvement, and provide guidance on overcoming challenges. This can help a business owner avoid blind spots and biases, make more informed decisions, and achieve greater success.

How to Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor may seem daunting, but there are several ways to do it. Here are some tips for finding a mentor:

  • Contact colleagues, industry peers, or even former professors or mentors. They may introduce you to someone in your industry who could serve as a mentor. Almost 2/3 of my mentoring clients come from personal recommendations.
  • Attend conferences, trade shows, and other industry events. These events allow you to network with other professionals in your field and potentially identify a mentor. Pre-pandemic and lockdown, around 1/3 of new enquiries came from me speaking at conferences, trade shows and events, sharing our Get BIG or Go Home – #ADDAZERO methodology.
  • Many organisations offer coaching/mentorship programs that pair mentees with experienced professionals. And whilst My TrueNORTH is exceptionally proud of the achievements our clients gain by working with us, I very much acknowledge that our approach isn’t for all. I gladly recommend other coaching/mentoring programmes to those who determine our methodology or style of support is not for them.

After all, we firmly believe in Win | Win | Win outcomes!

Therefore, Donald Rumsfeld’s quote, “you don’t know, what you don’t know,” is a powerful reminder of the limitations of our knowledge and the importance of seeking out guidance and support. As a business owner, not knowing what you don’t know can prevent you from scaling and growing your business. Whilst working with a Scaleup mentor will help overcome limitations and unlock new potential.

If you’d like to learn more about the #ADDAZERO Methodology and our approach to scaleup (That has led to no less than 10 finalists in the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards) You can start by accessing the #ADDAZERO Scaleup Scorecard, and receiving a free, bespoke, in-depth report on the current opportunities and vulnerabilities within your business!

Get your #Addazero Scorecard here, and begin working on how to #ADDAZERO

The Business Rollercoaster

Starting a business is a lot like getting on a roller coaster. There are highs and lows, twists and turns, and moments of both excitement and fear.

As the business owner, you’re in control of the ride, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  At times, it can be exhilarating, but at other times, it can be terrifying. There are moments of excitement and joy, and moments of fear and uncertainty.

The Thrills and Challenges of Being a Solopreneur

As the Business owner, you’re in charge of your own destiny. You get to make all the decisions and reap all the rewards. You’re the CEO, the marketing team, the salesperson, and the accountant all rolled into one. You can work when and where you want and create a business that aligns with your values and passions.

But there are also plenty of challenges. You must wear many hats, which can be exhausting and overwhelming. You have to be self-motivated and disciplined, as no boss keeps you on track. You have to manage your own finances and deal with the ups and downs of cash flow. And you have to be comfortable with uncertainty, as the solopreneurial journey is full of twists and turns.

The Ups and Downs of the Roller Coaster

Just like a roller coaster, being a solopreneur is full of ups and downs. There are moments of pure joy and excitement, like when you land a big client or make a major breakthrough. But there are also moments of fear and uncertainty, like when you’re struggling to make ends meet or dealing with a difficult client.

The roller coaster also has unexpected surprises. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, the roller coaster takes a sudden turn or drops unexpectedly. The same is true for the journey of the Business Owner – you never know when an opportunity will present itself or when a challenge will arise.

How a Business Coach Can Help You Navigate the Roller Coaster

Just like a roller coaster, the entrepreneurial journey can be more enjoyable and less scary when you have someone to ride with you. That’s where a business mentor comes in. A business mentor (Or Scaleup Sherpa) is like a riding partner who can help you navigate the twists and turns of the solopreneurial journey with greater ease and confidence.

With a business coach by your side, you can approach these ups and downs with more confidence and less anxiety. They can help you anticipate what’s to come and prepare you to handle it effectively.

It can also be a lonely journey. As the business owner – you’re the one making all the decisions, taking all the risks, and putting in all the hard work. This can be isolating, and it can be challenging to find the support and guidance you need to keep going.

Working with a business mentor can help alleviate some of this isolation. They can be a sounding board for your ideas, offer valuable feedback and insights, and provide emotional support when you need it. They can also help you build a network of like-minded individuals who can offer you additional support and resources.

Whilst riding the roller coaster is often a thrilling experience, it can also be uncomfortable and even painful at times. The same goes for running a business. There will be times when you feel like you’re out of control, and times when you’re pushed to your limits. You may feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, and that the ride is becoming more than you can handle.

This is where a business mentor can help you ride more comfortably. They can help you identify the areas of your business that are causing you the most stress and provide strategies to alleviate that stress. They can also help you manage your time more effectively and prioritise your tasks, so you’re not constantly feeling overwhelmed.

But it’s not just about managing the stress and discomfort. A business mentor can also help you ride faster, getting you to your destination quicker, safer and with less grey hair!. They can help you identify opportunities for growth and expansion and provide guidance on how to take advantage of them. They can also help you streamline your processes and systems, so you can work more efficiently and effectively.

And when you’re on a roller coaster, you want to ensure you’re headed to the right destination. You don’t want to get off the ride and find out you’ve ended up in the wrong place. The same goes for your business. You want to ensure you’re building a business that aligns with your values and goals and will provide you with the lifestyle and financial freedom you’re looking for.

Ultimately, I help business owners get to the right destination. I help you to define your vision for your business and create a roadmap to get there. I also help you stay accountable to your goals and adjust when necessary. With My TrueNORTH – The Ethical Coaching Company, you can be sure you’re on the right track and headed in the right direction.

That’s why working with Jay can make all the difference. I help navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, ride more comfortably, and ultimately reach a better destination.

Any of this sound familiar?

Let’s grab a call – I may just have your golden ticket!

Have you got what it takes to #ADDAZERO?

For those of you already following our #ADDAZERO story, today is all about FAILURE!
The moment I use that word, some will ‘switch off’, ‘move on’, ‘disengage’. And I get it. Why would anyone want to spend any time, thought or energy talking about failure?

Well, because you can learn so much more from failure than you ever will from success. And yet, so many show up on socials to talk about their success!

Michael Jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Albert Einstein

“Success is a failure in progress.”

Bill Gates

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

So many of the world’s most recognised successes of all time, all speak of failure positively. As a means of lessons, learning, and opportunity.

And so, for 4 years, I headed up a team of MBA Business Analysts to really study what causes good businesses to fail! We looked deep into some of the biggest brands in the country (Woolworths, Blockbuster, Toys R Us) we wanted to understand not what caused them to fail (Most would argue all business failures are either because they go or grow broke!) But what did they not have in place that would have prevented it?

We discovered in al 153 studies 3 fundamental flaws that once all three were present, it was a case of when they will fail not if.
We then turned our attention to SME businesses, to establish when these first evolve, and what needs to be done to avert them. It took us to survey more than 117K businesses before we began devising a set of principles to apply to mitigate/avert these outcomes.

It was only when we began to apply these to our own business and to share them with others, that we began to realise “Success & Failure, are two sides of the same coin” and so if we teach people how not to fail. They are left with winning.
Since then we’ve supported more than 8,000 businesses to apply this methodology, and continue to see both significant and sustainable growth.

In order to meet our mission to eradicate unemployment in the UK we have to deliver this to more and more businesses. This has led us to have the programme ‘mapped’ against the National Skills Framework, become independently accredited, and now license the methodology for others to learn, apply and teach also.

To learn more, simply click here

Have you got what it takes to #ADDAZERO?

What I learnt from watching 14 Peaks

Project possible

Recently I scrolled through Netflix, and stumbled across this exceptional documentary directed by Torquil Jones. Produced by Noah Media Group, Little Monster Films and Torquil Jones with Nirmal Purja, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Vasarhelyi as executive producers. The film follows Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja, and his team as they attempt to climb all 14 eight-thousander peaks within a world record time of under 7 months.

The documentary follows a plan by Nepali high-altitude climber Nirmal Purja, (a former member of the Gurkhas and the Special Boat Squadron (SBS)) to climb all of the world’s 14 highest peaks with an altitude greater than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) (called eight-thousanders) in less than 7 months. The actual climbing took 6 months and 6 days between April 2019 to October 2019. The first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian climber Reinhold Messner who took 16 years between 1970 and 1986 and completed the feat without the use of supplementary oxygen.

By 2013, the feat had been achieved in 7 years and 310 days by South Korean climber Kim Chang, who also did not use supplementary oxygen. Purja decided to use oxygen above 7,500 metres (24,600 ft) for Project Possible based on prior experiences when not using oxygen on past eight-thousander climbs would have stopped him from saving the lives of stricken climbers (something he ended up doing several times during the project).

The documentary begins in April 2019, with Purja attempting Annapurna, statistically, the most dangerous eight-thousander. Purja joins with Canadian climber Don Bowie who has failed several times on the Annapurna. However, Purja encourages Bowie to come with his team and they are successful summiting on 23 April, with Bowie saying “This guy believed they were gonna do it, and they pushed through and achieved what before now, I have only ever attempted and failed“.

However, success was very short-lived, as the following day, Purja returns up the mountain to rescue a stricken climber (later identified as Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin). The rescue meant Purja lost his “weather window” for Dhaulagiri, which his team summits in extremely bad weather on 12 May. Purja then summits Kanchenjunga on 15 May in a single 22-hour push passing all base camps. While descending from the summit, at 8,450 m (27,720 ft) and still in the death zone, Purja and his team encounter two stricken Indian climbers; despite giving them all their oxygen and waiting for 12 hours for help which is continually promised, but never arrives. Eventually one tragically dies in Purja’s arms, while the other succumbs later back at camp 4 – During this, Purja suffers HACE (a medical condition in which the brain swells with fluid because of the physiological effects of travelling to a high altitude) helping a third lost climber, and yet fights on, knowing the other climber is reliant on him, and leads them both successfully back to basecamp!

Significantly behind schedule and questioning himself after the deaths on Annapurna and Kanchenjunga, Purja choses to push on, and summits the three neighbouring eight-thousanders of Everest on 22 May, Lhotse on 23 May, and Makalu on 24 May, in a record 48-hour push, taking a photograph of the large queue that had formed at the Hillary Step on Everest.

The film also includes interviews from Purja’s wife and brothers about his early life and career in the British Armed Forces, both within the Gurkas and the Special Boat Squadron (SBS). And the sacrifices and financial risks that Purja took to create Project Possible. That despite several attempts to secure funding for the project, all of which were unsuccessful, leaving him to remortgage his own family home, and finance the project himself.

Throughout the film, he also shared his mother’s poor health, the challenges he had in honouring her, and the Nepalese people.  He also shared details of a near-death experience from a sniper bullet to the face while on duty with the SBS. All of this, shows the character of the man, the challenges he has faced, the sacrifices he has made, the choices he has faced in order to bring Project possible to fruition.

Purja then moves to the Karakoram eight-thousanders summiting Nanga Parbat on 3 July, but taking a 100 m (300 ft) fall while descending that was only arrested when he managed to grab hold of a random fixed rope that had been left behind. At one point, Purja tells the camera:

I always say to myself, I’m not going to die today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today

Not allowing anything to detur him, he summits Gasherbrum I on 15 July and Gasherbrum II 18 July. When Purja arrives at K2 (also one of the most dangerous eight-thousanders), spirits at Base Camp are very low, after high levels of avalanches meant that most teams are preparing to abandon their climbs for the enture season. However, Purja’s team breaks out some alcohol and has a party to lift spirits, sharing with them stories of their own summits and the mission they are on. The next day, Purja and his team begin climbing K2 and lay down fixed ropes in the dangerous Bottleneck section of the climb at 1am (when the snow is hardest and at its most stable). Purja successfully summits K2 on 24 July, and over the next two days, 24 other climbers use the fixed ropes laid down by his team to summit the mountain also. Two days later, Purja summits Broad Peak on 26 July, thus completing a 23-day push to climb the 5 eight-thousanders in the Karakoram.

Purja rushes back to Kathmandu to be with his mother who has suffered a heart attack, and spends little time with her. But, despite this, and her ailing health, he is determined to both honour her, and the mission. He returns to summit Cho Oyu on 23 September, and Manaslu on 27 September. Only to then have to spend a few weeks lobbying Nepali politicians to help him secure a permit from the Chinese to climb Shishapangma in Tibet.  Some weeks later, and after launching a social media compaign to encourage others to help put pressure on the chinese government to allow this project to continue, he gains the permit and successfully summits on 29 October 2019. Purja is seen calling his dying mother on a Sat-phone from the summit:

“We did it”

Later we see Purja reunited with his mother and the world’s media then gather to celebrate the conclusion of his Project Possible.

Purja told Climbing (a major US-based Climbing magazine)  that Project Possible was a way of countering the constant scepticism he encountered before starting, and particularly raising sponsorship for the project, as he struggled to convince investors that his goals were realistic and that he was the climber to achieve them. When he summited the first peak, Annapurna I on 23 April 2019, Purja had only locked down 15 per cent of the financing he needed, and most of this money had come from remortgaging his own UK house.

As the project continued, he raised funds both through GoFundMe campaigns, and eventually corporate sponsorship (e.g. rebranding the project as Bremont Project Possible). After Bremount who got to hear of him through his military connections agreed to co-sponsor later parts of the project.

On completion of the project, Purja told Redbull:

“It’s been one financial risk after the other. I say this project has been ‘horrifically amazing”

The former British Marine was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in 2016 for his mountaineering achievements. In the process of completing “Project Possible”, he broke six further records — including the fastest summit of the three highest mountains in the world.

Records set

  1. Fastest ascent of all 14 eight-thousanders in 6 months and 6 days (the previous record was 7 years and 310 days by South Korean climber Kim Chang-Ho)
  2. Fastest ascent of the 5 highest eight-thousanders in 70 days (the record for climbing without supplementary oxygen is 4 years and 219 days by Spanish brothers Alberto Iñurrategi and Felix Iñurrategi).
  3. Fastest triple-header of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in 2 days and 30 minutes (Purja was the previous record holder from 2017).

What I took from this…

  • ANYTHING is possible, you just have to believe
  • Never take NO for an answer
  • A lack of funding doesn’t mean you stop, it means you haven’t conveyed the value well enough
  • How legislation and paperwork can put a stop to anything. And, how social pressure can influence governments to continue!

But also, it made me ask some tough questions:

  • Would Sir Edmund Hilary or other Western Climbers have had such problems securing funding/support?
  • Why do SO MANY PEOPLE feel it necessary to summit Everest (circa 400 a day for 2 days were summiting when Purja was there) Most of these are not climbers, but tourists ticking it off a list, whilst putting both Sherpa’s and most others on the mountain at risk!
  • How TEAM is everything and having one that believes in you in key to YOU achieving more
  • How some are takers, happy for you to do the work, as long as it enables them to achieve their own agenda
  • Both the endurance and fragility of human life.  What we can endure when we set our mind to achieve something.  And yet, how we can jeopardize all of that in responding to the need to help another
  • The importance of family, belief, heritage, culture, belief, belonging and identity

If you’ve not yet watched it, I strongly recommend you carve some time out and give it a viewing

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and what you took from the film?

Why are you called My TrueNORTH?

I’m often asked “Why are you called My TrueNORTH?” so thought it best if I shared the story behind our #brand. (After all, every business has its own story, right?)

The Story of the Explorer’s Compass

Imagine. You are an explorer standing exactly on the North Pole. It’s been a long journey and it’s freezing cold. You pull out your compass.

What direction would the needle on the compass point?

The answer may not be what you think!

In order to answer this question, you will have to understand the difference between the true geographic north and magnetic north.

Because these two north locations are completely different.

What is the Geographic (True) North Pole?

The Earth rotates on the geographic north and south poles. The geographic north and south poles are where lines of longitude (meridians) converge in the north. The south and north pole are directly opposite to one another.

The North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Scientists have tried marking the North pole. Because the water here is permanently covered with moving sea ice, it’s practically impossible to construct any type of permanent station at the true North Pole.

On the other side of the Earth, the South Pole lies on a continental landmass known as Antarctica. Because the ice on top of Antarctica moves only a few meters a year, the United States Antarctica program has installed a marker here to delineate the true South Pole.

What is the Magnetic North Pole?

The Earth is one big magnet. The Magnetic North Pole (also known as the North Dip Pole) is a point on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada where the northern lines of attraction enter the Earth.

A compass needle rests freely in its casing so it can manoeuvre itself. When you pull out a compass, it aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field. The small magnetic pin is how a compass responds to Earth’s magnetism.

This means that a compass needle will point to the Magnetic North Pole – which is different from the geographic north.

But how much of a difference is the magnetic north vs geographic north? (And what has this got to do with my business?)

Where would a compass needle point if you were standing on the true North Pole?

If you were standing on the geographic north pole holding your compass, it would point towards northern Canada at Ellesmere Island. This is a difference of about 500 kilometres between the Geographic North and Magnetic North poles! But, the Magnetic North Pole is actually moving kilometres every year. This phenomenon is known as the Polar Shift Theory.

Magnetic inclination varies according to where you are located on the globe. In order to point you in the right direction, users can compensate for magnetic inclination by using charts of declination or local calibration.

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What has any of this got to do with my business?

When you first set out in business. Whether that quit your job or simply determined you wanted to work for yourself. You had a plan, a goal, a vision of what success looked like for you, your family, your business.

Ever since then, you’ve been busy working towards making that a reality. And yet, in my experience (17 years a Business Owner, and having worked now with well over 8,000 others) those who actually achieve everything they first set out to achieve are few and far between. (Statistics, shows less than 6% of business owners ever achieve what they first intended for their goals and success aspirations).

So why is that?

Ask the 94% who don’t achieve their goals, and they have a long list of reasons as to why it never worked the way they had expected:

  • Recession
  • Government
  • Brexit
  • War
  • Competition

Trust me, if I had £1 for every time someone offered me a reason as to why they didn’t achieve their goals, I’d be a wealthy man! The simple fact is, (just like an explorer seeking to reach the pole) life got in the way and they got blown off course!

So are you Explorers?

Yes, and no. My TrueNORTH is a team of Business #Scaleup Sherpa’s. We work with ethical business leaders, who are seeking to align themselves and their businesses with bigger, bolder, more impactful goals. They recognise they may have been ‘blown off course’ (within My TrueNORTH we refer to this as SOS – Shiny Object Syndrome) and seek help, guidance, support and accountability to recalibrate both them and their business with those aspirational goals of achieving Success Summit

Just as a Sherpa is there to support the Explorer achieve their summit. We tailor our proven methodology to you and your business. Ensuring we align you, your team and your business, to the long term goals and aspirations your first had when you first started. And make this a milestone for all to work towards (But not its final destination…)

My TrueNORTH Methodology infographic

Our holistic business compass looks at your business from 8 different perspectives. And ensures each has the right people, systems and processes, and are aligned with the goals and aspirations of the business leader.

But beyond this, we also work on legacy, helping leaders live a legacy (rather than simply leave one behind), enabling them to love what they do, for what it, in turn, does for them, their stakeholders and their businesses.

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Isn’t it time you reviewed the direction of travel within your business? Our #ADDAZERO ScaleUp Scorecard offers you the opportunity to benchmark your business against more than 117K other businesses and identify the opportunities and vulnerabilities in your business. With practical guidance and where to focus your attention first.

What’s more, it’s FREE

As part of our mission, to support 1,000,000 Business Owners to significantly and sustainably scale up their businesses, sufficiently to generate more new roles than there are those seeking employment, and eradicate unemployment in the UK. We are gifting this in-depth, bespoke scaleup report to you FOR FREE.

Simply click on THIS LINK to get started…

Have YOU got what it takes to #ADDAZERO?