Team Versus Mission

What a Sunday walk taught me about Communication, Leadership, Team Dynamics, Training, Equipment, Risk, Reward and #Missioncreep!

On Sunday, I joined up with around 15 other people for a walk across the moors.

It was advertised on Facebook, with ‘Kit’, the organiser (someone known to me through walking) as a 16K walk, taking in 7 different reservoirs, and offered both a start point, start time, route and intended completion time.  It was ‘open to all’ and encouraged people to come as a family, bring their dog, and to simply enjoy some fresh air, exercise, and the company of others! – What could go wrong?

I invited a few friends to join me, who I know to be keen walkers also, and we met with around 15 or so others who had chosen to respond to the call also.

After a quick ‘brief’ by Kit’ regarding the weather forecast, ‘social distancing’ and the likes, we all set off in single file ahead of the day together. The weather was good, the group keen and ready for the day, all was ‘as it should’.

However, it wasn’t long before we began to notice a significant difference in pace and ability of the group.  There were those (such as myself) as seasoned and accomplished walkers, who were keen to ‘get on’ and whilst enjoying the walk and the incredible scenery, were looking to ‘make progress’.

Whereas others appeared to be far less accomplished.  I noticed how some in the group were wearing trainers and shorts. (More afternoon stroll through the park attire, than out for a hike). They had no bag, with food or water with them, and were quickly flailing behind the main group.

For us to maintain the group. This then determined a number of unplanned ‘stops’ allowing the less experienced walkers to ‘catch up’. But determined you were frequently warming up and cooling back down which as you may well know encourages the onset of cramp!

As this continued the gaps between lead and tail grew longer, quicker and of more concern. It was quickly becoming a ‘them and us’ and more difficult to manage. With the lead group keen to march on, frustrated by the many stops and continually moving around, stretching to prevent the risk of cramp.  Where as the tail group were also becoming frustrated, feeling they were being pushed to work harder (perhaps beyond their capability) and found the moment they arrived back with the main group, were unable to take a break, as the front runners were now setting out again!

Kit’s leadership was being sufficiently tested continually now, as the first group were keen to push on and the second group ‘wanted the same breaks as the other group got!’. Communication went from nice, pleasant, jovial chat, to more direct, demanding statements of intent and expectation.

Within the first 3 miles of the walk, the team dynamics had shifted significantly from a group who had come together to achieve a single purpose. To one completing with each other to either achieve the goal OR remain as a group! And at this point I found myself severely torn!

[TD]EU Teams: Split Sea Wolves of Croatia - Touchdown Europe

As a former soldier within the British Army we were always told “Never leave anyone behind” and I’ve ALWAYS known as a team to function effectively, you are only as good as the weakest part.  Therefore, to maintain TEAM you must move at the slowest persons pace.  However, it was quickly becoming evident, there was now a significant problem with this.

We had all agreed to meet at a certain point, enjoy a 16k walk, and return back to the location – Mission complete) at a certain time.  And whilst the risk of NOT achieving the deadline, may not be that important to those ‘out for a stroll’.  For the others of us within the team, we had chosen to commit to this for a set period, as time IS something EXCEPTIONALLY important to us.

Team ONE had a challenge, either maintain TEAM or split and achieve GOAL?

The next 3 miles the dynamics changed, we saw members of ‘team one’, move to the back and look to motivate and encourage ‘team two’ to ‘push on’ for both to be achieved.  However, this was quickly met with contempt. RATHER than see this as helpful encouragement, it was a challenge, and the more encouraging ‘team one’ tried to be, ‘team two’ slowed even further, asking for more breaks and fuelling the angst and divide.

During the 10th mile and the realisation we were less than 2/3 the way round, and not likely to complete until 2.5Hrs AFTER the initial stated end time, it all came to a head.  We reached a very soft ‘boggy’ area of the moors, where skill. Judgement and confidence determined if you crossed safe and dry, or a wet and covered in peat! Despite every attempt for ‘team one’ to help, ‘team two’ saw this as patronising and unwelcome. What ensued was neither pleasant or enjoyable, and we watched as others become more angry and disappointed at the day, the outcome, the leader, their selves!

With the group is disarray, and a breakdown between the two groups, it was decided ‘Kit’ would lead ‘team two’ and guide them off the moor and attempt to short cut the route back to the rendezvous. Where as ‘team one’ were keen to push on and achieve what they had set out to achieve, in the time left to do it in!

By the half way point I had realised several key points:

  1. The Leadership was not strong enough to hold the team together
  2. Communication both prior to the event (on exactly what was involved and the expectations and requirements of those involved, had been lacking, and on the day more coercive than commanding
  3. The dynamics of the team were so diverse it had quickly fragmented becoming two sub teams now competing against each other and not mission focussed
  4. The likelihood of the team finishing together was at risk, as well as the mission to complete on time.
  5. Team members did not have the right equipment (clothing) and training (experience) to complete the mission as intended!

So what?…..

Yes, I know.  It’s a Sunday afternoon walk, and I’ve turned it into a fight for survival.  And perhaps I should simply chill out and enjoy the scenery!

But as a Business Owner, there are SO many lessons to learn from here, it wouldn’t do this justice NOT to share them that we may all take something from the day!

Lesson 1:

Who is on your team? Have you picked the right people for the task? How did you select them (Or did they select you?) Are they in the right positions within the business? Do they have the right training and equipment to work effectively and efficiently to not only contribute to the mission but help bring it in on TIME and BUDGET?

Lesson 2:

How well have you determined, documented, and communicated the business mission? How well informed are those on the mission with you? How clear are they about what it is? Their contribution to it? What that means to achieving the mission? What that subsequently means for THEM?

Lesson 3:

Do you have the relevant and necessary skills to manage the team effectively? Are you spending your time nurturing both them team and the people within it sufficiently to ensure they pull together to achieve more, rather than split into competing factions?

Lesson 4:

What considerations have you built into your mission to cater for unexpected obstacles and how you will approach these? What is more important, the mission or the team? And if pushed, which way would people choose?

I’ve seen SO MANY good businesses, hit a small problem, which creates a crack. A crack in the wall on which they are aiming to climb. Not big, not significant, not anything to cause alarm. But sufficient that is there, and gone unchecked, unaddressed, unchallenged will slowly grow.  The business continues to progress, more and more business is done, more employees are now on the team, and the crack continues to slowly ebb its way along the wall.

And then one day, and it might not be something that large, but something causes the crack to snap. There is divide, and before you know it, the whole damn wall comes crashing down all around them!

And yet to overcome this, to prevent it EVER being a problem is relatively straight forward:

Build a business with the right People, Systems and Processes who are dedicated to the mission and have the skills, capability, ability, and desire to achieve it!  Provide the right culture and environment for them to flourish and nurture them as individuals.

FAILURE to do this, and you simply risk building your castle on the sand!

Drop a comment below and let me know your thought on this?

And don’t forget to share this across your own network, for others to benefit also…

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Reactions to Effective Enemy Fire

What I learnt from 153 failures

How to choose a coach?

What do Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi and Roger Federer all have in common?

What about:

  • Butch Harmon
  • Ernesto Valverde
  • and Ivan Ljubičić

What do these have in common?

The answer to my first question is:

They are all recorded as the greatest athletes in the world at their chosen sporting discipline.

And yet when I ask the second question, The most common answer I get is:


(You will have to read to the very end to get the answer!)

I’m sure you are more than familiar with Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg at Google, Steve Jobs at Apple, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, John Donahoe at eBay, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.

what do ALL of these people have in common?…

Bill Vicent Campbell Jnr

Bill Vincent Campbell Jnr!

(You got it, the answer is towards the bottom of the post)

From Leonardo de Caprio to Bill Clinton and almost every walk of life and profession in between, there are a hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people at the very height of their profession who have gone on public record acknowledging the impact Tony Robbin has had on their lives (as their Life Coach).

It was Bill Gates himself who declared:

“If you want to get ahead,

get a coach”

A sentiment echoed by Eric Schmidt when interviewed on Oprah (who recognises her life and career has been helped massively by her life coach of some 20+ years Martha Beck).

And yet, whilst there is a continuing growing amount of evidence to support the role of Coach/Mentor within Life and Business, it does not always work out for the best!

When coaching goes bad!

It was a huge shock in the football world to learn of Claudio Ranieri sacking from Leicester City, just months after taking all the way to winning the Premier League title. And there are countless other examples where ONCE the team has achieved notoriety and success, they immediately look to distance themselves from the very person who made it all possible.

One has to ask:

What did the COACH do wrong?

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I was always taught, whenever you choose to point at someone to apportion blame, there are always three pointing directly back at YOU.

In my own experience as a Business SCALE mentor, I have also witnessed this on both sides. We have worked exceptionally hard to identify and concentrate our efforts on marketing to and attracting our Ideal Target Clients. SME Business Owners of service-based businesses, with whom are looking to SCALE and EXIT. The more work we do on refining this, the more effective we become in offering the right level and style of coach/mentoring to aide their ongoing and future success.

However, on occasion; and despite helping our clients to SCALE.

The recognition of which has not always been as forthcoming!

In 2019, there were three occasions where despite having listened intently to their desires and ambitions for the business, and helped them ensure they have the people, systems and processes in place to deliver the scale of growth they were seeking. And then MASSIVELY over delivered on what the business subsequently achieves, the client has immediately cancelled any further coaching, refused to acknowledge any of the work we did in supporting them to achieve it, claiming THEY had done all the work!

Now don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge it is their business. It is they who have had to get up early, go to bed late, and put the work in to achieve these results. There is no denying moving from a growth model to a SCALE model takes confidence, guts and some hard work. And I’m not seeking a chair at the board room table, share options or a trophy! But rather than dismiss with disdain the person who has helped, formulate, develop, refine the original idea’s to take them from aspiration to reality. The person with whom you have shared your fears and concerns, your uncertainty and challenges. The person with whom has both held your hand, patted you on the back AND held your feet to the fire to be subsequently pushed through the fire door, and disregarded is both incongruent to the business you are building and the values to which we agreed to work when we first accepted them as a client!

Whilst we continue to see clients hit and smash their agreed targets and goals. Receiving more enquiries, converting more into sales, taking on more staff and premises to manage a growth in demand and share of the market. 2019 was tainted by 3 clients with whom left, failing to acknowledge the support, guidance, coaching, mentoring and accountability we had been providing, enabling them to achieve their ongoing successes.

It was so impactful, that I chose to go back to the classroom and learn more as to what WE could do to alleviate this.

We returned to Koogar Digital Marketing, and commissioned Amanda Daniels to work with us on further refining we had done on the initial work we did with her on the Ideal Target Client Avatar. We Knew WHO we work best with, but perhaps we hadn’t done sufficient work on WHO works best with US and WHY?

The work she had us do was far reaching, and rather than a 1-day consultation turned into a major piece of work, we have been doing ‘behind the scenes’ for the past 9 months or so. It has taken up a huge amount of time and energy and really got us thinking hard about not only WHO we work best with, and why that is, but who we DON’T work that well with, and why this is also. We’ve studied to the 8th degree more detail about every aspect about our Ideal Target Client, that we have a dossier brimming with information we can now use to better serve our clients well.

However, we also have a NEW dossier, and it’s even fuller!

Our NEGATIVE AVATAR (something prior to this day with Amanda I had never even heard of before) has been built up of every conversation, tweet, post, like share, comment of those with whom we will now NOT work with. It is a histogram of them and spreads widely as to their likes and dislikes, their preferences, influencers, behaviours, communication (both in terms of words and style) which has helped us to identify who (even if they may LOOK like an Ideal Target Client) is actually masquerading as such whilst actually NOT!

This has been some of the most insightful, thought provoking and revealing work we have done (post #ADDAZERO) and really tested our ability to remain observant, vigilant and have the confidence to say:

“Thank you, but No”

Whilst I’ve previously blogged about the 23 Ways to get busy people to say YES, and why saying NO is good for business. Nothing had prepared us for what we have learnt from this ongoing exercise and the impact it would have on us, our conversations and the relationship with both our existing clients and that of prospective new clients.

I am so grateful to Amanda, for the insight she has brought to our business, and from the clarity of decisions we are now able to make on WHO, WHAT, WHEN, HOW and WHY we do what we do, the way we do, for who we do.

If you would like to know more about our #ADDAZERO Business Challenge, and how by applying this to our clients we have been able to ensure a MINIMUM growth of 26% across our entire client base, CLICK HERE to complete the #ADDAZERO Foundation Audit. It will give you a clear understanding of your businesses current SCALE sustainability, and whether we are likely to be the best fit for you to partner with in achieving it!

For those wondering as to my personality questions at the introduction to this blog:

Butch Harmon is credited as having coached Tiger Woods from a teenager to winning his first Pro tournament.

Ernesto Valverde is widely regarded as the inspiration behind Messi’s success.

Ivan Ljubičić continues to be the one Roger Federer turns to as coach.

Oh and Bill Vincent Campbell Jnr is known the world over as having coached more of the silicon valley billionaires than anyone else in the world!

Behind every successful entrepreneur you will find (if you are looking) their coach!

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You can read more about our COACHING including:









And many other coaching questions you might have, by simply visiting our FAQ’s page?

Drop me a comment, and let me know YOUR thoughts on reading this?

Reactions to Effective Enemy Fire

On the command “Take cover


Dash towards the nearest cover or the cover previously indicated by the section commander.


Crawl Get down and crawl into the position. Keep the weapon behind cover.


Sights Observe, check that the sight is correctly set and fire at any visible enemy or target indicated by the section commander.


Keep behind cover as much as possible and vary your position. During any lull in firing, refill magazines from behind cover.

On the command “Prepare to advance” or “Prepare to move”, make sure there is sufficient ammunition in the magazine on the rifle, pouches are fastened and that sights are at 300 metres. On the command “Advance”, or “Move”, break cover from a different place from that in which firing took place, and advance in the direction and in the formation indicated.

As a former soldier within the British Army, we spent much of our time when not deployed on operations, exercising these (and many other) manoeuvres in order they were a ‘drill’ and that we ALL knew exactly what to do if and when we encountered the enemy.

COVID-19 The hidden enemy

In many ways the world is currently being attacked by a hidden enemy, this time in the form of a contagious and deadly virus. And so it is perhaps apt, we all learn to adapt to the circumstances we now face, in order to fight through and overcome the immediate threat.

As the spread of the virus (and a greater understanding as to its threat) has spread, initially from Wuhan, China and across the world, the immediate reaction to this can be start as FEAR.

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energised muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response. People and Media can corrupt our minds cause fear affects despite not being founded. After watching a horror movie, a person may become scares of simple objects because that persons fear has been affected by what they watched, causing them to find simple object fearful. … Your fear affects you and is easily perpetuated within the people around you.

The good news is, getting through fear is a skill that anyone can learn.

The problem is that most people cling to their fears, because they believe it’s a part of who they are. If you aren’t ready to face your fears instead stuck in a ‘victim’ mentality, there is little to be done, until you are willing to accept this does not have to be the case.

How to Start Overcoming Fear, Right Now

  1. Before you can begin overcoming fear, you have to be aware that your fears are causing havoc in your life. It’s easy to get so attached to your thoughts and feelings that you think they are all that exist, which couldn’t be further from the truth. You are not your fears. You are the awareness that experiences it.
  2. Get specific about exactly what you are afraid of. Pay attention to the pictures you have in your head about the situation. What is happening in them? What are you really scared of? Become an observer of your inner space.
  3. While curiosity may have killed the cat, it certainly won’t do you any harm when investigating your fears. Get curious about what thoughts generate your fear. Where do you feel the fear? How do you react to it? What colour does it have? Be an observer of what is going on.
  4. Staying PRESENT. What are you lacking right now? When you centre yourself in the now, you realise that everything is how it is. You naturally accept what is. Tapping into the now can be as simple as feeling your body and breath. My favourite book on the subject is The Power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle
  5. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also sometimes referred to as tapping. You use your fingertips to tap meridian points on your body while thinking of a fear you have and it can alleviate and sometimes get rid of the fear altogether.
  6. With hypnosis, you can program the right thoughts into your mind and eliminate negative thoughts and beliefs. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it might for you. My brother uses it to evoke positive change in his clients. Remember, this isn’t necessarily about getting rid of your fears, but learning to relate to them in a different way.
  7. Whenever you feel fear, switch it over to what you are grateful for instead. If you’re afraid of public speaking, be grateful for the opportunity to communicate with so many people, and that they are there to genuinely listen to what you have to say. If you are outgrowing your friends, be grateful for what’s to come.
  8. Getting your fears down on paper is important, because trying to think them through doesn’t work. You get caught up in endless loops of negativity that only lead you further down the rabbit hole, and make your life unhappy.
  9. It’s good to TALK. No-brainer advice, but how often do we hold the negative in because we are afraid of how others might react, or because of some other reason? Talking helps, but avoid drowning in self-pity, and choose the right person to talk to. If you have no one to talk to, try journaling or find a therapist.
  10. If you can find a good therapist, therapy can be highly beneficial, even life-changing. Finding the right therapist for you can be hard. Listen to your gut and choose someone who resonates with you.
  11. NLP is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I’ve studied this, and currently a Master NLP Practitioner. NLP has helped thousands in eliminating phobias, fears, and other emotional problems, so it has its place, but only if you are open and willing to embrace it.
  12. Do you have a fear of success, or a fear of failure? A good coach can help you examine what you truly want from life, and where your fears come from. Whilst this work can be challenging and uncomfortable, it’s very helpful in getting clear about what you want and the things stopping you from achieving that. 
  13. Reading a good book on your specific fear can open new doors on how you can get rid of it. I like to read a lot of motivational and inspirational work on and around the topic I’m dealing with and notice what impact this has on me.
  14. I’m an ACTION TAKER, and I know that fears are just fears. They are created by my imagination to make reality seem scarier than it is. When you take action and face your fears, they become weaker, because you realise that reality isn’t nearly as bad as your imagination. This allows you to find and follow your purpose. 
  15. Did you know that the food you eat can have a dramatic impact on how you feel? All the processed sugars, additives, sweeteners, and other chemicals in our foods have a surprisingly powerful effect in getting our body out of balance. Stick to a clean diet that suits you. Meaning, more fruits, vegetables and whole (real) foods. Just eat a bit more each day. See what happens. You may find yourself having more energy and courage.
  16. Whenever fear strikes, flip it over. Instead of thinking of something bad that can happen, find the positive within. What’s a positive outcome to your fear? If you’re thinking about public speaking, imagine yourself being successful instead of failing horribly.
  17. Learning to deal with fear is all about putting your negative thoughts into perspective. We tend to focus too much on the negative, so by looking at all the options, you often realise that you’re making a big deal of nothing. There are so many things that could happen that it’s impossible for your mind to predict the future.
  18. Surrendering to what is is powerful, because as long as we try to change what is, we are in war with reality. Sure, our mind may tell us that we can’t surrender. We may be afraid, but what I’ve found is that when I surrender, I find peace. I’m not giving up on life. I’m simply stopping the incessant thinking and trying to control that which cannot be controlled. There’s a subtle difference. You can still change your life, but it comes from a different place.
  19. Energy can get trapped in your body. When you do Yoga and breathe, that energy can be released. Sometimes you release parts of your fears, or you might even find that you’ve dropped a few fears without even noticing after a few months of Yoga.
  20. Understand. When you realise that failure is not the end of the world, you become free. Failure is just a stepping stone to success. Our fears are based on presumption of things that are YET to happen. By accepting this, we can then use it as fuel to drive us on to prevent that from becoming a reality. “Face the fear, and do it anyway


There are 4 stages of human behaviour when it comes to change.

Form | Storm | Norm | Perform

  1. We rarely like change, especially change that has been brought about by a series of actions we did not ask for or want. And so during our immediate FIGHT / FLIGHT response, we observe the change. We allow it to FORM.
  2. From this, we immediately move to STORM. As we don’t like change, and didn’t either request or want this, we fight to ‘go back to the way it used to be’ we object, challenge, disobey in an attempt to almost turn back time to prior to the change.
  3. Eventually we acknowledge this is simply not possible, and we settle, beginning to ‘accept’ the change as the new NORM.
  4. Once we have accepted this, we return back to PERFORMING within the new environment.

Situational necessity

Just as during deployment into a theatre of operations, and knowing this FSNP model; it may be that we have to push people through this quickly in order NOT to drop performance. Situational necessity might deem there is no time to spare, regardless of the changes that have occurred to continue to perform. And at times such as there it IS possible to drive through rapid change effectively.

However, the moment the situational necessity alters and no longer requires this, human behaviour will naturally return, and go through the FSNP model prior to it being accepted that the new norm is now the norm!

PLEASE feel free to comment and share this within your own network. And if you have enjoyed this, your also likely to enjoy my book Battlefield2Boardroom and the other 9 Proven Military Strategies to overcome Mediocrity!

I’d LOVE to get your feedback, so before you go, please drop me a comment below:

You might ALSO enjoy:

How to be a SUPER Boss!

How to make busy people say YES

How to achieve a WIN-WIN

How to feed a superhero!

What is a discovery day?

What would your business look like if you had a designed team of dedicated directors working collectively to significantly and sustainably grow both you and your business?

What would it mean for you, your family AND your business to #ADDAZERO to your personal disposable income?

Are you on track to SCALE the business in 2020?

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I’m looking for just FIVE ambitious Business Owners to join our North West #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind.

As it stands we’re nearly at maximum capacity, but we currently have just 5 spaces available.

Once they’re taken we’ll be ‘closing the doors’ for the foreseeable future.

If you’re one of ‘the lucky 5’ you will:

  1. Meet regularly and Mastermind with an Elite group of UK-based Six and Seven Figure Business Owners.
  2. Get monthly one-on-one coaching/mentoring from a 2 x Global Entrepreneurship ‘Big Impact to Business’ Award Winner, Listed on the UK ‘Clear Business 100’ personally (usually upwards of £24,000+VAT per year)
  3. And… get FULL ACCESS to our tried, tested, and proven #ADDAZERO Business Methodology.

There are two small conditions if you want to be considered…

1. You need to be prepared to put in the work!

If we’re going to work together on scaling your business, you need to be ‘all in’ for the next 12 months.

You can’t be juggling or sitting on the fence. You can’t be one of those “I’ll give it a go” or “How long does it take” kinda business owners. You need to be able to give this your full focus.

So, if you’re one of these people who likes to “dabble” in and out of projects and programmes – you might as well stop reading now – this is not for you.

But if you can commit 100%, I’d love to work with you and help you SCALE your 6-7 figure business.

2. You need to be willing to be a case study in my future marketing

I’m prepared to significantly discount my usual £24,000+VAT fee to work with you, providing I can do a ‘before and after’ video interview, telling the story of how applying the #ADDAZERO methodology to you and your business, has made a significant impact to both you and your business.

As you may know, over the last 5+ years I’ve spent an incredulous amount of time and interest in studying Big Business Failure!

“You can ALWAYS learn SO MUCH more from failure, and I’ve studied more than 150”.

The results were alarming, and have led me to develop, create, test and launch our #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind program. For some, I’ve become known as the “go-to guy” when it comes to mentoring business owners to significantly and sustainably grow both them and their businesses.

In fact, I have now helped more than a thousand business owners to SCALE their business, with 7 being National Entrepreneur of the Year finalists, and many more winning either industry specific or regional business awards.

Here are just a few of our most recent clients who are getting stunning results right now:

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  • Gavin, who was able to take his extended family for a luxury holiday to Hawaii
  • Elizabeth, who recently moved into her DREAM home, having SCALED the business sufficiently to reward her and her family accordingly
  • And Richard, who just LOVES the team he has and the work they are all together in SCALING his business.

Let me share with you…

I HATE those hyped up programmes that promise you’ll make a £GZILLION in the next 90 days by sitting on your ar*e and doing nothing. They’re just not realistic. So, I cannot and will not make any promises here.

I’ll do everything I can (help you define a strategic growth plan, work with you to create the audacious goals, and hold you to account on getting things you have committed DONE, etc) but YOU will need to put in the hours as well.

What I will tell you, is that unless I believe you’re going to see a significant, marked and sustained improvement in the way and how your business operates – I won’t invite you into the group.


So what I’d like to do is invite you to come and spend a day with me (for FREE) where I’ll show you the “ins and outs” of how the programme works, so you can see for yourself what it’s all about and together we can decide if we’re a good fit (all the details of this “Discovery Day” are within this message).

What I can tell you, is that in 2003 I was medically discharged from the British Army, and left behind a progressive career. Since then, I’ve either bought, acquired or set up from scratch 4 of my own businesses, co-founded two others and currently sit on the Non-Exec Board for a multi-million-pound management company and Executive board for a Rapid Growth Tech Business.

But there’s more…

In 2011 I began researching WHY BUSINESSES FAIL!

There is SO MUCH information on businesses that do well, but as anyone who has struggled will know, you learn at least 10 x more from a failure than you do from a success! So I began looking into WHY DO BUSINESSES FAIL. I’m not talking about the paper shop on the corner or the local chippy, I’m talking Toys R Us, Dixons, Tie Rack, Tandy and many more. Over the next 3.5 years I researched over 150 business failures, and the results of which are SHOCKING!

On the DISCOVERY DAY, I’m going to show you exactly what I learned from researching them and the catastrophic flaws in their business that deemed they were destined to fail, and how we can use this information to not only avoid the same peril but learn from it to SCALE your business.

Those who attend, will get an inside knowledge of everything I’ve learned from studying these, and how to implement this strategically into your business to see the most amazing SCALE results. You’ll be fast-tracked towards the very top of the industry in the next 12 months.

So, the big question:


That’s a valid question. So let me explain the two main reasons why I’m looking for 5 new people to join the #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind:

1) PROOF: Now we’ve ‘cracked it’ and found the formula that works for both service and product-based businesses, we need to roll it out and demonstrate it works time and time and time again.

We’ve made it our MISSION to help 10,000 Business owners to significantly and sustainably grow both them and their businesses, in order they too can ADD A ZERO.

2) PROFIT: There, I’ve said it, and NO its not a dirty word! You see, we are ALL in business to make a profit, and I’ve already committed to our Big Fat Audacious Goal to build a retreat for Veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a cause that is REALLY close to my heart, and I want to fund a retreat to help service personnel and their families who are struggling with the mental anguish of operational commitments.

Please understand, I have ALREADY committed to running a series of Mastermind groups throughout 2020, and need to ensure they are all FULL in order they are able to contribute towards OUR goals to build a veterans retreat!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve personally invested in excess of £150,000 building my business. That includes learning and honing some of the best systems in the world, testing literally hundreds of different plans, business models, growth strategies etc to find out what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve invested time and money in presenting to business audiences all over the world to share what I’ve learned and so clearly, if you choose to join the #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind, you will be expected to invest as well.

Whilst I’m happy to waive the 5 figure fee I’d normally charge for working 1:1 with a client, you will be expected to make an investment if we are going to work together either through our #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind or as a 1:1 Client.

The investment won’t be anywhere near my usual fee, but will reflect the ALL INCLUSIVE package we have put together, which includes:

  • Bi-Monthly Mastermind’s hosted within a 4* Hotel & Spa
  • Bi-Monthly 1:1 #ADDAZERO Mentoring sessions
  • Access to ALL the other Mastermind members
  • Audio Recordings of ALL events
  • and much. much more…

In return, if you implement all that is shared within both Explorer Mastermind and the #ADDAZERO Business Methodology , I expect you see a minimum increase in sales of £50,000-£100,000 (probably a lot more – depending on the size of your business as it stands).

The MINIMUM growth our #ADDAZERO Clients saw in 2019 was 26% NET!

But as I already mentioned, before we can decide whether or not this opportunity is right for you, I’d like to invite you to “discover” it all for FREE first.

So, I’ve decided to host a “Discovery Day” for interested parties at Mottram Hall, Cheshire.

At the Discovery Day I’ll share with you a short presentation highlighting the 3 FLAWS which cause the failure of more than 80% of businesses who try and SCALE!

Then, we’ll DIVE STRAIGHT IN to demonstrate the power of Mastermind by showing you FIRST HAND exactly what is involved and the power it can have in accelerating your thoughts, idea’s and GROWTH.

I’ll show you step-by-step how I’ve helped some of our previous Mastermind clients (who have gone on to win national and international awards)

In the time we have together, I promise won’t hold back a single detail, because I want you to have all the facts.

Then we’ll have a quick break and you’ll have the chance to ask as many questions as you like about joining either our #ADDAZERO Explorer Mastermind or working together as a 1:1 client.

Finally, if you’d like to be considered for one of the 5 spaces I have available, you and I will sit down together for a private 1-to-1 “interview” where we’ll decide if you and I are a good fit for each other.

We’ll start at 09.30Hrs and I expect to wrap up somewhere around 13.00Hrs

With NOTHING to loose and EVERYTHING to gain, do you, your family and your business a favour, and book yourself onto our #ADDAZERO DISCOVERY DAY.

Remember, I’m simply asking you to make a DONATION equivalent to the value YOU believe this day and all I will be sharing is worth to YOU and the future growth of YOUR business!

Click HERE to reserve your place NOW

Why collaboration is good for business

I’m often asked: Why is collaboration is good for business? and so thought it sensible to share my thoughts:

As a Entrepreneur / Business Owner your dedicated to the significant and sustainable development of both you and your team, right?

You are prepared to get up early and return home late, to make and ensure your business is a success.  And it doesn’t matter whether your relatively new to running your own business.  Or a seasoned professional. When push moves to shove, and the deadline is looming.  You are the one that inspires the team to work harder, dig deeper and pull out the required results.  With all this going on, I’m sure collaborating with others is the very last thing on your minds?

But hang on…

The old adage:

The dream works, when the team works

ONLY works through collaboration!  You and your team working in unison to achieve outstanding results.  So why would external collaboration work any differently?

Let’s briefly take a look at the differences between JV’s and Partnerships

There are several joint venture (JV) formats that are available to business people. Typically, a joint venture will include the signing of a non-disclosure agreement to keep deal terms confidential. The two formats that are considered joint ventures are a limited co-operation, and a separate JV.

With a limited co-operation JV, the idea is that two organisations (or people) are agreeing to cooperate for a period. This could be for a small test venture perhaps where one party will produce and sell a product and the other receives a revenue share. Here, a contract is drawn up laying out the agreed terms and what conditions apply to the limited co-operation JV.

With a separate JV business, a formal business structure like a limited company might get registered to conduct business between two organisations (or people). There will be a share ownership distribution and agreements on what each party is responsible for. These are useful to formalise a larger agreement where a limited co-operation joint venture would be insufficient. Keeping the deal under a separate limited company also provides protection for both parties separate to their main companies which mitigates risk.

Partnerships for long-term arrangements

Partnerships are designed for at least two people (or organisations) that team up for a business and are usually active within the business (‘sleeping’ partners can exist too). Records are kept by each partner on income and expenses incurred within the partnership. Each partner manages their own tax liability with the HMRC and files for Self-Assessment; there is no Corporation Tax like there is with a limited company.

There are three types of partnerships: ordinary, limited, and limited liability partnerships.

An ordinary partnership is a simple agreement between the parties. It’s not a legal, formal structure but it must get registered as a partnership with the HMRC. Should one partner leave or pass on, then the partnership is dissolved but the business may continue outside of the agreement.

Limited partnerships comprise limited partners and ordinary partners. The partnership must be registered with the HMRC but usually doesn’t file annual returns as a partnership. With limited partners, their liability is restricted to what’s they’ve invested into the business and guarantees made regarding obtaining finance.

With a limited liability partnership (LLP), it’s a more formal structure. An LLP is taxed as a partnership and has similar limited liability protection as a limited company for the partners. Registering the LLP with Companies House along with filing accounts and annual returns is part of the responsibility of designated members of the LLP.

Professional guidance on appropriate business structures

Whether you’re going full corporate in your ambitious goals or you plan to stay fairly small in organisation size, there is room for several organisational structures. It’s important to consult with qualified solicitors like Virtuoso Legal to discuss your options in more detail and get help setting up correctly before going into business. This way, you’re on solid ground from the outset.

There are clear differences between both partnerships and joint ventures. Sometimes the differences are subtle and other times they’re clear and distinct. Choosing the appropriate structure for your business venture is important because it affects many aspects down the road such as legal protections and levels of taxation. It also helps to take your time with the decision because it’s not a simple matter to change structures later.


Mastermind, is a fabulous way to benefit from the knowledge, experience, background, connections of other like minded business owners, WITHOUT need, or prior to; entering into any form of JV or Partnership agreement. It is a means of gaining access to others and their expert knowledge and experience, on a “giver’s gain” basis.

Mastermind is by no means a new concept, and has been documented since the Mid 1930’s whilst Napoleon Hill, a researcher for Carnegie by interviewing 250 of the top Business Owners in the world.  To his surprise, what he quickly learned, was that rather than these incredibly successful and powerful business owners keeping everything very close to their chest.  Instead, they were very open and frank with their advisory team. Sharing knowledge and expertise was not only encouraged but expected.

You don’t know, WHAT you don’t know

If we acknowledge none of us know everything.  And yet it is often the things we don’t yet know, that prevents us from having the competence and confidence to make the relevant decisions, changes and advancement within our own lives and businesses!  However, those who recognise this, often seek out knowledge, either through courses or coaching.

Mastermind accelerates our learning 10 fold, by asking us to share our knowledge with others, in return for them doing the same.  It allows a team of highly dedicated and proficient business owners (just like you) but with differing backgrounds, experiences, qualifications etc to support you in overcoming whatever hurdles you may face. Which is currently the bottleneck to transformational growth within both you and your business.

And, by us ensuring nobody in each mastermind group is in direct competition with each other. Each member can work openly in sharing their own concerns, whilst helping others to resolve theirs!

Still not convinced?

If you are not convinced that collaboration is really worth the time and effort, here are five reasons you should care about collaboration in your business:

  • Collaboration Will Inspire You

It is easy to get into a routine during the day-to-day operations of your business and forget that there may be a better way to do something, different techniques to try, and new tools that can save you time and money.

While you can read blogs, magazines, and books for inspiration, if you are not communicating, sharing, and discussing that information, the benefits are limited. It is vital to get outside of your own head to get a fresh perspective, trigger your creativity, review incoming information objectively, and add new context to the data you are gathering so you can use it effectively. Going beyond what you do and see each day to explore collaboration can be inspiring and help you think in a new way.

  • Collaboration Helps You Grow Your Network

Successful entrepreneurs have a common interest in meeting new people and building a list of contacts and colleagues. Being successful in business requires that you consistently make connections and form alliances. Imagine how your business would dwindle if you continued to network with and sell to the same group over and over again.

While every contact you make may not result in collaboration, every time you reach out to someone to explore the possibility, you are expanding your network.

  • Collaboration Is Educational

One of the biggest benefits of collaboration is the opportunity for learning. In fact, every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most successful collaborations involve two professionals who bring two very different skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the table. When this happens, you are certain to be surrounded by learning opportunities.

  • Collaboration Can Help You Save Money

Many collaborative relationships involve splitting intellectual contribution, hands-on work and, sometimes, expenses. If you collaborate with another business and part of the terms involve sharing development and marketing expenses, you can double your budget while reducing costs.

In this case, you can be fairly certain you will be getting a bigger bang for your buck than you would be if using only your own resources.  Provided all of the parties involved are equally invested in the success of the collaboration.

For example, a company might share space with a complementary partner, then co-market their participation. This can attract more foot traffic and add resources to enhance the experience visitors have at the booth.

  • Collaboration Solves Problems

There is a reason crowdsourcing is so popular; there is an undeniable power in numbers. If one person can’t accomplish something on his or her own, two or three or more people may be able to get it done.

Think about the last difficult problem you faced in your business. When we get stumped, most of us immediately go to a partner, mentor, or other trusted resource who acts as a sounding board and helps us work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of someone outside of the situation. And when you add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix, the end result will often transcend what you originally set out to accomplish.

  • Collaboration in Action Is Win-Win

One wedding caterer became a valuable one-stop shop for couples.  By hosting tastings that let its dishes be sampled while introducing local wedding planners, photographers, florists and location specialists.

A gym owner proposed becoming a trial location for an exercise equipment vendor.  Saving the owner the expense of purchasing the fitness machine and giving the vendor a place to send prospects wanting to try it out.

A coffee shop placed a fresh floral display at its entrance.  Giving promotion to the florist a few doors down while enhancing the ambiance of its establishment at no cost.

The good news is that  business collaboration doesn’t necessarily require a significant time or financial investment if you think creatively.  That which is does require, is quickly returned ten fold in the advancement you make as a result of doing so.

Mastermind, What is it? and is it for me?

Mastermind with Jay Allen

What is Explorer Mastermind?

Explorer Mastermind

How to be a SUPER Boss!

In every growing business, how to be a great boss will either make or break a company.  If done well is one of the best growth opportunities within the business.  However, done badly, can interrupt growth, damage reputation and moral and derail the stability of the entire business!

I’ve recently written blogs regarding 7 ways to improve your influence and How to feed a superhero! But today, I want to share:

10 Qualities of a Great Boss

  1. Communicates Clear Vision

Whilst there are MANY qualities of a good boss, predominantly employees go to work and want to make a difference and do a good job.  Bosses who communicate a clear vision for the organization, help to engage employees by making them understand why they do what they do.  This can be exemplified even further, by tieing the business vision to a highly emotive issue beyond the profits of the business and share holder returns.  How does YOUR business make a difference not only for your employee’s and customers, but the local community, the industry, the world?This gets employees involved and interested in helping the organization achieve its objectives and in turn satisfies them that they are also contributing to something of value to them beyond a pay check.

UN Global Sustainability Strategy

UN Global Sustainability Strategy

These are the 17 largest problems facing the world right now.  Which one(s) are you contributing towards? Either locally, Nationally, or Internationally.  Either Directly or Indirectly!

  1. Connects Vision to Daily Tasks

Great bosses demonstrate how employee tasks support what the organization is trying to achieve.  This is done by showing a clear line connection between what the employee does on a day-to-day basis and how it supports the mission of the organization.  This is achieved by writing DUMB goals that support organizational goals that are ultimately tied to business strategy. Not sure what DUMB goals are? Click on the link and see why SMART simply aren’t!

  1. Sets Clear Performance Expectations

Research suggests that employees experience increased stress levels when they don’t have a good understanding of what is expected of them.  Setting clear performance expectations by providing the employee with a very specific description of what is required of them, that lays out all expected tasks and include employee goals, a time frame to which these should be completed within and identification as to who they should approach if and when they need assistance.  The employee’s line manager should discuss and clarify these expectations through regular one-on-one conversation.

As priorities change, continue to communicate updated expectations to provide the employee with an ongoing understanding of their role and job responsibilities and be open and willing to receive feedback from them which is reviewed, considered and reacted to.

  1. Provides Consistent Feedback and Coaching

Employees need regular feedback for how well they are meeting expectations.  Help them understand when they are doing a good job and communicate when they are not meeting requirements.  This can be achieved by coaching employees on a regular basis. If you see something that they are doing right, mention it. If you see something that needs to change mention it as soon as you are aware.  Often employees do not even realize when they are not meeting requirements. It is the manager’s responsibility to coach and develop them.

The boss has the responsibility of telling them when they are not adhering to service standards, but also responsible for working with them to understand what and how they can improve to meet and surpass these.

For example, if a manager hears an employee’s being rude to a customer on the phone, they need to point it out to them and coach them on a better way to communicate with customers.  If this doesn’t happen, the customer experience is affected, and the employee may not even be aware that their mannerism is inappropriate.

  1. Cares About the Employee as a Person

Employees want to feel like they are cared about on a personal level.  A great boss will take the time to ask about an employee’s life outside of work also and be willing to acknowledge and consider this in the expectations of them. Employees feel valued when the boss shows an interest in a their hobbies, family or other interests.  If you want to see an employee light up, just ask them about their kids!

One brief example I’m happy to share was with a previous employee I had who worked as office manager.  She was also a key holder and was responsible for unlocking the building first thing in the morning.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the building was always open, lit, warm and the coffee on before anyone else arrived.  Yet on Thursday most of the staff were often waiting around in the car park for her to arrive.  This went on for some weeks, before I began to receive complaints at which point I needed to understand why?

“We only have one car” she explained “and Most days my husband gives me a lift on his way to work.” she continued “But on Thursday it’s his day off, and I have to catch 2 buses” immediately in that one sentence everything made sense, and the answer became clear.

We paid for her to receive driving lessons and paid for her test!  Weeks later, she was able to drive herself to work on a thursday, and nip to “do a bit of shopping” on her way home as she so gladly advised us all.  For the sake of a few hundred pounds, I’d fixed the thursday morning issue, bought an exceptional amount of loyalty and good will by not just providing driving lessons, but given her freedom to come and go as she pleased!

  1. Shares Personal Experiences

Bosses who share personal experiences demonstrate their vulnerabilities and helps employees appreciate the human side of the manager.  When a supervisor shares real life struggles and how they process the issues of life, it not only humanizes their relationship but can also serve as a life mentor for employees.

For example, if a boss shares a conflict, they have with a neighbour, and how they resolved the conflict, it provides an additional coaching opportunity. It also gives the employee a lens into the personal life of their boss, whilst not becoming so vulnerable that it could otherwise be used as leverage! Remember, as Tom Hanks states within the film saving private ryan “There’s a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on.” So be considered when sharing your vulnerabilities.

  1. Makes Work Fun

I had a boss tell me once that “if you’re not having fun at work, you’re in the wrong job.”

At the time I didn’t really understand what he meant but it makes so much sense to me now.  Whether you are working a line in a factory, greeting guests at the reception area or flipping hamburgers, every work environment has the opportunity to be a fun and productive place to work.  Incorporating fun activities, events and organized play-time for employees gives them something to look forward to. By creating an environment people WANT to be within, they enjoy their time there and are (according to statistics 12% more productive)

Things as simple as dress down Friday or a lunchtime video game challenge can not only be fun – but also a great team-building exercise.

  1. Fosters Team Development

Diverse personalities and varying frames-of-references can make team interactions difficult.  Great bosses have good team leader skills that foster team development.  A great boss knows how to gather the troops and get them all headed, in unity, in the same direction.  The most recent studies looking at the millennial impact on employment found that a workforce with more than 3 decades of different age groups is by some margin more productive than those where all employee’s are of the same/similar age!

  1. Values Employee Perspectives

Employees do the work of the organization and great bosses care about what employees think and proactively solicits employee feedback.  They understand that employees often have the answers to many of the operational problems, and why wouldn’t they.  Whilst your navigating the ship, they are in the engine room tending the pumps!  And when asked, employees feel valued for being able to contribute their thoughts and opinions.

Within our business we reward “Good idea’s” as much as we do “good actions” and it goes down exceptionally well, both by the individual and the rest of the staff.

  1. Rewards Good Performance

Employees go to work with the intention of doing a good job and should be rewarded for meeting and exceeding job requirements.  When employees have a good understanding of what is expected of them, given the tools and training to do their job and are rewarded for doing a good job they become engaged with the organization and committed to helping it achieve its objectives.

Employees go to work and want to do a good job, but it is the boss that sometimes gets in the way of them performing well. When bosses communicate where the organization is going, explains how what the employee does contributes to what they are trying to accomplish and allows employees to participate in organizational problem-solving efforts, they create an environment that employees are proud of and enjoy working in.

So, there you have it.  10 ways to improve your chances of being voted BEST BOSS OF THE YEAR.  Remember, being a boss is a privileged position, but only because you get the opportunity to serve your team in order, they can become the very best versions of themselves under your care.

“Lead to inspire by inspiring to lead”

I recall one such boss during my time in the Army.  When I joined the regiment, he was a Lieutenant Colonel and our Commanding Officer.  It was immediately apparent, he wasn’t the same as other Commanding Officers I’d served.  He was different, and that difference resonated throughout the entire regiment.  Despite how big the regiment was, he knew your name! And not just your surname, emblazoned across your jacket, but your first or ‘nick’ name. (By the time I left, there were over 600 in the Regiment). If you were married, he most likely knew your partners name. And if you had children he probably knew that also.

But a lot more than that, he knew people.  He knew how to get the best out of you. How to inspire you to care more, do more, achieve more.  He inspired you to turn up early, stay late, become a team that would literally live and die together! And it didn’t go unnoticed.  Shortly after I’d left the service, I learnt of his promotion, and promotion and promotion.  By the time HE retired he was a 3 star General and Deputy Chief of the General Staff (One of THE most senior positions in the Forces).

As Business owners we can all become so entrenched in growing the BUSINESS, that we sometimes forget, our GREATEST responsibility is to grow our STAFF!

“The GREATEST investment every business owner can EVER make, is in the recruitment, development and retention of its people”

As my Sales mentor – Marcus Cauchi once shared with me “Learn to monitor and manage leading indicators not lagging indicators” referring to managing people and their results, not their performance! “If we only ever find ourselves working to the stick not the carrot, eventually people become oblivious to the stick. Your only choice then is to buy a bigger stick!