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  • Jock

I am 100% guilty of this, in-fact I've done it multiple times. You build a sustainable business that you enjoy being part of and then something happens - I'm not sure why - but you feel you need to grow.


In the book - The Value of Everything, Marian Mazzucato goes into detail the farce behind GDP and it's calculations and the implications that has on business.


In my experience in my own businesses and working with others that are small to medium - growth is fuelled by ego.


Here are three very recent examples of growth for no reason other than ego - and disasterous outcomes.


1. The original Little Tokyo Two. We started as a members club were people came to hang out and also get some creative work done. Our overheads were a friend of mine who helped with ops, me, the building of-course and a substantial alcohol bill. At 100 members we were getting paid what we deserved, having fun without stress and making $20k/pm profit. But then we decided we needed 6 buildings, all different shapes and sizes for all different markets in all different areas.


2. Brazilian coffee cart in the city. Located outside a suit shop, run by one man and 1-2 Brazilian helpers, 700 consistent daily repeat customers, only nibbles sold, could see you coming down the street and your coffee would be ready, remembered everyone's names and had pictures of them, he showed me his Xero - he was pocketing $200k/pa after costs. Soon he decided he needed to grow. He took a retail shop inside a building and added food. Yes - you are still selling coffee so it is a similar business, but it is not the same model. You now have more staff so you know less people, more overheads so you aren't as friendly all the time, the food isn't Brazilian and you can't see us down the street. It's just not the same model.


Scaling that model would be to find another Suit store, on a corner etc.


3. A small personal training based gym in the city. Located above the Korean strip, 100sqm*, mismatch decorations, full to the brim, over subscribed by 30% at least, cozy and fun atmosphere were you are forced to meet others. Soon decided to 6x the size of the gym, move to a corporate area, put consistency into the décor and NOT add trainers. Now the gym isn't cozy, it isn't a hidden gem, It's always empty. It's just not the same model.


Scaling that model would be to find an undersized area above another Korean strip and filling it to the brim.


Why can't WE just find a manager to run the business so you can create free time and do something else and check in weekly?


If you truly felt like you were solving such an important problem for people and needed to help more people, why did you have to change who you were?


Remove the ego and bring your business back to your original WHY. Because I am sure as shit your WHY didn't have anything to do with global domination.

  • Jock

I have recently gone through some transitions from entrepreneur, to failed entrepreneur, to consultant, to capital raising, to job hunting, to general manager with freedom, to demoted manager without freedom - and it has inspired me to do some internal thinking and reflection about who I am, what I want, what I am good at AND not. Although beggars can't be choosers, I think it is really important to go into your next project or job with clarity on those things that work for you and don't.


Here are the things I know I am really good at:

I can take external learnings and completely customise them to what is needed based off feeling without remembering where it came from so that is completely original.

I can construct futures that don’t exist anywhere else and deconstruct them to a tee


I can help people, they listen, they trust me.

I can learn and build a future strategy for any business in any field within 3 months.

I can design before it existed elsewhere - digital community app, a way to bridge the gap between business school and accelerator, a blockchain enables system to pay mentors for support, a personal general financial management advisor and support system, a full flywheel for a media company and accelerated research to media, a supercluster design for fintech in London and I designed multiple trend based sets in fashion before larger houses brought out those same designs.


I can build highly complex future strategies and reverse engineer them to hourly tasks.


I can see how multiple key stakeholders and their technologies can work together.


I follow them through to prove them, put the right people in their place, empower them to execute and then I get bored and move on.


Here are the things that I would want in any job or business I start:


1. What is my perfect business, the one that serves ME the most.

What is my perfect business consist of:

* Variety

* Complex challenges

* Future scenarios/ Big tailwinds

* A core/ happy customer base

* Some scalability

* Driven people who learn quickly

* A big vision


What serves me:

* Creativity

* ‘World firsts’

* Working with people I love and respect

* Fixing problems

* Flexibility

* To be paid what I deserve

* The ability to have a laugh and or a break without guilt

2. What is my perfect role in that business.

* Strategy - opportunities, threats, positioning, key stakeholders

* People - hiring, inspiring, guiding

* Structures - setting up best practices and thought guides and allowing staff to own and evolve them


I believe it's worth understanding yourself and what you want before you start looking elsewhere. Sometimes you are interviewing the manager us much as they are interviewing you.

J

Have a go. Seed some idea's and take a weekend to consider.


Use this to ensure that the next business you start, or join, ticks ALL boxes. You'll be surprised about the nuances that an activity like this can bring - such as - none of my choices below align with a startup...


What is my perfect business, the one that serves ME the most?


What is my perfect business consist of:

  • Variety

  • Complex challenges 

  • Future scenarios/ Big tailwinds

  • A core/ happy customer base

  • Some scale-ability

  • Driven people who learn quickly

  • A big vision


What serves me:

  • Creativity‘

  • World firsts’

  • Working with people I love and respect 

  • Fixing problems 

  • Flexibility 

  • To be paid what I deserve 

  • The ability to have a laugh and or a break without guilt


What is my perfect role in that business:

  • Strategy - opportunities, threats, positioning, key stakeholders

  • People - hiring, inspiring, guiding

  • Structures - setting up best practices and thought guides and allowing staff to own and evolve them

J

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