Opportunity Awaits podcast Episode Transcript
[00:00:00] So I know many entrepreneurs, myself included who really struggled to focus on just one thing. And we quite often find that. With so many ideas flying around our head. We'll have, this idea, that idea. And we'll try and do them all at once. And none of them work or we'll do this one for 10 minutes and then
[00:00:26] we're not getting the traction we want and then move on to the next thing and move on to the next thing. And. There's things I've been hearing of late, I've been hearing for a long time, but pretty much ignoring them thinking, I know best. That.
[00:00:40] Success does take time and it takes a lot of focus and energy and I don't know, drive and whatever, like inside you to be able to get there. And there's things that I've really been struggling on to do with my focus. It start focusing on that one thing. Or do I even need to focus on that one thing? Am I only trying to focus on one thing because everyone's saying focus on one thing or is it a smart thing to do?
[00:01:11] Now I've been torn with so much stuff recently. I think I find having too many options is probably not great. When I had a job, I was working in the police, I knew what I was doing, I knew what my shift was for the, what my shift pattern would look like for the year plus all the extra days that they cancel, because they make you work.
[00:01:28] And I knew, I could take X amount of holiday. It was pretty much set out for me. I didn't have to think about much. And now I've got so many options. People think is great, but I don't think it's that great because you're left with so many choices. And quite often, if you don't have the network I don't think I do, I don't have the network that really understand it yet. And.
[00:01:50] I've been torn between things like, do I stay in the UK or not? Even down to that level. Have, do I go traveling or not? Do I go to this other place that looks more exciting and vibrant or not? But then I think is it any better? Because when I went to LA recently, I went last summer summer 2022.
[00:02:11] My Instagram might have made it look like I was having a great time, but there was a lot of times where I was really bored. And there were times when I was thinking, do you know what I really want to get back to the UK. And there was no particular reason. It's not like I have this great, massive social life here in the UK even, or I'm not very, I'm not massively family-orientated, well I think not very at all.
[00:02:34] I can go weeks and months without seeing anyone in family and that's just normal for me.
[00:02:39] And then I'd be thinking about things like, do I buy a house or not? Yeah. Do I buy a house in the UK or not? Because that's currently what I'm looking at doing. Do you know? That stability, when I came back from LA, I had been renting somewhere for a while and I'd given that up because I went away for a couple of months. I wasn't sure if I was going to be away for much longer.
[00:02:57] And it just felt really strange, like coming back and not having a home. So I was thinking what if I just buy a house in the UK. Then I've got that as a base. I can afford to keep that while I'm away. And then I can just come back and forth as I please. And I'll get onto it, but I spoke to someone yesterday or the day before who is out there, seeing the world and doing all these amazing things.
[00:03:24] And it's just part of the conflicting information. I get, conflicting ideas, conflicting advice. About what she said I'll get onto, and then I've been looking at things like around the business side. I started off this year at the end of 2022. So December early December time, I even before that, actually I started researching
[00:03:44] buying businesses, mergers and acquisitions and all that stuff. I think partly if I'm honest, I think partly I'm encouraged by Cody Sanchez, who is an amazing entrepreneur from the United States. She buys, shitty businesses. Not shitty [00:04:00] businesses, but she buys like businesses that aren't really exciting,
[00:04:03] not these tech unicorns or whatever, that's how she started out and grew from there. And I've been thinking about it for a while. I've been in the small business space for a long time and, I have actually, I didn't even think about it. I have acquired a couple of businesses before.
[00:04:16] I just hadn't realized I had, it sounds so dumb, but I had, I bought business off someone, even though they were really small, but I had done it before, but I wanted to find out a lot more. So I started reading a ton and ton, and ton of stuff like research, everything I've been, chewing off my lawyers ear, and my accountant getting expert advice about the intricacies of it, how it works.
[00:04:39] And then I've been thinking about do I buy businesses? Do I grow a current business? I'm literally in talks at the moment about, buying someone's business. And it's something that I'm very much interested in, but you're not thinking about, do I grow my current business? Do I start a new one?
[00:04:56] I've had an idea for a startup for a long time, linked to my industry. And what it is not it is linked to my industry. And, but it's just separate because my main business is as some, as you may know, some of you may not is a, is part of a cleaning franchise. So I own three cleaning franchises. They're all home cleaning franchises. And the only thing I know about franchises, if you haven't listened to it already go back and listen to the podcast that I did quite recently about franchises.
[00:05:26] The only thing I know about franchises is you don't need a franchise. Basically. So I'm starting a new business, which is in a similar field, but not competing with the home cleaning space. Sorry, I'm not starting. I have had the idea for a couple of years. I had everything set up for over two years. I've never moved with it.
[00:05:44] Sabrina Stocker, who some of you may know from The Apprentice when I met her in London. We went out for a bit and, sorry, let me just rephrase that. We went out for a bit like for coffee and stuff, before anyone gets any ideas. She was talking to me about this a year and a half ago, something like that just after lockdown ended. And she was like, just start it if you're not doing anything else, just start it. And
[00:06:05] She was probably right, but I didn't do it. And I've been going around in circles, getting different advice from, experts in their field where they've made success in this way and that way, and every way that possibly works and then you hear your friends and your family who are telling you, oh, don't do this. Don't do that. Oh its risky. It's too scary and all this stuff. And then no matter what you say.
[00:06:26] No matter how pig headed you are or stubborn or whatever.
[00:06:33] They do plant that seed of doubt in your brain. I think they do. Anyway, certainly for me, that's what happens. And I've been going around in circles around it, and basically. We're now what the, at the time we recorded the 22nd of February, we're nearly two months done of this year. I've nearly gone, three months of where my focus was initially business buying to quite recently, I've been starting to think, ah,
[00:07:00] Is that actually the thing that makes sense to do start buying out, start buying up businesses and industries that I know Jack shit about. Is that the smart thing to do when actually I could probably grow my current business quite substantially, although it is part of a franchise. I am I do have a partnership in a commercial finance brokerage, which I'm not involved in day to day. I just own
[00:07:22] a significant amount of it. And. Or do I go around that sort of, tunnel of starting that new business that I have complete control over is not part of a franchise. And I know can work, but I'm just not very interested in it. I just think it's boring. But. Is that a bad thing? Does it need to be exciting? I don't know because I wouldn't be working in it anyway.
[00:07:46] So the two months, Two months nearly gone. And I'm at the point now I'm thinking do I do a hybrid thing?
[00:07:52] I've been listening to other people quite recently who are a lot more. Who are genuinely, successful [00:08:00] business people where they didn't find their success by starting a podcast or by, posting out stuff all over social media and getting a large following.
[00:08:11] Or claiming to be this business coach or anything like that. They've gained their success through real business over many years. And now talk about it, or maybe you've written a book or something like that, and they're still not posting on social and stuff like that. But real, genuine, successful people who
[00:08:28] I've started to look at them and, starting to see some common traits. That I'm starting to think. Is this like a path for me to follow a bit more. Maybe, I'm just reading from a book now, From my notes.
[00:08:41] Like having clear goals and having massive goals and not being afraid to have massive goals for the fear of looking stupid. I was with my friend the other day, who I've known for 15 years and we were out walking.
[00:08:54] We'd been out, walking, went out for the day. It's not important what we're doing. And then at one point we're standing in a queue in Tesco's, in a supermarket and with some reason we started talking about goals and, I said, I've got big goals, but they're embarrassing. They're embarrassing to say them because they're, they are, they're very big and it doesn't fit with the norm. It doesn't fit with anyone that I like know personally I didn't grow up like that.
[00:09:20] And. Which he kept asking me what they were. And I just didn't want to say, because I didn't want her to judge me for being. What the fuck is wrong with you, type thing. And then I told her about my goals. I told her the initial one. Which was more of like a a net worth figure. And then she asked me the question why that?
[00:09:39] And then when she asked me that it then opened up to my other goals that are actually below that because, for me to reach those other goals. It needs a substantial net worth, one of them being, I want to fund, I want to have a fund for, underprivileged people where in aviation, it is to do aviation because at the moment, aviation is probably one of the very few industries as a profession where there is no financial support.
[00:10:04] If you don't come from a financially well-off background, typically speaking, you're going to find it very difficult, or if not impossible for you to go and do that sort of training. So I want to be able to fund 12 courses per year. Full-time courses for students and that will cost me a ton of money.
[00:10:23] Quarter of a million, half a million a year to be able to do that. So obviously I need to be making substantial amounts to be able to do something like that. And 12 is nothing, it's nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it's something that currently doesn't exist, which I want to do.
[00:10:36] There's also things like I want to be able to when I was in the air cadets many years ago, I'm going off topic a bit when I was in air cadets in many years ago. There were kids who were part of the squadron, and they could be part of squadron, but when it come to annual camps, where it might be £40 to £50 for them to go, it's not a ton of money.
[00:10:55] To get all these experiences and to feel valued and part of a part of that team. So actually it's like real, you build really strong bonds with people like that. And I even know people to today. What, 20 years or so nearly. Yeah, 20 years, literally 20 years now. I've known some of these people from that time.
[00:11:15] Going on these camps and some of these kids, their parents could not come up with. The £40 to £50 for the camp. And. Then you'd see the change because they feel now excluded. I didn't even think about it back then, but it's now reflecting back on these things. They feel excluded. Through no fault of their own whatsoever. It's just the fact that they don't come from a family that have that sort of money. I've seen a couple of times the instructors who are not paid, they're there as volunteers, but they would
[00:11:44] occasionally chip in. To make up some of the money for some of these kids, but they couldn't always do that. And. Sometimes they were left behind. And. Often more often than not. When I saw that they would leave. They would [00:12:00] leave. They would go off into the, back into the streets or stuff and start doing things that.
[00:12:08] Is undesirable criminal behavior. It might be antisocial to start going into criminal behavior and get criminal records. And then their life is fucked. There forever on.
[00:12:16] So it's I want to be able to fund, have a fund to make sure that, I'm focusing on one organization at the moment. I want to focus on the air cadets because that's where I managed to gain a lot of my skills and experience and confidence and set my path in a positive way. Was through that.
[00:12:38] And I want to be able to create a fund to make sure that stuff like that doesn't happen going forward because it's small amounts of money to literally change one person's entire life and future and focus going forward.
[00:12:52] And I explained those things to her. And actually I think she was quite surprised because I think she just thought I was going to come out with, on what money. I want a helicopter on a car when this.
[00:12:59] And it wasn't that actually I've got underlying things and they are genuine things that have bothered me since I became a proper adult as such.
[00:13:07] I see that they have massive goals. And one of the things I've started to notice more from these people. And these are unconnected people, by the way, is things like they're focusing on.
[00:13:18] One business, one type of business growing that one business, even though it may not work at the start, it may not work for a few years. They may not making any money. They focused on that one business, but there is a risk always where you can get so bogged down into your idea and think it's such a great idea, but no one else thinks it's a great idea.
[00:13:39] And there could be a point where no one else will ever think your thing is a great idea and they're never going to pay for it.
[00:13:46] There's always that balance of do you shut it down or not? Do you keep going? Because if you kept going for another six months, could that be the time when it changes?
[00:13:54] And I know from my cleaning franchises, I didn't make any money for years. Like 5 or 6 years, something like that before I really made any money. Any money I was putting money in constantly to keep it alive. And Then all of a sudden, I don't know what it was, but something changed.
[00:14:11] Something changed and it flipped on its head. It gave me the option to leave the police. It gave me, I'm not earning tons of money from that business. I'm earning probably equivalent, if not a bit more than what I was earning in the police, but it's not linked to my time at all. I might invest 30 minutes an hour on that business typically for most weeks.
[00:14:32] And so it's not linked to my time. So if you did it on an hourly rate, it's a substantial amount of money. But it's not scalable in that sort of way that business isn't , with the franchise model.
[00:14:45] Yeah. So one of the things I started to notice, they focusing on one thing, one type of business. They're buying up in that space potentially.
[00:14:52] So buying up their competitors and investing in other similar things.
[00:14:57] But one of the core things that I've started to notice about these people is that they really care about their customers' experiences.
[00:15:04] So can you think about it yet? Actually?
[00:15:06] The customers are the one paying you, right? And I heard one of them talking about people will often think about all this stuff for their staff and that making the staff happy, giving them everything under the sun. But they're not focusing on actually, what makes the customers happy.
[00:15:21] And it's the customers that they want to serve. They want to serve them and make sure that they are giving them a better service than anyone else out there. And giving them more value than they ever expect and its all stuff we've probably heard before. I've heard it a million times over. I just didn't really pay much attention to it. It's gone in and out. I'm like, yeah, that makes sense.
[00:15:42] But There's also things like their personal habits, fitness, again, another thing we will know about. You've known about it for years, yes, there are unfit business people out there who have really successful, but there are literally tons who focus on their fitness, these little habits that they have.
[00:15:58] Their routines, the [00:16:00] deliberate actions that they take, focusing on tasks that will take them to their next goal. And I think writing goals down and writing down those tasks to be able to reach those goals is something that I've adopted now. Not just recently, I've been doing for a long time and.
[00:16:16] That maybe that was it. I said, about a year ago, year and a half ago or so, the business, my cleaning company, we doubled in size within a few months, literally within a few months. And.
[00:16:32] One of the things I had been doing at that point was really honing in on my stats. And my focus was really on how I get this growing because it was at a point where I was going to be like, do you know what I need to get rid of this? It's not, I'm. It's breaking, even making a little bit of money, but.
[00:16:51] I just need to get rid of it. And so I honed in on things. I focused on the recruitment. I looked at what the problems were realised recruitment was a massive issue for us and really honed in on focusing on that. And it grew. It doubled in size literally in a few months.
[00:17:06] And I just think that I never thought it could get even to the size it is today. Let alone, there's so much more scope for it, but I'm just not really invested in, in putting way too much of my time in it, because you're hanging, you always got handcuffs on if you're in a franchise, you're always limited on what you can do. I'm not going to go into the whole franchise stuff, but anyway, I've ranted on a bit, but it's just something I want to speak about because.
[00:17:32] I know it's common people I speak to who are entrepreneurs who don't know what to do. They focus on one thing. Wherever it's, how they advertise their services or whatever it is. And then it's not working well enough and quite often now then do something different and then do something different and do something different. They've not.
[00:17:50] Spent long enough to be able to actually achieve the thing. And that's something that I'm really concerned about because I'm aware of it. I'm aware of it. And I just want to make sure that I make the right decision.
[00:18:02] My Nan who's 94 years old. I'm going to go and see it tomorrow. She mentioned, I spoke to her about this house thing. Do I buy a house?
[00:18:12] Do I go abroad? Do I buy a business in the UK? Do I buy a business abroad? Do I do a startup? And she's the first person who stumped me in the sense of everyone had an opinion of, oh yes, buy a house or don't buy a house. Buy a business or don't more often not don't buy one because that's risky.
[00:18:32] But she turned around and said to me,
[00:18:36] Aaron, just make sure that you are absolutely certain, in what you want to do, before, before you take any decision and action on it.
[00:18:51] She literally said that you know that to me and it's stumped me when she said it. Cause she's 94 years old. I don't expect her to understand like what I'm up to and what I'm doing and stuff. And yet she's the one who's probably come out with something that literally took me back. I was like, huh! Yes, you're right! I do need to be sure!
[00:19:11] So that's something I'm going to be working on. Is that something you're working on yourself? Is that something that, you can improve on yourself with that focus on that one thing? Or do you think it's okay to have multiple things on the go before you've had success and a real good amount of success on one thing?
[00:19:29] I don't know, I'd be interested to hear your opinion, but I've got to make a phone call now. It's 10:00 AM. Can you hear the bells? Don't know if you can hear them with this camera, with the mic, but it's 10:00 AM. I've got to go. I will talk about this another time, because honestly, it's something that's really important. And a lot of people struggle with.
[00:19:45] I'm really struggling with it and I'll hold my hand up. Don't think that because what on my Instagram, Occasionally when I do post, I very rarely do, but when I do it looks great because quite often, sometimes I've been literally incapable of [00:20:00] doing anything where I've had been going around in circles so much. I've literally just sat down and just been like,
[00:20:06] done nothing for several days in a row. And. And when, nothing. I mean nothing. Where I've just completely incapable. And I know a lot of people like that and people don't have people to turn to quite often, particularly entrepreneurs.
[00:20:21] Because a lot of the time, the people around you don't understand. But anyway I've been Aaron Henriques, it's now nearly one minute past, so I've got to go make a phone call.