– Yep. – We’re not giving a specific (mumbles)
– No we’re not (laughs) (modern pop music) – Hey Ruple. – Hey Richard. – Thank you for joining me again, it may be the last one for a while, let’s see,
– Yeah, let’s see. – Just gonna address the camera
quickly as I’ve been doing, two smart buddies having a chat. Today, or now, we’re gonna
– Yeah. – talk about building a business. – Yep. – Maybe the nuts and
bolts and maybe also some of the softer issues as well, so. – Yeah. – Let’s get into that. I think we could take this – (mumbles) – variety of directions,
– Yes we could. – couldn’t we?
– Yep. – Do you want to start us off? – Oof, yeah, I guess well
it’s something that we sort of talked about before, you know, off-camera, was (clears throat) regardless of where you
are at in your business, it’s important to treat
your business as a business, and it’s infinitely
easier to start doing that from the beginning, before
you’ve got this huge, you know, portfolio or whatever it is that you’re working towards,
and having to go back and retroactively sort of business-ize it. So, yeah, I would say just, you know, from as soon as you possibly can, start treating your
business as a business. – Yeah, that’s a really
good tip, and I think, so what do you know, there’s
a few things that means, isn’t it?
– Yeah, quite a lot. – So it may be you need to
incorporate, for example, you know, to get some
advice as well is the right thing to do.
– Yep. – We’re not giving it specific (mumbles)
– No, we’re not. (laughs) – It’s not some advice
– Exactly. – (mumbles) that I’ve kind of got advice which is to mean that I’ve experienced it, – Yep. – And some of the things that, you know, maybe could be good to get under wraps. So, for example, I’ve recently
taken on a bookkeeper. – Okay. – I was doing, I’m financially
trained, accountancy trained, – I forget that, yeah. – And I was quite capable of doing that. – I was gonna say, you
are qualified, actually, to give some advice (laughs) – Well, to an extent.
– Yeah. – But, the point is this. I was probably hanging on to
it too long, that’s my point. So, because I could,
– Yeah. – doesn’t mean I should. – Yep. – And so, you know, that was a job probably I should have
just given up a while ago, and I’ve got a bookkeeper
now, and I’m not really paying so much money for that, so a service? – Yeah. – And you can get, you know,
services live app from, actually fairly low-cost locations now. – Yeah. – You know, using, I was
just talking about some of the way you can find it now. – Yep. – So, I don’t know about
you, but I’ve took on PeoplePerHour, – PeoplePerHour, yep. – Or there’s Fiverr
– Fiverr is amazing. – So there’s places like that.
– Yep. – There’s Upwork,
– Yep. There are lots of places. So you can find contractors who work in your business entity, you don’t have to have a full-time person – No, yeah, you don’t need to start adding to payroll, you know, you just, yeah.
– Absolutely. So, you know, that’s
one tip, is treating it like a business, and
specifically, you know, what should you be doing? As opposed to what could you do? – Agreed. And I think one of the things that has really helped us in our business, make it a proper business,
is from the very beginning when it was literally just one property, and me and my husband doing everything, was actually doing things as sort of boring and
unsexy as having AGM, so annual general meetings
where every January we would sit down together,
and have a board meeting, and the board was just the
two of us, it still is. But this was a habit we
started from the beginning because we wanted to treat
our business as a business. So those board meetings
would cover our strategy, would cover our sort of
allocation of resources, would cover the division
of labor, all of the things that we were doing in our
business, we had a plan, we had targets, we had goals,
and then we reviewed them. So we would have a January AGM,
and then a mid-year review, to see how we were measuring
up against the various plans and targets that we had
set up for ourselves, because that is how businesses run, you don’t know where you’re, you know, how do you know if you’ve gotten there, unless you’ve got a target
– Yeah. – and a very clear plan,
and it doesn’t mean you still blindly stick to it, but it just, it gives
you a roadmap to follow, and then objective measures to make sure that you’re getting there. – Well, that sounds very grown-up. You know your stuff.
– Yes, well. (laughs) – And of course you’re
a husband and wife team, – Yes. – So, but were you doing this
’round the kitchen table, sort of thing
– Yeah. – Or did you kind of
do something different? – Initially, it was the kitchen table. – Right. – Though, if you are anything like me, working from home comes with
a bit of, you have to be very disciplined to not
– Yeah. – Sort of feel the lure of the kettle, or of the washing machine,
– or the TV. – Or whatever it is for you
– Yeah. – You know, chores that need to get done. And so, we started doing
them, actually our very very first one was at an airport,
because we were flying and got delayed and so we’re like, well – Let’s have an AGM. – Why not? It’s about
the right time of year. Be productive with our time, etc. – Yep. But no, then the kitchen table,
and then what we’ve realized is actually, we need to
go somewhere separate – Okay. – Without distractions,
– Or interruptions. – Without interruption,
– Yeah. – So now we go to just a local hotel that’s got a nice lounge, decent food, – Yeah. – You know, whatever it
is, so you have no excuse to break up the flow of the conversation and of the meeting’s agenda,
we set an agenda as well, beforehand, and that way
you just make a day of it like you would in any other corporate AGM. – Yeah. I mean, I think it’s so
important to have some formality, – Yeah, definitely. – I know it sounds boring,
– Yeah. – Again, we’ve talked about
this a number of times – Yeah, yeah. – In some of our interviews,
in some of our conversations, – Yeah, yeah. – But, I think if you set,
you know, time in your diary, – Yep. – So for example, you just write
AGM, annual general meeting – Yep. – So that’s, and then you
have a midpoint review, so every year you have an AGM, I guess? – Yeah. – Yeah, and then you
have a midpoint (mumbles) – Yep.
– Every six months? – Yep. – I review that, so it
makes a lot of sense to me. When I was working more along,
I have a date with myself. – Yeah, exactly. – In my diary.
– Yeah. – And when I was working
with other people, I actually set more like
monthly review meetings as well. I’d even, a weekly catch-up. – Yeah. – So, you
– Definitely. – Have an idea of these milestone reviews. – Exactly. – Diarizing them, – Yep. – Maybe changing the
environment a little bit. – Definitely. – So you can do that. And as you’ve said, kind of
treat it like a business. – Definitely. – So I think that’s good, to do that. One of the things, on
the sort of softer side, that was coming into my
mind as you were talking, yes I asked you if you do
it ’round the kitchen table. – Mm-hmm. – So someone I was talking to recently, he’s working from home. – Yep. – And we were talking during the summer. So you know what that means, when you’ve got a young family. – Mm-hmm. – The kids were at home. – Yep. – And he was saying, I
can’t seem to get much done. – Yeah. – We’ve got family
around, and that’s great, – Yeah. – Obviously to have the family around, – Yeah. – But from a business point of view, there was a big distraction. – Yep. – So we talked about the
idea, of it just one, or maybe two days a week? – Yeah. – Going to, like, I don’t want to promote any particular brand,
– No, but a cafe, or a restaurant, yeah.
– Serviced office, or, you know, he actually
picked like a serviced office, – Great. – And, (mumbles) in a sort
of a more cafe environment right now
– Yep. – Which is really nice, by the way. – Yep. – And, but you know, just to get out. – Yes. – And then focus. – Yes. – You know, ’cause I think,
you could probably take this in a number of different directions, – Yeah. – But if you focus, you can
be much more productive. – Oh, god yes. And I think, you know, one
of my favorite quotes is, the task expands to
fill the time allotted, so if you give yourself
a week to do something, you’ll take a week. If you give yourself 4
hours, you’ll take 4 hours. And having that focused time
without the distraction, without the noise, both
sort of mental noise as well as actual noise,
– Yeah. – It makes all the
difference in the world. I was actually just speaking
to Amenti yesterday, and I was having this
exact same conversation, and she was saying that
sometimes she gets her best work done in the car, or at Ikea, you know, in the restaurant at Ikea,
you choose your location, it doesn’t matter, but it
has to be a protected space, away from the distractions
of home life or other things, where you can just focus on your business for a specific amount of time. – Yeah, I think so. This idea of focus, I mean so for example, there’s lots of things we
could probably talk about with time management, one
particular one that I find that, I mean, I actually did track
every single action I did, – Yes. – On one particular day.
– Yes. – I counted 49 different actions. – Yep. – Excluding brushing my teeth. – (laughing) yeah. – You know, so I think it was 49, – Yeah. – I was absolutely
blown away with how many individual tasks I did. – Yep. – But what I realized is, what
was really important to me, was only a small number of things. – Yep. – So I actually have what
I call a 3 to 5 list. – Oh, okay. – And I discovered, literally,
as for the important stuff, for me
– Yep. – I could only achieve
between 3 and 5 items per day. – I like that. – That was really important to me. So, that’s what I did. So I had then one of my 3 to 5 things that I must do for me
today in the business – Yep. – And I thought that’s my priority, that’s what I get done. – That’s fantastic.
– So you had 49 – Yep. – But how many of my 3 to
5 am I getting done, so – Yep. – I was focusing only
what’s really important, – Yes. – Because it could just drift. – Well, and that sort of
gets onto something else that I think is really
important at every stage, is being very very aware, consciously, of the high value stuff
vs. the low value stuff that takes up our time and
our energy and our effort, because not all tests are created equal, brushing your teeth is
a benefits and results, as you know, having a meeting
with a contractor, you know, and so you have to be. – It’s probably a good
idea to brush the teeth – Yes, of course.
– Before having the meeting. – At least twice a day,
obviously, you know, good hygiene is equally
important and valuable, but as far as sort of
looking at your business and where you should focus your
time and effort and energy, most of it really should be focused on the high value stuff. Now look, in the beginning, can you do all of the high value stuff? No, because somebody’s gotta,
you know, create the AST, somebody’s gotta do the viewing,
somebody’s gotta do the, you know, staging the
apartments, houses, whatever, you’ve gotta do a lot of the
low value stuff yourself, but as your grow, and as you
have, can financially justify taking on expenses or
delegating to somebody else, then it’s key to make sure
that you’re delegating as much as possible of
the low value stuff, and keeping on for yourself as
much of the high value stuff, and that will, again, you
know, you said about this in a different recording
about fix and flex. At different stages as you
grow, what is high value and low value will change, and sometimes some of the low value
stuff will just naturally be eliminated because you
don’t need to do it anymore, or it doesn’t matter for
your business anymore, and that’s fine. But it’s always being very conscious of how you are investing your time. – Yeah, I agree. And I think, you know, in terms
of high value vs. low value, I think, you know, as a
principle probably we get it, we understand what we mean, – Sure. – But nobody really gets it, and understands it.
– Yeah, yeah. – So what I mean by that. So I had an exercise
with somebody recently, and I said track your time, – Yep. – In let’s say project management. – Yep. – In that particular area. What are you doing, how
much time are you spending, – Yep. – Then work out your
equivalent hourly rates. And then you’ll find out,
you’ll be able to find out what is high value, – Yep. – And what is low value. What should you be doing,
what should you get some other person to do. – Yeah, agreed. – So of course (mumbles),
so if you know what your hourly rate should be, let’s say it’s fifty pounds an hour,
just to pick a number. – Sure.
– 25, 50, 100, whatever. You know what it should be. – Yep. – Then you focus on that,
and if you can then bring in someone and pay them, say,
10 or 20 pounds and hour, – Yep. – Or dollars, or whatever. – Yep, yep. – It makes much more sense
– Yep. – To give that task away
– Agreed. – But people are very reluctant
to do that, aren’t they? – And it’s funny because, you know, we do that when we’re
employed by other people, we know what our hourly rate
is when someone’s paying us, but to come up with it for
ourselves somehow feels like you’re sort of tainting
the purity of your business. There’s a financial reality
to everything we do. – Yep. – And money is important to talk about, and to feel comfortable talking about, and also having a quantifiable
value on your business time. – Yep. – You know, you’re not gonna
necessarily say, oh well, you know, spending time
with my kids isn’t bringing in money so I’m not gonna
do it, no, of course not, we’re not saying to go
extreme and be crazy, but when you’re working in your business, it’s important to know the
tasks that you are doing are worth your time. And you can only know that by valuing it, by putting an actual figure on it. – Yeah, and the thing is
you’ve obviously got a, a partner (mumbles)
– Yep. – In your business.
– Yep. – So, when I started out, I didn’t. And so one of the things I
think a lot of people start is solopreneurs
– Yep. – You know, and then we progress maybe into a bigger business,
more people around us. Even as a couple, one of the things that doesn’t really get
spoken about too much is, in fact, there’s a song
that comes into my mind and it’s by Seal. – Oh no. – And he – We’re never gonna survive? – Uh, yeah.
– (laughing) – But the um, the line was, it’s the
loneliness that’s the killer. What are your thoughts on,
you know, being a solopreneur, – So many. – Being alone, you know, in business? – I can say definitively, and unqualified-ly, that starting our business,
and becoming a parent, were two of the most lonely, isolating experiences of my life. They didn’t stay that way, but
for lots of similar reasons and some different reasons, it feels like a very very lonely time. And in some ways they are
similar, because you are sort of, birthing something new,
sometimes it’s a business, sometimes it’s a human being. But what has been hugely
powerful and instrumental to me, to keep the motivation, to not
feel so alone and isolated, is to either create a
community for yourself, or tap into a community that existed. – Yep. – So, you know, taking becoming a parent, having, especially in
those first six months, the NCT community, was a huge lifesaver. It took all of the, or
a lot of the anxiety and feelings of loneliness away. Similarly in a business, there are so many either networking groups, or
incubators, or hub spaces, coworking spaces, whatever
it is, that you can just naturally plug into, and
some of it will be, you know, trial and error, see what
works for you and what doesn’t, ’cause they’ll have different cultures, but if you don’t have
anything preexisting, then create it for yourself. – Yeah. – It’s the best thing that
I have done for my business and my sanity is creating
those communities for myself. One was literally just a
WhatsApp group with two friends who were also business founders
and we just shared a lot of values and interests and other things, and we just texted each
other, no sort of rules or process, it’s just like
hey, this is something really I’m struggling with,
what do you guys think, or what’s some advice you’ve got, and they’ve, literally, just
by being friends who get what I’m doing and what we’re building, have been able to give
some really valuable advice that takes the loneliness away, similarly, entrepreneur
community that I’ve created is to serve a similar itch, of like to help other woman founders
who are feeling lonely and want to be plugged into
women who are founders, who are, you know,
understand what it’s like to start a business, and
can help with both practical and also sort of, a moral support. – Yeah. That’s some really good stuff there. I can’t answer that,
you know, ’cause there’s so much good content that
you should share there. – Yeah. – I think the other thing, you
know, in terms of, you know tips in terms of running a business, is you know, is just to
recognize that, you know, you can’t be all things to all people. – No. And nor should you be. – No. I think, you’ve probably
done things like (mumbles) – Yep, yep. – On YouTube. So, in these profiles, it doesn’t
matter which ones you use, – Yep. – You usually find that
you’re strong in maybe – Yep.
– One or two areas. And then there’s some blind spots – Yeah.
– That you maybe have. So I guess one of the things
I’ve really learned to do is sort of double down – Yeah, yeah.
– (mumbles) say on the strengths? – Yeah. – And then bring, they call
it wing man, or you know, wing man is the term. – Yeah, wing people. – Wing people, yeah
– (laughing) – Wing people.
– Yeah. – Around you, who can perhaps, you know, blunt those (mumbles)
– Yeah, definitely. – That way you’re not so strong, so – Yep. – That’s something I’ve
really zoned in on, – Yeah. – ’cause a lot of people
say work on your weaknesses. – Yeah. – But I think if you double
down and focus on your strengths and you kind of go with the flow, – Yeah. – And then you can bring people along side who are good and enjoy all the stuff that you don’t enjoy.
– Exactly. And that’s one of the things
that I think is so hard as just human beings, we’re
taught from a very young age to work on your weaknesses,
to always practice so you can get better at
stuff you’re not good at, and obviously, you know,
some of that is true and very very important, but
at this point in your life, when you’ve reached
whatever age we’ve reached, you are sort of who you are. And you know intuitively
what you’re good at, and what takes a bit more effort. It’s not necessarily a weakness, it’s just it takes more
effort or it’s not sort of your happy place or your flow. And I think, as your said,
there’s so much more leverage and so much more power
in really doubling down and investing in what you’re amazing at, and just delegating the
rest, or finding other people to do the stuff that are your blind spots, because they actually enjoy it. – Yep. – You know, it’s not like
you’re taking all of the things that you hate and somebody else hates it and they just have to sort of do it, there are people who love bookkeeping, I don’t like bookkeeping,
there are people who love it, and like when we found our
bookkeeper, she was like, oh give it all to me, I
love cleaning up the mess, and I was like okay, here’s
a great big list, you know? – (mumbles) – Yeah, but that’s the
thing, we sort of think that everybody’s like us, and
some things we love and hate other people will love and
hate, but that’s not true. – Yep. – You know, through profiling, whatever you wanna use, – Yeah.
– You can find people who love to do the things
you don’t like to do, and then everybody’s happy,
so it just sort of make sense for lots of reasons. – Yeah, there’s so much good
stuff we’ve spoken about there, I think we’ve probably been
given a queue in terms of timing – Yeah.
– Recently, I don’t know if you’ve got any sort of parting comments or top tips on in this
whole area (mumbles), I’m throwing that on you, – I know. – So you don’t actually have to, and I’m thinking desperately
myself what I might wanna add to that, but
it’s only if you’ve got any – Yeah. – ’cause you’re probably
quicker thinking than me Ruple. – Well, I think the key really is to just embrace the process. There are so many times when
it’s going to feel lonely, it’s going to feel frustrating,
it’s going to feel ecstatic and really really exciting, you’re gonna take over the world, and just to know that these
highs and lows are normal. – Right. – It’s not that you’re a
freak, it’s not that you’re doing anything overly
right or overly wrong, genuinely starting a business,
whether it’s a property or anything else, follows a very, almost predictable pattern. And, it’s again by tapping
into your community of people who are in it as well that you realize that it’s not just you, you know, – Yeah. – That other people are
in it, and they can help give you that perspective,
so my main thing again, sort of it gets back to
something we talked about in another video is be very
conscious of the five people you surround yourself with the most. Make sure that they are
people who understand you, who share your values, who are
going to push your forward, to push you higher, and
help you be the best version of yourself, both in life and in business, as you possibly can. – Well, you know, one
of my favorite people, I don’t watch a lot of, like, reality TV, but one of my favorite
people is a guy called Marcus Lemonis, I don’t
know if you know this, – No, I don’t know him. – You don’t know him. He’s American, you know of
course you know all Americans, don’t you.
– All Americans are great. – But on Marcus Lemonis, and he basically, I think the program
he’s titled differently, in different places, but I
think he’s called the prophet, not the prophet, but the prophet. – Yeah. Oh interesting. – And he says, trust the
process, as you would say. – Yeah, yeah. – And when you said that,
it really reminded me. In fact, I’ve adopted that phrase – Yeah. – When I talk to my apprentices,
I’ve got some apprentices who I work with, and we start
on day one we got to day 100. – Yeah. – And you don’t know what
you’re gonna be like in day 100, so you have to go for the
process, this process. – Yeah. – So trust the process,
same as with business. – Yeah, I agree. – So, I’ve stolen your line as well. – That’s okay. – I guess the thing is to treat it like a grown-up business, so, you know, have formal systems and processes. Delegate, you know, allocate time. – Yeah. – Have a strategy, that’s
written down somewhere, – Yeah. – And you know, focus on your strengths, – Yes. – Bringing people, and have enough profit to be able to pay for
these things as well. – I agree. And I would say sort of (mumbles) is like with the stuff that I do,
like whether it’s (mumbles) or whatever, it’s to make
sure that there’s always an element of a reality
check, and a practical aspect to what we talk about,
because again sort of starting a business,
being an entrepreneur, it sounds very lofty
and exciting and sexy, but there’s a real life practicality, you have to pay the
bills, you have to eat, you have to have some
shelter, and to be able to pay some rent, and so it’s
really really important that you don’t overload your business. And you are taking care
of the practicalities at the same time that you are taking care of the big picture and the vision. – Well, you know, that’s amazing. I don’t think we should
add any more to that on this particular occasion,
but you know, to be honest, Ruple, it’s been great
chatting to you, today. – It’s been so much fun, Richard. – Aw, thank you for joining me today – It’s my pleasure. – We’re experimenting, I’m
looking at the camera here and just if you like
what you’re seeing today, two smart buddies, just having a chat. If you like it, leave a
comment in the comments box, whether it’s whoever’s channel
it is you’re watching it, and is there anything
you wanna hear from us? – Let us know.
– Maybe, you know, ’cause we had a few ideas
about what we’d share. – Yeah. – Maybe our audience
might have other things that they’d like us to share – Yeah. – We are (mumbles) to do it again, would you like to do it again? – I would love it! – (laughs) You’re on camera, so you’re gonna say that, are you? But maybe we should close for
now and go and get something to eat and drink and relax a bit. – Perfect. – Does that sound good? – Yep, sounds great. Let’s do it.
– Okay, two smart buddies, that’s it for now. Thanks for watching.
– Thanks guys. – It’s not just a problem. (laughs) – Yeah exactly. – After I went to this
webinar (clears throat) I was literally, my throat was so dry, geez, it was just an hour and a half. All right, let’s do it. – (mumbles) your voice to rest up tonight.

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