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Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast.

Are you a small business owner who likes to think BIG? Then this podcast is for YOU. It's a place where AMBITIOUS business owners learn and share SIMPLE, PRACTICAL tips and advice to help their businesses GROW with ONE purpose... TO PROVIDE THEM WITH THE LIFESTYLE THEY WANT. Whatever that means for YOU... Maybe you want to earn £100k a year? Maybe you want to spend more time with friends and family, or travel more? You might want to give up the Day Job, or completely change direction in your business. Perhaps you want to retire in X years? Remove yourself from doing the jobs you HATE? Sack your problem clients? This monthly podcast is 100% FREE. There's no ads. No spammy upsells. No fluffy, woo-woo BS. Just simple, practical help to grow YOUR Ambitious Lifestyle Business.
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Now displaying: Category: Business Growth & Marketing
Mar 1, 2021

Whether you call them 1% gains, Winner Stays On, Marginal Gains, optimisation, or Constant And Never-ending Improvement - doesn't matter.

What matters is that you strive to be better tomorrow than you were today.

The One Percent Club is NOT about growing your business. A bigger business often means more stress, more problems and more responsibilities. 

More isn’t better. Better is better.

The One Percent Club won’t help you GROW your business. It’ll help you IMPROVE your business, so that it delivers the lifestyle you TRULY want

The One Percent Club doors are open until March 31st at 9pm - https://bigidea.co.uk/opcc

Feb 4, 2021

Nine years ago, James Marks sat, head in hands at his kitchen table, wondering how he was going to pay the bills. Today, James owns a number of businesses, employs 34 people, and has systemised his entire operation - leaving him free to write romance novels.

Yes, really. 

In this episode, James tells us exactly how he became an “overnight success” in those nine years.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How James started his very first business by searching Google for “how to run a window cleaning round” after his interest-free credit cards ran out.
  • James’s constant devotion to personal development and self improvement.
  • How a One Percent Club coaching call helped James realise that he needed to systemise his business.
  • How, as a result of that systemisation work, James removed himself from the day-to-day work.
  • The rule of 3 and 10 - that predicts exactly when your business systems will break.
  • The time that James devotes to creating evergreen assets - including ghostwriting romance novels under a pen name!
  • How wrong we all were about 2020 - hoping for “a year of plain sailing”, and declaring it would be “the year of travel” - oops!
Jan 7, 2021

#ALB73 – The man who keeps people connected….. Tony Smith

This month’s guest is Tony Smith, Tony served 30 years with Lincolnshire police before enjoying some well-deserved rest in retirement. But it wasn’t long before he started getting restless, and when his son took redundancy and started up his own business a discussion took place. Tony joined his son and together they grew the business that is Genius Technology Solutions which is now over 10 years old.

Working with family members can be tricky, as some of you may know! But after a realisation that texting or calling at 9pm would not be acceptable in any other job. Tony and his son put in place some ground rules, to ensure thy both got the downtime they both needed.

The business has consistently grown and where his son finds himself looking after the enterprise side of things Tony looks after the SME’s.

Genius Technology Solutions provides all types of phones, from VOIP, mobiles and landlines plus broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi.

Last year we relied heavily on keeping connected virtually, and truly appreciated how important it is whether that has been for business or to speak to friends and family. This is something Tony has known for years.

Thank you to Tony for being our first guest of 2021.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Dec 3, 2020

So, the end of 2020 is in sight and I am sure that it will be a welcomed goodbye for a lot of us.

But firstly we have the upbeat and uplifting #ALB Christmas Special podcast with John and Jason, which has become a bit of a Christmas tradition, so grab yourself a festive beverage to sip on, sit back and enjoy an hour of John and Jason as they reflect upon 2020, the ups and downs, and their plans for 2021.

They discuss their book of the year, word of the year, what they have learnt and how they have helped others overcome what has been a particularly tricky year for all business owners.

For all of the John’s book fans out there, you will be pleased to hear some news he has for you all too.

And finally, we would like to wish all of you a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Stay safe and here’s to 2021.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Nov 5, 2020

In this months episode, we have our One Percent Club resident Facebook ads expert Danny Harris.

If Facebook ads are what you need advice on Danny is the man to go to, when he started working in this industry, he was purely managing Facebook pages for people. There was no advertising involved, times have moved on and now he works much more on the advertising side of things because Facebook pages have changed and Facebook as we all know has evolved.  The next stage for Danny, will be to teach other people how to do run their own pages effectively.

When an advert comes on the TV, that's when you pick your phone up and watch your phone rather than watching the advert on the TV. So previously what was the audience on the TV is now much more on Facebook, on social media, online generally, and with Facebook being by far the most used website on the planet and people spend more time on it and any other, they basically, can't not work.

Danny also has a whole concept of starting a charity at some point. And the point of the charity will be to help underprivileged kids. It will be focusing on teaching them about things like online marketing, so that they can learn a different route to perhaps the unpleasant routes that a lot of disadvantaged kids end up going down sadly.

Danny’s business is called DH2026 Ltd, now the first part of that company name is probably quite self-explanatory, but what does the 2026 mean? Well Danny has a plan and that will be revealed in the podcast.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Oct 1, 2020

This months guest is Steve West owner of The Pudding Compartment, (John’s perfect client).

Steve makes delicious handcrafted cakes, biscuits, flapjacks, Brownies, sticky, toffee, puddings cookies, scones, you name it, all white labelled for businesses such as Virgin trains and 2016 apprentice winner Alana Spencer.

Steve joined the One Percent Club 6 months ago with 3 clear goals, there have been many obstacles that many business owners have faced over the last few months, Steve included but despite this, those goals are still in place and Steve is well on track to achieving them all!!

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Sep 3, 2020

#ALB69 – Meet The One Percenters

 

It is September, which means the doors to the One Percent Club are officially open!

 

The One Percent Club is a community of like-minded business owners, looking to grow their business, get more free time, and make more money – without just working harder. 

 

One Percenters want to be held accountable, they want focus, and they want structure.

 

They understand that running a business can be lonely at times, and that hanging around with the right people is key.

In this episode John and Jason will give you a full insight into what happens within the One Percent Club, not only that, you will also have the opportunity to listen to existing members experiences and find out, the most beneficial things they have found to be in their time being a One Percenter.

 

To sign up or for more information visit bigidea.co.co.uk

 

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Aug 6, 2020

#ALB68 – The Ghost of Business Past

This summer special episode is going to take you all on a little trip down memory lane and look at not only what John has done over the last 20 years, but also and maybe most importantly what he has learned. Some of the mistakes that have been made and some of the key takeaways that you can benefit from.

20 Years ago, John was working as a civil servant, he had just bought his first house, he was getting married the following year, life was all good. And then something happened. He was moved to a different department in the service and he absolutely hated his new job, he also suddenly found himself in a job where the average lifespan of an employee was two years. His previous role was within a section where literally nobody ever left.

John decided within the first two weeks of being there that this was not the job for him. So he started applying for other jobs, looking at leaving the civil service completely, whether he could work within the private sector, perhaps get another role within the civil service.

And one other thing he looked at was, well, could he start his own business?

Skip forward 3 years and Jason come along to form the dynamic but incredibly modest duo that is John and Jason.

Sit back, click play and enjoy listening to their business journey.  

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Jul 2, 2020

This episode’s guest is Rupert Bassadone, Rupert spent his early years in the circus, living in trucks and caravans, he missed a lot of school but the circus lifestyle came to an end when it went off to America and never came back, Rupert then moved into the city lifestyle, joined school and settled into a different lifestyle. He is grateful for his early years upbringing as with this backround it was inevitable really that he would go on to work in the events industry.

Over the last decade-and-a-half. He’s led many high-profile events across the world including leading equestrian events and music festivals as well as major events in the Emirates, Russia, Spain, Canary Islands and France is the founder of  Event Site Design.

Rupert always wanted a business that supported his ambitious lifestyle plans, he finds himself always looking to the future.

Lifestyle comes first for him and he focuses on what the businesses needs to be doing to be able to provide that lifestyle, he visualises it with skills that he has picked up through the OPCC as well as other channels and breaks these all down “One thing at a time”.

May 2020 was Rupert’s busiest month EVER on his calendar he actually pondered at one stage how on earth he was actually going to do it all but then Covid hit.

Suddenly Rupert found himself with more time on his hands

But for Rupert more time created more goals find out more by clicking play.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Jun 4, 2020

Join us with our guest, John Risby, this Thursday for the latest episode of the ALB Podcast.

John has worked for himself most of his life, originally a programmer, and later a web developer. He eventually discovered affiliate marketing. Where, like many of us, he made hay whilst the sun, shone, in the early days of ad-words, including a very nice profit from the incredibly annoying, crazy frog ring tone.

But behind this lurked a developing problem. And in 2004 John finally accepted, he was an alcoholic and stopped drinking. He started the alcohol-free shop many years before alcohol free drinks were fashionable.

 It's been a rewarding journey for John, but not without its ups and downs.

John takes us back to those early days of affiliate marketing, which he describes as very London centric. There were lots of free bars. There were lots of champagne breakfasts, liquid lunches, and boozy nights. There was a lot of money being made and a lot of money being spent too.

But that boozy lifestyle was not sustainable for John and he realized things had to change, so that is exactly what he did, he took action, click play to find out more about John’s journey.

 

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

May 7, 2020

In this episode we welcome Karlie Somerville aka the queen of green, at the moment she is helping more than 4000 business owners deal with the crisis that coronavirus has brought.

Karlie is a two-time former One Percenter and made a guest appearance in John’s last book, "Routine Machine."

3 years ago, Karlie said she was going to get a commercial business premises, a few people told her she wouldn’t be able to do that, but guess what, she did, and the rest as they say is history.

Karlie’s first business was EcoBlitz an environmentally conscious cleaning company, but with the premises now secured, she went on to launch EcoBliz Laundry Limited.

By Karlie’s own admissions she is a workaholic, she is completely inspired by learning and achieving new things. Karlie even says that it has become her lifestyle therefore she doesn’t look at it like work.  

In this podcast we are going to go back to the early days sitting in the pub where Karlie had plenty of discussions with John and Jason, as a former one percenter, Karlie learnt the benefits of having efficient systems and processes in place, it was partly why she felt ready to launch EcoBlitz Laundry Ltd that alongside a bucket full of ambition.

This ambition is still as fierce now as it was then and has led to Karlie now having 5 successful businesses.

So how has lockdown been for Karlie, well it looks a little like supporting 4000 and growing business owners, click play to find out more.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Apr 10, 2020

Get them for FREE instead!

Today (and EVERY Friday throughout the Coronavirus lockdown) is FREE BOOK FRIDAY - where you can download the Kindle version of BOTH "Big Ideas.. for Small Businesses" AND "Routine Machine" completely FREE.

No gimmicks. You'll get the FULL version of BOTH Kindle books for FREE - this Free Book Friday!
 
Tell anyone you know who might want to read either book - THIS FRIDAY (and every Friday for as long as Amazon will let me do it!) will be...
 
FREE BOOK FRIDAY!
Apr 2, 2020

Paul Burton, was the youngest ever editor of the Plymouth Herald. In this episode, you're going to hear Paul talk about how some cardboard sunglasses persuaded the people of Plymouth to queue around the block to buy a printed newspaper. Paul is also going to talk about the future of printed media, the rise of influencer marketing, and how businesses can write better copy and more effective headlines.

Paul started his career in Bristol around the turn of the century. In his own words he “kind of worked as a reporter for about seven or eight years”. The industry went through an enormous amount of change about 10 years ago, and then every year seemed to get even more enormous, and every year new challenges would present themselves, things like Google, Facebook etc, and continue to disrupt the industry just like they disrupted most other industries.

Paul’s opportunity to become editor in Exeter presented itself about eight years ago, it was the company that owned The Herald in Plymouth and many other papers around the country, it was all the talent reinvented, and there were lots of opportunities available. Paul was asked if he would like to come down and help in Plymouth, and at the time The Herald was in a sort of state of flux, the paper's sales were in decline, in quite steep decline, but that said it did have a loyal audience, and there was certainly a big opportunity digitally, it was just defining how to seize that opportunity.

Do you remember the eclipse? Paul certainly does, he decided to have a load of branded cardboard sunglasses made, in order to receive them you had to buy a herald of course from certain retail outlets , this resulted in people travelling from all areas of the country to Plymouth to buy a paper so that they could get a pair. Paul learnt a lot from that, strategy marketing is always trumpeted as one of the best illusions that you can construct, and that was certainly what was at play that day, he doesn’t think for one minute that everyone who bought a Herald that day actually wanted a pair of cardboard sunglasses, they just thought they did because everybody else wanted one too.

Paul initially took 4 weeks off for a break which turned into 6 weeks, and within that time he thought hard about what he wanted to do.  Paul knew that he was good at helping creating content, he knew that he was good at planning content, and he knew that he had helped lots of businesses in the past, he had spoken to lots of advertisers about the future of their business and how they weren't going to be able to take a quarter page ad on page three anymore, they were going to need to think more broadly about how they market themselves. And so that sort of germinated really into the business that he runs today……

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Mar 13, 2020

Earlier this week, I recorded a video for my One Percent Club members, showing them exactly HOW I'm going to 5x one of my businesses in 2020 - and how they could copy me, and do the same.

I've shared that video with you in this bonus podcast episode.

By the end of this episode, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the power of "marginal gains"
  • See how just 162 "1% gains" are needed to 5x your business
  • Create your own folder of "1% gains" - easy-to-implement tactics and strategies that grow your business
  • Make implementing these "1% gains" a daily, weekly or monthly habit - that pay lifetime dividends every time you do!
  • See how not all "1% gains" are created equal - and how I've already grown my business by 80% with just TWO "1% gains"

Doors are currently open for the March intake of my One Percent Club, where I share more than 250 "1% gains" with you, and coach you through implementing them in YOUR business - you can find out more, and apply to join at http://www.bigidea.co.uk/opcc

Mar 5, 2020

In this podcast we speak with longstanding One Percent Club member Chris Harris.

Chris is a former Royal Marine, unfortunately an injury shortened his time within the Royal Marines. Chris then started his business, working from home with just £300 pounds and threw himself into the world of home fragrance with a well-known American brand. Chris successfully brought this brand to the high streets of Plymouth and Exeter and embarked on a retail whirlwind. But that whirlwind came with a lot of stress and less and less time was being spent with his family, so something needed to change.

Chris decided to walk away from that £5 million pound a year business, to create an ambitious lifestyle business, that truly delivers the lifestyle he wants for himself and for his family. In today's episode, you're going to hear why he walked away from it all, and he hasn't stopped walking since. Chris, has now with his wife Charlotte set up a highly successful dog walking, grooming and boarding business Harris Hounds.

Harris Hounds are a husband and wife team (Chris and Charlotte) and are there to take care of your dogs every need; exercise, socialising, fun and grooming. Chris is the professional dog walker and Charlotte is a professional groomer. They offer their services separately and/or combined to give your dog the full works.

Chris provides a complete Dog Walking Experience, as well as Day Visits and a Pet Taxi Service. The walks are tailored to your dog; if they need to be kept on the lead, short walks,  or if they need plenty of exercise, perhaps with a little discipline too, Harris Hounds can help.

As a former Royal Marine Chris is organised, strategic - and energetic! He will ensure that your dog has the best possible time on their walks, the utmost care and attention on their home visits and as comfortable car journeys as possible.

The business is going from strength to strength, so much so that they have now had to take on a new member of staff to keep up with the demand.

To find out more about Chris’s journey click play, don’t forget the doors to the One Percent Club are now open until the end of March, to find out more visit bigidea.co.uk

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Feb 6, 2020

In this podcast, we will be chatting with our guest Natasha Conway, the lady who creates ads that make people buy stuff. Over 5 years Natasha has worked on hundreds of google ad words, Facebook ad accounts and successfully helped business owners and entrepreneurs generate more leads and more sales. Tash runs her own company www.trafficsnap.co.uk and specialises in pay per click which has just celebrated it’s 4 year anniversary.

On her ‘About us’ section Tash states “It’s true. I love Google Ads, and that’s why, after several years working for a marketing agency, I made the decision to go it alone and set up TrafficSnap and I’ve never looked back.

Why? You’ve probably guessed it by now: because I love Google Ads.

I love the way that I can turn on a new campaign and start getting new leads for my clients within days.

I love the difference I can see in my clients’ businesses when they have a steady stream of enquiries to convert.

I love the power Google Ads has to allow an SME to compete with the big players in any industry.

And to be honest, I love helping my clients sell more stuff and forge a better existence for themselves and the people they love.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Jan 4, 2020

You've heard our daily minipods over the last week or so.

You've decided what you're going to change.

All you need to do now is START - and KEEP at it. These next 30 days are CRUCIAL if you're going to stick at your new routine(s) like Sticky the Stick Insect, stuck on a sticky bun...

Find out how to do that in this bonus minipod episode to celebrate the release of John's brand new audiobook Routine Machine, which is OUT NOW!

Plus, discover how you could get the audiobook for FREE...

Jan 3, 2020

Nothing changes until you CHANGE something.

Nothing happens until you DO something.

Find out what you need to change in this bonus minipod episode to celebrate the release of John's brand new audiobook Routine Machine, which is OUT NOW!

Plus, discover how you could get the audiobook for FREE...

Jan 2, 2020

In this episode we are joined by Colette Mason, book coach and publisher who has helped create over 3000 titles and worked with 13 bestselling authors. 

Colette has a set of simple effective systems to help you plan, write, edit, format, publish and promote your book. She can help you turn a simple idea into the finished article. 

Colette helps in her words "Badass business owners rapidly publish a top-notch book without cutting corners". 

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Jan 1, 2020

Can a book brainwash you?

That's exactly what happened to John in November 2013 - or did it?

Find out in this bonus minipod episode to celebrate the release of John's brand new audiobook Routine Machine, which is OUT NOW!

Plus, discover how you could get the audiobook for FREE...

Dec 30, 2019

What happens when someone who ISN'T a morning person gets up at 5am?

You won't believe what happens...

Find out in this bonus minipod episode to celebrate the release of John's brand new audiobook Routine Machine, which is OUT NOW!

Plus, discover how you could get the audiobook for FREE...

Dec 27, 2019
To celebrate the release of John's brand new audiobook Routine Machine (which is OUT NOW!), we're going to bring you a free bonus episode of the ALB podcast every day for the next week.
 
Each episode will give you a free sample from the actual audiobook, many of which have a "festive" flavour, so should be REALLY actionable this time of year!
 
In today's minipod, you'll discover why you'll NEVER change your life until you change something you do daily - and John attempts major brain surgery.
 
Plus, discover how you could get the audiobook for FREE...
Dec 5, 2019

In this episode we are going to be talking with a couple who chose sanity over their salary. Paul and Emily Hughes from Parent Guides to GCSE.  Paul and Emily met in 2003 as trainee teachers assigned to the same school and have been happily married for 11 years. Now that they've both escaped teaching, they run Parents Guide to GCSE, supporting parents whose children are in year 11.

They offer free tips via email, or to get the most from their expertise you can sign up for one of three membership plans.

They made £11,000 pounds in their launch week so they must be doing something right. Emily has a Master's from Cambridge in Maths with Education, while Paul has a Master's in Information Management and Computing from the University of Sheffield and they both taught successfully for 15 years before taking the leap.  Emily also runs a pop choir in her spare time, as she says she needs to be able to boss people around having left teaching.

Making the break…..

Paul and Emily are fairly new to business, it was a relatively slow process for them they say, Emily started the process by going part time, and started various different streams of revenue, in theory at least, in order to try and be able to get out of the teaching job, that was at the time making her thoroughly miserable.

Paul took slightly longer to take the leap, but he has and the last 3 weeks for him in his words “the best 3 weeks ever”.

They have realised that whatever they have been doing is working. The bills are paid, the children are fed, and they are still living their lives except how they want too now. They have the freedom to do what they want, when they want, how they want and if they want!

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Nov 7, 2019

#ALB 58 – The PE teacher who climbed a mountain (or six...)

 Who is Ben Knight?....

Ben Knight is the founder of High 5 Sports and Activity Camps. There's a saying: all who wander are not lost. This would probably be a good way to describe Ben's life so far. Wanderlust means a strong desire to travel. And this is certainly something that Ben can relate to. The planning, challenges, new experiences, that feeling of stepping out of the comfort zone is and has always been something which both excites and scares him in equal measure. Be it through travel, extreme sports or more recently, endurance sports challenges.

Ben is one of our One percenters and has several businesses, including sports camps, bubble football and tennis coaching. He's also a qualified Bodyboarding instructor, Ultimate Frisbee leader, Beach Lifeguard and is mountain medicine trained. He has run two half-marathons and a full one too, in aid of charity, an alternative triathlon, doing stand-up paddleboard, bike and run. Ben has won several tennis double tournaments and represented his county, Devon as a Junior and a Veteran. He's been bodyboarding and snowboarding all over the planet for the last 25 years. And most recently climbed the six highest peaks in six different countries, raising money for a local charity.

One Life, Live it…..

Ben has always had a real lust for life. A passion to sort of see and do many things, there's so much he wants to see and visit and places he wants to go.

There are also many things that Ben wants to accomplish. And he sometimes feels there's not enough time to a certain extent. And every year that ticks by and every time he has to waste time on things that he doesn’t want to be doing, he thinks to himself there is so much other stuff that he wants to be doing. So, Ben makes changes in his work to try to help to facilitate that and tick off as many things on his bucket list as possible.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ben has launched Ultimate Frisbee in his holiday camps which is proving to be a big hit. It is a game aimed at older kids as you need to be slightly more competent in throwing the frisbee. Ben tells us the secrets and tactics to throwing the ultimate frisbee, he says getting the frisbee to go where you want it to go, get it to go straight. If you don't hold the disc flat, it curves, good players use that angle to make it curve around people, to teammates. But if you can't get it flat and get it to go straight then that tends to be where people come unstuck.

Ben the traveller

Travel is a BIG thing for Ben, which stemmed from his childhood, his father was a PE teacher and every year would organise the school skiing trip, as soon as Ben could pretty much walk he was on a ski slope two to three months of the year. Ben would then spend the week skiing in the Alps. Ben grew up to be a confident skier, and by his own admission took it for granted that not everybody skied for three months of the year, on the dry slope and then went somewhere snowy.

It was only when Ben got older and met people who couldn't ski that he suddenly realised that actually his dad's job and the free places he got on the ski trip was really a kind of lucky thing to be able to do. Ben fell in love with the mountains from those experiences.

The travel probably was linked to his love of the beach and the sea. And the fact that the best waves, in this country, are in the coldest conditions. The colder and stormier it is, the better the surf is, but he think’s of the West Sea. Ben also has a love for surfing and has surfed the waves in Belize.

Ben has developed a tolerance of the cold, more than a love, and tells us that some of the products out now are amazing for example, dry rayon towels, they're really thick, they're not cheap, but it makes a huge difference getting changed, because a lot of it's wind chill. Given the choice even with his towel, cold or Belize, Ben say’s it would be Belize, any day.

What's Ben’s main business normally about?

Ben is slowly moving away from tennis coaching, which has always been his profession. Ben runs multi-sport holiday camps for children, called High 5 Sports Camps. And they run out of three sites now, in Devon. Ben would like to see that grow and really develop. It’s the key thing he spends a lot of his time on. Ben also acquired, Bubble Football, which if anybody doesn't know what Bubble Football is, they're giant inflatable balls that you get inside, your legs poke out the bottom, you have a harness and some hand straps. Then you run into other people and bash each other with a high chance of landing upside down! A real laugh out loud game.

Ben has moved away from being the face of the business or being the business certainly with the tennis coaching side of things, he’s done it for twenty years, so it has been a big part of his life. But as the business grew, it become all about him and his business partner.They were the faces and the ones that everybody wanted, but there are so many hours in one day, so they decided to bring on new people but those people wouldn't be as passionate or they wouldn't be as trained. There's quite a few hoops to jump through to be a qualified tennis coach, so, finding staff, training staff, keeping staff, was a challenge as well.

When did it all change?

For Ben, it all changed when he had children. When Ben’s first child was born, his hours on the tennis programme were 7:15 to 8:45, four mornings a week, before school and some adult stuff during the day, admin in the afternoon and then coach 4:00 'til 7:00pm after school, coach all Saturday morning 'til 2:00 in the afternoon. And he suddenly realised that he had a son that didn't really know him ,and his wife was single person parenting and that wasn't sustainable long term.

Ben’s mind set started to change and he started to think that perhaps, he needed to find a different way. Ben feels it doesn't matter how much money you've got, your time is more valuable to kids than any amount of money or any five-star holiday. “I think for me, it took me a little while to suddenly realise that my presence was more important. And as I started to realise that, that was the big thing for me.”

So what does an Ambitious Lifestyle Business look like to Ben?

For Ben, it's the freedom of time and that doesn't mean all his time because everybody has to do something otherwise you would be retired. It's the freedom of time to be able to make choices about when he works and that doesn't mean that he doesn’t ever want to work. Ben is happy to be put into situations where, at certain times of the year, he has to work. This includes working long hours at some points, but actually, for periods of the year, he is able to step back and say “okay I'm going to do the school run every day” or  ”I'm going to spend the weekends with my family” or  “We're going to book those holidays and we're going to spend some time at the beach or we can spend some time in the mountains”.

“I'm happy to work hard as long as I can play hard”.

Time to climb a mountain…

Ben has recently completed six peaks in six different countries over a 2-month period. Ben wanted to do something BIG for his 40thand has spent many evenings, looking up at Mont Blanc and talking about the fact that it's a pretty impressive mountain, he has talked many times about climbing it. Initially it was only going to be the one mountain, that was until Ben met Ruth from a charity called Families for Children and it all changed!! To find out what Ben did click play……..

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

Oct 3, 2019

 ALB57 – The Man who stood on an IED

 Who is Mark Ormrod?

 On Christmas Eve, 2007 Royal Marines Commando, Mark Ormrod was out on a routine foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when he stepped on and triggered an Improvised Explosive Device. He was airlifted via helicopter to an emergency field hospital when an innovative and dangerous procedure saved his life. He woke up three days later back in the UK with both legs amputated above the knee and his right arm amputated above the elbow. He was the UK's first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict. Doctors told Mark that he'd never walk again and that he should prepare himself for the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Mark thought otherwise, though. And he hasn't used a wheelchair since 2009. 

 Today, Mark Ormrod is a motivational speaker, performance coach, mentor and role model to other amputees, and an ambassador for the Royal Marines Association. He's also the star of a documentary called "No Limits," gold medal winning athlete at the Invictus Games, and is currently writing the follow up to his 2010 autobiography, "Man Down." 

 Mark the Royal Marine….

 Mark joined the Marines heated and focused and just wanted to grow as an individual and squeeze the most out of this short time that we get on the planet. Mark finished his training when he was 18. Just a young lad, who by his own admission put a green beret on his head, and thought he was Rambo. Mark spent a couple of years just enjoying it. He was born and bred here in Plymouth. He say’s “once you earn that beret you walk around your chest out a little bit”, he got in a little bit in trouble, the first couple years, but then he knuckled down, and got focused. Mark has always been that kind of forward driven kind of way. 

 Mark the Marine, in the beginning, young, loving life, full of energy. Just out there being a lad. As we all do as we get older and we progress in our careers and our lives, we mature a little bit. 

Mark made a lot more mistakes back then, but he learnt from them, and moved on, some of the quote-unquote failures that he experienced, and the mistakes that he made, made Mark feel a bit down about them, but as he’s got older he’s realised, they weren't really failures, as he’s learnt from them, they were mistakes, but again, he’s learnt from them. 


People always ask Mark has he always been this way, has he always been motivated, driven, and the short answer is yes. 

But from his perspective, it took him losing both his legs and right arm for him to see it. 


Mark’s first taste of combat…..

Mark was 19 when he had his first taste of combat. He had started his training in February 2001. 62 young lads started, only 12 of them made it through the training. 

Four weeks before Mark finished his training, and was halfway through the live fire exercises, he was in the NAAFI and witnessed 9-11. 

So Mark passed out and become a Royal Marine, it was looking likely that Mark would be deploying to Afghanistan early 2002 for ‘Operation Jacana’. Now, for whatever reason, that didn't happen to the scale it was meant to be. It became quite a SS, Special Forces kind of thing. 

So Mark didn't go after all, but then Iraq came around 2003. That then became his focus, Mark was one of the first guys on the ground, working out of what's called now 30 Commando. Mark spent a couple weeks in Kuwait, just waiting, sat in trenches, just on that border of Kuwait, Iraq, ready to go over, he got given the signal and went.

Mark came away from that tour feeling a little bit disappointed. He was all geared up, ready to put to test everything he had been training for but that didn’t happen, he thought he was going to be down on his belt buckle with a bayonet in his teeth crawling through the sand and doing this for three months solid, because he was a young lad and thought that's what going to war was.


What happened next?

So, Mark came home, despite the lack of activity in Iraq he still felt like he had evolved a lot. He went to Norway a couple of times, endured some survival training out in the snow. Mark then boxed for the Marines a spot had come up for the boxing team, and he thought that would be all right, he would do a little bit of training in the morning and go home in the afternoon. He underestimated that, four hours every morning, four hours every afternoon for eight weeks solid.

But Mark began to think about the fact, he hadn't really done what it was that he wanted to do. His first daughter Kezia came along early 2005 and the combination led to Mark making the decision to leave the Royal Marines in early in 2006. 

Mark ended up working as a night doorman for a little bit. Mark was entitled to some money through the re-education system in the military, and flew out to South Africa, to retrain as a bodyguard, he was now 22 years old at that point, and thought he’d be walking around in an Armani suit, talking into his cuff, diving around protecting celebrities and that isn't what the job entails. In fact he struggled to get a job , despite having a green beret, despite having experience at war, despite having qualified at a really prestigious close protection training school in South Africa people wouldn't take him on, because he didn't know anybody to get my foot in the door. 

Time to re-join the Royal Marines……….

So, after a little period of soul searching, life not going great, really not happy with the way things were heading, Mark decided to re-join the Marines, which he did early 2007. He re-joined to 40 Commando who are based up in Taunton, and were next in the roster to go to Afghanistan. Mark did have a choice where he could have gone, it was either the Commando training centre in Exmouth which is a non-deployable unit, or 40 Commando who are next on the rotation. And he kind of felt it would have been a good tour for him.

He didn't know what to expect. He was basing it on my tour in Iraq, but because his life wasn't where he wanted it to be, he thought it would be healthy to get out of the country, just get away from all the distractions and things going on, reassess his life, reprioritize, come back and take it in a more positive direction. So, he asked to go to 40 Commando, Mark got to the unit, went through all the pre-deployment training, and he knew from the minute he did that it was going to be different because the training was different. It was a lot more intense, a lot more in detail. 

Mark deployed for Afghanistan the 7th of September, 2007.

Christmas Eve 2007 – 

Christmas Eve, Mark and a group of his friends were called up to the headquarters compound and given a brief on the next foot patrol. It was a very brief brief, because the idea was that we they would leave the rear entrance of their camp in two sections with eight men in each section. One goes north, one goes south. They were told to patrol the immediate perimeter of the camp and not go any more than 300 metres. Before that, these patrols would be out for four, five, six miles. Eight, nine, ten hours. It was just a quick get your boots out on the ground, show the enemy watching you that you're still out there doing something, even though we're not really doing anything, come back in the front entrance of the camp, so now the opposite side, and then you have a couple of days R&R, open your cards and care packages from home, and try your best to enjoy Christmas, given the circumstances. 

When Mark and his fellow marines had nearly completed this routine foot patrol, Mark was required to get down on to his stomach, and as his right knee hit the floor, he knelt on and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device. 

Mark goes into detail about what happened immediately after this happened in the podcast. 


Strict procedures and processes got Mark out of there quickly and safely……

The team completely followed the procedure, from a military perspective, the key is discipline. It's the discipline that's beaten into them from day one. That there are these procedures and systems in place for a reason. And the reason is, it saves lives. And that's exactly what it did for Mark that day. 

Mark is told he will never walk again……….. 

Mark spent about four days trying to process what the Dr had told him and then figured out a plan forward. He didn’t know anything about being disabled. About six days after a guy came to visit Mark. His name was Mick Brennan, he had been injured in Iraq 2005. He walked into the hospital room with two prosthetic legs above the knee And he sat down and told Mark his story, told Mark what he had achieved, what Mark could expect to achieve. Mark started to research  triple amputees, prosthetics, just searching all over the world to see anybody who had his injuries that was living their life without being confined to a wheelchair. And he found some people and that was a massive motivator.

In that instant, the impossible became possible.

What Mark has achieved since is truly remarkable, but you will have to click play to discover just how remarkable.

For links to everything we talk about, including the video recording of the episode and transcription of everything we talked about, head over to the show notes at bigidea.co.uk/podcast.

And to watch the LIVE recording of each episode of the Ambitious. Lifestyle. Business. Podcast, join our Facebook Group for FREE - you can then watch our ugly mugs in glorious technicolour every month, as well as get BONUS in-between-isodes, and direct access to both of us to ask any questions about this, or any other episode.

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