Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Ash Taylor. Ash, welcome.
I promised. How are you, mate? Thanks for having me on.
I’m very well and thanks for being here. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do? Yeah, sure. Thanks for asking. So Ash Taylor, obviously as people will know, I run a business that kind of supports the micro-business owner, those that feel a bit isolated who work from home. I mean I know everybody works from home moment, but you know if you know the bedroom business, they tend to be full time, they tend to be, I’ve been picking along for several years, but they’re in a position where perhaps nobody has taught them how to run a business. They’re very good at what they do, but it’s very technician mindset rather than business owner mindset. So we help them make that shift really to make better decisions around their business. Don’t do it for them. I’m just the guide, they do the work. and I guess what we try and really do is help them be the hero they want to be in their own business.
Okay. so yeah, that’s really in a nutshell. Well, in preparation for our conversation, I’ve had a look at everything you do and you’re very busy, very busy man. I’d really like to know what the what the vision is for you. So how in terms of the end goal for all of your various different activities. I’d really like to know what, you know, what the outcome is for you and how you see what you’re aspiring towards essentially? Yeah, that’s, it’s a great question and when we ask ourselves all the time, it’s pretty simple to be honest. I mean, I would like to help as many businesses as possible and we have a clear medium term vision. I mean 100 members of our community that we can be helping in an effective way. So I suppose, you know, the really short answer is that how do we get to 100 people in an effective way so we can look after them properly? And I know that might sound small. You know, there are, there are organisations out there, they’re helping thousands of people, but my background is in professional sport and I’ve run a lot of coaching clubs if you like.
There’s a pinch point at around the 100 mark for me where you lose the intimacy and you lose the ability to know who people are and truly what their problems are and who they’re brothers are, who their sisters are, what their kids names are, sort of thing. It tends to become much more formal and structured rather than being a real tribe. I think for me that’s something that really drives me. I love being in a position where we can help facilitate that learning and that growth through people learning off each other rather than us dictating what should happen. So that means the real vision, it my view that we get to 100 and actually, you know, we’re doing this really well and we can do more, but right now, that’s the very clear number and that’s for your business clubhouse, which is uh, correct me if I’m wrong, business coaching in a nutshell, that would be in a nutshell. Yeah, so, uh, I’m in danger of getting excited here.
So let’s see you go. But I’m on a bit of a, was a mission, but I get frustrated at meetings and meet quite a lot of business coaches and probably not through no fault of their own because of the space there in who charge a decent proper fee every month for their services or I value packages, there’s a lot of stuff out there about charge a high value fee and you get high value clients, but if you will, If you’re a business owner who probably not an instrument, if you’re a business owner who’s doing, you know, taking home 1500, a couple grand a month after all your costs and not every month because some months are better than other months. You’re, you’re, it’s difficult to understand how you can be paying out maybe that sort of money for advice and support. So I really wanted to try and create something. Most people could get coaching, where they could get the support, where they could get the community, where they could get access to resources at a point that was really, really accessible for them?
So that’s the kind of reason behind setting up the business compounds and it means we don’t have to say no to anybody. Well, that’s a great mission. I’ve noticed in a couple of your profiles or perhaps on the website, mastermind, facilitator and mentor. Does that coincide with the business clubhouse, or is that separate? Yeah. So I mean that’s a high-end product that I have. It’s I’ve been running masterminds for nine years now, nine years and been passed them for a what’s possibly your next question? My view of masterminds is that they are small groups. So we have I have a maximum of eight in my groups. I’ve learned over the last nine years that to get the best out of the environment, you need to have enough people where you can create cognitive diversity, but not so many that people get lost. Id. So you know, that’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. That’s a much deeper program where we really get into where the business is, what the plan is to change that business over the over a year.
It is a year’s commitment rather than a rolling commitment and we get some really great results from it because really where I’m putting most of my time day to day with those members and you have like a remote version of that now, or is it strictly in person waiting for things to normalise? They’re all waiting on the edges of their zoom seat, waiting to get back to normal into a boardroom space. Yeah, it’s we, you know, we are typical model used to be a meat based every other month and then online every month. So we’ve been doing using zoom for seven or eight years in that way. but when we meet face to face, there’s definitely getting a vibe to it. There’s no question when you can actually look at somebody in the eyes without a screaming in the way that the dynamic does change and you have the beer in the bar afterwards in the chat and actually we find that more work gets done in the bar and over dinner after the meeting that often during the meetings? Sometimes I think why are we even bothering with the meeting?
We just go to the bar because we kind of get more out of it, productive. Yeah. Yeah, I think so. People open up and loosen up and when you can create an environment where people just trust each other in a very honest and open, then things start to happen. The right conversations start to happen. That’s what I try and facilitate, sit in the background and let them get on with it. Do you notice any, both in the business clubhouse and then also the mastermind sessions – do you notice any common recurring issues that you can share and how you overcome those? Yeah, I will say broadly. One of the big things is what I define it. A lack of self-worth. Like a self-value that sort of imposter syndrome piece and it spills out into different things. A lack of confidence in selling inadequate pricing structures. So people are really brightened saying this is what I’m worth and you should pay it.
And there’s a barrier around letting him go as well. I would say it is the second thing is that in order to grow and I’ll be totally honest here, some of the people we’re working with are deliberately shrinking but we’re growing their bottom line but shrinking their top line because we’re finding ways to actually generate profit without it becoming a cumbersome business because they want a lifestyle business. Fine. I’m all over that. Um, but there are a lot of barriers around. Well, if I get something else to do that, you know what to do as well. As many you might be mistakes. Yeah. But you’re doing everything and you’re making loads of mistakes. So let it go. We’re seeing a lot of frozen. Yeah. So yeah, I think that the two things probably stand out the most is that lack of self, not more self-confident that it’s just not valuing what they do And that translates and shows itself up in lots of different ways and trust the left is common on anything.
What do you teach pricing models like pricing theory or do you address the mindset stuff in regards to pricing? There’s a little bit of both. Because having run businesses myself and surrounding myself with smart people, you get an idea of what, how you can leverage pricing in in effective ways. But before you can do that personally, you’re working with needs to get their head in the right place to be able to accept the changes that they’re going to implement it. So, uh, perfect example. We spoke last week. Yeah, it is a moment. But yeah, I spoke to a client last week and she imports dog treat and they’re really high-end luxury dog treats now because of Brexit, the fees she’s having to pay. Both encourage logistically getting the gear over here and to import duty is now 8p per item. Whereas before it was zero and their costs have rebelled on the transport.
So she’s like, you know, my gross margin has gone down. it’s not, you know, I don’t know what to do what I’m doing. We need to put your prices up and you know, you need to pass that on to the customer. That’s just one of the impacts of Brexit. I don’t us, you’ve got a great customer base. They’re very loyal. They pay every month. They’ll understand. Oh, I’m not sure I wouldn’t actually, when you dig into it, she was reflecting her own scarcity mindset, She’s had some challenges herself. So she’s reflecting her own scarcity mindset on to her customers. She’s making an assumption because she’s worried about cash, that her customers are worried about cash, but our customers are paying £2030 a month for dog treats. These the kind of guy that will spend 200 quid on a dog bowl or will pop 50 quid’s worth of dog treats if they’re in Waitrose into their basket as they go past the aisle. It’s the cost of a bottle of wine. You know, every couple of days at home with dinner, it’s not an amount of money for them that they worry about.
And once she started to realise that, recognise that she was reflecting it, she went away, put the prices up 25%. Yes sir, he said, nobody batted an eyelid. But it’s getting to the point where you recognise it. You are not your customer and that’s the big thing. You are, you know this, you know through marketing, you are not your customer and you cannot reflect your own sections on the world and assume that your customer feels the same. They don’t right. I’ve I think most people exactly as you said with the example, most people struggle with the with that exact problem. But at what point do you think it becomes? You know, if you took that to the extreme, for example, there would be a point at which the, I suppose the prospect would say, yeah, that’s just too rich for me. How do you, how do you balance the two? Yeah, I think there’s a, there’s a point at which where the, where the prospect that does say it’s too rich for me, you’re right, so I think there’s a couple of solutions.
One is you go after different prospects, and you put your message in front of prospects who are prepared to pay that fee because there are always people out there or you come up with alternative products solutions that people can act at a lower price. So that’s exactly what we’ve done with the business, you know, created a product, we created a solution in the soles problem that we understand a lot of business owners seem to have and we’re giving it an accessible price, we were practically taken a zero off the price to make it accessible. So there’s that solution as well. But I also think there’s an element of understanding that when, when we’re talking about pricing and you’re getting to that pitch point, sometimes you’ve got to live on that razor blade of sort of uncertainty for a while where you’re not sure or take a leap of faith and really go hard with the pricing. So in my old, my old one of my very first businesses was a tennis coaching business and we had a real capacity problem. I think at the time we had 55 clubs I was working with at that time and we had a real capacity issues.
We were having to turn kids away, and it was breaking my heart because watching all these kids wanting to come along and play tennis and I was having to turn away. So somebody said to me, why don’t you just double your prices? And I said, well I lose half my customers. You just looked at me. So we did, and it wasn’t quite, it was, it was a hike. We went from about 580 to just over 11 lbs over 11 now. And that was to keep the term cost under a certain number was under 110 and we lost 30% of our costs. What we’re really interesting is that the next term we gained those 30%,, there’s people that stayed could afford the price increase, and they referred their friends who could also afford to fighting what that enabled us to do yeah, increase. So we’ve refilled capacity. We then had more profit. We were able to shave off some of the profit and we started a community for those who couldn’t afford the fees. So some of our pubs were in, you know, slightly more deprived areas that, you know, and like you know, families and kids to challenge than kinds of scenes of luxury, but I wanted kids to play.
So we were able to offer a person replaces nursery probe Hollywood, the prices up, created profit. Rocket gave us the leverage to be able to do some good. So everybody wants. So it was a brave thing to do. And I remember pressing the button and thinking, oh my God, it turned out okay. I like, I like the way you walk in the talk regarding both of your business clubhouse and the mastermind stuff. So you’re basically doing exactly what, what you’re advocating, which is great because I watched the show reel, the speakers show real. Have you got any plans in regards to that? When again things normalise? And also the book hitting the wall. What are your plans for both of those things? Um, wow, great question. You have done your research. Um, yeah, the speaker showroom, I need to update that, but I haven’t had an opportunity for about 18 months to do so Yeah, I really enjoy speaking. We were speaking before we started obviously about this whole way that looked, that has affected people as a kid.
I was really, really shy. So, so then, you know, I never would have thought I would stand at the NBC for instance, in front of 2.5 1000 people talking to business owners from the stage with Steve Wozniak, for example, it’s right now, there’s a part of me going, can I do that again, You know, because I had to grow into it from being that, but I think deep down if you’ve got a message and you’ve got stuff to share and an impact people and one person takes away that message or part of that message and does something with it and has a positive change, then I kind of take the view that I have to be on that stage, it was kind of a responsibility in many ways uncomfortably with me, but I recognise it part of what you do when you put yourself forwards in space. I mean, I guess so, yes, I would love to get back on stage, I would love the speaking again, you know, when I speak, I can have an impact with a lot of speaking in schools as well, that’s a really cool thing to be able to do, have the time to do that.
And it links in with the book because we wrote the book last and started it properly, really setting last April, we launched it in December. We got to number one in two categories on amazon and, and overall business books was really, really happy with and so I didn’t have the speaking platform, I just thought, well maybe this is the time to get a different type, get the message across through a different medium and we chose the book and it’s been really well received and what I’m finding is that when people read the book, they contact, they get in touch and they leave reviews and they email us and they say, this is really cool, How can I spend time with you? They’re not using those words, but that’s kind of the influence. Yes. So plan with the book honestly, is to try and give away about anything between 1000 and be brave enough to go to 2000 copies in the next 12 months, just give it like, yes, people are telling me there’s, I find it’s really uncomfortable Thomas, but people are telling me there’s a, a really strong message in the book that is significantly so I can get it out in front of more people in the right audience.
Yes, that’s the right thing to do. Well, I mean, I have to ask as a follow up, what’s the main message that you’d say is powerful within the book? There’re no spoilers, of course, no spoilers. I think the strap line of, you know, winning the game of business by breaking through your own barriers. Probably says it all. It’s a book that talks about my journey without being portrayed biographically because nobody really cares about me. It’s just about the lessons that I’ve learned. Running businesses having a business fail, losing my sister and our accident very unexpectedly. No one expected, you know what I mean? Um, nearly losing the relationship with my daughter, um, because I was so busy putting business and what I tried to do is just there’s still some of those experiences into simple lessons that people can take away. Things like how to build confidence in yourself.
Things like understanding your numbers because I played a huge part in me, losing my business is just hid from the numbers because I think a lot of business owners do and things like it’s okay to ask for help, you know, because a lot of people don’t, so I don’t know if there’s one overriding message other than it’s a fabulous quote from, there’s a slight bit of iron in here, but there’s a joyful note, but Rocky elbow, who is a fictional character has one of my all-time favourite quotes, which is if you want to see the most difficult opponent you are ever going to have to face. You need to look in the mirror. The most success is about beating yourself. It’s about being a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday. And I think it’s always going to take out one theme. That’s what runs through the book.
Well, that sort of comes back to your example about pricing, doesn’t it? And the quote is at the beginning of the book. So there is poignant, just coming back quickly to the business clubhouse and um, the mastermind stuff asked you about the common mistakes but also quite like to know of the people that you work with are doing the best, what would you say common traits that they tend to have in common? Great question. I went for a walk and talk with my membership manager yesterday. We were talking about this, we were talking about what is about the people that are really making a difference. And so one of our clients as a photographer using the mastermind and she’s basically had no work for a year and all she has done every session is said, right Ash, what can I do? Let’s not talk about what I can’t do. I can’t do weddings. I can’t do shoot. So I can’t go out and see people I can’t go and do expert empires and you know, in LA. And all the rest of it, what can I do? And It’s that that question there I think is the most common one that I see with the people who are successful. They focus on the things they can do and get on and do them. You know, the people that succeed. Some of some of my best clients, I barely hear from them every month. I’ve done this, I’ve done this, I’ve done this, I’ve done this. We’ve taken steps. These are results. What there’s either and they’re making those changes and they’re taking those steps despite the fear, despite the assumption that it might go wrong, they do it anyway. And it’s about taking action. It’s about not taking huge leaps. There are no magic ones in the world. Or if there are, I’ve never found any, but you just take along at 1% every day, you’re going to get somewhere as long as you’re aligned and you know where it is. You’re trying to get, take the steps, hey the step take action every day.
If you can say I’ve done something today, that’s moved me forward, then you can rest easy at night and go again the next morning. It’s not a definitive answer but that’s probably the best I can give you people take action. Mm And the flip side of that of course being looking for the reasons where it won’t work and just being stuck by that. Oh, completely, completely. We have a and sometimes it can be a bit of a compound effect. I’m working with a guy. He’s in his third year of mastermind urgent and it probably took 18 months for him to get over this sort of I get paid when I do the work by attitude. So I’d worked in a factory plopped in blocked off is conditioning if you like, is that I have to work 9 to 5 and it doesn’t really matter what the work is. As long as I’m putting in my eight hours a day and being productive doing something, you know, and trying to help him recognise it, he doesn’t have to be doing that work, Somebody else can be doing that work?
His job is to lead those people you trust me, get on with. It has been a long, only is laughable, but it’s been a long process, but he currently is sitting on in four of his best months ever and had six members of staff once he got over the hump, but it took him 18 months to get there. So it wasn’t a linear process, it wasn’t a straight line, it was battle. Battle okay by one person. Oh my God, they’re just works. What can I find? Another one can find? So yeah, that’s quite interesting. Is it? I try well that you give up on people, but people get there in their own time? I think I learned that from, you know, you can have 5 and 6-year-olds who look amazing and five other 5 and 6-year-olds around them are no good, but by the time they’re all eight years old, the other 5 and 6 year olds have caught up, it’s developed a different pace. Actually, humans develop at a different place when you’re learning a new skill or you’re trying to reshape or reshape your mindset in thinking a different way. People do it at different levels. You have to allow for that.
So when did you go from coaching tennis into your business? When did that happen? It was a kind of a did I fall into it? So when I lost my business in 2013 – remember the dates and 6? I’d already started mentoring, I had already started, I was working with a lot of coaches who were setting up their own businesses and helping them. I’ve been networking for the first time in my life because it happens to me. I met my bookkeeper through networking, for example pattern and I thought, okay, this is interesting. And when I lost the business I was a little bit of the loss, I had another business that was picking me over for a while and people, I just found that people were asking me to help, they were just coming to me with questions. So how do I do this? How do I do that? I just don’t want, we’ll happily help you. You would you mind paying a bit sort of shyly and they said yes, okay, well we have another session next month, will you pay for that?
Yes, Okay, well would you like to go into a retainer? So it’s sort of organically evolved and I didn’t really think beyond sort of survival for six or 7 months. And then I looked at my experience of coaching sports and I thought what the lessons I can take from that in terms of running the businesses and delivery that I can bring into the business environment. And one of the things I realised very, very quickly is that the kids that I worked with Excel when they were competitive against their peers, not me. So I would have conversations with parents along the lines of why aren’t you playing with my child? Because I’ll never play him in a tournament. I’m bigger than him and stronger than him and far better than him. He needs to play against other 8-year-olds because it’s 8-year-olds that he’s got to beat, you know, so and so we would create squads. So I see my mastermind program as a squad of business owners. Yes, they’re playing the game of business.
They are using different tools, they’ve got different business models, but there is a there is a very subtle edge of competitiveness between them, but also collaborative nous because there’s no direct competition, so you don’t get people turning up and saying I haven’t done the stuff I’m supposed to, I haven’t practiced The other seven guys in the room will go, why not? You know, we’re a team here, so, so it was very much an organic going back to questions. It’s very much a sort of organic shift. I found myself of clients. I started my first mastermind. You know, a lot of people in 12 months, people liked it, they got results, so we, you know, you want to go again, yeah, we might have a few more people in. and then, you know, sort of ticked along like that I brought in people to help me newspapers, bookkeepers, I found very quickly that, Okay, well that mirrored my coaching background as well, in that I might be a greater, technically working with 5, 6, 7, 8-year-olds.
That was my real spot, sort of 3 to 8-year-old with my little donor genius on the tennis court. But when we got the better players who were technically far more competent, I would bring in other experts and I would bring in physios, I bring in nutritionist, I bring in personal trainers, I bring in psychologists because I don’t know that and it would be stupid of me to try and deliver stuff. I’m not qualified it, I’m not experienced in, so you surround yourself with people who better than you. So while I understand the principles of marketing on and deliver it is it will write off a copy. So suddenly you find yourself with a team. I’m at my happiest with the team. His No, it’s just, you know, it’s who I am. I like being surrounded by people and we can get together and make Yeah and here we are. So I would, you know, I didn’t wake up one morning and I’m gonna do this sort of, I get to do now, But I’ve been doing since I was 13 years old, brilliant.
Thing is I don’t have to run and do it. So just to for the sake of other people also learning the lesson because you learn more by losing than you do by winning. What was the thing, what was the main thing that you with the first business that you were referring to? I think you referred to as the bottom line numbers. Perhaps what was that thing that you were neglecting or trying to shy away from? but you know what, I’m not, I’m not unintelligent and I and most people are not unintelligent and I love numbers, but I love numbers in the context of understanding them in the way that I want to understand them. So you show me a such sales funnel. I’m all over that because that’s really that’s really exciting to me. You show me a balance sheet and I’m like, I don’t really know what that means, and I don’t want to look stupid. Nobody at school ever pulled out a balance sheet in math class and said this is what a balance sheet looks like.
This is what P&L looks like. This is what cash flow forecast looks like. This is what the budget looks like. I’ve never seen one. And when we are faced with things we don’t understand, we want, that’s just people hide. Generally, they hide. And I think we’ve been conditioned in school as well. That certainly for me, two things happen when I put my hand up at school, the teacher said, oh not you again want to keep up. All my mates beat me up in the playground afterwards being a slot on features so you learn really quickly not to put your hand up. So there was a gap in my knowledge, I was afraid to ask questions. And there were things that I didn’t know about. Business and business numbers being really key. I didn’t understand the princess of break even. I didn’t really recognise that as a tennis coach on my own. I could have a low winter make hay in the summer and it would balance itself out because the only balance sheet I have to worry about was my own. When you Put that into an environment where you’ve got 12 clubs and there’s over 1000 Children playing rather than 100 or so.
It’s the compound change there in terms of cash flow was enormous The week we could do 40 grand a day in the summer and 100 quid in November, You know, across 12, 10 years and I didn’t, I knew a level that that was a problem and my manager would say to me, we’ve got no money to buy my answer to everything was it’ll sort itself out, don’t worry about it, it will come good, I’ll find a way, I’ll fix it, I’ll be right and I shied away from actually understanding where we are, where we were with the numbers and it was only and I missed this out in the book. I should have put it in there. But it was only, I remember getting a call from reception in the posh offices we had in reading because you know, kind of approaching company needs an office for six people in the middle of reading On an 18 month contract. I remember getting a call from reception and I went downstairs and the VAT man was in reception. Okay, well, I was 30 grand – hey, how much can you pay today?
I look back on it and I just think, oh my God, it’s just so stupid. But I meet people all the time who say I don’t have the money to pay the VAT. I know now it’s not my money, I have a separate account to put it into cause I’m just holding on its the best scheme of the device, isn’t it? You know, we hold onto the money on behalf of the government and then just pass it on when it’s appropriate and they just recirculate and, but it’s not my money. So it’s things like that. I just didn’t understand the principle of taxation. I didn’t understand, I think that that’s how we take in a nutshell. I didn’t understand the principle of how money moves through a business on a month, new quarterly and annual, if you take a pound coin and start with that point and coin at point of purchase and what a pound coin travels through a business. And this is an exercise we do with our clients at what point does the pound coin actually disappear? And for many businesses you run out of pounds before 30-day cycle is over.
Yeah, I just did not understand anything better now. Well thank you, thank you for sharing it because I don’t doubt for a second that there are many people as you probably already know in that same position. Yeah, I think I think you’re right. I think people are, well we all concentrate and we all focus on the things that we could have had a great conversation, do some volunteer work at local secondary school speaking and I’m an enterprise advisor. So basically my job is to let the local work community with the students and create a speaker to work. one of the girls reached out to me and she was saying that she wants to go to university, she loves the thought of doing nutrition fitness, but she’s not having a great experience with her PhD level, she’s doing to Anthropology and psychology. Oh it’s pretty I like to, what are you not enjoying about?
You know the PE calls and says well I’m fourth at nine. I hate basketball and making me play basket. And actually when we dug down actually it’s because she doesn’t like basketball, she’s not enjoying it. She likes the other elements of it. So what about basketball is there that she could learn to like, what elements of basketball can she use as a performance goal training opportunities for her taekwondo because she’s a taekwondo national champion. So can she use it as an opportunity to challenge the dynamic balance to go into that 40 minute basketball lesson, Thinking about right, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to improve my taekwondo skills by focusing okay, and that just changed everything for her. She was able to see that actually, right? I’ve been burying my head in the sand trying to avoid it because I don’t like it, but I can face it and use it as a lever to improve the long-term goal. My attitude towards it now is very, very different because you can see a reason for doing it. It’s the same with numbers. If you can, people recognise that numbers have thought no more or no less than it all.
Thank you, achieve your long-term vision or your long-term goal, then they become real. I always think of numbers now as keeping score rather than accounts business is a game. If you’re winning, you’re making a profit. If you’re losing. You know, you’re not making it if you imagine watching a football match with no scoreboard looking for or watching the golf tournament or playing golf without people. It finds all sports isn’t keeping school otherwise, but most people, I think playing golf without the school would probably be a lot less stressful for them, but there is that, but I get the analogy, Um, on a scale of 1-10 coming back to numbers, how much would you say that you’re, because you’ve got expertise now in the area, how much would you want to go back into that business, knowing what, you know now? You know, I got asked this last week by, by somebody who so we ever thought about going back into town schedule II, I think on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say three, it would fail, I might change my mind in a year or so that it would feel like back and, you know, I’m qualified and I could step back and I have to do some CBD and upgrade, I could step back into it, but also, do you know what?
I’m seven or 8 years older. It would hurt and it’s, you know, I tried to play a play to tell as much about four years ago move for three days. It’s just crazy. And like, I could go in and probably run a club and going on a consultancy basis. That part of my life is done. Really. No, I’m it gave losing the business, certainly not killed, but it certainly diluted a lot of passion I have for the game. Two or three is probably not going to get you through the tough times, is it? No, no, I don’t think there’s always something else, like, what was the scenario around when someone asked you for help as a, as a business coach or perhaps just help in general, not, not, not phrasing it in that particular way. What was that like, what was that story? Like, how did you feel valued? But you know, you’re one of the questions you asked earlier is like one of the, what are the challenges that people face internally, what the common themes and that sort of self-worth and I think when you and you build something up and you, I literally was sort of walking around like a big I am, I built reasonably wasn’t millions, but we built a reasonably successful business in a very short period of time and I was somebody in several worlds, in my local entrepreneurial world and that sort of circuit if you like, and within the tennis world as well and when that wall comes crashing down, you really start to challenge who you are, whether you’re worthy I suppose whether you have any value, when people come to you and start saying and you help us what these questions you’ve done this, you know, the answer is actually starts to build that those layers of self-value and self-respect, I believe that that’s what it felt like for me is I almost could feel my, I don’t know my value battery because another prize being popped up being recharged because people were telling me that I was, I was worth being in their lives and around them and they valued what I had to say.
Yeah, sure. And I think deep down we all need self-validation and external elevation as much as it should come from self, we all need external validation. Well, sort of understandable if you go from what you were talking about how you felt with the batman and then going to someone who really wants your advice, those two are quite a contrast of situations, aren’t they? Yeah. And you know, it wasn’t just about man, there are a lot of things that happened in that business with people as well and you know the people, I’m a great believer that the people who surround you with can really influence who you are and where you go and you’re thinking and I thought I surrounded myself with the right sort of people were quite wary as well when people were coming to me and saying, can you help with this? It was just a real okay, not all people are like that who value me due respect me. Respect is quite a big word as well. I’ve lost self-respect. Help black people.
So the changes, that was cool. How long before you decided to go into it as a full on business limited company if you like and what did it first looked like? So I set up the limited company in 2000 16, I think it was back in 2016 I think yes, it wasn’t and it wasn’t a kind of all right, I’m going to do this, it just felt the right thing to do. I was chatting to my accountant and he just said, look, you generate some decent revenue, you’ve got some costs. You probably at the stage where I would advise you from a perspective who registered the company is limited, just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s going to mean, you know, a little bit, but I’ll be able to give you some more support and ice. It’s just technically it seemed to make sense mostly from a tax perspective what was quite interesting and you then said, and I also think you should register for that, okay, it’s a bit scary to want him coming around.
But to kind of really, it was mostly for technical reasons we did that, but it has made a big difference because I, what happened overnight for me as I went from being business coach, that’s how I position myself, my name is Taylor, I’m a business coach, help specialise in helping people productivity because that’s what I did then that was the real focus, I thought people wanted to do more, it’s really good to do this. But I kind of overnight, I remember thinking, oh I own a business again, right, so my name is Ashley Turner and I own a business that helps people in there was a threat to. All right. But I think I had when I had my tennis business, but I’ve forgotten that. And it’s something I talked to. It’s one of the very early questions I ask people when I meet them, I always say, so what do you do? nine nine out of 10 people?
Well, answer, I’m a florist, I’m a Mark, I’m a videographer, I’m a photographer. So long. What changes in terms of their ability to run and leverage the business effectively is when they’re confidently able to say my name is, you know, john and I am the owner of the opportunities be personalised. Part of that process is making it a limited company that you’re giving birth to a separate legal entity. You have a responsibility to that entity. But it’s not you. huh. You and that does, it does have a big shift many people. Yeah. Often when I say, you know, people ask me what I do and I say I’m a business owner there. Like I have a follow up question. I doesn’t tell me anything. Well I did I did the census filled out the census on Sunday. I really struggled with because I didn’t know how to answer the question a couple questions.
So it was you know, are you self-employed. Not only by looking for work. Well I’m obviously I’m employed. That’s how we’ve structured our accounts for tax purposes. I get my PAYE allowance and then dividends but I’m not an employee I’m not a sole trader. I couldn’t answer the question. And my wife and I were like she’s just like can also how do you answer that question? I liked the what’s your main activity? Oh director that’s my job is to direct the shape of the business. I sort of interpreted it as like what do you do on an ongoing basis? The most. All right I’m gonna have to think about this. I’m not really too sure what I do. It was I don’t know if it was deliberate or if they just haven’t ups is I don’t know it’s just you know what I mean that they have to fill because data is only as good as the input you give it and I’ve been gone through that on the weekend and now questioning the input therefore the data that will come out.
You mentioned productivity so you know I’d regret it if I didn’t ask you about that. What’s the I don’t know what’s the summary of the best advice that you could give someone on how to be more productive. Whoa That’s a great question. Okay. simply I would say The # one thing is to wow people don’t plan people turn up to the day and allow it to happen to them and I n urged people to. I know yeah and their quarter I work I still work in terms so we have three times a year every day You ask questions about you know, scale of 1 to 10, maybe a bit of me still have you know that part of my life. So I work in school times because it’s but I find and I know you know I know for a fact I could open up my diary now and there will be lots available for clients in September next year.
I don’t know who those clients which will fill them but the slots are available. So everything revolves around being more organised than everybody else. I can be more organised and plan ahead of everybody else that everybody needs to fit in around me. So an example of that is I had a message from somebody yesterday, I saw it today because it was on Messenger and I have no notifications on my phone which is another thing productivity tip Yeah, just notifications cut them off. and So he said Oh have you got 10 minutes today? Victory is I’ve always done for the day. I found it I find it last night but it was planned a week ago so I have no room. I don’t have aspect You can book a call with me look 15 minute call with me, you might get something middle of next week. But because my stuff goes in first, it all comes back to you asked the question about vision, it all comes back to also, I think you know, I know what I want to achieve personally in business, so I know what the big rocks are, if you like that, I need to have dan’s, they go into my diaries, Everything else to sort of spills in around the holidays first, golf, second, along with time and my daughter, they came now, you know what people are, yeah, um, and you know, late night, they go in the diary first and then its mastermind sessions because they fixed our calls workshops that were running all business activity in terms of delivery, where I need to be there, everything else, just sort of, it’s like sand in a jar where you usually fill that jar up, yes, you know the big stones and the shells, you pull the big rocks in first and then you allow the sand spaces around it.
I think that’s the answer is just, you have to learn to one, you have to work out what’s important to me and then you need to write to you and you need to prioritise those things in your and the other productivity tip in a nutshell I would say is If anyone’s listening to this and has ever been in a situation where they have needed the emergency services. So whether it’s an ambulance or something, breaking into your house at 2:00, you know, you can hear people get in through the door. You’re not going to send them an email. Are you Pick up the phone and dial 999. You are not going to send an email. Trouble is is that when we receive emails, who perceives them as an urgent form of communication. If it’s urgent, I’ll pick up the phone and by checking your emails at the beginning of the day, what you’re doing is you’re allowing other people long your day. You’re allowing other people hate how your day unfolds.
So I refuse to look at my email or 9 30. Now I’ll give myself a little half hour slot to look at my emails. And then I look at them again at 4:35. Because I know if I look at an email, you never get an email saying, oh, I’ve done this for you. You always get an email saying, can you do this for me And whoever invented reply all should be $20. Yeah. I really like the prioritising it based on the type of communication. I’ve not heard that before. If someone is willing to send an email, then it can’t be that high priority. Even if it has urgent in capital letters in the subject line, pick up the phone and then we have a rule within the business that if we send emails to each other, it’s for information or long-term purposes not to be outcome. We use Slack. Great points. Thank you very much for all the information. I think it’s been a great conversation. Can I ask where is the best place for people to find you?
As you said earlier, I’m a busy man, so I’m around in lots of places, usual social media channels, I’m easy enough to find. But everything kind of funnels through the business clubhouse website, which is the businessclubhouse.co.uk. If people want a copy of the book, they can, you know, there’s a tab on there, do that and I’ll send people a signed copy of the book if they want it. I’m quite happy to give them away, put them in peoples’ hands. And if they take something from it, then that’s great. So that’s for people listening if they’re interested.
Okay, well, thank you again. I think it’s been great. And Ash Taylor, I’ll speak to you soon.
Thank you, Thomas, appreciate the opportunity.