You cannot do it on your own. This is the single most important lesson that I have learnt over my career to date. When I have chosen to ignore, avoid or skirt around this fact I have made countless expensive mistakes and created problems that with just a pinch of hindsight, were huge schoolboy errors.
What does having a Power Team mean to me now? In simple terms I am not alone in making decisions as a businessman, husband, father or just a simple human being. This is not me searching for permission from another source or higher body before I make progress or try to move forward, it is having the strength and ability to ask for, receive and listen and then act upon the help that I am given.
For me a PowerTeam consists of 5 key components:
The Coach – Personal and Professional
The Wealth Manager
The Mastermind Group
The bonus element for many would be religion – religion can come in many forms, from your God through to your sport or community. It is that release, that Zen place, that place of calm and reflection.
The Coach – Personal and Professional
Why do I have a coach, when I am a coach myself? A coach does not need to be an expert in the area that you specialise in, they need to be able to enable and assist the coachee to uncover their own formula for success. To discover the areas and elements that are holding them back and agree the steps to seeing an action through to completion. A coach is not there to mentor you on how they build x or how they did y, it’s totally about the coachee not the coach, which is not always easy to find. I now work well with a coach that takes none of my ‘BS’, asks the questions behind my answers and digs deep. I sadly have had weak coaches in the past who have listened to my stories and been seduced by my answers without uncovering my true motivation or direction. The foundation of all behavioural change that a coach is trying to help you access is unlocking emotion, not emotion that makes you break down in tears but the emotional connection between where you are and what you want to achieve – without emotion behavioural change will not happen.
The Wealth Manager
Historically my parents and many people from their generation trusted implicitly in the advice and connections given to them by their Bank Manager – they were the hub of the community, beyond reproach with a black book containing the answer to all our questions. Sadly that is not true anymore, and to be fair the older generation do still have a tendency to believe what is in the newspapers as well.
How does this work for me in the format of a Wealth Manager? This person and their team looks out for the bigger picture of where I am taking my finances to, what I need to spend and in turn what I need to be bringing in, in order to achieve those goals. It makes no difference whether those goals are driving big flash cars, putting kids through private education or going on long exotic holidays in far off places – someone else needs to fully understand how that is all calculated and help you to achieve these goals. It’s not about selling you the latest product they can think of; it is the bigger picture of wealth in line with what you as an individual desire or need.
The Accountant for me has one role in my world and that is to make sure I am paying all the taxes that I need to pay. Simple – and of course not a penny more than I need to. There is a balance here required between a Compliance Accountant and a Management Accountant, both skills are very necessary for obvious different reasons. The one talks to HMRC and tells you what to pay, the other tells you whether you are currently making any money from what you are doing and where you either need to tighten your belt or put your prices up. I firmly believe that there are skills that you need, skills that would be nice to have and other areas where I clearly do not want to be the expert and I will buy in that skill – accountancy is one of those areas. With my wife helping as my book-keeper we know the management accounts and therefore only need to use the compliance elements of the Accountant’s skill set, that may well change. As an employee, an entrepreneur or anything in-between there are many ways this profession can save you money and make you money – having been on the receiving end of an HMRC enquiry because of my overseas investments, that support was incredibly valuable to me, trying to sort it all on my own would have costs a great deal more overall.
Legal is legal – no business person or individual wants to spend money with Solicitors. The clock starts ticking and the open cheque book comes out onto the table, a very frightening situation for most. However if the advice is sought at the beginning of an adventure, venture or collaboration it will save a lot of heartache at a later date when relationships go their separate ways. No wedding ever needs a prenuptial agreement when the couple get married, but when the proverbial hits the fan they really do. In recent times I had a contract broken on me by a client, I double checked that my T&C’s were watertight with my Solicitor – they were – this meant the client was due to pay 100% of the cancelled contract and so it was up to me and my conscience as to what I was willing to negotiate on.
The Mastermind Group
The Mastermind Group – have a look at previous articles I have written on Masterminding. You will also find elements within my book – FAFF, the False Art of Feeling Fulfilled. In short for me a Mastermind means a group of non-competitive business people meeting to support, learn and provoke each other. No one person is in charge, all are there to support each other and in-between each meeting members meet up and hold each other accountable for the actions they committed to. All members of a Mastermind Group are there to learn and discover skills and ideas that they would not get from their normal working environment – one such group uses the wonderful phrase, “The board you could never afford”. After any Mastermind session it is entirely up to the individual to either take or not take action, none of the members can make you do anything. However, if as a member of a Mastermind Group an individual goes through the motions and doesn’t take action, there clearly is no point in them taking part as they are wasting their time, money and effort and should leave and make room for someone else to join.
That Zen place – sport has always been a religion to me, from my days attempting to play a high standard of rugby through to where I spend my time now trying not to get drowned in a water polo pool or building up to swim the English Channel. Sport has always been part of me, releasing anger and angst, a form of meditation and focus, hunger and passion. I’m good but not good enough to make a living from it. Good enough to make an impact as part of a team or just being fit for life. Where is your Zen place? The inside of a beer barrel or other stimulant is a false place of release, while pleasant or great at the time it is never a long term solution.
With or without a Power Team, we are likely to make errors. However the difference is they will be well considered beforehand and the potential negative fallout will be known in advance and can be planned for and managed effectively. I firmly believe that as an employee, CEO or freelance consultant we will all achieve more in our lives, discover the true depth of our brilliance and leave a positive footprint in the world as a result of us being here. Doing it on your own may work for some, but I believe in making the journey easier by surrounding myself with the right Power Team for me. Good luck in the recruitment of your own Power Team!