Join Up Dots Business Coaching Podcast

Todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast is a man who I am truly delighted to get to speak to. When you start a show like Join Up Dots, you hope with all your heart that the words, and advice will make a difference to someone, somewhere across the world. Someone will listen and think just like I did many years ago, "I think I can do this and make a go of it" Well todays guest did that and after leaving the following review on iTunes I looked to get him on the show to start joining up the dots of his life. As he says "Listening to this podcast week in, week out has given me the confidence to take the plunge and set up my own business. My only regret.. I wish I  had done it sooner! The guidance, tips and advice offered by David has been invaluable and I can only attribute the success I've had with my business to the valuable wisdom provided in these podcasts." But how has he done it? After leaving the university of Birmingham with a bachelors of science, he began for a period of six years working for a series of financial advising companies around the Bristol area of the UK As he says "After leaving University I decided on a change of direction. I completed a financial planning graduate programme with one of the UK’s largest financial advice networks and have worked in the financial services profession ever since. Then I worked in several financial advisory firms, big and small, learning what works and what doesn’t. My areas of expertise include working with small business owners, self-employed consultants & contractors, as well as professionals such as lawyers, solicitors and accountants." And now with his own company and his expanding team of colleagues he is really starting to see what I say in every episode. So what was the moment when he thought "Ok, its time to get going and do my own thing?" And what was the hardest part...getting his mindset going himself, or convincing his colleagues to start working with him and his fledgling enterprise? Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only James Mackay Show Highlights During the show we discussed such weight subjects with James Mackay such as: James shares how he loves creating the goals of financial freedom for his guests, not simply advising on what to do with their money. We talk about the process of deciding on what the business is going to be for the founders. Why create a business that becomes a nightmare. James reveals how he was willing to put the effort into his business at the beginning, but knew that he had to hold himself back from burnout. And lastly................. Why James and his partner believe that you should only do what you truly love doing and outsource the rest. How To Connect With James Mackay Website Facebook Twitter Linkedin Return To The Top Of James Mackay If you enjoyed this interview with James Mackay why not check out other inspiring interviews like Clint Arthur, Lunden DeLeon and Jack Canfield Or of course you can check out thousands of podcast interviews in our archives here Interview Transcription For James Mackay Interview David Ralph 0:01 Once upon a time, there was a guy with a dream a dream, which is Jobs himself online and have a kick ass life working when he wanted him where he wanted across the world. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt. Until he found the magic ingredient and knows drunk was became a thing of the past, of course, was bad person. And now My dream is to make things happen. BU Welcome to Join Up Dots. Intro 0:31 When we're young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be but somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here's your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph. David Ralph 0:56 Yes, I love it. Good morning, everybody. Good morning, and welcome to Join Up Dots welcome to a very special episode because this guy is a guy who kind of connected through the world of virtual life. And I tried to hunt him down by making a play on an episode. And Ben he just sort of walked out of the woodwork and and he was there anyway. So um, he's on the show and he's a guest joining us on the podcast, as he is a man who has, as I say, I'm truly delighted to get to speak to when you start a show like Join Up Dots you hope with all your heart, but the words and advice will make a difference to someone somewhere across the world. Someone will listen and think just like I did many years ago, I think I can do this. I think I could make a go of it. Well, today's guest did that. And after leaving the following review on iTunes, I looked to get him on the show to start joining up the dots of his life. As he said, listening to this podcast week in week out has given me the confidence to take the plunge and set up my own business My only regret. I wish I had done it sooner. The guidance tips and advice offered by David has been invaluable and I can only attribute the success I've had With my business Ted a valuable wisdom provided in these podcast me, but how has he done it? After leaving the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor's of Science he began for a period of six years working for a series of financial advising companies around the Bristol area of the UK and as he says, After leaving university, I decided on a change of direction I completed a financial planning Graduate Programme with one of the UK is largest financial advice network and have worked in the financial services profession ever since. Then, I worked in several financial advisory firms big and small, learning what works and what doesn't. And my areas of expertise include working with small business owners, self employed consultants and contractors as well as professionals, such as lawyers, solicitors, and accountants, and now with his own company, and he's expanding team of colleagues. He's really starting to see and do what I say in every episode. So what was the moment when you thought okay, okay, it's time to get going and do my own thing and What was the hardest part? getting his mindset going himself or convincing his colleagues to start working with him and he's fledgling enterprise? Well, let's find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only James McCown. James Mackay 3:15 Good morning James. How are you? Unknown Speaker 3:18 Morning David and I'm really well thank you and what one introduction that was so thank you very much and as well, David Ralph 3:25 yeah, no, you are somebody is rocking and rolling because you've decided but you can do it and you can go out and you've gone into with big one aid. excitable eyes, although when I first spoke to you, you was less than excitable. He was Good morning, David. How are you? And I said, you know, let's perk it up, James that Yeah. James Mackay 3:49 I'm bouncing now. So this is a dreary, dreary, November morning in in Bristol, so maybe that was that's the excuse anyway, that I've got no very really pleased to be on the show. And yeah, thank you for doing what you do. Listen to most episodes, and I've kind of tracked you for, for quite a while. And yeah, it's been fascinating. Wow, David Ralph 4:13 thank you so much. And that's the end of me that let's move on to you. Because one of the things I want you to understand James is about those clouds. It's not dreary. And if you increase your altitude, Ben, it's always happy. Somebody said this to me once and I say a lot on the show because it's true. But jet pilots only have sunny days, because they're higher up. And so if we raise our sort of expertise and our standards, it's always going to be sunny in our life. Isn't it always a naive point of view as you are ploughing into growing your new business? James Mackay 4:48 No, absolutely. I think I think you're right. It's all in the mind, isn't it at the end of the day. I'm not really miserable, even though I think I maybe just had too much of a late night but yes, absolutely ready figure. David Ralph 5:02 Right? So let's talk about you because this this is fascinating. And as I say, I wanted you on the show and I set out my network to find you and then you just kind of bumbled into my life anyway. So it was it was brilliantly easy. So you were, are you interested? This is the key point to me, because I would be bored, stupid doing what you're doing, because I just haven't got regulation in my blood. I like to cut corners. I like to make things happen. And I know with the FSA as it used to be in whatever it is now. There's restrictions all the way around, does working in financial industries excite you and interest you or is it a job? James Mackay 5:45 Well, some people think financial advice can be boring. Yes, I understand that. But I mean, if I flip it in terms of you know your analogy a minute ago in terms of mindset, I mean, the things that we concentrate on Suppose the outcomes that we deliver for people and I don't think those are boring. So for you know, for example, you know, helping people build wealth faster to hit financial freedom or retirement sooner or giving people peace of mind that they know if anything happens to them, you know, their family will be taken care of. So, you know, if we really drill down on what we do, as much as you know, the legislation, the regulation, tax, all these kind of things, they can't they can be boring, yeah. But putting everything together and, and delivering those things. And, you know, most human beings want security, they want freedom, and and we kind of help them achieve that in in one way or another another So, so no, I don't find it that boring actually. I quite enjoy it. You know, you learn a huge amount about various different People who learn about their storeys that businesses what they want to get out of life and, and if you can be a small part of of helping them along their journey. I think it's, you know, it's a great profession personally, but I can see why I was boring. David Ralph 7:17 Yeah, no, but I agree with everything you said there. Because you know, in in that regard we're no different because I hopefully inspire people to do it. I'm actually I changed 360 recently and for the first three or four years of Join Up Dots, it was all about global domination, it was all about growth. And now I'm I'm fascinated with anti scale and I was on a podcast episode yesterday being interviewed. And I'm fascinated about how can you make the smallest business possible so that when you open your email, you've only got interested customers, you haven't got all the rubbish by blasting it out. Now we've yourself, obviously you've got to start getting customers. And as I say, constantly on Join Up Dots. Most people start a business because they think, Oh, I'm good at this thing, but then they suddenly realise there's a lot of other things that I need to be good at, or at least possible at the start getting the ball rolling, that one thing is just not enough. How did you do it? How did you go from saying, let's start this business to getting the first customer through the door? James Mackay 8:28 Good question. Actually, we, we spent a long time planning that this is I should also say, I've got a co co director, Chris. And also I better give a shout out to him. So we've kind of planned it together. But we, we we started off the business really with an idea of what we didn't want to be, I suppose. So I think a lot of people, rightly in many cases, think of advisors This kind of middle aged men in shiny suits that that talk, you know, talk a load of jargon filled language and the world of finance can be made simple, or it can be made extremely complex. And I think it's over complicated in a lot of areas and we wanted to simplify everything. So we have a bit of a saying sort of, you know, do it in crayon, where people can, you know, really understand, you know, concepts, whether it's you have to do with investments or whatever it is. So we kind of that was that was that was one that was one of the reasons we kind of the idea was was was born about I think also financial services, broadly. isn't the most highly trusted profession. I think we're probably somewhere between, I don't know, estate agents and car salesman with with respective professions. And yeah, exactly. And so we want and so we wanted we were really wanted to be a business that was the highest of honesty and integrity. And that was a, you know, a non negotiable. So, you know, we we think of that as having sort of the family test, you know, is the advice that we give to each of our clients the advice that we would give to a member of our family. And those big firms and banks can't can't say that they do that I don't think, David Ralph 10:24 well, I used to work for NatWest bank, I'm going to give him a name check, because they're not really around anymore in that West Bank. And we used to just sell stuff because we could sell it. Well, there wasn't any sort of qualms about it the customer needed or anything back in the 80s. It was just a tick box culture of Yeah, there's a few sales get down the pub in the afternoon and that was it, you know, you just did it. So it is brilliant, how it has become regulated as well. But one of the things that I was interested in, what you were saying is how you and your partner decided on what type of business you wanted. Become It can become a nightmare. So many people plough into it, they go into the scale by go for the financial rewards but then realised by never leaving their office. They're working incredibly long hours. And to be honest, they might as well have stayed at work, working for somebody else leaving at five o'clock. I mean, going back to it the next day. Did you have those kind of discussions about Yes, we want it to be like this. We want to provide the freedom for ourselves and not just our customers. James Mackay 11:29 Exactly that I mean, you hit the nail on the head, you know, we spend our time, our time helping people live, you know, live their lives by design. And it would be a bit hypocritical if we weren't to do the same. So we had an idea of what we wanted to build we we don't want our business to to scale to some dizzying heights and take on the world. We want to remain pretty small, pretty nimble. Look after people really well and and specialise in what we do as well, I think that's important. So for any business to actually find your, your target market and and and, you know, go deep on that rather than be all things to all people. David Ralph 12:17 Yeah if you go niche you get rich and I spend a lot of time now, as I say working with people because we we've got a business coaching platform going deeper and deeper. And when I started doing it, I thought I was going deep. But now every time I train somebody, we go even deeper and we find the rewards greater because quite simply, there's less competition. Now with yourself James, being the sexy individual you are. Are you the kind of person that can seduce people into your office because it's still you? You didn't answer it really James, you didn't answer it. So I'm going to come at it from a different way. Yeah, how did you get that first customer to go? Yes, this company's only been around two minutes but I'm gonna trust them How did you do that? James Mackay 13:11 Really it was first first customer was a family member in all honesty but I'll but I'll wipe that aside is getting out there oh no why David Ralph 13:21 why would you want that? Because that is that is a customer you know you are targeting people that need your help and I think so many people make the mistake of thinking, Okay, I'm in London I need clients from you know New York but actually you need the next door neighbour you need to personally in the next room. James Mackay 13:39 Oh, yeah, exactly. I was gonna open so cuz I didn't answer your question. But really, for me, it's getting out there and meet meeting people. And I think when you get out there and meet people in your local area, let your local community whether it's networking, I still I still attempt to play rugby although my body's trying to stop me, and, and and, you know, meeting people and if you know if they kind of learn a little bit about you learn a little bit about your business, understand what we do differently, then a lot of people are quite interested, and whether that's luck or judgement, I'm not sure that we've had a really David Ralph 14:22 so where's the difference in James? where's where's the difference? Well, what would you do that is different because that is what, you know, benefits and services aren't sexy. But the difference is what makes a difference in what you do, how you create the vision of what somebody is going to get how their life is going to change. How do you express that difference to them? James Mackay 14:46 Yeah, well, expressing it is one thing really, we've tried to show them so we try and put we try and put their numbers into into pictures really. Which sounds like a strange concept. We can show them using a few different tools that we have financial planning software and all these kinds of things. And really we can put in someone's you know, financial life understand what they want their future to look like. And we can show them whether they're online on track to achieve it or not, and if not what they have to do to course correct. What are the things that they can do today to achieve what they want to do, whether it's, you know, becoming financially independent and retiring at 5560 whether it's travelling the world, whether it's, can they afford to spend more now and not put so much weight for the future. So, really, we we focus much more on the big picture of our clients financial lives, because people don't really have financial goals in my experience. They have they have life goals with financial implications, and so we focus on far more about their life. Well, they're trying to achieve and answering, you know, the, the big picture questions that they have. And I think we take away a lot of people walk around with sort of a burden of, you know, uncertainty and worry about the future. And I think we help, you know, we take that off their shoulders to some extent, by doing what we do. So, we do we do to, you know, things quite different from the norm of, you know, just catching up having a cup of tea and chatting about what the investment markets has done recently, and I think that's, that's one of the biggest things that we found our clients have really sold on Well, that's different. We really want to do that. So yeah. David Ralph 16:44 Yeah, because that sexy time isn't it? The vision is sexy time I had a guest on the show. I lady can't remember the name but like me, but she was a financial person in America. And she basically said to people, it's not about having lots of money in the bank account is about having experiences, what do you what do you want most from and let's try and bring that into your life. And I think but yes, I want to support my kids, but I don't want to support my kids, if it means that I'm not having a good life, you know, basically, I want to go out travelling when I want, I want to go your way with a wife when I want. And then when I die, I say to the kids, look, there's there's a bit of money for you. But I've had a bloody good time. And it was all my effort. That's where I think it is. And that's what I think a lot of people fail miserably in your industry, but they're talking about, you know, high interest savings accounts and switching ditch and all the kinds of stuff all important. James Mackay 17:44 Yeah, but it is not boring. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And understanding what you want to do. Some people some people know that like you know yourself you want to sort of you know, you're only here once you want to live depending on the beliefs that You know, most people only only here once and want to make the most of it. And, and I think, you know, having the knowledge of what that means, you know what you really want to do what you we often we often ask a question to, to two people to stay if they're struggling to really, you know, if they're just Well, I want to retire at this sort of age. We say, Well, you know, if you were, if you were struggling, health wise, if you didn't have that long to go, what would you regret not doing? And that is it's a difficult question to ask and it's an even more difficult question to answer. But often that you know, asking yourself that can really help you understand some of the some of the things that you would really love to do. You know, I think I think you know, you know, we don't we don't often give ourselves time. to really think about the future, think about what we're trying to get out of life. And, and, and really sitting down and having a think about those sorts of things. Like you may or may not have done, but by the sounds that you've kind of, you know, you have a good idea in terms of what you want to what you want to get out of life. And that's the first that's the first part of what we do. I think. David Ralph 19:21 I know my biggest regret in life will be, but I haven't seen every part of this world. You know, when I go on road trips, and when I go travelling, and you get a bit tired people always say to me, oh, why don't you have a keep in the back? You know, and I always think to myself, no, because I'm going to miss out on seeing, you know, it's something that I will never see again and I want to absorb this planet, because I think that ability to, to, you know, wonder the world with freedom. That's the thing that excites me so much, but actually, when I die, I think I haven't seen Greenland. I haven't seen this. I haven't Same bat. I think that is where the experiences of what you're talking about, come into my life big time, how do I channel my money, and my time and we're going to come to that straight after these words, we're going to talk about money in time. He's, Jim Carrey 20:14 my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn't believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don't want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. David Ralph 20:41 Now, one of the things he says in there is do anything you can basically to get it going. Now I speak to so many people, James, and I'd literally want to shake them because I know they're not willing to do the hard work and everything that is great in life takes time. takes time. It takes effort. It takes sleepless nights it takes investment. Did you know in your heart of hearts that you had that effort that you were really going to make a go for it go with it? James Mackay 21:14 short answer is yes. Yeah. I, I've always wanted to run a business. I've always been really interested in business. And I've always kind of I probably, if anything, I've kind of overworked rather than underworked, and sometimes I like patients, which is which is often a sign that you know, you're you know, you're ambitious and you came to came to do different things in life and achieve different things in life. So, yes, I'm certainly one of those people. I don't know whether it's always a good thing. As a matter of fact, that you're always focusing on, you know, the next the next thing to achieve. I think sometimes you need to appreciate just Kind of where you are what you've got. But yeah, that's me in a nutshell. David Ralph 22:04 I was laying in bed this morning and the alarm went off and me and my wife always have a little cuddle. And it annoys me actually this cuddle and I'm gonna, I'm gonna air it to the world for the podcast. She doesn't listen to me in the house, so you're not going to listen to this. But I like that the alarm goes off. I look at the alarm and I get out of bed because they know I've had my full quota of sleep. But my wife likes to keep on snoozing it so I had to look at the clock but like half hour until she's ready to get up out of bed. She says it's a cuddle but I find it is an inconvenience. Anyway, I've Ed. Why do women not just want to sleep until I can wake up and Ben just jump straight out of bed. James, what's up? James Mackay 22:47 I've got no idea that one that's not my domain. David Ralph 22:53 It's just madness. It's madness. Yeah. But anyhow, I was laying in bed and she bought me a cup of tea this morning. She said what you got on to And I said, Oh, it's best best guys at 10 o'clock in the morning. And then I got about six more later on. And I was saying to you know, it's funny why I constantly look at what needs to be done, because what I've already done is enough. And, you know, this is where my mindset at the moment is on empty scale on knowing that pushing, pushing, pushing doesn't do anything in the long term other than where you are. Now. It does do it to a certain point, you know, you've got to put push an effort in at the beginning, but there's got to be somebody that says to you, which I didn't with me, James, you're looking knackered me You need to have a break. You need to go off on vacation you need to leave this behind. It will be back when you get back. Have you got anyone in there in your life that is your sort of anchor that pulls you back when the James hustle muscle is going too far. James Mackay 24:00 Yes, I do and, and, and sometimes I think that's the best thing that you know, whether it's your other half whether it's your business partner can say to you is is, is, you know, look, you know, you stop and, and chill out whether it's you know, going on a holiday or just having a, you know, an afternoon off or an early night or whatever it is, I think these days as well I think gradually we're, we're moving away from the typical, you know, nine to five work week, you know, with with technology and and, and the gig economy growing and all that kind of thing. And I think I think humans actually work best if we if we kind of works, you know, Sprint work, if that makes sense. And then you know, and then take long periods of long periods of rest, I think, I think the, you know, the slugging it You know, a 1012 plus hours a day. I think that's a bit of a relic of the industrial age and and when you're, you know, trying to be creative or using using your mind i think i think it's probably not that good for you either and you don't you don't do your best work. just slowly trying to battle through and slogan. So the way David Ralph 25:22 I you know I mentioned this because it's so important, it really is important, but when I started Join Up Dots, I know it only sounds like a podcast, you know, and people today, just think that I can launch one and make a success of it. But I was doing literally 20 hours a day, I really was I was working till midnight, and being going to bed, but I couldn't get to sleep. And then I'll probably get to sleep about two o'clock and then I was waking up at six again and going and I look back at pictures of myself now. I look terrible. I look really really terrible and everything was just going to pieces My life, but not one person really said to me, David, there's a different way. They said to me, You should stop. And I was saying, well, I can't stop because I've got to build it, I've got to get it going. But nobody actually said to me, there's a better way. And the better way is walking away, giving yourself two or three days off, and allowing that obstacle that you're pushing against, to come up with a solution. And I play an Oprah Winfrey speech when she says, you know, be quiet, don't think about what you've got to do. Just think about the next right thing. Is your next right being obvious or do you get lost in the process as well? Have you got a plan what you're going to be doing this week or next week? Or do you literally juggle plates as soon as you walk through the door James? James Mackay 26:49 I'm somewhere in the middle. So excuse me, you know, we have a long our long term plan for business personal life and and you know, set some goals but In terms of actually trying to, you know, not be splits spinning too many places you say I do something called a well bit of a morning routine where I plan each day I don't plan a week because things change too quickly so I kind of set you know on a Sunday night I kind of set everything that I want to do this week block out the you know, whether the meetings and then each day I know how much free time I've got and I can I can plan and block out the things I want to achieve in that time. So I think a great book on on this I think is atomic habits by by James clearer than if you've read it. No. You haven't heard of it. It's no no, it's, it's, it's brilliant. And he actually is an American guy. fascinating, fascinating from what you Said I think he'd be really interested in his work. And he, he talks about you know, having it's all it's all well and good having all of these big goals in the future. But really we're a product of our kind of daily habits and sets about how you should use your time most of most efficiently and, and set up your kind of, you know, the big things each day that are going to, you know, help you achieve those goals rather than just saying, you know, I've got to get to x revenue, if you're in a business and running around, chasing your tail, trying to just reach that big goal. He talks about breaking it down, putting it into

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