Business Coaching With Join Up Dots - Online Business Success The Easy Way !

Getting Serious About Business Today show is a Free coaching session, where your host David Ralph talks about what has been going on in the world of Join Up Dots this week, and also gets to answer some of the questions that have come in from listeners across the globe Question One: Hi David, loving the show, your passion and the madness. How the hell did you come up with the Gargle Game, but I belly laugh when you are doing it. Which is what my question is all about. Although I have just found your show, it isn't like any other business type show I have heard. Could you advise why you are doing these things that go against the norm. All the best Simon Mantle, Perth, Western Australia. Question Two: Hi David, I was listening to one of your archive shows recently and you spoke about suffering with stress and the fact that your hair fell out. I am having a similar experience and would love to know what you have done to resolve these issues, as they are really bringing me down and making me unhappy - Claire Copod, Belgium Question Three: Mr Ralph, thank you for everything you are doing with Join Up Dots. Its the best podcast by far and I tell all my buddies that they have to listen to you. Can I ask this question. What is your day like? You talk about working hour after hour and then you also talk about walking around looking at things, like you are free. Whats the real story? - Hanna Maskel, Seattle Question Four: I have started a business recently selling fish tank equipment and although I have done better than expected, I'm not increasing my sales. Can you advise what I should be doing to get more sales as the more money I can earn the more I can support my family - Matheus Henrique Lopez, Paraty, Brazil

Direct download: Getting_Serious_ABout_Business_2.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 9:09am UTC

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 0:26 Good morning, Good morning to you and welcome to Join Up Dots. Yes, thank you so much for being here. Now. Now my young padawans. How are we doing? How we doing out there? Are we getting the juices flowing? Are we getting the inspiration to go out and create our own dream life? Well, I've been talking about this for about seven years now. And I spend I spend a lot of time Yes, I do. Because that what I do, talking to people who connect with me through the show with an interest in starting their own businesses, and creating their own incomes, and having a jolly lovely life. And I've started well, I've been thinking this all the time, but I'm not really mentioned it that much on the show, but it's an important thing. So I'm going to mention it in today's episode. But most people come through to me and they say, oh, David, I really want to start my own business. Yeah, I've been really thinking about it for years. And I'm really focused on it. And I go, Okay, that's no problem. I said, you know, it's very easy to start your own business, it's very easy to get traffic. It's a lot harder to sell things if you're selling something that people don't want. So let's focus in on the want and let's not focus in on the need, and we can get something going. And they go oh, yeah, no, that sounds brilliant. That sounds brilliant. Yeah, that's really what I want. And but I never hear from them again. And then I send a message through and I say to them, you know, how are you getting on? Are you are you you know, You're moving forward, whatever you're doing. And more often than not, you get some kind of response back going, Oh, it's not a good time at the moment. It's not. It's not that which I totally understand, I totally understand. But what I've been realising and this is what this show is about is that a lot of people are looking at creating their own income and their own businesses as an escape from what they're doing. But actually, what they should be doing before that step is creating their own happiness plan inside them, creating that that motivation and inspiration to be able to go on and tackle things which are big, sometimes stretching, certainly fulfilling and can be life changing. And I think people are thinking that creating their own income is going to be the answer to all their problems, but it's not because the problems are somewhere within you that is making you want to transition from where you are. Now, I always say I was in corporate land and for about, I would say, first 25 years, or was it 25 years, maybe 20 years. I really didn't know what to do. But I was in that kind of place before the internet. Yes, there was a time there was a time before internet. So you didn't really see what other people were doing. Other than sort of pop stars and famous people on Top of the Pops in the BBC where you go, that sounds brilliant. That looks brilliant. But how the hell am I going to do that? Now, as I moved through the internet crept into our life and Google took control and then you could start seeing kind of normal people, normal people doing stuff. And I think a lot the unhappiness that people have got nowadays is about seeing what other people are doing and thinking, well, I could do that. It's not that bad. Hard is not a stretch. It's you know, it's only creating a few YouTube videos and putting it out. Now I was listening to a podcast and this emphasises this point. And there's a guy in the United Kingdom called Joe wicks. Now, I didn't really know much about Joe wicks, and I listened to a podcast episode The other day, and he was talking about his story. And he was a guy who was basically in a corporate gig company, what he was doing, he was in some kind of retail shop, and he wasn't happy with himself and he's physical look, and he's mental aspect. So he started signing up for the gym. So he'd go to the gym, and it wasn't earning that much in his salary. And so half the salary each month was going to his gym membership. And when he was at the gym, he started thinking to himself, what I'm going to do, I'm going to create my own business. Yes, that's what I'm going to do. And so he started doing boot camps, which are, you get a park, you get a field Nearby, and you get people there early morning before they go to work. And then you walk them around a bit and you get them to do but downward dog and all these other sort of episodes, episodes, what am I talking about these these positions, and then you build a business and it's easy, isn't it, you get a field and you just get a load of people turn up and you make some money. So this is what he wanted to do. And he was saying on his podcast episode, literally every time that he would get up at six o'clock in the morning or five o'clock in the morning and get to this build, nobody turned up, not one person and he used to think to himself, what should I do just go home. But if I don't know what I'm going to do while I'm up, I'm going to take some leaflets around to the railway station and hand them out. And hopefully I can sort of pull this business up by his bootstraps, and get it going. Well, now he's got his own podcast. He's had something like 100 million billion views over On his exercise lessons on YouTube, but it all started with him wanting to better himself and wanting to actually personally transition his inner spirit, his inner self. He wanted to get fit, he wanted to build better. And he wasn't actually running away from anything. He was running towards himself. And that's what I thought was so important when I was listening to him talk. And I think so many people that I speak to, they're kind of running away from a situation and running away from a job. They're running away from a business, just like I did, as I was saying, I was in corporate land and for the first 25 years, he was fine. I used to go to work, have a few beers in the evening, come home, have a holiday, there wasn't anything to sort of really reflect on where I should be doing something else. And then the internet came along and I started seeing others another way of operating, and then I got very, very unhappy and so I thought to myself, what I want to do Want to get happy, and I transitioned to into Join Up Dots Join Up Dots wasn't the business at the beginning, it was just a way of me finding the happiness and challenging myself and finding something that could spark me up. And so when people come through to me, it's all about creating something that will take them from this crappy job or this situation that they don't like, into a world of wonder and infinity pools and glory and and everything else. And then they struggled, I struggled to take that first step because they're focusing in on the task, but actually what they should be thinking about is themselves, how can they change themselves to start having that, I suppose that motivation inside them and it doesn't start with building a business. It starts with building you and transitioning, you know, at the moment I am cycling Yes, I've been talking about this improved locked down, I decided to get my old bike out and start riding and I do about eight miles a day, three times a week, so I don't do it every single day. And the first week, it absolutely killed me. It really did. And I can't do this. I can't do this and walking upstairs was absolutely a nightmare sitting down on the toilet, anything that meant that my legs had to push me up or push me down. It was just horrendous. But I knew that it was going to be a good thing. For me. It wasn't something that I was doing to just transition from something else it was it was an inward look. So I carried on and carried on. And now these hills that were like insurmountable mountains and falling up them well not flying up. I'm I'm kind of going up quicker than I used to. But certainly it's it's changing me and I'm feeling more motivation inside because I'm changing myself and not my outside. situation? Yeah, can you can you see this? Can you understand this? So it's not about finding another situation that will make you happy is about finding the happy in you is about finding the motivation of starting something. And it's not about building businesses, it's about changing your mindset. First of all, changing your physical outlook. If you're a bit of a couch potato, then it's very difficult to be that slumpy person sitting there with a bag of potato chips every single night and loads of beers to Ben being, ah, I'm going to create a online income stream. I'm going to do this during that time. So it's dawned on me time and time again, that it's not about anything other than winning it in a game, finding that happiness inside you. And it doesn't necessarily mean the big goal is just something it could just be you know, a little thing like challenging yourself, start doing something that you haven't done before, aim to read a couple of books a month but you've never read before. Go for a walk twice a week, get your bike out. Anything that will take you from your situation to actually thinking Yes, I'm improving myself. Okay. So named VA happy isn't about your outward situation is you're in good situation. And this is a big part of what Join Up Dots is all about making you more rounded. So that the success naturally comes to you. And it does, it naturally comes to you. Once you sort of rule you pull yourself out of the mud and start getting going. So what challenges are you going to aim for this week drop us a line not many people do but I'm going to say to you, this is your first challenge. Just drop me a line at the Join Up dots@gmail.com I will respond back to you and just Tell me, David, I'm going to be doing whatever, okay? And it could be I'm gonna stop taking the lift or the elevator, and I'm going to walk up the three flights of stairs every day. Or I'm going to not have that bag of crisps with my lunch. But instead I'm going to have a healthy Apple, tiny little things, but they build up drop me a line and I will share them on the show. And of course, if you have I don't share any on the show, Ben, what's the point? What am I doing people? What am I doing? You Look after yourselves be challenge, find the happy. Don't think of it as the outside situation that you've got to change is the inner situation. And believe me, magic can occur. Once you start focusing in on yourself, then the outer situation will improve as well. It's a given. It's a given. Look after yourselves. And until next time, I will see you again. See ya bye.

Direct download: Finding_The_Happiness_Within_Yourself.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 7:43am UTC

Creating An Avatar Creating an avatar is the subject that we are going to discuss in today's Join Up Dots episode. This is something that is vitally important when we start a business as it saves us so much time trying to discover where our marketing budget has gone wrong. Now, the how to create an avatar information has been requested by a lovely lady who  dropped us a line after starting to get an idea for a business forming in her mind.   Please Tell Me How To Create An Avatar Customer Dear David, as a long term listener who has listened to most of your shows, this is the first time i have ever dared drop you a line. I think i am starting to get an idea for a business that I could start, but I can't create the customer avatar. You and other business coaches advise that we need to create this to start knowing their problems and begin marketing. Could you advise as to how you do this, as Im not sure you have ever gone into detail on this before. Thanks for your help and your passion and enthusiasm Meeta Picante. Costa Rica

Direct download: Creating_A_Detailed_Avatar.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

David Wood is today's guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast. Now this isn't his first appearance on the show as he recently appeared on the show back in June 2019 We discussed many things on that show as his entrepreneurial journey has led him through many different dots, and its the joining of his dots that are so remarkable. As he said on the show: “When you’re 10,000 feet ABOVE the Himalayas hanging from a piece of cloth, you see life differently”. He holds the viewpoint that life is the best game there is and asks: Are you playing for REAL? He coaches high performing entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders to play the best game they possibly can, deepening connection and living a regret-free life. How? By setting life-changing goals, laser-focused action, and increasing their levels of Truth, Daring, and Caring – in both life and work. He loves sharing his message of Playing for Real on live stages, podcast interviews, and radio shows, and has been best described as “playful and deep”. How The Dots Joined For David A former Consulting Actuary to Fortune 100 companies – including Sony Music, Proctor & Gamble, and Exxon – David left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to explore both the outer world and his own inner world. Along the way, he’s coached thousands of hours in a dozen countries around the globe and is the author of “Get Paid For Who You Are,” with foreword by Jack Canfield. He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, alongside such thought leaders as Don Miguel Ruiz, John Gray, Marci Shimoff, and Vishen Lakhiani. So is it simple enough to say that the children of the world who spend their time playing actually are the keys to our adult life? And after listening to his new podcast, why does he struggle with failure as much as the rest of us? Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. David Wood.

Direct download: Tough_Conversations_WIth_David_Wood.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 8:35am UTC

In today's episode of Join Up Dots we look at a problem that faces so many people in life and in business.

This ability, or i guess the lack of ability, to control our future like we hope for.

All our successes and future dream lives that we hope with our hearts that we will get, can often bring us to our knees.

You see, and as you will hear on the show we cant really do anything about the future, as it doesn't exist.

Our future lives may be what we hope they will be, or perhaps they wont, but really we cant do anything about making them happen.

You will say of course "David, that's rubbish. We can work on making things happen in our lives by taking big sexy action"

And I will say "Yes of course you can, and you should. That is exactly what life is about. Being in the present and taking action in the present"

That, however doesn't mean that the future you want will ever actually become real.

All these desires and action that we take will ultimately lead us somewhere, but perhaps it wont be where we thought it would be.

So relax into the day, enjoy what life is giving you in the moment, and see where it all heads.

That is where our future lives can really be controlled.

Direct download: We_cant_control_the_future_but_we_can_control_how_we_feel.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 8:29am UTC

Jason Cutter is today's guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast. He is the founder and CEO of CCG, grew up in Fremont, California, and has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology (with a lot of time spent with sharks). From UC Santa Cruz, an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, and a wide variety of experiences in business, from technical support at Microsoft to deploying overseas as a civilian contractor, his analytical mind is always looking for ways to solve problems or make situations better. He is all about taking action, not just talking about theoretical plans. Those who have worked with him describe him as passionate, intense, and driven. His philosophy can best be summed up in this quote from Zig Ziglar, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Which is where his consulting business came into play and founds its legs As he says"You know how most salespeople struggle to crush their sales goals consistently? Well, that’s where I come in! How The Dots Joined Up For Jason I’ve helped my clients create sales success in just about any type of environment you can think of, and I’ve heard every excuse known to man. Here’s how I do it… I teach people how to sell without it feeling like selling. I help them sell on value so that price never comes up. I build systems and processes to produce expected results. I create a sales machine that can scale" So is selling simply having what people want, and then finding the people that want it? And where do people go wrong, spending their time marketing in the wrong places, or just having no strategy at all? Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Jason Cutter Show Highlights During the show we discussed such weighty sale subjects with Jason Cutter such as: Why children are amazing salesmen and negotiators and know the skills that make things happen right from the start. Jason shares the steps he took to build his business from the strengths, by realising his strengths and asking for help for his weaknesses Why it is such a great idea to find a business partner to get you going as its hard to build a business. and lastly........ The reasons why people have a desire to get into cages with great white sharks.

Direct download: Jason_Cutter.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

In today's episode of Join Up Dots we look at a problem that faces so many people in life and in business.

We look at why we are so tough on ourselves when living our day to day lives.

Why we run ourselves ragged to try to make a difference to the wrong people who don't deserve or times and energy.

We get into bed at the end of the day with a feeling of disappointment that we have let so many people down.

However the truth is actually very very different in so many ways.

The truth is every person on earth has this feeling of inadequacies and also has the feeling of letting people down.

Dont feel that please!!

Direct download: Why_Am_I_So_Tough_On_Myself.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

In today's show, we look at what has been going on behind the scenes in the world of Join Up Dots

And you might be surprised to know that its not about what you think it might be.

Yes, we know that we are a top podcast with thousands of listeners everyday, but also we have many strings to our bow.

Not least we also have offline businesses scattered around the country that are flourishing due to what we go through in today's show.

Yes, todays show is all about Getting A Ton Of Traffic To A Brick And Mortar Business the easy way, and believe me it really is easy.

It all comes down to being extremely granular with the content that you are producing, and the focus you have on the laziness of customers.

Once you understand this then you are ahead of the game and can really  focus of bringing profits into your lives,

Lets get on with the show as its a good one

 

Direct download: How_To_Get_A_Ton_Of_Traffic_To_Your_Brick_And_Mortar_Business.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

In todays show, we hand over the hosting duties to Ginni Saraswati from The Ginni Show, who interviewed me live in New York City back in August.

Most of the times when you record a podcast you will do it in isolation, with the guest connecting through skype or telephone connections.

This one was done on both camera and audio, which was a bit of a different experience for me to say the least. I hope you all check out the Ginni Show on iTunes and give her some ranking and review love.

It only takes you a few minutes but makes such a big difference to the growth of shows everywhere.

Direct download: The_Ginni_Show_-_Unplugged_WIth_David_Ralph.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Introducing Greg Shepard Greg Shepard is today's guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business podcast. He is the CEO and founder of BOSS Capital Partners. He is a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker and Angel Venture Capital Investor with a legacy of building and running sustainable growth businesses. Driven by a transformational leadership style, Greg has spearheaded multiple company exits in the BioTech, TransitTech, AdTech and MarTech space. Two of his former companies were acquired by eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions in January 2016 as a part of a cross-brand deal totalling largely over $900M. The transaction comprised the purchase and sale of numerous companies, two of which were Greg’s. He has won: Tech Deal of the Year Over $250 million, Private Equity Deal of the Year Over $500 million to $1 billion and Cross Border Deal of the Year Over $500 million to $1 billion to name a few. Most recently, he has been authoring a book titled: ‘Meet the BOSS - The Agile Playbook for Startups’ slated to publish soon. Alongside the book will be a TEDx talk. How The Dots Joined Up For Greg But this isn't a story of a man who started with everything and just added a few awards and successes on the way. Today's guest had to overcome many obstacles as he clawed his way to the top Greg’s success story of overcoming obstacles is what drives him to support entrepreneurs around the world. From growing up with very little along with foster and adopted siblings, to a visional processing disorder and dyslexia, Greg continues to be one of the most recognizable examples of how fearless optimism and steadfast determination can guide any intelligent and determined young professional toward success. So what does he have that so many people dont have who are struggling towards paying the bills and supporting their families. And where is he heading in the future as he creates more and more dots? Well let's find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Greg Shepard Show Highlights During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Greg such as: How his family first decided to travel across to America to start a new life  Greg shared the realisation that life was about overcoming obstacles and he could be more than what people Why setting a north pole direction when you start setting out to achieve a goal is such an amazing way to build success. And lastly.......... Why Greg lives and reaches the following beliefs that make all the difference "focus, drive, enthusiasm, discipline, optimism" How To Connect With Greg Shepard Website Linkedin Facebook Twitter Return To The Top Of  Greg Shepard If you enjoyed this episode of Greg Shepard why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Spike Ball Founder, Nick Ruiz,  Dane Maxwell or the amazing Mybodytutor Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.

Direct download: Greg_Shepard.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 3:25pm UTC

Introducing Mike Young Mike Young is today's guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast. He is the founder of the Makeovermaster and the author of Made Over: How To Create A Powerful Brand That Will Transform Your Business & Save Your Life", And also a man with a similar story to your beloved host of Join Up Dots, and most people who appear on the show. As he says "My life looked amazing from the outside. I had all the things... Recently married to a beautiful, funny and cool girl. A successful mortgage business, 250 employees and 10 offices. I lived in a $750,000 house. I owned another $150,000 in sports cars. Hell, on the outside I was living the dream life. But behind the curtains, my financial world was crumbling. How It All Went Wrong For Mike The market crash in 2007-2008 was destroying my business and I didn’t know how to fix it. I felt out of alignment, like a fraud, a fake. I didn't feel in alignment with who I truly was as a person. I didn't want to be doing what I was doing. I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. But I did what I’ve always done. I worked harder I must have read more than 500 books. I went to all sorts of seminars and conferences. I did anything and everything to turn the ship around. But it was too late, the damage was done. I remember hiding in my basement crying, trying to make sure my family didn’t see or hear me. I had a kid to feed. a wife to make proud of me, bills to pay, and a reputation to uphold. And I was about to lose it all. Then The Dots Joined Up For Mike Young It was March 2008, and I was in my business partners’ office when it happened… I left the office early and went home… Our mortgage business was failing, I went from liquid millionaire to over $200,000 in debt in less than 6 months. And that is the perfect place to start today's episode of Join Up Dots. So why do we all think that working harder is the solution, when we look at the likes of Branson, Buffett and Musk and they barely look like they are doing anything? And what is the first thing someone in the weeds and drowning can do to free themselves and start living the dream life? Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Mike Young. Show Highlight During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Mike Young such as: Mike Young openlys talk about his path to business minimalism, which is always the best way to build a business....simplicity wins everyday. We discuss the process of self development, which lead to a self addiction for improvement that could have held them back from moving forward. We share the brilliance of getting a personal brand, but also find out the failings that sometimes can destroy your chance of success.  and lastly...... Why it so important to feel big emotions, and to truly allow yourself to reveal yourself warts and all to the world and your business. Return To The Top Of Mike Young If you enjoyed this episode of Mike Young, why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Victoria Lioznyansky, Ryan Avery, Brad Yates or the amazing Jack Canfield Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.

Direct download: Mike_Young.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

A New Business Idea Is Born In today's episode we take a look at a new business idea created by a listener of Join Up Dots. She sent an email through to the show asking for help around her new business idea South Coast Dinner Society. The idea of this business is quite simply to take away the uncomfortable side of meeting someone new nowadays. Especially as we get older, and perhaps have seen other relationships fall to the wayside. Our listener thinks that she can fulfil this gap in the market in a way that hasn't been seen before. We agree with her 100%, This is a new business idea that will work, as long as she does the right thing. The Original Email We Received Hi, I came across your podcast when out walking my dogs the other day and I have been listening to quite a few of them and really impressed...... About me! I am a single 55 year old single lady and I work full time as a Business Development Manager for Solent University. I am originally from Northern Ireland and have mainly been in a hospitality, venue, arena hospitality management for many years. After being single for 2 years and missing the event side of hospitality I decided that there are so many people like me who do not want to internet date and meeting in bars like we used to when we were in our 20s is not an option any more and I found out also that so many, like me have become quite set in our ways and not so easy to start the whole relationship. There are many 'anorak's who have groups for walking, book clubs etc but I wanted to create something that was comfortable and liked minded, which is hard to get across over email. Please take a look at my self created web site and this is the point where I need to tell you that I have literally nothing for marketing etc, due to owning my last house literally outright, selling it when I met my partner and then him going bankrupt with my money......so I need to grow organically. I know I have a good NEW business idea...but I did hear the Australian SEO guy say if you dont have any money to start your business then start knocking doors, which is not possible in what I want to do but made me think that I haven't got a hope, so maybe cut my losses!! The Quick Fixes For All New Business Idea Quick Fix One Lets start with a quick overview of the episode. First of all, marketing is not hard with a little bit of planning. We need to know what we are offering, what is our USP, and then start finding out where the people are that want that stuff. Quick Fix Two We need to make sure that our business website is running as fast as possible to ensure that traffic gets through to us. There is no point in building a business that doesn't load on a phone or handheld device. We need to make sure that we know our site speed and assess any improvements that we can make by using the following link. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ Quick Fix Three Once we get our new business idea operating really fast, we then need to make sure that it looks good for all devices. Most of us build our new business idea on desktop, or laptop as its easier to see. We can overcome this by using the link below that shows how our site looks on a myriad of devices. https://www.responsivedesignchecker.com/ Quick Fix Four Before we start marketing our business, we need to build up our keywords list and find the low hanging fruit. We can start this process quite simply by getting a range of words that people might use to find us. In this case we will take the word DATING and start writing other words that people might use. https://www.thesaurus.com/

Direct download: NEW_BUSINESS_South_Coast_Dinner_Society.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

When Remi Clermont was a teenager, he was embarrassed that his father liked going road cycling. By road cycling, he means riding around on the type of bike you see in the Tour de France - "drop handlebars" that sweep downwards, and thin tyres. Despite Remi being born and raised in the Alsace region of eastern France, and road biking being one of the country's most popular sports, his young self just didn't like it. "My friends and I, all the kids, were into mountain biking at the time (the early 1990s)," says the 44-year-old. "Road biking was seen as very boring. I was almost ashamed when I told friends that my dad was into it." Remi loved cycling as a child, just not on road bikes Little did teenage Remi know, he would go on to catch the Lycra and tarmac cycling bug himself in his 20s. And then, at the age of 33, launch what is today one of the fastest-growing road cycling clothing companies - Cafe du Cycliste. Founded in 2009, in Nice on the French Riviera, the firm says it now sells €4m (£3.6m; $4.5m) worth of jerseys, shorts and other clothing items per year, with 50% year-on-year growth. "You can certainly say I changed my mind," jokes Remi. Bike firms struggle to meet surge in demand during lockdown However, before we return to cycling, we need to go to the world of competitive kayaking. Remi took up kayaking when he was nine, and went on to be a member of the French national team for six years in his 20s. "My speciality was white water kayaking," he says. "Sadly the discipline is not an Olympic sport, so I never got to go to one of them, but it was great to represent France in international competitions. "And it was the reason I got into road biking. Because you couldn't kayak in the winter when it was too cold, I'd cycle to keep my fitness up." Then when he retired from the water sport at the age of 28, he kept up the cycling. Remil, left, was a member of the French team for six years As he was not paid for his kayaking, Remi had also needed to hold down a full-time job in his 20s. After getting a business degree from the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, he worked in the sporting corporate hospitality sector. This included working at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. A year later he got a job in the marketing department of the European arm of a US IT firm. "I wasn't a great fit for the role as I knew nothing about IT," says Remi. "But it had one massive thing going for it - it was based in Nice, which really is cycling paradise. The hills behind Nice [which lead up to the Alps] are just wonderful." Remi was soon spending weekends cycling with a workmate called Andre Stewart. Then Andre quit to buy and run a cafe in a small village to the north west of Nice, naming it Cafe du Cycliste. Two year later, in 2009, Remi also left the IT firm to join his friend at the cafe business. His plan was to design and launch a range of upmarket road cycling clothes that they could sell to all the riders who stopped for a drink and a bite to eat. Specifically, Remi wanted to produce the cycling jerseys that he says you couldn't buy in France at the time - plain and understated ones that wouldn't look out of place in a posh menswear store. Remi describes Nice and the surrounding area as "cycling paradise" "The only cycling jerseys you could buy at the time in France were racing ones with big logos and sponsors, that made you look as if you were competing in the Tour de France," he says. "I wanted to produce something completely different." There was a catch, however, in that Remi had no knowledge of or experience in the clothing sector. But undeterred, he says he set to work. "I started to learn everything I could," he says. "I had some friends in Paris who were working in clothing and fashion, so I got some tips and helpful mentoring from them. "And I started going to all the trade shows, and asking millions of questions, and contacting plenty of factories in Italy." A few months later, a manufacturer in Italy agreed to make Remi's first design for a cycling jersey, and the fashion side of Cafe du Cycliste was up and running. Remi still designs all the products himself Sales from the shop were stubbornly slow, however, so Remi launched a website to target online customers, especially from overseas. With little to no money for advertising, he would send free samples to cycling journalists in various countries. They would then write enthusiastic reviews, and sales quickly took off, particular in the UK and Japan. "Cyclists in the UK and Japan were really open to what we are doing," says Remi. "And that remains the case, still only 10 to 15% of our sales are in France. Many cyclists here still want to look as if they are taking part in a race all the time." British cycling journalist and commentator Rebecca Charlton says that brands like Cafe du Cycliste and the UK's Rapha, Le Col and Assos have led the way over the past decade in offering upmarket, stylish cycling clothing. This has coincided with a big increase in the number of people taking up the sport, leading to booming sales at the firms. "The trends, cuts and designs of modern cycling kit are a far cry from the extremely limited options I had as a young girl," she says. "And the psychology isn't to be underestimated either - when you've got a new cycling outfit you feel that bit more motivated to get out of the door, and you feel good. When it flatters, and fits perfectly, the ride feels more comfortable, and it definitely adds morale." Remi, says his dad is now a fan of the clothing Back at Cafe du Cycliste's head office in Nice, Remi says that recent sales have mirrored the industry-wide increase as a result of coronavirus, with more people taking up cycling either to get some exercise or avoid public transport. His dad is also a fan of the clothing, which Remi continues to design himself, and is manufactured in a number of European factories. However, his father initially wasn't impressed back in 2009. "When I first started out, he wouldn't wear it, because it was too different to the race jerseys he was used to," says Remi.

Direct download: BUSINESS_IDEAS_Cycling_Clothing.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurs -- posted at: 8:52am UTC

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