Yep! You heard it well. Kiss the Rebel is the advice that the brilliant Phil Bedford is giving all of us, especially if you are starting up your own business and want to enjoy life at the same time.
He has been working over 20 years in sales and is the master of professional networking. He realized that there is a science and a process behind it and it is a natural way to grow a business. His book Kiss the Rebel has been just recently launched in Amazon. Don’t miss all we can learnt from this author that happens to live in our beautiful Dubai.
THE INTERVIEW: PHILIP BEDFORD
ABOUT THE BOOK: KISS THE REBEL
You just wrote a book. What is it about? Why Kiss the Rebel as name?
Keeping Business So Simple (KISS). There are too many people working way to hard spending so much more money than they need to, and spending too much energy and time away from their families, working and stressed to the max. It doesn’t need to be that way. This book is about saving money and time so people can start allocating those resources where they choose, e.g. family, fun, health and even “yes more business to their business if they choose“.
What was your inspiration to write the book?
When I was a kid my father tried to launch a business to spend more time with his family and follow his dream. He failed, went into debt and spent years away from the family. As his son, I experienced this pain and of course had my own pain as my father wasn’t around. While he did the best he could, he quite simply didn’t have the skills and resources. I wish I could have been there for him.
Obviously, I can’t help him now and so, helping other families and businesses to succeed here today fulfills me. Also on a more selfish note applying these strategies to my own business allows me to spend the time I need with my family and live the life I want. But then if I cant walk the talk, who am I to help others!
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in the region?
The skills needed to do business in a large company where you had your job are completely different to running a business and getting new clients especially when you have never run a business and have little to no budget.
Just being “good at what you do” will not be enough. Clients will rarely come flooding in and even if you have a couple of loyal clients that come with you this will not be enough to provide you with ongoing security. Begin marketing from day one, so when those 2 clients disappear -and despite what you believe they probably will go- you have replacements and surround yourself with people who have been there and can show you the pitfalls before you get stung.
Metaphorically, I like to tell people to “Build the Roof before it rains”. Unfortunately, most new business owners have never experienced rain and choose not to get help. Then they get wet.
Also take time to learn how a business works. Understand accounts and cash flow especially. Many businesses have failed over the years that have lots of clients but the business has simply run out of funds before getting paid.
Do you think starting up here is different than back home?
Yes, back home there are all kinds of loans to help you get started and if you get in serious money trouble there is a safety net. In the UAE, you need to self-fund (or get investors) and this puts more pressure on you. This said, I love starting business in Dubai because things move so quickly and for those people with a “Fire in them” to make it happen, there is a good chance they can succeed with the right contacts and strategies. Dubai is even more about your contacts than back home.
As a coach, at what stage do entrepreneurs look for your assistance?
Unfortunately, people often come to me once they have experienced the pain of trying to do it alone. Usually 1 year into business when they have got over the “Honeymoon” of thinking people will come flocking, they get stressed, realize they are alone (even when surrounded by people) and are not necessarily sure where they are going. They realize it is tough out there.
Many will fail (about 85% in their first 2 years) and of course some do make it on their own. Some people are lucky enough to have investment from an investor or even their family. These family loans need to be considered an investment, not free money. It should be paid back and needs to be considered in the accounts of the company as part of their P&L. Some of the “fledgling” business owners I meet, will tell you they are turning a profitable business when they are deeply in debt.
I have seen businesses succeed and hit 5 to 7 years and while they are starting to “make it” their owners realize they have done so at the expense of family time and their health. Self sacrifice can be part of the journey for a short period but ongoing can be detrimental to the family. Sometimes it’s hard to realize this when we love working for ourselves and the end goal is a thriving business for our families. The goal then is to find harmony ASAP. It is the quality of the journey to grow your business and have time for health, family, and self as soon as possible.
Its important to move “on” the business and not work “in” the business as soon as possible but many entrepreneurs do not like to let go . This is another skillset in the journey that can be acquired.
ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR?
How can we be ready to start our own business? What does it take?
Know that you really want to do it. I can tell you that is going to be tough. Know that 2 years into your business most of your friends will be earning much more. You will get job offers and the temptation to go back to work will be massive. Know this and be ready for it. Make sure you have enough money to carry you for at least 2 years and do not expect to pull an income for yourself.
Individuals need to transition from expecting their bosses to pay for training to having to pay yourself and that is an investment in yourself and your future.
NETWORK YOUR WAY
What is your advice on networking in the Middle East? How can we do it effectively but not sound like a sales pitch?
Networking is about helping people and building mutually beneficial relationships not selling. This is the key reason most people are not successful at networking. Networking is not “Cold calling face to face”.
Always look to be helping, connecting, and contributing to other people. What goes around comes around. You just need to be doing enough of it with the right people.
ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT
You mention in your book that it is possible to have “time off” when most of the entrepreneurs complain of working 24/7? Can we really have it all?
Yes, it possible. It will depend on the motivation of the person to apply what they learn, their business model, their resources and their obligations. I know some entrepreneurs that when I show them how to save time they chose to work even harder.
Building your business by relationships is a skill and like any skill you can probably fumble through life thinking you are good at it. You can know just enough to get you out of trouble or you can learn how to do it efficiently and effectively. For example, I recently went to my physiotherapist because I have had pain when running. I discovered that my running style has been damaging my body and also, I have running slower than I should. Why? Because I have been running incorrectly- wrong arm movement and foot placement specifically. But I have known how to run and been running for 48 + years. In a nutshell – I could have got there quicker and in less pain. Sounds familiar?
Any advice to working mamas? (Their time off, normally is Family time, but not me-time.)
The great news for Mums is women tend to make better networkers naturally. They are more likely to learn to be efficient and invest in help rather than us men who “like to work it out for ourselves”. They are also naturally more prone to build relationships which is fundamental to building your business by relationship.
If you are running a business make sure you involve your partner as a partner in the business. I am a big believer in ME time as much as WE time. Even if it’s just an hour in the gym, schedule it like your most important client. Because you stressed are not a productive business tool.
You can buy Kiss The Rebel through Amazon in this link.