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Episode 16

An Inspirational Tale

It's the final Business Growth Central episode of the year and to bring us home, Nigel has a very special guest with a fascinating and inspirational story to share with you.

Episode 16:
An Inspirational Tale
00:00 / 00:00

Episode Transcript:

Nigel Botterill:
Hi, welcome to Business Growth Central. It's Nigel here, for what is our final episode of 2020. But before we say, "Good riddance," to a year that is sure to remain in memory for a long, long time, I've got an interesting story for you. And it's an interesting story that I think will enable you to view your start to 2021 in a somewhat different way, and it's also a story that I feel sure is going to inspire you a little bit as well. And here to help me tell the story, I have a special guest. Drum roll, please. Welcome, Elizabeth Hawkhead.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Hello.

Nigel Botterill:
How you doing?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Good. First time in BGC.

Nigel Botterill:
Are you a BGC virgin?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Yeah.

Nigel Botterill:
You have a hobby, an interest?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Very much so.

Nigel Botterill:
So you're big into Leeds rugby league?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
I am.

Nigel Botterill:
Right. So this is Leeds Rhinos.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
This is Leeds Rhinos, the best Super League club.

Nigel Botterill:
Okay. And Leeds have had a bit of success. They won all sorts, didn't they?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
They did.

Nigel Botterill:
And they set all sorts of records. And one of the members of that kind of golden team, that golden squad, was in the news last year, for very sad reasons.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Yes, yeah. Almost exactly 12 months ago, Rob Burrow, who was probably the smallest rugby league player ever at 5'5", was diagnosed with motor neurones disease at only 37 years of age.

Nigel Botterill:
Yeah. And this team, as you say, got quite a bit of publicity. In football terms, this was a top Premier League player who had this crushing kind of diagnosis. But where our story comes from, where it's going to be quite interesting and quite helpful, is around something that's happened over the last two or three months.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
The nucleus of that 2015 side that won the Treble in Super League had grown up together. They had been together since they were around 12 or 14 years of age, so they'd played together. They almost instinctively knew what each other were going to do. And when Rob was diagnosed 12 months ago, it was that band of brothers that came round and supported both him and his family, and reached out to the rugby league community, first and foremost. And they responded amazingly.
Leading them through that whole process and that team, right the way through, from 14 years of age, was Kevin Sinfield. Kevin volunteered himself to run seven marathons in seven days, each and every one of them under four hours, and they wanted to raise £77,777.

Nigel Botterill:
Talk us through the first big point then, that we can take, that's useful to us as business owners, from what Kevin Sinfield has done to help out his mate.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
So I think the first thing is, is that anybody tackling a big challenge, ultimately, will... A lot of people will procrastinate about it for weeks and months, and sometimes even years before they actually get to the point where they think that they're ready to do this. Kevin knew that he didn't have that time because Rob's situation is deteriorating and he wanted to help as quickly as he possibly could, so he set himself a really challenging goal of starting these seven marathons on the 1st of December. And once that was set, it was immovable. The deadline was there, and he had to then create it.

Nigel Botterill:
So if there's something worthy that you want to do, there's never been a better time than to crack on, set a deadline, and let's move it forward and embrace the speed. So that was the first one.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
I think the next one goes back to what Kevin learned when he was playing, and that is, teammates really matter, and having the right team around you can help you success.

Nigel Botterill:
That having the right people with the right expertise who bring the right capabilities to a project, or a launch, or an initiative, can make a big difference. And some of the reasons why some of these things are not getting airborne in businesses throughout the EC community, things that have been knocking around for quite a long time, some of the reasons are because the business owner, that's you, hasn't yet put in place the right players and the right points. What's the third one, Liz?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
I think you've got to plan.

Nigel Botterill:
Planning can sap time. Planning can slow things down. Talk to us about the situation and the planning part of it.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
The planning for the actual seven days, so to make sure, physically, you could get through to day seven, so to make sure that he had the ice baths everyday and that he had the sports massages and that he got on the bike on an afternoon, to apparently open up your hips after you've been running. Who would knew? But all that was important in the planning to make sure that, when he started, he could finish.

Nigel Botterill:
And for businesses now, for all of us at this critical point, is why it's quite a timely episode here. Now, having a clear picture as to not only what we're going to achieve next year, our equivalent, potentially, of seven marathons in seven days, what is the goal? Where are you heading into the turnover and profit, but then bringing that back and having an understanding. Well, that means, therefore, that I've got to be here by the end of March, here by the end of June, here by the end of September. And for that to happen, these things have got to happen, these products have got to kick in to that clarity of plan, because it was all... It was broken down almost on a daily basis because they had the two months to do it in.

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Number four was test. So Kevin had run marathons before and he'd run marathons under four hours, but there was a little voice in the back of his head that was like, "Well, can I actually do seven marathons in seven days?" And so, having spoken to some of these ultra marathon type runners, he realized that what he needed to do was, he needed to test his body. And so, at the end of October, he ran three marathons in three days with his inner circle team around him, to make sure that he could get to the end of it. And he just about made it to the end of-

Nigel Botterill:
Because the doctor told-

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
... marathon parade.

Nigel Botterill:
... him, "If you can do three in three-

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
Then you can do seven in seven.

Nigel Botterill:
All right, okay. Sounds easier, I don't know. But the parallel there, for us in our world, is absent. From a marketing perspective, we are the biggest advocates, here at Entrepreneurs Circle, about testing your campaigns. If the goal you're striving to achieve next year is a meaningful goal, if it is going to make a difference to your business, to your life, to your profitability, then there's going to be some marketing in there somewhere that's going to need to attract either new prospects or new customers into your organization, or to bring back the customers that perhaps have bought from you before, than having marketing assets, collateral campaigns, that you know what the results are going to be. I know when I run this campaign and put £500 a day behind it, I'm going to get this many leads and inquiries. Finish, then. What's number five?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
I think the last one is, one step at a time. So when they started off on the 1st of December, they'd got seven marathons ahead of them. That's an awful lot of miles. But literally, all they had to think about was the next step that they had to take.

Nigel Botterill:
When it's a physical challenge, and it's kind of easy for you to talk about that... It sounds really straightforward, what you just said. And to some extent, when we're involved in things like, as I said, the physicality of a marathon run, it kind of all relevant and makes sense. But when you're building a business, there isn't quite that same.... It's not as obvious what the steps are, but I do recognize that we do mentally allow ourselves to... We either race ahead... I mean, the number of people that worry about problems that are nine marathons ahead of them. That doesn't matter yet. We're not there yet. We don't have to worry about the bridge that is five bridges away. We've just got to get to the first bridge. And so, the end result then, Liz. Give us the summary of where this is all happening with what Kevin Sinfield has achieved for Rob Burrow. Where has it finished?

Elizabeth Hawkhead:
I think the big thing is, is that it just shows what friendship and commitment can actually achieve. It's standing now at near on two and a half million pounds, which is just a huge amount for such a small charity. MNDA will hopefully do amazing things with that, And we'll have amazing success, hopefully, in trying to find a cure for this cruelest of diseases.

Nigel Botterill:
And it's inspired you, which is why we're here today, and I thank you for that, and for sharing your story. And hopefully, with the work that Liz did and pulling out those key points there, hopefully that can have a positive impact on your life and on your business in 2021. Have a very happy Christmas, and look forward with a smile, with enthusiasm, and with tremendous vigor to the 2021 that is going to be, I genuinely believe, an extraordinary year for so many entrepreneurs, of which you, my friend, you're definitely one of them. Thanks for watching. Bye-bye.

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