Craig – Hello and welcome to this episode of The Business Secret Podcast. Today we’re delighted to be joined by Nicola Rylett of the Nicola Rylett Group also known as NRG as that’s what she does with lot of businesses. Nicola has got over 20 years’ experience in helping businesses grow through a number of things including business development, sales and marketing strategy, brand development, mentoring and training support, and culture change programs.
Craig – Welcome Nicola!
Nicola – Hello.
Craig – So tell us a little about yourself, expand on what I’ve started with if you may?
Nicola – Well I don’t know what else to say my name is Nicola Rylett and I’m the business that helps organisations grow and that could be through a number of different ways as you mentioned. All businesses grow and they all have different problems in growing. So whether it be financial, resource orientated, people orientated, systems and processes we pretty much go in and do a bit of a diagnostic look at what’s wrong and then help them to enable their teams to change and grow, and we’ve been doing that for men for about two years now. As you said I’ve been in the business world for many years to mention and I think that when I look back at the career, I thought ‘well what connects all these things?’, and it was pretty easy, it was basically, I went in to an organisation in one position and when I left I’d added value either on turnover or profit and the businesses have grown.
Craig – Fantastic and we can certainly vouch for that for the work Nicola’s done for us over the last two years since NRG started.
So how did you end up here? What made you take that plunge to go to be NRG?
Nicola – Well how did I end up here? Well, first of all, I think anybody would tell you, who have their own business, It’s all hard work. I’ve been in sales and marketing and commercialisation of businesses, as you said, for many years starting in advertising and sales, moving through from telesales all the way up to being the publisher of a magazine and then being a recruitment Advertising Director of a business. Really when I looked back and looked at what sectors or the areas that I’d worked in and the projects I’d worked on and the things I’d done, I realised there was nothing connecting them apart from the growth. You know I’d gone in, My superpower, if I’ve got a superpower if that’s how you describe it, I can go in really quickly ask a few good questions, really investigate a few different areas and figure out what’s happening to that business and the ability to ask those questions make people feel comfortable, get them to open up to me, tell me all your warts and all the challenges, means that I can then join the dots really quickly and assess what I think needs happen. I’ve run two or three companies as MD and whatever and so you’re used to looking at the business as a whole and figuring out what’s happening. As I say it’s either finance, it’s people, it’s resources, it’s systems, it’s actually new markets it’s maybe research but there’s always something that you can improve and it’s going in finding that improvement putting the right team in place and then going from there.
Craig – So what would be the first, as you do in that diagnostic what was going through your brain? What are you actually thinking?
Nicola – Well my background was in advertising and sales, many years ago as I said back in the early 90s… maybe even 80s… let’s say early 90s let’s not make me too old.
Craig – And given this is an audio I would say Nicola doesn’t look a day over 35.
Nicola – Thank you very much. But I was taught the American 2-call sale which is all about talking to clients about the businesses and finding out what their challenges are and then seeing if your product or service, in this instance when I learned it was radio advertising, could actually help them improve that problem. What is their need? And how did your product solve that problem for them? And so I’ve always been brought up to look for the need, to ask various open questions to find out where the need is. So when I am speaking to a client, first of all, I’m just genuinely interested because most people are really cool and really interesting. They’ve all got a story, they’ve all got some expertise, you never know what they’re going to tell you. So I’m genuinely interested and curious but actually, once I start looking at something I think “That’s .. what’s that about then? Oh, why does that happen? Why do you have a problem there?” And I’m just genuinely looking to see what’s happening to the business overall. Then my brain just connects the dots. For many years I’ve fitted into corporate business and been very successful, as I’ve said, been in senior positions for a long time. But I always did that being a bit of an outlier. Then I suddenly realised actually that’s quite good being a bit of an outlier because you see the world a bit differently. So asking great questions and just reflecting those questions back to the people you’re talking to helps them think about their problem.
Craig – Over the years you said you have good marketing you guys can you can also do that now. What has been your… if you’re going to give the listeners your best marketing approach or marketing tip, what would you suggest?
Nicola – For me it’s all about networking and referral. I have genuinely made sure that I connect with the right people. I keep my networks open, I nurture my networks, I make sure I spend time with those people, as I said, they’re nice people. They’re genuinely lovely people and I’m really interested in what they’re doing and what’s happening to them. So it’s a pleasure to do that. Most people that would know me, those that don’t probably get an idea from this podcast I’m a talker so I don’t mind going and speaking to people and asking them questions. So networking for me has been the most successful marketing tool. I’ll let you into a secret, I don’t have a really formal website at the moment. I’ve not had one for two years. I need to get one so I need to do that. Actually the networking has allowed me to work with certain clients and those clients I hope, and Craig you’ve said thank you earlier, I do a great job for them and they’re more than happy to talk about me and refer me on, so networking and then customer referral is how I built my business. You know, you need more than that in other sectors but for my business that’s absolutely fine and it’s how I’m growing my business at the moment.
Craig – Okay so if we can stay on that for a second, you mentioned networking, and I know there are many groups out there BNI and others. For some people networking is a challenge, a lot of thought goes into it and you get sweaty palms just thinking about, it so maybe if you could just expand on your approach to networking. So where you might go to start with, depending on who you’re trying to get as your client and then how you’d start that conversation. I know that’s a challenge for some people.
Nicola – Okay. So it’s different for different people if you’re nervous about networking- I would start in a local group that you might you know go with a colleague, go with a friend ask them what they do. Do they go to a local small group? and go somewhere where you’ve got some friends and you know some people, because networking is like anything you get better at it with practice the nerves will go away the more that you go and do it. So if you’re a nervous networker you don’t really like it, it’s not your street, you don’t know if you can actually get on with people, could you ask that first question, are you going to stand against the wall? You know, don’t worry about that. Ask somebody that is in your current group of friends or business colleagues or business associates where they go, what they do and ask them if you can tag along. Because actually, you know something in the room then. So it’s not scary. The second thing is if you’re not a nervous networker it’s about targeting the right group for the audience that you’re trying to work with. But really networking, to me, is not about going to a particular group of networking event, it’s actually making contacts with other likeminded business people, because you if you make contact with like-minded business people and you find out all about their business, and you chat to them about what they do, and you understand how you might be able to help them, and you can help them and connect them, what’s happening is that when you next get a business challenge or you next get a customer that needs some more support you can say “Well I know somebody that can help you with that” and you can forward the connection on and you can make that network work for you. You might even on a personal note, need a new boiler, somebody in your network will know somebody that will be able to help you with that. So to me networking is not about physically going into a group and being formal about it, passing a business card out and it’s not about selling. Networking to me is about surrounding yourself with wonderful people that actually are supportive and you support them and you help each other to grow in a personal basis and personal development, but also on a business level. So if you’re nervous go with a mate, go to something that’s quite small, go to something that’s maybe fun maybe go and network at a half marathon or, you know, go to an event in your village or just go somewhere and start chatting to people you wouldn’t have chatted to. Be curious about what the other person’s all about, ask them lots of really nice questions…
Craig – Could you give us an example maybe of a couple of… What’s your sort of Go To? Is it as simple as ‘How are you?’, what would your follow up be?
Nicola – So I think a really great question is “What brings you here today?’, “Is the first time you’ve been here?” that’s a closed question but yes or no that’s all helpful. “First time you’ve been here? Oh yeah, I’m the same”, “What do you think? Are you going to be excited?”, “Where are we going with this? What do you think you’re going to learn today?”. So it’s lots of open questions, if you can, not closed questions, but I actually, as I say, they’re opening questions; “Is this the first time you’ve been here?”, “How are you finding it? What brought you here today?”, “What would you think we might learn?”, “How have you come to be here today?”. Those kinds of things really. I think sometimes it’s a little bit easier if you’re at a big formal event or an award ceremony, us ladies can comment on dresses, we can comment on shoes. It’s a little bit easier sometimes as a woman in that and I’m happy to say it’s to a lady “God that’s an amazing dress”. You start up a conversation. You know, complimenting somebody on their business or complimenting somebody on their on the sort of talk or their presentation is a great way of connecting. I remember two of the best connections I’ve ever made. One was an award winner and I just offered to buy them a drink. I said “Well congratulations, can I buy you a drink?”. And the second one was another award winner at another event I just went up and said “Congratulations, that was amazing how did you do it? How did you win that award?” And they’re one of my best mentors now.
Craig – Fantastic, so hopefully some takeaways for everyone there. You’ve read our book The Business Secret and you kindly wrote us a testimonial for it for the book. In chapter 5 we talk about work/life balance and its importance. How do you manage your time? And how is your work/life balance?
Nicola – Well, I don’t think any business owner would deny that actually being a business owner and an entrepreneur… In today’s world, it’s a 24/7, you’re on all the time and actually, it’s quite difficult when, like myself, you love work and you’re a bit of a workaholic. So to me, I have done two things. The first is I do work a lot, my other half’s very committed to his work, He’s a musician and a music teacher, and so he’s also working quite a lot. So we don’t see each other very much in the weeks, we just got married.
Craig – Congratulations!
Nicola – Thank you, So we have date nights. So we still have a date night. We got married, but we still have one night where we have a date night because the rest that we don’t really see each other very much. Then because of that, we keep one week a quarter free and we go on holiday. So because we know our work has to be during the week and we’re both very busy. So we work work work work we can’t stop ourselves but the payoff for that is once a quarter we will have a week away. And when I go away on holiday, I go away. I don’t stay in the house because that wouldn’t help me I’d be busy doing things in the house women will tell you can’t sit still. So I go away and I make sure that I don’t take my computer, I don’t take my phone and I do not work. I tell my clients I’m not available. I’ve got a PA so she can answer my emails and whatever, and the business doesn’t stop but actually, I am not available. I might still work on the business but I’m not in the business I might take business development books to read. I might make some connections, I might watch some videos, I might do some training on the sun lounger or wherever I am, but I am not working in the business I’m working on the business. So my payoff is I’ll work all hours god sends during the quarter for eleven weeks or ten weeks but I’ll have a holiday at least once a quarter.
Craig – That’s great to hear. So you two and half years in, give or take, to your journey as NRG. What are the biggest risks you’ve taken so far?
Nicola – Well some now ask me that and I think it’s actually just being myself and having the confidence that actually I can set the company up because you know as I’ve been in business 28 years, I’ve been in some senior director positions, but I still didn’t actually believe anybody would want to listen to what I had to say. So actually my biggest risk, because it is about my view of the world, I’ve developed the product now in the business now so it’s not just about my view of the world. We do have some tools and some processes and systems to help people but at the beginning, it was all about how I saw the world and how I could help people grow. So the biggest risk was just believing in myself and just doing it.
Craig – So what have we learned so far?
Nicola – Oh gosh!
Well, I think I’ve learned that you have to be confident. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in what you’re trying to do. You have to have a reason why. You have to be passionate. So my reason why, as I say, I love growing businesses, I want to grow Welsh businesses. I’ve moved to Wales, I’ve married a Welshman, My name’s now… Gosh, I can’t change the name because it’s all to do with the business but it’s Mrs. Jones. You can all sing the song and that’s it yeah… So I think first of all it’s being confident and believing in yourself, and why you’re doing something and what you want to do.
The second thing I think is clarity of thought, so being really clear on what you want to do, how you want to do it and focussed and clear on who you’re going to help and how you can help them- and clear, you know, from everything from what you gonna do in the day, what you can achieve to actually what you might want to say to somebody. Then consistency so constantly doing those things, doing the work as we used to say in advertising sales “Having the shoe leather” actually walking the streets doing the work doing the do. Constantly being consistent in the action and consistent in the quality and consistent in how you view the world and how you help people. Then finally celebrating! There’s nothing better to helping you move your business forward than celebrating your achievements. I write a daily journal as a company called the daily journals… the greatness journals… The daily greatness journals and they’ve got manifestations of mantras and they help you. They ask you every day to write three things that you’ve done really well and they tell you to think about all the things you’re thankful for. I think that’s the kind of thing that keeps you going in the middle of a week when it’s “oh you’ve had an awful week” and the clients that go at you and something else hasn’t gone right and somebody has not paid you or, you know, all the business problems everybody’s facing… actually celebrating some of the little things in every week really helps you keep going.
Craig – So that an app…?
Nicola – Now the daily greatest journals they’re a paper based books and we’ve talked about age quite a bit, people probably getting the thing about I’ve got I think about my age. But anyway I’m getting old, I’m of the generation that went to school with a pen and paper. And so for me if I’ve got to think about anything or I’ve got to work something out I have to be a pencil or a pen in my hands in fact I work with with pens quite a bit. So it’s a written paper journal you can get them online and they have different ones – they have yoga journals, parenting journals, wellbeing journals, greatness journals and a business journal. So I started off with the greatest journal. It’s good for confidence. It’s good for understanding what your value us and what value you add to other businesses and that was really really good for clarity myself. It really helped me understand what value I add to businesses and then now I’ve moved onto the business journal which is all about setting goals and working through every quarter and every week, the three things you want to work on for your business. So really helps you again with clarity and focus.
Craig – Well… not to that detail you sounds like you did, but I just use a simple app called WinStreak and every day at the end of the day, I record three things have gone well in that what three things need to go well the next day for me, I’ve been doing that for two years now and I do find that it ends the day on a positive.
Nicola – Absolutely
Craig – Because you have to look for a positive
Nicola – You have to look for positive but also there’s so much that you do as a business owner every single day and it might be the smallest thing. I asked somebody a question the other day that led to them changing something in the business that put 50 grand on the bottom line. I just asked them a small question but it had a massive impact on their business. Now you know I would not write that down in a journal if I wasn’t writing something down, but when he told me a few weeks later I was like right I’m having that, that’s a success. I asked a question and that resulted in him changing his business and adding £50K to the bottom line. That’s a small small thing but has a massive impact. So they are the kind of things that you would just never remember in a week of a busy business life. So they’re really important to celebrate.
Craig – Excellent. What’s not going so well then? If you look back over the journey so far that since you were NRG what would you say has not gone so well.
Nicola – I think it’s interesting isn’t it. Well I’m gonna answer this in two parts. There’s lots of things that you can always improve. God… my use of technology, if anybody tells you! I’ve got a P.A, She’s 22 and She runs circles around me and I’m so glad she works with me because she teaches me things every single day of the week. I suppose I don’t really look at things not going so well, I don’t really think I’ve had a lot of failures… I’m sure I have had just like everybody else but I don’t see them that way. To me … Oh that’s the coffee van and quick run!… To me I see them as something to learn from. So people ask me all the time “What’s your biggest failure?” and I can’t really say because to me I don’t see it as a failure. I see it as something to learn from. So whether it be, you know, it took me six and a half months to buy my new computer for God’s sake! It’s a small piece of kit but I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted to do Google, if I wanted to do Apple if I wanted to do Microsoft. If I did Gmail do I get Microsoft. Oh my God it took me… What a waste of time. That’s probably a failure.
Craig – So what would you do different this time?
Nicola – Oh I’ve just gone to the person at the tech company and said “Right what’s the benefits of these three are apps right. Which one to do right. Buy the kit.” You know I’d made in an hour not six months, but sometimes the smallest decisions as a business owner can seem so big because you want to get it right for the future.
I suppose if there’s a failure it’s not doing stuff quick enough and not acting… you know just you know that you’re going to ask me I’m sure later on about the piece of advice that I’d give to people, one is just do it. Just get on and do it. Doesn’t matter what it is. Absolutely mitigate the risk, think about it, plan it. But just do it, stop talking about it because if you can inspire action you will grow from it. Whether it’s a mistake you’ll learn, you’ll grow whether it’s actually in putting some profit on your bottom line you will grow. Action means you will grow. Think about going to the gym. The worst part is putting your trainers on and doing that first 10 minutes but after 10 minutes you’re fitter than you were 10 minutes earlier.
Craig – Okay, I like that… oh and apologies to Nike for the just do it reference. We’ve always had a mentor here a penguin it’s something we talk about we get in The Business Secret. I would suggest you’ve been a better mentor for two our team over the over the last two years.
Do you yourself then… you are arguably a mentor? Do you yourself as a mentor of you? Have you done anything?
Nicola – Absolutely, I am a mentor. I’ve got a number of younger mentees. I like mentoring the younger generation, the early career starters because they have so much to give and they’re like sponges, they soak everything up and then what they going to do with stuff is inspiring. So absolutely in terms of being a mentor I’m very passionate about that. In terms of being a mentee I have had many people support me and help me, whether it be formally or informally, so I pay for a mentor. But I also have many many informal mentors and surrounding yourself with the right… I’d class you as one of those, surrounding yourself with the right people is really important. The thing with… the thing with being a mentee or being a mentor, either way, is you have to figure out what it is you’re trying to do because that affects the type of person you want to go and speak to. So is it personal motivation and inspiration you need? Is it business guidance and strategic thinking? Or is it actually operational process driven work that you want to have some more support? Or is it taking your business to the next level? That will affect the type of mentor you go with and it might be you want something formal because you want that kind of relationship or it might actually be you want something informal. Because actually you know that’s the best way to, you want that relationship you want that friendship, You want that support. So figure out what it is you’re trying to improve and then find that mentor.
Craig – Yeah on that point I think as I look back on my journey, you know I’ve worked with a number of different actors and I think as you refer to them I used to be in different areas. I think that is very rare. Any tips to anyone on how we go and find that right where they start? If it’s not a you know where they go? Is it worth a website to find these people I mean in our industry it’s quite specific. You see them in our local industry press and then you can go outside of that obviously if you know where you’re going. Any tips?
Nicola – I definitely think that’s really important. Look at the more senior thought leaders in your industry and go and ask them actually who they would consider to be a good mentor.
That’s if it’s about business, if it’s about growing your business in a particular area. If it’s about motivation and inspiration and personal development then there are a number of people. Again look at the person that you respect in your local area and ask them who they have as a mentor. There are quite a number of organizations in Wales that have mentor/mentee programs and quite a number of them are free and so go and have a look on the various websites. I wouldn’t really just go for an advertisement of a coach or a mentor. I think there’s quite a lot of those around at the moment, Facebook ads so full of them. I wouldn’t personally do that. Not saying there’s anything wrong with them but I’d really prefer much more of a personal recommendation or an industry specific recommendation or a peer group recommendation.
Craig – Thank you. Some real value in there I think. As Financial Planners we like to see business owners are planning for their eventual exit/financial freedom date. Have you planned that far ahead yet? Are you working on the end the end game?
Nicola – Yes. As I say we’ve just got married. We went on a honeymoon. We have two weeks out. We were able to think and reflect on where we were as a couple, we’ve been together for 10 years, so it’s quite a long time but it’s quite a momentous thing married and we’ve decided that we’ve got a five year plan and in five years we want to have more financial freedom to pretty much do what we want to do. That might be set up some more businesses, it might be helps some charities, it might be do some mentee with younger people. I’m quite passionate about getting younger people into business, as you can hear, or it might actually be just go around the world for 12 months I don’t know what it’ll be.
But we’ve definitely agreed that we’re going to focus for five years on developing a wealth program for ourselves, so whether it be investments, property, paper business four pillars of wealth management and investment, we’re going to look at those I’m going to try our best to give ourselves some financial freedom in five years. The business is part of that obviously. So I think for the business, I love being in business so I don’t know if I’ll ever not be in business. It might not. I don’t think I’ll exit per se or sell it per se but it might be that I create the business to be passive income for me to dip in and dip out and do other things.
Craig – Excellent, I need to ask… mentor helping you with the financial wealth decisions?
Nicola – Oh well! I am indeed! Right now I have more than one. I have a number of people in this area. I have some clients in this area and I have some mentors in this area. So I think I think sometimes it’s nice to have different perspectives because again people see things for different areas.
Craig – Absolutely and going back to what you said about mentors and mentees, ff someone has a specialism in the area then you’ve get that advice if it’s there.
Nicola – Exactly.
Craig – OK. We talk about in the book about paying yourself first, and me and you have talked about this off air about generally. Do you pay yourself first?
Nicola – Absolutely, and I actually pay my staff within 24 hours of them sending me an invoice or the pay day. To me keeping yourself or your staff motivated is really important. So even if I have to wait for clients to pay me my team are paid. To be honest I forget about invoices and payment. So I just have to do it straightaway. It’s one of the processes I have and I think there’s something lovely in be able to say to people “I pay you first of all it’s important to me that you were happy and you understand that that’s important to me”. I think is a bigger point though actually there as well which is you have to know your numbers, understanding your business, understanding your cash, your turnover, your costs, your profitability, understanding that to me is a massive inspiration because if I know I’ve paid myself and I’ve had this turnover and I’ve had this many costs that made this much profit and I’ve paid myself. Actually that means that I know what I want to do next. So it’s a real motivator for me. So I sell even though it actually takes me far too long and I should probably have a book keeper by now. I still like doing it because it makes me understand what my business is all about
Craig – And that can come. So what you see in your business future?
Nicola – Gosh, hopefully more of the same. I adore… every day is different. Oh you can probably gather I’m so excitable about things, I am enthusiastic I can go on but it’s because I just love it! I love the people I work with and I’m getting emotional. I love the people I work with. I love my clients. I love seeing people go from one.. a skill or one way of being and then growing and developing and becoming something else. I’ve got my P.A, I mentor her. She set up her own virtual assistant business. She was working for a company, she got made redundant, I picked her up and said “Come on and work for me for a little while. I’ll give you some hours every week. What do you want to do?” Not sure.
Within 12 months we’ve gone through some strategy with her, She’s grown a business, She’s now got people working with her and for her and she’s amazing. Her growth is… I’m just so passionate to see that and I love to see that stuff and that happens with clients, It happens with people I work with and that is important to me.
So their success I suppose is my success. I think I’ve had a little part in that, just a little part but what I’ve helped them do it’s been important. So more and more of the same, more motivation, more inspiration. Hopefully lots more clients and I’m doing some half marathons and giving some money to charity and all that good stuff that comes with being positive and proactive in business really.
Craig – So Note to self, Alice maybe needs to do an interview for us then.
Nicola – Absolutely, Do that for the Yeah. Ask Alice. That’s the name of a company as well so ask Alice. Yeah she’ll have to answer these questions.
Craig – So you’ve given lots of great stuff so far, if you had to give… someone’s come up to you “I’m starting a business tomorrow Nicola”, what the one piece of advice you think you’d tell them to do?
Nicola – Well I don’t want to say the Nike slogan again but just go for it.
It would be, you know, do something. Give some inspired action because without action you’re going nowhere.
So just go and do something go and do it. Stop talking about it. Stop planning it. Actually physically go and do something. There’s a little story when I first set up I was in the Entrepreneurial Hub in Cardiff and the first task was to give our business plans in and you can do business model canvasses and all these kind of things. And one of the people said “oh I’ve done my business cards this week”. anyway two, three, four weeks four months go by, three months go by and somebody said to me; “Nicola where’s your business cards?” I said I hadn’t done them yet. “Why haven’t you done them? You’re in marketing and sales where’s your business cards?”. I genuinely could not actually do my business cards because I was so worried I would get the branding wrong on them because I’m a branding expert and a marketing expert and that my cards are really important because I network a lot. I just didn’t want to get them wrong. Somebody said “You’ve sat there for three months without a business card. How the hell are you still in business? It’s ridiculous. Don’t be so silly. Get a business card done”. And this was the Thursday, he said
“We have a meeting on Tuesday, I expect to see your business cards.” Well thank goodness for VistaPrint and all those various online printing companies. I shouldn’t give an advert. But I did them and actually he looks at them and says they’re amazing. I was so worried I was going to get them wrong and sometimes because of our characters we talk about things, we want things the plan to be perfect and absolutely you have to make sure you’re not going to take a silly risk. But we actually spend so much time planning and thinking we don’t do.
And the first thing to do is take that little step and just get on and do something
Craig – Sort of take a brief interval to see if VistaPrint or Nike are listening and they want to sponsor the podcast that they’re more than welcome!
Nicola – We’re very open to that.
Craig – So if you could go back to the start. So there is some great stuff already, I mean I’ll bring that all together at the end.
If we go back to start you give yourself three pieces of advice, as you were starting this journey again, knowing what you know now. What would be the three… Apart from just do it, because we’ve got that I think, what three pieces of advice would you give yourself?
Nicola – Value your time properly. Make sure that every minute of every day you’re getting the maximum out of that minute.
We only live… I think there’s eighty six thousand four hundred… or eighty six thousand seven hundred seconds in a day. Okay. We all have the same amount of time. So how can some people like Richard Branson, one of my heroes, get so much out of the day and yet somebody else get so little out of the day? We have the same amount of time value every minute and do your best in that time at that, my dad gave me two pieces of advice… One was: Be the best you can be every single day, and so that’s one of the things I would say. The second thing is use technology really well, the more efficient you can be with technology the better but don’t let technology be you, you still have to be yourself, But use but use it to help you.
And then finally I suppose surround yourself with the right people.
Craig – Fantasti. Just some quick fire questions that we’re going to try and finish every podcast if I may.
Well what book you are currently reading?
Nicola – Traction by Gino Wickham, Re-Reading it actually it was your recommendation many years ago. Can I put a plug in here actually? And so I’ve just launched in Intabrante which is a kind Cardiff of business book club. It’s free to attend and each month a group of likeminded business people get together and we review a business book, and we chat about it over wine and nibbles. So there’s some incentive to come along and basically this month’s restructure by Gino Wickam and we genuinely have between 10 and 15 people come along. So if you’re interested just PM me and come along.
Craig – Sorry PM being…
Nicola – Facebook Personal Messager
Craig – Apologies, technology is not my strong point either.
What is the best business book you’ve read?
Nicola – I think that probably some of the Richard Branson books any of those or Traction actually is one of my favorites
Craig – Yeah Traction would be up there for me if I was recommending. What music are you currently listening to?
Nicola – Anything on Spotify or Amazon lists. I’m a massive… I love my car. I’ve got a little convertible and so I’d love nothing better the Bluetooth on, sticking Amazon or Spotify on and just going for a drive.
Craig – One of those random…?
Nicola – Yeah, Just anything you know…. We have it in the office and one day we’ll be listening classic, the next day we’ll be listening to country and the next listening will know Maroon 5 or Jonas Brothers. So it’s very whatever. I love a bit 90’s R and B but pretty much anything and everything.
Craig – Fantastic. What podcast would you promote?
Nicola – You know what now. I don’t listen to podcasts and this is a weakness of mine. I’m not really in a place often I can listen to what I don’t really drive very far, and I’m generally in meetings a lot with people, that’s what is important to me. So actually I’ll chuck that on its head and ask you which one you would promote?
Craig – Ours, obviously, The Business Secret. I’m a big fan, within the industry, of the Maven the adviser. He’s someone I’ve known for years and I like the stuff that he puts out. It’s good for the public as well as for people in our profession. But I’m really keen at the moment on Michael Hiatt from the States. In it, ah sugar I can’t remember the name of it … I just press the button now… In It To Win It? No? I will put that in the show notes, so I will find out but it’s a lot of good little things. He’s got a book, a couple of books, as well but he has some good little tidbits on it and things like that.
Which box sets or TV shows are a must for you/ If you’ve got any time?
Nicola – We do, actually, is what we have a half an hour or an hour every night yet, so I’m probably like everybody else the whole sort of streaming, sort of, of TV show so we’ve just finished a Burn Notice on Amazon Prime. We often have a crime drama going and the comedy. So depending on what mood we’re in. So. We just done Burn Notice, I’m just about start Handmaid’s Tale and we’ve just in Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Amazon and Netflix. Have to say though don’t tell anybody… I’ve never watched Game Of Thrones.
Craig – Nor me. No I can say, there’s a reason why I haven’t but I can’t show that on here. I think I know the answer to the last question but who’s your business idol?
Nicola – It would be Richard Branson and that’s for two reasons actually. The first one is that he is himself. You know he’s a bit of a rebel. He’s always been a rebel. The way he set up his businesses was all a bit by hook or by grook, fake it till you make it but he’s made it, and he turns up to meetings in Jeans and shirt. That’s because it’s him. Now that wouldn’t be my style, I like wearing business attire, like being professional, like wearing dresses and high heels and all that kind of stuff so be yourself. And the second point is he has so many disparate business organizations, it’s not one sector he’s focused on and he’s been able to do that because he’s surrounded himself with the right people and they run his businesses for him. And that’s a bit like the Nicola Rylett Group. I am one person. I have a group and a network of associates with me and they know the stuff about finance, They know this about HR, they know the stuff about security and technology and so I’m able to go into businesses, do the diagnostic and then figure out who in my team is the best person to go and help that organization and I think that’s really important. I don’t have to be sector specific so a bit like him really I think that’s how my business will grow, it will have lots of different types of business skill in the organization. So yeah he is himself and he surrounds himself with the right people and that’s allowed him to take any opportunity that comes this way.
Craig – Okay. So where can people find out more about you? Where can we find you?
Nicola – Well there is a… If you put Nicola well into Google pretty much I come upon LinkedIn and Facebook and I’ve got a Google Website but pretty much you know ask anybody in Cardiff and most people know who I am.
Craig – OK well thank you very much for joining us today Nicola. I’ll just summarize the key messages I took from Nicola’s talk.
I think it’s fantastic about one week per quarter I really like that and I think they might seek to become more popular generally so fantastic. Get yourself a mentor I heard, and Nicola’s up for being a mentor if anybody needs any support in any areas. Marketing wise; Networking has always been the way and Nicola still believes in that and she’d say value your time, be the best you can be, and use technology which I can certainly testify that we’re not the best… Or I’m not the best at that. Thank you for joining us Nicola.
Nicola – Thanks ever so much Craig, Pleasure.