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Developing Your Entrepreneurial Business with Daniel Priestley

Are you an entrepreneur looking to scale up your business? Or perhaps you’re still figuring out your company’s purpose. Then you need to listen to Daniel Priestley, showman, visionary, speaker, and author. 

Daniel’s willed a number of multi-million-pound businesses into existence from nothing, written four best-selling business books and is the co-founder of Dent Global, an incubator for startups run by people with business experience under their belts. 

“The one thing that stood out to me is that very few of them [entrepreneurs] are 22-year-olds. Most entrepreneurs have been in their industry as an employee for 15 years before they then get the confidence and the skills and the connections to start a company. Most entrepreneurs are around 40 when they start, and most people who achieve an exit are typically in their early 50s.”

So if you’re someone who has an idea, knowledge and network to create a business and want to create a better life for yourself, Daniel is the guy you want to go and see. 

In this podcast, Dominic and Daniel discuss the inspiration for Dent Global, the type of people who might want to join the entrepreneur accelerator programme, what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and an easy hack for finding a purpose for your business. 

On today’s podcast:

  • The Silicon Valley inspiration behind his entrepreneur accelerator programme
  • The CHAOS methodology
  • Why most entrepreneurs don’t want a big exit
  • Why you need a value proposition creation
  • The dichotomy of being an entrepreneur
  • How to create purpose in your business

Links:

Daniel Priestley’s Cookbook For Creating a Great Business

Daniel Priestley is an entrepreneur and author. He founded his very first company when he was just 21. He grew this company in Australia, exited it and started what is now Dent Global. He runs entrepreneur accelerators all over the world, helping about 3,000 companies to stand out, scale-up and make a big dent in the universe.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you want your business to stand out and scale up, then Daniel is someone you might want to pay attention to. 

But what if you’re not a spring chicken? Well, says Daniel, you’re in good company. 

“The one thing that stood out to me is that very few of them [entrepreneurs] are 22-year-olds. Most entrepreneurs have been in their industry as an employee for 15 years before they then get the confidence and the skills and the connections to start a company. Most entrepreneurs are around 40 when they start, and most people who achieve an exit are typically in their early 50s.”

How to create a great business

Daniel’s accelerator programme has a methodology they use called CHAOS – concept, audience, offer and sales. They believed that great companies rise up out of chaos – a good concept to the right audience, packaged up as the right offer and sold effectively. 

Once you’ve established your value proposition, you have to become your chief salesperson, the key person of influence in your business. You have to be the person who can mobilise outcomes, mobilise partnerships and mobilise employees joining the company. You have to be able to pitch, to put out published content, to have a decent product ecosystem and be able to evolve the product quickly. You have to be able to raise not only your own profile quickly, but the profile of your business. 

If you can do all of that, then you’re on your way. 

After this, you need to have proprietary assets, a performing team and predictable profits. These three things are the reason companies get bought and sold. 

And if you’re looking for a big exit, Daniel says you need to have 40+ people working for you, a median of predictable profit year on year and the secret sauce – special assets that are very hard to copy. 

If you can achieve these things, you might have the recipe for a whopping big exit.  

The lifestyle business

But most entrepreneurs don’t start their business looking for a big exit. 

“The vast majority of tennis players don’t actually want to win Wimbledon, or even play professionally. What they want to do is play tennis and enjoy tennis. So when I look at most entrepreneurs, what they’re actually looking for is what I would describe as a lifestyle business.” 

Most entrepreneurs start their own business because they have a great idea, they’ve learned the ropes of the business and they don’t want a boss anymore. They want fun, flexibility, a really healthy income and not a lot of demands or a high degree of creative freedom. 

“I would say that something like 75-80% of all entrepreneurs if I said to them ‘in order to get your exit, you have to build a business that has at least 40 employees’, most of them say ‘yeah, I don’t even want 4’.”

How to find your general manager

The problem with most entrepreneurs is that they hate rules and authority, they don’t want to be the boss and they don’t like structure, but in order for their company to grow and succeed they need authority and structure. 

Which is why they need a great general manager. 

But where do you find awesome generalists?

“Anyone who’s previously run a McDonald’s, like junior manager, manager, or Starbucks, sometimes if they’ve run a bank, and sometimes if they’ve run a call centre, anyone who’s managed those types of operations, can run any business up to about £5 million a year.”

Creating purpose is like an arranged marriage

Finally, once your business is going in the direction you want it to, if you find it lacks soul, the thing you’ll want to instil is a sense of purpose. 

Daniel says the easiest and most efficient way to find a purpose quickly is to align yourself with the UN Global Goals, of which there are 17. These are the 17 things that the UN believes the world is most in need of. These are the big problems that need fixing. 

Pick two, says Daniel, one for your head and one for your heart. The one for your head should match your brand:

“If you’re a training company, then you know, the goal around education is a great one. If you’re a health company, goal three is good health. If your business is business coaching, good jobs and economic growth is actually one of the goals.”

The one for your heart should be one that really tugs your heartstrings. Something that you believe is an atrocity that we’re not doing enough to remedy. 

Book recommendations

“The book that changes your life the most is not one you read, it’s one that you write.”

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