001: Why I created the Parentpreneur Accelerator podcast

"Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming. Its easy to lose perspective and work frantically to the detriment of everything else" - Alexis Kingsbury

In this first ever episode, I’d like to tell you a bit about who the Parentpreneur Accelerator podcast is for, what we’ve got coming up in the next few episodes, why I created this podcast, what we’ve got coming up in the next few episodes, and the key lessons I’ve learned from 17+ years as an entrepreneur and conversations with over 100 other Parentpreneurs.

 

Links/Resources mentioned in the interview:

  1. Stories from Parentpreneurs I’ve worked with
  2. Parentpreneur Accelerator Community on Facebook
  3. Episode 003: Steve Bolton
  4. Episode 004: Aleksandra King
  5. Episode 005: The Six Steps to Your First Sale

 

Transcript:

I’ll start by going back to 2011, when I had just started out building a software start up business with an ex colleague and my now co-founder, Paddy. We had set out to create a software business which we called Spidergap, which was designed to be a survey tool to rival Surveymonkey. To say we were excited, keen to develop it and get going was an understatement.

Before long, we found ourselves working crazy hours, even working right through the night, regularly. We then got ready for a huge launch party which saw over 100 people attend and the feedback was immense! Everyone was telling us how amazing it was and we were absolutely convinced this would be our turnaround moment. However, one year later when we sat down to look at our figures we realised that our average turnover since the party had been a mere £47 per month. That was revenue, not profit. Fortunately we’d done some consulting around the sides to cover our business costs, but we had little left over to cover our personal expenses.

This was a problem, because by 2012, I had big life plans. I had found the love of my life. An amazing, bright, and beautiful woman called Sarah who I had moved in with.

Unfortunately she was pretty fed up with me, due to the ridiculous number of hours I was working and the very little time I was dedicating to her. I had also gained a lot of weight, becoming obese and lethargic. On some occasions I’d work late on my laptop in bed, which was particularly irritating to her.

I then found out, via a friend, that Sarah was thinking about kicking me out. I was devastated.

How had I not seen that the business I was building was having this effect?!

I realised it wasn’t the business, it was how I was building it.

I was going to lose the most important person in my life and I needed to make drastic changes.

So I started making hard decisions, limiting my work time, and made a fundamental change to focus the business on a more specific niche.

In addition to the time with my family, I spent time on my fitness, resulting in me losing 49 pounds getting in the best shape of my life.

In 18 months, we increased our profit to over £18k per month excluding any consulting work.

Over time we became the best in this niche. If you now look for “the best 360 feedback tool”, you’ll find Spidergap at the top of the review sites and Google, and we are extremely proud of this.

But the real benefit of all of this wasn’t the business success. It’s the fact that Sarah did not throw me out, and instead we got married and now have two wonderful children who I spend loads of time with. This is far more important to me.

I also found my passion – helping Parentpreneurs to build their businesses whilst spending time with the family they love.

Through my Parentpreneur Accelerator programs I now teach and help Parentpreneurs to build successful businesses without having to sacrifice time with their partners and kids, something I almost very nearly lost.

Since starting the Parentpreneur Accelerator 2015, I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing Parentpreneurs with some truly unique businesses. I’ll share their stories through interviews on this podcast but if you can’t wait, you can check some of them out at parentpreneur.com/stories

So what have I learnt through more than 17 years as an entrepreneur, and speaking to other Parentpreneurs?

Well over the next few years I’ll share it all with you on this podcast.

However, here are my top 3 lessons learned….

Lesson One: Success is a journey, not a destination.

Success isn’t something that you hit all of a sudden and say “wow, great I’ve made a billion dollars”, you have to enjoy it on the way. This includes working on your fitness and health, spending time with your family, getting outside in the fresh air, enjoying the fact that you can work from wherever and so on…. Most importantly, you have to be able to enjoy those things now and not some distant point in the future.

In episode 3 of this podcast, I interview Steve Bolton, founder of the fastest growing premium franchise in the UK. In one part of the interview, Steve shares some great tips on how to spend more of your journey being successful, and provides one particularly amazing suggestion on how to be more happy and content with your progress.

Lesson Two: If you don’t decide what you want in advance, then you will not get it.

Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, and its easy to lose a sense of perspective end up working frantically on your business to the detriment of everything else.

I’ve learned that you must set out the goals that you want to achieve in advance, and design your perfect week to include the balance that you want.

Then live it! Or at least try to live it a bit more each and every week so that you enjoy the ride.

In episode 4, I interview Aleksandra King, who became well known after appearing as a candidate in the 2016 UK series of The Apprentice on the BBC. She famously left in week 4 of her own accord after deciding that the process didn’t provide enough work-life balance. In our interview, Aleksandra shares how she was able to make such a difficult decision to leave the process despite considerable pressure, and how she and her husband juggle their two businesses whilst still having time with their kids.

Lesson Three: There is a repeatable process for building start-ups which really works… if you follow it.

It took me a very long time to work this out, but now I have found a step-by-step process that works to create successful startups, that you are passionate about and have a real market demand. I have been using this process with the Parentpreneurs that I work with and in turn helping them build their businesses from scratch.

In episode 5, I’ll share this process with you in the form of the 6 Steps to Your First Sale… I’ll explain why your first milestone for your startup should be to get your first sales, and how to go through 6 steps to get them. I’ll explain why we don’t start with an ‘idea’ and how we make sure that your business is built on a foundation of the right balance of time and a deep passion within you.

Knowing the process isn’t sufficient though, as the hard part is keeping focused on the right steps to take, and taking them in the right order.

So, over the next few months I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned through the 8 start-ups I’ve founded and over 100 businesses that I’ve worked with. I’ll also share the experiences of others through interviews with successful, early-stage and aspiring Parentpreneurs.

By listening, you’ll build the skills and understanding to allow see where you are now, where you need to aim for, what you need to do next, and what specific steps will help get you there most quickly.

I’m really looking forward to taking this journey with you. Please join me by subscribing to this podcast, listening to the first five episodes -all of which are available on launch day, listening to new episodes as they become available each week, and by joining our community of Parentpreneurs on Facebook. You can find the details of how to join the group at parentpreneur.com/community

Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you over in the community.

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About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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