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Those of you that read our blogs and follow me on Social Media know that I used to work in music for 14 years

One of the people that helped me discover new music growing up was Steve Lamacq on the Evening Session along with Jo Whiley

Yesterday I read this snippet in the Popb*tch email about advice you’d be given by celebrities and this was a golden nugget from Steve Lamacq

“One night in the late 90s I was in a Camden bar trying to flog copies of my fanzine, when I spotted top DJ Steve Lamacq. I nervously offered him a free copy, which he insisted on paying for. We then had a lovely chat about his own days as a fanzine writer, and he gave me the top tip: Always drive to gigs with not enough money or petrol to get home. Then you’ll have no choice but to sell a few copies…”

It made me think deeply about business and how so many of us have crutches that we rely on and therefore we don’t push our businesses hard enough

You’re never going to sell when you don’t need to as you’re sitting on a pile of cash

In many ways this feels like the wrong time to say this, in the middle of global pandemic, but there is never a right time for tough love

“Kick away your crutches and make today year zero”

Definition of a crutch

“A source or means of support or assistance that is relied on heavily or excessively”

If you have things that you can fall back on, you tend to cruise

Our business is based in Altrincham – in the grand scheme of things it’s a fairly well off area and people around here have it a lot easier than most

Just spend 5 minutes thinking about all the financial crutches you have in your life

– Savings
– Rich Parents
– A partner who financially supports
– Inheritance
– A well paid job you could walk back into next week
– No Personal Debts
– Holiday Homes / Property Portfolio that brings in an extra income

Now I want you to be honest with yourself

You’re sat there thinking “I do have it pretty easy, don’t I?”

Does having all that mean that deep down you don’t push your business has hard as you could / should?

If you didn’t have those crutches would you be operating your business in the same way or would you be putting in 10x more effort?

For some people this isn’t a choice – there are no financial crutches

So be grateful for the hand you’ve been dealt

But now is the time for change

Make tomorrow year zero and act as if the only thing that will grow your business is hard work

If you had none of the above crutches, would your business stand on its own 2 feet and give you the income you need to live / lifestyle you want to live

Are you putting in the hours?
Are you marketing enough?
Are you networking enough?
Are you bringing in a steady flow of leads?
Are the sales strong enough?
Do you have enough income to live on just from the business?

When you kick away your crutches, you needs to be 100% honest with yourself

An accountability partner is a person who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment

The accountability partner could be your actual partner – it will involve difficult conversations and them showing tough love rather than saying “Don’t worry. Everything’s OK. Take a few days off”


It could be an accountability partner from your networking group or someone from a specialist field like marketing or sales

Whoever you choose should give praise and encouragement where it’s due, but not be afraid to give you a kick up the behind when you need it

You’ll have goals and tasks and expected outcomes and someone will hold you to account

The Unfair Advantage” by Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba is a really good book which highlighted a lot of things in my life that could have been an advantage

It wasn’t wealth or a rich family in my case. My mum was a nurse and my dad worked for Royal Mail. I came from a very ordinary background

My unfair advantage was I didn’t have any of the crutches above and therefore the only way I was ever going to build a business was by sheer hard work and determination

If I didn’t work hard, I didn’t drive sales, I didn’t market myself and my business then the reality was pretty grim – no one was able to bail me out on my mortgage and I’d have to go and get a job I hate

Right now there’s someone out there in your industry that has that same unfair advantage – the work ethic and desire to succeed purely because there is no other way


Yes or No

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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