As solopreneurs we’re accustomed to setting ourselves apart from the crowd; we dream, do and create things with our lives others only contemplate doing. But have you ever set such a lofty goal that nearly everyone – including professionals in the field you’ve set your goal within – have told you you’re crazy?
Our guest for episode 199 did. John Richardson is a serial entrepreneur, business coach and author who decided he would golf below par in one year. Professional golfers told him he was mad, but he did it anyway. Join us as we talk about that experience, as well as his early failures and subsequent successes and more on this edition of The Solopreneur Hour.
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John hails from Northern Ireland and today splits his time between London and there. Growing up in Northern Ireland he experienced firsthand The Troubles of the 1970s and 80s that region of the world went through. His father was a business man with a company on the eastern side of the city. He moved John and the rest of John’s family out after his lorries (large trucks) were blown up one too many times.
After that John spent most of his days in a nearby seaside town that felt like an entirely different world. He went to school, then on to university in England where he earned a business degree. After university he returned to Belfast and set up a sandwich shoppe.
It was perfect timing: he was providing a great product, Northern Ireland was hungry (pun intended) for new food offerings and so his shoppe took off. It grew from one location to many, employing 60 people in its heyday. John enjoyed the fruits of his labors, he was only in his 20s but business and life were good.
Until the bottom dropped out. John’s business had grown so quickly they brought on a business partner to help them keep up with the demands. The partner turned out to be a shady character who stole from them and racked up debts. John had to sell his shoppes to pay the debts, and avoid bankruptcy (which they did by “the skin of their teeth”, according to John).
More About This Show:
- Do we need an ass-kicking to truly be successful?
- What is the GOYA principle?
- The importance of belief in yourself, and what you’re doing.
- The site AskTheBuilder.com and what it has to do with solopreneurship.
- Why having your story is the best ammunition you can have.
- And SO much more!
By age 29 he was back where he had started: all his shoppes had been sold and it was time to build another business from the ground up. But this time John had his first hard knocks learning lesson to guide him, and he did some things differently. Being a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, he and his partners ran a restaurant, a bar, a property management company and even a domain name registration company.
Truly he was and is a hustler, one of the keys to making it as a solopreneur. And the same is true for his daughter, who we discuss in this episode too. His daughter is Aimee Richardson, a young actress who played Princess Marcella on the first three seasons of Game of Thrones. Aimee inherited or simply emulated her dad’s “hustleness” and has taken on acting as her passion.
When she was not recast in her princess role on HBO’s hit, she made a clip for Vine that went viral. She knows the importance of hustle, social media and perseverance already, and is committed to making the most of every opportunity that comes her way.
As does her father. John’s ambitious goal to break par in 12 months or less that when he pulled it off, it made for such an engaging and successful story a movie deal was struck. Just a few weeks into the original filming of it one of the major backers pulled out and they had to stop shooting. They’ve since found additional funding, but John says if he hadn’t experienced his earlier failures he wouldn’t have been able to handle it the way he did.
We also get into John’s story of how and why he set his golfing goal in the first place. He decided it was time he achieve some level of expertise in a sport, and he wanted to do it by his 40th birthday. He was tired and frustrated with not being a good golfer, so he set the goal of breaking par (or shooting a round on an 18-hole golf course in under 80 strokes) within the next 12 months.
Getting to this level is akin to reaching pro status…shooting under 80 is what the big boys do on the professional golf circuit. Less than 1% of all golfers reach this level, but John joined them with just a few days to spare! He later wrote a book about his experience and, being the consummate solopreneur hustler that he is, he created a golfing product called Breaking Par (see the resources for links to both).
And he shares with us his formula that he attributes to his successful completion of this goal: set a crystal clear goal for yourself with a marked deadline, and be passionate about both achieving the goal and leaving behind something you’re frustrated with that led you to set this goal in the first place. John wanted to be a great golfer, he was tired of being a shoddy one and he set a specific goal with a deadline attached to it. If you do the same you can achieve almost anything.
John and I get into plenty more on this episode so be sure to listen in and get the in-depth discussion with all his pearls of wisdom! And then join me in thanking John for being here with us, and thank yourselves too. I know I do! See you next time on The Solopreneur Hour.
John Richardson’s web site
Break Par Blueprint
John Richardson on Twitter
Dream On, audio version of John Richardson’s book
Dream On, John Richardson’s book on Amazon
Princess For Hire on Vine
Proudly Unemployable, the Facebook group
SoloLab: A Unique Mastermind
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