Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Alfie Best
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Introducing Alfie Best
Today’s guest, joining us today on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview is Alfie Best.
He is a man who has made a huge success of finding the potential in areas he has knowledge in and then working really hard to make it all come together.
He is a successful entrepreneur driven by tenacity.
With humble origins, born and raised in a Romany Gypsy family, this self-made man studied at “University of Life” and started his professional path totally from scratch.
However, coming from a poor background and a minority group only gave him even more desire to succeed.
As a gypsy, he had to face many obstacles and prejudices but he has never allowed those to ruin his dreams and ambitions or to disrupt his investments into the businesses he operates.
Instead, he has taken those negative prejudices and turned them into positives by surrounding himself with a diverse and multicultural team.
How The Dots Joined Up For Alfie
As he says “My philosophy for good business is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration; my sole focus is to drive the businesses forward without losing sight of the goal.
Park homes were my upbringing so it was a natural progression to purchase a mobile home park; from 1 park to more than 40, Wyldecrest Parks has now become the No.1 Park Home Operator in the UK for the retired and semi-retired wishing to enjoy the quiet life and community spirit.
And when it comes to seeing the potential in an idea, Alfie Best has a very up and positive outlook for sure.
“In my view” he says “there is no such thing as a bad idea, just the ability to drive it forward with a realistic approach.”
So if there is no such thing as a bad idea, why do so many people fail when it comes to starting a business?
And if he looks back at his life has he learnt more from the knocks he has endured or from the
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Alfie Best
During the entrepreneur podcast show we had deep hitting conversations with Alfie Best around subjects such as:
Alfie shares how the competition inspires him everyday to raise his own standards and that of his team. It truly is what lights his fire to find more and more value.
We discuss how Jeff Bezos has created Amazon, and why it was nothing spectacular in the beginning but how he of course has hit it out of the park.
Alfie Best talks openly regarding why he considers himself to be 99% stupid, and what it has done for his decision making.
We discuss his plans for his business moving forward, and why Alfie Best cant wait to see what is possible in Europe And America.
Connect With Alfie Best
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Alfie Best Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes. Hello, a good morning, everybody. Good morning and welcome to another episode of join up dots the motivational, conversational inspirational show, which literally we don’t know what’s going to come out. We start talking and we see what is at the end. Well, today’s guest joining us on the show is a man who’s made a huge success of finding the potential in areas he has knowledge in and been working really hard to make it all come together. He is a successful entrepreneur driven by 10 NASA t with humble origins. Born and raised in a Romany Gypsy family this self made man studied at the University abroad and started his professional path totally from scratch. Now, however, coming from a poor background and a minority group, it only gave him even more desire to succeed. As a gypsy he’s had to face many obstacles and prejudices, but he’s never allowed bows to ruin his dreams and ambitions or what to disrupt his investments into the business he operates instead. Yes, instead, he’s taken those negatives and turn them into positives by surrounding himself with a diverse and multicultural team. As he says my philosophy for good business is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. My sole focus is to drive the businesses forward without losing sight of the goal and park homes were my upbringing. So it was a natural progression to purchase a mobile home park from one park to more than 40. And it’s now become the number one Park home operator in the UK for the retired and semi retired wishing to enjoy the quiet life and community spirit. And when it comes to seeing the potential in an idea, he has a very up and positive outlook for sure. It might be he says there’s no such thing as a bad idea, just the ability to drive it forward with a realistic approach. So if there is no such thing as a bad idea, why do so many people fail when it comes to starting a business? And if he looks back his life? Has he learned more from the Nazis injured or from the just pleasant streaming running forward to success? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Alfie best.
David Ralph [2:29]
Good morning, Mr. Best How are you sir?
Alfie Best [2:32]
I’m very, very good with a build up like that I feel 10 foot tall. And wow,
David Ralph [2:36]
you you should do. It’s been a hell of a journey. I’ve been reading about you and your boy over the last week. And you make it seem simple. You make it seem simple. And I look at that and think well, I could do that. I could do that by into something kind know. And so have worked really hard at it. It’s not that easy, is it?
Alfie Best [2:59]
Yes, it is. It’s a easy, you know, if you do what you love, you genuinely don’t do work. I put every hour in godsend. And I can honestly say to you what I do. I love I get up in the morning. I feel like a premier league football player, because I get out of bed with about to step and I love what I do. So, you know, how can I not be excited?
David Ralph [3:25]
No, I agree with you in that regard. But actually getting to that point, we you know, we play some motivational clips throughout the show. And we say to people go for what you love. But so many people seem to be working just as hard. But in the wrong areas, they can’t find what they love. So how have you managed to do it?
Alfie Best [3:46]
There is definitely a little bit of luck involved in finding what you love to do. That’s like finding the right woman that loves you. It’s you know, a business is like a relationship. It’s exactly the same thing. It has to be something you’re married to something that you enjoy something that you find the niche where nobody else can. And what I mean by that the simple little things. And you you spoke earlier about great ideas, and why do they fail, sometimes we’ll look at an estate agent just, you know, common businesses that we drive by every single day. And yet on one side of the street, you’ll see a business closing on the other side of the state, you’ll see the business thriving. It’s got nothing at all to do of the businesses, they’re pretty well, you know this in the same caliber of what they do. It’s all to do with the people that are in that business that are driving it forward. One of them loves it. The team loves it. The other they treat it as a job.
David Ralph [4:48]
So have you had jobs in your past? Do you look back on it and go Yeah, that was a job. This is very different.
Alfie Best [4:56]
I haven’t actually had any jobs. I such but I’ve had jobs where I had to find what the progression was and how that business worked. So I had to get a job in that business to find out how it worked. And the the one that reminisces to mind at the moment was the mobile phones. I nearly went bust in about 1990. And I had to find something else that I could do. And technology at the time it you know, a mobile phone was the size of a suitcase. But it was new, it was fresh. You actually had a phone that was wireless. It was unbelievable. But I got it. I got a job in a shop. And I had to beg and plead for that job. And I was virtually the tea boy. And Previous to that. I was driving a new Porsche. I had half a million pound house, and I had a 500,000 pound business. I virtually lost it all. I had a murmur at 20 and collapsed across the desk. So but it’s not, you know, we could all sit and play on the travesties that we’ve had in life. They’re not travesties, their experiences, Grace come for what they are. And if you always look at something as a negative, you know, we have bad experiences. We have them every day. I went to give a speech at Parliament, which I was very privileged to do. And sometimes I pinch myself. I’m walking from the car park. And this is no one of Elia bus drove by me through the puddle smothered, on soaked head to toe in mud and water. And I’m just about for me to give the biggest speech in my life. Because I realize I’ve got MPs looking at one thing. I could have thought, Oh, I can’t do it. Oh, look what’s happened? Oh, I didn’t. I went straight on stage and went you won’t believe what happened to me on the way here. Yeah. And it got a round of laughs It’s about whatever that negative is. It’s only a negative if you let it become a negative to you,
David Ralph [7:18]
Alfie Best, we’ve got something in common with that story. My very first job when I was 16 years old, I got a job with NatWest bank up in the City of London. And my mom bought me my first suit and I went out, it was basically the first time I’d ever been up there. And so I got up there really early to make sure that I knew where it was. And down, it was a place called 41, lothbury just outside of the Bank of England. And I thought to myself, I’m an hour early, I dont want to stand here I go for a little walk. So I went up the end of the road and I turned left, walked up the end of the road turn left, walked up to the end of the road, turn left and then turn left again. And I should have been exactly where I was. And I wasn’t. I was totally lost. So I thought why Okay, no problems. Go back. Right, right. Right. Right. Right. Got back, still wasn’t there. So the sweat starting to pull off me. And it’s my first interview. It’s my first job. And just as I find the place and open the door, a taxi went past a puddle bang went all over me as well. And I went in and I probably gave the best interview of my life because I was just so focused on myself and not Ben somehow it just relaxed me. But that would that be the same kind of thing? You stop thinking about the potential? You just think about the moment?
Alfie Best [8:32]
I’ll listen 100% I don’t know if you’ve seen that film. pursuit of happiness. Yes. With Will Smith. And it’s going in for the I think the second interview, or the first interview, and the guy system. Listen, if a guy came to you with an interview with a paint, splash, ripped and torn, what would you say to him? He said, I’d say My God, there must be one hell of a pair of pants or wearing a not that it’s people are normal. We’re all normal. So don’t make things complicated. And that even reminisces to business. Don’t make it complicated, make it enjoyable. And you will be successful. We do you know something, we are all successful. In our own right. Anyway, everybody, we just need to be have it brought out in us. That’s you know, I’m a great believer that actually Great Britain has one of the best entrepreneurs in the world. We have fought not as in one person, but we have the best entrepreneurs in the world get here. And it’s only just in the last 20 years, that we’ve started to celebrate them. And that’s, you know, that’s been a travesty of this country.
David Ralph [9:48]
So So let’s talk about your business. Because I know one of the things and we’re not just going to be looking at the financial success of a because it is a roller coaster to where you are now. But one of the questions I asked my opinion, unity, I said, oh, I’ve got Mr. Alfie best coming on the show, you know, what should we ask them? And I did a bit of research on you. And I can see you’re doing very well, so many sort of hundreds of millions. And one of the questions that came back and I thought this is a good question. And it was when does money not have the same importance to you. Because when when you’re getting going and you’re scrambling around, and you’re trying to get a bit of cash, and everything seems to be focused on a need a bit of money. And if you want to go on holiday, you have to save up for it. When you’re in your position now. And literally you could just you know, decide to go anywhere you want and just do it. When does money not become important to you? Or does it know is it just how we look at it from a different point of view,
Alfie Best [10:41]
that really does depend on the individual of the person. But for me, I can give you my answer. And it never stops being important. Because unfortunately, I live with the fear of going bust. And that can happen to anyone. And the moment that you start to think you’re invincible. And you start believing your own hype, is when you come unstuck. Always check and double check. And always ask your team to check for you. Because none of us are Superman. We get it wrong. I get it wrong every day. I’m just lucky and privileged enough to have a team that can support me enough to speak up and go, you know, don’t you check that? Did you look at this. So when you ask me about money, money is always important to me. There is you know, there’s a great saying by by Warren Buffett, which is rule number one, don’t lose money. Rule number two, don’t forget rule number one. And you must remember, money in a business and in life is like water, it flows and it flows down the stream. And if you’re not getting careful, and you don’t know how to dance up to water your crops, it will continue to just pass you by. And the more that you are on that torrent of water passing you by, you have to be careful because you can hit the dam. And it can happen to anybody. There is no limit to when money can dry up. must never forget that in any business. Economies change. Climate change, business models change, you have to be ready to adapt, and never take your eye off the ball ever.
David Ralph [12:35]
So if you also have worried about man, it drives you forward, wouldn’t the simple way be to sort of set everything, put all your money in a bank and bingo? Well, that’s as safe as it’s going to be?
Alfie Best [12:48]
Absolutely. If you’re that type of person, I’m not. I I’ve been given what I believe a task in life by myself. I have a dream. I’m following that dream. And I swear this to you I’m so excited. Wild Chris parks, which is look at this realistically, is a company that’s 17 years old. It’s not innovative. It’s not technology, it’s not doing anything special. But what we are, is creating a real need. And we are creating people’s lives for the better, because they’re downsizing moving into our homes. So we know what the need is. And my goal is to become the world’s largest residential, mobile home park operator in the world, for something that can live on for generations. And not only will it live on just as a company, it’s changing people’s lives. It really is, we are doing something, we’re a point of a solution to the housing problem. With freeing up bricks and mortar of the UK, we’re allowing people to take their equity out of their home, and downsize into a home just as nice, if not better. Because what we have is social housing without the stigma. But the cost Yeah, and that’s why our product really works. And I’ve got to be able to say, am I excited about it. From the day we started to the day on now I eat it with a spoon. Because what we’ve got is real, it’s real. It’s not, you know, some sublime business model plan of figures that are pulled out of the sky, we’re changing people’s lives. And who are the best people in the world to warrant your business is your customers.
David Ralph [14:51]
Now, Ziegler famously said you know, don’t worry about creating your own dream, try to create as many dreams for everybody else, and then your dreams will naturally come true. And so through this progression, I can see that you’re also moving into a new platform in development, or it might be out there already, where you’re really focused on not just what you’re doing now, but helping people financially get out of debt, and and change their lives. So you are a great believer in if you provide the value for other people, your body will naturally come.
Alfie Best [15:24]
Look, the media and television unfortunately, are not helping with the compounded debt problem. Because we’re living now in a society where everybody wants it. Now, they they realize that we’ve got a one way ticket, and they want to live their life to the full, you know, we’ve got the Kardashians, we’ve got The Only Way Is Essex, we’ve got the new program funny enough with my son on Absolutely. All of this is seen and portrayed, as you know, what people should be doing, like a magazine front cover for a glossary magazine, of what how a woman should look? Well, all of that we’re susceptible to including me, including you, everybody is susceptible to that, because it’s there, it’s in our face constantly. What I would say is, what we’re doing is we’re actually giving that dream to people, because their money is locked, what they’ve worked all their life into their homes, that they cannot get, because they have to remortgage, then their home is at risk, what we’re doing is people are downsizing into a extremely good quality home, you’ve only got to look at them, you know, they look identical to a house just happens to be that they’re built in a factory and then delivered a modular on site. That’s the only difference. And this model, I genuinely believe, will not only help society, in when it in its in its latter years, it will actually improve their life, because it’s already doing it. And it’s not a growing industry. And we haven’t exploded Our company has grown by 8,000% in 10 years. 8000
David Ralph [17:18]
is not bad, is it? I think I think you hit on something here, I’m going to do it myself, I’m gonna open up my back garden and put a couple of couple of homes out Can you know without being flipping? Is it something that people could do, and it wouldn’t touch your business at all.
Alfie Best [17:32]
Look for us. Competition is good when we thrive on competition, and the truth of the matter is competition pushes the bar. And remember, we can only all improve as a business as society by people pushing the bar. Think of it this way. We’re all in the hundred meter race, you know, because that’s what life is. It’s a rice. And if some buddy isn’t winning, how can we improve? It’s about improving. And without setting the goals all of the time and pushing that bar a little bit further. For me, life wouldn’t be worth living.
David Ralph [18:16]
You feel that strongly about that?
Alfie Best [18:19]
Yeah, I do. I think we all need to push ourselves a little bit. Otherwise, we end up living a mundane life. And of course, we need holidays. Of course we need that downtime. We need that. But you know what else need to push yourself. We all need to push ourselves. And the reason we need to push ourselves can only improve us as better people in any remit of any industry. any sport, as in even in life. We will flourish on conversation. But we only flourish on conversation when it’s invigorating. When we’re talking about the weather, let’s be honest, we just switch off can’t wait.
David Ralph [18:57]
Yeah. Yeah. Ryan says, What’s the weather like in your area at the moment, let’s see if I can keep the passions going.
Alfie Best [19:04]
It’s sunny and bright,
David Ralph [19:09]
sunny and bright. Everywhere we live. I’m going to play some words now. And then we’re going to come back to our be straight after these Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [19:16]
My father could have been a great comedian. But he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [19:43]
Now, I’m interested about your family background. Yeah, it’s well documented you come from a Romany Gypsy family. I live in Essex. And there’s many similar communities around here. What did you keep you in the same way that Jim Carrey learned the sort of the lessons from the bad things of his dad? What did your dad give you?
Alfie Best [20:04]
My dad gave me some, some good stuff. And he gave me some bad stuff. But the bad stuff was just as good. And I’ll explain that to you. My dad, 72 years old, he works as hard today as he is ever done. And he works seven days a week. And I’m not exaggerating seven days a week. And he does the same work that he did. When he was 20 years old. He’s still working on site, still digging holes, still lane driveway, still working away now. But gave me work ethic to see that that was the norm. That’s the norm of what you do. But what it also gave me and here’s the bad bits is that my dad never had no time himself. He never had time to think of what he wanted to do. Because he was driven. And he didn’t want to continually live on the side of the road. He didn’t he wanted to make a better life for his family. And my dad did try hard. And today, they’re reasonably Okay, reasonably good. But I hasn’t hasten sorry, to add what he could have achieved. If he’d have found history. Yeah, instead of being the work ethic of just getting by. If he’d have found his niche, I swear to you, my dad could have been one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. He is the greatest man I’ve ever known through his work ethic. But I do feel he could have achieved more. Because what he did, he had to go to work to provide. He never had that chance or took that chance to do what he dreamed off. I don’t know what that dream was. I’ve never actually ever sat down and spoke to when, you know, my dad said to me, the other day I swear this to you. I said, Dad, what? What? What are you still working so hard for us to come away with me on holiday? Let me treat you to a week away. But I can’t do that. When my work would suffer. Now, I took something out of that. Because it might be realize, everybody that is working away, that runs their own business is an artist. And if you’re passionate about what you do, we are creating art. Because we are painting our own picture. And I got that what my dad was trying to say, and he was frightened to leave that picture. You can’t let the fear of not making money, overcome your dream of making money, there is a difference. Because your dream can grow. Your attribute of making money will only give you a paycheck.
David Ralph [23:04]
Now there’s a point in all business and I’ll reference Jeff Bezos from Amazon. He’s doing all right for himself as well. He’s worth a few quid. And I was looking at his timeline the other day, how he got Amazon up and running. And all the way through, I was waiting for the investment. I was waiting for some money to come in, because it’s very difficult to grow a business when you’re doing it or bootstrapping. And as I went down the timeline, he went off to university and then he got a job at Wall Street. And then he did bass and bass. And then suddenly his mom and dad gave him 100 grand and he invested it and the rest was history. With yourself being somebody that’s you know, work from the the land of hard knocks up? Is it something that holds people back thinking that they’ve got to have that investment? It does it? Does that take away the creativity that actually brings about stronger roots?
Alfie Best [23:58]
Can I answer that in in three points? Because you grew up in such valid points, but there’s three points I want to go through, you’re in charge of this.
The first one is just Jeff Bezos. Okay. He’s business that he’s done. It is not different. It’s not in the, you know, out of the ballpark. He started selling books, online. Anybody could have done it. You could do it, I could do it. But you know, something. He’s done more than that. He’s added, grown. And he’s now turned into the biggest online shopping platform in the world. It didn’t start like that. He started with a simple idea. When people come up with all these, you know, initiatives of Great Britain, they don’t have to be out of the ballpark. They just have to be real. And you have to be patient about what you’re doing. That’s what Jeff Bezos done. You know, I let’s look Come on. He, what he’s done, is he set up on on line, bookshop, and then it grew from there. And I’ve got to be honest with you out of the ballpark Jesus Christ. I hate to say it, it’s just, you know, you know, the man has done. Not only is he created what all of us saw there to do, he has built something that’s going to leave a legacy.
Moving on to further what you said about do people need funding. I was at a dinner last night. And 30 years ago, I had my bank manager say to me, Alfie said, You’re the most unorthodox business person I’ve ever met in my life. He said, But you achieve results. So good Anya, and that stayed in my mind all of this time. But I never understood it. I didn’t know what he meant. I didn’t know. Last night, I found out was in a room with some very influential business people. Every single one of those people had a mindset and path of what they’d been taught of how business should work. You have your idea, you set your business up, you go out, you look for funding. And most of the people that have taken funding on, yes, they’d become wealthy, but most of the fund managers, and the banks had taken most of the profit, what they’d made. And that was shocking to me. When I stood up, I said, Well, you know, we, while Chris parks as 350 million pounds of assets, we have 60 million pounds worth borrowing from HSBC Bank. So our bond is, you know, less than 20%. And we’ve built that on our own. And it is possible to build a business on your own, especially, especially in today’s market, because technology allows you to work at home. But on a big scale. Does that make sense? It makes total sense. Yeah, you can come you can compete out there. Because your shop window is your website. And there are so many good platforms, and I’m talking about from a simple retail of selling goods. The key is not getting your goods out there, because I don’t think there’s ever a better time to do it. But it’s to have the right goods that you believe in, look at the amount of new brains that now springing up, been ploughed back, before, you know, go back 30 years, there was only really five or six brands that we know. Now, there’s hundreds, but it’s all down to the internet reaching out to people. We’re no longer trading in a small platform, we can trade on a massive platform.
David Ralph [28:22]
Which, which is the truth of everything that I do. You know, I’ve got a global show in 182 countries worldwide. And I started it with nothing more than $100. You know, and now it’s just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And literally all of it was just down to my efforts. Really, yeah, efforts and passion.
Alfie Best [28:41]
But David let me let me just say it actually, I think you’re selling yourself short, because it goes further than that. Because what your shows doing is, and I’m a fan of any type of show, that helps encourage anybody from 10 years years old, 80 years old, because success can come at any time. And by you reaching out to many different countries. And us just all we need to do is light that spark. And that’s how fire came along.
David Ralph [29:22]
Now, when you are creating fires around your your team, because I can just see, but your passion rubs off on the people, you aren’t going to have people that come and go, you’re going to have people that stay with you. How do you sort of nurture that team spirit, but ultimately, you want them to develop and go off and do amazing things. But sometimes you lose the best people don’t know, how do you do it?
Alfie Best [29:46]
Well, I make sure that everybody understands that what we’re doing is a team event. It is we’re not here in a boxing match, where you step through the ropes. And at that point, when that bell rings, you’re on your own, that’s not the company we run, we run a company that acts as a football team. And you know, the goalie has to do his job, the striker has to do his and, and so on and so on. And the way to instill pride within your business is for each of your team members to know that their strength is warranted beyond all calls, but their strength is only as good as the support they have with their colleagues. And as good as their qualities can give. And you then put them together. And you then have a mechanism that works within the business that supports each other one of those cogs breaks down, you then have to have one of the major cogs that can take over to there. And we make it very, very clear we have a lot of people from from our industry that like to head home, our team, when you know, luckily, we have discussions in the office about it. Because our team realize we’re only as good as the people that we have. We’re only as good as our team members that we support. And we have a policy. Always look if somebody within our organization is looking to employ somebody to bring them on board, we asked them to bring somebody on better than them. Because that shows the quality of them. Because if they have somebody pushing them further up, up up the ladder, then all of a sudden, it shows it their mechanism is working right to bring on better people within the company. When people leave. We have no animosity with people that leave us we actually Welcome to leave, because sometimes people need to leave to realize, Oh, my God, I made a mistake.
David Ralph [31:53]
No, it was a leading question really, because I’d be interested in your point of view, there’s a kind of badge of honor, especially on the online community, about being a solo printer, creating everything. I’m the Marketing man, I’m the salesman, I’m the front man. And for everything that I’ve read with you, you’re a team man, you lead and you create a team. And you find people that complement your weaknesses and strengths and vice versa. Do you think this sort of sold opinion where people actually hold themselves back, there’s no real reason to have these badge of honor that I’ve created, and I do everything myself?
Alfie Best [32:30]
Well, what I would say to you is Look, if if some of us need to be the boss, some of us need to be a leader. I class myself as a leader, not as a boss. And that’s not a cheesy phrase that I’m using, I genuinely mean it. Everybody has their strengths. And some people have a strength as a boss, but they’ll only ever be looked at as a boss, you know me, I would like to say, I love sitting down with each and every one my team. Because actually, the discussions we have on a level playing field, the only thing I say to them is, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Just admit it when it goes wrong. So we can all learn from it. And when you make a victory, and that’s a success, make sure that we celebrate it. So we can all learn from that as well.
David Ralph [33:24]
Does that make sense? It makes total sense. But it doesn’t really answer the question about this open year person who’s sitting there doing everything but eight hours a day at the business, but actually, in my view, they’ve created a kind of prison for themselves.
Alfie Best [33:39]
Well, I was just about to say they’re only going to burn themselves out. Because the truth of the matter is, you can only kick the ball up and down the pitch for so many hours a day. Whereas if you’ve got a team and you can pass that ball, the lighten the load becomes a lot less.
David Ralph [33:56]
So what would the best way for success being have an idea and then look around the people to support you? Or is it better to get that idea up and running. Because I’ve certainly seen so many people through the 1200 shows, I would say that probably 95% of people were held back by the people that were closest to them. At the beginning, they had this idea, they decided that they were going to quit their job and go for it. And the people sitting around boom, their parents, their brothers and sisters, were all saying, hang on, hang on, you’ve only got to do another 45 years, and then you can retire and you’ll be safe. You know, why are you doing this? Is it the best thing to actually just do it until it becomes something tangible that people can’t deny?
Alfie Best [34:42]
This is what I would say to is you don’t have to come up with an idea on your own and go out on your own, you can be a success within your organization, if you’re with the right company. And that company can support you and what you’re doing because you shouldn’t Firstly, you shouldn’t be working in a business this or have a job in a business that you’re not passionate about. That’s the first thing. And if you have an idea that complements that business, and that, you know, the the leader or the you know, the management are not prepared to help you and support you in developing that for a share, of course, because there’s no point in doing something for nothing. If they’re not prepared to do that, should you really be working there?
David Ralph [35:27]
Yeah, but I would say I’ve worked for I don’t know, five or six companies through my career before I quit to do this, I would say the leader, but top man was always really supportive if you could get through to him, it was great. The middle management and the directors totally different ballgame, you couldn’t get anything done. And I would have had to leave every single company which I did.
Alfie Best [35:48]
Well, the funny thing is here, when anything is passed around, we asked for key people, including myself to be copied into all of those emails. And periodically, I’ll then go through them. Because if I feel that somebody in higher up the chain is being overzealous, that I want make a song and dance about it. But I will call them in and have a discussion with them about it.
David Ralph [36:15]
Which is the right way of doing it. But I would say you’re you’re in a minority group on this.
Alfie Best [36:21]
Well, I can only speak for ourselves how we work here as a company. And I can only say to you, the passion that I have. I swear this to you that passions and every person with it within the watercress group, they love what I do, by actually physically see that they’re changing people’s lives. And look, we caught up, we get it wrong. course we get it wrong. But we learn from it. We put it right. And then we look to move on. And never and and hopefully never repeat that mistake because we’ve learned from it.
David Ralph [36:56]
But how how would you know this out because we see these programs on TV when the top guy goes undercover and starts working in McDonald’s dishing burgers, and he thinks that everything’s great because the management’s telling him but as he gets back onto the floor, he finds very simple things could make a huge difference. How are you back competent, but every single person in your industry has got the same passion. And they’re not sort of once you walk around the corner, you know, being snarky and snide comments and our social,
Alfie Best [37:28]
very simple. I am on the fight. I am on the coalface virtually every day, because I have a helicopter, and I fly to every one of my parks. And if I go to the park, I say, Okay, what is the worst home here? That’s the one I’m staying in tonight. And I then will go and speak to the residents that live on the site. And my whole job is going out understanding how our organization is growing. And also taking on board. What my colleagues have got to say, for instance, if somebody has a good idea, we have a promotion program for anybody that brings an idea forward that helps improve the business.
David Ralph [38:16]
And what do we get from that? What what sort of reward do they get from that? Is it is it a promotion? Or is it you know?
Alfie Best [38:23]
Absolutely. And if it’s an idea where it’s starting a new department, but for instance, let’s just hypothetically take a simple one, we had a one of our managers on our site, he wanted to start up our own gardening company, because residents were sometimes becoming older and couldn’t cut the grass and such, and so on. So what we did, we managed to create a very, very cost effective division, we then ended up putting that manager in charge of that division, but it’s now a company in its own right. It just a simple thing, gardening company. And we have others, like now we’re opening up our own Internet, and Wi Fi service division that was put forward by slowly we’re learning on everything we do. And we then promote that person. Because if they’re passionate enough about it, we want to support them. So company benefits, they benefit, the resident benefits, the benefits that fall along, flow like the river,
David Ralph [39:33]
which I agree with you totally and everything that you say I think to myself, Wow, you’ve you’ve got it you. So when you see these guys going undercover, do you think to yourself? Well, he should never got to this far. You know why? Why do you not know this stuff? Because it seems common sense.
Alfie Best [39:49]
A man, I’m sorry if I’m laughing. But a man doesn’t visit his business? How on earth can he know his business?
David Ralph [39:59]
I lay down they did it. They sit up in offices and they look over their view and they they grope the secretary when no one’s looking and they haven’t got a clue what’s happening?
Alfie Best [40:09]
Well, I think what it is, they see themselves in a position. And they feel themselves that they have to fill that role. Whereas I don’t see myself in that position at all. I see myself as chief chief cook and bottle washer, and the man that takes the brunt for his team. Now, we have a policy here if our team get it wrong, we support them. We support them. But we admit them. But we admit the mistakes. We’ve met them so we can learn from them the same. And I go back to exactly what I said earlier. Simon the positives. There’s, you know, a win win win. may get it absolutely right. We celebrate it. But we celebrate it. So everybody learns from it. It’s, you know, look, if I can just talk about me just a little bit place. I am a dunce. I’m a complete, walking, idiot. I have no real great formal education. And if somebody like me, can very transparently see what needs to be done. Anybody can do it. Because keep business simple. Keep it simple. It’s complicated. It’s complicated for your customer. It’s complicated for your team. business should be simple.
David Ralph [41:28]
It was simple. Yeah, absolutely. That’s what it was now from somebody who learned that lesson, and actually become a bigger version of himself. By going for that simplicity. Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [41:37]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut destiny life, com, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [42:13]
Now what you get from those words, when you listen to them, Do you go Yes, they’re true. Or he’s talking rubbish. What do you mean healthy?
Alfie Best [42:20]
I think it’s very easy to say what he said at his point in his life, to connect the dots up. And to obviously look, you know, when we’re, you know, type, he’s talking from experience, and take take the experience away. All of that is irrelevant. There is a great saying that I love. And it’s learned by the mistakes of others, we can’t live long enough to make them all of us all ourself. And what what I would say is this, that’s a lot harder to do than you think it’s very hard. Because you see somebody make a mistake. What’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Well, I wouldn’t have done that. And yeah, we would get we would, sometimes we have to be bitten to understand not to go there again. So the trials and tribulations of life, embrace them, and take them for the positives they are. This is, you know, where Steve Jobs is concerned. To me, it’s just very simple. If you find your passion, that’s the first hard task. Because you know, that passion, you sometimes you don’t even know, you don’t even know. Let me just say this something. So there’s been a TV program, I can’t quite remember what it’s called. But it’s about super human people, people with superhuman strength, people with super eyesight, people that can endure the cold, they are three or four times more developed in those areas. That is just like your passion. You feed it like a fire. Some people are developed much better in different areas. I’m just using that as an example. Like an artist, like like an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur is a calculated gamble. An entrepreneur cannot succeed. Without a good team. And a good manager, the, you know, reminisce of being q off can’t remember the two guys names, but Mr. B and Mr. Q. They they did a they actually did a documentary on the mother watched, and one was equated on a tick box as an entrepreneur. And the other was equated as a manager. The manager failed. And I think four other businesses after the entrepreneur succeeded in two of the businesses after they both sold out. But the moral of the story is this together, they were brilliant. And you need that. And that, whether you like it or whether you’re done if teamwork.
Alfie Best [45:23]
Now one of the things that comes up time and time again, people say to me, you know, what have you learned from doing so many interviews with people? And I literally always say to them now that most of the people I speak to a 5% geniuses and 95% either idiots or they can’t be bothered to do it. They just know that 5% and they do it time and time again, with yourself. What would you say your 5% was?
David Ralph [45:46]
I’d say I’m 99%. Idiot.
Alfie Best [45:53]
Me, I don’t think that I’m particularly a clever person at all. I am street wise, because I’ve had to be been brought up that way. But what I have is tenacity, and work ethic. Once I have an idea, once I’ve looked at that idea from every angle, I’ll then put it into place and look how it makes commercial sense. Because remember one thing, this is very important for your business to survive. In the world we live in today, it must make commercial sense. And there isn’t such thing as a bad idea. Whoever thought we’d be buying bottled water 30 years ago, who thought you’d be buying water from a bottle? just unheard of. Yet we are yet we are. It’s very simple. Your idea must work into commercial sense. I have a lot of people that come in with brilliant ideas for me to invest in. I sit down, listen to them. And I can only tell you, I’m marvelling at some of the ideas they come up with what they haven’t done is commercialised it and then it’s not a business.
David Ralph [47:12]
Yeah. And that is the skill, isn’t it? That is the skill.
Alfie Best [47:16]
Of course, of course. You know, just like hair extensions, let’s just use that. And I’m just using frivolous businesses. And I’m just throwing them out there. hair extensions. First person that did it, just like them. So that looks beautiful. It looks lovely. The point is now taking everybody’s like these will sell them to the world.
David Ralph [47:39]
Now it needs to come down to how well how are you going? My favorite business at the moment is one in Australia, where a guy created a cleaning company where ladies would go around their houses and clean as you would expect. But then he realized that if he got them to do it naked, he could boost these profits and stop his boom time. It’s boom time. And I love fat. And the ladies love it because and I talked about it on the show so many times because I reduce their hours been massive. But their money is going up because people are paying more for it.
Alfie Best [48:13]
He can’t get enough. Well, apparently he’s come up with a new slogan is called the Naked Truth.
David Ralph [48:19]
Yeah, it works. It works. I’ve asked my wife to do it for me for free. But she she won’t, she won’t. I’m not gonna get there at all. So just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic to have a one on one with your younger self, well, what would be this sort of that the focus going forward now, if you will, not joining up dots looking backwards, but joining them up going forwards into stepping stones what’s the best thinking about
Alfie Best [48:45]
now we’re looking to grow the company, not just dancing going forward in a commercial level where we, you know, scale up, and now we’re 72 parks, our goal within five years is to hit 140.
Alfie Best [49:00]
We want to take our model across the world. We’re already in in America, we own parks in North Carolina, but across Europe fully across America. And we want people to benefit from our model because it is a benefit. And that’s why it works. And that’s why it sells well. That’s why people want to live in our parks. But the other point that we want is that we want to add value to the company by adding value to people’s lives. You just mentioned about somebody setting up a cleaning company and his niche was that the plane is in our naked, what we what we want to do is add value, like Gardening Services, like bringing down the Wi Fi costs. So we take over the Wi Fi cost as opposed to bt charging every one of our residents 30 pounds, we now want to take over that. And we want to be T to make one one of charge, say 200 pounds to one hub. And we then split that between the residents bringing their costs down. Again, making a profit. Profit is not a dirty word. You know, it’s only a dirty word when it’s hidden. And people are thinking that you’re trying to hide something, be upfront, be outspoken about it, don’t be a fright, frightened to say walk, we’re working and we’re creating a business for everybody to benefit. If your business benefits you, it needs to benefit its clients, its team, customers, and suppliers. Everybody needs to benefit from it. So for us, it’s about adding value to the company. For instance, we also own best park on finance, which offers finance to our residents, if they will, if they want to go on a new holiday and they don’t take out their savings. If they you know, whatever they require funds for they can come to us and their residents and on on on our parks. Another thing that we’re doing, we’re buying up golf courses, that golf courses are very difficult business they’re failing. But what we’re looking at is placing a leisure aspect. And we’re giving the opportunity to our residents to purchase lodges on site, we will rent those lodges out for them, giving them a return of 8% per annum guaranteed or more. And yet it then gives them a country club local to where the park is. Everything we do is catered around the benefit for the business, the benefit for the Occupy.
David Ralph [51:41]
As you said at the beginning business is simple. And you’ve certainly you know you’ve done your best to explain that all the way through. Well, what we’re going to do now is we’ve been taking you on a journey. And this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back into them to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger, Alfie, what age would you like to speak to? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fades out, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Alfie Best [52:34]
Might Gaddafi change that shirt, you’ve got dribbles or death. But enjoy what you’re doing. And love your mom and dad, and listen to them as much as they tell you because they’ll only be telling you for good advice. But follow your heart. Learn well at school, because unfortunately, your periodic schooling is only going to be periodic. So you need to work harder at school to catch up. When, when the time comes at you start your business, do what you’re going to do, which is work hard. Follow your heart. And if you’re going to trust anybody, make sure that trust is earned, not given to you don’t give trust, people have to earn it. And I wish you every route on your success.
David Ralph [53:31]
And Yet, young Alfie Best, you’re Going to do very well for yourself. And one day you’re going to be on join up dots fancy. Fancy that. So Mr. LP best, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Alfie Best [53:42]
They can contact me through I have a personal website, which is alpha dot best, they can contact us through through that there. It does come directly through to me and my assistant. I will respond to anybody if I can help anybody. Anybody please needs any advice. That’s what I’m here for. And people like David I hate to say this David but I’ve got to say you have undersold yourself because you’re a credit to the community that you’re addressing out there. Because if we can change the life of one person, we’ve changed the life of a whole family.
David Ralph [54:18]
Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. And thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Alfie best. Thank you so much.
Alfie Best [54:34]
Thank you, and thank you everybody else. Thanks David Bye Bye,
David Ralph [54:39]
Mr. Alfie best. So he’s got a hell of a story. And you can go and Google him and you’ll find a load more information about how he has driven his business to where it is. And as he says, It’s simple. You find an idea, you bring the passion, you put the perspiration and the inspiration in and you focus in on trying to provide as much value as you possibly can to your customers. Is there a commercial aspect to it? Can you make money in return? Is it just a sexy idea that hasn’t got legs? All those kind of things need to be looked at, as he does? And honestly, I love what he says. And I have worked with many, many companies that the top dog you never saw him? You never saw him. He was never involved. He used to go up in his own Lyft How can they be in charge of a business that’s growing? If I’ve got no idea what’s happening with the star, and I’m sure most of you listening to this will agree as well. Until next time, thank you so much to Alfie and thank you so much for everybody else who listens to join up dance. I will be back shortly. And until then, we’ll see you again soon. Cheers. Bye bye
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join us dot com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow and join up dots.