Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Tim Collings
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Introducing Tim Collings
Tim Collings is today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast is a Brit living in in Australia.
Tim started out his corporate working career as many of us do.
Constrained by the boundaries of a system Tim quickly realised that the way he thought about things was different to the way the boss wanted things done.
Luckily Tim had some great bosses and strong leaders that recognised that his potential for greatness resided not within a system but with servicing clients and delivering on their needs and once he was let off the leash so to speak he kicked goal after goal.
However like many successful employees Tim wanted more and ultimately he wanted his own business.
All the years within the corporate framework set Tim up nicely to make the transition into his own business.
How The Dots Joined For Tim
As he says ” I spent 15 years working in global corporates both finding my way as a leader, and really feeling the difference between leaders who tried to model the business on themselves rather than those who nurtured the capability of their leadership team, fostering their talents and strengths.”
This insight has now lead him to have a great perspective on leadership and is highly experienced in working closely with many of Australia’s top executives.
Tim’s ideas and thoughts around value based leadership are not just interesting, but pragmatic and highly effective.
Tim is recognised as one of the top people in the field of leadership in Australia.
So what makes a person a truly great leader that not only shines in their own office, but across the globe too?
And where does he find the inspiration to challenge this information into his own successful business?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Tim Collings.
During the show we discussed such deep weighty subjects with Tim Collings such as:
We shared the journey that Tim took as he leaped across the world to find a new home and live a life of adventure.
Why the word selfish isn’t actually a bad thing if you can then take that decision and start serving the world better.
Why so many people struggle with knowing that the service that they can provide will get better in the future, although previous customers have missed out.
Tim shares how he manages his time and his energy both at the start of the day and also at the end. This is a game changer.
How To Connect With Tim Collings
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Interview Transcription Of Tim Collings Interview
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time there was a guy with a dream. A dream to support himself online and have a kick ass life working when he wanted him where he wanted across the world. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt until he found the magic ingredient and thosestruggles became a thing of the past. Im of course was that person? And now my dream is to make things happen. for you Welcome to Join Up Dots.
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 in 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 [0:57]
Yes. Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to Join Up Dots if you’ve listened to one of the shows recently I had a comment but I don’t clear my throat beforehand I promise I promise you I do it all the time. And I’ve done it again. Now today’s guest he’s also growth broken these folks so if he does come around sort of sounding like a bit sexy sex line kind of thing. That’s the reason but um, he’s a guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast is a Brit living in Australia. So he’s, he’s kind of got Australian. I mean, he goes bit British and maybe Australia, but he started his corporate career working, as many of us do, constrained by the boundaries of a system he quickly realised that the way he thought about things was different to the way the boss wanted things done. Now, luckily, he had some great bosses and strong leaders at recognise that his potential for greatness resided not within a system with serving clients and delivering on their needs. And once he was let off the leash, so to speak, he kicked go off the go. Now however, like many successful employees that come started the ball for him. And he was thinking I’m doing so much for this company, I should be getting the rewards myself. And ultimately he wanted his own business. Now all the years within the corporate framework, set him up nicely to make the transition into his own business. As he says, I spent 15 years working in global corporates, both finding my way as a leader, and really feeling the difference between leaders who tried to model the business on themselves rather than bows who nurtured the capability of their leadership team, fostering their talents and strengths. Now, this insight has now led him to have a great perspective on leadership. And he’s highly experienced in working closely with many of Australia’s top executives, he’s ideas and thoughts around value based leadership. Just not interesting that really interesting and pragmatic and highly effective to now he’s recognised as one of the top people in the field of leadership in Australia. So what makes a person a truly great leader and not only shines in their own office, but across the globe to and where does he find the inspiration to challenge his information into his own successful business? Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Tim Collings. How are you sir?
Tim Collings [3:20]
I David How are you going very well. Thank you.
David Ralph [3:22]
It’s great to have you here. It’s great to have you I’m going to preempt I’m present your concerns. Tim has got a couple of children and they’re in that bedtime kind of routine getting prepared for bed. So we’re we’re expecting we’re expecting the herd to converge on us sometime previous show eh Tim.
Tim Collings [3:42]
It’s a distinct possibility that they’re, they’re getting better. I mean, my my oldest is five, and my youngest is one and a five year old. He has just this very high intrinsic drive and he vultures come flying in it, you know, sort of unannounced. He loves podcasts and and so I tell him what daddy’s you know going to go down to the office and record a podcast. Unfortunately that’s like saying you don’t think about elephants. What does he want to do? But we’ll see how it goes. Here we go.
David Ralph [4:16]
Well, at least he likes being with you. I had my granddaughter with me yesterday and every time I spoke to her, she turned her back in Costa arms and was not having anything to do with me. I don’t I don’t understand it. Now, Tim, let’s get into your life because it is fascinating. And we’re going to start First of all, we’re saying that you are a UK guy. That’s why officially you’re doubly attractive. Now. What was it that made you go over to Australia? was it was it a woman was it? adventure was a career What made you transition from our sexy neck of the woods to where you are?
Tim Collings [4:54]
Yeah, I mean it. It’s actually pretty much a combination of those three, although First one more of a push than a pope. So let me explain what I’m talking about. And I wasn’t lewd over here by an Australian woman, although I, once I had been here about a year, I didn’t meet one and she’s now my beautiful wife, you know, very honoured that she is. And you know, she’s my greatest supporter. And I’m very, very lucky that our positive cross, but I had been in a long term relationship that indeed, and that I think, really, in my mid 20s, put me in a position where I could essentially go anywhere I wanted to. And then I think it ultimately was that sense of adventure and a little bit of sort of restlessness, you know, at that age, especially to just go yet. Okay. Where could my career now take me? I was fortunate enough that I’d been sort of recognised outside of the local market for what I was doing at the time, and I had a couple of global firms saying to me, Hey, you want to come and do what you’re doing and do it in London or do it in Europe or Without further afield, would you consider an IPC said yet look, I’ll go to Australia go to America, whoever makes it, you know, sort of happen makes it happen. So yeah, it was adventure. And then it was career and ultimately, you know, I sit here, you know, sort of now at 39 where I have had the majority of my professional life in Australia, you know, I moved here when I was 26. So, yeah, I’m really an Ozzy, professionally but you know, do do still have a place in my heart and a very nostalgic view now of the UK as I look back from from all this way over here.
David Ralph [6:31]
Don’t get Tunis Dougie, it’s all kicking off here at the moment we you’re probably in a safe environment where you are. Now, one of the things I loved about what you said there is the fact that you said that basically the first thing that started you was adventure. Now, I think that is where success comes from, because that feeling of excitement inside you and this is a new challenge. So many people coming to just go through the motions and they get trapped in a job and You speak to them down the pub, like what I’d really like to do is based on that, and you can see them grow as I talk about it, but then they they shrink again. Do you think that that kind of adventure before you have it planned out? is a key way to go? Is that nature’s compass?
Tim Collings [7:19]
Yeah, I think it is. And I think I think one of the reasons why I think adventure is actually overlooked a lot in professional life, you know, as a term, you know, or as a value is, is the fact that I think typically people associate adventure with it sort of geographical marker, but you have to go somewhere, to be adventurous. And I disagree with that. But I also disagree that that really is the case professionally, I think, yeah, adventure is really about what you do. And, and, and being adventurous really is, as you’ve just said, you know, striving to do things, you know that a new that maybe might be a little bit confronting or at least a little bit Is it a tricky not too sure how I’m going to navigate that one. And really just being prepared to step out your front door have a go with really kind of limited expectations about what you might find. I mean, you might have a view of what the destination might look like, but definitely not the journey. And I think, you know, both the most transformational and then sort of pivotal parts of my life and career have all come down to storeys that sound a bit like that. And then when I look at, you know, people that I know, you know, the executives that I work with and clients that I have, they would say the same thing it was when I took that chance is when I took that risk. It’s where I went over there. I did that thing. I didn’t really know how it was going to go, but I just did it anyway, then now look where I am.
David Ralph [8:50]
It’s a common theme that runs through Join Up Dots and it’s a common theme in my life as well. The biggest, I always say the most selfish time of my life was when I quit my job. said I’m going to do this podcasting. And looking back on it. It was a decision really, that I shouldn’t have made. I was a farmer. I had kids, I had responsibilities. I had all those things, but everybody says, A reasons not to. But I knew that I had to do this. And I say, to everyone, it was a selfish decision. But more of them to know, the selfish decisions are the right ones aren’t by it shouldn’t be seen as a bad word, being selfish, if you know, in your heart that you’ve got the drive and the persistence to make that decision work afterwards.
Tim Collings [9:36]
Yeah, and I think, you know, there is,
you know, there is a reason why selfishness, you know, typically is chastised. And I think if if you are being selfish and just purely focusing on the outcome being about you, then you know, there probably isn’t a lot of good that comes from that and I think what is helpful is to think about a term that was a label that was given to me by a coach that I was working with some time ago. And what she said to me is actually, don’t think about it as selfishness. Think about it as self fullness, that you are doing something for yourself, but it is self full, because you are basically investing in yourself, for the betterment of others, and the whole sort of, you know, being of service and you know, so finding something that you really, really want to do that you love doing, that’s of service to others, and then mastering that becoming really, really, really, really, really good at that and an expert at that. That for me really is what it’s all about.
David Ralph [10:44]
Now, let’s take that into the world of leadership. That’s why we’ve got you here and a lot of people confuse management and leadership and leadership is that you will follow them but you don’t really know why you need to follow them and management is a kind of Push you it’s a push and pull kind of scenario. Most great leaders have that adventurous spirit in them already donate.
Tim Collings [11:11]
I think so. And I think that that is part of what makes him so inspirational and why people are drawn to them and they have that sort of gravitational pull is because of that, let’s have a go, let’s take a risk. Let’s figure it out, you know, as we as we traverse the landscape. I mean, I think for me, there’s a quite sort of clear difference between management and leadership. Where management is, is really about doing stuff and you know, telling people or inviting people kindly to do stuff and pushing them or pushing or pushing him or Bing MMO whatever it takes. Leadership is actually more about who you are and what you are And, you know, essentially why you are doing what you’re doing. And I think that is why people obey managers and follow leaders, you know, they they look at someone and they go, Whoa, I see who you are. And I’m, I’m all in on that I’m going that way. Whereas I look at managers and go, I understand what it is that you want me to do. I understand what you’re doing, and I will do that only as long as it works for me.
David Ralph [12:34]
Now with leadership, obviously across the world, we’ve got legends in the business world. We’ve got Ilan Musk, we’ve got Richard Branson, we’ve got Steve Jobs we’ve got you know, you could list a myriad of them are these guys are legends because they actually have one foot in both camps because I see them Yes, very inspirational, but also great managers. They know what makes a business operate. They know where their services are. Best directed is can you have too much on either side? Can you be too much leader and not enough manager? Do you need that blend?
Tim Collings [13:10]
there absolutely has to be a blend. And I also think that there needs to be a sort of an adaptability and a willingness to keep challenging yourself and sense checking. Which mode Do I need more of right now? You know, certainly when you’re building something, and there’s a lot of sort of tactical, just get stuff done. There’s actually a lot of management that’s required, you know, like you need the rigour you need the processes, you need the systems, you just we need to get from A to B to C, and then you know, we can do I think also, you know, you sort of have to shift between the two depending on who’s around you, you know, who’s in your team, what, what they actually need. I certainly in my own earlier career, really failed people that I had working for me Because I’ve focused too much on leading them, and I wasn’t managing them because I thought, Oh, I want to be really empowering and I know how to enable you. But they didn’t actually have the skills and the they hadn’t internalise the processes that they actually could stand by themselves. And unfortunately, you know, when I was young in my mid 20s, you know, trying to lead people in a complicated turnaround situation, you know, that was the wrong approach, I needed to manage them to a point where they could be self sustaining where they could then start to manage and lead others and then it could be you know, more on the leadership side and then other people you know, from day one yet you know, you’re doing Off you go on, lead you off, focus on how my values can help you transcend management and you become the leader that you need to be. So you need to be able to switch and chop and change and, and adapt. Not on a daily basis. There needs to be enough sort of consistency and longevity that people don’t get confused. But yeah, if you’re just doing one or the other. Yeah, I think a lot of the time you’re actually sort of, you know, and selling what you need to do.
David Ralph [15:09]
It’s funny you say that storey that you feel like you failed people because I always had disability. I call it my motivation rocket, and I’m spoken a lot about on Join Up Dots, where I can talk to people. And I can see them grow and get inspired and excited about some opportunity. And I used to work for NatWest bank many, many years ago, and I used to do an induction programme, so the new kids used to come in, and they would be with me and I would teach them how to work in an office and then I would move them out. Well, I started to get a bit jaded about doing this. And so I started to I am I motivation Rocky on the new guys that were coming in and I was saying to them that it’s great to be here but only stay here for six months because you know, a teacher a good working start in an office, but you can do so much better. You can do it. And I had 14 people on an induction course Monday, and they went off for lunch. And when they came back, only one came back. And 12 of them was so inspired and motivated that I could actually do better than what they were getting. But they quit. And I realised that actually, I was failing not only them, I was fighting the company because I was inspiring them so much to take chances. But I hadn’t got the groundwork done at point. They needed that six months to a year working in an office as their first job, you know, to understand the politics understand how promotions work, understand even how to deal with customers. So it’s interesting that you say that you feel like you found them. Was that a dawning realisation? But you’d actually done that Was it because of your study in your own business that you look back on it and think maybe I could have done something a bit different?
Tim Collings [16:54]
Oh, no, I mean, it certainly unfortunately took too long. occurred to me at the time. And, you know, the business, even though it was a very large, very successful global corporate, you know, didn’t invest a lot in developing leaders at the best, they just kind of trained managers. So it didn’t, it certainly didn’t appear to me in the immediacy but but even before I left that business, you know, I had started to put two and two together and look at what I was doing and why these really good people were not achieving what they wanted to achieve, and some of them would stay and we kind of figure it out together, and some of them would come and go. But absolutely now, you know, looking back and this is looking back, you know, some way you know, back to sort of 2006 seven
Unknown Speaker [17:41]
Yeah, I can.
Tim Collings [17:43]
I could have a conversation with that person.
But it’s interesting, you know, even though I do feel like I failed, and in that time and in that place, some of those people still refer to me as boss now, and you know, I consider them a friend and they may you I come to my wedding and me and we still talk and I still mentor a couple of them. So it’s not like I sort of broke them all burn any bridges. I just know that if I were to kind of have my time again with them know what I know now, it would be better for everybody on a on a compound multiplier
David Ralph [18:20]
is play some words and let’s delve back into that because I think that he’s a real bit of gold up here there. He’s Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [18:26]
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 [18:53]
Now, what I want to delve into is something that I noticed so many people struggle with, and I actually struggle with it myself. That feeling or running your own business, servicing clients to the best of your ability. And then two or three years down the line thinking to yourself, I am so much better now, if those people had come to me now, I could have delivered so much. Maybe I should go back to them. Maybe I should reconnect with them. Maybe I should give them this and bad. Is that a struggle that naturally occurs within business, your own business, but you know that you are on a journey, and some people come too early in that journey?
Tim Collings [19:34]
Yeah, look, I think it does. And I think, I think in actual fact, that really should be a lesson that, you know, people can embrace wherever they’re working. But absolutely, you know, when you’re running your own firm, yeah, and you’re doing your best, you know, to be of service as opposed to just being service orientated. But ultimately, you know, what I take sort of solace in You know, I give my best every day. And I also learn every day. So, by definition, you know, if I, if I, you know, served you yesterday, you’re going to get a better service tomorrow. But I think, you know, to an extent, that’s enough, you know, as long as I’m honest about that, but I’m actually striving to get better constantly. So if if you’re impressed with what you get today, please come back in six months, and let’s see what we can do. You know, if you’re satisfied with what you got today, come back even in a week, or two months, or a year, and we’re going to do a lot better. And if for whatever reason, we didn’t quite hit the mark this time. Let’s let’s look at why. I have absolutely zero feel of fear of failure. I actually don’t know really think or failure at all. Just winning and learning. And even in winning, you’ve still got to figure out why you won, you know, and how you can win, you know, better, faster, more effectively, you know, for the person but you’re succeeding with and that you’re on the journey with an insane that is really to say, well, this journey is never going to end, you know, this, this journey is work that will never end. And I came across, I think it’s an Amish or a Mennonite sort of religious texts that that that’s quite similar to that then they basically talk about embracing the work that never ends, and that when you find that you can do that you basically know that you found the thing that you should pursue and that you should devote your life to.
David Ralph [21:50]
I think now is that is gold, isn’t it? Because I know we’ve put I get loads of people come along, wanting to podcast and more often than not, I say to them, Now I can teach you to podcast in five or 10 minutes. That’s no problem. Are you willing to do the work on your business to make the podcast work? And more often than not people don’t. They just want to do things because I think it’s part of the package that they need to offer, but not looking at actually that deep dive of really understanding everything that makes that being successful. And I think that’s a big failing. And I’ll be interesting to ask you the question, because what you did, Tim, is something that so many people do, it seems to be that you’ve made it a success, but so many people screw up on where they’re good at something in an office, and they go, I’m so good at this. I might as well do it for myself, but then they don’t understand, you know, lead generation and marketing and web design and all the kind of things that it takes to make back being that they’re good at their own business. But they’re not willing to do that deep dive into it. How did you transition How did you transition from thing that somebody was paying you to do to actually doing it for other people finding those clients nurturing that relationship and providing that value to them.
Tim Collings [23:12]
I think it’s, I’m going to I’ll answer the question directly in a moment. But I think there’s before I do, just reflecting on what you just said, I think so often, people look at somebody who’s in a status that they aspire to. And they go up, well, I just need to do what that person is doing now. Right? Like, I look at David, and he’s got this great podcast and he’s had 1700 episodes, and I just need to do what David’s doing now. And what they forget is that they look at that person and what they see is a success that’s been a decade in the making, or six years in the making, however long Join Up Dots podcast been running. And they actually even sort of forget to analyse the steps that got that person there. You know, I appreciate the sort of the implied compliment that you’ve just given me by putting both sort of, you know, lead generation and marketing and nurturing customers, you put that in the past tense. I’m still figuring that stuff out. I’m still learning that don’t get me wrong. But look, I think, to an extent, I’ve really benefited from certain elements of of what is fundamental to running your own business that are as close as I think I have capability that is innate, that I like my first thought process when I look at anything in any one is how can I help them? And my second is, how can I make that better? And the third one is, if I can help them and I can make it better, why am I not doing that right now? So yeah, I think if you if you’ve got anything like that, then you’ve kind of got a lot of the sort of the fundamental fabric of of running your business and then the only answer question is is empty? What is it that you’re gonna help with? And how could you how you gonna make it better and, and how you going to get out there and do it? But I think, you know, again, you know, sort of looking back now I think all of those years, you know, as dissatisfied at times as I felt I was in those corporate roles, you know, I was still learning valuable lessons you know about what to do and absolutely what not to do, you know, with a with a customer conversation and how sincerity actually works, you know, and just saying, I can’t do that. But you know, here’s somebody who can, is actually much more powerful than saying, yep, I can do that hundred percent, I’ll just kind of figure it out. And, you know, I think the whole fake it till you make it, that’s actually you have to be really, really careful with that. Especially in the modern age, where, you know, connectivity is enormous and you know, reputation travels a long way. But you can only control a very short projection of it. Just do what you can do really, really well be prepared to experiment with stuff that you want to try but be very sincere that you’re figuring it out. And people will thank you for that. And the right people will actually be quite pleased that you’re essentially kind of experimenting with them.
But how did I, how did I do it? How did I figure it out? You know, I,
for quite a while when I was still in corporate, you know, I was looking at every scenario, every project that I was running every deal that I was negotiating, and I was thinking, Okay, I’m doing this within this parameter within this process that this organisation governs. How would I do it if it was mine? And then some of the time if I had the confidence or if the other office door was open, or you know, the ears were wagging, you know, within the sort of the upper leadership, I’d say, hey, what if we tried it and some of the times that be responded to positively in some of the times it will be get back in your box Yeah, figure it out. And be I would be very much looking and thinking if this was mine, how would I do it? And some of the time it would be I would do it exactly like this, because you know what this works. And they’ve spent two decades, fine tuning this. And this thing really actually hums along. And yeah, you ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But more of a timer looking at, if you just change that bit, or if you completely flipped it upside down. Or if you actually ask the customer what they want, instead of dictating to them, you’d end up with a better outcome for everybody. And ultimately, it got to a point where I got probably the best opportunity that you can get as an entrepreneur, which is a corporate who’s prepared to pay you a salary to build something for them. Yeah. And that was that was ultimately my last job in corporate and it was just, you know, a gift from the heavens, this fantastic general manager who, you know, could see an opportunity in the market where I had some connection and some track record and there was an alignment with the business that he was running. And he approached me and basically said, Hey, what do you want to do? What do you actually want to do with your career? And I gave him my completely sincere answer. Some point, I want to run my own business. And he said, great, because I’ve done that twice over. And I’ve built and sold businesses. And now I’m running this. And what I want you to do is essentially run your own business, but under our brand out of our offices, and I’ll pay your salary to do so. And, you know, I spent two years doing that. And then the week before my little boy was born, the stars aligned and I quit that corporate job and yeah, wandered out into the wilderness of entrepreneurship.
David Ralph [28:40]
And has it been a liberation to you? Because I’ll be honest with you, I came into the world of entrepreneurship. And I look back on it, what market I was, I really was I look back on everything but there was such a naivety that I was going to the only thing that I had, but I had total believe that I could launch a podcast and make a success of it. And that was the only thing. And as I say, I didn’t understand why people were listening. But then they weren’t connecting with me. And then I mastered that event, I realised why they were connecting with me. But they weren’t buying event, I mastered that. And it was just a journey all the way through. And there was a part of me, Tim, there was a part. And this came back to me the other night, because I was speaking to a potential client, I do a lot of teaching people how to start online businesses now, which wasn’t going to be my thing, but he’s quite, quite good. And he said to me, you know, he said, I’ve got clients coming through and what I can understand is, they’re getting better results from what I’m telling them, and I’m getting Now, have you found that same thing? Because when he said it to me, I thought, Yeah, I remember about myself. Well, I used to think my advice is obviously good. But why am I struggling so much from this side of the fence where they’re hitting home runs with it? Do you remember that in your own business?
Tim Collings [30:00]
Oh, absolutely. And I mean, that’s, that’s, I was talking to somebody this morning. And I said pretty much exactly that. And look, I mean, that’s the age old age old adage of us not listening to our own advice. And I think it’s particularly true. You know, when you are serving people who are wrestling with a lot of the same challenges is, you know, it’s so much easier to look at somebody else’s context and say always, you know, just about this, just try that, then it is to look at your own. And I think that’s a lot because when you’re in it, you know, you don’t stop to look at it. You know, if that makes sense. So for me, a big one is just taking on too much. Right? And this is definitely the you know, the classic entrepreneurial challenge you know, you have a good thing and that’s fun and that works and that generates income and then there’s all this other stuff and isn’t we met the amazing if we could just do that and I’ll but that’s a great idea. What if we just did that and, you know, it is a challenge to stop yourself. And then it’s all of those complexities, you know that you mentioned earlier, you know that the reality of running a business is marketing. And it is bookkeeping. And it is, you know, relationship management, and it is business development, and it is managing the team. And I had a board meeting two weeks ago, where we covered a lot of ground and they basically told me that, you know, all of these ideas have great ideas, but the one thing that they want me to do is essentially, stop, prioritise, pick one thing at a time, spend enough time on that to get it done, or get it delegated, and then move on to the next thing. And that hundred percent is me not listening to my own advice, because I tell executives that or I invite them to consider that for their own development constantly.
David Ralph [31:52]
I was, was I listening to a podcast? I don’t really listen to podcast I don’t know where I got this bit of information, but somebody told me the storey recently. But they were at a presentation with Tim Ferriss, the four hour workweek guy. And they said to him, yeah, at the end of it was questions and answers session. And they said to him, Tim, can I ask you, you seem to be so productive and you get so much done? How do you structure your day? And he said, Well, basically, I it’s going to sound very boring, he said, but I get up, and I have a cup of coffee. And Ben, I do some stretching. And Ben, I read a book. And he said, and I’m very slow, until I find the right Domino to press down because he said, I know that by doing that one Domino. So many things occur naturally. But what people do is they just plough into stuff, and they’ve got 1000 dominoes in front of them, but they don’t know which one is the right one, you know, and I’m going to play some words from Oprah now which kind of emphasise is back in a different way. And then we’re going to come back to Tim to find out as he know, he’s Domino is Oprah
Oprah Winfrey [32:58]
the way through the The challenge is to get still and ask yourself what is the next right move? not think about oh I got all of this what is the next right move and then from that space make the next right move and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because you know your life is bigger than that one moment you know you’re not defined by what somebody says is a failure for you because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [33:30]
So two storeys said in different ways, but do you know your Domino every morning? Do you wake up and go Yeah, if I do about one thing I can literally finish in an hour and and the rest of the days myself I’ve been effective.
Tim Collings [33:45]
Yeah, look, I would say I’m getting much better at that up and no means mastered it. But yeah, I mean, I think for me, I have a I have a structure I have a routine which really, really helps and mine is is about bookend, so I have a flow that I go through in the morning. And I then have a flow, which I actually think is actually even more important, which is at the end of the day, which is sort of decompressing and kind of putting everything down and having enough time to just sort of settle before I sleep.
And then, you know, it starts again. So,
I mean, there’s a number of things that I that I try to do. And if I actually start in the evening, so, you know, it’s 7:30pm here. After this is done, I basically got one more thing to do. And then I’m, I’m signing off, I’m done for the day. The last thing that I do
David Ralph [34:45]
you work quite late. I’m going to jump in there that to me, that’s quite late.
Tim Collings [34:51]
Yeah, I mean, look, I mean, it’s the reality of now. And what I mean by that is I’m in the midst of it. Intense project. I’ve also got two little kids. So there’s a big chunk of the afternoon where if I’m at home, I’m not, you know, with customers or travelling to see customers, then, you know, I kind of like to participate and need to participate in that, you know, the sort of the whirlwind part of the day he had the dinner in the bath and the books and getting them to bed and then, yeah, my wife and I both tend to sort of do a little bit of work in evening if we if we need to. But, yes, I, I’ll basically set my to do list for the next day. And certainly, when I’m in the office, when I’m in the home office, I’ll write that on a whiteboard. And it’s priorities and it’s nice to do’s and then it’s something for me, and that also is something that I’ve gotten much better at is just trying to have something every day, which is really just for me, you know that sort of restorative, revitalising re energising peace And then, you know, if I’m working late, I’ll wear blue light glasses to help me with the blue light to minimise that from interfering with my sleep. I might drink you know, sort of a down regulating hot beverage, caramel tea or something like that. And then I have a couple of other things that I do sort of in and around, you know, the whole sleep cycle. And, and I’ve written a number of articles on that if anybody’s interested in more detail, they can email me or they can look at those on online sites feed. And then in the morning, I adopt a sleep principle which comes from a British guy called Nick little haze, which is basically that the one thing that you do that’s consistent with sleep is you get up at the same time of day. If you need to work back or if you’re returning late from travel or if you’re going to something fun like a party which has a young parents kind of a rarity that ever happens at all. But if you if you’ve got to compress your sleep, you do so by staying up late and not Getting up later. And then you build longer sleep periods to catch up. And his whole thing is about having a set number of hours of sleep over the duration of a week, not per night. And that works for me. So I get up at 5:30am every day. And what I do when I get up is I go down to the opposite end of the house from the office. So I’m fortunate enough that we live in a in a decent size home. So I kind of have different zones of the home for doing things. So I go to the other end of the house from the office, do a quick headspace meditation. And then I do a 10 to 15 minute yoga workout often app off my phone. And I find that doing those two things, wakes me up kind of figures out any little aches and pains and you know sort of compressions that I’ve got from a long travel day or a long work day. And then by about you know, sort of 615 630 ish I come down to the office but before I come to the office, the final thing that I do is I drink two pints of water. And for me that hydration is very energising and just taking that water on is is as effective as a cup of coffee. It really just kind of gets me gets me going gets me moving. Yeah, and then I’m into my day, and then I’ll segment the day, I’ll hit the priorities. First, I won’t touch anything until those priorities are done. I won’t check my email ever until those priorities are done. And then, you know, I’ll take some calls, or follow up with some customers or check my email or have some lunch, get onto the nice to Do’s, maybe I might do the thing for me over lunch depending on what it is. And then, you know, wrap up the end of the day, go through the end of day routine, go to sleep, start again.
David Ralph [38:52]
I think you pretty much nailed it. Well, we’re we’re simpatico. As I say we’ve got sort of kindred spirits. I have a whiteboard I’ve actually ordered a proper white board because I realised it’s all having things on Google Drive and stuff. But sometimes you just need it sitting there. But you can scribble. And I have one Dr. Day I called it and it’s a big doc. And basically, I look at how to improve my business in five steps. So one doctor day, and each of them might be one of them. For example, I’ve now got a guy, brilliant guy in Colombia, Bogota, but does all my sort of website and stuff. And I can do that. But it dawned on me recently, and it dawned on me maybe six years too late, that I was spending a day working out how to do stuff, where I could just throw it out the sky, and two hours later it was done. And so it might just be but I connect with him and tell him what I want to do for the next stage of development. And that’s me done really everything else is or playtime. And I used to be somebody about juggling 30 plates, but now I just do one plate at a day. One day, and the increase in my business has become exponential. Because as I was saying, and I’m talking about myself here, but when you launch a podcast, I thought that was the business. I really did in the early days. But now this year, I’ve spent more time developing the 90% that you can’t see based on a business more than the actual 10%, which is a sexy customer facing. And it’s been a game changer. It really has. It’s the classic iceberg. You know, you can see the top bit and everybody thinks it’s just bad. But once it’s under the water, more often than not as business owners ourselves, we stopped looking at it ourselves. We don’t look at that 90% that needs to be realigned and we adjusted and so that’s how I do it. So it’s very similar, but I have to say I drink 10 litres of water a day get me
Tim Collings [40:57]
that’s I think that’s a record in terms of People that I’ve encountered that’s that’s pretty good.
David Ralph [41:02]
I have got the bladder of a bacteria and camel I really have it astonishes me when I started drinking it because I had a few health issues a few years ago and they said I wasn’t he wasn’t hydrating myself enough. I was literally giving away all the time you couldn’t stop it. And now I wonder where the water glues your body is amazing because it goes in me and I don’t need to go to the toilet all the time. 10 litres that’s that’s like drinking a bath each morning. It’s It’s amazing. What where’s it go? Where’s it going in my buddies?
Tim Collings [41:39]
Yeah, I mean, what I mean, everybody knows the stats. Now we’re 70% water. I think what a lot of people don’t appreciate is, you know, water is essentially, you know, the sort of the universal conductor. So, you know, basically is the thing that you know, sort of sustains every single cell in the body and we can manage We’re incredibly adaptable we can manage with a deficient amount of water essentially in perpetuity, but it will be damaging you constantly. You know, it’s like running a car without oil in the engine, you know, it will go for a really long way and then it will blow up. So and especially because we have a warmer climate here and we also have a humid climate and as much as I can I spend time in the bush and running and biking or in the water and being in water is actually ironically enough dehydrating because the water in you wants to join the water out there. As it was explained to me one time so why
David Ralph [42:36]
is that why you skin all goes Winfrey?
Tim Collings [42:41]
That that’s that’s how biologists explained it to me essentially that Yeah, you know, water, you know, kind of has this. Yeah, essentially sort of at a cellular level that colour has this desire to be in a mass. So if you put water with a permeable barrier next to a great Massive water and the water, you know, in the smaller mass wants to get into the bigger mass. So yeah, so if you get in a bath, let alone into a swimming pool, or the ocean, your water wants to go out there. And you don’t actually, you know, sort of sponge the water up, it’s actually wrinkling you down.
David Ralph [43:19]
Alright, so if I did this is interesting to me, this is interesting. So if I got a bucket of water, which is less than the 70% water in my body, and put my hand in it, I should suck that water into my body. Is that what you’re saying?
Tim Collings [43:35]
Definitely not a scientist. And I’m going to say, I don’t know. Which is
David Ralph [43:41]
among team that’s not what we do. And we like everything for this show. We, we, we come up with opinions. But
Tim Collings [43:46]
you know, let’s do this. Let’s do this. are going to go and get a cup of water. You go and get a bucket of water will run an experiment and then we’ll email each other and you can talk about it in the next show. How’s that? Well, I won’t be
David Ralph [43:58]
able to email you because I’m gonna be wobbly hand. It’s just like a big water balloon hopping around. That must be how it works. You’ve just taught me something. Very good. Let’s jump back into your business just before we bring you to the Sermon on the mic. Now, how did you get that first customer? It’s a question that I asked so many people now because it is that struggle, isn’t it? There’s a struggle that I think it’s because we don’t believe in ourselves enough. So we kind of do that sideways walk into the conversation, which is very different from where you are two or three years into your business where you’ve had experience, you’ve had got testimonials, you’ve got a track record and you walk forward boldly and competently. How did you get your first client?
Tim Collings [44:43]
Yeah, so look, I think for me, I would have to say it wasn’t difficult, and I didn’t make you know, a giant leap across a chasm, you know, into doing something that I had never done before or I had no connectivity to everything that I business for. I does is ultimately related to what I’ve spent most of my time doing, which is helping leaders with their careers and helping organisations bring better leaders to them. Yeah, that’s what, that’s what a good recruiter does. So our first customers basically came to us on the basis of, well, we’ve heard about you in corporate life, or we’ve worked with you before. And we actually value the contribution that you individually make more than we align with the brand value of the business you worked with before. So that, to me really is just about, you know, sincerity and the amount of care that I committed to those people, you know, the commitment that I recognised, I gave them the courage that I had to go do it my way and to say, I think this way is better. Yeah, and the fact that ultimately, I kind of look at everybody at a peer level, and just say, look, let’s do it together. You know, let’s collaborate on this. Yeah, well, I yes, I’m servicing you. Yes. I’m charging you, you know. Some of the money to do this, but let’s let’s figure this out together, let’s do the work together. And I think the commonality of those themes people don’t don’t see, you know that much. But I think the other thing for me was that I’ve looked at the growth of my business really is a process of osmosis, that if you service one customer exceptionally well, they’ll go and tell one other person, I can, but I just can’t believe what a great service I just got. If you ever need this, go talk to these people. And then you’ve never two people and you service them extraordinary. Well, and then you get two more and so it goes in cycles and cycles, right? So I think rather than thinking how am I going to get my first thousand customers, or how am I going to get my first million customers, I just go How do I get one? And how do I service that person so well, that they bring me another customer and then that one, retain the first one? Keep the second one, have them bring me two more and just keep going I mean, obviously over simplified, but yeah, it’s been effective. I think the other benefit of what you’ve got, you know, global platform and online business, you know, we can have that connectivity with people over an enormous geographical span, you know, cross time zones, you know, across generations and languages and all of those kind of previous constraints. But it’s still about that singular connection. And if if you don’t make that your focus for me, yeah, I don’t think you’re learning put it that way.
David Ralph [47:34]
I agree with you one brick at a time, basically, you know, what you do has to start with that first thing. First, podcast episode, first customer, first, whatever, and you just build from that you build and you learn and you build and you learn and as you keep on learning, you suddenly realise that you can provide more value and the value of N means that you, you know, it’s a yin and yang, you can then bring more value back into your life. It’s, and that’s that’s where it’s not the sexy thing in it Tim, that’s where people struggle. That’s where they look at the overnight success but actually was a seven year night to get there but not willing in many ways to realise that is brick after brick after brick.
Tim Collings [48:19]
And you can build the bricks really quickly. You know, and if you really want to go in and expose yourself and you know, impress investors and get them to commit to you and take on debt, like you can build those bricks really, really quickly, you know, just appreciate if we use a, you know, kind of bricklaying analogy that you’ve got to get the cement. Right. You know, so we’ve taken a somewhat more gradual approach. But, you know, we’ve now got a very strong foundation as a result of that. I think ultimately, a lot of the time. Unfortunately, what it comes down to David is people just don’t want to do the work. Yeah, right. They want to do the glamour.
Oprah Winfrey [48:54]
They want to do the sexy stuff. You
Tim Collings [48:56]
know, the razzmatazz, I don’t want to do the dirty work. You know, and as you said, you know, a little while back in that studies, actually, the 80 or 90% of what is involved in a business is not the glam stuff. It’s not the opening night. You know, Shahzad dazzle. It’s waking up on a Sunday morning and getting some stuff, getting some stuff done. That’s what running a business is about. Get up, do the work, but make sure that you love the work or at least you love enough of the work that you’re going to sustain it because once you start this thing, you just got to keep going.
David Ralph [49:32]
Yeah, I agree with you. And as we recording this yesterday’s episode, was entitled, are you willing to do but dirty stuff where it’s just tough to bring money in it doesn’t have to be part of your business. It’s about something you know, if it means that you can extend your runway by decorating somebody’s house problem, you know, it may not be the thing you want to do, but it just brings in money to pay some bills. I would do that I would do that every day of the week. And that’s where I see so many of the people I speak to, they just want to transition from A to B seamlessly. They’re in a job that you don’t like, into a job they love. And I say it’s a journey, you’ve got to do things. And there’s going to be a point where you’re not getting the money and you’re not getting the customers in. So you’ve got to do other stuff. You got to do the dirty stuff to make it, you know, happen and extend the runway.
Tim Collings [50:26]
Yeah, and I think what’s also, you know, sort of really interesting is you look at a number of people who have seemingly achieved great success. And then you hear them talking about how unhappy they are, and how unsatisfied that success has been for them. Whereas for me, I look at that and say, Well, that’s because you’ve almost had success by accident, because you haven’t actually found the thing that you love to do. You’ve been successful, almost against yourself, and quite possibly in spite of yourself. And that’s Are you not happy? So it’s not by any means to say that I found the answer to happiness. But you know what I have found it is I’m the most fulfilled I’ve ever been. And I get up. And I slog through the week, and some of the weeks are bloody hard, and some of the things that I need to do very tough and very risky. And there’s decisions that if we don’t get them quite right, it’s definitely gonna be painful. But I will take that any day of the week, over getting up to do something to someone else that I don’t believe is right, I don’t believe is the best of me. And I don’t believe is really what I want to be doing with myself. I think we should just finish the
David Ralph [51:40]
episode where that was very, very profound and great advice for everybody. Because I know you prepared a bit. So this is the bit of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic, when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Tim, what age would you choose and what advice would you give him well We’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music when it by God, this is the Sermon on the mic. Mount.
Tim Collings [52:32]
So I’m going to go back and talk to my probably 2324 year old self, which was when I first took on a sort of a serious leadership role and that really was the time where I had the first opportunity, you know, to really benefit and, and help other people. And what I would say to me, then, is essentially three things. First thing, assume less ask more questions and learn to ask great questions. The second one is, do what you enjoy. Figure out what you love, understand how you can best help and serve people and then get really, really good at doing the work that speaks all of these things. And the third thing is, listen, learn and never stop seeking a better way to reach and serve those that you can serve.
David Ralph [53:28]
Brilliant, once again, a man of very few words, but when he says something, it’s worth listening to. How can somebody connect with you? What’s the number one best way Tim but our audience can connect with you?
Tim Collings [53:42]
I think the swiftest way if you want to, you know, sort of just press two buttons and find out who I am and send me a message. It’s got to be LinkedIn. Certainly professionally. Yeah, I don’t do anything sort of on social with with Facebook or Instagram at this point in time. So jump on LinkedIn, put some colleagues in there and and and or Google, you know, Tim colleagues at LinkedIn and I should come up at the top of the feed. And after that, you know, I have a YouTube channel, please be gentle. I’ve only just started that I’m really just kind of finding my way with it. But that is there. And, and after those two things, you know, there is a website, again, depending on when you’re going to broadcast this, if it’s pre November 1 2019. I apologise for our website, it is not what I would like it to be. And that is part of the work I’m doing at the moment. So have a look at LinkedIn, have a look at YouTube, and then do go to the website. And after the first of November, definitely go to the website, which is for I leadership.com. Right Stuff,
David Ralph [54:43]
we have all the links on the show notes. As always, Tim, 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 always always, always the best way to build our futures. Tim Collings. Thank you so much.
Tim Collings [55:04]
Thanks, David. It’s been a pleasure.
David Ralph [55:08]
So like Mr. Tim Collings, Are you in a job that you’re doing something really, really great and you’re thinking that you’re amazing and you can transition back into your own business when it’s doable, it’s doable Tim’s done it, most people have done it. My job now is pretty much what I used to do beforehand, but just put in a different environment. What you do need a course you do need the help to understand how businesses operate. And that’s not something that you can just learn on your own. Now, if you want any help, of course, jump over to Join Up Dots referring more and more free content on there. Getting it tied up as much as possible because we’ve got more and more people across the world who are starting their own businesses through and we’ve got some of them coming on as guests, because they’re in the process of building it is going to be interesting conversations for you guys to hear. But you just have to do it one brick at a time. Until next time, thank you so much. And I will be waiting for you see again, 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 Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.