Ian Sanders; business author, entrepreneur, project manager, marketing and business consultant, has some great advice for those thinking of starting their own business, consulting, writing a book and more.
0:29 Who is Ian Sanders?
I am an author of two books: JUGGLE! Rethink work, Reclaim Your Life and LEAP! Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free. I also have a business and marketing consultancy called OHM. I also occasionally do freelance project management.
1:45 How did you transition from an employee to a consultant?
I was working for a media group as managing director of a small broadcast services company. I achieved a lot but I was getting frustrated that I was spending more and more of my time on general management bits, rather than being at the core face of what I really enjoyed, in terms of running projects and business management.
I took that jump with a safety net because what I did was, the company was so sad to see me go as a senior exec, they said, “Can you work on a freelance basis?”
3:30 How important was your work experience in getting your business set up?
That was so important. It was great having 10 years organizational experience because I learned so much in that time.
4:54 How did your mentors help you?
One of them went on to be a client of mine. … Having a mentor was very helpful.
6:50 Why did you make the jump from an independent consultant to a consultancy company?
I’d achieved a lot of success, just trading as Ian Sanders as a sole trader, but I think there was a ceiling to business development in terms of what kind of clients I could win. There was a perception with some big clients that Ian is only a one man band and is he really big enough to take this project on?
8:36 What got you interested in writing a book?
It was the story of my life as to what I had done as a micro entrepreneur, taking the leap to work for myself.
10:08 Do you think everyone can be an entrepreneur?
I don’t think everyone can do it because a lot of people aren’t very good at doing things themselves. You have to be a good all rounder and you’ve got to be so disciplined. I don’t think everyone has that.
11:05 Would you recommend writing a book and getting it published?
A book is a great calling card. It is great at spreading my personal brand internationally. … It’s hard but absolutely, I recommend it.
12:45 Is it a way to riches and fame?
If you hit lucky, … yeah. It don’t think it is necessarily a way to riches, but as part of a bigger strategy of … brand equity in Ian Sanders, then I think it has a lot of resonance.
14:02 What is your third book going to be about?
The second book was about juggling multi-dimensional work life, the idea that we don’t need to be restricted by a single job title. The third book is going to bring in all my business experience; how I have been working with brands and corporations and bring all that into play.
15:12 Are you hoping to get out of your consultancy work and focus on writing books?
I think I would always like to maintain the plurality. I love talking to small businesses, talking to executives and advising people so that is always going to be part of the mix.
15:58 What made a publisher take a chance on Ian Sanders?
Yeah, it’s tough. I had an idea for the book LEAP! in its first incarnation was called The Self-Sufficient Entrpreneur and I had knocked on a few doors and had not gotten anywhere. Then I reinvented that idea into LEAP! because that felt a much stronger and more punchier idea. I got a friend of mine to shoot a little video of me just walking around SOHO and Covenant Garden downtown and had me talking about themes from the book. I sent that video to the publisher. … That was what got me the deal.
17:53 What advice would you give someone just starting out in the workforce?
If you have a passion or a goal, that’s where you should focus on. … What is that makes you different? Be yourself, be authentic, be distinctive and communicate that to the market.
20:08 Is it better to focus or have a general set of skills like you do?
I think it is good to have a general set of skills,… but there is nothing wrong with focusing on one skill or talent. We still need specialists. But… (if you are passionate about more than one thing then maybe you can mix them up.) Not only will it make you more stimulated but it might be more entreprising, because (you can earn money in multiple ways.)
Life On Planet Juggle (Ian Sander’s Blog)
OHMLondon (Ian Sander’s Business and Marketing Consultancy)