I was driving to work Monday morning and the roads were dead. The roads being dead can only mean one thing, the schools are off, and despite it only seeming like a week ago that the kids were on their six weeks summer holiday, half a term is over already, mental. Schooling and education was something I took for granted when I was younger and like most teenagers growing up I would have always rather not be at school but now learning is something I take pride in doing daily. Whether it be watching a motivational video, reading a few pages of a book or speaking/meeting with someone that influences me I will be learning every day no matter what.
When I was younger I always used to say to myself ‘I will learn the best bits from the people better than me, mix their bits with my own personality and be better than all of them’ And that is essentially what I still do now, not copy but imitate, assimilate and emulate.
With that in mind I would like to share with you what I learnt from someone I went to meet this week.
A few weeks ago I made contact with a guy called James Sinclair and met with him on Tuesday. Some of you local to Essex might recognise his as ‘Jimbo The Partyman’ not to be confused with ‘Partyboy’ from Jackass. James is an entertainer, a very good one at that and has now built an empire of leisure attractions throughout the country such as Partyman World of Play, Marsh Farm, Laser Kombat, Twizzle Tops Day Nursery’s, Fort Fun and KidFest just to name a few. I wanted to find out what it was that has taken this children’s entertainer to the heights he has got to.
James met me at the entrance to where his office is based dressed in a very unique purple outfit described in his own words as ‘dressed like a clown’ to give you an idea of how much pride he takes in his brand image!
Once we got the usual uncomfortable first meeting questions out the way I started to ‘learn’ what made James the successful person he is today.
At a very young age he realised that he wanted to be super successful and enjoyed entertaining people so it made sense to combine the two and create an entertainment business. His own personal circumstances lead him to moving out on his own at the age of 17 and put him in the position he had to get out there and make it happen to be able to pay his bills and live, he certainly wasn’t handed anything on a plate. It is circumstances like this that some people use as an excuse as to why they don’t achieve what that want to in life. James did quite the opposite.
Like most successful people James read a lot, the first book he read was Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson (you can buy it here) which as he put it ‘gave him some great nuggets’ to take his business to the next level. If you take James’s company it has a huge amount of self-promotion very similar to how Richard Branson helped promote many of his companies because he understands people will trust a brand more that has a face to it hence why you will see James’s face with this big cheesy grin on every company website, flyer and promotion they have. He then went on to reel off about 10 names of people that he learns from now such as Dan Kennedy, Siam Kidd and Daniel Priestly just to name a few and you can tell how passionate he is himself about continuing learning from the way he speaks about these people and the books he has dotted around his office that he is reading. He is taking himself off to The Info Summit in Colorado next week just to learn from others about how he can better himself even more.
Most successful people will always have a few things that they regards as vital to their success that when they look back helped them get to where they are now and for James it was reading, un-official mentors and a crystal clear vision. I have covered reading already but unofficial mentors are really important.
The reason I wanted to meet with him was because I want to learn from his experiences and gain any advice he could give me, therefore being an unofficial mentor. James and I share the same view on learning from those already doing it better then you, as the old saying goes ‘don’t re-invent the wheel’. I agree, but you can improve it. This is what you are doing with an unofficial mentor. A vision, He has a very clear vision of where he want his company to get to ‘Partyman to be a National Brand’ and he shares that vision with his staff regularly to make sure they are as motivated and as passionate about achieving it as him. I have no doubt it will become a national brand and some.
What I learnt on Tuesday morning made it very clear that this man might look like a clown sometimes but he is an incredibly smart business man. From the way he brands his company right through to how he raises finance he is on the ball. He never stops learning and at the same time staying grounded therefore in my opinion making him a phenomenal person.
I hope this has given you an insight into what you could learn from reaching out to someone who you feel is better than you. You would be surprised at how willing they would be to help you on your journey if you just ask nicely!
If you want to know more about James I recommend you read his book you can buy it here. and certainly follow his business networking group on Facebook ‘The James Sinclair Entrepreneurs Network‘, you can check out his website too here.
Until next time… make it happen.
p.s. Have you downloaded my free ebook Staying Positive: 10 Simple Tips to Staying Positive? Click here to download it now!