This episode is about becoming an entrepreneur and actually the process and life in entrepreneurship. I speak with James Saward-Anderson, a co-founder of Social Tree Global with his business partner, Max Hannah. They started their business as a project in a bedroom back in 2016. And it’s now grown to become one of the largest dedicated business-to-business, social media agencies, working with leading brands like UBS, IBM and Meltwater.
James and Max have also helped educate over 10,000 marketing and communication experts about the latest social media intelligence insights in finance and healthcare. Both of them ran to Rome together, and after that experience decided to start a business. They now have a team of 11 staff and a seven-figure turnover.
I ask questions around:
- What made him decide to go into entrepreneurship?
- What made him choose the business that he was in and pivot to it?
- What makes a good business partner and the benefits of having one
- Values that have helped his business grow and having a mission
- The struggles actually with balance when you’re running a full-time business, i ask a lot of the questions that you might ask if you are looking to become an entrepreneur and make a career change yourself
- What’s the one thing that made James burn from within?
- Social Tree Global – James’ 7-figure social media agency he runs with his business partner Max and team of 11 staff in London
- James Saward-Anderson’s LinkedIn profile – connect with him here directly to ask questions about becoming an entrepreneur, social media and to work with or in his agency!
Conversation with an entrepreneur (transcription):
Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:00:29] This episode is about becoming an entrepreneur and actually the process and life. In entrepreneurship. I speak with James Saward-Anderson, who’s a co-founder of Social Tree Global. He had a similar background to me. He was a conference producer. And has built a highly successful business.
[00:01:18] And I really I’m fascinated with how he did it. And so I asked questions around, what made him decide to go into entrepreneurship? What made him choose the business that he was in and pivot to it. I tried. He tried a few things before he settled on the social media agency. We talk about:
[00:01:35]Having a business partner choosing one. What makes a good one? We talk about values and specific values that have helped his business grow. Around resiliency and adventure. We talk about having a mission in your business and purpose.
[00:01:49]Giving back. And the difference that makes and the struggles actually with balance when you’re running a full-time business, having, 10 staff and a seven figure turnover, So it’s a real conversation and i hope you enjoy it and i ask a lot of the questions that you might ask if you are looking to become an entrepreneur and make a career change yourself
[00:02:11]The full show notes and transcriptions of other interviews. Are email@example.com forward slash interviews. So listen all the way through and enjoy
[00:02:23] On today’s show, I have James soured Anderson, who is the co-founder of social tree global along with his business partner, max Hannah. They started their business as a project in a bedroom back in 2016. And it’s now grown to become one of the largest.
[00:02:44] Dedicated business to business, social media agencies, working with leading brands like UBS, IBM and Meltwater. James and max have also helped educate over 10,000 marketing and communication experts about the latest social media intelligence insights in finance and healthcare. Now, James is a former conference producer.
[00:03:05] I very much relate to him because I was one too. And his business partner was a previous business development and commercial manager. Both of them ran to Rome together, I believe. And then after that experience decided to start a business. So James, welcome to the show.
[00:03:24] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:03:24] Thanks Matt, for having me really excited to be here today.
[00:03:29] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:03:29] Awesome. Yeah really great to have you on as well. And I’m so glad to bring you on here really to talk about the power of. Having a business partner to start a business how to even start a business in general. When we’re thinking about changing jobs, changing careers, essentially.
[00:03:46]Yeah. I talked earlier about this trip to Rome. What was it about that trip with your now business partner, max that made you realize that you two would be great business partners and actually make that leap into entrepreneurship?
[00:04:03]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:04:03] I think the, yeah the experience, the run to run and was obviously one of, a lot of training, a lot of dedication and lots of time.
[00:04:14]Met many people who fought. We all insane doing that event. Many people who he didn’t think he’d do it. And so all those comments, all those things were. Very similar to the idea of starting a business. The idea of business as many same characteristics, it’s a very long, slow, hard slog many people who don’t think it will work and it’s difficult.
[00:04:39] So I think the skills we learned from that by no means just not exclusive. There’s plenty of people who do sports together who don’t make good business partners. I think it goes beyond just that. I think there’s a. The personality kind of mix, which needs to work. I think he has had complimenting as attributes and similar values as this sort of many different areas of things that have to work.
[00:04:59] But yeah, I think not in combination of being friends it was really helpful. And I think you have to apply main different criteria before you ultimately. Decide to go into business with someone because there’s a big commitment for both parties. Business partnership is difficult to sustain and it’s, it’s really important to get right.
[00:05:20] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:05:20]
[00:05:20] I’m really intrigued about your your current world record holder in kettlebell sports. I looked up your record in the Guinness book of records, you’ve lifted in one hour. 12,400 kilos in, in doing kettlebell swings, squats alternating 24 kilos and 16 kilos, the world record holder.
[00:05:40]And I think you and your partner, max talk about the relationship between the physical fitness world and the lessons that you’ve learned from that and translating that into. Starting and growing a successful business. Tell me a little bit about what have been the biggest lessons learned from the physical fitness world and how you’ve translated that into starting and growing STG.
[00:06:05]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:06:05] I think the relationship between training and business is really important. I think there’s definitely particularly a young guy. I think the first, every name where she can. Test yourself is sports. You’re too young to really go out and commercially test yourself in other areas and sport.
[00:06:25] Is there a way in which you can in a quiet, safe environment, and obviously as a continuing fallout of that, the idea of physical fitness is really important as well. So using your body physical fitness to actually. Pushed herself and understand the limits of your potential. Now I’m not saying that every single entrepreneur is to be really fit.
[00:06:45] I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that in the quest to become fitter and you can develop characteristics and skills, which will help you. If you are an entrepreneur. So I think that’s one of the things that we see, I learned I’ve been in particularly the sports I focused on were around endurance.
[00:07:02] And it was focused on what kind of pushing the body and different kinds of sports. So there was kettlebell, Scottsdale was press up events. There were obviously endurance-running events and all these events were really helpful in shaping my. Values when it comes to business. And I think most things are war of attrition
[00:07:21] and I think that, wherever it’s business any other areas of your experience or you want to get some kind of proficiency and it requires repeat it sustained hard work and yeah, last assignment, physical fitness. So I think there’s a massive bleed out of between the two. And I think that if you can of a relative master over your own body and mind.
[00:07:42] I wouldn’t say master. It’s ridiculous to have a mastery, but our relative acknowledgement and understanding of your limits. I think it really helped me with when it comes to business.
[00:07:53]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:07:53] Yeah. I’m really interested about how you actually started your business and you know that when you made a decision with your business partner to.
[00:08:01] So I’m going to, we’re going to go into business together. What was the kind of journey between that decision to actually starting STG your agency now? Cause I know that you actually pivoted a few times to to actually work out that was the business that you wanted to do. Can you tell me a little bit about that journey and some of the transitions you had.
[00:08:23] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:08:23] Yeah. So the original idea was we wanted just to start a business. So we didn’t have an idea. We just had a desire to start a business. So that was the main thing we had a desire to start a business. And then from that desire, came Social Tree Global . So we originally started off as being a reseller in telephony, which didn’t really work.
[00:08:43] So we wanted to start a business. Didn’t matter what end we just wanted to start something. So I think now is a big thing. Initially it was understanding that the main driver was starting a business. It wasn’t necessary. This is the idea we weren’t wedded to a singular idea, which I think is really helpful.
[00:09:00] So with that kind of knowledge, we just we’re very agnostic as to what we actually do. So that allowed us to be much more flexible, malleable with ideas. And I think sometimes you can get to. When it, to your ideas and some of the biggest values or things I’ve learned is that having a concept based approach to life in terms of thinking about things as concepts, rather than having a sticky idea can be very useful.
[00:09:29]The concept of entrepreneurship. Is really interesting. Your idea might not work, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, it doesn’t really matter what the idea is because yeah, the art of entrepreneurship, the skill, the practice of entrepreneurship, it’s like being a blacksmith. It’s like being the carpenter.
[00:09:46] You love starting businesses. It doesn’t matter what business is, but the process of starting your business and running it is what engages me. So I can start business in anything. It must be, it could be an army setting. Yeah, whatever you name it. There’s certain thing, computers, setting phones or setting watches, whatever it is, the art of entrepreneurship is why I enjoy it.
[00:10:09] It’s a skill of that. And I feel like that’s what a lot of people miss is. People want to, people want to they look at the outcome of think that’s what I want to be. So I want to be a I wanna run a. E-commerce e-commerce store. Yeah. Without understanding that probably won’t work.
[00:10:27] The idea you initially set out to start probably wouldn’t be the idea you ended up being. So if you fall in love with the idea, then you’re going to feel like you’re going to be in a world of pain. It doesn’t work once you fall in love with the concept and you fall in love with the practice and art ones for ownership.
[00:10:41] Then that idea might fail, but you’ll still be motivated to continue because you love the hustle. So to speak, you’d love the entrepreneurship process. I think that’s one of the, the main things we had early on, which was really quite helpful in the early days to really understand our motivation.
[00:11:01] when we had nothing.
[00:11:02] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:11:02] Yeah. Where do you think you got this confidence that things were going to work out? Cause obviously you shifted from telephony products into starting quite successful social media agency. Like how did you know. That was going to work and that you were re you, you became resilient enough to actually keep going and make it happen, make it a successful, like where did that inner confidence come from, that you kept at it?
[00:11:29]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:11:30] There’s also a luck element to this. , we were lucky enough that within nine or 10 months, we’ve managed to start earning an income, a very small income, but if it carried on for another three or four months and no income, we would have failed. . There is a massive amount of luck in anything, but the thing is you can’t change. You can. It’s almost a psychology of lucky in that the more opportunities you present to yourself, you’re more open to the more lucky you can become. What you can control is your work ethic and your mindset who you connect with, your attitude, all these things you can control. You can’t control your luck , but you can control the amount of opportunities you get to play.
[00:12:10] And it’s like a lottery. Now you say unlimited lottery. The more times you played, the more times you might get rewarded. So my motivation came from the fact that we were relatively lucky that within eight or nine months, we managed to find something and start to make us money, but it could have gone either way in the early days, for sure.
[00:12:28] But I suppose the inherent motivation during that eight months to making absolutely nothing, it was about eight or nine months of zero income. Is there a literally no money was the, yeah, it was a dream of being self-employed. It was a massive ambition is a massive thing for us to become entrepreneurs.
[00:12:46] That was for me. Anyway, the burning motivation from day one, when I was in uni, when I was working, only thing I wanted to do was be an entrepreneur. Now there was no other job I wanted to do. I wanted to become. I, I practitioner of entrepreneurship as if you were learned in carpentry, when it’s understand how it’s been an entrepreneur, and that was my craft and that’s what I wanting to do.
[00:13:09]That’s what carried me through there’s lots of wantrepreneurs people who like to read about entrepreneurship and they like to listen to entrepreneurs. They like to dabble in things. That’s absolutely fine There’s no problems in that.
[00:13:22] And I think everyone’s going to have. A degree, the way the world’s going. I think we’re all going to be in the future, doing some degree of side hustle so I think everyone’s going to have to some appreciation of what entrepreneurship is, but I think if you want to become a fully fledged entrepreneur, you have to have a desire.
[00:13:42] and Love. of doing it because that’s what ultimately you do it for because the numbers come meaningless. You have successful people. who just keep doing business, no matter what they do. So I think that’s what it is really. It’s their motivation comes from the love combined with not speaking of luck and our parents, time.
[00:14:00] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:14:00] Yeah. And I’m still curious about, what made you decide on social media agency?
[00:14:07]I’ve read, you guys certainly max has had a passion for social media for awhile. Was there like an element of, I’m passionate about this skill? And so let’s try this as a business or were you looking for, hot trending businesses and just going for something that might be on a growth spurt.
[00:14:26] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:14:26] I think social media cadence for us because we were using social media a lot for prospecting. So that’s why social media came to our site. It was more of a case of we were doing social media anyway, and he saw that there was this, there was demand for social media, which hadn’t been satisfied. So that’s where I think the main spark came from.
[00:14:46] It came from, hang on, mean people aren’t doing this, so we should probably do this. So we actually started generating a lot of demand, a lot of leads from doing this stuff. Yeah, that’s how initially. Came to be. We started doing social media and realizing, Oh, Hey man, this stuff, this really works.
[00:15:01] People are using LinkedIn and not using Twitter. And it was mainly LinkedIn. And then from that, we doubled down on that process. So yeah, through doing LinkedIn. Early on. We realized, Hey, the ma maybe the money isn’t in selling telephony , but selling our services, generating demand, we, the problem wasn’t the problem wasn’t demand.
[00:15:23] It was the product. So we just solved the demand. That’s what we did.
[00:15:28] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:15:28] Yeah. So it was a case of you just started, you started a business and then you developed skills. Some of them were your previous experience and then you built on that and develop skills in LinkedIn, and then you realized, ah, okay.
[00:15:42] They’re not a lot of people are doing this let’s we’re good. So it was a kind of recognition of. We are good at this with with D works. And also there is not many other people doing it, and that was the spark of creating that entire businesses.
[00:15:58] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:15:58] Yeah, sure. This is that’s exactly
[00:16:01] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:16:01] right.
[00:16:01] Now I was reading about some of your values in your business and some of the values that define a social tree global, that resiliency and adventure, and and actually they guide every step of your company. Tell me, how did you decide to focus on those values and how has that helped your business and also personal lives too?
[00:16:27]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:16:27] So the idea of resiliency for me now he’s about to use is when you get more as idiot, you don’t get better app. Carrying your burdens, you get stronger. So you get stronger. You still carry that burden. There was any agency isn’t discarding a bird, and it’s being able to carry your burdens.
[00:16:46] You develop the strength, the carrier burns. You never lose your burdens. You never forget the bad things. What happens to you? You carry them through your life and you don’t your problems. Don’t get. Yeah, they don’t diminish. You just get stronger in delivery and dealing with your problems. And I think that’s one of the big analogies I think it was intercedes it’s is incredibly it’s framed around.
[00:17:08] And I think that one of the issues is you can become resilient through practice, but ultimately resiliency in its base form is something which is. I would need going to be as strong as the support network around you as well. Becoming resilient means that you have the necessary apparatus to actually cope with difficult things going on so I think resiliency is a difficult concept to kind of master, but in terms of our own business, resiliency is,
[00:17:38]just by putting one foot forward every single day and doing the basics every day, amounted to a massive change. And I think there’s any urgency is that, it’s been hours to do the small daily things every single day.
[00:17:49] And you think this hasn’t changed, but over time you, you have changed. And what are we other than just the state of now anyway, because people always think about life in terms of key benchmarks in terms of, I can’t wait to get this. I can’t wait to get that. I can’t wait to get this thing, but ultimately, most of your life.
[00:18:08] It’s just the mundane. It’s waking up. It’s going outside. It’s talking to people, it’s eating food. It’s going to the toilet. It’s sleeping. That is existence all the time. And the outlying moments you think about in life. Like the big moments, they are just little saw the flags in the path of your life. The majority of it like 99.9% of your life.
[00:18:33] It’s just existing. So you have to find that some measure of comfort in your existence because that step, gonna whatever you do, wherever you become a millionaire, wherever you become impoverished, a weld accomplished athlete, most of your life is just living. It’s not what you think. All these are the key moments, bit of common, a champion that lasts what, like five minutes then you’re living again.
[00:18:57] So I think Vassar is the idea of resiliency is in our understanding, the process is really important is that it isn’t in fact everything that we, I always had an ambition. that getting to Rome would be this. Amazing euphoric thing. And it wasn’t really, it was great to get to Rome. What I learned was the process of getting to Rome was the magic.
[00:19:17] That was the essence of everything. It was the steps. It was the day-to-day grind. The process in itself was the answer. It wasn’t the gold. And I think resiliency is the admission that life is essentially a recurring exercise in day-to day to day habits and it’s up to you, what habits you form, but the cumulative has habits can either help your life or make your life a lot sadder.
[00:19:43] So , the first idea of resiliency is understanding that the grind is everything and you should enjoy the grind. If you don’t enjoy that, then you really are doing the wrong thing and cause that’s most of your life. And the second one, obviously adventure is precisely the idea that, The sense of adventure is so important.
[00:20:00] The sense of adventure means something playful. It’s something unknown. It’s being experimental. It’s going out beyond the comfort zone. And I think that’s really important. And you have to have a sense of adventure in the world. You have to try things. And obviously this year we’ve had lock down and it’s been really hard to do that, but you can have your own sense of adventure by doing something online.
[00:20:20] Yeah. If we digital, yeah. You can have a digital adventure You can try things on LinkedIn. You can try some new content. The spirit of adventure runs through our veins, regardless of whether we are fixed in terms of geography or not, because we always try new things. And our idea of business is this sense of.
[00:20:36] All the adventure, the sense of we’re going to try some new things. We’re not afraid to fail. We’re not afraid to do, things wrong sometimes because they are resilient and we have a sense of adventure. And I think those two things together really distill the essence of our business
[00:20:53] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:20:53] I know I’m actually curious about. If you didn’t take this trip to Rome, do you think you would have started your business or would you have started it like so soon? Was that the real kind of inspiration that the gave you the belief that, Hey we have the resilience for this.
[00:21:10] We’ve worked out this step-by-step, we’re doing it step by step and we’ve and we made it work. It was a tough challenge. We did it together. We can do this. We can make a business. Was that physical challenge like that a metaphor that changed that actually changed your belief and. If it was, would you encourage other people that aren’t sure of themselves to take on a similar challenge?
[00:21:34] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:21:34] I say we did want to change to our business before it runs around. It was always talking about starting a business. So we did myself business for that. I would say that. The idea of other people, again, super break, Kathy, what you want from life, because particularly now with the weld and lockdowns and remote working, and a big part of why people want you to start business was the idea of freedom.
[00:21:58]I can work when I want now with technology that kind of is becoming reality. So I think people should be very careful about excuse me wanting to be an entrepreneur. I think you feel it’s Oh, it’s just something I should do. But what you need to think need to dig deeper than that.
[00:22:13]Because entrepreneurship is a, is, like I said, it’s a school where it’s a practice that discipline. So the art of entrepreneurship is become a black sphere. So you might like to Midcoast salts, but you may not necessarily want to make the sword. So you might not, you might look at the business, but you may hate this.
[00:22:31] Process of building a business. The process of forging a sword involves a lot of skill, effort, failure, discipline, growing a business is incredibly hard. It’s a life consuming thing. You have no holidays. You had no, really any other folks assigned the business is consumed your whole life. And it doesn’t matter if you’re married.
[00:22:54] If you engage, if you’re going to have children, if you have family, whatever it is, your business is going to consume. A sizable chunk of your conscious day. So when you go on this path to grab business, now this is obviously if you want to grab a lot business. So I’d say if you’re looking to grow a business, a million pound business or above many account business, like a large business, and you’re not most businesses in the UK are the average revenue business is half a million, but most businesses are micro businesses.
[00:23:23] 90, I think 92% of all businesses are market businesses. And they do revenues off of the thing, a hundreds of 300,000 pounds. And there’s the whole army of people who are self-employed contractors. So again, this is the question like you want to be an entrepreneur, but let’s decode what that means. Do you want to work for yourself?
[00:23:40] Great. Do you want some freedom? Amazing. Or you could be a contractor and have the entrepreneurship. You have your income, you have your new business. You have this contracted limited company. Get your money. Go home. No, I want to start the fullness business. I want to grow a business. I want to get to 7 million pounds on a set of business and find very different kettle of fish that, that super full business that’s hiring staff that scaling a business that’s that’s, maybe the company as corporation tax, that’s all the residual for the business ownership.
[00:24:10] We’ll run very different things, very different goals, very different objectives. Again, it’s a wide spectrum, this all of entrepreneurship, but I feel like. We don’t really sang on saying to be an entrepreneur is not good enough because I know like you, that it doesn’t help anyone. I think that’s the answer to your question is around about my.
[00:24:31] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:24:31] Yeah, so interesting. I A lot of people that are listening to the show that, thinking about career change and they’ve had this itch of our, everyone starting a business. Now, maybe I can do that. It will give me freedom. I’ll maybe I could be a millionaire. But what you’ve just highlighted there is, it comes back to your value of resiliency.
[00:24:51] You really have to, It’s painful at some points and you really have to work, and it’s not a walk in apart by any means. And you need to mentally be prepared for that and know that you’re going to enjoy the process. Like you want to be an entrepreneur and you, because you love the, you actually love the concept of entrepreneurship and actually grinding away and creating something versus just the dream of, I want to make a million dollars or I want to make I want to build a huge company or whatever. I think a lot of people focus so much on the golden. They forget about the process.
[00:25:27] And that’s why I dunno, I don’t know what the stats are in terms of. Business FA business startups failing, but it’s, I think it’s pretty high in the UK. Certainly in the U S something like 60%, but does that bat right? I’m most sure.
[00:25:41] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:25:41] Yeah. And I think you’re right. Besides the process, again, it’s everything.
[00:25:44] It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you make. X amount money because there’s entrepreneurs who I still work at, even when they’re mini and multimillionaire. So that’s a myth you’re never going to find. You’re never going to find enough money to be satisfied. I, because there’s always going to be.
[00:26:03] A lifestyle, which will meet your income. So if if you wanna make a million pounds, okay, so you get a nice house, get a car, you get the Knight’s area, designer clothes, then you’re living a life in which you have to make money and you need more in it, 10 million pounds. And to get 10 million pounds, you’re hanging around people who have yachts, and then you go I need to get, I need to get a superyacht and I need to be a billionaire.
[00:26:27] So be very careful about Ghana park, because there’s never enough money in terms of a human ingredients, limitless. That’s the first thing the second is yes, absolutely. Do after that, the process, because that’s all we have, there’s no, if you think there is a finish line, there’s not, I’m afraid and you can take it as a.
[00:26:45] As a negative or positive, but this is it the existence when you have now in gray cup every day, we think ourselves, we go to the toilet, eat food that day. I don’t think people talk about the mundane about life. That is life. So if you think about the big marquee moments, the social media doesn’t help because you get this feed of people posting their marquee moments, which is fine.
[00:27:08] Great your style posting your success. But the reality is if you don’t know that person a better happier and all, they might be really unhappy and you might be really happy and you don’t know you because you think you’re not, you should be doing something else, but maybe you shouldn’t, you know it because ultimately the process is what matters.
[00:27:24] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:27:24] I was going to ask what’s your goal in your business now.
[00:27:28] I You’ve got, I think 10, 10 team members can staff and like revenue wise, are you in the kind of seven figures now almost, or over.
[00:27:39] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:27:39] Yeah, so we want to, I call it, this is the greats of 5 million pounds, so many pounds now, and anyone to get to 5 million pounds is a next big step for us.
[00:27:50] So we have the, a team of seems to be 11 staff and you have a really great team and the revenue for us, you can insert into the figure, the most important thing I said before, waking up and having a team around you, having a good ethos, having a good culture. At mission, the money, the revenue is always going to change when he gets a five-minute, it’d be 10 minutes and relative John’s view, that’s still quite small business.
[00:28:15] Okay. I’m not saying, most people think about business as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook I’ve Silicon Valley. I will look at me. That’s not going to happen. I think most people are going to go in them to get to 200,000 pound business. I think you can get there. I think half a million. I think, you know what?
[00:28:33] You could probably do it. Half million is I think the cutoff point, I think half million, then you’re going to need a bit of luck. You’re gonna need a product it’s going to need to really read, understand, and then you’re gonna need to level up the Gulf between half a million and a million, I think is a big Gulf.
[00:28:45] I think that’s where the cough is between I can black this half million, 2 million pounds. You can’t black, a million pound revenue per year. So that’s the big jump. But yeah, our goal is to, I think, to get to 5 million pound revenue by 2025, 25, five six, and the team. And it’s not just me. It’s not just the rest of the team.
[00:29:07] And we want to, grow a great agency and the team you have now, I want them to be, to be part of that growth and speed, part of the leadership team and go from there. But as you said, going full circle, this conversation, a lot of this is the process is enjoying the process and trying to fall in love with it every day, because that’s all we have and that’s all we’re gonna ever have.
[00:29:28] And. Unless someone tells me otherwise, or we’ve got, this is short timeline. So enjoy it. Enjoy the grind. If you don’t enjoy it, then change because life is so short.
[00:29:40]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:29:40] A lot of people on the show talk about, passion, purpose, and balance, and certainly with purpose.
[00:29:46]I think your mission is to humanize corporate social media, by putting people in their stories at the heart of their message. What’s the importance of setting a mission. In your business or life, I guess as well. And at what point did you set yours and what difference did it make when you had that on paper?
[00:30:06]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:30:06] Yeah, I think your mission is really important because it’s going to have ups and downs. Do you have days where you have terrible days? Yeah, I’d have a thesis as a strong framework in which you operate. Then when bad things happened to you have no way of calibrating that and going, wow, I am it.
[00:30:23] They didn’t want to see them out. I’m on the, I’m on the journey to this objective here. So I think having a mission is really important. It doesn’t have to deal with you washy, but yeah, for us, I genuinely believe that social media is completely changing our interpretation of how brands and brands engage. We think this is a massive transfer. The tension away from monolithic brand entities to the people, which make the brands and yeah, I, that’s why I wake up generally believe and I believe social media is a powerful tool, which can be used for bad as we’ve seen.
[00:30:56] It’s well documented. You can you have to have an appreciation for mental health considerations, but I also think is a as a tool for great, good. I think it has a huge potential for good in the world. Yeah it’s a mixed bag. And that’s what I feel passionate about when I’m old and dying.
[00:31:11] I want to look back on my life and say, you know what, when some way in, in helping to bring a aloud transparency to tease companies which were previously not there.
[00:31:22] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:31:22] Yeah. And we talked earlier about the importance of actually just enjoying your day and like the people you work with versus, just chasing money, because as you said, like when you get to six figures, seven figures, billion dollar businesses, You keep working.
[00:31:38] Cause you just enjoy it. You enjoy like the environment, everything you do in your day. You’ve already started an online Academy with a mission to give, I think 10,000 students did just skills. They need to compete in the job market. And you’re also, I believe leading an initiative this year.
[00:31:57] Where you aim to educate a hundred thousand students from Britain’s biggest universities on the usefulness and power of LinkedIn, what is it about. Doing these projects like voluntary projects and giving back this contribution aspect that is important for your business, for your culture and also for you, for your whole kind of purpose and drive and what you’re doing each day.
[00:32:21] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:32:21] . I’ve always fought. Life is there’s three phases to life. The first phase of life you’re getting helps and zero it’s 20. So you are. Yeah. You’re helpless. You need help. The second phase is helping yourself. I think you need to help yourself. You need to be selfish. I think you can be too selfless, which means you can’t actually help others because you haven’t developed your own skills.
[00:32:41] You haven’t developed the capacity to help. So I think you should be selfish in the twenties and your thirties to some degree, necessarily the forties, because you need to get yourself in a position where you are going to be able to will and maximum change. Do you need to have the clouds get out to help others, not should Marsh in the plane.
[00:32:58] If you had to put the oxygen mask on yourself, you die and your home, your kids die. So getting helped helping yourself in the first phase of life is helping others. I think that you, as a human, I don’t think you can live a healthy and I’m selfish in many ways because I don’t think I can be completely happy.
[00:33:17] If I know that I haven’t done anything in my short time enough to help others. I feel like you can, you can become a very unhappy person pursuing your own self, interested to such a degree that you forget that ultimately. The only thing, most important things that are raised well, humans really.
[00:33:40]Like that’s all it is. Wait, all businesses did it, humans, religious person. But the trap from the fact that I selfishly I think that it’s important to, now I’m in my thirties, obviously at the moment, these products are quite small. But I want to start doing them because when I get to the first phase, which is helping others, I’d like to.
[00:33:59] That they can’t a little, my time when I’m older to helping others, because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about passing the Weldon in a place, which is slightly better than when you joined it.
[00:34:09] It’s given people an opportunity to giving people a shot. So I always give people a shot. I’ll try my best.
[00:34:13]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:34:13] I just curious about how you. Live with balance or how you get some kind of balance running such a successful business and having quite a large team now. And is, have you been able to restore a level of kind of balance to your life so you can focus on, other things like.
[00:34:33] Your relationships and your health and all that kind of stuff. Cause I can imagine when you started your business and like you weren’t earning any money and then obviously growing a business, it was just all hands on deck. Has that changed? And have you been able to set structures or routines to enable you to actually have a life balance?
[00:34:54] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:34:54] Yeah, that’s a really good point. Again, it goes back to the point around button. This is my life is not bad because the business is so much part of my life. And that’s just the way it is. We don’t earn our, we’re not a business which where we and max go home. We aren’t Lowe’s and my neighbor now knows nothing.
[00:35:10] Like our income is parity with some stock. Because that’s just the way we invest the money and run the business, so it’s, yeah, it’s not, it’s a slog where I need a business we’re relatively small. And because we, we’ve be bootstrapping the whole thing. So there is bad.
[00:35:29]The thing I’d say that I’ve got a really good supportive fiance who is, in a relationship. I think that’s really important to have. This again, full circle having contrasting, but complimentary personality traits, I think were really important.
[00:35:42] So I think there’s a, with my life and very fortunate to have someone who really understands and appreciates how I work and works with me. So yeah, absolutely. I would like to some point have. Definitely a more about it. So I think at the stage of the business, it can’t have that.
[00:35:57] It might’ve been, but yeah, very friends had people around me that support me. But at the same time, Yeah. People who say, Oh, you don’t to support me in the beginning. If your idea isn’t, if you tell someone an idea and they support you off the bat, then your idea is crazy enough. In my opinion, I think people should, your family should say yo ass not go.
[00:36:17] You show me what to do. That’s great. You should want that reaction. And you owe it on your family to prove them wrong. You don’t, you shouldn’t assume. Support is given. And I think that’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t want my family support me jumping off a cliff. They’d like us to read about it. And mindless support is really bad.
[00:36:36] It’s a sycophant. There’s one that type of energy. You want people to kick back us out if you have a good idea, but that’s not a, Hey. That’s not a high as someone who is not someone who is looking out and saying, yo, that’s not, I don’t think you should stop visit. That’s perfect. You it’s your job to turn them around.
[00:36:53] It’s your job to work hard enough and to just prove them wrong. But don’t think they’re hater for putting the idea off because it’s stupid and any idea, which is quite frankly stupid and crazy is a good idea. That’s the idea. Those are the ideas that should be really going to change the world. I think there’s a bit of, people just think that if your family don’t support you straight away, then there’s some kind of Hayden’s.
[00:37:17] But if you idea side a bit, it’s on the businesses and having to do crazy things. So don’t expect that in the other days. Yeah.
[00:37:24]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:37:24] It is a crazy thing and like I’ve. I’ve started businesses myself, and I’m an ex I’m an extroverted person and you are as well. And I think your business partner is working in a sales background.
[00:37:39] What like, do you think that this kind of concept of being extrovert, I struggled working on my own. I really did like it. And I think it’s because I was extroverted and I really liked working with the team and bouncing ideas off people. Do you think Your partnership and having a business partner was like really helped because because you were extroverted and what do you think has been the biggest gift from having a partnership and in business, like with looking back in all of the years, you’ve, the last four years, five years, like what’s been that biggest gift from having an actual partner.
[00:38:18] James Sawand-Anderson: [00:38:18] I think definitely sharing the burden. I think, yeah. Having somebody who’s doing the business, I think it has a massive thing. Like having a business plan is super important to that. But also came out to the journey thing. We have with this process, the process of working with someone that, I really get on with max, all my best friends and we’ve always got on and seeing his development and him seeing my development and seeing obviously our lifestyle changes.
[00:38:41] We’ve got the older mask got married. Kids, aren’t going to get nice. There’s a whole sort of, you can see the mirror of the progress through the other person, whereas when you’re on your own, you don’t really see that as much. So I think that’s one big thing. And I think, yeah, it’s having that.
[00:38:55] I think word, I think a moments, a double when they shed. Having a, this is all about life is, and I get, I realize it is just about. The people around you and we’re all seeking some kind of meaningful engagement with someone else. Now, what is business? We’re trying to influence other humans, it’s online, but so much about this life is about that.
[00:39:18] And I think we are in a position where a lot of the there’s a, there is an anxiety moment because I feel like we don’t really, or we’re forgetting. What it means to live a good life and that what you associate with happiness is something which can be attributed very easily. So if you want peace and contentment, happiness, that will come very easily to comes through introspection, you can be peaceful and happy in a packed tube.
[00:39:51] All you can be at peace and happy in any situation because happiness is this fitness comes in and comes out. And I think another thing I’ve learned is that, my emotions are happiness and sadness go outside kind of stock market graphics. They pass through me for a day.
[00:40:07] It’s I feel sad. I feel happy about it. Hang on it. I’m not doing it. If this is just, this is some weird external thing I’m happy and I’m sad. What are some moments I’m really happy in situations, but I shouldn’t be when someone who hungry, sad and middle specialty retail. So I’ve learning now.
[00:40:22] This is not something I have control over. If I’m hungry, I’m happy. I’m not happy. So I think, yeah, the appointment business part is like, the process is so potent because that’s all that matters. The process, does having a business partner. Does it enrich your day or do you wake up going? This person is I hate working if they richer day and you enjoy and you both have a good relationship.
[00:40:47] I think it’s fantastic. And I think statistically, you’re more likely to succeed as well. I think businesses with a business partner are statistically more likely to succeed and those that don’t.
[00:40:58] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:40:58] That’s solid advice actually about like really getting on with someone and actually them enriching your day and you enriching their day to make that whole journey much easier.
[00:41:08] Where can people get in touch with you? Find out more about social tree global James.
[00:41:13]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:41:13] I think it is the one that James said, Addison. I’m always happy to connect and learn. And thank you so much, Matt, obviously for, for the vitamin a show. It’s great. It’s really enjoyed talking to you and yeah, LinkedIn’s a one off you want to follow me on Twitter, dura James, but yeah.
[00:41:30]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:41:30] So I call it like, Someone that’s passionate about what they do purposeful and have some kind of a burning desire to just keep going, like really motivated.
[00:41:42]I call that to burn from within. And my question I always ask guests is what’s the one thing do you think has made the biggest difference for you to burn from within you and your business to, to just really have that drive and burning desire to keep going?
[00:41:57]James Sawand-Anderson: [00:41:57] Good question. I think the idea of adventure, I think that’s what makes me, and it’s this desire of where are we going next? This best grind is this path. I think it’s the adventure, I think is the opportunity there. The tension that we’re never reached yet, I’ll never reach perfection. You’ll never get there.
[00:42:14] You’re never been perfection. The eventual never finish, but what matters is the process is the art of pursuing perfection. It’s the art of pursuing adventure. That is the essence of everything. So it’s almost falling in love with that and appreciating that’s all we have. That’s what keeps me going every single day.
[00:42:33] Waking up with a smile on her face and saying that I’m here again for more of the same, bring you on, and let’s see where. Last taste me,
[00:42:43] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:42:43] James at Anderson. Thank you very much for that. It’s been an awesome conversation. I really appreciate it.
[00:42:48]Wow. That was a really interesting perspective. And to the life of a, of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur, that’s grown a team and . A seven figure business. To really show, there’s a lot of wantrepreneurs out there and that’s fine. But the reality and the sacrifices and the hard work and the actual process.
[00:43:08]And the grind of. Entrepreneurship and making it work. Is not to be underestimated. That was a big takeaway from that conversation with James. And, knowing that he wanted to be an entrepreneur for a very long time and that drive. To make things and create things whatever.
[00:43:30] It takes, that. That really came through in this interview. And I think. If you are. Looking for a career change right now and want to be an entrepreneur. Not a wantrepreneur and entrepreneur. Really take note in terms of the sacrifices that you will have to make.
[00:43:46] Is this an a. Task list that’s given to you each day, like a nine to five. You make your own tastic scarp. You have to motivate yourself. If things aren’t working, you’re not making any money like James and max didn’t. From the first nine months of their business. You have to have the resilience and determination.
[00:44:04] And self-belief that you will make things work. And just. Being exposed to stories like James is is good. Preparation, I think for embarking on that journey. And I would encourage you to reach out to James directly through LinkedIn. I’ll leave his profile link on the show notes.
[00:44:25]And any other entrepreneur actually. By doing informational interviews and really finding out what life is like. In their shoes, if you want to be an entrepreneur theory is one thing. Living that life and the process of it is a very different ball game. And you might absolutely love it and it might be the right.
[00:44:43] Career path for you. So hope you enjoyed that episode. Any questions, please drop me a line, firstname.lastname@example.org with it at double T. Don’t forget to rate. The bone from within email@example.com slash burn from then until next time they with passion, purpose, and balance. And ben