Rob Moore’s Podcast ‘The Disruptive Entrepreneur’ Offers Advice To Anyone With A Desire To Build Business – RISING Asked Him For An Inside Edge

His Podcast has hit one million subscribers after he left his businesses in the capable hands of their teams – so how would Rob Moore recommend you leverage your own life for more success?

RISING It’s fashionable to talk about being ‘disruptive’ in business right now, but what does that actually mean? ROB MOORE, ENTREPRENEUR ‘I think being disruptive is more about innovation, continual improvement, having the courage to stick your flag in the ground and say: “This is what I believe in,” even though there will be people against you. It’s about never standing still, never getting complacent or cocky; it’s creating chaos through all of your ideas and vision but then turning that into something that matters and serves, and helps people. But it’s not being disruptive in just shaking things up for the sake of it, that’s definitely not what I’m trying to be.’

RISING How important is the relationship with customers for disruptive businesses? RM ‘Technology gives you access to customers quicker than ever – you don’t have to have overheads of premises, staff, stock, big loans. You need a smartphone, a Paypal account and a WordPress website, and then you have a business. But you’ve got to change quicker and react quicker – do something well and there are customers on Facebook singing your praises – it’s a really quick feedback loop. Those that embrace that and see it as a great thing, and get connected with their customers, solve their problems, are less a cold corporate face, and more like a personal, accessible brand – I think they win.’

RISING What else is different about operating in a business landscape that moves so fast? RM ‘We should spend less time planning and more time testing in this day and age. You can spend six months getting a great business plan together doing demographics, avatars and focus groups but by the time you get to the market you’re too bloody late. It’s a much more speedy, interactive process and it’s risky now to spend years researching and developing product, which might be outdated by the time you’ve got it to market.’

RISING It’s easy to watch Dragons Den and conclude that you need to find investors for success with innovative, disruptive ideas, but is this true? RM ‘You don’t have to fund business through investment, you can fund it by selling something quickly and then reinvesting the profits from selling it back into your ‘Version 2.0’. Whilst it’s fashionable to go to Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank and raise investment, you’re giving away a big slice of your company and all the future profits to do that, so why not go and sell some stuff and reinvest the profits from selling your stuff, into creating more stuff?’

It doesn’t have to revolutionary, but if you want to grow then you have got to let go

RISING If you have to move fast in a disruptive business model, this makes scaling up a priority, so why do businesses struggle to do that? RM ‘Everyone thinks that they can’t afford staff, everyone thinks they are too busy to write systems and processes for their business. Yet every entrepreneur who goes from one to 100 to 1000 to 10000, this is how they embrace it: they bring a great team in, they let go of ownership and control of decisions, whether they do it progressively or instantly. They have brand values and trust people to carry them. It doesn’t have to be a revolutionary process, it can be an iterative process. But if you want to grow you have got to let go.’

RISING You talk a lot in your podcasts about leverage – how does it work? RM ‘You have to have a leverage mindset. There are a lot of people in this world who think that hard work equals success but that’s only a soundbite to the reality of success – there are other realities and one example is that you need a good team around you.’

RISING So what does a leverage mindset look like? RM ‘My Dad was a hard-working man born in the North of England – he wasn’t taught leverage, he was taught: work really hard in this cold, dark town! Leverage is not doing everything yourself but insourcing your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses, getting great people around you.’

RISING Can you give us an example from your own businesses? RM ‘As a property investor I leveraged the bank to finance deals, I leveraged investors to finance deposits, I leveraged tenants to pay off my mortgages for me, I leveraged estate agents to source properties for me and I leveraged letting agents to manage the tenants. So leverage is more with less – how can I move this heavy object with the longest lever; who can do it for me rather than having to do it myself? What’s the shortest route, what software can I use, what app?’

RISING What technology are you using to leverage your time at the moment? RM 'I listen to podcasts, which is leveraging time instead of reading books and I’ll do it on the train when I wouldn’t be doing anything else, or in the gym when I would be listening to music, and then I put it on 2x speed and get that double leverage effect. It’s a mentality as much as it’s a tactical function.’

RISING What strengths do you think you have as an entrepreneur? RM ’All I am as an entrepreneur is a generalist; my strength is that I have no major strength and I’m alright at doing a lot of different things. Usually entrepreneurs are generalists, we have to be pretty good at spinning lots of plates, and then we get in technicians and specialists. It’s having vision.’

Exchanging 1s and 0s over the internet is one of the most amazing models I’ve ever seen

RISING What opportunities out there look the most exciting for you? RM ‘Building a personal brand and leveraging online e-commerce, transactions online, whether it’s apps or online shops or leveraging online shops like Amazon. Basically, exchanging 1s and 0s digitally over the internet is one of the most amazing business models I have ever seen, because you have got a ready-made free customer base on Amazon, iTunes, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. You create products or services that are hosted online, whether that’s a book, an audio book, an online course or an app.’

RISING So, information really is king? RM ’Look at Uber or AirBnB – they own no cars or hotels, it’s not really about ownership anymore it’s about the speed of information and connection and that’s so exciting, it’s a bit like the old steel rush when all the railways were being built or telecommunications kicked in, or when air travel kicked in; it’s this network concept and that’s amazing.’

RISING So it’s become easier to just kick an idea off? RM ’It’s speed, it’s leverage and it’s low risk. You can go and start these things with a few pounds – you can go and fund them on GoFundMe or Kickstarter and you’re not putting yourself into hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt before you even start, and putting massive overheads on your business.’

RISING You’ve built your podcast audience to one million subscribers – what’s been your approach to that? RM ‘You’ve got to want to share information to help and inspire people and that’s one of my most favourite things to do – otherwise it would be a chore, because it’s a commitment of a few hours a week. Don’t do a podcast because you think you should, do one because you have got a message, and it’s best to talk about something you know a lot about. Then you have to keep doing it and build a following, and have a bit more of a long-term plan than you might for other marketing platforms.’

RISING You must see lots of other podcasts come and go – any tips to achieve long-term success with one? RM ‘There are a lot of people doing their ‘named’ show and if they are not a name already, then that’s not really the smartest play. The ‘John Smith’ or ‘Sarah Jones’ show, who are they? It’s best being a go-to authority in a niche; a ‘how-to-do’ something. Then it’s consistency – that’s very important whether it’s twice a week, once a week or every two weeks. In the content creation world if you have to make profit from day one it can bastardise your content. There are some brilliant podcasts out there but they have 10-minute ads at the start, five at the end and a break in the middle.’

RISING OK but you still need to sell to people – so how can you sell without alienating your audience? RM ‘People don’t like being sold to but they love to buy. I always try to remember that and build a lot of information, good will, relationships and trust, and then allow them to buy the stuff that I have got by making it easy, accessible, clear and targeted. People aren’t going to buy your stuff if you don’t tell them about it, and how to do it, so I have a one in 40 approach where I have 39 really good pieces of content and then one more blatant of offers – it’s that balancing act.’

WHAT NEXT? If you want to read more about Rob Moore’s ideas on accelerating productivity and making more with less hard work, then check out his book Money or his The Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast.