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How To Design A Business For Your Version Of Success - With David Parrish

Apr 15, 2021

Tom Bailey, Founder of Succeed Through Speaking, Interviews David Parrish

David Parrish works worldwide as a business coach, keynote speaker, trainer and author. He specialises in helping creative entrepreneurs to achieve even greater success, in harmony with their values and objectives.

Why you've got to check out David's episode:

- Find out how David helps businesses in the creative industries i.e. designers, architects, people in music and publishing. And how he helps them grow and achieve success

- Discover how to become successful in the right way. This means not just financially successful but how you can get the right kind of success for your passions and your lifestyle.

- Learn what David means by the 'wrong kind of success' and what to do if you become an accidental CEO of your business, feel trapped and unable to do what you love while growing your business.

- Understand how to re-design your creative business and how to set yourself on the right track for success.

- Finally, gain access to a free copy of David's guidebook called T-shirts and Suits

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to the Flow and Grow Expert Interviews. The place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in this episode, I'm joined by David Parrish, who is a global business coach, keynote speaker and author. So, David, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

David Parrish: Hello. Tom, I'm really pleased to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Tom Bailey: Thanks for joining and whereabouts are you in the world right now?

David Parrish: I'm at home in England, just North of Manchester, on the edge of the Pennine Moors.

Tom Bailey: Beautiful and sunny shining here in the UK that pubs have just opened again. So, things are starting to return to normal post COVID. So, on to the subject of David. And as I mentioned, David works as a worldwide business coach, keynote speaker, trainer, and author, and he specializes in helping creative entrepreneurs to achieve even greater success in harmony with their values and objectives.

So, the title for today's episode is How To Design A Business For Your Version Of Success, and David is going to show you how to do that in just under seven minutes. David, the first question for you today really is who are your ideal clients?

David Parrish: Well, my ideal clients are those businesses in what we call the creative industries.

And so that means, you know, typically web designers, creative agencies, photographers, people working in video and film, even architects, sometimes people in music publishing. So, all those businesses that are somehow fundamentally artistic, but nevertheless are still businesses. And I'm looking particularly for those businesses that are keen to grow and achieve even greater success.

Tom Bailey: And it's really useful, having that niche as you get to know the business, the challenges. So, what's the typical biggest challenge that these businesses will face from your perspective?

David Parrish: I think the real challenge is how to become successful, but in the right way, in other words, to achieve success, not only financially, which of course they want to do, but also creatively so that they can choose the coolest creative projects that give them that satisfaction.

And thirdly, in terms of lifestyle. So, I think it's really about getting the right kinds of success. And that means that they need to carefully design their business, you know, with a formula instead of just, you know, letting it develop organically and ending up in the wrong place.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. And just because you mentioned that at the end there, letting it develop organically, if that does happen, what's the typical impact that that will have on their business.

David Parrish: Well, in the worst cases, people end up in what I call having the wrong kind of success, which sounds a bit daft, but it, you know, I've come across many examples where people say we've grown the business. We now have, you know, 25 employees and turnover of millions of pounds, top class clients.

But I'm not really happy because I don't do the creative work anymore. I'm just managing other people. And I am trapped within my own business. And because, you know, and I can't take a holiday and it's putting pressure on my family life. So, you know, in my view, that's a failure to design the business.

And ironically, a lot of designers are guilty of that. They do fantastic design work for their clients, but the one thing they haven't designed is the business that will give them commercial, creative and lifestyle success. So, I think  that's the worst thing. And that happens because people don't look ahead, they just get busy and employing more people and get a bigger office and grow in a sort of willy nilly way without stopping to think.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And I guess we've got this new CEO who used to be creative. What, what's one valuable piece of advice that you'd give to somebody that's got to that position that'll really help them solve that problem so they can get that creative spark back.

David Parrish: Well, of course, when people get to that position, you know, we need to do a repair job and, you know, I talk then about redesigning your creative business, but I try to get people on the right track earlier on ideally, rather than doing remedial work.

It's about, you know, helping people at an earlier stage. And therefore, my advice is that you should be super clear about what you mean by success. So, I asked people at the beginning, do, what do you want to be successful? And they say, yes, of course, what a stupid question. But when I asked them exactly what success means to them, it's different for everybody because it's a different combination of the kind of what they want to do, whether they want to grow, work in teams or alone you know, lifestyle issues.

And we need to be clear about that so that we can get to the right point.

Tom Bailey: Perfect. And one question I always like to ask is if there is somebody listening who is a creative business owner, what's one valuable free resource that you might be able to offer them to really help them solve this problem from now on?

David Parrish: Well, I've  written a couple of books and the first book I wrote is actually about how you can combine creativity, your creative talents with smart business thinking. So, it's a guide book on business, particularly for creatives. It talks about marketing intellectual property financial management, and it's called T-shirts And Suits our guide to the business of creativity.

And I'm using t-shirts and suits as a metaphor for the, the cool creative people being smart with the business. And that's actually it's published as a paperback and audio book, an ebook, and it's a free resource in English though. It's available in other countries and languages too.

Tom Bailey: All right. And what we'll do is I'll share a link to that actually, because I've got that in front of me here.

So, I'll drop that link below this podcast and video as well. So, people can access that and download that ebook. So, thanks for sharing. And we've got a couple more questions. This one's slightly off topic, and it's more about you, David. So, what I'd like to ask is what's been your greatest failure or learning and you know, either in life or in business and what did you really learn from that?

David Parrish: Well, I admit I've made lots of mistakes, but I think that the main one that I want to refer to here is very early on in my career, which is a long time ago. I'm not as young as I look, well, my first creative enterprise, I had the attitude that you couldn't have it both ways. You know, if you want to, to make lots of money, you had to sell out your values.

If you want this to stick with your values, you were never going to make money. And it's not a kind of binary way of thinking, you know, the starving artist and the only pure artist is a poor artist kind of, but, and that holds you back. And I find some creative people still think a little bit that way.

But I came to learn that knowing about business, you can use business tools and techniques creatively. You can use them in terms of your own values and your own objectives. You don't have to follow a bad path or a particular path with you by using business. So, my message is to embrace business and adapt the tools and techniques of business to your own values and objectives.

Tom Bailey: And I guess a lot of us got into business for the long run. So, you might have to do something that you enjoy and is in line with your values and objectives as well. Thank you. And the last question is what is one question that I should have asked you that will also give great value to our audience?

David Parrish: I think a good question would be can the creative entrepreneurs use their creativity not only in the studio, but also in the business office.

Tom Bailey: And do you think they can?

David Parrish: I think they can, it's probably a different kind of creativity and it opens up a question of what does creativity mean? A lot of people think of it only as artistic creativity, you know, the ability to draw or sing or whatever, but there is a wider kind of creativity that we use, you know, you might call ingenuity, problem solving.

And that's in, you know, we find that in all fields of human endeavor, and I talked about a TEDx Napoli where I gave a talk about these two kinds of creativity. So, my message is yes, they can artistic creativity in the studio. And then at the business office, this wider kind of ingenuity to construct you know, creative business models and to do business differently.

So, we can be creative yes. In the office as well as the studio.

Tom Bailey: Right. And, and I guess, you know, some, some of us say we're not that creative, but ultimately as long as we can find that creativity and apply it yeah. Why not? Absolutely. David, thank you so much again for your time today. I really appreciate you joining and sharing your knowledge and experience with us.

David Parrish: My pleasure.