0:00 Welcome back to the fuel your legacy podcast. Each week we expose the faulty foundational mindsets of the past and rebuild a newer, stronger foundation essential in creating your meaningful legacy. We've got a lot of work to do. So let's get started. 0:16 As much as you like this podcast, I'm certain that you're going to love the book that I just released on Amazon, fuel your legacy, the nine pillars to build a meaningful legacy. I wrote this to share with you the experiences that I had while I was identifying my identity, how I began to create my meaningful legacy and how you can create yours. You're gonna find this book on Kindle, Amazon and as always on my website, Sam Knickerbocker calm. 0:46 Welcome back to fuel your legacy this week. We have another guest from England man I just love We are criss crossing the globe with our guests here but Julie Barbara, she is the CEO and founder of spark 1:00 consulting. She's a specialist in preparing startup investment companies 1:05 really to go get investors really to get started. And that's one of the main concerns a lot of entrepreneurs is how do we fund our dreams? How do we fund this thing we believe is going to be the next big thing. And so in that tune, she authored her first book. Are you investor ready, and it's going to be coming out in the spring of 2020. Depending on the month, it may already be out here, which is exciting. I don't know exactly. When your books coming out. Maybe you don't either. Well, I had to have 1:35 I released the book and so I know how that happens. Sometimes you think, Oh, it's gonna come out this month, and then it's the next month and then the next month, so I totally get it. I'm sure my listeners have been like, oh, when Sam's book coming out again. When's it coming out again? Well, what's gonna be Christmas? I don't think we're gonna have it ready by Christmas. 1:52 And so yes, it's always an interesting thing. But that's how authorship goes making sure it's ready for the public. So go ahead and 2:00 Julian let us know kind of where you came from why you You're so passionate about helping other people get their dreams out to the world and and make those dreams become a reality show. Um, so my, my career has really been 2:17 20 years in large corporate financial services, working across consultancy regulators, banks, 2:29 and doing a mix of 2:32 strategy work and 2:36 delivering big change across big organizations, and also working in innovation. So helping those organizations to change how they act and the way that they do things for the better hopefully. 2:52 And that 2:55 I guess I've been an organizer since I was kid 3:00 I've always been a list maker and an organizer. And I've always loved 3:06 change, positive change. Since I was a since I was a child as well. So my favorite books even when I was 3:16 reading the children's classics when I was six, and seven and eight were things like the children of the New Forest, which was all about children who had transplanted from the life that they knew and dropped down somewhere else where they had to make a new, a new life for themselves and, and that always captured my attention, that kind of newness and that possibility for for change. And so through my whole career, 3:45 that's kind of always been something that's, that's present in in all the roles that I've had. 3:53 And then kind of towards the end of that 20 years in large court 4:01 I'd got married, I'd had my son who's now four and a half. And I really started to hit the point where 4:13 the standard corporate life wasn't feeling like it fitted anymore. And when with the lifestyle that we wanted, I wanted the flexibility to be around for my family when I need to. And 25 days of standard holiday doesn't really allow that to happen. 4:34 And also, standard hours standard needing to be in the office, a set number of days a week, all of those things. Were starting to feel pretty constricting. 4:47 And then alongside that, where I was doing innovation work in some of these large corporates, some of that involved being on panels were a startup company. 5:00 came in and pitched to these large corporates for either investment as a as a corporate venture capitalist or, 5:09 or for corporate sales. So they were trying to sell whatever they, whatever their service or product was to the, to the large corporate. 5:18 And I was getting increasingly frustrated because I was seeing them have this amazing opportunity in front of massive global organization. And they've got that far. And then they would fall on their face, because they weren't ready. They didn't understand enough who they were talking to, they weren't aware enough of what that audience would worry about. And so that, you know, really hampered them and, and really prevented the large majority of them from progressing, which, when you've managed to get to that point where we're a large, a large global corporate has said come 6:00 And and talk to us to then mess up at that point is is awful. And so so that kind of combination of 6:10 getting frustrated at those startups wanting a different lifestyle. 6:16 And a lot of what I've done over those years in that large corporate job, 6:22 involve pitching to corporate boards, and persuading corporate boards to dedicate large amounts of money to various programs and projects and what have you. And so I know I understand what it takes to to reassure people enough to make people feel that what you're asking them to invest in, is important enough will actually achieve what you're saying your will, to make them give you that give you the money and so I decided to 7:00 To kind of test my perceptions, and I went round and started interviewing startups who'd successfully raised investors across the full gamut 7:14 from everything from family offices, angel investors, VCs, crowdfunding platforms. And to find out what they said, was what they looked for, what were the things that worried them? What were the things they wanted to see what were the things that that would make them throw their hands up in disgust and walk away? 7:36 To confirm whether you know that the things that I was looking for were the same things, whether there were commonalities across all of those what the differences were. So and then in doing that, that actually built up into enough content that I decided to turn that into the book which you mentioned, are you investor ready, which will hopefully 8:00 be out in March. 8:02 But we will like you say, see what that release timetable turns out to be. So So that led to me 8:13 launching, launching spark consulting. And so now I get to work with a wide range of startups, everything from Tech to healthcare to food and drink companies, to product manufacturers. 8:32 And I get to work with them and really help them to, like you say, turn their dreams into a reality by helping them achieve the funding that they need. So 8:44 yeah, so it's really exciting for me. 8:48 That is incredible. I think that this is, I kind of alluded to this when I was doing the introduction for her but this is really one of the main concerns of a lot of individuals. It's 9:00 How'd they get funding? I've been through it my time myself at times where 9:05 if you're a certain type of business, and there's no collateral, there's nothing. It's just an idea. No bank is going to give you money. Like there's certain people that are like, how do you get invested in yourself? And there's a book, one of my favorite books, I think, by I believe it's by Brian Tracy. And, and I think it's called the secret of closing a sale. I'm not positive, but he talks about 9:29 the concept of 9:33 every day, you have to think of yourself as a company and you're the CEO of your company, and every day you're attempting to sell other people's stock in your company. And the reason I bring it up and framing it that way is 9:46 as you're saying, Listen to this. You might be a mom sitting at home taking care of two or three kids, you might be a dad who loves his job working as an employee for somebody else. You might be somebody who just isn't really doing much and he might be a teenager or high school student. 10:00 No, but just because you don't have this a company per se to bring to market and go and pitch to somebody, the skills, the things that people are looking for. I'm gonna ask more of these, but I'm guessing they're very similar across the board in many areas of life, not just what I put money there. But you have to think about yourself, if you're single and looking for a spouse, 10:25 you've got to know what they want. You got to do your research. And then once you find that out, you've got to present in a way that that person is going to say, yes, these are the skills of learning how to present are just as incredibly important as what each person needs to see for them to put their trust in you because ultimately, money is just value and doesn't matter if you're in Britain or in Australia or in Africa. It doesn't matter what the monetary exchange is, it's just value and if somebody is going to put value on the line 11:00 For your dream, you've got to make it a persuasive argument. 11:04 Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, definitely. And, and 11:10 it's really, that the really key thing is, is being able to be objective, being able to look at either your company or yourself in and understand how other people would see what you're doing. And and, and be able to understand the things that they would worry about the things that they would want to see. 11:35 And then you can you know, once you know those things, then then you can really figure out how you can a assess where you're at. So has my company 11:47 kind of got ticks in all those boxes are actually other gaps and do we need to do something about that before we go and try and get investment. 11:56 And be then you know, you can make sure that that when you're 12:00 When you're pitching for that investment, you absolutely make sure that you flag that we've ticked this box, we've ticked this box, we've ticked this box, you know, what you want is to 12:12 is to take away the ability for someone to worry, because as soon as soon as you're talking to a potential investor in their head, they're going, I wonder if they've done this. I wonder if they've done that. I wonder if there's an issue here. And and what you want is to just remove all of those worries until they've got nothing left to worry about. And it's really easy for them to say yes or no. Just just kind of peeling those away and giving them that ability to freely say, this sounds great. That's a yes for me. Yeah, and we're gonna, I'm gonna go in a few different directions with that, but I want to go back to her childhood because this is something that I think my perception of children is this is a very normal thing. 13:00 For children, but I want to know why yours never stopped and why so many peoples do. So the idea of fascination of adventure and growth. I think, as a child, really from like a very young age, we're always thinking about that. We're thinking, oh, let's go crawl around. Let's put this random thing in my mouth. Let's, you know, let's discover let's, let's go on an adventure and see where we are. Because 13:23 some people think, Oh, I couldn't relate with that. I was born and raised the same place. Julie, actually, we were talking before she lives. Is it? Five minutes? Yeah, five minute walk from the hospital where I was born. I mean, that's crazy, right? So from from a geolocation perspective, she hasn't really been dropped somewhere that she 13:44 wasn't familiar with. But on the other hand, when you're born, you're essentially dropped into a world that you're not familiar with. And we develop. I mean, there's a great book called The Four Agreements and we develop based on what our surrounding is somebody who's dropped into Africa. 14:00 is going to grow up with a different language, different fears, different concerns different. And I studied this in psychology but different comfort animals because of what animals were accessible to them in their growing up right for for us in America, we have, we're going to get certain comforts from dogs, horses, cats, the most common animals around us, where somebody from Africa gets their comfort, their animal support. I mean, it's theirs, their support animals are different, because they actually grew up with different animals. And it's a fascinating thing to think about. But you did get dropped in to a place where you didn't know you were learning you had to become adventurous. You love these books. So many people lose that through secondary Secondary School, which is their like high school. And then and then University. They get kind of factored into just a box of performing whatever rather than allowing themselves to really be adventurous and do what they're passionate about. How did you maintain 15:00 Your your thirst for adventure while so many people lose it. 15:04 Um, a couple of a couple of things I think I think one is that I've always been an avid reader so and so I've always explored 15:18 in my mind through so many different books and and learn so much I love books where I learn new things where I you know, I find out how something works or how a different job works or how a different area of the world operates. 15:37 So, so that's always that kind of constant thirst for knowledge. I'm I'm a complete knowledge sponge, and to the point that i i hate football as a sport. I just don't enjoy watching it. I don't enjoy the sound of the crowds, but my husband likes football, and he'll have the screen on in the background for him. 16:00 background while he's watching football. And by the time I've walked in and out of the room a couple of times, I'll be like, Oh yes, these teams playing and the scores this and so and so scored and I can't avoid that stuff kind of becoming part of my brain. So I end up being able to talk about football, even though I don't like it because the knowledge is there, and my brain just kind of sucks in. So So three books is a massive part of, of how I've 16:30 probably just been really inquisitive about things and, 16:35 and learn to, to enjoy learning about new things and being part of that. And all of my career has been about change. 16:48 And I learned fairly early on so 16:53 when I started out in the corporate world, it was just 16:57 just as we were 17:00 Going through quite a big recession in the UK. 17:04 And what was really 17:07 obvious to me fairly quickly was that there's a high risk of redundancy, that, that, you know, you think you're in a good job, but actually, you know, large corporates will go, Oh, actually, we're going to slash and burn here. And we're going to cut this and we're going to change this. And it became really obvious to me that the people who stayed, the people who didn't get caught were the ones who jumped on the change and volunteered to be at the front. And who were the ones that said, Oh, you know, you want to change the company in a way how can I be at the front of that, how can I help make the change happen? And, and then that meant that you know, you were seen as a positive part of the change. And that allowed you to, to then sustain your job basically says kind of self preservation you know, get to the front end and stay there. 18:00 So, so I think that's it, that's a big, a big part of it as well. And I think, all say Finally, and I've been very fortunate to have some very good mentors throughout my career as well, who 18:17 encouraged me to be braver than perhaps I would on my own, or encouraged me to look at things in new ways as well to see opportunities. And they kind of taught me to learn to see opportunities and to see change that I could adopt or adapt from, you know, for my purposes, so I think those three are the main factors. I could not agree more, at least in my life. Reading is number one. And it's interesting because I always say like, the more you know, the more you know that you don't know anything, right. And that's the exciting part. People think, oh, I don't need to know anymore. It's like the fact that you think that you know, enough is kind of crazy to me. 19:00 But honestly, if you just went and read one book 19:04 that was out of your wheelhouse, something you never thought about before, that one activity could probably spur on so much new thought processes and make you want to read even more and more and more. And so that you get that excitement man, I just want to learn more, I just learned about how carpet was made. I just learned, I mean, YouTube is a great resource as well because you can go watch a 30 minute video about how these things are made. And just just start allowing yourself to learn new things. It's I I've been thinking about this, this topic specifically about how to keep that excitement going. As I've seen my little boys I have a two and a half year old, almost three and a one year old. And just seeing how that happens. of just the trial and error the excitement to learn something new, the excitement like what does this do if I move my hand 20:00 This way, a few months ago, I was out trying to teach my two and a half year old how to bounce a basketball and he just doesn't understand the physics of it. Right? But yeah, that type of thing where it's why do we stop that adventurous type of growth, hunger, and I think it's that we stop learning. And we start, we stop, we stop learning things that we're interested in, we start being told what we have to learn. And that's a big difference between being told what you have to learn and what she said, having a mentor who can teach you how to see opportunities to learn. 20:32 Yeah, definitely, I think. 20:35 I think there's a real skill in 20:39 in being able to see things as opportunities and not just see things for 20:46 what they are on, kind of on the face of it. 20:50 You know, being at being able to see 20:55 Yeah, being able to see someone doing a job and be able to see that 21:00 As an opportunity that actually there's, there's something there that we could improve and change and make better. It's not just, that's how it is. And that's how it's always been done. And that's, you know, how it always will be done. That kind of 21:14 being able to kind of question and challenge and, and all of those things is, is a really important skills to kind of keep that freshness I guess, and, but also, I think it's important to 21:31 you know, to change things up if you stay doing the same thing for a really long period of time. You get stale, it just happens to everybody, you know. So, um, I mean, one, one company out of that kind of 20 year period in large corporate. I was at one company for nearly 17 years of that period. But I did six different jobs in that time because it was such a massive company. 22:00 Then I could move around and do significantly different jobs at the UK level at the global level and working with completely different groups of people with different stakeholders so that that was really important to me that i and i would i would kind of get to you know, two years just over two years in a row and go No, I need to I need to change things now this is I'm going to get stale if I stay here doing this now I need to move and do the next thing. Figure out how to do the next thing and do that so yeah, yeah, I've done the same thing in my business. I probably am moving a lot faster than you are as far as a I get bored maybe easier than you do. Alright, don't stick around long enough to master something. I don't know which one it is. But yeah, I'm I'm constantly looking for ways, constantly looking for ways to change or upgrade or to add another element into how my business is running. 23:00 How can I engage my clients better? How can I add more value? And it's constantly How can I do this? And still still maintaining the core function of what I'm doing for my clients? But how can I add more and add more and add more and add more and keep it more exciting for me? What What more things can I be serving that are exciting for me? What? What areas can I add in? So that's been huge? I'm curious. Because I think again, these are things that I think are applicable everywhere, but 23:32 you don't know what you don't know. And you want to always be reading and the more that you know, the more you don't know, okay? You don't know what you don't know. And when you're going into a situation whether it is in a dating relationship or trying to teach your child relationship or trying to get hired for a new job, move to be an employee or if you're trying to go sell yourself or your company to somebody else. You don't know what you don't know. 24:00 And as she said, when she was sharing her story, what a shame when you get down to the decision maker down to the front line where it all of your dreams could be yours, but because for whatever reason, you just didn't know what you didn't know, you didn't know who to ask what you didn't know, whatever. The reason is, you fall on your face because you didn't do enough homework, you didn't prepare yourself properly. And that's a that's a crazy thing. So how does somebody go about? I mean, obviously, they could get your book and and get some coaching from you. So that's one way. But I think at a broader scale, what are some just practices from a concept level before we get specific from a concept level that people could go through, just to make sure that they did their due diligence to find out what somebody might want to know. 24:50 Um, 24:53 I think I think one of the things that people don't do enough is actually just ask questions. 25:00 So most people are actually very helpful and, and are open to, 25:06 you know, to be as helpful and encouraging as they can particularly when, you know, they're in a position 25:14 where they're thinking about, you know, in these examples investing in startups, they're thinking about doing that because they actually want to encourage startups. So they're not, you know, they're not coming at it from it from a negative place. So never, you know, it never hurts to phone up and say, could we just ask some questions before we come in to see you? Could we could we ask, you know, what your procurement process is like, and what your what your requirements are to work with a company, what your 25:51 what your key strategic things might be for for the coming year, so that we can make sure that when we come to 26:00 Talk to you, we're really able to, you know, to talk to you about things that you will care about. 26:07 And I think sometimes people think that, that they, that they can't do that, that they must just prepare themselves somehow and turn up and hope that it is the right thing that they're saying. And it's sort of feel it feels like this kind of impenetrable wall, we can't we can't ring them up and ask them that we should just turn up and look like we know everything and actually, you know, it's much better if you just treat people as humans and and talk to them and ask them questions, a because you'll build a relationship. So by the time you get there to pitch to them, you know, you've already got someone sat there who you've had a good you've had a good chat with. And you've shown that you're really interested in their company. 26:53 And then they're much more likely to listen to you because they know that you're actually really invested and you really want to make this work. 27:00 Rather than you're doing the same old pitch that you've done to the 20 other companies that you've seen this week. That's so funny right before he said, build relationship I was literally writing is probably one of the most important things. Because you're building a relationship, you're starting that relationship before you get to the close, if you already have a relationship with everybody on that panel, or at least the company, before you walk through that door, and you're on a panel with 20 other people who don't have any relationship, they have to build that relationship in the first 10 minutes. I mean, you see this on Shark Tank all the time, where people come in, and they have five minutes to do their pitch. Like for somebody who had called in before, or reached out on Instagram or Facebook or read their books and said, Hey, this is what you said in your book. How can I clarify that and make sure for somebody already shown that interest you you basically have 90% of the clothes done now, all you have to do is show your idea, but they already like your personality. They already know that you're driven that you're committed. 28:00 That all of the a lot of those questions for for an investor or for a spouse, or for a babysitter or nanny where all of that's already done, all they have to do is sign off on Hey, is this is this an idea that I aligned with? And the other thing that I think is really interesting. And I think that 28:20 hopefully we can have some paradigm shifts around this. I think you have this already. But part of asking questions is not purely so that I'm the person who is doing the asking for money, right? It's not just so that you know what they are looking for. But do them the respect of maybe you're just not a good fit for that investor. Maybe it's flat out not what they're looking like, could you structure everything to fit inside of what they're looking for what they're looking for, you probably could present your stuff in a way that they're going to be okay with it, but do them the respect 29:00 If they're not, if it's not really in alignment with who they are, what their strategies are, what their goals are, then just don't even pitch it. Don't waste your time and don't waste their time. And that's something I've had to learn in a service based industry. For so long, I thought, Man, I'm the 29:16 I'm the person who needs it to be able to help everybody. But after you have a few clients of like, Man, I've, I've made it so that I'm always trying to cater to this customer that I don't actually like, and they don't like me and we have different goals. I over the last, I don't know, probably seven or eight months, I've completely shifted into, hey, look, this is what I do. I'm interviewing you as a client to see if I even want you as a client. I'm not, I don't need your business. I don't even want your business. If you don't want to work with me. I definitely don't want to work with you. Right? That that paradigm shift helps you so much with clarifying how to actually present your message. Yeah, and I think it's even more important when you're when you're looking at 30:00 For investment because, you know, a client you can be, even if it's a bit of a difficult relationship, you could be done and dusted with them in a few weeks, and then you can kind of go well, we've put that one to bed, they're gone. It wasn't comfortable, but but it's done. But an investor you're starting a long term relationship with it might be, you know, 568 years before before you sell out and and exit. So So you've got that person as part of your company until that time, unless you manage to buy them out somehow. So and if they are a significant enough investor, they may well expect to have a say in how your company operates, they may expect to see on your board. So you know, you've got to be really certain that they are as right for you as you are right for them. And if either of those sides is is not 30:57 is not the right shape, then trying to do 31:00 That kind of square peg in a round hole is is not going to work for either of you. Yeah. And it's not something that you you want to embellish or make something look better I have been going through at the end of last year went through a bunch of compliance. And 31:16 on the one hand, you're like, Okay, why the natural man? Have you or a woman wants to have a yes, you want to hear? Yes. And so you are structuring how you're saying stuff and, and letting people know what's going on in a way that's going to make that help them say yes. But if you have to alter or even like somewhat, make something look sound or sound better than it actually is even in your own mind, then you're on the wrong track. I try and make it sound as bad as it possibly could be to my compliance people. So then, I'm like, is this allowed? This is as bad like, this is a worst case scenario, right? Is that okay? No, okay, well, where's that line then? Because that's really what you 32:00 Do you want to know what's the worst case scenario? And are? Are they okay with that? Same thing when I was dating my wife, hey, here's the worst case of Sam, here's all of his stuff. It's not just like, I brush my teeth, I comb my hair then as soon as we get married, none of that's happening anymore. No, I here's the worst case scenario. Are you okay? With the worst case of Sam, if you're okay with that, then we're golden because I'm only going to get better but 32:24 but it's the same same philosophy when when you're in these relationships, it's better to be almost make yourself sound worse than then way better than you are. I don't know. What are your thoughts on that strike from you? Yeah, I think I think and I think transparency and honesty with with tech investors is vital. And 32:49 obviously, you are 32:53 you are trying to attract investment. So you do need to kind of positively pitch 33:00 But not to the extent that you are going to over exaggerate what can be achieved or create false expectations that you can never deliver. Because, again, you're just undermining that relationship from the start. So, you know, you've got to you've got to be realistic you've got to not tell them that you're going to make a million pounds next Tuesday when actually that you know, there's no hope of that ever happening. And so, yeah, I think that's key but but it to me, that's just 33:36 that's kind of a core of, of all my business relationships, though. I don't, I don't want business relationships that aren't transparent and honest and and built on real foundations. If they're not, then what good is it really doing either of us, and so you know, that there's a cost otherwise. 33:59 So when you are going 34:00 Because I don't know I want to get into what what exactly are they? When you're going through and ask me all these people? What are they looking for? How are they from their perspective? We're gonna step into their shoes How are they making sure that everything's open and transparent? What are things that they're looking for? And and don't be shy necessarily with time it's okay but I would love to know what what are what is a company and investor of different types What are they looking for primarily what are some big make or break deals top three things that will just they'll say no to top three things that they're, they really want to see in good order or things like that. 34:36 Um, so there are some specific things that they will look for. And then there are also cross checks that they will that they will do, and so say specific things that they will look for is, is product market fit. And if they don't think your your market is big enough 35:00 For your product, if there isn't sufficient demand for your product, to achieve the size of company that you need to grow to, to get them sufficient return on their investment, they're not going to be interested, you know, you could have come up with the most exciting 35:17 revelation and paperclips ever. But if there's no market for that, then they're not going to get a good return on their investment. So that's kind of straight up, you know, big thing that they're going to look for. And 35:32 they also 35:34 people invest in people. So investors are always really interested in who the founder is, or the co founders, what what, you know, how they operate as people, are they able to listen? 35:49 Because it's highly likely that your investors are far more experienced than than you are. 35:57 And you need to be able to take on board advice. 36:00 And not you know, doesn't mean you have to do everything they say but but, you know, the ability to listen is something that pretty much 99% of investors that I spoke to said was a just a prerequisite if they can't listen. 36:17 And then also because not just the founder is important, but the team 36:24 you know, particularly where you're kind of past idea and you've got a few employees and you've got a management team. 36:34 And investors are also very keen on founders who know when to shut up, who know when to let their team speak, so that, you know, if if questions are thrown out to, to, 36:50 to the founder and their management team, the founder will go, Well, that's, you know, this person should answer that question because that's their area that they don't try and 37:00 always filled all the questions that they show that they are working as a team, that they trust each other and they're working is that kind of cohesive unit because, 37:11 you know, startup world is hard. And if you can't work as an effective team, you're not going to scale your company and achieve massive growth effectively either. 37:22 So it's really important how you kind of behave in the room. 37:28 And then in terms of 37:31 in terms of the cross checks that I mentioned, 37:38 you know, investors will ask things like, what's your vision for the company? And 37:45 where do you see it being in three years time or five years time? 37:51 And partly that's for them to judge whether they want to be on that journey with you whether that is a journey that they're interested in. 38:00 But also then looking at the amount of the raise that you're asking for and saying, well, 38:07 that vision that they've just described, can they afford that vision with the raise that they're asking for? 38:14 Are they are they raising the right amount of money to achieve that vision that they've just told me about? Or they got their maths wrong if they've not understood what it would cost them as a company to achieve that. So each each time you tell an investor a fact or a statement about your company, or what you want to achieve, they're going to cross check that back and say, Well, you know, how does that tie in with the raise amount or how does that tie in with the HR plans you've got or how does that tie in with your global expansion plans, it all cross checks backwards and forwards, so being able to really objectively look at your whole 39:00 proposal and cross check it yourself before you go and talk to investors is is vital because otherwise they will find a hole, they will say, you know, you've said that you're going to acquire 50,000 new customers in the first year but your marketing budget is only 20,000 pounds. That's not you're not going to acquire that many customers with a marketing budget that small, it's unrealistic. So that you know, cross check back. 39:30 So, yeah, so So I think those are those are some of the some of the big things they really look for. So how do you as a as a professional yourself, and what's the process? I don't have to process the right word for right now. But how long of a time span does that generally take to really go through and answer a lot of these questions? So that's just like inherent as far as personality? Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to be a leader rather than the the know it all type person that's it. That's it. 40:00 personality trait that's not really 40:04 something that you can buy or purchase or put together. But it does take time to build a team but it hopefully you're already with a team that's doing that if not getting coached on how to do that. 40:16 Like product market analysis, how do you What's a adequate time of history that they want to see you working as a company or working on something before they're really wanting to go? 40:29 Um, it depends entirely on on what 40:33 what stage you're at and how much investment you're looking for. So if you're at 40:41 pre seed stage, which is basically an idea, 40:47 then they're not going to expect you to have a sizable team of people. They're not going to expect you to have customers yet because you haven't got a product yet. They're not going to expect you to have therefore 41:00 Any revenue. And so you know, you're a pre revenue business that is seeking funding to perhaps build your minimum viable product. So, so they're not expecting much, but then also you won't be asking for much money at that point, it will be, you know, somewhere between 75 K and a couple hundred thousand something, you know, along those lines. So it's not massive amounts of money as you go up the scales and you say, Well, actually, we're at seed level now. So we've got a product and we've got a bit of customer traction, and we've got startups and revenue. And now we've got a team of two or three or four people, you know that there's now enough history that the investor will start to ask more questions more in depth. And then when you get up to a series a raise, and perhaps the company's now been running two or three years, and you've got you know, really 42:00 customers, you've got revenue every month. And you might even be turning a profit for for some startups early on, you know, this one I'm working with at the moment that's, that's already in, in profit. And since year one. And then then obviously investors will want to ask a lot more questions and see a lot more detail because there is more actionable kind of history to the company. So it really depends on on 42:30 what stage you're at and how much money you're asking for. That's, that's cool. I love it. I think this this is something that for me, one I just want to know about for myself but to it's it's applicable knowledge, I think it has to do with, again, a lot of these questions if you took money out of it and you said, put put in an emotion or something. They're applicable questions to almost every area of your life what 42:57 these people are making investments into 43:00 People whether spouse a child right you got to give them a reason to want to invest into that relationship, any type of relationship and to be frank you got you probably needed to do this even with yourself like sit down take maybe a day or two and really analyze what value am I adding myself? How Why Why should I be investing in my health in my mentality growth? My things like what what level of investment Do I need right now and start time blocking some time and say, Look, this time is invested, this is how much I bargained for out of me versus my employer, or my wife or my children, whatever, and I need this time to be come who I want to become. 43:39 Yeah, we're gonna take Yeah, and you know, that that kind of, 43:45 you know, those levels of investment that I just I just spoke about, kind of, you know, the pre seed and seed and series A, if you look at that, even as an employee, you know, when you go for your first job when you're 16 or 18 you'll 44:00 You're effectively at pre seed stage, you're just an idea as an employee, you've got no background really apart from your education to share. So the the interview process at that age is short. And there isn't much that employers can really ask you in those kind of interviews apart from working out if you're the kind of person that they want on their team. But then as you get further through your career, then the interviews get lengthier. The employers want to know more things about your history, they want to know what extra value you bring with you that you would add to the job. So, you know, the same things apply completely in an employed role. And when you're when you're going for a new job as as if you're going to an investor as a company. 44:49 Yeah, absolutely. So how Tell me the story of your biggest naysayer, when you're when you're moving transitions you're thinking of leaving your company spend time more more time with your kids because 45:00 Essentially with your with your spouse, what was that transition like? And who was your biggest naysayer and how did you kind of put your your goals and dreams above anybody else's opinion? 45:13 Um, the, the transition point was 45:21 was I guess I was very fortunate that 45:25 I happened across a couple of organizations at the point when I was thinking about that kind of transition. And one was a 45:38 program for 45:41 for women executives, and it was supposed to help you look at your career and decide what you'd like to do is your next step in your career. 45:50 And I got about it was just an online thing with some presentations you could listen to but it was very thought provoking and I got about three weeks in 46:00 To listening to these sessions and and realize that actually, I didn't want an employed career anymore. And it really kind of provoked my thoughts to the extent that I said, Actually, no, I do want to start when I start my own company. 46:18 And then 46:20 and then through again, through some books that I read, and through and through going and asking some questions, again, going into asking people questions, and I also found a business accelerator that I joined, and say that I was part of a cohort of people who were who were doing the same kind of thing as me starting up their, their company, and who were all on that same journey so I didn't feel that I was so alone as it were in in in trying to do something different 47:01 I think Unfortunately, my biggest naysayer is probably myself, rather than anyone around me. So I'm been really fortunate that people around me have been very positive and very encouraging. And it's more 47:18 it's more my own self belief that that could be limiting if I let it that I have to 47:27 I have to encourage myself and fight off the older imposter syndrome and, and really, and really try to remember the 47:41 the value that I bring. And so yeah, 47:47 I think I think that is that that's the key. Really, yeah, I love that. Just thinking okay, the way to the best. The best way to silence naysayers is to remove yourself as far away from them and 48:00 Change your associations. So that was number one. But number two, she said she's probably your biggest naysayer. And that can be kept in check all of your doubts, your insecurities, your imposter syndrome that can be kept in check if you have the right associations around you who are constantly building you up believing in you and sharing their belief in you. So I think associations is for me at least it's definitely been one of my biggest things to help me move past. 48:25 The naysayers in my life is just to change who I associate with the majority of the time. So if you were to say what, like if you were to give us one specific habit, mindset or behavior that you used most consistently in your life, to build a meaningful legacy, what would that be? 48:46 Ah, 48:50 I think it's it's its plan repeatedly. So 48:56 so I'm constantly 48:59 reviewing 49:00 Where I want to get to constantly checking if the plan is is that now the right steps to get me to there? You know, the, I don't believe in leaving these things to chance I, you know, I want I want to know 49:17 exactly what I'm trying to achieve and and that I'm definitely doing the right steps to get me to that point. 49:25 And that might mean that you know, I I change that plan often because fact you know factors outside of my control will will happen good things, you know, not so good things. 49:39 But that means that I have to keep revisiting that and be really clear still on what my focus is. And then that enables me to, you know, to create the things that I'm really setting out to create rather than getting distracted or knocked off of my path by by things happening or, or or just not me 50:00 My time in the right things. So I spend, 50:04 you know, I do kind of big global plans, if you like of large scale goals, but then also, 50:14 you know, I'm a real daily list maker, and then I write down everything that's in my head that I'm thinking, right? All of these things need to happen today. But then it's a real step back and okay, but which are the ones that are gonna make the biggest difference, which are the ones that are the most urgent or the most important that just have to get done first, and if the others don't happen? The world doesn't end? You just do them, you know, another day and that constant kind of plan and prioritize is is really what what keeps me on track and helps me helps me create that, that legacy, I guess. Yeah, I love it that I think planning and being intentional, that actually lends to really the whole entire conversation, as far as like how to present yourself. 51:00 To to an investor. She's doing that in her own life to make sure that she's on track with their own stuff and adjusting when when tax change, and she needs to make those adjustments. She's making those. So if we wanted to reach out to you obviously have your book. That's that's out in March. But what How else could we get access to you if we want if somebody's listening to this thinking, Man, I want to bring this idea to to an investor? What would that process look like? How could we get in touch with you and how can we reach out to you and get maybe a few questions answered and ask some questions? Sure. So I am very active on on LinkedIn so you can you can just look me up as Julie Barbara on LinkedIn. My company's website is spark hyphen, consulting coda UK. there's a there's a good scorecard on there that you can take to understand whether your company is investor ready so you can answer a set of questions and get to them. 52:00 score at the end that tells you how ready you are, which is, which is a good test. 52:07 And then, and then there are there are contact details on there as well. But you can get and get in touch and ask questions from that point on. Awesome. I think that this cannot be stressed enough. Most of these guests, most of the guests that have on the familiar legacy show, they all have some sort of free content free preparation thing. So you can be prepared to meet with them or somebody in in their field and really help you get there. And they've put in a lot of effort and time and work to kind of duplicate and mass produce. I don't know if that's the right word on either of them, but basically help you be ready to even talk to them. So yes, they can help you get ready to talk to an investor in Julie's case, but 52:50 maybe you need something to get ready to talk to them. And rather than them taking their time to answer questions that they answer for everybody. They give you a list of 53:00 Things to answer before you ever meet with them that way they can actually help you. Because otherwise, you may call them say, Well, where do I start? That's not a good question for a professional like Julie, myself or like, well, where are you, you know, know where you are. So please take advantage of this free stuff because it only helps you helps you be prepared more when you are talking to her. And if you had already done all those things, and then you reached out and said, Hey, I have some questions. Maybe she could go and find out. Hey, where are you at currently send me your, your scorecard. And let's look over it together. Now. Now you've just increased incredibly increase your chances of actually getting help. So please don't neglect if you are going to reach out to her which I really hope you do. Go through her process and take take advantage of the free things that she's created to help you before you ever get talking to her. Very enough. Yeah. Awesome. So this next section is called legacy on rapid fire. I'm gonna ask you four questions. 54:00 We'll go through these fast. One word one sentence answers on the more on the one sentence side of things. 54:07 Are you ready? Yeah. Awesome. What do you believe is holding you back from reaching the next level of your legacy today? 54:14 time? I need to hire more people. Okay. 54:20 That That question is perfectly in response to what I just said, Don't waste your time. She's done stuff to create time created systems and banks to help you do stuff that you can do on your own. So respect your time. Second, what do you believe the hardest thing you've ever accomplished has been 54:42 Ah, probably having my son. Not that he's difficult but but giving birth like that's just about as hard as it gets. literally went about the week after he was born. I felt like if I can do that, I can do anything. If 55:00 That says that's as hard as it's ever going to get. That's awesome. That's what my wife said about childbirth. I'm so grateful that I will never have to experience it. 55:09 Yeah. So what do you think your greatest success at this point in your life has been? 55:15 Ah, I think it's been building my company to the point that it's at now. 55:21 Turning something that was just a thought that was just an idea into an actual reality where I'm able to help people make a difference with their own companies. Feels pretty damn good. Awesome. And what books would you recommend to the fuel your legacy audience? 55:41 Um, there are there are two that I love to one is that I refer all of my startup founders to me, 55:54 which is a book called what got you here won't get you there because when you start a company 56:00 It takes us a certain something to get you started, but then to continue as the CEO of that company and take it to the next level, the next stage, you need a different set of skills. So, so that book is really good. 56:16 And then also 56:19 a book called key person of influence by Daniel Priestley. And 56:26 so, so Dan runs the business accelerator that I joined. And that was the book I read before I went on to that business accelerator that really helped me 56:37 shape my own company's value proposition and get really clear about what I was doing and accelerate my own progress. So awesome. And then she didn't mention it, but I'm gonna mention it for her. Go get her book, get on the pre order list or whatever. Are you investor ready? I promise you this book. 57:00 Cuz I read a lot of books, right? I haven't read her book, but just from the title of and having had this conversation 57:08 these questions are applicable in every area of your life, the concept the mindset of are you investor ready? Are you ready to go present yourself to somebody? Those things are applicable in every area of your life. So, go get the book. So happened I do it all the time people like what books would you recommend? And I forget to recommend my own book. Like I wrote the thing I obviously think it's important, but I forget to recommend books. I'm not gonna let you out like that. No, go get her book as well. Are you going to put it on Audible or am like where is it going to be? So it will be it will be on Amazon. But before before launch, there'll also be a sign up on the on the website so that you can sign up to be alerted once it's available for pre order. Good. Yes. And then 57:58 as soon as it gets on Audible 58:00 Let me know. 58:03 I really like listening to things. I'm very slow reader. So I do read but not as many books as I listened to. So awesome. Here's the final question. Now, you probably have heard this final question before, which is good. Hopefully we're in alignment here. The question is, what legacy Are you building? So if we were to pretend that you've died, and you were able to come back and kind of listen in on a conversation that's happening with your great great, great, great grandchildren 200 years from now, six generations. I mean, this is this is a long ways away, you've been gone for a long time. What do you want them to be saying about your legacy? six generations from now. 58:49 Um, two things. 58:53 One, 58:55 I want them to be talking about the fact that my son went on to start his 59:00 own company, because he grew up in a household where being an entrepreneur was natural, and the only option wasn't employment. And 59:13 so that's, that's, that's one thing. I want him to have that kind of view that that starting a business from an early age is possible because it wasn't something I grew up with. And so I'd like him to have that view. And the other thing is that my I've aligned my business 59:35 with the UN Global Development Goals, and specifically supporting 59:43 the gender equality goal, which means that 2% of all our revenue is donated to a charity called Safe steps. And safe state steps helps women who've been the victims of 1:00:00 Domestic Abuse to get away from their abusers to a safe place and to build a new life for them and their children. So that legacy will be there actually, there will be women and children who have escaped abuse and built safe lives for themselves going forward. And that's very important to me as well. That is incredible that that's the second part. I mean, I also want my son to start start his own business. But the second part is very, very much in alignment with my story and why I am committed to helping people understand how money works, because of domestic violence because of anxiety, depression, suicide, all these social issues from this from the sociology research. A lot of those social issues are specifically in lower socioeconomic status homes, and a lot of women specifically women and children. They don't leave the abusive situations because they aren't confident in 1:01:00 their financial ability to provide for themselves. And so if all we could do as a society if all I accomplished is helping one person, one woman, one child, have the financial confidence, go build their legacy and their dreams and be able to become independent like that, then I feel I've succeeded. I love that that's your goal, because that is the same as mine. Like I legitimately that is my commitment to, to why I do what I do. So I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. 1:01:32 Yeah, well, thank you so much we are we're going to be ending here. But all the links will be in the bio here. If you want to read the transcript of this, you can do that as well. And then her links to specifically get connected with her on LinkedIn, her website, and I'm assuming there'll be the pre order pop up or somewhere so you can get access to her book. You don't want to miss out on that. And then plus those other two books. What got you here won't get you there. I've heard about it a lot, but I have not read that yet. 1:02:00 So that's a book that I'm gonna have to read. And then the key person of influence. Also another book that I've never heard of that on the jury so this is good for me because it gave me some new things to go chase down. I'm excited. 1:02:11 Thanks. 1:02:19 Thanks for joining us. If what you heard today resonates with you, please like comment and share on social media tag me and if you do, give me a shout out I'll give you a shout out on the next episode. Thanks to all those who've left a review. It helps spread the message of what it takes to build a legacy that lasts and we'll catch you next time on fuel your legacy.
Julie’ s background is working with large financial corporates like KPMG and HSBC, and quasi regulators like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Across a 20 year span, she has built successful visions and strategies for Boards and Executive Committees, securing over £20m in investment and leading global scale and transformation initiatives.
She has also developed and led global Innovation Programmes, involving cutting edge chatbots, AI and Machine Learning. As part of her innovation roles, Julie has extensive experience on the ‘buy’ side when it comes to startups seeking sales or investments.
Through Spark!, Julie now splits her time between helping innovative startups who need to grow and scale fast, and large corporates who need to be more innovative.
Her first book, “Are You Investor Ready?” will be published in early 2020.