"I've never had a roadmap or business plan, never had quite a direction or point of travel that I have now. And I am genuinely excited about that"
This is one of the many wins that Donald has got after joining Reza's mastermind programme.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, I'm Donald Inglis. We run an Accountancy Practice based in York. There are 7 team members now and we turnover roughly £300,000 per year.
What was life like before joining the Mastermind group?
Before joining mastermind, I guess it was the same as most other small accountants that run practices in the country. We were chasing around looking after clients, chasing around trying to do all we can for them, chasing around trying to look at furlough claims, CIS claims, helping with bounce back loans, helping with CBILS etc.
All of the stuff that you would want your professional trusted advisor to help you do. It was difficult. We were thinking we were doing the best thing by not charging our clients for this advice. Was it the right thing at the time? Yes, probably. Would I have done it differently, definitely!
What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge we were having at that time was time. Time management and having the confidence to say, "no, I can't do that for you today, It's gonna have to be on Thursday, if today is Tuesday, so 48 hours." We are really busy with Covid with blah blah blah, "we need more time to do that." And you know what, not one client complained, not one. Eye-opener. And mind opener I suppose.
Where did you first hear about Reza?
We first heard about you on a Facebook group and joined the Facebook group, And there were some videos on it and I thought this looks quite interesting actually, and listened to some of your videos. And then the first one I got interested in was ROWE - results only working environment - which we haven't got yet, but we are definitely going to go that way because it seems why not?
I've got 300 tax returns still to do before the... I should say my team has 300 tax returns to do before the end of January. And that's the target, that's the output. If they can do that all before Christmas and have January off, then they're superheroes and great. I don't really care how many hours they put in to get there, all those tax returns had to be done by somebody, hopefully not me.
And it was working from home through COVID that I thought to myself, there must be a better way than trying to force people to record what they do. I don't really care what they do. I care about what they produce. That's when I saw a video on Facebook that Reza had done and it was about ROWE and I thought, Hmm, this is interesting. I'm going to get in touch.
What prompted you to make contact?
I set up in business 10 years ago and in one of my very first networking groups, there was a business coach there. And I thought to myself, "mate, you've come out of middle management from a successful business. You know nothing about growing a small business from naught. I mean, he was in a massive company I can't remember what company he was with but international or worldwide. I thought to myself, you don't know what a VAT cashflow problem is, you don't know how to do sales because you don't need to know - your sales department (takes care of it).
Whereas as a small business owner, we were everything. And what attracted me to Reza was that yes, he's a business coach, but he's also a Chartered Accountant in a small practice trying to get a bit better every day. And he's also a chartered tax advisor which to my great shame, I never quite managed to get so to anybody who is a chartered tax advisor, I do think you're particularly awesome.
How is your life after joining the programme?
I saw an affinity. I saw a similarity that, yeah, he's a chartered accountant who really would understand my little business up in York and my life is much better. We are, I feel we're much more in control as to where we could be going in the next two to three years time. I've never had a roadmap or business plan, never had quite a direction or point of travel that I have now. And I am genuinely excited about that. I think it will be great. And we will have within a couple of years, a completely different business and completely different clients. I am convinced about that. It all comes from within.
You have to be the change that you want to be and coming across somebody like Reza, yes it was during the COVID times, it happened both ways. If Reza came along or if I'd come across Reza or if our paths had met two or three years ago, it wouldn't happen. There has to be the synergy to make it happen.
On why then, I honestly think if it's COVID and working from home. I'm thinking there must be a better way of working (ROWE).
What's it like being part of the Mastermind group?
Working with Reza is just great. I feel I can ask him, send an email (anytime). There's a brilliant WhatsApp group. It's got all sorts of brilliant accountants on it. And they're really, really helpful. And there's nothing that I feel that I can't discuss with Reza. And that's the, that's the biggest benefit. I don't feel there's anything off limits, personally or professionally. I just wish COVID was over so that I could meet you (mind you it's a fair old trip down to his pad). But maybe we'd go down (after it's all over) and grab a beer, it'd be a good laugh!
How long did it take you to see the benefits of being part of the programme?
Oh that was really quick. I think I saw the benefit of joining Mastermind within the first session. In the first session I thought, yeah, this is a journey I want to start going down. Having said that, of course I should have started going down this route like 10 years ago when I first started my business.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining?
So if anybody's out there listening to this and thinking, and just starting up, get yourself a good mentor now, and by the way, get yourself Reza! Yeah, Get yourself a great coach, who's on a similar mindset as you. It's brilliant. I love it. I, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy it. I come out of these meetings very upbeat, much more dynamic as when I go into have a chitchat. So much so that my team now say, "ah, have you been "Reza'd" again?" Because I come out so enthusiastic. the team (and Patrick who's been doing accounts looks up) and they just look at me and say: "You been with Reza again?!"
How has your life changed as a result?
I think you've changed my life really. But it's got to be - a two way thing. Two years ago (would I have done it)? Nah, not a chance. "Who needs a business coach? Bah! I'm a Chartered Accountant don't you know?! I can run business, don't you know? I have a business. What do I need a business coach for?" Ah, brains!
Just try one and find out and your life will never be the same again