5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of Boardroom Advisors

John was interviewed by Authority Magazine as part of their Meet the Disruptors Series as the Boardroom Advisors’ certainly shakes up the industry. This is a video recording of John’s response to the question “What are the 5 things you wish someone had told you before you became CEO of Boardroom Advisors”.

Watch the video here:

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m John Courtney founder and CEO of Boardroom Advisors which is disrupting both the Recruitment and consultancy industries by providing fractional directors in finance, Marketing, sales, IT, operations, strategy even managing as well as non-executive directors 

I’m a serial idiot this is my seventh business over a 45-year period. In one of my companies I was a typical owner manager wearing three hats in my case CEO, marketing director and finance director. 

The business wasn’t big enough to afford a full-time marketing or finance person and I looked around for part-time people to fill those roles but struggled to find anybody of quality.  Boardroom Advisors was born! 

I was asked to share five of the best words of advice that I’ve was given along my entrepreneurial journey so here they are:

1.    “Always have more money than you need” 

My biggest mistake was 30 years ago when I had a cricket bat company. We had our 15 minutes of fame with newspaper, radio and TV coverage and were offered substantial investment, about 2 million pounds, or two and a half million dollars in today’s money. I turned it down as the fees were high thinking I could make it successful with my own money but I closed the company seven years later.

2.    “Better to have a hole in your team than an a**hole than your team” 

Several times I filled a gap in my team too quickly as I felt exposed. No longer! I’ve learned the lesson to wait until the right person comes along.

3.    “Always get the best people” 

In early businesses I cut some corners and costs but it cost me dearly in the long run. Now one of the proudest achievements I have is the quality of the 150 or so experts that we have at Boardroom Advisors they’ve all scaled companies.

4.    “More businesses go bust through lack of cash flow than lack of profit”

As an owner manager I’ve had my share of the 3:45 AM wobbles. You know when you wake in the middle of the night worrying about how the business is going to survive. I controlled this by doing detailed cash flow forecasts to give me peace of mind.

5.    “Any fool can make something complicated, it takes a genius to make it simple”

Well I’m no genius, but I follow this closely. If we launch a new service I try and make it explainable in one sentence.

So that’s my five pieces of advice.

I’m John Courtney of Boardroom Advisors and I wish you well in your entrepreneur journey. Thank you.


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Written by: Kath Dawson