Ollie Collard – Enterprise Orchard – Elevating Your Business to the 6-Figure Highlands
by Mike Weiss
Meet Ollie Collard, Founder of Enterprise Orchard, a UK-based growth agency for start-up founders. He’s also the co-founder of the International Founded & Grounded podcast. Ollie is married and has 2 kids.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Ollie Collard: My wife and I were starting a family at the same time as setting up my business, so I had to ensure I had sensible mitigations in place. So rather than going ‘all in’ with my new venture, I started a new three-day-a-week job working in innovation to ensure the bills were paid and put less pressure on myself. Starting a new business and a young family simultaneously came with its challenges and strains! First, I had to build my mental, emotional and financial capacity and strength. Growing a family and a business have many comparables. You need love, passion, plans, patience, perseverance, and care. It’s essential to educate yourself, lead by example, and have a strong support network in place. There have been occasions when I felt like packing it all up and getting a 9-5. But nothing worthwhile in life is every easy. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it. In my moments of doubt, I always reflect on why I started my business in the first place, which refocuses me and acts as my guiding star.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do? Ollie Collard: Many founders get stuck in the operational minutiae of running their businesses. As a result, they become a bottleneck for decision-making and limit their business growth due to being afraid of letting go and delegating tasks and responsibilities. Delegation is a learned skill. The more you do it, the better you will become. So start relinquishing control over more minor things that can be automated and then look to outsource strategic areas that don’t play to your strengths. Yes, things will go wrong, but growth compounds over time. Letting go will be the best decision you will ever make for your business.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience? Ollie Collard: I love this quote from Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” It feels like we’ve all gone several rounds with a heavyweight during the pandemic. For me, resilience is the ability to keep getting back up consistently after being knocked down. This bounce-back ability is what separates good businesses from great businesses.
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values? Ollie Collard: These are all so powerful and interrelated. For me, values are an embedded part of your DNA and business. They are so much more than words, and I think this is where some companies fail. Your values are how you act and behave when no one is looking. Actions speak louder than words, and your values are your foundation. Your values are far more fixed and shouldn’t change. A mission for me is about being clear on what you do, what you are not, and what your goals are. Your vision should be bold and be the change you wish to see in the world. It should be your aspiration and be long-term. Rather than picking one of them as more important, I would say it is the alignment of all three which matters the most.
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers? Ollie Collard: I am a people person. I like to get to know people personally; learning about their family, what drives them and how they enjoy spending their time.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career? Ollie Collard: Personal branding can be far more effective, based on one simple fact. People prefer to build relationships with people, not businesses! You only have to look at the likes of Sara Blakely or Elon Musk. They both have sustainably more followers than Spanx or Telsa, respectively. The longevity of a personal brand often outlives a business too (with exceptions of course)!
How would you define “leadership”? Ollie Collard: The ability to care for other people and lead by example.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way? Ollie Collard: That’s a million-dollar question about nature vs nurture. Some people are born with more entrepreneurial genes. However, it is a skill and mindset that can be learned, developed, and honed over time. The beauty is that entrepreneurship doesn’t discriminate about what stage of life you are at. You could be a teenager or a retiree launching a business. It is more about surrounding yourself with the right people and nurturing your entrepreneurial muscle, no matter your starting point! What’s your favourite “business” quote and how has it affected your business decisions? Ollie Collard: The riches are in the niches. Don’t be everything to everyone. I am very clear on who we help and who we don’t! This has positive implications across the entire business. It means our copy resonates, we repel the wrong people and we build a community of like-minded founders.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Ollie Collard for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers. If you would like to get in touch with Ollie Collard or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page