Richard Woods on being flexible in business, overcoming challenges, and not letting red carpet blindness distract you from your business!

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Richard Woods is an accidental but award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, and radio presenter, and keynote speaker. Not surprising, because who doesn’t love listening to a good British accent explaining business stuff! 

Richard runs the Million Dollar Sprint, which helps entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to a million in revenue. He’s published 2 best-selling books—Digital TrailBlazer and Brexitpreneurship— and he also has the distinction of being a BBC’s The Apprentice finalist! 

What You’ll Hear

  • [1:23] About Richard and his background 
  • [3:11] How Richard became an entrepreneur 
  • [10:37] The biggest element of business success 
  • [12:58] Richard’s advice for learning how to sell 
  • [16:31] Richard’s advice for overcoming challenges 
  • [20:57] Richard’s feelings after The Apprentice 
  • [24:47] Connect With Richard 

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About Richard and His Background 

Richard graduated with a Business & Entrepreneurship degree in 2005. His first digital business, Yomp, was a full-service marketing agency that included video, audio, and photography services. 

After creating a digital lead generation product (called Digital Trailblazer, not to be confused with the book of the same name) which skyrocketed the company to million-dollar status, Richard sold Yomp and bought a heating company that was on its way out. 

After seeing similar success in the new biz and selling it off as a million-dollar company, Richard took the systems and processes that got him there (twice) and packaged it into his accelerator, the Million Dollar Sprint, which helps service-sector businesses hit that million-dollar revenue mark. 

How Richard Became an Entrepreneur 

Richard always knew he was destined to be an entrepreneur. After being fired from every college job he had, he came away from his degree with a ton of business ideas and set out to implement them. 

Traveling back and forth to India and China, Richard spent the next year searching for exciting products and importing them into the UK. 

When the 2007 global economic crisis hit. His fledgling business took a big downward spiral, and he had to think on his feet! 

In return for his retailers taking his product, he and his brother began offering to create websites for them. This led to a whole lot of interest from other parties, so as his importation company began to die, the digital marketing and design side began to grow like a weed. 

That’s how Richard began his journey into digital entrepreneurship! 

The Biggest Element of Business Success 

Unless you’re in e-commerce, salespersonship is extremely important. In Richard’s experience, sales ability is one of the biggest factors in success. 

The good news is, it can be developed, like a muscle! If you feel you aren’t a great salesperson, you can definitely improve it. 

Sales is as much about listening (if not more) as it is about talking. Listening to your client’s feedback, understanding what’s in the way of them buying, and understanding why failed sales didn’t happen are crucial in order to learn from mistakes and adapt the process. 

Richard’s Advice for Learning How to Sell 

Everyone can learn how to sell. The biggest hurdle is mindset. Ideas like “I don’t do sales”, “I’m awful at sales”, and so on are the things that trip people up. 

Sales is all about learning skills and methods. There’s a set structure to it and once you learn that, you can sell. 

Understanding that your client goes from awareness to consideration to conversion is the key. Learning to figure out where people are in that cycle is important so you can cater for them every step of the way. 

Human psychology plays a big role. You can use your client’s own journey to help them make a buying decision, by finding their pain points and positioning your product as the solution to fixing those pains. 

Richard’s Advice for Overcoming Challenges 

One of Richard’s most challenging moments was getting fired on The Apprentice (in front of millions of people!). He was confident in his business plan and sure he would end up winning, but his hopes were crushed to powder when the judges ripped apart his business plan on live TV. 

One of Richard’s insights is that while he felt he was drowning, everyone else was experiencing the same thing as he was. He wasn’t alone, which is something he only realized much later. 

Richard also understood that his inflexibility played a large role in him not winning the Apprentice. Looking back, he realized that if he’d been more open-minded and willing to work around things in different ways, he may have won after all. 

This is invaluable advice for overcoming challenges! Flexibility may well be your best friend as you face things that seem to challenge your business and your feelings. 

Richard’s Feelings After The Apprentice 

Richard says he was really upset after The Apprentice as he tends to win things he puts his mind to! Losing was a tough lesson, but he took the opportunity to prepare for the release of the final episode (about 6 months after the actual event). 

While he knew the outcome of the show, Richard prepared his new book and set up a red carpet event to launch it, complete with press and Apprentice colleagues. 

The press grabbed hold of this and jumped the gun, believing that he had won the Apprentice and announcing it to the world before the final show was released. 

Of course, this happy accident gave his business a huge boost, although he made the effort to prepare for it beforehand. 

Richard does caution against “red carpet blindness”, which is his term for wasting time on “networking” with people who can’t or won’t help you get ahead in business instead of putting that time into building your business. 

Connect With Richard 

If you’d like to connect with Richard, you can find him on LinkedIn or Instagram.

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