MIKE HUTCH / THE PELOTON
AS ONE CHAMPIONS drives at uncovering impactful projects; Peeling back the layers to reveal the amazing people striving forward, all the lessons learned along the way and whats up next. As a community we're all about uniting positive, ambitious and innovative characters.
Read on, soak up these AS ONE CHAMPIONS, connect the dots and engage.
1. Tell us about you/your company/project.
OK, me, started life as an accountant and very quickly realised if I wanted to make some traction that wasn’t going to cut it. Re-invented myself as a ‘Financial Historian’ but soon got found out when asked what period of history I studied. Last year. Accountant? Right?
Took a new punt and trained in neuro-linguistic-programming. Great fun. Found it was OK being at the front of the room, rather than in the shadows at the back. Alongside the old style accountancy practice I worked in, I set up a coaching company for dentists with a friend. It worked and became the largest in the UK. Result.
However, it soon became apparent that I needed to head back and re-energise my old accountancy practice. It was on a slope and needed rescuing. So I handed over my shares in the coaching company and went back and extricated it from the old business. 2012. That was the start of the Peloton, an accountancy and marketing practice. A total anathema to most people but I saw them as natural bed-follows. Most people are great at what they do. Plumbers are great at plumbing, dentists are great at dentistry, but the other elements of the business - marketing and finance - don’t necessarily come naturally. So this gave both to the name, a metaphor borrowed from the world of cycling. In any long distance event, such as Tour de France, the teams cycle in a Peloton. It works by putting the specialist at the front, the expert. So when you are in the hills, its the guy that's great at hills. On flats, its the best at flats. The rest of the team draught in behind, saving energy, with the key man right in the centre. He’s draughted all the way and as they near the finish he burst out from the pack and using every ounce of remaining energy pulls ahead of the Peloton to cross the line first.
That’s our model, you, the business, sit in the middle. We put experts at the front, constantly changing. Accounts, tax, marketing, business development, whatever, to give you the fastest ride. Compared to your competitors you are first to the line. You go faster than you ever could alone. No one has ever won the Tour who as not ridden in a Peloton.
All of that wrapped up in a large amount of technology. Xero - number 1 in Cornwall, and additionally we sit with the top 10 Innovators of Xero in the UK.
2. What is your deep reason for choosing the path you're taking? Your "why"?
I’m inherently, massively competitive. I don’t always win, but I have a damn good go at trying. Born the youngest of 3 I was poked in the chest by my elder brother who said ‘I’ll always be more qualified than you’. 'No you £@$$!% won’t’ I thought. I then started on the longest educational program ever! Left school with one GSE, took another year getting 5 O’levels (GCSE’s), took 2 more years to get 3 A’levels. (Took a year out to work - HSBC. Crashed and burned within minutes, but hung in there for 6 months. Went on holiday). Off to Uni to get a degree. Took 4 years instead of 3. Joined an accountancy practice. Took a further 4 years to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. Done it. Boom. More qualified. But he had moved on. New challenge set.
3. What is the big dream, or legacy you're creating?
It’s in two parts:
Firstly, the initial turning point for me was a VHS featuring Michael Gerber introducing the E-Myth. He said something that so resonated with me - ‘most small businesses don’t work, the people in them do’. And it brought home to me that I needed to grow a business, not a place for me to work. So the mission began. To build a business that not only brought together amazing people that could be part of something different/innovative/exciting/fair but also a business where they have interaction with the owner, an owner who would roll up their sleeves and muck in too, teach them how to fish. With the ultimate aim of building a legacy, a legacy that is the Peloton. People come to the business not for what I represent but for what the business stands for, it’s ability to innovate, try new things, stand out, get shouted down, a brand. And when its all done it stands dominantly on its own two feet completely independent of me.
Secondly, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life. I want to give everyone an opportunity. I want to show people that if they have the will they can do whatever they want. I want them to pick up my business and run with it. Take it to places that I could not even dream of. Do greater things than I had ever hoped. Create opportunities for others in their wake as they do.
4. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Be you. Be the best version of you that you can be, all the time. Other people will want to push you and pull you and shape you in all directions. Be nice, but be you.
Failing is more than ok. Screw-up loads. But try lots. And keep trying. Get scolded, and live adventures. Have loads and loads of stories to tell and many dreams to live.
Every year write down your vision. Cut out pictures, write down your goals. Pin them on the wall and look at them every day. Plan, plan again, and then make another plan. Become a planNer.
5. What companies/projects inspire you?
Any company where someone has had a vision and no matter what the setbacks have kept going. Through good and bad. Never given up. Phil Knight and Nike.
Companies where the intense focus and vision, the absolute relentless attention to detail on the small stuff, the commitment to product (not profit) can grow a business from nothing to the most successful in the World in just over 30 years - Apple
Where someone has the balls to say ‘no’ I don’t want to do it that way. I am committed to a story, a way, a journey. It might be tough, harsh, a massive struggle. But its what I set out to do. No compromises - Finisterre.
Any one who puts on the line and doesn’t give up. Big or small.
Any one who turns crazy ideas, that no-one has ever thought of, into successful businesses, in the shortest possible time
6. What does your industry/cornwall/location need to see more of?
Cornwall - a joined up approach. It feels to me as if its several regions within a county, none of whom talk to each other. We love Cornwall because we are here. It’s greatest asset is the place. Whether you are on some north coast headland, sailing in the sheltered waters on the south coast, exposed on the moors in the middle, Cornwall is remarkable because of its variety. There we are stuck out in the Atlantic, exposed on three sides, yet its not only wrapped in the most incredible coastline, the contents are awesome too. Yet, I feel it fails to communicate that. It can’t tell the whole story. It does bits at the exclusion of others, but no one joins it up. It needs a conductor.
7. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on now?
At this very moment its a project to entice school leavers to take a career in finance and marketing now rather than burn through £50k at University and come out 3 years older and none the wiser. We are using the bait of paying for the gap year too. There’s some amazing people out their and Im planning on some of them walking through my door so we can start those fishing lessons now.
8. What problem in the world do you see that you’re fixing?
Sadly, nothing of any significance. We are breaking ground in the way we work, the way we support and train our team, the way we want to give that opportunity to school leavers and kick start their lives right here in Cornwall. But, in the short term we ain’t solving no world crisis. But give us time.
9. If you could go back, what's one thing you would have done differently?
Nothing. I’d take all the punches, the kicks, the knock-backs, the cock-ups, the stupid things I’ve done and said (and trust me, I’ve done so many) and do it all exactly the same way. Not to be horrible, it’s just that in doing so I got the lessons I wouldn’t have otherwise got. I started at the bottom, and I bloody love it here.
10. Who has been the most help to you along the way? And why?
There are many nearest and dearest who have been so supportive through the dark days, who’ve shared their wisdom, offered their support, and picked me up when I’ve wanted to call it a day.
But there are also those who have laid the body punch, stabbed me in the back, tried their damnedest to destroy everything around me - ex-business partners - who have helped the most. Categorically I would not be where I am to day had they not of done those things and there is no amount of money that would get me to turn the clock back and make it all ok. Thanks guys, it hurt like hell, but you taught me a lot.
Feel free to give some love to anyone else out there doing great things.
Hussey (Catherine) Mead - https://www.lynherdairies.co.uk/about-us/our-values/ - relentless energy, mother, business women, chair of Fifteen Cornwall, Sherriff of Cornwall
Who do you need to be connected to? Who can help you?
We would love to be connected to movers and shakers. Interesting people with great ideas but lack some all round business support. Recognise they have a spoke or two missing in the wheel, but appreciate some help. A love a really good laugh
How can people get in touch?
Just call our office 01326 660022
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