Brand on the run

Martin Stewart

August 12, 2019

Martin Stewart (pictured) is a director at The Money Group

Mortgage Brokers are a bit like buses – there are plenty of them, in meetings the naughty ones like to sit on the back row and they hardly ever turn up when they say they will.

We are a complex breed and it got me thinking recently whether brokers make for good business people.

This becomes more difficult to work out when you consider that both roles require completely different skill sets.

You may be a good broker but naively think that your turnover equates to success.

Conversely, you may be good enough to win The Apprentice but when it comes to sourcing a BTL portfolio you may not know your SPVs from your SDLT’s.

This problem has become an acute one here at The Money Group because our model requires us to find and work with that rare, perfect hybrid – an entrepreneurial thinker but one who still knows how to do the day job.

In meetings I tend to start talking but then forget to stop. This happened recently when we were discussing the formation of a new brand with a prospective partner .

On and on I went, so much so they all left and went for lunch. When they came back I was still talking .

But within that diatribe I did stumble across an analogy which I think can help us and it may also help you in your business.

You see, being in business with other people is like being in a band but without the sex, drugs and the throwing of the TV out of the window.

It is all about partnerships and making that work to create a legacy that will last and all the time keeping the ego’s together so that you can keep on going and not splitting up due to musical or, in this case, accounting differences.

I think I am lucky in partnering with Scott (Thorpe). I see us as a Lennon and McCartney partnership.

That is certainly not meant to be an overly-confident statement but more to take account of Paul McCartney saying that whenever he and John sat down to write together they “never had a dry session”.

They always came up with a song, they always achieved something. Put Scott and I in a room and the same scenario occurs – something WILL happen, an idea will occur.

We accept that 90% of those ideas may never see the light of day, mainly because they are ridiculous – ask him about the pen that’s also a spoon.

But we understand that everything is a numbers game and that you have to write the Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’s in order to write the Yesterdays.

So next time you have a meeting take a look around the table and instead of thinking is the management team good enough to make it , try thinking is the band good enough to make it.

You don’t want to be the corporate version of Oasis, carrying on a personal feud through the tabloid press.

Nor do you want to be The Smiths torn apart by ego, vanity and narcissism. You certainly don’t want to be The Stone Roses of the business world, one great year and then you spend 30 years telling everyone about it.

Here at TMG we are going to try and stay with Lennon & McCartney for now. We always strive to be the best and if we aim to be The Beatles then the worst that will happen is we may only end up as Hermans Hermits.

Either way, we gave it a go and we may have a few hits along the way.

But, if you are going to go in to business with someone it might be a good idea to give them an audition first.

Meetings are boring enough as they are, the last thing you want in the boardroom is Yoko Ono screeching and hollering her way through the agenda and, before you know it, a poor choice of business partner and your greatest hits album is destined to gather dust in a charity shop at the wrong end of a litter strewn, high street.


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