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Toby Burns

The Silent Disco Company Group

Toby Burns

@0:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Hello everyone and welcome to the Shades of Entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today, I'm here with Toby Burns from DJ to CEO.

before we get into all that, Toby, welcome to the show.

@0:26 - The Silent Disco Company

How are you doing? I'm very good. Thanks for having me. Sorry to have a little chit chat today.

@0:32 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Having a little chit chat. So you got a bit of an accident, Toby. So before we get into the career move, could you please introduce yourself?

Share a little bit about your education background career journey. Give us some of your personal experience and how you got on the entrepreneurial path.

@0:49 - The Silent Disco Company

So it's great. How long have we got?

@0:53 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)


@0:54 - The Silent Disco Company

So yeah, I mean, I was, I'm from a little seaside town. in Essex in United Kingdom and yeah, love living by the sea.

I'm a sea baby and through my career and even growing up, I always wanted to be making money entrepreneur and I had a really tough time at school and I've talked about this before like, you know, quite badly bullied, moved a lot of schools over a period of time and then I found somewhere where I settled and it was more the mindset of like, I want to prove these bullies wrong and I'm going to really do something quite special.

So from a very young age before the DJ, I was a children's entertainer, some people call that clown. I don't like, I don't like to use that term but a children's at 15, 15 years old, I had a man in a van pick me up for

from school, picked me up from college at, you know, three o'clock, everyone's going out, like football. I was straight to a party and I was entertaining children, entertaining teenagers, school discos, children's entertainment.

And it got to a point where I was doing sort of like 10 kids parties a week. children's parties, know, people spend a lot on a party.

I'm just going through it at the moment with my own daughter, so I know people spend a lot of money on parties.

But we would, I was doing about 10 a week, so six over a weekend, four during the week. And I thought there was one point where I like, I broke my wrist and I was like, oh, you know, it's a profitable job.

you're not going out, you're not earning money. So I quickly transitioned to DJing and the sort of DJing I did was Jewish, Arab, and corporate events.

That was my market. So I wasn't doing being 18th or 21st. was very specific. Barbat Mitzvahs, Arabic weddings and corporates, so for the likes of Google, and we still do Google today.

still DJ for them three times a year. Virgin Airways, British Airways, so big corporate companies. And I was in the US at the time.

So I don't know where you are based exactly.

@3:29 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Beautiful Portland, Oregon.

@3:32 - The Silent Disco Company

Oh, beautiful.

@3:33 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Okay. Beautiful right above California.

@3:36 - The Silent Disco Company

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I was in the US and I saw this silent disco and I was standing there and I was like, what the hell is this?

This is crazy. And I just thought, one, I could do it better. Two, we can use better headphones that look better, that more premium.

And I knew that the market that I was DJing with would love it. So we bought so headphones, my parents thought I was mad, you know, I'd saved up through children's entertaining, we developed this headphone in the far East, brought in 200.

And then yeah, within a week, two weeks, I've fully booked for the next three months. So we went again, we bought more, we bought more and just reinvested constantly to today, where we now stand over 15,000 headphones in the UK.

We have, we opened up in Dubai in 2023. So we have a certain amount out there as well. And now we have a big team and I'm involved in a few other businesses, property, and we've really used the profits of the business to build moats around our business and give us security that, you know, go for bid and other COVID happens.

have security around us that will make sure that we more than survive. those tough times. So that's a little 10 year, 15 year in a period in a few minutes.

@5:08 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And a few minutes and a little nutshell there now.

@5:10 - The Silent Disco Company

Now for the folks that may be unaware of what the silent.

@5:15 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So again, you mentioned you're the founder and CEO of the Silent Disco Company.

@5:20 - The Silent Disco Company

Explain what that is. What does a silent disco do? A silent disco. It's really funny you say that because after 10 years of doing this, I still go to events and people I've never seen this before, which like is mind boggling for me.

But a silent disco is a bit like what we're doing now. Everyone has a pair of headphones. There's no fancy wires.

They're all wireless. And on the headphone, there's a little switch. And you can have multiple channels of music that everyone can listen to.

So people can choose what they want to listen to. Let's say you have three DJs, you one DJ, you don't and not everyone wants to listen.

to what DJ is playing, so that the guests can choose what they want to listen to, and that just gives a whole different feel of entertainment.

So that's what we do when we do dry hire, which is where you're having a house party, you can plug in three phones and have three channels of music, know, your old is music, your kids music and rock and roll in the middle, and people can choose what they want to listen to.

So we do that. We provide event packages. So with DJs and lighting, so we do a turnkey solution there.

And then over the years with the brand, we have lots of sub-brand, so the cinema hire company, we do the big drive-in cinemas, outdoor cinemas, we do that as a dry house, so people can do that in their garden, or you can have a big screen for a drive-in cinema, it's really popular in the US as well.

And then most recently, the karaoke hire company, the same concept, our model is you know majority it goes in a box it turns up at your front door you have an amazing weekend having a silent disco with your friends and then it gets collected on a Monday so that's the model and everything that we try and do with cinema karaoke it all fits into that model it goes in a box we ship it to you ship it back you have an amazing time and it's super easy and this is the thing we tell everyone that is it complex this is super super easy even your nan can set it up you plug in two things and away you go you got silent disco you know it's such it's such an interesting concept because I think folks I believe in you know if you live in the United States you probably have seen this before individuals with their headphones on dancing in the club however I must admit I never knew you can change through different music genres if you didn't like something different you can just listen to something else yeah and it's like super easy switch on the headphones so we do up to

eight channels now on the headphone and we do that for a lot of like corporate events like if you've got multiple areas and you want to listen to that keynote or that keynote you can switch on the headphone between eight different keynotes that are going on but the head but the normal like party yeah you plug in three phones three laptops it's as simple as that and you choose at the user what you want to listen to now let's let's take a step back as you mentioned you know you're starting out as being a children's entertainer right a children's entertainer and you you did that for some years and then you pivoted into the DJ and then you pivoted into the silent disco but let's talk about the first pivot into the DJ area why why let's talk about that kind of transition why did you kind of begin I know you mentioned you you you had an injury that kind of forced you into that but why DJ I think it's a natural progression I think a lot of children's entertainers you know

For example, at a weekend, I would do an 11 a.m. 1 p.m. party, 5, 6, 7 year old party, then I'd do a 3-2-5 p.m.

and do another children's party. And then in the evening, children are going to sleep, so I would then go out and do a, at that time, a bar mitzvah or an 18th birthday.

But I was in a very specific market where they spent a hell of a lot, not with us, but the overall production.

know, they might spend $100,000 on a, on a, on a, a sweet 16 party. And they're sort of the ones that I used to do.

So it was a natural progression to sort of feel those evenings when children's parties were, you know, it's too late.

And I loved DJing, you know, just entertaining the crowd, a lot, a lot, you know, a lot of DJs will do.

It's an adult and that sort of thing.

@10:03 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So you're DJing and then you transition right as you mentioned of this silent disco. Let's talk about building the brand.

Could you walk us through the strategies and efforts that you employ to build and establish the brand identity? How do you build a brand with purpose and the power of customer centricity?

@10:23 - The Silent Disco Company

The brand is super important. I mean, I had a personal brand at that time as a children's entertainer. know, people knew my name, you know, they remember it was a catchy name.

So the brand was super important and for me, brands need to say what they do on the tin, you know, and keep it simple.

So the silent disco company, the cinema hire company, the karaoke hire company, they all say what we do on the tin.

So, I mean, the brand built up really naturally as the leader in the in the UK, of we were first to market, there were a few others doing it on a smaller scale, but we went really, really heavy on branding my brother, at the time was marketing director for a big online gambling company.

So he had a lot of insight into marketing, he worked with us even to this day, you know, and he really, Google was our best friend, you know, and even today we spend tens of thousands of pounds on Google ads to build up that brand.

for me, brand is all about customer service, recommendation reviews, and we work so hard, and that's my main focus is you get reviews, get recommendations, pictures or videos people send in, and very quickly people know you are the expert in the field.

And we say this about all the business. And it's like, now there's 30 people in the UK all doing silent disco, but we present ourselves as the experts.

We're not going to compete on price. We are this price because we know we have the team here. We're not working out of a garage at home or something.

have a large commercial building, a big team that whenever you want to speak to us, we're there. And I think that helps build a really amazing brand and a trusted brand for consumers.

@12:32 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

You know, I think you brought up a great point. Consistency is so important when creating brand guideline. I just got off a call before this one talking about brand guideline and creating consistency around it and the importance of it.

Because when you start to go into different communities and your brand isn't consistent across all markets, the consumer is going to take note of that.

And if you're inconsistent with your brand, you're going to be and they're going to generally assume that you are also inconsistent with your service, your quality, your value, right?

So consistency with your brand is very important because, you know, it allows you, like, Toby, in fact, this is the next conversation I want to get into, branding allows you to go from, like, the house parties to corporate events.

So how did you, like, where did you find, you know, when you're now you have your brand, you're starting to build your brand, you mentioned Google, where else did you go to find clients in particular to break into the industrial event kind of space?

@13:33 - The Silent Disco Company

So how we really launched it, as I alluded to early on, is I was dealing with these high-end clients, and the whole reason I thought of bringing it is because you have an hour for dinner in a wedding, right?

People eat for an hour, but the kids, they eat in 10, 15 minutes. then for the other 45 minutes, they're causing havoc because they're bored.

They're bored. So the whole reason really the core reason why I brought it into that especially the Jewish market is because the kids would eat in 10 minutes and this was a perfect way to entertain them while the adults can carry on eating there's no noise they've got headphones on the kids and they can dance and have a great time but like children's entertaining it's a snowball effect and I and I say this as I said recommendation reviews so we would do a party you've got 50 guests there okay you've got 50 people using headphones out of that party we need four other people to book us then the then out of those four another four now you've got 16 bookings and it's a snowball effect um and covid you know sort of stop that snowball and you've had to start that snowball again um but certainly it's snowballed and snowballed googalads as I said you know I'm a huge fan of googalads giving our money to

to them but if there's a good return on investment and you know it's not always a good return on investment and we talk a lot about average lifetime value of a customer and some people have one wedding they never use you again like a DJ because it's rubbish average lifetime value of a customer because they should really only be getting married once you never know but it should be once where a silent disco okay they might be having a house party they might be having a birthday and everyone has a birthday every single year and people love to party especially in the UK I don't know if we have a bad reputation but bricks love a party we are a party nation I would say any excuse that you know we get a bit of nice weather here and people throw a party yeah and it's not very nice

to weather very often. So you have a bit of nice weather. Right. We're going to throw a party. So yeah, coming back to your point, I think it's snowballed.

And if you keep the consistency of great reviews, great customer service, and our operations manager now is so heavily focused on customer service, like for straight from sometimes, he's like, you know, we're going to do this.

We're going to, and I was like, if that's what gets it over the line, if that's what keeps the customer happy and coming back every year, the grandma's 90th, and we have that, like, we have 90th birthdays where they're hiring silent disco.

So it's such a vast age group of from five years old to 90 years old, people enjoy it. And I just think, as you said, consistency, if you're consistent with all of those elements, one, you will help build a fantastic brand, and you have customer loyalty.

And I use Apple as an example, you know, you go in, you can book an appointment, when you buy a new Macber, you get a free training session for 30 minutes, like they're consistent in terms of their customer service.

And that helps create amazing brands.

@17:18 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah. You know, I think you brought up a great point when you're thinking about the lifetime value of a customer, know, understanding that, a funny story, I was out of Whettie or at a quinceanera.

And you know, to your point, you know, DJ's and photographers, they tend to have a limited lifetime value of their customer because, you know, well, they're going have one wedding, he mentioned.

But the funniest thing happened. My buddy's wedding photographers, they're 15 years later taking photos of his daughter's quinceanera. And he's like, Hey, I remember you guys.

@17:46 - The Silent Disco Company

I was like, what? This is the craziest thing I've ever seen.

@17:49 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I have never been 15 years later, but you know, it is interesting because to that point creating good customer service, uh, allow that individual.

come back and service them 15 years later, right? Having a remarkable moment with either a sales or a company or anybody like Apple, right?

Nike is a big thing over here in the Pacific Northwest, right? They make people feel like an athlete. That's been there kind of, you know, slogan for some time.

And it's true, you know, individuals, they feel that, you know, I always talk about building a brand, it's not just about the brand, but it's about what you feel like wearing that brand.

How does the brand make you feel, right? What are their core? What are your kind of your own personal beliefs?

And how does the brand align with those personal beliefs, you know, and people really truly do look at that.

@18:42 - The Silent Disco Company

Yeah, I mean, our vision has always been making memories through celebrations. And I tell our team this all the time that, you know, any party leaves a memory with somebody.

So we're all about creating. You know, making memories through celebrations and a celebration can be a number of things.

And you know, you touched upon the photographer 15 years later, and it's funny because I don't DJ that much anymore.

I'm quite selective, you know, we run a lot of businesses property now, so my time is stretched, but I still do maybe one or two a month because I enjoy it and it keeps it fresh.

And I literally, I had a call about month ago from a client and she said, this is Jessica. I was like, you know, I speak to so many people.

And she went, you did my daughter's fifth birthday.

@19:43 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Oh, wow.

@19:44 - The Silent Disco Company

She's getting married next year.

@19:45 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Can you DJ? Oh, wow.

@19:47 - The Silent Disco Company

I was like, what? I was like, one. That makes me feel so old because I was like crazy, no way.

And two, I was like. Okay, maybe, you know, let's have a conversation, let's get on a call and see how we can create a party.

So your story is exactly the same that I'm like, and I'm like, how old is she? She's like 21, I was like, that's young to get married.

She was like, are there a child to three parts? And I was like, that makes me feel old, because that must have been, you know, right at the start, like, you know, right at the start.

But she remembered me and, you know, she follows me on social media, she sees the work we do. So that's a really interesting story, like, like you mentioned, that people do come back and there is an average lifetime value.

And I think what's super important about your, you know, a DJ, and I tell, I tell this to other entrepreneurs, like, I'm being a lot more, you know, said I'm really passionate about young entrepreneurs, especially schools universities, where they don't really know what they want to do.

They may have gone through a tough time. And I just, I like to speaking at those sort of events because it gives a kid you know something to work towards and always say like DJing is a profitable job if you're not DJing you're not earning money and it's really important that when I needed something that would work without me in it you know a commercially profitable company that doesn't need me in it to work and that's all down to the team and if you have a great management team it's getting it ready to sell and so another entrepreneur always told me like build a company to sell even if you have no intention of selling it because that discipline makes you build something so much more valuable that if in five ten years time I want to exit it's ready to go with a management team and it makes it so much more valuable to a buyer rather than a one-man bank because if you're buying that business you know

you basically go a profitable job rather than a profitable company.

@22:05 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I completely agree and folks, this is why I think operations is so important. Starting with your operational kind of plan is so important because if you're just the person, if you're just the person and you're just coming in and getting, you know, they're not buying you, the employee, they're buying the operations and the profit revenue cycles, they're buying the company, you know, ensuring those things are really tight is very, very important.

Now entrepreneurship comes with its fair share of challenges. Could you share some of your significant hurdles you've encountered and when starting out your own business and then how did you overcome those hurdles?

@22:48 - The Silent Disco Company

Yeah, entrepreneurship is tough. A lot of people, builders, know, they work for a building company and then they're like, I'm going to go do this on my own.

And then you realize how tough it is. I tell my team, like, when I get home, it's not a nine to five for me and you get home and you switch off as an entrepreneur, it's 24 seven.

And even my wife, I say to her, like, I have, imagine your internet, and you're on Chrome or Safari, and it feels like for me, you've got 100 tabs open.

And you're switching between all these different tabs, trying to get stuff done. And I think entrepreneurship is really, really tough.

It's nonstop. It's very lonely. There's no instruction manual of how to run a business, like you have to work it out.

And someone that I watch a lot, Steve and Bart, that is like the best way of learning is failing.

If you fail, you learn from what you fail at, and you get better. And it is, you know, amazing in terms of an entrepreneur in that respect.

In terms of challenges, I think that the toughest challenge and I speak to a lot of business owners like yourself and I always ask what's the biggest challenge and every single one says staff.

Staff or the team just when you think you've got the perfect team you know someone wants to go traveling and you've got to recruit again and in the UK right now recruiting is really really hard especially since Covid they a business owner that believes in like a team in an office like you bounce off people, you're creative together and I also tell my team I could work from home every day I have quite a long journey into work I don't have to come in but I love coming in five days a week I hear ideas that they're saying and it's just a really amazing culture so the biggest challenge I'd say is staff you know you get staff that leave and try and start on their road

and take clients and it's really difficult as an entrepreneur where you've built something up and then someone tries to take that away but that's where the brand comes in if the brand's really strong people trust you and the other challenge was probably covid like many many business owners talked about the snowball effect and that sort of stopped and it was going from like one of our and then covid struck and literally for two weeks straight bang bang bang call after call cancel cancel cancel or re uh postponement postponed and i would say that summer of covid we lost probably half a million pounds in postponed bookings so then it's like right for you know here the government stepped in and paid some of the wages but we didn't know that at the time so you're thinking as a business owner you know i want to protect my team because they were my

amazing, but we also have to protect the life of the company. So, as entrepreneurs do, you pivot, we started a few other businesses, we did some like home packages where it was like six headphones for your family, like have a silent disco over the weekend, make yourself feel better at bargain prices or a home cinema.

So we pivoted in different areas, we opened a few other businesses just to bring cashflow in. And I tell other business owners like cashflow is the most important thing.

say sales first, operations after, like too many companies, they want the nice flashy office, they want a big warehouse, they want 10 people in their team, but they've got no sales yet.

So I always say get sales, sales, and that makes everything easier that if you've got the sales in and you need a new member of stock, you've got the money to invest in that new and you can get really good members.

of staff. So I'm a firm believer in like sales, sales first, operations after it makes things so much easier.

But I'd say they're the significant challenges for me, even now is recruitment and staff and finding talented people. And, you know, the struggles of COVID, which I think for everyone has added a few more years and a few more gray hairs to entrepreneurs' heads.

@27:28 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, you know, I got to tell you the water cooler conversations that are deprived of from going into the office.

They set in quite a bit during the pandemic. And I got to admit, folks, this is why I created this podcast to be able to introduce, you know, and meet with Toby and folks like him to kind of learn and to meet with people, to get ideas, to bounce ideas off of each other.

You know, like Toby said, I have a, I'm sure folks, if you listen to this long enough, you've heard me say this, I've never failed a day in my life.

I either succeed or I learn. Right and the reason I say that is because the way I look at failure is I've stopped doing it No, I'm gonna fail on that task certain, but I'm actually learn something through that failure That's gonna continue to propel me forward that actually makes me better So I am not an actual failure sir I failed at that task But I'm not gonna be a failure in life because I'm gonna continue to learn and gonna continue to get better And that's just gonna continue to propel me as a business leader as an entrepreneur to be better as for my clients You know Yeah, and I it's not for me just being good about for your clients.

@28:36 - The Silent Disco Company

I like It takes time to learn the skill like you know, I have a warehouse team that if they pack an order wrong or They miss something out, you know back it many many years ago.

take it really personally I'm like, oh, that's cost me 300 pounds as a refund But now I'm like that's the best 300 pounds training.

I would have spent because now they've learned from it They're not going to make that mistake again. And for me, it's like, if the team fail, I'm not doing my job properly.

I'm not giving them the resources. It's not their fault, everyone makes mistakes. I really do look at that as I've failed or my management of fail.

What can we do to make sure that member of staff is just amazing and can exceed in their role if we can give them the resources, time, the training.

If there's a mistake, like we learn from it and implement that process that that mistake doesn't happen with anyone else ever again, you're really learning all the time from every failure.

And that takes time, especially like the first three, four years, you know, you're trying to grow. You take everything personally because it's your baby, you know?

And it's only now that you can really, like, as I said, I use the the analogy. of the failure of like 300 quid or we've had to refund someone a thousand pounds and I like my team would be annoyed and I'm like that's the best training money we've spent because we know we've just trained the whole team over that mistake that it will never happen again.

I think that's super powerful now.

@30:20 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah I agree and the cost of recruiting and training is pretty astronomical from an operational perspective but from one CEO actually mentioned what happens if you train them and they leave and the CEO responds and well what happens if you don't train them and they stay and so creating the culture is very important.

always say there's three types and employees in the workforce. There's the engaged employee right they're constantly engaged, they're doing their work, they're always there, going to get everything done.

There's the RIP employee, the retired in place right they kind of come they do the bare minimum they just get by but then the ones that

that I have difficulty with are the cave employees. They're constantly against virtually everything, right? The food sucks, the drive sucks, the hour sucks, the pace.

Like they don't like anything. I don't mind our employees because I can get you engaged. I can get you, I become an engaged employee, but a cave employee is very difficult.

And what happens is those are the ones that are training your new employees so they tend to erode that culture, you know?

so it's very mindful to build up a team, but it's also very expensive. Like you said, Toby, when you lose a key stakeholder and then they're gone and now you're like, gotta recruit and find somebody else.

@31:38 - The Silent Disco Company

Yeah, and I love your, I'm gonna use that terminology. I have a slightly different one, which is in every business, I see staff on like a scale of one to 10.

And I see like your one, two, threes are the people that don't wanna be there. You don't want them there.

They're not good at their job. You can sit down and have a conversation. They'll be happier if they leave and and do something they want to do You've got your 8s 9s and 10s, and this is what every business wants and they are your Superstars.

They're in the culture. They're in it for the long term and Then you have this middle ground of of I call them the five six sevens And you know, you like them the team might be friendly with them But they're not good at their job.

You want to get rid of them It's a bit awkward. No one wants to have that conversation But you have to have that conversation because if you don't the eight nine's and ten's will leave because of the five six sevens So I think it's really important, you know, to make sure your company has eight nine's and tens and it takes a long time I say you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince and And it takes time to find talented people and now only now I'm like higher

Oh, by a fast, you know, yes, if the management are talking about the same issue with the same member stuff, they've got to go and then hire slowly to make sure you get the right person.

Otherwise, if you don't get rid of them quickly, your eight, nine and tens who work really hard and then picking up all the slack, they get frustrated, they get annoyed, and then they leave because of those members of staff.

So it's a culture, it's a challenge, there's no instruction manual for a leader, for an entrepreneur. You've got to work it out, and when you have that scenario, you learn from it, and now it's like, okay, there's a problem, you've got to deal with it because your superstars won't like it, and there's a risk they leave if you don't deal with the issue, you know?

@33:48 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I agree, and there's nothing more rewarding than seeing one of your staff members propel in their professional journey, you know, seeing some of my staff members go into nursing school and helping

through that program and watch them go through the scholarship applications and things of that nature. And then becoming an RN eventually, those were very rewarding.

However, with that said, there's nothing that will kill your spirit more than having to lay off a staff member, because you weren't successful or your business.

Because again, as an entrepreneur, you own this, and I take pride in what I do in the health care industry and my job is to help make a a large sum of revenue for institution.

And so when I hear about layoffs, I take that personally as well. like, man, I didn't do my job well enough to maintain what we have.

And then sometimes you begin to look around the board, because to your point, Toby, have to start to do layoffs, and it tends to be the high performers you tend to see go because it's usually those high performers are the ones that come in early too, right?

have the, maybe sometimes they have the blinders on because they're coming into the new, they have a lot of innovative ideas.

want to do a lot of great things. And then you have, like you mentioned, those 1, 2s, and 3s, 4, 5s, and 6s that you kind of drag on that culture.

And it really stifles innovation and growth. Now, one other thing I would encourage leaders to do is don't pass the traction.

What I mean by that is if you're going to let someone go, one, make sure to give them a good exit interview, give them some really good insights and things of how they can continue to improve.

But then don't go get a referral from a company and just talk about how phenomenally were and gloss over those areas of concerns.

Be honest about it. And also be honest about your feedback, because that's the only way individuals are going to continue to grow and learn professionally.

If we keep cooking cutter into these, you know, basically compliments versus actual structural feedback, we're not going to learn.

We're going to continue to be stagnant in our growth and innovation will stop, right? I would encourage you to just provide feedback.

do it in a common nice way. These are also individuals live no matter how bad they were at a workplace, right?

They still have a family to go home to. So it's important to provide feedback, but also not pass a trash or make sure if somebody calls for your referral.

You're honest about that feedback, because that's another small business or entrepreneur that's gonna go ahead and bring that staff member on and they will deal with the same exact headaches you did because maybe you did not provide them any insight.

Now with that said, with your valuable expertise, and you know, you've been doing for some time, what advice and tips would you give listeners who are aspiring entrepreneurs or looking to start their own venture?

@36:40 - The Silent Disco Company

I always say think big, think big, and big things will happen. You know, if you think small, small thing, probably, and you have something that you really created, that you believe in.

and go with it and think big, you know, if you want to be a 10 million pound company, you're more likely to get to that than if you say, I'm going to be a one million pound company, you know, if you think small, you'll do small things.

Think big, you'll do big things. And I say that to a lot of young entrepreneurs. they're like, oh, I go, how much do you want to make a year?

they're like 100,000. I was like, but why? Where have you plucked that figure from? I was like, why don't you want to earn 500,000?

Because if you think that you want to earn 500,000, you're much more likely to get closest to it. You know, you might earn 300,000.

So I always say, think big, follow your dream. People will bring you down, like, accountants and finance people, a lot of business owners will go to their accountant and ask for advice.

And I said, why? Your accountant isn't an entrepreneur. know, they know their figures. They know how to plan money.

Hey, entrepreneurs should speak to other entrepreneurs. You know, the reason for your channel, entrepreneurs should hear it from other entrepreneurs, because we're all in the same boat.

It's a lonely place. You know, you can't go and ask your wife, I watched I do about this, like, you know, they're not entrepreneurs.

And there's so many, our minds work differently. We're all a bit crazy, in my opinion. But our minds work different.

And I think the best way to grow and to learn is to speak to to other fellow entrepreneurs who have been there, done it, got the metaphorical t-shirt.

And that's something I do now. I listen to podcasts, YouTube of different entrepreneurs to see what their experiences are, because if you can pick up little nuggets of knowledge and implement that into your business, it can just explode the growth of your business.

We don't know everything. I think the best ideas for me come from the team. know, and they ask me, what do you think about it?

And I'm like, well, what do you think? Or speak to the rest of the team? What do they think?

Because the best ideas, and I tell my team every week, like any idea, however stupid you may think it is, let me know your idea, because the best ideas for this business has come from the team.

And other entrepreneurs that have been there, done it. I know I pick up little nuggets all the time to implement a car.

Why didn't we do that? Let's do it. Tomorrow, it's done. And you might get 5-10% growth from that little bit that you've heard have gone, I'm going to do that.

That's going to change things. So that's the word that not one thing, but a few things I would definitely encourage entrepreneurs to do and just follow your dream, know, and let people put you down.

My parents, if we've got time, were thought I was bonkers buying 200 pairs of headphones. They always used to mind how many wires and cables.

that I had in in my room in the garage, why do you need so many cables? Why do you need so many headphones?

And it's like now 10 years later that they come in and visit me. then I can see why you wanted so many cables, know, you've got a lot of headphones to charge.

@40:18 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That's great. know, and again, folks, it is a lonely ride, you know, entrepreneurship. And so get out there and network with folks, type of people feel comfortable sharing your mental health state as well, because I don't think you'd be surprised about how many people are actually going through similar things throughout life, whether they're an entrepreneur or executive or, you know, doesn't matter.

Everybody starts somewhere. In fact, Red Hot Cheetos, right, with Frito-Lay, was created by one of their janitors, you know, and so it's important to remember.

Yeah, and entrepreneurship happens even in the corporate setting. So, so go ahead and go ahead and look out now.

So before the folks that are interested in the audience that want to learn more about you and maybe maybe they're out in the UK and they're interested.

@41:00 - The Silent Disco Company

doing your service. How can they contact you? What is your webpage in it? Maybe how can they found you on social media?

Web page, social media, our search at the Silent Disco Company. You'll see all of our brands. If you want to see sort of my journey and different stuff that we do with property, buying businesses, I can also be found out at the entrepreneur, entrepreneur, at the entrepreneur, get in touch with us.

We do stuff in the US. We do stuff in the bar all over. So yeah, if you're interested, check out the channel, check out our social media, and we'll be glad to have you on the ride.

@41:39 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I love it. And folks, if you forget all of that information, this is a great time to plug the newsletter, the Shades of Entrepreneurship newsletter that you can subscribe to by visiting the Shades of

You can also follow us on the social sites. We have Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and at the shades of e and you can watch this episode streaming on youtube at the shades of e as well lastly if you wouldn't so mind you so become one of the patrons of the shades of entrepreneurship for as well as five dollars a month.

You can help support the podcast which again brings you all this phenomenal guests great insight and you can get a free copy of my book the starting line which is a basically a quick synopsis of how do you start a business here within the Oregon area and also provide you with a mat my.

My man mind mapping exercise that's actually put on by idea so thank you for the idea team for allowing to use that again there is actually no value in my book is just lot of my thoughts so but.

Hey I do appreciate all your support Toby again thank you so much for joining us is there any last words you like to say to the guests or the light to say to the audience.

@42:48 - The Silent Disco Company

Thank you for watching follow us watch our journey day in the life of an event trip and thank you for having me on the channel really appreciate your time.

@43:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I appreciate it. In fact, I will be out in Greece here next month at some time. if you service Greece, let me know.

I'll make you jump on a boat and head over to create the island and create these little silent things.

All right, folks, again, thank you again so much for listening to Shades of Entrepreneurship. Please follow us at the Shades of Thank you.

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