Jonny Cooper is a UK-based entrepreneur, business coach, former professional musician, and international racing driver. One thing you should know about Jonny is that he REALLY HATES marketing, so much so, it inspired him to launch his business, Jonny Hates Marketing.
Jonny Hates Marketing is a business coaching service for coaches, trainers, and therapists who aren’t keen on traditional marketing strategies. Jonny shows them how they attract clients who will pay them what they are worthwhile still staying true to their core values. The driving force behind the business was the realisation that most coaches and therapists were struggling to make ends meet with very few earning a high enough income to consider themselves a financial success. Jonny recognised that while the coaches, therapists, and trainers who came to him were experts at what they did, many of them lacked the business acumen and marketing know-how to turn their passion into a thriving business. As well as running training sessions for his members, Jonny is also the voice behind the Jonny Hates Marketing Facebook group which has almost 5,000 members.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Johnny to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I’ve always been freelance or in business…I never had a job!
In the 90s I built a financial services business to 8-figures, driven by the success I’d had previously learned in direct sales for home improvements.
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
As a business founder, building an enterprise of 200 staff, 8 regional offices, and a £10.2m annual revenue.
This meant developing skills in management, leadership, finance, marketing, sales, and maybe a whole bunch of other things that form part of the business operating skillset.
It also firmly cemented in my mind that I could never, ever work for someone else.
What did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
I was a struggling musician in my 20s, and still in touch with some of my school and college chums who had “proper” jobs and were buying houses, flash cars, and getting married. I couldn’t support myself, let alone other people, and I definitely couldn’t afford expensive possessions or machines.
When my antique Austin finally conked out, I decided to scour the Evening Standard job ads, and one jumped out at me. It said, “Closers Wanted — £1000 a week.”
I had no clue what a closer was, but I sure wanted £1000 a week. So I called up and went for an interview.
It was a self-employed sales job for Moben Kitchens, and it changed my life.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
It’s about making an impact – that old cliched “dent in the universe” – and if you have an impact on enough people for enough time, all the riches you ever need will be yours!
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
I get to choose who I work with, from where, and exactly when. I also get to choose – largely – how much I earn in any particular month or year.
That freedom is lacking from nearly all conventional J.O.B.s.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
I guess, although it’s all based on being able to create an impact with my clients, which is the biggest daily motivator for me now. If you don’t get results from the people who are paying you, you have a scam, not a business.
What do you put your success down to?
No plan B
Need to create a legacy
Overwhelming desire to be useful
Naturally calm and calming demeanour (Thanks Dad!)
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
1: An ideal client suffering from a big expensive problem, or eyeing a massive transformation goal.
2: A solution, service, or product that will satisfy either or both of the above.
3: An ability to make them believe 2: is true by writing or speaking irresistibly.
These are the only elements of a great business. The rest is just fluff.
Accounts, legals, compliance, admin, bookkeeping, IT, logistics. That’s not business. It’s a mere backroom.
Of course, you don’t have to show up and DO any or all of that personally, any or all of the time. Automation, Delegation, and Abdication are the 3 stages of scaling.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
All business challenges can be categorised as a shortfall in one or more of the Three Ss of Success™:
I’ve lacked each of those at various times, and my ability to identify which was causing the current problem always put me halfway to solving them.
Does the loneliness of the entrepreneur really exist?
Hell yeah, it can be lonely, as most often the people closest to you emotionally (family, old friends) don’t “get” what you’re doing or why.
Therefore you’re reduced to only communicating with other people in your business, which can be like an echo chamber with little critical advice or even useful support.
I’ve been careful to involve my family in most of my businesses and have them buy-in, take part and enjoy the experience with me.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
1: Don’t ask anyone to do something you haven’t tried – or at least understood – first.
2: Try and automate first, before delegating. It’s cheaper and more reliable.
3: Work quickly to make yourself redundant – you’re not as indispensable as you think.
4: Don’t be too prescriptive. Smart employees often have better ideas than you.
5: Ask every day – am I making my team happy to be here, or are they just collecting salary?