My Week: Nigel Botterill of thebestof

The serial entrepreneur on loud shirts, his first TV appearance and incentivising staff with Take That.

Last Updated: 19 Nov 2010
It’s been quite an interesting week for me. On Monday I hosted an event held by my members club The Entrepreneurs’ Circle where about 150 people came to a hotel in Leicestershire. We hold monthly events where we teach, coach and mentor UK business owners who want to be super successful. And I just love it. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. Luckily my team takes care of all the logistics and I just turn up and do the show. I always make sure I’m wearing a suitably loud shirt on the day of an event. I’m known for my wardrobe of quite bright shirts. I wore my nice turquoise one on Monday.

So the event went on until late afternoon after which I had to hot-foot it to London as I was interviewed on Jeff Randall live on Sky News on Monday evening. It was to discuss the fact that there is still a very high percentage of graduates that are unemployed. They were looking for someone who hadn’t gone to uni (I didn’t) but had had success. So that was my role in the debate. And it really was quite fun. Sadly, they didn’t put make-up on me. In that respect it was quite an underwhelming experience. Also, I was in the Westminster studios at Millbank and Jeff Randal was in the Gherkin, so it was a bit like being sat in a passport photo booth doing the interview. Nonetheless, it was an interesting way to end Monday.

I went back home to Solihull on Monday night so I could get into the office early the next morning. Tuesday started as most of my days in the office do. I get in at about 7.30 and I always spend the first 90 minutes of my day with the door shut. I have no email on, no phone on and there’s a sign on my door that says: ‘Do not disturb unless building is on fire’. That’s because this is my special time to work on my business. So I’m usually in there planning projects and things like that.

After that I had a couple of important meetings on Tuesday morning. One was with a couple of members of my Entrepreneurs’ Circle team. We’ve just announced a new group called our Mastermind Group where we’re going to work with eight business owners to grow their business in the next 12 months. We’d had 22 people apply to be part of that group and on Tuesday morning we had to decide which eight we were going to take. My other meeting was with my managing director of my biggest business thebestof. I appointed him MD three years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did for the business, because he handles all the day to day running of the whole thing - and does it very well. We’re like chalk and cheese – the only thing we have in common is that we’re both 6ft 3.

I’ve also been keeping a close eye on my emails this week. Tickets for Take That went on sale last Friday and a number of my staff (I’ve got 37 in total) were struggling their hands on any. So I made a couple of calls on Friday afternoon and I managed to get a box for ten people at the Villa Park gig. So after my wife and I take two spaces, we’ll have eight left. As a result, I have invited all my staff to email me by tomorrow with resolutions of what they were going to do for the business over and above their day jobs between now and March next year. I’ll file it all away and then come March next year I’ll get it out, have a look at what they’ve done and the top eight people will come into the box at Villa Park.

I’ve got a feeling I won’t get everything done that I need to in this working week which means I’ll probably work a couple of hours on Saturday morning. I’ll get to the office at 6.30 so I can be home for a family breakfast at 9.30. Weekends are generally pretty sacrosanct. It’s always a challenge to find the right balance between work and home, but I think I do just about ok. And I think my wife would agree with that too. But equally, if you asked: ‘would you like him to be home more’, she’d say yes to that.

Nigel Botterill is the founder and owner of many companies including thebestof a local business and directory guide


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