30 Ian Aubrey BODY 1Today I am joined by a man who has one hell of a story – Ian Aubrey. Ian went from being a high flying millionaire banker, to bankrupt and homeless in the credit crunch. He was forced to be a cleaner to get himself back on his feet, and has now risen triumphant in the face of adversity to become a HIGHLY successful entrepreneur running a seriously profitable business. Very inspirational. A true sign of how failure is often a necessary part of any journey worth taking, and it’s ALL about how you deal with and learn from failure, instead of giving up.

This episode reminds me of a wonderful quote: “The tallest trees are the ones who survive the strongest winds, not the ones who grow in the most perfect soil”

Ian is now founder and Managing Director of MAC Professional Solutions, a business expert and renowned advisor.

Throughout this episode we discuss:  

– Ian’s inspiring story of failure and success

– The importance of specialising

– How to write a robust business plan

– And how to get a almost guaranteed competitive advantage over your competition using one very simple tip shared by Ian.

Thank you for listening in my friends; be inspired and enjoy.

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  • I realise early on that the way to make money is to work hard – and to work harder than anybody else
  • I wanted to be a specialist. Because that’s how you make a lot of money you specialise in a very narrow field. It’s higher risk, but if you can do it and exes in that field, that’s how you make money
  • Work has to be at the forefront of everything you do
  • I’ve always been slightly rebellious and I’ve never respected authority that well
  • Going through the traditional career path, working through the ranks of a company was not the only way to be successful
  • Where money is, is where you’re gonna make some
  • I never accept figures on face value, I want to know how they’re arrived at
  • It was the head for figures, coupled with the ability to get business from clients – persuasion, charm, whatever you want to call it!
  • Showing a little vulnerability every now and then doesn’t go a miss
  • It’s all consuming, it has to be
  • In my younger days alcohol played a large part I’m ashamed to say
  • I pretty much lost everything in two days
  • When I was cleaning houses I decided the only way was up
  • Once your confidence has taken a knock and you build yourself up again, you rely on that as a reservoir
  • All entrepreneurs who have done   OK have fallen down at least once, if not twice. And if they haven’t then they should do!
  • A lot of people put business plans together but they don’t think them through
  • Any sensible investor will lot at a business plan and divide the projected sales by two, and double the cost
  • Be conservatively optimistic
  • It’s all about the numbers
  • You can’t just start a business and hope it works, I don’t think it ever works that way
  • If you’re going to run a business successfully you need to know the numbers at the back of your head all the time
  • You’ve got to be obsessive and compulsive about the numbers
  • You can’t just accept the figures people give you, it’s your job if you run a business to question everything
  • Your top priority has always got to be your clients
  • I genuinely think, in the modern world some people have a phobia of picking the phone up
  • I am obsessive about detail to the Nth degree
  • Uncertainty is by no means a bad thing, it keeps people on their toes
  • Business and money is like blood, if it’s static it congeals
  • I do not want to be surrounded by yes men and yes women
  • Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men
  • There are people who follow rules to the letter all the time, I doubt any of them will ever run businesses
  • It gives me great pleasure to pay commission to people, the more the better
  • Plagiarism is the best way of learning
Links & People

30 Ian Aubrey BODY 2

Time Stamped Notes
  • 00:05:35 – The importance of finding a specialism and a niche
  • 00:07:05 – Graft and hard work
  • 00:15:14 – Ian’s time at the bank’s earning  350k (funds sterling a year)
  • 00:18:56 – The three types of courage
  • 00:22:28 – Stock market crash, and Ian losing it all
  • 00:33:27 – Rising from the ashes and starting his own business – MAC Solutions
  • 00:38:31 – How Ian’s loss has made him a better entrepreneur
  • 00:40:30 – The most controversial decision Ian ever made
  • 00:41:17 – The single most important decision Ian made that has contributed to his success (putting a sophisticated business plan together)
  • 00:42:20 – On business plans
  • 00:51:32 – on building relationships and friendships in business
  • 00:58:53 – The biggest mistakes Ian has ever made (aside from going bankrupt)
  • 00:59:57 – Ian biggest personality flaw (Obsession)
  • 01:01:42 – How Ian builds a company culture
  • 01:03:04 – The mantra Ian lives by
  • 01:12:40 – Importance of creativity in a leader
  • 01:13:32 – Ian’s morning routine
The Rebel Wrap Up Round

f you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?

01:17:13 When I’d made the huge financial losses that I did, I would have put an arm round myself and said ‘Ian it’s going to be OK’


What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?

01:17:36 My father gave it to me, and he said – “You can’t please all people all of the time. You can please some people all of the time, or all people some of the time – but you can’t please all people all of the time and don’t try too”


Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur of the last 2 years?

01:18:04 Nick D’Aloisio (founder of Summly)


What is the one generally agreed upon rule, or conventional piece of wisdom that you disagree with?  

01:20:05 Your Grandmother would say to you, ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’ – well you know what, 99% of the time you can. Generally the way people present themselves to the world is the image they want to be seen.


If you could change one law what would it be?

01:20:44 The rules in this country regarding malicious prosecution. If you falsely accuse someone of something, a heinous crime which they haven’t done, and it turns out it was maliciously false – you should face the same prosecution and sentence as the person who was falsely accused.


What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?

01:21:39 An entrepreneur is someone who ultimately has very strong belief in themselves. Most entrepreneurs have failed at least once or twice. The main trait of an entrepreneur is that they keep going, and the keep going, and they keep going – and they’re open to ideas all the time. They want to be creating business, or assisting people to create business.  


What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become a creator entrepreneur?

01:22:27 Decide what field you want to specialise in. Decide what’s going to differentiate you from the competition. Spend a lot of time putting together a very accurate business plan, and dos it honestly with percentage variations. Think of the way that someone is going to look at that business plan toggle you backing. And, if all that is in line – just get up and do it, go for it.



Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast?

01:23:07 Richard Branson.

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About The Author

Matt Cheney
Executive Producer

Matt has been in the media industry for 11 years, specialising in audio post production. Matt has created Emmy award-winning music features, BAFTA nominated animations and acclaimed festival documentaries. Max & Matts’ paths merged in 2015 to produce the REBELHEAD podcast; publishing the successful series, telling stories of today’s most disruptive and rebellious entrepreneurs. Matt is currently Head of Audio at Vice Media UK and currently partner in two growing audio production companies. As part of the REBELHEAD Production team; he is ambitiously road-mapping the rise of REBELHEAD via new media and emerging technologies.

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