Nigel Botterill: “Nothing happens in business until somebody buys something”

The Big Interview with Nigel Botterill

By Fatih Oncu

Amidst the dynamic tapestry of entrepreneurship, Nigel Botterill emerges as a towering figure, casting a profound influence on the entrepreneurial realm. Founder and CEO of the Entrepreneur Circle, Nigel embodies the spirit of innovation and growth that defines modern entrepreneurship. With a personal narrative intertwined with nine million-pound businesses birthed from scratch and a relentless pursuit of excellence, Nigel Botterill epitomizes the entrepreneurial journey.

As a family man with a deep commitment to his four children and supportive wife, Nigel’s story is not just one of professional success but also of personal fulfillment. His journey is a testament to the notion that entrepreneurial pursuits need not be at the expense of a harmonious work-life balance.

Driven by a passion for business growth and armed with invaluable experiences gleaned from encounters with luminaries such as Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Donald Trump, Nigel is on a mission to empower fellow entrepreneurs and business owners. His magnum opus, Botty’s Rules, a Sunday Times bestseller, remains a beacon of inspiration for those navigating the intricate pathways of business strategy and growth.

In our exclusive interview with Nigel Botterill for Entrepreneur Prime magazine, we delve into the ethos that propels his endeavors and unlocks the secrets to his remarkable success. From the serendipitous genesis of the Entrepreneur Circle to the nuances of managing fast-paced growth, Nigel shares insights garnered from years of hands-on experience and tireless dedication to his craft.

Peering into his daily routine, we uncover the disciplined approach that underpins his achievements, including the adoption of a four-day workweek—a testament to the belief that efficiency and effectiveness need not be sacrificed at the altar of incessant toil.

Yet, for Nigel, entrepreneurship is not merely a profession; it is a calling suffused with freedom and responsibility. With characteristic candor, he reflects on the challenges inherent in the entrepreneurial journey, emphasizing the need to navigate the relentless pursuit of innovation while balancing the demands of day-to-day operations.

Moreover, through the Entrepreneur Circle, Nigel extends a guiding hand to aspiring entrepreneurs, illuminating the path to sustainable growth and success. His commitment to mentoring and nurturing talent underscores a profound belief in paying forward the wisdom acquired through years of traversing the tumultuous terrain of business ownership.

As Nigel Botterill continues to chart new horizons and expand the footprint of the Entrepreneur Circle, his vision transcends borders, resonating with entrepreneurs worldwide. With an unwavering focus on legacy and a fervent desire to catalyze transformation in the lives of countless businesses, Nigel’s journey embodies the essence of entrepreneurial excellence.

Join us as we embark on an enlightening journey with Nigel Botterill, unraveling the intricacies of entrepreneurship and uncovering the blueprint for enduring success in an ever-evolving business landscape.

How did you decide to start Entrepreneurs Circle?

Believe it or not, Entrepreneurs Circle came about by accident! We were running some training for the franchisees of one of my other businesses, thebestof, and instead of sending a video out to all our franchisees, one of my team made a mistake and sent it out to all our franchisees’ customers! Over 10,000 of them!

This was back in 2008, but the response we got was hugely positive, with lots of people asking how we could help them with their marketing. As a result, we ran three events across the country and were blown away by the response. Entrepreneurs Circle was created as a direct result of those events…

What does your typical workday look like? 

I’m normally in the office by 7:15am and stay “on it” until just after 6:00pm in the evening.

Three years ago, I moved the entire business to only working a four-day week, so Fridays are now spent playing golf, and I have the whole weekend with the family. Three-day weekends are lovely. They make a real difference to your life, and it’s one of the main reasons why my team enjoy working here so much.

What do you enjoy most about entrepreneurship? 

The freedom – and responsibility. 

If it’s to be, it’s up to me. 

Whatever happens to my business, my earnings, the lifestyle for me and my family, well, it’s all my fault. 

What do you find the hardest about it? 

Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although, I think the entrepreneur’s curse is twofold: firstly, we never stop thinking about our business, so switching off can be a bit tricky, and, secondly, true entrepreneurs are never satisfied or content. We’re always thinking, “What should we do next…” which is a bit of a burden(!). 

What’s the biggest challenge to being an entrepreneur?

Spending your time on the right things. So many business owners get sucked into the day-to-day and, as a result, they end up compromising on their goals and ambition. Spending your time on the right things – the £10,000 an hour work, as opposed to the £10 an hour work is by far the biggest challenge for all business owners.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

I genuinely love what I do. It’s a long time since I did anything that I don’t enjoy, and, therefore, work-life balance doesn’t really apply to me. And that’s how it should be for every other business owner as well. After all, there’s no boss telling us what to do, no one dictating our hours. We get to choose. I take lots of holidays. I have a three-day weekend every week, so life is definitely not too bad!

What advice would you give to starting entrepreneurs?

Spend 90 minutes every day working ON your business, not in your business. 

Nothing happens in business until somebody buys something, so your ability to market and sell what you do will be the critical driver of your success. I recognize that marketing and selling is typically not most people’s natural space, but it tends to get neglected, and, as a result, their ambitions remain unfulfilled. Focusing for 90 minutes every day on the marketing and selling of your product/services can transform your life, and it’s by far the most important thing you should do when you’re starting out.

What are the biggest benefits of being in Entrepreneurs Circle? 

Most business owners know about their particular trade or profession or what they do. But they don’t know about marketing. In part particular, they don’t understand how relatively easy it is to crack the ‘rhythmic acquisition of customers’. This is the main area that EC helps people with.

When you have a regular consistent flow of the right number of customers coming into your business each day or week, everything is better. Goals are achieved, payroll met, VAT bills are paid. Honestly, it transforms people’s lives, but without the knowledge, insights, training and techniques of how to make that happen, so many businesses get stuck…

How did you handle fast growth and scale Entrepreneurs Circle?

 Some would say not very well!

EC is 12 years old now, and it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The key, though, is all about the quality of the team that you have alongside you. There are 30 of us now at ECHQ, and every single one of us is as passionate about EC as I am. When you’ve got the right team, you can do anything. But when you’ve got the wrong team, you screwed…

What are your plans for the future of EC? 

It’s all about legacy for me now, in other words, making an even bigger difference to even more businesses. 

I do find it frustrating that so many business owners’ minds are closed to discovering new ways to get customers, for instance. And we’re beginning to have quite a lot of success now expanding overseas into other markets, some of which have a culture more conducive to what we do.