Carole Aldred


“I launched my ‘My Mag’ magazine business, Red Rose Directories, many years ago. Initially, I intended to run just one magazine in my village, Bromley Cross in Bolton, as I already had an established retail business in the area. But, within the first couple of months, it was pretty evident that the model was working well so I sold the retail business and put all my efforts into expanding the magazine business.

Long story short, we launched a second magazine within the first two months, then another and another. Each time we said, ‘This is the last one’ but here we are today with 26 separate magazines working hard for local businesses across the North West.

It’s a much bigger business than I ever imagined in the beginning and I couldn’t be more delighted.

“I became a member of the EC as soon as it launched and it has definitely contributed in a big way to my success.

Botty Rule no. 14 is: ‘You’re either growing or shrinking, there’s no status quo’ I knew the best place to start was to spend time with the right people and immerse myself in the EC:

Botty Rule no. 2 – Who you hang around with matters. I took the EC’s ‘Million Pound Masterplan’ Course and thoroughly enjoyed it. It gave me the kickstart needed to get things moving. I picked up loads of good stuff and just implementing a fraction of it has made a big difference to my bottom line. Here are some things that especially helped:

Does it make the boat go faster?

“When Nigel enlightened us all with this one I loved it! I’m a real stickler for my business numbers (a bit obsessive if the truth be known) and this has really helped ensure that every idea I’ve implemented is well worth doing. If it doesn’t ‘Make the boat go faster’ I simply toss it aside and move on. I made myself a ‘DIMTBGF’ poster and positioned it so it’s the first thing I see when I look up from my screen. It keeps me in check.

Do more with less

“Over the years I’ve had to be really conscious of my time – to run 26 magazines takes organising and I’ve developed a software system to manage this. It’s been a never ending development process really, with new stuff being built into it every time I think of something that can help automate the process.

Nigel once gave me a book ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos, a billion pound online retail business. It’s one of the best business books I’ve read. One of the core values of the Zappos culture is ‘Do more with less’ and this is something I work on continually. How can I do this better, faster, more efficiently?

Educate, educate, educate…..

“I’ve seen for myself there’s a massive difference between the business owners who commit to learning and the ones that don’t. It’s essential to educate yourself to achieve any kind of success and I see the EC as one of the best ways to do this. I’ll be honest here, my biggest outgoing is my printing bill, as you can probably imagine. Second to that is the amount I spend with Nigel! I get a massive ROI on this – remember, I track everything so I know this for sure. The great thing is that, even though I’ve been a member since the EC began, I’m still learning and, in many cases, at a faster rate than previous years.

We’re all able to tap into the teams’ own commitment to learning…