Stuart Ross (BSc Business studies, 1987) is all about growth, whether that’s in business where High Growth offers entrepreneurs a unique approach to scale their businesses rapidly, or with Business Mindfulness where the focus is on meditation, discipline and ‘enjoying the journey’. We sat down for a chat:
Tell me about your time at Cass!
It was a long time ago! When I was at Cass it was the City University Business School and has just moved to Frobisher Crescent. We were the first cohort to do a BSc in Business Studies and I think that in some ways, because it was so new, we received extra focus. We had some great lecturers and small class sizes; there were 40 on the course and it was more like a family atmosphere, so the students felt like there was a unique bond which continues to this day when we meet annually.
What did you do next?
I was sponsored through University by Arcadia so when I graduated I went to work for them as a fashion buyer for a couple of years. From there I was headhunted to Boots the Chemist to head up some of their buying and marketing areas which included launching Boots’ website back in 1995. I also helped to launch their business internationally, becoming the Marketing Director. Then I subsequently joined British Land as a Managing Director of of a software joint venture which I scaled and successfully sold. After that I decided to follow my passion which is realising the potential of both businesses and individuals. That led to me launching High Growth.
What is High Growth?
At High Growth we have been training and coaching companies for the last 10 years in the UK and US. We help businesses scale up easily and efficiently once they reach a turnover of somewhere between 500K and £1M, up to £50M, giving them the skills and strategies which ensure success. We have had around two and a half thousand companies go through the programmes online and offline. But that’s not all I do, I’m also a non-executive director of a couple of companies and have also launched businessmindfulness.co.uk.
What is Business Mindfulness?
I’m fascinated with this area! Something important is happening in our society today: people are being mindful. In more ways and in more places. Being mindful is an idea, a way of being, whose time has come. It’s an approach that recognises and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings. Perhaps, not surprisingly, some of the most successful organisations in the world have embraced this concept.
Business Mindfulness shares the secrets of these ‘enlightened’ businesses recognising that alignment and synchronicity is required between an individual, team, organisation and environment. Once alignment is established between these areas a business can truly be in ‘flow’ and start to realise it’s potential.
It starts with the individual. Athletes train 90% of the time to perform 10% of the time, but most executives work 95% of the time and that other 5% is not spent on training. You need to get the balance right. We help people to balance themselves emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally by teaching them to develop the best habits and skills in each to allow personal success
We’ve heard you attend Awesomnessfest?
Yes, and there it’s part of the culture to raise your game. You mix with people at or higher than your level and it stretches and inspires you. I speak regularly at this event, which is host to around 250 people from around the world. The attendees are a curated invite list from all professions and walks of life who get together for four days twice a year to learn from each other in inspirational locations.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
I’d have to say it’s helping people to realise their potential and commit to a growth journey. Once they have committed to that journey it is then making sure they enjoy it, getting rid of habits that do not serve them as they develop new., moving them to a totally new level. This actually affects all areas of life not just business, it helps them also with friends, family, health, etc: the whole lot!
Do you have any advice to share?
I have three pieces of advice! 1) Work on yourself harder than you work on your business. If you don’t grow faster than your business it will ultimately die 2) Make sure you enjoy the journey and life around you – be present to it at all times 3) Ask more what could you stop doing than what could you start doing. For example, if you’re looking to take on more things you need to give something up to make time for it. For more on this visit my site Goalsetting.training.
Finally, it’s the quick-fire question round!
Favourite place in London: Camden Market
Favourite holiday destination: Japan
Must-check every day website: Stumble
Dream travel destination: Fiji
Cheese or chocolate: Chocolate