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Packed with practical ideas and some frank observations, Mindshop’s ‘The Authentic Advisor’ Podcast is a series of monthly interviews discussing what works (and what does not) when delivering high performance as a business advisor. Watch out for new episodes on the first of each month.

Subscribe to Mindshop’s ‘The Authentic Advisor’ Podcast series on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

EPISODE 30: Advising owners how to build a successful business and personal balance sheet.

While at face value, many business owners seems to have it all figured out, in reality many have relationship, health and personal issues with a layer of business worries on top. That’s why Mario Vicari’s mantra as a business advisor to privately-held companies is: ‘if I do my job well, I make your life better’. In this podcast, Mario, director at the largest independently owned Philadelphia-based accounting firm with 250+ staff, shares his approach to complex problem solving through facilitation and how he avoids competitive bidding situations by being ‘advisory led’. Mario looks to future consequences of managing remote workforces, talking about his adaptive approach and shares the importance of building a solid personal balance sheet so clients have options when it’s time to exit the business. There’s a wealth of fantastic, wide ranging insights in this episode for every business advisor.

Mario Vicari
Director, Kreischer Miller

EPISODE 29: Flip fulfilled to filled full. Ten keys to happier leaders.

What relevance does the Buddhist metaphor of the second arrow have for business advisors? Nick Mayhew has a profound, optimistic message for business advisors; that a client’s emotional wellbeing (and their own for that matter) can be continuously improved through the application of ten key principles. After a tidal wave of disruption and years of choppy seas, we are all overdue some calmer waters. Nick shares how improving leaders’ personal emotional regulation can have positive effects that ripple through teams, businesses and to a wider circle of relationships. In this thoughtful, timely podcast, Nick and James Mason contemplate vision, purpose, rugby and the pleasure of breaking rocks. A perfect opening podcast for a new start.

Nick Mayhew
Managing Director, Alembic Strategy

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EPISODE 28: From accountant to partner, independent business advisor & equity holder; a career delivering client value.

With over 35 years under his belt as a successful business advisor, Al Ramos has been there and done that. Sharing his insights and experiences in a candid conversation with James Mason, Al shares his top three tips for others on their journey to delivering business advice. Honouring your values, understanding that there is an opportunity cost to every decision you make and the importance of going to a ‘mental gym’ are just some of Al’s ‘must do’s’. Al shares his experience with cancer to highlight the importance of health and wellness to bring your best to all relationships both business and personal. After serving on a number of boards and taking equity shares in ‘businesses with potential’ Al shares how to balance directorship and being a paid for your advisory skill set fairly. Listen in to hear how Al’s passion for business advisory has developed throughout all phases of his career. Whether you’re just starting out in an accounting firm, moving from a corporate role to become an independent advisor or an established business advisor looking to take equity in their clients’ business, there is something for everyone in this episode.

Al Ramos
Director, Chess Strategy

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EPISODE 27: Personal brands & niches in niches. Marketing shifts for accounting & advisory firms.

When Jacqueline Watson’s not running the London marathon, she’s guiding Henderson Loggie’s marketing and business development activities. Learn how Henderson Loggie are dominating targeted markets with laser-focused communications, personal brand-building and storytelling built on community purpose and business vision. Hear about what’s working, what’s not, shifts in tone of voice, plus the social media platforms delivering cut through recruitment and go-to-market campaigns. If you want to know how your accounting or advisory firm can to tap into the ‘rise of the individual’ and stand out in saturated markets this is the podcast for you!

Jacqueline Watson
Director, Henderson Loggie

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EPISODE 26: Winning higher value advisory work. What does it take to step up?

George Virtue, former Managing Partner of Avail CPA, Southern Alberta’s largest independently owned business advisory and accounting firm has spent 40 years providing business advisory services to clients. In this power-packed podcast he shares his key strategies for success with James Mason, Mindshop’s Managing Director. George answers key questions: How did Avail add $40k of advisory work on top of $10k of compliance fees on some client engagements? How did Avail make the shift to advisory? How does Avail price their services? George suggests solutions to the perennial ‘capacity’ problem and reveals why he’s scared going into client meetings! Listen in to hear how this firm has succeeded by becoming advisory-led.

George Virtue
Former Managing Partner, Avail CPA

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EPISODE 25: How firms can capitalise on client data & insight opportunities

With the right systems and processes accounting firms have an opportunity to deliver rich, data-driven insights to clients, a foundation for other business advisory revenue opportunities such as problem-solving discussions, strategy & implementation. But firms face a myriad of disparate data sources combined with a lack of capacity and technical knowledge. Amanda Kenafake CEO of Power Tynan addressed these challenges in her own firm five years ago and is now helping other firms on the same journey. Listen in as Amanda shares her tips on how firms can harness data and analytics to go beyond the numbers with clients and drive greater advisory revenue.

Amanda Kenafake
CEO Power Tynan

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EPISODE 24: Hitting coaching heights, overcoming self sabotaging behavious & addressing hot client issues.

Dr Chris Mason coaches hundreds of senior people around the world. Listen in for his practical tips on addressing the hot issues he’s encountering at the moment from addressing client fragility and staff engagement issues to the perennial question of how to free up time. 

What’s the secret sauce to being an elite coach? Many look good on paper and have done all the courses but lack that certain something. Chris talks through the six traits he believes you need to lead from the front. How can you overcome self sabotaging behaviours in yourself and others? Chris talks about how he’s using New York Times bestselling book Positive Intelligence (PQ) by Stanford Lecturer Shirzad Chamine to change negative to positive responses to challenges in real life situations. A podcast jam-packed full of useful insights.

Dr Chris Mason
Mindshop Founder & Chairman

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EPISODE 23: Accidental energy vampire spotting, tips for advisor aspirants & musings on virtual v F2F delivery.

If I only knew then what I know now. Mulling over past business advisory experiences, Angela Grogan and James Mason discuss the challenges ahead for up-and-coming advisors, offering some top ‘pitfall-avoiding’ tips. What’s their consensus on virtual advisory, is it here to stay? And finally why do some seemingly successful advisors stagnate? Could it be they are ‘accidental’ energy vampires? Listen in to find out! 
Angela Grogan
Mindshop Regional Director &
Director, Best Business Results

EPISODE 22: LinkedIn, procrastination & is everything old new again?

Typically in this podcast series, we’ve taken a deep dive into one key area but this episode is a bit different. Instead James Mason and Russell Cummings wrangle with a number of topics. Starting with whether LinkedIn is becoming more like Facebook and if so, what impact does this have on businesses using the platform as a marketing tool? Moving on, they talk about whether newer, more complex tools are more effective when problem solving with clients than old favourites. Finally discussing if procrastination is more prevalent than ever before and if so, why? What can advisors do to help themselves and others make decisions and execute plans? Listen in as these two seasoned professionals chew the fat.

Russell Cummings
Business Coach
SHIFFT

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EPISODE 21: Top global accounting trends and future opportunities for firms

As President and CEO of the 2nd largest association of independent accounting firms across the globe, Mark Koziel is in a unique position to provide insights into future trends and opportunities for accounting firms.

In this wide-ranging discussion with James Mason, Mark shares his thoughts on how firms can address increasing client demands, strategies for growth in the face of capacity issues, and his thoughts on the ‘compliance is dead’ narrative. Touching on the keys to a successful merger, blockchain, and even the future of hybrid events, this is not to be missed podcast from someone with a worldwide view in touch with hundreds of industry leaders.

Mark Koziel CPA, CGMA
President & CEO
Allinial Global

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EPISODE 20: Driving performance, a Managng Partner’s perspective

Helen’s story is an unusual one and what sets her apart from other accountancy practice leaders is her background of more than 30 years in Human Resources. With a belief that culture is what sets apart great professional service firms she’s gone about guiding WR Partners through a time of intense change. Generously sharing her approach to driving strategy implementation across the business, Helen talks about how to tap into discretionary effort to boost business and personal performance and tips on how to tackle ‘cave dwellers’. A not to be missed episode for senior leaders looking for a playbook on how to drive firmwide performance.

Helen Spencer
Managing Partner
WR Partners, UK

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EPISODE 19: Systematising a high performing advisory business

What’s the secret to creating leverage in an advisory business?

Mindshop’s James Mason talks to Sean Martyn about the approach he’s taking with Business by Design, taking a ‘done for you’ approach based on great systems and processes, why systemisation ‘kills waste’ and the importance of not ‘winging it’ when selling. Listen in to hear a wealth of insights from somebody with 25 years’ experience.

Sean Martyn
Principal
Business by Design

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EPISODE 18: Advisor to entrepreneur – a story of rapid growth

As an established business owner and entrepreneur, Adrian Romero has been on a rapid growth trajectory, now employing over 500 employees across a range of businesses. In this episode of the Authentic Advisor, James Mason sits down with Adrian to discuss the secrets to his growth success and how a focus on return on time is crucial to allowing him to stay productive and juggle his many commitments. A must listen for advisors wanting to get an entrepreneur’s perspective on achieving business success and helping clients.

Adrian Romero
CEO
EFE Consulting Group

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EPISODE 17: Recruiting right – how to find the ideal candidate
for your business.

Attracting great staff is more challenging than ever and employers are finding they’re no longer in the box seat. With less people in the market expecting more money, plus work from home flexibility, wellbeing support, career progression and great social activities, how can employers hope to get it right? James Mason talks to Suzanne Whitmarsh, Managing Director at 1st Executive about the importance of ‘getting your house in order’ before starting the recruitment process and why just writing up a position description is no longer going to cut it. Listen in to learn about employee expectations in today’s market, workforce planning for a robust business and why people really leave a role.

Suzanne Whitmarsh
Managing Director
1st Executive

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EPISODE 16: Family business succession planning, an advisors’ guide to having challenging conversations.

Often for the head of a family business, work is intrinsic to their sense of self, the foundation of their relationships, status and position in the community and the question of succession planning is one that’s avoided until too late. Harry Kras has been facilitating in the challenging but rewarding family business niche for over 25 years and he shares his story, approach and insights with Mindshop’s James Mason in this fascinating podcast. Listen to Harry’s thoughts on what it takes to be a great family business facilitator, why trust and communication are key and what a great opportunity advisors have to make a difference in this space.

Harry Kras
Family Business Resource Centre
Australia

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EPISODE 15: Attraction and retention of the best talent
Duration: 24 minutes

Attraction and retention of good staff is already a challenge. Then add an alleged post-pandemic ‘great resignation’ and it’s looking insurmountable. One firm going against the tide is US firm Herbein + Co, Inc enjoying low turnover rates and high levels of unsolicited employment applications in contrast to many in the accounting world. In this podcast, Herbein’s Managing Partner David Stonesifer shares the strategies and culture making a difference in their firm with Mindshop Founder and Chairman Dr Chris Mason. Dave talks about the importance of mutual respect, having an understanding that sometimes life gets in the way and why being a ‘destination employer’ is about giving employees a voice, getting professional accountants to do the talking and handing out a swag or two.

David W. Stonesifer, CPA
Herbein + Company, Inc.
PA, USA

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EPISODE 14: Purpose beyod profit – connecting with your local community
Duration: 21 minutes

For Neil Sinclair and the team at WK Advisors and Accountants based in New Zealand’s South Island, the concept of community purpose is more than ‘ticking a box’ as part of their strategic plan, it’s part of who they are and is in the firm’s DNA. Talking to Mindshop’s Managing Director, James Mason, Neil shares how the ‘WK Effect’ evolved from a genuine desire to help the local community to becoming a lighthouse guiding everything they do, and every decision they make.
 
Neil talks about the unexpected (but not unwelcome) side benefits of this philosophy, from building awareness and attracting quality staff, to prospects announcing that they ‘want to be like the clients in the video’. WK has used advisory services as a vehicle for staff to help local sporting clubs and charities for which they have a passion. The result is not only rewarding careers through connection with the local community but a real chance to make the region a better place to live, work and play. 
 
Neil Sinclair
WK Advisors and Accountants
New Zealand

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EPISODE 13: Virtual productivity insights for independent advisors
Duration: 25 minutes

Paul Hopwood hasn’t had a face to face meeting in 18 months and that’s the way he (and his clients) like it. Mindshop Expert, chartered accountant, and independent advisor of over 20 years, Paul talks to Mindshop’s James Mason about the lack of downsides to working virtually, (apart from the toll on your eyesight). Working with over 60 retainer-based clients, Paul reveals how he has increased his productivity 400% and suggests virtual training and coaching are actually better than face to face. Learn what technology, tools and processes Paul uses and what he’s going to revert to (or not) when we get back to ‘normality’ in this thought-provoking podcast. 

Paul Hopwood
Paul Hopwood Consulting Ltd
United Kingdom

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EPISODE 12: Beyond the numbers, bringing your team on a business advisory journey
Duration: 24 minutes

Business advisory conversations come naturally to some. But bringing a wider accounting team with differing levels of interest and aptitude on an advisory journey requires structure, tenacity and planning to successfully turn informal chats into commercialised services. Wendy Davies, Director of Business Advisory at Nexia Perth, Australia talks to Mindshop’s Managing Director James Mason about busy accountants, why ‘taking your own medicine’ is key to confidence and how to enthuse and educate your team. Sharing tips on building problem solving skills, Wendy talks about blending advisory into compliance delivery at the individual level to accelerate referrals, ensure authenticity and client engagement on a deeper level. 

Wendy Davies
Director Business Advisory
Nexia Perth

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EPISODE 11: Overcoming mindset barriers
Duration: 21 minutes

This compelling episode charts Angela Grogan’s successful journey from taking shorthand as a receptionist to becoming partner of an  accounting firm and then making a leap of faith to go out on her own as an independent business advisor. Angela reveals how having a great mindset helped her overcome challenges of juggling family and the risks of setting up on her own to achieve her goal of becoming an integral part of her clients’ businesses.

Touching on practical ways advisors can overcome typical mindset barriers of being ‘too busy’ and ‘lacking capacity’ so they can break the habits holding them back, Angela talks about the importance of energy, overcoming the ‘imposter syndrome’ and how to surround yourself with the ‘right’ people for success. A great listen for anyone wanting to be inspired with some entrepreneurial spirit.

Angela Grogan
Director
Best Business Results

EPISODE 10: A master class in coaching leaders
Duration: 22 minutes

Over the past decades, Dr Chris Mason has guided the success of thousands of senior advisors and business leaders from major corporates to micro businesses. He shares his expertise on delivering significant value coaching over 140 senior leaders around the world. Chris tackles the current reoccurring challenges faced by leaders whilst ensuring he is fully leveraged and efficient. 
Full of insights, this podcast covers how to balance problem solving issues respectfully whilst challenging clients to think outside the box.
A must listen for any advisor coaching clients.

Dr Chris Mason
Chairman and Founder
Mindshop

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EPISODE 9: Packaging and pricing advisory services
Duration: 22 minutes

Pricing and packaging high value advisory services is challenging. Should you offer monthly retainers or hourly rates? What do you do when your prospect goes pale when you tell them the price? How do you avoid scope creep? Mindshop Expert Russell Cummings answers these questions and more drawing on his 35 years of experience as an independent business advisor talking to Mindshop’s Managing Director James Mason in the upcoming episode of ‘The Authentic Advisor’ podcast series.

Russell Cummings
Director
SHIFFT
www.shifft.com.au

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EPISODE 8: Scaling up advisory services in professional service firms
Duration: 25 minutes

In episode 8 of ‘The Authentic Advisor’ podcast, James Mason Managing Director of Mindshop is joined by David Smith, Managing Partner of MHA Henderson Loggie, Chartered Accountants, Tax and Business Advisors a 110 year old firm with four offices across Scotland. David shares his journey in growing MHA Henderson Loggie’s advisory businesses, exploring how the development of four Growth Hubs supported by one to one coaching became a conduit for further advisory work and firm-wide referrals.

If you or your firm are looking to create or scale up your business advisory offering then this is the podcast for you!

David Smith
MHA Henderson Loggie
hlca.co.uk

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EPISODE 7: Evolutions in delivering strategic planning services for advisors
Duration: 23 minutes

In a rapidly changing world, the need for a strategic plan to be a guide rather than set in concrete is imperative. As Dwight Eisenhower said, ‘planning is everything, the plan is nothing’. Michael Burke shares his key tips for helping clients implement plans successfully, looking at risk, using forward thinking tools like strategic SWOT and how to help clients prepare for ‘black swan’ events. He shares his ideas on how to get the best out of a client’s strategic planning session, setting pre-work, how to navigate planning session pitfalls and the importance of avoiding the ‘cookie cutter’ approach. A ‘must listen’ podcast for any advisor offering strategic planning services.

Michael Burke
Burke Corporate Advisory Group
www.bcag.net.au

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EPISODE 6: Shifts in selling advisory services
Duration: 20 minutes

Discussing what selling advisory actually means in the current environment and how the market has changed over recent years, Mike Boyle, Director, Sales Shift, touches on the critical shift advisors need to make from ‘being right’, with a focus on technical capabilities to being a facilitator with the attributes needed to problem solve for clients, all summed up in the mantra “fall in love with customers’ problems not your solutions”. Mike talks about the power of asking questions to connect the dots based on data and insights and the continuing importance of building the fundamentals – sales processes, strong referrals and demonstrating proof of capability whilst being authentic to yourself.

Mike Boyle
Sales Shift
www.sales-shift.com

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EPISODE 5: Profiling tools for advisors
Duration: 20 minutes

Profiling is a key tool for gathering data and starting meaningful client conversations for an advisor. Susannah Brade-Waring shares her insights into the different types and uses of profiling tools and how they can be integrated into their wider business model to deliver the most value for the client and advisor alike.

Susannah Brade-Waring
Aspirin Business Solutions
www.aspirinbusiness.com

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EPISODE 4: Building resilience
Duration: 17 minutes

How can advisors and their clients adapt well in the face of adversity? Dr Darryl Cross, psychologist, coach, author and speaker discusses how advisors and leaders can gain the mental toughness, energy and attributes to build the resilience needed to support their teams, clients and themselves.

Dr Darryl Cross
Institute for Leadership Coaching, SA, Australia
www.leadershipcoaching.com.au

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EPISODE 3: Advisory technology for professional service firms
Duration: 17 minutes

In this ‘must listen’ podcast for those in accounting firms who want to provide exceptional advisory services through the effective use of technology, James Mason is joined by Dixie McCurley, Co-Founder and President of Trusted CFO Solutions, based in Atlanta, GA, United States.

Dixie McCurley
Co-Founder and President
Trusted CFO Solutions, GA, United States
www.trustedcfosolutions.com

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EPISODE 2: Leverage in Advisory Firms
Duration: 16 minutes

In this episode, James Mason is joined by Craig Stanmore, CEO of Enspira Financial an advisory and accounting firm in Sydney, Australia. Discussion focuses on the different ways business advisors can improve efficiency and capacity, and how various technologies can assist in ‘unlocking the numbers’ to problem solve for clients.

Craig Stanmore, CEO
Enspira Financial, Sydney, Australia
www.enspira.com.au

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EPISODE 1: Marketing for Business Advisors
Duration: 16 minutes

In this inaugural episode of ‘The Authentic Advisor’ podcast series, Mindshop Managing Director James Mason interviews James Atkins who shares his experience and ideas on how to create cut through in a cluttered business advisory market. 

James Atkins, Director
Vantage Strategy, Melbourne, Australia
www.vantagestrategy.com.au

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