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Hello I’m Simon

Simon Chaplin of Socks Up Simon

Hello, I’m Simon

Congratulations on deciding to join my Darner mentoring group.

To start with the group is only open to the following people…

  • Accountants in practice who have more than 3 team members
  • Sales over £100,000 in the last or current financial year
  • Have been trading more than 3 years (or had a previous practice that has traded for more than 3 years)
  • Be open minded….
  • And, most importantly, be ready to take your practice forward.

If you don’t meet this criteria then email me before you apply and we’ll arrange a conversation to see if there is a fit.

So what will you achieve if you join the group….

You’ll learn all the tricks, tips and techniques I have used in my award winning accountancy practice called GreenStones over the last 12 years.  You’ll also get to share your experiences in practice and learn from the experiences of everyone else in the group.

More specifically…

I promise…

  • You will take more action than you have ever taken before in your practice
  • You will be inspired to improve your practice beyond where it currently is
  • You will be challenged on a regular basis to achieve more than you are now, and
  • You will continually be supported by the group.

Don’t just take my word for it.  Listen to what Tony Kensington says…

tony-kensington

So how does the group work…

We meet up at a local hotel the night before the meeting and have dinner together. Over dinner we’ll talk on an informal basis about what’s been working and not working in our practices over the last couple of months.

As with many events that you’ve been to before, you’ll understand that there’s lots of information exchanged between the participants over dinner, and also afterwards in the bar, before they go to bed. Many people say this is the best bit!

The following morning, we start the meeting by going through the actions that the Darners have undertaken since we were last together.

This bit is vital to me; I monitor things to make sure that people are actually taking action because I know, ultimately, that the value that Darners get depends on this.

In fact, I take it so seriously that I keep records of each individual’s results and people have been asked to leave the group if they are not taking enough action. If you want to see the numbers just drop me an email and I will gladly share them.

Next comes Best Practice. On a more formal basis than the evening before, we share things that we have discovered over the last few months that we think the group will also benefit from. There’ll often be book and software recommendations, people to look out for, and life hacks to make life and business easier.

I’ll then introduce the speaker. All of the speakers that come along and present at Darners are professional speakers. They all speak for a living and have either had a direct impact on my life through GreenStones (my accountancy practice), are known to me through the Professional Speaking Association, or come very highly recommended by someone I respect in my network.

Once the speaker has finished we have a hot two-course lunch and then move on to debrief on the speaker’s material. We work out how we will implement what the speaker has shared.

Hot seats come next…

Each member gets the opportunity to pitch their biggest current frustration to the group to see if they can help them work it out. The most “popular” frustrations get picked and then we work through a structured process to help them find answers. I’ll be clear here: this is not a brainstorm, answer-throwing exercise where everyone tries to be the clever clogs. It is always far, far more valuable than that.

We end the meeting with the most important bit of the day!

Setting actions.

All of the actions are recorded into a piece of software called SockABility so the next time we come together I can hold everyone accountable for what they said they were going to do. Controlled, thought out and accountable action planning.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Darners is just about the day itself. It is much, much more than that. It is a community. Members speak to each other and help each other on a regular basis outside of the group. They become confidants, even friends.

It is hard to explain unless you have experienced it.

Over the years I have been running this group we have found this format to be the best for helping you become more…

  • More focused on what you want to achieve in your practice. How are you going to get there if you don’t know where you are going?
  • Start measuring the numbers that really matter to you and your practice so you can regain control of your practice and start making quicker and better decisions.
  • Get free of the things that tie you to your practice on an everyday basis
  • Set some boundaries so your team can make the right decisions when you are not there.
  • Become aware of your emotional state so you can start making decisions for a better, more confident place and know they are the right ones for you
  • Set up systems so the practice runs to perfection even when you are not there and
  • Help you delegate all those task you no longer want to do so they get done event better than you do them yourself!

In between the meetings you’ll get a catch up call to make sure you are on course to hit your objectives.

These calls often hit on other actions you should be taking and ideas that you should be bringing to the group at the next event.  They help you think in a different environment.

You’ll also be allocated a buddy.  You and your buddy are responsible for making sure each of you hit your goals for the month. This peer to peer mentoring has a profound impact on your ability to achieve what you want to achieve.  Many people have become close friends outside the group through these calls.

They also act as a sounding board so if you ever need a quick word with someone to keep you sane this is your chance!

You see…

We take your progress seriously!

As we know it affects the value you get from the group and this reflects on my reputation.

We take it so seriously in fact that we are prepared to share the results the group gets.

For the last month, 26 of the 30 actions set were achieved.  In the last year the monthly average was 32 actions attained of 36 set.

The mentoring control sheet we use to measure Darner's progress

Here’s the control sheet we use to measure Darner’s progress

Mentoring Success Stories

Here’s two Darners getting a reward for completing the best actions in a month.

This means that when you join the group and start to achieve this kind of action your practice will start turning in to the practice you have always dreamed of.

And we protect the reputation by removing people from the group if they don’t take action.  That’s nothing to be scared of as we have a safety net in place.  Of course we want you to take action (that’s the whole purpose of the group) but we will also SUPPORT you through the changes you need to make.

“Simon, that’s all well and good but why do I need a mastermind group?”

You’ll have heard of the phrase two heads are better than one – so how much better are 10 heads!  You’ll get to work with and be supported by up to 20 practice owners who appreciate what you are trying to achieve and want to help.

Sometimes it is a lonely job being an Accountant in practice…

Ever wondered if you are doing the right thing?  Need a sounding board before you make the big decision?  The group can help you with these challenges.

You’ll get amazing ideas – very often someone from outside your practice or industry can see things you can’t.  Their idea may not work for you but that “freshness” of thinking can very often spark an idea in you.

It’s fun!  I was once told “Just because you are serious about your work you don’t have to be serious at work!”.  Every member of the group has a strong and caring relationship with each other which enables the humour and experimentation to happen!

And, finally, but most importantly….

You’ll get massive accountability to make sure you and your practice is improving in the way you want it too.

“Darners” is a strange name for a member – Where did that come from?

Yep you have guessed it…

It is an analogy based around socks.

After you have had a pair of socks for a while a hole may well appear.  By darning the hole you repair the sock and make it better than it was. Often stronger than before the hole appeared!

The same goes for your practice.  After you have owned it for a while holes start to appear in the marketing, team and finances.  That hole allows customers, profits and time to drain away which means you do not get adequately rewarded for the effort you put in.

Darners Mastermind group helps you darn that hole in your practice so you get everything you deserve and, by default, makes your practice stronger.

I know you are thinking this sounds too good to be true so I (and the group) want to prove it to you.

Julie-Angell

That all sounds great….How do I join the group?

Well, you don’t go out and buy a new car after reading all about it in the press – Even if you KNOW it is the perfect car for you..

You take a test drive..

And here is my offer to you…

First, you come along for a session as my guest to test drive the group. Your only investment is your time and the cost of the hotel accommodation. To see if there is room at the next meeting, just drop me an email to simon@socksupsimoncom and say, “Yes, Simon, I’m interested in coming along to Darners.”

We can then set up a chat about how it all works, after which, if I think that there’s a mutually beneficial way that we can work together, we’ll arrange for you to come along to the next session for your test drive. To get the ball rolling, just pick up the phone and give us a ring or drop an email to simon@socksupsimon.com

Simple as that.

No commitment, no overhyped sale and excellent value for money.

Just come along to the group and see if you like it….

Here’s what one of the current members think about the group and the way we work together….

mark-swindale

 

I can’t wait to speak to you and welcome you on one of the days.

Let’s Get Started….

Pull Your Socks Up…

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