Six Minute Interview – John Colley

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John Colley started his career as an officer in the British Army, having graduated from Cambridge University.  He subsequently has spent over 25 years working in Corporate Finance, specialising in the Technology Sector since 1988.  John advises companies on strategy, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions and company sales.  He is currently a partner in boutique firm IAF Capital based in Mayfair in London.

Since 2010 John has been very active in social media, establishing The Six Minute Strategist Blog, Podcast and Video channel.  In 2013 he created his first online course and now has over 2,000 students taking his courses.  He has reinforced his belief in lifelong online learning by creating the Online Learning Podcast.

John lives in Wiltshire in the UK and is married with a son, two step daughters and a border collie dog called Henry.

Role: Partner, IAF Capital Limited and Author of the Six Minute Strategist Blog, Host of two Podcasts: A Conversation with the Six Minute Strategist and the Online Learning Podcast

Business Sector: Finance

Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Interview Questions

What is the best business advice you have ever received?

Take action.  Don’t wait to make it perfect, just get on with it.  Only God makes perfect things.

What is the greatest challenge facing your business today?

Getting the attention and engagement of potential customers.  We are all so short of time and have so much to distract us that our time is our most critical asset.  Equally, not wasting time on unproductive activities or people (without causing offence) is vital.

What is the worst business decision you have made and what did you learn from it?

Accepting a client because the deal came with a good fee.  Never do it for the money.  If the client or the deal is not right for you, don’t take it on but do, when appropriate, suggest an alternative to the prospective client.

What is the best business decision you have made and why?

Setting up my own business and working in a small partnership rather than a large firm.  Far more excitement and interest, less mindless pressure from senior managers who want you to earn their bonus for them.

Who is the Business Person you most respect and why?

Steve Jobs – for going back and rescuing Apple, making amazing products and turning an industry on its head.  The same could be said of Bill Gates in the 1980s and Jeff Bezos at Amazon today.

Recommend your favourite business book.

The Secrets of Power Negotiation by Roger Dawson – the absolute best book on the subject I have ever read.  Should be mandatory for anyone in business or attending Business School.


Recommend one online productivity tool/web service you would never be without and why.

My iphone – simply the most flexible and brilliant business tool I have ever had.  Its capacity and the power of Apps give me more resources in my pocket than I could ever have dreamed of 10 years ago.

What future trend do you think is going to change the world?

Online Education.  The ability for people anywhere in the world to learn from experts at very affordable cost or for free will revolutionise our access to learning and information.  Khan Academy is already doing this.  This is why I launched my own courses and The Online Learning Podcast.  In six months I am teaching over 2,000 students!

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