Ep 026: James Sinclair

What business owners get wrong and how to scale, with James Sinclair

Founder and CEO of The Partyman Group of Companies, James Sinclair, joins us as we discuss his entrepreneurial journey, what business owners get wrong when employing people, and his formula for success.

In this episode we discuss:

00:54                   About James Sinclair

02:43                  When James realized he had a profitable job but not a profitable business

04:05                   How James converted his profitable job as a magician into a profitable business (children’s entertainment agency)           

06:22                   James’ mindset when he borrowed £700k for his business at the age of 21

08:38                   Why James thinks you should skip the VA and get a PA

10:31                   “But, James, I can’t afford a PA” – James talks about the benefits of pressure

12:57                   James talks what business owners get wrong when employing people

14:09                   Become the owner of your business, not the employee of your business | Don’t get bogged down doing the mundane stuff

16:04                  What’s one big failure that you’ve made and what did you take from it?

“Doing low-barrier-to-entry businesses. The lower barrier to entry, the more competition there is.” – James Sinclair

18:47                   James’ bad habits

20:36                   James’ positive attributes

21:16                   James on his formula for success – E (entrepreneurship) + M (management) = S (success)

Quick Juice Questions

24:03    Do you currently invest? And if so, what do you invest in?

“Only in our businesses and in (high-yielding commercial) property.”

24:13    What do you look for in investment and why?

“Your business has to fold into our existing empire.”

25:04    When you look at your first review of what you’re going to invest in, are you looking at gross yield as a first metric?

“I look at the highest possible yield. I try and get a minimum 20% Return on Investment based on a 25% deposit in. And then, I’m also looking for 10% rent ROI on total capital deployed.”

26:09    How did you find the industrial estate?

I found this in the Times. They have a section for Commercial property for sale. It’s half a page on the back of the Sunday Times.

 26:54    What most inspires you? And when and where are you most inspired?

“Entrepreneurial people that move mountains and make stuff happen. I get inspired by great management as well.”

27:39    Which book has inspired you and changed your thinking the most?

“Number one, Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity.

28:48    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and/or given?

“When it comes to employing people, if you can’t change the people, change the people. There’s no point in keeping toxic people within your organization.”

29:52    If there’s one last bit of Executive Juice you can share for people who want to get to the top of their game, what would it be?

“Go to my YouTube channel and watch my 368 videos on business and entrepreneurship. I’ll poured all of my brain into them

Links Mentioned:

Books Mentioned:


  • With my entertainment business, I realised that I had a profitable job but not a profitable business. Basically, I was making all of my money using my body. Legally, might I add.
  • I was doing magic shows. My hands made all my money. I realised that I needed to get this into a business.
  • It’s such a shame when people go into self-employment and they build a profitable job, but then they get to retirement and they’re like, “I’ve got nothing to sell. No one wants to buy me.” They haven’t built a business that someone wants to buy.
  • I still speak to young people that just will not employ people. I’m like, “Why? You can’t do it all on your own!”
  • As soon as you employ people, you put pressure on yourself to grow your business because you’ve got to make sure you can pay people.
  • We’ve always had regular cash coming. Sometimes not enough cash. That’s always the curse of the entrepreneur. But as long as you know how to market and get customers, you should be able to navigate those storms.
  • As soon as you get stuff on the way and you start doing stuff, you feel more confident because you’ve got experience.
  • People will find the money if they are good enough.
  • You need to have some pressure on you. You’ve got to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • The last job you give away as an entrepreneur is getting customers, getting revenue into the business. The first job you give away (as an entrepreneur) is all the mundane jobs – customer service, book keeping etc.
  • The manager does not like risk. The entrepreneur likes risk.
  • Everything we do, we make sure it folds into existing empire. And this is what smart entrepreneurs do. You look at Disney. They’ve started cruise ships and they sell toys and they’ve bought Star Wars and they’ve bought Marvel, but, actually, it all folds into this ecosystem I like to call existing empire.
  • It’s ingrained into your brain from your parents, your peers, your teachers that, ‘if you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ Well, why? You go through education in this country, and we’re forced to do stuff we’re not good at. If you’re not good at Maths, you have to carry on going to the math lessons. In my view, if you’re really good at English, do double the amount of English lessons.
  • The fastest way to motivate good employees is get rid of bad people around you.
  • Remove the mood hoovers in every part of your life. Get rid of them. Fast.
  • If you really want to be successful, you have to be around the right set of people that are going to get you to where you want to be.