Name: Moe Choice
Title: 6-Figure Solopreneur | Certified Coach (PCC) | Trusted House Sitter
Organisation: Moe Choice
Hey, I’m Moe Choice. I’m a 6 figure solopreneur, master coach and world traveller. I can show you what it really means to live life on your own terms - a life of independence and freedom. One where you are truly thriving by doing what you love each and every day.
12x Cofounder & 6x C.E.O.
2x scale & exit
$ Millions in revenue & investment
1000+ hires from 50+ nationalities
1000+ businesses supported globally
7500+ hours of leadership & team development
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Moe's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging thing for any leader is to focus on the vision and to not be distracted by anything else to be committed to their chosen path, focused on the vision and are open and present to all possibilities on their quest to to create that vision. That's the hardest thing and the second hardest thing. And actually, I don't know in which order they are, is to let go of control, to listen to others to accept faults to delegate effectively to put to remove any yes people from around them, and to put people that are going to challenge their way of thinking and stand up to them when they're doing things that are potentially going to jeopardise the ability to create that vision.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Well, my parents said the first sentence I'd ever formulated was ‘says who?’
And so I think I'm just very disagreeable by nature. I don't trust anyone I never did. I never trusted authority. You know, I don't even trust myself. And what I mean by that is, I don't think we know enough to create a world where everybody's thriving.
I mean, we know that that's not true because we're in a world where most people are not thriving. So I think I figured that out pretty quickly. Certainly on a micro scale at home and in school, and I saw the flaws, and with my parents I pushed all their buttons from a very young age. They just didn't enjoy it at all.
And the idea was, if they can't answer my questions, and if they can get all emotional over a five year old, poking and probing and challenging everything they say, then why the hell am I going to trust anyone else?
So I decided pretty much at that age that I'm going to have to create my own path. I'm going to have to figure things out on my own. I'm going to have to make mistakes. I'm going to have to learn, I'm going to have to be on my own on this journey.
This is a belief, you know, your model of the world is pretty much done by the age of seven. And I'd say that was my model of the world; that I have to take charge of my own life, and no one's going to do anything for me. And if they do, it's going to come at a cost to me and actually, I lost sight of that many years later. And that's what took me off track in my own journey. So so I decided to be a leader pretty much from then. And I thought, you know, I'm going to try things, do things, try and inspire others, learn how to negotiate, learn how to motivate, learn how to influence learn how to win arguments, learn how to put my point forward, and I started learning, and I started watching people, and I started paying attention to anything and everything that was going to teach me how to lead my own life.
I started a ‘business’ in inverted commas, I started selling bootleg CDs at the age of 16. And I knew then that I was going to just do my own thing and create my own business. So I decided probably earlier than that, I mean, I remember I used to rush to the tuk shop, I would have been 13 or 14, and buy all the cream doughnuts because they were fantastic. They were so popular and they only had about six and a school of like, I don't know, 1000 people, so I used to run down to grab those, buy them for a pound each, or whatever they were, and and then sell them. Although I nearly got beaten up a couple of times on the back of it by the older kids.
M dad had this pouch in his car with pound coins in it for the parking metre. And I used to go and Nick three or four quid wherever I could in the morning and then go and make the money at school and come back and put the pounds that I took off. Minus a little tax I might have taken, but I bring that forward just so my dad wouldn't realise that I've taken the money. So I knew from then that I was going to do my own thing. And when the opportunity came, I started my own business. It was kind of in partnership with my cousin and his brother in law and their best friend, but it was my own business in association with them and I took that opportunity and really since then I've never really looked back.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
At the moment, I get nine hours of sleep at night minimum. I wake up at the same time so I wake up at 7: 30. The way I figured that out is to find my ultradian cycle, which basically dips and goes back up again. Every 90 minutes I find my dip and mine is 7:30, at least in British summer time. I want to wake up at a time when the sun is out. I don't want to be waking up when it's dark. I just don't like it. And I know from scientific discovery that getting sunlight into your eyes first thing is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, and to get your systems going so I wake up at 730 get sunlight in my eyes.
I go for a walk, usually for 30 or 40 minutes. Sometimes I just talk to myself. Sometimes I listen to a podcast or an audio book, it depends on what I've done and what I do between getting up and going out.
I have Athletic Greens shake which gives me a lot of the minerals and vitamins that I need in the morning. I have a cup of tea, I have a shower, not a cold shower. I'm not a fan of those but not a not a hot one either. And then I’m ready to go at about 8:30.
I turn on my phone, look at my email to see if there's anything I need to think about and plan. I come up with three achievements that I want, two or three things that I want to achieve by the end of the day.
By 9:00 I've started my day. I eat breakfast between 11:00 and 11:30 and I have lunch between 1:00 and 1:30, and I fast the rest of the day. The only thing I'll drink or I'll put into my body after three o'clock is water, so that's the food and the exercise side of things.
I do try to schedule two client calls in the morning before lunch and two client calls in the evening. I won't do more than that and I try to work three days a week maximum four. And, the way I do the four is I start in the afternoon on Monday and I finish in the afternoon on Friday.
I try to keep the weekends free or at least for my creative work rather than any actual delivery. And I finish work by about 7:00pm on a typical weekday, and then I either watch some of these alternative commentators on YouTube, or I'll watch some sort of leadership or personal development presentation by someone interesting on YouTube, or a debate or something like that. Or I might watch a movie.
At nine o'clock I go up to read a book for about an hour, and then lights out at 10:15pm. So, I can be asleep by 10:30.
Weekends I've got the same waking up and sleeping patterns. But during the day it's a little bit based on family things, friends, things I love, shows and art galleries, and stand up comedy shows, and poker tournaments, and live concerts, and interesting festivals and events. So I'm usually busy on the weekends doing things like that.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
To get everyone in the room when I don't know the answer. Everyone who has information that I might need, who's able to guide me, who understands what I want, who's going to be impacted by the decision I make? Get them all in the room. There's absolutely no reason not to do that. Especially with Zoom and the internet, and Teams and Meets and all that stuff. Get them in the room. Start with the ‘why’ - this is why I've got you in the room. This is how I want you to help me and this is the decision that I need to make. And I'd like to listen to all of you, and listen and hear from all of you before I make that decision.
That's really important. So I suppose if you want me to summarise that; listen to the people that matter before making decisions. Leadership is listening. It's nothing else. It's listening to the specialists and the experts in each field. And then understanding the bigger picture so you can make the best decision to move forward. That's what leadership is.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
That's a good question. I think Start With Why by Simon Sinek has had a massive impact. I think The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People had a massive impact The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. These are good books, but really the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I'll tell you why…
He was the first person, at least that I came across, that helped me to understand what presence really is. And, by the way, I want to change one of my answers earlier now because leadership is presence and listening, listening is part of that, right? It's being present in the moment to all possibilities to all connections to all challenges to all perspectives.
And what the power of now helped me to understand was there is only now in leadership. There is only what do we do now. Forget about what might happen and the worry and the stress. These trigger points from what happened in your past and these limiting beliefs. What happens now. It's the Arthur Ashe quote: ‘what can we do with what we have right now? And starting today?’ That’s the right quote, I butchered the quote. We want to move forward and to move forward, we want to be present to the current circumstances and present to the people involved. There's a lot of leaders that are absent leaders, leaders in absentia; they'll be on holiday, and then they'll come back after three months and start asking questions and changing things about the operations. If you want to lead, if you want to be the captain of the ship, you've got to be on the ship, accessible to everyone who has an impact on how that ship sails, accessible at all times. You gotta be there. And as a leader, I very rarely did anything, but I was there. I would solve problems. I would make a decision when there's a conflicted idea by two or more people. I would know who to call, I would deal with things that will help the staff do what they need to do.
So, that's the book that really had a profound impact on my life, not just my leadership. And you know, the next role I got after really understanding this book, I want to say it's not after a lot of people say ‘I read this book’, and ‘I read this book’, it's not reading the book. It's understanding and embodying the ideas from the book. And that took me a while with the power of now. Once I did that, I got an interim CEO role. And that was the one thing I changed. I was present always, to the conversations, to the challenges, to the ideas, to the perspectives, to the points of view, and I was available for everybody whenever they needed me, and that's really the fundamental criteria for leadership; to be fully present.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
That ties in really nicely - be fully present, be fully committed, and listen to everybody before making your decision, and listen to understand what's being said, and to understand the circumstances, the situation, the conditions as fully as you can, before making a decision, and show people how you make your decisions.
And just to come back to what I said earlier. There's lots of pathways, lots of opportunities, lots of things you can do, lots of businesses, lots of jobs you can take. They will all offer you opportunities to transcend the limitations placed upon human beings by our psychology and our emotional constraints. They will all allow you to do that and to live a fulfilled life. So pick one. It doesn't matter which one and go in fully and unconditionally, and be the leader you can be by being fully present, by listening to everybody, and by making the best possible decision every single time.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Boy, that's a tough one. I mean, I think I've told a meaningful story with all my answers. But if you want a once upon a time type story... I started a business that was very successful, and that had the potential to grow. And I got shiny object syndrome. And I was impatient.
I was impatient about the speed of growth. And me becoming a multi gazillionaire or whatever the hell it is. And I lost patience where I started behaving erratically. I started other businesses. I gave power to people I shouldn't have given power to. I took bank facilities that I didn't need to take, I brought in investors who I didn't need to bring in. And I ended up at one stage running six profitable businesses. It was a 12 in total that I built from scratch; startups that I built from scratch that were all revenue generating within three months and all of them bar two were profit generating within a year. And I'm very proud of that. But the thing is, it was ego driven. I wasn't grounded enough and humble enough. I didn't think it had to be cool. It had to be sexy. Had to be something I could show off ‘oh, I'm running six businesses.’ Now that made me feel good. But actually it wasn't good. And I didn't like it and it didn't bring me anything other than headache, and ultimately, resentment and failure.
The most meaningful part of that story is linked to what I said earlier, which is there are unlimited pathways you can choose as a human being. Unlimited, no matter what your circumstances. By the way, if you've got a disability, if you're blind, if you've got one leg missing, it doesn't matter. You've got unlimited untold pathways that you can explore. And I realised that I was trying to take too many pathways. Who am I to think that I can run six businesses in six different industries or six different spaces and do better than the people that were giving their all to one business in any of those particular spaces. How arrogant was it to think that? And it all came crashing down.
That was the biggest slice of humble pie I could have ever eaten and the biggest blessing I ever got in my life because it woke me up to the realities of life, and to the the dangers of the world. And to the meaning behind being a leader.
I'd like to end by saying that you will find meaning in anything you do, provided you're fully committed and focused on that, and fully present to the conditions and the circumstances that you create for yourself.