Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
6:00 AM 20th October 2020

10 In 10: Elliot Rich - The Alternative Board

Elliot Rich
Elliot Rich
Elliot Rich runs peer support and coaching business The Alternative Board, in York,working with 25+ businesses across the healthcare, professional services, property, retail, hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing and IT industries. He is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as The Yorkshire Times gives him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.

What does a typical working day for you involve?
Pre-lockdown, my mornings involved making sure everyone in the household – me, my wife, and our twin teenage girls – were up before 7am and ready to leave the house by 7.45. Now everyone else leaves the house for school and work, leaving me to work from home in peace.

My diary is usually meticulously planned, usually on a rolling three-month basis. Currently, because of the government’s work from home guidance, I’m spending a lot of time on Zoom. When I’m not running board meetings or coaching sessions with clients, I’m catching up with my own peer board made up of other Alternative Board (TAB) facilitators in the region, or attending online networking events with organisations including York Professionals, where I am vice chair.

What makes your company special?
The sense of community and support it gives business owners. Running a business can be a lonely experience, but as a TAB member you are part of a small and trusted group of like-minded business owners where you can share challenges and seek advice and support.

And because TAB is a global organisation, our members can also access support from a global community of people in a similar position to them. With TAB, you’re not just getting a business coach. You’re getting access to support from a global network of people who are in a similar position to you, and that’s incredibly powerful.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?

I have two: commitment and transparency. Both in the way I work, and from the people who join TAB boards. If you want to improve and develop, you must be committed to it. And when people aren’t, they won’t get value from The Alternative Board, and neither will the other people on their board.

And I can only help people who are prepared to be open and transparent. If they are holding something back, or not being honest with me or with themselves about the challenges they’re facing in their business, they won’t benefit from being part of TAB.

Do you dress up or down for work?

My priorities are being comfortable and professional, and not intimidating or pretentious. Jeans, a blazer, and a smart shirt is my go-to outfit.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take the knocks; that’s where you’ll do your most valuable learning. And be patient: you’ve got several years of hard work ahead of you. Results and success are not instant, but if you work hard and you’re open to learning as you go, you’ll reap the rewards.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?

Camp Hill in Bedale is fantastic. They have such a variety of team activities, ranging from the traditional - raft building - to the more exhilarating - quad bike trails. And for a great day out socialising, York Races is hard to beat.

How do you prefer to travel for business?

I always travel by car, so that I have as much control as possible over my route and journey time. Plus, being in the car on my own is always good thinking time.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
Either on one of the many fantastic golf courses we are spoilt with here in Yorkshire, or a family walk around the grounds of Harewood House.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?

Issho at Victoria Gate in Leeds. Their sushi and sashimi are both delicious, and with that in mind I’d recommend the gourmet sushi and sashimi platter.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?

Family and close friends, who all live close to us.