Julie Wilkinson 00:03
Hi, I’m Judy Wilkinson, and I’m a chartered management accountant. And I’m excited to be launching the build and exit podcast. This podcast is for business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their business portfolio by acquisition, or at some point in the future, when to exit their business. We’re going to bring real life stories and experiences of people who have grown by acquisition, who have exited their businesses, and other areas of business such as funding and cash flows. So there’ll be lots of opportunity to learn different areas of business and how you can in the end, transition your business from a lifestyle to an asset to look forward to seeing you soon. Hi, and welcome to the building exit Podcast. I’m Judy Wilkinson, and I’m the owner and founder of Wilkinson accounting solutions. I started the build next set off the back of the work we do with my company, because we work on about three to five acquisitions a month, and came to realise that there was a big gap in the market of entrepreneurs, investors and business owners truly understanding financial statements, and how they’re impacting the cash flow of their business valuations and causing a lot of problems through due diligence because people haven’t got the right paperwork set up. So I’ve had to date around about 14 guests were in August 23. And I’ve decided to do a couple of episodes that are slightly different to normal. So I’ve had a lot of guests, everyone from sort of people who’ve done management buyouts bought distressed companies, funders, we’ve looked at HR, we’ve looked at a multitude of different areas. And we’ve got lots more to come. But I had a lot of people come to me, and ask about my own personal journey. And I actually had the pleasure of being interviewed on live TV in July 23, with a lady called Victoria Bill who hosts COMPUTER TV channel called NTV. And we’ve decided to bring those interviews into our podcast because it really gives an insight into the background, why I do what I do. And also you know why we’re passionate about acquisitions, myself and the company, and also what the future holds. So I’m excited to bring a lot of these sort of personal journey stories to the podcast channel. It’s a bit of a different format, because someone is interviewing me, not the other way around. But I think they’re great for people to get to know the person behind the show. So we’re at nearly 2000 downloads today. So which I’m really proud about. If you love our show, please hit the subscribe button. As I always say if you have any content or episode content you’d like always contact us. But I hope you enjoy my own personal episodes. And I look forward to seeing you soon.
Victoria Beale 02:45
Good evening. My name is Victoria Beal. I’m your host for NTV and scripters. Lovely to be back and see you all I hope you’ve been well. I’m here today with my guest the wonderful Julie Wilkinson. She is amazing serial entrepreneur, and a mergers and acquisitions specialist. Julie, thank you for coming today and being my guest how are you?
Julie Wilkinson 03:04
I’m really good. Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Victoria Beale 03:06
It’s an absolute honour and privilege to have you here. So Julie, you’ve got an amazing story and I can’t wait to share that with people at home. Tell us first of all about your sort of beginnings where was young Julie born and, and family life and so on.
Julie Wilkinson 03:20
So I was born in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. I’ve lived there all my life had a I did take a year out went to Australia for a year but that’s where I resided most of my life. Yeah, I grew up with I have got a sister. Obviously my dad and my mom and my family. Most of my family lives around. I suppose I’d have what you’d call quite a standard childhood really. He lived in a nice home went school. I had I wouldn’t say I did particularly that when in school. But I was Yeah, I was okay in school. I had quite a turning point in my life because when I was 14, my mum died. So obviously that was a big turning point for us. And for me, especially because I was very close to my mum. And I don’t think I was that outgoing. At that point. I used to stay at home quite a lot and be with her. So I think that was a big turning point for me. And my mind changed a lot and I did. Yeah, I think I really sort of turned. I don’t think I intentionally did it. But I think it like unintentionally happened a little bit like my lifestyle changed and my mindset changed a little bit from it.
Victoria Beale 04:26
Right? How did that affect your school and your education so forth?
Julie Wilkinson 04:31
Well, I was going into my GCSE year so it wasn’t ideal. I did okay in school still, but I wouldn’t say I exceeded probably for obvious reasons. But it didn’t really hinder me because I when I didn’t, I was really good at English and my teachers want me to do English A levels under the ray levels, but I just wasn’t really ready to do that. So what I actually did was I went and did an NVQ in business studies. So I got a bit of work experience and then I worked part time McDonald’s as well. Yeah. Just to save some money. And I did that. And then I’ve after I finished my it was only about six months after I finished that, that I actually went travelling next I went travelling when I was 18 for a year.
Victoria Beale 05:11
So do you feel like the loss of your mother made you feel this? In some respects? Kind of, let’s just throw caution to the wind, or were you a bit more cautious?
Julie Wilkinson 05:19
Probably a little bit. I don’t think it intentionally happened. But I think, you know, I saw I suppose I was some quite what you’d call a traditional home. So my mum didn’t really work and my dad sort of did, and sort of built our whole life around us as the kids and you know, I didn’t really ever see her have much of a friendship circle and things like that. And I think it kind of and then obviously, like, she died young, she was only 14 and now resonates potlucks, obviously, I’m 40 this year. So you know, she was young when she died. And I think I suppose obviously, she she loved looking after the children. So she didn’t really have much of a life of her own. I think that resonated with me a lot to sort of go out and just live my life really, because you don’t expect that sort of thing to happen. When young over pick. It happens to other people not to you really. So yeah, so I don’t think he eventually happened. But I think probably unconsciously it happened.
Victoria Beale 06:07
Do that magic, quite a strong person. Today, definitely impact on the person who you are now.
Julie Wilkinson 06:13
Well, I’m quite resilient. I kind of if I say I’m going to do something, I’d do it. I don’t know if it came just from that. But I think it must have had an impact in it. I mean, I’ve never really reflected or Goren spoken to anyone about it. So I don’t quite know, but I think it must have had an impact in it. And I suppose it strikes me because my mum, MUM mum didn’t work. So she didn’t have her own income stream. And that’s been one of the things I’ve definitely strive towards is sort of, you know, knowing I can cope on my own. So I’ve got a house quite young. So I got I had my own house because I’ve got some inheritance money. So I got on the property ladder when I was about when I got back from travelling, I was about 2120. So I own my own home from quite a young age as well. So that was really good.
Victoria Beale 06:51
Fantastic. So fast forward a little bit. So you went travelling and I think you did some teaching as well. Tell us about that experience.
Julie Wilkinson 06:58
Yeah, so I went to Australia for a gap year for 11 months and I went to Canada for months as well on the way home and I was a teaching assistant. So I worked in a private school in a place called Rockhampton, which is in Queensland, and I was a teaching assistant so I was a teaching assistant in the day for the primary school kids and I did help people that were struggling with Maths and English I used to take them privately and helped you then we used to do like school they had a private islands. I don’t if you’ve ever had a great Keppel island that actually was in Australia when what was the show? When the winners of this show, they used to go to great capital, they actually owned one of the other islands. So we used to go on some school trips and things. And then in the evening, I was boarding mistress, so it was a private, it was a boarding school. So we used to have to so a couple of nights we have to do like ground do isn’t there a private Olympic sized swimming pool? So we start pool duty and things like that. So oh, it was brilliant. Yeah.
Victoria Beale 07:52
Fantastic. So then you went on, obviously, further education. Did you actually go to university? No, no,
Julie Wilkinson 07:58
no, I didn’t go to university.
Victoria Beale 08:00
That’s the amazing thing to say. Because I’ll come back to Julie’s story later. This woman has built a very amazing, successful business in three years, three and a half, three and a half. But Julie, just tell us about your way you kind of went to your into your career, what were you doing kind of after you left the the teaching and the travelling and so forth?
Julie Wilkinson 08:18
Yeah. So I came back and I live with my sister. And I started back in sort of purchase ledger roles. And, yeah, I got so I was working, I got made redundant. So we had an option to stay or leave and I chose to leave and then I went and tried. I was like an underwriter for a little bit just like a trainee underwriter and I was there for a few months, and then I got made redundant again. So at that point, I had two options, I had an option to I got offered a position where I could have been like a trainee mortgage underwriter or I got offered a job at British sugar. Okay. So I suppose at the time, the trainee mortgage and right seems probably like it had a few more prospects long term, there’s sort of the purchase ledger role. But the problem was, I couldn’t really afford to take a salary job because it was because it was like a trainee, it was quite badly. I mean, it’s not quite the same now. But back then it was quite really low salary. And I had my house at that time, so I couldn’t afford it. So I took the purchase ledger role. So I was in that role for a couple of years. And I suppose in the end, I just started to think, if I lose my job here, because I was I’ve been made redundant twice before. So it seemed like it could happen. I thought, I get paid quite well here. Would I get paid that? Well, again, I thought, I’ve got to do something here. I’ve got to change my lifestyle a little bit. So I went and asked, and I said, Oh, can I study? And they said yes. So they supported me through my study. So I did. I studied through work. So I started at, and I did that evenings, so we didn’t go to college like full time we did it evening and weekend. So we did evenings. I think it was about three and a half years. And then I went on to study Sema, so that was Weekend College. And actually I was so British and US have a graduate scheme and all the people that used to ACCA Sima, so the charge will correlate all sort of came from the graduate from university. I think I was only at that time one of two people ever that actually did not go into not going through the graduate school to the university. And I think they did actually review their their process at that point. See, we’ve had more people study on the job.
Victoria Beale 10:17
Yeah. What was it about numbers and kind of this anything that interested you?
Julie Wilkinson 10:21
Didn’t know really? I didn’t even think I mean, I was about 25 When I started at so I suppose I was a bit of a late study or as well because I’m not straight from school. To be I didn’t when I first started I didn’t even think I was gonna get past the first year from one does anyone really knows I hadn’t studied for so long. But I just sort of excelled in it. And although Yeah, it is numbers is quite especially seen as more strategic Strategic Finance. That was something that I took to that I was really good at, like the top seem of papers, because that was really strategic. And I just really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the journey. So I got a lot then I got a lot of promotions at work when I moved companies a couple of times and got some promotions and things like that. So yeah, I just really enjoyed it. And I enjoyed the spirit of success as well, I
Victoria Beale 10:59
think and it was still quite young, really for to be at the top of your game in that sector. So it’s quite a hard area to be in, isn’t it if you’re not graduate?
Julie Wilkinson 11:08
Yeah. So I chartered in the end a chartered at 30s. I’ve been taught now over 10 years, about 10 years. Yeah, so Tara just so when I was 30? Yeah.
Victoria Beale 11:17
So then you went into employed until what? Age
Julie Wilkinson 11:22
- That’s 3637. And what was the last role that you had? So I was just senior finance in a it was retail company, a group company, I think group was about 250 million. I actually had a lot of project roles within that company. So I did have some jobs. But I did a lot of projects. I did a lot of cost out projects. Obviously, I never talk about well, because my company in a bit. But one of the reasons I started the company was because some of the project Robles got me in touch with some SME companies. Because I did some project work. They had done some acquisitions. And I worked for some of the smaller companies and it made me realise all these are quite poorly run. But it nicely. Yeah, so that’s that gave me an insight into lots of different areas. I did lots of different projects, ran big system implementations over sort of 500 people across like in different in different countries. I used to oversee the US entity and the Chinese entity as well. So I did a lot of light imports and exports and things like that.
Victoria Beale 12:18
Fantastic. This is still a massive achievement. Some of them are so young. And tell us about the personal life because I think you met your partner, husband now during those times. Tell us about about him to say hello to him as well. Yes. Hi,
Julie Wilkinson 12:31
Mark. I think you should be watching. Yes. So I met so we’ve been together for 11 years. So actually I met him when I was studying Sema, and it was quite a funny story is on the screen now. Yeah, he is at the Isle of Wight, because we do a lot of boating. Yeah, I met him. It was quite funny story, actually, because I met him. As I was doing coming up to leading up to one of my exams. It wasn’t my top secret exam. I think it was the ones before. And then I remember we were chatting. So we actually met online dating. So yeah, online. And I know and I was messaging him and we were talking for quite a while. And I remember saying no, I can’t because I said Jim but then we met up the weekend before the the exam and then I was like right I can’t see you for a few days with my exam was on the Wednesday. Discipline he say yeah, discipline, although when I got to my top seamers that I never felt any exams actually are passed first time and every single exam apart from when I got to my, the one when we had to do three, and I was playing marks I said like he took my attention away as always this fall.
Victoria Beale 13:32
Yeah. So yeah, here you are JV. Yeah, TV show. So yeah, no, that’s cool. Fantastic. And tell us Have you got a couple of lovely dogs as well. I don’t know the producers are dying to show you these photographs. Yeah. Tell us about your lovely dog is there they are.
Julie Wilkinson 13:46
Oh, yeah. Well, unfortunately, the white ones passed now. Yeah, we’ve got so we had white Alsatian Dudley and Teddy, the black ones and a key across our nation. He’s still alive. And then we’ve got a new puppy now called Jessie. She’s six months old. She’s actually an Aussie do doll. So she’s a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a standard poodle
Victoria Beale 14:07
and test it and tell us about you’ve got this dog whisperer diploma. I call it it’s not called that at all. What is it Julie, please, everyone.
Julie Wilkinson 14:16
So I did an animal psychology diploma. I did that way back when we first got because I’d never had any dogs and obviously did lean into the big dogs. My husband’s dad had a Rottweiler Alsatian. So he had grown up with those I actually got attacked by a dog when I was young, so I wasn’t really I wouldn’t say I was like, didn’t like dogs. I wasn’t really fearful of them, but I’ve just never been brought up in that environment. So at first I was like, I don’t even want a dog because I was like, I’ll be your dog. So again, this is quite a funny story. So we got to we did research a lot about the breeds, because obviously some breeds bigger breeds more than others. So we sort of fell in love with DUDLEY So we brought Dudley home and I said to my husband, it’ll be your dog. And then we literally a couple of days after we got them is that I’m going away for four days and he sort of left me with this dog. Alright, so I was like, What am I going to do with this dog for four days? Anyway, he came home from that, and me and Daddy were just like inseparable after that, it was like that’s meant to be my dog. And I was like, No, it’s my dog now. Anyway, then things were happening with Dudley. So I mean, because obviously it Mark hadn’t really had his own dog had been has a family pet. And this dog just wasn’t listening. And we’ll go sit and be like, he doesn’t know what we’re saying, you know, because we were just trying to tell it to sit. So we got this dog trainer. And she showed us click training. And it will she did for about 30 seconds. And we’re done in about 12 weeks. So I just really took to it. And then I started training them. And then I was just interested. So I did this animal psychology show just to sort of learn behaviours and things like that. So obviously, there will be so there had to be well trained. Fantastic. And yeah, and to be honest, they’ve been really good. Yeah, really good. And you’ve got
Victoria Beale 15:48
other outdoor interests as well. You’ve been you do a lot of outdoorsy stuff. Can you run through all that for us?
Julie Wilkinson 15:54
Yeah, so we’ve got a six and a half metre rib, which is when we go to the Isle of Wight, that’s where we put that on the water. That’s we go. We’ve we’ve had a couple of jet skis. So we’ve kind of always been into motorboating. But we’ve recently just sold the jet ski, we’ve just bought sort of small sailing bow catamaran. So we’re just kind of getting into that at the minute. So next year, we’ve booked a holiday to go We’ve hired out like chartering a 40 for sailing boat that will get us out I think it gets our like our Competent Crew, like an Are ya one day Competent Crew licence or something from that holiday. So yeah, we’re trying to train ourselves. So eventually, we’re gonna get maybe our own bigger catamaran. So one day, tell us
Victoria Beale 16:35
about your interest in health and wellness and mindfulness. Because that’s only been quite a recent shift, hasn’t it?
Julie Wilkinson 16:43
Yeah, so started this year. So my sister sort of transferred from accounting, she trained to do believe coding. And she’s been quite into wellness for a couple of years. And I was a little bit close. But I think it started for me because I went to Jamaica in January, I’d like this really nice holiday. And the business ran when I was like, I had nearly a month off. And I came back and I thought I actually still felt a little bit bored on the hotel. I had a good time on the holiday, but it may be realised it doesn’t really matter where you go. Money doesn’t really fulfil. Yeah. And so I started website during the wellness, and so got wellness into local tours, which I went on. It took it now. So I do yoga three times a week. And yeah, I just started to read a lot and watch a lot of podcasts on sort of meditation and manifestation. So yeah, I really, I do it a lot. Now I probably meditate. Well, I think I do it just naturally when things get tough, but I meditate at least three times a day. I do a lot of like manifestation and mindfulness, sort of breathing exercises, and journaling and gratitude journals and things like that. So can you
Victoria Beale 17:49
share with us some of the manifestation techniques for the audience at home?
Julie Wilkinson 17:53
Yeah, so Well, I’m not a doctor. So I don’t know. But a slaver we’ve just written Yes. But so what I believe what it does for me is meditation brings them back to the present. So what I do know is 95% of our actions are gone from our unconscious mind and their traumas and things that have happened in the past that are telling the stories that basically aren’t true, right. So I find that meditation brings me back to now. So when my mind goes, because I think it doesn’t everyone everyone’s mind thinks the worst case scenario when it goes ridiculous. And I think things yes. Oh, absolutely. And so the meditation sort of brings you back to the present. So it’s just sort of breathing exercises. So like, put your feet on the floor, and just feel the floor, right. And breathe deep breaths it? Yeah, bare feet, bare bare feet, generally. Yeah. And if you run out of time, I mean, I do in the shower, sometimes just to like utilise time effectively. Whereas manifestation is more about living, like realising your dreams. So the brain doesn’t know reality from fiction. So if you tell yourself, you’re going to be a millionaire, you’re a millionaire, if you just kept telling yourself you are a millionaire, the brain doesn’t actually know you’re not the body might know. But the brain doesn’t. This is what I’m led to believe. And so that’s why you’re the manifesting techniques is to work in a way you could argue lying to yourself, but you’re not you’re just truly believe them who’s going to happen. And it’s not like it just fall from the sky, it happens, you still have to take action. But what it’s meant to is you make more conscious decisions, because you meditate in your mind clearer, you think more clearly. So you make better decisions.
Victoria Beale 19:23
Like the techniques that you would use for the manifestation.
Julie Wilkinson 19:27
Yeah, so close your eyes for 12 minutes, three times a day and basically just visualise what you want. So what does it look like? So if like, so if you saw I’m doing professional speaking and so if I’m visualising what professional speaking is it’s well here, you know, on TV on stage, but like who are the inspirational people that do that that you know, what do they look like? How do they behave? So one thing I mean the most so I have like a morning routine so now when I get up in the morning for the first 15 minutes, I always I don’t do anything for the first time and like socials or emails. I just get up and I think to myself, right who do I want to be today like How do I want to show up? What do I want my life to be? Like telling myself like what I want? And like, what am I going to achieve? And do say it? Do ya? Do you write it? A little bit of both? I say it and think it a lot. Sometimes I journal it. And because that just puts you in a place that you’re taking control of what you want, and then I meditate. So then I suppose and I think for me, the invitation and manifestation comes together whether you are meant to do it separately, I don’t, because I say I’ve only been doing it for six months, so and I have my own sort of well being coach, because I think everyone should invest in themselves.
Victoria Beale 20:34
Just to leave everyone on that happy note. What does this this shift and transformation done for you personally, to share that with us?
Julie Wilkinson 20:42
Oh, it’s not changed my life. Yeah, my my, my outlook on life the way I behave, I can definitely see it. And I think I do make well, hence I’m here with you. Because it’s all happened happening in the last, you know, well, for me, it’s been a bit of a journey. But I’ve taken a lot of big actions, especially over the last few moments not worrying so much. And even when I think oh, this might happen actually realising, but it’s not happening today.
Victoria Beale 21:05
Fantastic. Well, Julie, let’s pick up from there. And we’ll just talk about how that kind of has affected your entrepreneurial life. If you could just elaborate on that for us.
Julie Wilkinson 21:16
Yeah, so I think for me personally, it’s just helped me become clearer. And so I like I say, I meditate all the time. I think I do it like naturally now just throughout the day. So when when you have hard times, because we all do as business owners any life in general, really, I just go and breathe, even if I just take five seconds just to breathe. And it definitely, you know, I’ve made some more. Well, it’s a brush, but more sort of decisions that have sort of changed my life. Because I think, you know, we all go to the point where we have a bit of fear, how can I do this? Or can I do that. And the fear holds us back from where we want to get to. And I find that when I meditate and manifest, I sort of see visions more. And I’m just like, actually, I believe in myself. So I know I can do this. And then I take the action from from that belief, right?
Victoria Beale 22:01
That’s important. That’s changing events there and make sure you take notice of this at home, ladies and gentleman.
Julie Wilkinson 22:08
So once again, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to our podcast. I hope you found it useful. If you did, there’s anyone else in your network that might benefit from our podcast and please share it with them even just click the link and send it to them or send it in a Facebook group or other social media channel. Don’t forget to subscribe so other podcasts that come to you directly as a when we launch them. So I’m really looking forward to seeing you next time. We’ve got some really exciting things coming up. And we’ll see you again soon.