Q&A with Lyndon R. Wood, CEO of ConstructaQuote.comLast Updated: December 3, 2017
Learn more about what you do or want to do and understand your business environment.
Lyndon R. Wood CEO of ConstructaQuote.com is a leading UK entrepreneur and mentor. Lyndon has been involved in various industries such as Online Trading, Finance & Insurance, Retail & Hospitality to name a few. Confidentiality, ethics and morals are at the top of Lyndon’s business and life values.
12 Questions for CEO of ConstructaQuote.com Lyndon R. Wood
Lyndon has taken time out of his schedule to talk to AGENT about his business, his goals and work life balance
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
My business life is varied and my daily goals depend on what frame of mind I am in when I wake up. My insurance business serves small and medium enterprises with a range of relevant products that are either unique to us or which have a unique differentiator for our customers. We operate several brands ConstructaQuote.com, blackandwhiteinsurance.co.uk, Xbroker and the main parent company, Moorhouse Group Ltd. We grew organically by 72.5% last year by providing a great service with a focus on being world class and letting more and more people know about us.
Our ambitions are to develop a range of new products and to open up to new markets as well as to grow our referral economy to attract larger business types to us. I love to develop the right kind of people too, ones with energy and enthusiasm for what they do. Bringing them along the journey and sharing insight into the business world and the Moorhouse eco system. It’s a very exciting, dynamic and forward place to be.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I realised at the age 14 that I wanted to run my own business and by the age of 16 I was sitting on my motorbike selling sports gear from a rucksack. At 18, I found myself homeless and sleeping rough in my car. Then, I got a job in the insurance industry on commission only, did that for eight or nine months and then thought – I could do this myself and have all of the earnings. So, at 19, in August 1990, I set up a business. It was hard work, because I was young, I was naïve, I didn’t understand the industry. Mortgage rates were sky high at 15%, we’d just been hit by the 1990 recession, and we’d entered the hard market of the insurance industry, but of course at 19, I didn’t know hard markets or soft markets, I didn’t even know what that was and interest rates meant nothing to me.
I’ve always had the instinct to have my own thing and to own my own time, to not be beholden to somebody else. The insurance industry just happened, I was sleeping in a car, I needed a job, I didn’t have a choice. Not many people go into insurance as a conscious decision, in fact, I think I’ve met probably two in my career.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
My inspiration growing up was Bruce Lee. As a child I had to move to a ‘rough’ school and I was offered six fights on my first day. There was a Kung Fu class in my village and it actually changed my life. It gave me confidence and self-esteem. Martial Arts is a way of life. It’s not just about kicking and punching. It’s about having ambition and a desire to succeed and doing what it takes as well as providing wisdom and a philosophical approach to all things in life. I’m still inspired by Bruce Lee even today. I have no business icon and I never have. I prefer to observe, learn, and be authentic in my approach across all parts of my life.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
The biggest challenge is that the insurance industry as a whole is still very archaic and is open for major disruption. The questions are what, when, how, and staying open to all possibilities.
Everyone is jumping on the fintech / insurtech bandwagon, without really knowing what that means and what that looks like. It’s just the latest sexy word, let’s go and have a nose.
Many insurers try to be innovators but having an app, for example, isn’t innovation. You see it time and time again. It’s too old fashioned, it needs reinventing, but probably no one is ripe enough to reinvent. Corporates are there with their big infrastructures and they just struggle all the time. They come out with buzzwords to please shareholders, but actually they don’t have any real intentions. The real innovators are a handful of brokers and non-insurance based tech companies. This is why I have my own innovation business, Moorhouse Group.
5. What gives you the most satisfaction in business?
Being a “real mentor” to other people and guiding them through their business challenges. I love doing this and I do it for free. If I can assist someone through tough times, through situations I’ve been through myself, then that is a good thing and I find it very rewarding. One thing that gets my goat are so-called ‘mentors’ who charge SMEs hundreds of pounds for advice and many of them have never even owned their own company and in fact they damage businesses. A lot are far too theory based.
6. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
This is why I went into business in the first place so I could be in charge of my own time. There is no such thing as a work, life balance, it is just life. You have to bring your family along the journey with you and that means sharing your news, good and bad, sharing your excitement and frustrations. If you love what you do then what is the true definition of balance? If you do not love what you do then why are you doing it?
7. What is the first thing you do every day?
I clean my teeth and then I have a healthy green smoothie that I make. My passions are health and wellbeing.
8. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
My Children and I.
9. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
WhatsApp. Because I communicate with pretty much everyone business and pleasure. Texting is old fashioned, we are in an economy, and life is now.
10. What is the last thing you googled?
Fat Burning Hormone.
11. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
Apart from my smartphone, my Apple Watch, and Helo health band.
12. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Learn more about what you do or want to do and understand your business environment. It worked out for me ultimately, but there were times I could have got myself in sticky waters at the ages of 19 and 20.