1. What was your first ever job?
First job? The least popular paper-round in the village. Carrying a massive, shockingly bright orange bag. Bringing the latest local news, editorial, gossip, and small ads to your door.
2. Who would you most love to share a coffee with / go for a drink with?
Malcolm Gladwell. I listen to his Revisionist History podcasts when I’m out and about. It’s fascinating. There’s one recently where he talks about memory; our understanding of how it works and doesn’t. Our flashbulb memories don’t seem as reliable as I’d originally thought.
3. Highlight of your career (so far?)
I should probably say something about our lovely clients or a particular project. But, if I’m honest with myself. It’s mastering ‘the Void’ as an entrepreneur.
It’s finding a strength to keep going when there’s no feedback. Steven Pressfield says it best in ‘Nobody wants to read your Sh*t’.
“The artist enters the Void with nothing and comes back with something.
Her skill is to turn off the self-censor.
Her skill is to jump off the cliff.
Her skill is to believe.”
4. Nature or nurture?
Let’s go with nurture, it’s the only one most people can do anything about.
5. Best advice you ever heard or received?
“Be aggressive”. Advice from my first snowboard instructor. I didn’t get it at the time because the language wasn’t right for me.
But when I did get it, I realised it’s the only way to get a snowboard to grip and turn on a steep slope. Focus, concentration, power, commitment. Getting the edge.
6. What talent do you yearn for?
All of them. Expect mime. There’s no need for mime.
7. What is your favourite brand and why?
I can’t stop telling people about Hiut Denim. Amazing purpose. Amazing creativity. Amazing story. I feel like I need a pair of their jeans even, though I’ve never seen them.
8. What book do you most recommend to others?
At the moment, it’s DO Story – How to tell your story so the world listens, by Bobette Buster. It’s a short, to the point, and useful guide to telling stories.
9. What last impressed you at work?
We ran an internal project recently looking hard at how we could tell better stories with the data and insights we create.
What I loved was the way established team members took on, what was basically fairly direct improvement suggestions, and ran with it. No ego. No defensiveness. Just a desire to make the work the best it can be.
10. Which lesson has been the hardest to learn? What failure did you learn the most from?
My mum always used to describe me as an earnest young man. The young bit’s gone but the rest is in full effect. I take things seriously and want to deliver our best every time. This makes taking feedback hard.
The hardest lesson (I’m still learning) is how to take feedback better.
11. What do you want to do when you retire?
I don’t really think about retiring. I can see a time when what I do and the roles I’m, in changes. But, I can’t see a hard stop; I think I’d get bored after the first week.
That said the idea of having August off, wandering around Italy is strangely compelling…
We are the Social Insights agency.
We make social data simple. Simple for you to know what’s meaningful, to find new insights, to see opportunities and to spark inspiration.
We’ll help you use social to find and understand the people that matter to you. So you can create the right experiences, engage new audiences and appeal to people in the right way.
We’ll help you become something people want to be part of.