21 May 2018
I am always fascinated to sit down with other business leaders and hear their stories. I was joined recently by the founder of one of our long-term clients, e3creative’s Jake Welsh, for a chat about business and the secrets to success.
Interestingly, I came away thinking about just how many things successful businesses have in common. No matter where they are on their journey there are certain traits that we see popping up time again.
When I asked Jake about why he set up e3creative, he told me that it was to solve a problem. He’d recently graduated from Salford University and the digital industry was, in his words, “cookie cutter”. He wanted to change this one-size-fits-all approach and so the agency was born.
All too often business people are too focussed on money. The goals are all centred around making a million, or smashing the next financial goal. When you focus on profit and growth too much, it inevitably becomes a distraction. It can ultimately become a real demotivator; instead, you should focus on where you can solve a problem.
That’s how we started UKFast more than 18 years ago. We saw a problem in the hosting industry and set about solving it by creating a business centred on customer service.
The business of sport
One of Jake’s business partners is Manchester United legend Gary Neville. I was unsurprised to hear how passionate and focussed a business partner Gary is. He was incredible on the pitch and has created a real business empire since hanging up his boots – something that not a lot of players can go on to do. It reminds me once again of the intrinsic links between business and sport.
The values that successful sportspeople hold are perfectly aligned with those of successful business leaders. The resilience needed on the sports field is the same as that needed in the boardroom. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes we make mistakes.
What is important however, is that we bounce back from those mistakes and learn from them. If you look at some of the most successful people in the world – those who call themselves experts – they will have invariably have made more mistakes than most along the way.
One of the greatest lessons in sport which transfers to business is that if you do lose, as long as you’ve given it all you’ve got, it doesn’t matter. I try to instil that into my kids and the UKFast team. Inevitably there are times when things don’t work out as we had planned but as long as you know that you’ve given it all you’ve got, you can bounce back from it.
We talked about this and much more in the podcast that Jake and I recorded when he came to visit. Listen to the whole conversation.
I’d love to hear your business stories in the comments below.