3 things we learned at MADE
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.
This quote really resonates with me. Motivation doesn’t last forever, and it’s important that we keep filling up the tank with whatever works for us. One way I like to stay motivated is listening to others who have achieved success and hearing their stories. That’s why when I saw an advert for this year’s MADE Festival, I knew I had to go.
I had an interesting start to the day, waking up in the room of a second year Phycology Student at The University of Sheffield. (And before the rumours start, it was my younger brothers room, cheers for that mate!) After an eye-opening experience of seeing Uni Students in their natural habitat, one actually had 8 Yorkshire puddings for his tea (Well they are in Yorkshire I suppose!), it was time to get on with what I was there to do and make my way up to The Crucible Theatre.
The day was packed full of inspirational speakers, all sharing their stories of how they had overcome the odds to achieve success, whether that was building their business or winning gold at the London Paralympic Games.
We learned absolutely loads throughout the day, such as, the fact that 65% of students today will do jobs that aren’t invented yet! Or 33% of jobs will be atomised by 2035, and listening to James Akrigg, Head of Technology at Microsoft, I can believe that!
Every speaker spoke about the importance of people, and the role they play in achieving success. Hannah Cockroft MBE, 5-time Paralympic Champion, spoke about her ‘circle of trust’ and how important that is when performing at the highest level in sport. She also spoke about the negative effects of having the wrong people in her team.
Mark Mullen, CEO at Atom Bank, told us that all you need is an idea and people!
Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite, takes his people very seriously. The social business is a chain of sandwich shops in Scotland aiming to compete with the big boys such as Greggs and EAT, whilst also trying to achieve a social mission of tackling homelessness. Their innovative idea of suspended food and drink allows people to go in, buy their lunch, and also buy lunch for a homeless person who can come in and claim it later in the day. The importance of people here though lies in the fact that 25% of Social Bite staff are previously homeless. That’s what I call practising what you preach!
The second thing that kept coming up was the importance of goal setting, and in a room full of entrepreneurs, I wasn’t surprised.
Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain, told us that he set himself four goals when he set out to build Social Chain. He said he’s still working on them, but it gives him clear vision on what he’s working towards and keeps him focused on the job in hand.
Hannah Cockroft MBE obviously sets herself goals, you don’t become Paralympic champion by accident, but she talked about the importance of setting goals you can believe in. She said “you have to believe your goals before you can achieve your goals” which I thought was very true. By all means, set massive goals, but make sure you believe you can achieve it, or else you’ll never get started.
Finally, Mark Mullen talked about his goal to build something of meaning, which leads nicely onto my last point.
Don’t chase the money
Yep, that’s right. At one of the largest entrepreneur festivals in the UK on the key messages I took away was ‘don’t chase the money.’ And I totally buy into this!
Mark actually said “If you want to build something of meaning, you have to take a very long term view”, which to me means not worrying about how much money you’re going to take home in the first 6 months.
Josh Littlejohn also fits into this category, I believe. It actually says on his website “No matter how big Social Bite grows, no individual will ever get rich from the business. After staff are paid and costs are covered every penny of profit is put towards tackling social problems here and abroad.”. To me, that reads that the value of the mission far outweighs the value of the money made.
Jim Cregan, Founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, was probably my favourite speaker of the day and something he said really stuck with me. “You don’t make it. You’re making it”. Which really ties into this point of not chasing the money. Achieving success is a journey, it’s not always about the end goal, it’s about who you become in achieving that goal. It’s never going to over and that’s what makes it so exciting!
Another quote from Jim about ‘making it’ summed up the whole day for me.
You make it by having hunger and drive, a real story, having a plan, an easy plan, making rad products, trusting your instincts, learning to say no, building an epic team, building a culture people love and letting money be a bi-product of a dream
If you ever wanted a formula for success (For which there isn’t!) that’s as good as you’re going to get!