Unlocking Potential #oneteam
Meet Jamie Smith, Business Start-Up Manager for the Breakthrough Programme. In this next #OneTeam blog, Jamie tells us about his experience of launching a marketing agency 19 years ago and what he’d do with his last £1.
What is your role at UP, in a nutshell?
I co-manage the Breakthrough programme of business growth with Debs Horner. Within that I co-ordinate workshop planning and delivery. Debs and I have a great balance of skills. She’s a great organiser while I tend to want to get deep into the content of what we deliver and am never really happier than when helping a client to address a particular issue around the nurturing of their business.
What experience have you had working with businesses?
I co-founded marketing agency, Eight Wire, in 2004 and over the following 11 years spent a great deal of sofa-time with businesses discussing their issues and working out solutions. Critically, I got to see how those solutions worked (or didn’t) and how the business owner played their own part in these successes.
I got the bug for coaching business owners and disappeared to Newcastle to run a trial business accelerator programme at the University of Northumbria for three months. When I returned it was a perfect timing to join Ally and the team at UP and help drive the first Breakthrough programme.
What do you most enjoy about working with businesses?
I love it when something I’ve done, or something one of our team has done, makes a big difference to a business owner. I know the pain we’ve saved them and the pure joy that comes with the business success that they’re closer to. Running a business has the potential to bring huge happiness as much as it does difficulty and heartache. Our job is to help people find more of the former.
How do you stay inspired?
I am always thinking about business and how to understand and explain core concepts better. I’m always reading a new business book, normally about customer psychology, and checking out new blogs and podcasts. In a team such as that at Unlocking Potential, where colleagues have such a range of experience and expertise, I am literally inspired every day.
A little bit extra…
What was your first job?
During my teens I worked the summers as a ‘butt marker’. No smirking. OK… the ‘butts’ are the end of an outdoor rifle range where the targets are. My dad shot for the RAF and I got the job of pulling down the targets during summer competitions on the 1200 yd range. The task was hauling the huge target down, marking the shot and putting it back up. There would be more than 100 of us in a row working for six hours at a time, desperately bored. The butts are a filthy, barren place, a little like WW1 trenches but made of bricks and mortar, where the target frames move up and down above a trough that filled with rainwater, oil and goodness-knows-what-else. To top it off, people were shooting at you all day. It was a miserable way to earn £15 a day. Later I was promoted to range officer and got to be at the other end. Happy days.
What is your superhero power & why?
Probably Roger Irrelevant from Viz. Sorry.
If you had £1 left to spend in the whole world what would you spend it on?
I’d get two 50p coins as seed funding and challenge someone to beat me to turning it into £100!
Read about last week’s #OneTeam Business Development Manager, Debs Horner.
To find out more about the business support programmes that Unlocking Potential can offer, contact us on 0845 600 3660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.