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Introducing...Matt

05/06/2017

Tell us how you got started in the digital/creative/tech space...

I started out in the creative and digital industry selling modems back in the day whilst at university (a long time ago!) and have spent the last 20 years running a number of high-growth C&D businesses, including Mando - one of the largest independent digital agencies in UK.

I founded Form, three years ago to help fill a void in the creative space for start-ups and SMEs with high growth potential in the NW offering to access high-quality mentoring and support.

 

What is your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?

Besides the strategic direction of the business, I love connecting folks. Being in the same industry for over two decades has helped me build an incredible network of connections which I tap up for mentoring, peer accountability and hearing great stories. Over the years I’ve found that it’s the stories of epic disaster and against-the-odds success that really help people connect, build relationships and shape their vision for the future.

Over the years I’ve found that it’s the stories of epic disaster and against-the-odds success that really help people connect, build relationships and shape their vision for the future.

Why Manchester? 

I arrived in Liverpool as a student back in 1995 and have enjoyed living and working across the North ever since. It’s been exciting to see the transformation across the North, with investments in Manchester, Liverpool and around the wider region having helped create a great landscape for creative businesses to flourish.

 

What's one big thing you've learned about what it takes to grow a business?

Can I choose three!? For me it’s been understanding the power of focus and really narrowing down on where you’re trying to get to. So many companies start out with a million ideas, all of which could be viable. But having the courage to be decisive and selective can really progress the growth of a company. Couple that with the strength of building a great team which is core to growing and transforming any business. And ultimately focusing on the lifeblood of sales, sales and sales.

 

What's the piece of advice you find yourself giving most often? 

Business for me is about the long game. There’s no such thing as overnight success in any sphere of life and if you really want to build something of value, you need to be committed for the long-haul.

 

Best book you've read in the last year and why? 

An old classic ‘Small Giants’ by Bo Burlingham. The tag line of the book sums it up for me really – “companies that choose to be great instead of big”. Almost anyone can build a business that is good, but it takes a great investment of courage to build a business that is truly great. That’s something we try and teach everyone we meet. 

There’s no such thing as overnight success in any sphere of life and if you really want to build something of value, you need to be committed for the long-haul.

One album and/or podcast we all need to have in our lives...

I cannot recommend enough the ‘On Being’ series of podcasts. It offers a hybrid mix of art, science, business and spiritual interviews with leaders from around the world including Desmond Tutu and Seth Godin. I love learning how other leaders have crafted their own stories in taking different journeys to success.

 

Most looking forward to about Greater Connected? 

For me, it’s seeing the impact our work has on folk’s businesses. It’s great to teach people new information, but unless that translates into real life for their business, it’s been a waste of time. It’s so rewarding seeing how leaders implement new understandings that affect the outcomes, direction and ultimately the success of their business.

 

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