We are hosting regular interviews with Launch22's many brilliant and inspiring members. Finding out about their business, their ideas and their philosophies with a focus on the theme of entrepreneurship. So without further ado allow me to introduce Adam, the managing director of Junxion UK.
HI ADAM, SO TELL ME ABOUT JUNXION UK!
We are a strategy and communications consultancy specializing in helping organizations increase their social impact that started in Canada and now has offices in London and Vancouver.
WHAT'S YOUR STORY, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
It feels like something I've been doing one way or another for 30 years. My background is in campaigning for environmental pressure groups and communications and strategy consultancy within an agency environment. I then worked for myself for ten years, after which I wanted to come back and create a business around the work that I was doing when the opportunity presented itself to take over the London office five years ago.
YOU'VE BEEN IN THE GAME A WHILE, I CAN IMAGINE YOU'VE WORKED ON SOME INTERESTING PROJECTS?
About a twelve years ago I did a project with the United Nations Environmental programme which was launching the Principles of Responsible Investment. The idea was that the investment industry needed to think a little harder about where it was putting its money and whether that was having a positive or negative social and environmental impact. Fast forward twelve years, the same group has realized that they need some principles for responsible banking. Now we are helping them launch those by writing the communication strategy which is super exciting. The ambition is nothing short of transforming the future of banking and aligning it with societies needs; it's a project I'm thrilled to be working on.
We are proud to be a certified B corporation, a company that has reached a high level of environmental performance and advocates for businesses to operate in a similar fashion. As such we help other companies become certified B corporations, an area we are leaders in. Within the next couple of months, we are going to be working with an organic whiskey distillery, I like my whiskey so I'm delighted to work with them.
HOW DOES YOUR WORK IMPACT YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?
I eat, live and breath it, I'm very politically active and engaged in these sorts of debates and I wouldn't do any other work than this one way or another. I believe there is an agenda that's right and there's a lot of people committed to addressing the challenges the world faces, working alongside them is really energizing.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING PART ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Unforeseen opportunities, you could make a plan but then other interesting and eventful things can occur. For us that could a new associate a who you form an interesting relationship or a new exciting project.
The thing I love most is helping people develop the careers that they want. One of the reasons to run a business is to create employment for other people and to nurture them as they develop both as individuals and as professionals in their career. To help people realize their ambition at work for me is definitely the most rewarding aspect of running my own business.
ON THE FLIP-SIDE, WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
The most challenging part is just keeping going, the classic issues faced by small business like managing cash flow etc which can be hard to balance. The other part is that can be hard to just turn off, it's like your baby so you can never really switch off. Sometimes that means that you' re not giving as much attention as you could and should to other aspects of your life such as your family. Getting that balance right, finding a way to switch off, finding a way to be present with everyone, that's most challenging part.
It's something I reflect on, I read around the subject of well-being and running your own business to learn from others who have done it successfully. I'm very fortunate that I have a partner I can share this with so that I'm not lonely or bottling it up and can move on.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO SOMEONE WHO WAS THINKING ABOUT STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Test your idea and test it again.
Surround yourself with some smart, experienced advisers who you can draw on regularly and hire people smarter than yourself.
Constantly hone your message, be clear about what your offering people. In our case, impact investing: money allocation towards positive social and environmental impact is a growing agenda and we are very well placed to help that sector. We just need to be clearer about how we do that so we can land that message with the people who could benefit from our services.
HOW HAS BEING AT LAUNCH22 HELPED YOU?
This coming up to the end of our first month. We have been really welcomed. My experience so far has been all about the space, it's a very convivial place to spend time, the environment is great as is the location. There are also some really cool businesses here and we have already been able to do some networking connecting someone from here with a contact of mine.
Plus the team at Launch22 have our backs, they want us to do well which is great!
Want to change the world for the better with your business idea? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply stop by our space to say hello!
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