No Wanky Bollocks

A movement against bullshit in business

Interview with the CEO of PRWD

NWB interviews are 3 questions. They are not self-promoting, or carefully selected quotes to make you sound good.  They are full of useful, actionable insights from experience, not egos.

If you like NWB’s style and have something useful to offer, we’d love to interview you. Tweet @nowankybollocks

The interviewee is Paul Rouke, Founder and CEO of PRWD in Manchester, UK.

1. Biggest Mistake you made in the last year & how you fixed it?

Letting my agency run me, and by doing so driving me to despair and thinking about throwing the towel in.

In just two years I had changed from being a specialist working with clients in a 3 person company to running the day to day operations of a 13 person company. My growing business had turned me into a jack of all trades and a master plate juggler, yet I was almost hating how my role in my business was making me feel, pretty much every day. I knew, deep down, I wasn’t being true to myself. I was kidding myself that I would become the fantastic company MD that my business needed.

Although part of my brain was telling me that I would be a failure if I brought someone in to run my business day-to-day, a small part of my brain was telling me this simply has to happen for my sanity and personal fulfilment.

Following advice from my wife and friends, I decided to create an Operations Director role in my agency and bring someone into this role. It has proven to be one of my most important and life changing decisions I have made in the 12 years of owning my business.

2. A lightbulb moment

In June 2015 I was grateful to be offered a speaking slot at Elite Camp, which is one of the most respected and highly rated conferences globally in conversion optimisation and business growth. I was speaking alongside some of the industries most influential thought leaders. In the build up to my talk I was nervous, I questioned myself, would people get value from my talk, will my talked be advanced enough?

Sat in the audience waiting for my turn to get up and speak, similar concerns and negative feelings were running through my mind. Stood on the stage ready to be introduced, I still wasn’t over my nerves.

I did my talk, I felt it went OK but nothing more.

The following year, my marketing manager emailed me with this: “I was just wondering whether you have an arrangement to speak again at Elite Camp 2016 (and beyond)? If you want, I can fill out the ‘speakers wanted’ form for you?”

My response was “Maybe not for this year now, but certainly next year”. After some convincing from my college, I decided to get in touch with the guy who runs the conference – Peep Laja. I know I wasn’t  100% happy with my delivery last year, so I expect I wasn’t top rated, would they even want me back? So I asked Peep and this was his reply;

“I’ve been thinking. Maybe you’d be a good opening keynote.”

This was my lightbulb moment. I realised that my own perception of me can be so different to the reality that others see.
My lesson? Never, ever lose your sense of perspective.

 

3. Tip for tomorrow

Read this one article I have recently published titled “I am a global thought leader waiting to be found out” – not because I have written in and want to promote me, but because you may just realise that you are not alone and that we should never, ever let the “chimp” side of our brains hold us back from taking on new opportunities which may be outside of our comfort zone.

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