PortfolioCast

PortfolioCast from The Portfolio Collective: Ep.8 with Entrepreneur Edward Goodchild

December 22, 2020 The Portfolio Collective Season 1 Episode 8
PortfolioCast
PortfolioCast from The Portfolio Collective: Ep.8 with Entrepreneur Edward Goodchild
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Episode 8

We interview Edward Goodchild on:

  • staying endlessly curious,
  • keeping kindness at the heart of your actions,
  • how to determine your own narrative,
  • start with an idea, and
  • willingly embrace failure.

At his heart, Ed is an enthusiastic innovator and perennial entrepreneur. On top of building the Zendht Venture Studio, he is an independent adviser, board chair, forum moderator and charity trustee.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Welcome to the eighth episode of PortfolioCast. Today we're speaking with Edward Goodchild, at his heart, Ed is an enthusiastic innovator, and a perennial entrepreneur. On top of building the Zendht venture studio, he's an independent advisor, board chair, forum moderator, and charity trustee. Welcome, Edward.

Ed Goodchild:

Thank you very much indeed for having me.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

No problem. So let's get started. Your love for innovation is a clear driver in the work that you do with Zendt.. Where was that passion first formulated?

Ed Goodchild:

Well, it's interesting, you should ask because I think if you'd asked either my parents, or my school masters, or indeed, my friends, when I was in my 20s, you would have never marked me down for doing any of this. I have to give away an age now, I'm now in my mid 50s. It started when really, it was probably a bit of a midlife crisis in my mid 40s. And I've been an advisor for a long time. And the bit that I found really interesting about the advice was, here are the life stories of the people that I was advising private clients, they were all entrepreneurs, they'd all typically started with zero and have made a significant amount of capital. And I started thinking, well, if they can do it, I've got these sort of connections and advantages, well, then surely I can do it. So that's what I did.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Fantastic. I mean, it's interesting that you say, going back towards school, you definitely wouldn't have been seen to do these sorts of things. But you've definitely got a clear appetite for learning. You mentioned that you have been advisor, you're a chartered wealth manager, you've got your CISI fellowship. And most recently, you've just this year gained your Chartered Institute of Marketing fellowship. So congratulations on that. How has all of these different educational avenues helped you build your portfolio career as it stands today?

Ed Goodchild:

The reason it worked, or the reason I pursued these different channels, is it's only relatively recently - in fact having a portfolio actually finally gives it some sort of overall coherence. Because before I've done a whole series of different jobs in lots of different arenas, and therefore I've sought to be qualified in whatever I've been doing. And it's now that I knit it all together, I call it my venture studio, because I've got a number of different businesses, but you could equally describe it as a portfolio of different interests. And it's being able to be open minded to picking out new knowledge about lots of different things. And I make a comment, lots of times about reach and range and scope and opportunity. But really, it's about looking up and out. And education, just part of it, I suppose I'm endlessly curious. and I just sort of kind of follow things or get interested in things or just develop passions about things.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

I think that's one of the biggest traits of portfolio professionals is, is curiosity. And it's interesting that there can be lots of fear in the different types of work that you're going to be taking on, all the challenges, etc. But actually, there's not that fear of finding something out for the first time or trying something for the first time and seeing what happens. That curiosity definitely drives us, doesn't it?

Ed Goodchild:

It does. I mean a lot to promote yourself, or to get somebody to pay you to do something, you need to have sufficient information, you need to have sufficient experience, which is why probably coming at it a bit later in life rather than kind of straight out of uni probably makes it easier. But people come to ask your advice because they don't know the answer. So you clearly need to know more than they do. Because otherwise, why would they listen to you or pay you, but it doesn't mean you need to know absolutely everything about everything. And I think it's the fear of thinking there are gaps in your knowledge that hold people back from doing multiple things or taking the big brave step. I think it was Branson who said if your plans or your ideas don't frighten you, then they're not big enough. I have a little bit of nervous anticipation. I think one of the characteristics, and I know that myself, you have to be somebody who sort of permanently fidgeting you're always after new things or kind of wanting to look around the corner or look over the wall. You have to be a slightly kind of nosy about life in general.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, absolutely. It's having the curiosity about the shiny new things and the focus to actually complete something with them.

Ed Goodchild:

Yeah, it's interesting because somebody else was on a talk I was listening to and said, Well, of course I did is this sort of the trope that comes out when everybody's got ideas? It's all about delivery. Yes, it is about delivery, because otherwise it's not a business. It's just a is a book of ideas. But I actually don't think that everybody is full of ideas, but like lots of things, I think you can learn to have ideas. I don't think it's naturally there's sort of nature or nurture. I don't think it's that some people just have an innate right to have the ideas and other people don't. I think you can nurture and encourage it and learn the behaviours and you hang out with the right people. You go look for it in the right places. And then guess what? If you're open minded to it, then you begin to run with it.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, absolutely. And you explain how you work with all your multiple roles of keeping your eyes and ears open and alert to the world at large, heads up, not heads down. I really love that phrase. We often talk about balance in these interviews. But what I'd really love to know more about is how you make the connection between all the things that you do, and how that benefits you and the people that you're working with, and others?

Ed Goodchild:

The starting point is I push back against this whole idea of about work/life balance. The way that I look out the window, as it were, is errr.. I've got a life.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah.

Ed Goodchild:

And life is more interesting is got some complexity, or it's got some narrative around it, or it's got some extra interest rather than being kind of monolithic, just doing one thing.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Hmm.

Ed Goodchild:

I'm a bit of a sucker for joining things. And that's probably because I, I've never been a sportsman. So the whole kind of go play golf, go play rugby, go play cricket, go play anything else, has never been part of. I've got a background of joining membership organisations and wanted to be kind of an enthusiast about things. And then if you if you go off and do that, and you're open minded, you meet other people doing other things, and then how they relate, I suppose the way that they glue it together. And it's always a bit imperfect. There's no, this sort of mosaic, there are very few hard lines. There are lots of dotted lines and connections. The starting point, and as well as its light values route. Life's pretty good if you go around being helpful and broadly speaking kind to people. And if you are broadly speaking kind, so somebody needs a helping hand, you help them, then you suddenly find that actually other people help you. I actually view this as a safety net. There's a whole bunch of comments about integrity is how somebody behaves when nobody else is looking. But actually, if you go around and try and just be a reasonable human being, it's amazing how many other people will then treat you that way. But then he is actually really the glue that sticks it together. So you read I don't know. Let's make it as a digital example. Somebody pops up something on LinkedIn and says, Does anybody know somebody somewhere? Either you do know somebody, or just have a scroll around? I did it earlier on the week, scrolling around for that company... Do you know somebody who's a second or third connection. Ting their name in, it costs you nothing, you try to help somebody else, you create goodwill, guess what, he suddenly comes back x days later and off it... And that's what makes the world go round.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

I am a huge believer in paying it forward and having that open mindedness of going into conversations not about what can I get from this, but what can I give...

Ed Goodchild:

It is also an added part, if you're on the business founder route, is that tends to be fairly self centric, because it's your drive, it's your determination, you ultimately are the decision maker, it all ends up at one desk, which is do we or don't we. That's a quite an insular outcome. I spend a bit of time as a peacetime soldier, so nothing dangerous, but this idea of collegiate responsibility and obligation/responsibility being the two sides of the same coin. So if you end up with this sort of potential isolation, then I like doing the pro bono things because it's teamwork. And as I just said, I don't do teamsport never been able to catch a ball in my life. And therefore it's a it's a proxy for that. Because if you sit on a on a charity board, for example, you're one amongst many, rather than being the leader who has to make the final decision and the balance of the two. I think it's a pleasant way to live your life as a whole tonne of stuff out of the moment, obviously about mental well being and where where's my place in society? And what do I do and all I ever do is work. It just gives a little bit of balance to our lives I suppose.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

It does always end up coming around that way, doesn't it? There's many entrepreneurial professionals out there. We're definitely seeing them come out of the woodwork even more now so that people are facing furlough or redundancy etc. And who are looking to a portfolio career as a springboard into starting their own businesses. What advice would you give to somebody who is on this path?

Ed Goodchild:

I do have three bits of advice. The first one is in one's own headspace. So I talked about it a few moments ago about this sort of kind of isolation factor. I've worked in large organisations and one of the really thing that is difficult then when you step off on your own is, you're on your own. And you kind of think that you were doing - you were the leader in it, and suddenly - No, you learn all sorts of new skills like how does your router work? How did all your IT work? Telephony? How do you set up email accounts? All of this sort of kind of hits as a wash? So the advice there is you want to create, pretty quickly, a little black book of technical people who can help you get stuff done. The second one is a recognition again in headspace, that nobody really cares what you've done before. So you need to develop your own narrative, because that's what people will remember. You want people to be talking about you, so you better set your own story. Because otherwise, it's just a sort of kind of random walk in the park. I set up my first business when I was made redundant. So I'm sitting nicely in a house and two kids in school. And yeah, now I'm just sitting looking at a box of possessions. I didn't see it coming, by the way. So that changes your risk appetite, because you now have the scope of starting something out. And I was fortunate that was a redundancy payment. So that gives you a bit of money to start with, that takes off the immediate pressure, but I was always kind of a bit embarrassed about that. And then you realise after a few years that lots of lots and lots of people who've set up companies quite often the starting point is facing redundancy, and people who've gone on to set up really successful big companies are quite open about it, which is part of the reason I'm now talking about it. The follow on, the next part is, I was always under the impression you needed to have a really detailed business plan, you needed to have everything topped and tailed, and everything to the state of perfection. Back to an old military adage of the first casualty of war is the plan. I think, actually, this sort of agile working, you need to have a sense of direction and what you want to try and achieve and then break it down into the various steps to try and get there. But you need it to be kind of fluid. Because pandemics certainly prove this, life just throws a whole tonne of curveballs at you, even when the world's being well behaved. And actually probably the differentiator of, of a successful entrepreneur, or somebody with a portfolio career is the ability to be able to cope with that uncertainty. One of the things I've said a lot to people, and it applies to me is, you're never going to have a day when your jobs list, your task lists, you're going to have ticked everything off. So if your criteria for being able to walk away from your desk, have a good night's sleep, go out for supper, all of these things is that I've got a completely clear desk, you'll be chained to your desk for perpetuity and never get away.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

And therefore the skill, which often isn't the case in very large organisations, it's been pretty brutal about prioritising. This absolutely has to be done, right better do that. Tax return? Yes. I've been nice to talk and you have to permanently sift about what really needs to be done. But you can only know what really needs to be done if you have a very, very clear identity, where you want to be. And the struggle, and I think The Portfolio Collective has been really cool about this is helping people work out what their goal should be.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah.

Ed Goodchild:

Because otherwise, it's just a bit of a random walk. And it might work and it might not but I'm a bit too much of a control freak. Like to know. It's a bit like Sat Nav you don't you have a stab in the postcode, you may get lost on the way and you change the route and all the other stuff. But if you don't have this clear vision, then it's hard.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, knowing the B, where you're going towards is definitely a helpful starting place. As you say it's a big part of what we do. And it's a big part of how we start our Catapult course, for example, just getting people to really focus and often people haven't taken the time to do that. And it's might be because they haven't been allowed the time to do it. How have you approached starting new businesses? You've started many, and you continue to work with many, how do you go about thinking, right? Okay, is this a good idea or a bad idea?

Ed Goodchild:

Well, I have a very simple process, because that's the sort of way I work. So the first one is, you just have to have the idea. You don't need to have solved sort of kind of nuclear fusion with this, it is just an idea. Then I normally write a what I would refer to as a scoping paper. So get some thoughts down on paper, normally a couple of sides of A4, bash it out. Don't worry too much about syntax, just bash it out, and then move it around, then I normally try and literally sketch it out as a picture. Probably started because my kids are a bit older, so they've all done a levels and stuff, but a sort of kind of Mind Map thing. It's a doodle basically. Because you're trying to work out how will the different bits hold on together? Well, if I do this, I could do that. Or there's a dotted line. Oh, I know some of you does that. So you're beginning to create a kind of an ecosystem around it. Then typically I go look for people who can help me. They might be employees, they might be collaborators, they might be freelancers, don't really mind, actually, I'm quite neutral. And that's normally done on a basic skills matrix. I know where I want to go, these are the skills I need. These are things I definitely don't know about. It's a bit of self awareness about, no no no, there's no chance I could do those, right. I need to find somebody who's got some of these skills, or then there's what I could do I really be much more efficient if somebody else did it. So sort of comparative economics 101. I mean, you do the top level on boards about board members and the skills needed and put little X's in? Well, you do the same in your own in your own head. Then you've got to try and scoop those people up to your to your idea. So that's your first pitch. Because you've all the people you will approach go "nah", well, then you need to go back at the office, or the back bedroom, scratch your head and think, Well, okay, maybe it wasn't quite so cool, but that there's an iterative process. But as long as I don't laugh you out completely, then there's normally the part about trying to find some money, I mean, basically got two options, your own back pocket or somebody else's back pocket. There's always a bit of tension about that. And of course, the amount of money that you have then determines the path that you can take, and 10,000 different models of doing that. I have generally gone the bootstrapping model, because I've been enthusiastic about what I want to do. And I'd rather just get on with it. Because the really ugly side of fundraising is you go and talk to 100 people, and 95 of those people will tell you, you're wrong. misplaced, somebody else is doing it. Because you got to find the five that will back you, let's say and if you don't really, really can do it boot strategy. My advice is do it because you don't get diluted. You don't have the problem of tonnes of people telling your idea's rubbish. Now there's a difference between genuine feedback from people who want to engage with you. When you're out being the supplicant wanting money, it gets really soul destroying people's own narrative. So if you can avoid just going and seeing them at all, then my advice is just skirt around it try and work out a different way.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

It's normally talked about that you go and talk to friends and family. I actually think that's the hardest people to talk to

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

You've got people who are completely unbiased or bias in a completely different way.

Ed Goodchild:

But also, they tend to be less hesitant about giving you full feedback. And then of course, you got the idea. You've scoped it out, you've got the team, and then you need to start making it happen.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, obviously, you've run businesses, but also you have roles within other organisations, etc. And particularly being a board member of several different companies. We've talked about the fact that that allows you to have some give back, some play within the roles, a slightly different role to everything landing on your plate, being part of a team, but what advice would you give to people who are looking to expand their experience and getting involved with other companies?

Ed Goodchild:

Give it a go. It's hard, though, because generally is much more straightforward to pick up pro bono, what you find is you end up being really, really busy, and you got no income.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

And depending on your personal circumstances, that's either a good thing or a bad thing, which is part of the reason that trustee board, for example, tend to be people or retired because the money is kinda sorted. If, on the other hand, you're still working, then there's a question to my time that I like to give back in pro bono, philanthropy, all the rest of it. By the way, the philanthropy part is time and effort is not to do with money, but it's trying to facilitate and help and guide and judge. There's a part of which is in sort of a family, and pleasure and life, then there's new business and business activities, things that I've generated, and then there's always a sort of the 10% is unallocated because you need to have a float if you want to do other things. And I generally rule of thumb work on the premise. If I'm taking a new thing in one of those categories, then normally, you've got to give up one. Now I then tend to wrap that in good governance and say, Well, if I'm going to take an appointment for something, yeah, three years, maybe with the two year extension. I've got into trouble on a couple of different ways. Because I say, Look, I'll take it if there's a clear way that I can find my replacement. Or actually what I jokingly say is after about four years, you need to sack me, because otherwise it becomes a perpetuity that's not good for them is not good for me.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

That's a really interesting and honest way of looking at it. And also an honest conversation to have at the start, I guess. And not many people are used to having those kind of honest conversations right at the beginning, like this is what I want to achieve out of it. And this is my expectations. But that's a really important conversation to have.

Ed Goodchild:

I just think it's a open transparent one. So we're talking about clear objectives for business, I would contend you would have kind of broadly the same thing for your life, but with business is either a small part or a large part or whatever portion you want. But if that general planning works for business, well then I also think it applies to life as well. One of the things that I would encourage anybody who's stepping out from an organisation into a portfolio career is the real value of mentors and coaches, my general steer is and to pay for it, because it's really worth it. So I spent quite a lot of time really pre the Zendht venture studio idea, which is really coalescing all the things that I've evolved to try and give it a coherence and structure because they're all interrelated. And quite often people tell me Oh, you're doing too many things. You can't possibly And how does it work? So, ultimately a bit like I was talking about drawing out the doodle? Well, I've now turned it into a website so somebody can see what I do. So hopefully that demonstrates the coherence, and they go Ah! Okay, I understand what he's doing. But part of that is having a really clear goal. And I have a number of sessions with a really great coach. And I have it as my singular objective, what I refer to as long term financial equilibrium, that's different for everybody. It does come down to a number but the number comes down to Well, why is that number because I need or want to achieve these goals in order to do that. The machinery needs to produce that, it gives you a timeline, it's not quite a cash flow forecast, but it's got elements of that. And therefore, if that's the direction I want to go in well, then these are the things I need to do to have a pretty high probability in being able to hit it.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

And that's really good advice. And I think that's certainly something that a lot of full stage portfolio professionals need to remind themselves of. It's kind of having that end goal. Most businesses have an exit strategy. What is your exit strategy of your career? And what do you want to achieve at the end of the day, it's a blaise way way of putting it or a rather clinical way of putting it maybe. But yeah, it's an interesting thought to have an apply to how you...

Ed Goodchild:

One of the pushback, again, I push back on this idea about having an exit strategy, I suppose because I spend 10-12 years as a portfolio manager. So picking stock, and building a portfolio. It's not predicated on an exit. It's predicated on producing something that can continue to create new businesses, but the starting factor isn't selling any of them. Now, like all entrepreneurs, if somebody comes around the corner and offers you ridiculous price for something, you think it's worth 10, and they offer you 1000, yeah yeah you bite their arm off! Not withstanding that as a as a sort of the outlier event. The way that I constructed it is to do build and hold, not really to sell anything, the discipline, the financial discipline is to build it such that it could be sold, because that keeps all the ducks lined up and everything working properly. But one of the bits I really pushed back against as a kind of common prevailing culture is you have an idea, you kind of throw lots of money at it, it has a sudden rise in value and you flog it off to somebody else. No, I really like the idea of building a portfolio of businesses.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

You know the way that you have created your businesses. It is passion-led, it is your interest, in a fluffier way they're your babies, they're part of what you...

Ed Goodchild:

They're not my babies, am I angry teenagers... don't...trust me.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

I did have in one of our previous podcasts actually spoke to somebody who described their children as their startups because they literally are behaving like startups and that you know, they're toddlers. that you got to put a lot of work in, etc, etc. And the analogy went on. So it's nice to hear your business being angry teenagers. We talk a lot about success and what it means. And obviously, that's tied up in you know, what we were just talking about in whether we hold on to our businesses, whether we hold on to our roles that we have, or we develop a we have cut off periods for different things, etc. Success is obviously very important to what we do, what it means how it changes as we go through our careers. But I think talking about failure is just as important. And there, there is all these stats in the world about how such and such number of startups fail and etc, etc. You've got to get through the first three years or five years or blah, what failures have helped you along your way? And do you see them as failures anymore?

Ed Goodchild:

Oh the way is littered with failure. I can't tell you the number of things I've been massively unsuccessful in and all sorts of things you thought were getting a bit brighter here and and had ended up in cul de sacs. Through nobody's particular fault, they just have. So, I'm just in the process of, well it is lauched now, deputy finances is a property finance platform. So the basic problem seeking to solve, don't need to worry about it here is a long term persistent problem. And this is the fifth way that I've tried to solve it. Now this won't work. It will work. But actually it will work because his predecessors couldn't, didn't, shouldn't have worked.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah.

Ed Goodchild:

So for example, as we begin the marketing boards, and somebody says, Well, why is it like that? You go, Well, because we tried the other ways, and they didn't work. And because of the lessons we learned. So for example, this is about bringing private capital into the gap between what the bank will provide to a residential developer and what the developers got. And there's always a gap. So you can try it as a fund, but then nobody wants to do blind pool investing because they want to be able to touch it. So that didn't work. I thought I could do something called a reverse loan note in that you raise a bond and then you do one with lending but anybody who puts money in wants to know where it's going to go. So that didn't work. I tried to do it as simple introducer to a finance broker, but that didn't work because unless they completed the deal, I didn't get paid. So I have no control over it. But this is this iterative process, the risk of doing it in startup land, is it all tends to be a bit public. But you can't do it all in the laboratory. You just have to get out and go and do it. Yeah, no, I think you have to willingly embrace failure. And also don't let it do your head in, it is just part of it. In fact, I would contend that the measure of an entrepreneur is how you deal with failure.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

Dealing with success is really easy. Happy days, that's great. It's when it's going wobbly or it's going wrong. Can you stay calm? Because there is normally a way out. Secondly, can you keep your team together? Because everybody's under different pressures, there's a unifying factor of success. But if that tips into failure, can you keep people with you?

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

My failure... but the joy is, if you can, well, then you go around the block again. And what it does mean, in your construct of how you put your portfolio together is to have some things that are really low risk. So if you are a global equity portfolio manager, you have some high risk ideas have got really high returns, but they potentially high. But you also have some really boring things at the bottom, that just sort of kind of pay the bills. And actually, in business, you need a bit of that as well. In particular, following the portfolio route. So actually a couple of things where you do your day's work, you get your day's pay, that's fine. mortgage is covered, can eat and drink, you're okay is probably pretty, pretty key.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah. And that's why a lot of people, and certainly my experience of it was starting off with paid PAYE jobs and then building side hustles. And then taking a leap with one or many of them,

Ed Goodchild:

It doesn't need to be this kind of black or white, it can be a process. It's not that hard and fast. Again, to go back to something I mentioned before, this cultural shift, if you've had a full time job, doesn't matter what level in what industry, that's the thing you've done. And that breeds a certain degree of certainty. And it's having the right attitude, to be able to cope with this fluid movement of lots of different things happening at the same time. I mean, one of the things I do, I wake up early, and I tend to go for a walk, actually, it's lovely, no earphones, no, no digital media, no nothing there, just go for a walk clear out. And it's lovely, you just kind of organise yourself for the day. And I do that, basically seven days a week, all through the year, I would thoroughly recommend it as kind of a zero cost ability just to have clear thinking time. And sometimes thinking time can be about the square root of nothing, it doesn't have to be some great kind of life's purpose. Sometimes walking along completely neutral is also lovely.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

There's lots of science around having the best ideas when you're in the shower or when you're walking, because that's the time where your brain can switch into neutral and have some space to think about things, to play around with some ideas.

Ed Goodchild:

It's been said about children, you need to have some periods of enforced boredom. I've got another number of pet peeves, but one of which is whenever he says, Oh, I'm too busy. No, that's just a failure to prioritise. So that's me being pretty blunt, I block out big chunks of time in my diary, which is just nothing. And it's not that I do nothing in the nothing period, it's just, I can determine what I do in those periods. rather than it being imposed upon me. I might be working really hard, I might just go and have a cup of tea and sit on the sofa, doesn't matter. The fact is that you're then in control and you don't feel like you're on this runaway train. There's just sort of just zooming along and everything is running past you and you can't focus. Gary Keller wrote a book about blocking out time so that you have the air pockets, you can come up for air, you can think, you can reflect. I was taught years and years ago that you wanted to write somebody a really stinking email or a letter, you should write it when you're really angry! And then print it out and leave it 24 hours, sleep on it. And then you can correct the grammar. No, no, but you then change the tone or relative and again on that, and I suppose is certainly appropriate now is my default is pick up the phone, I find it a bit frustrating because the default of the world seems to be send an email, but it has no nuance to it. It's so easy for people to get the wrong end of the stick.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

I was an oddity in my last corporate job because I was known for turning up of people's desks. Because if I could walk to them, why would I send them an email?

Ed Goodchild:

Correct! Yes. And the other one is a really, really cool one back into the kind of mentoring, coaching, one is walking meetings. If you want to have a good chat with somebody, I did a wonderful piece of strategy work in the middle between the two lockdown. We went for a walk for an hour, just fabulous.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Up until obviously lockdown and tiers. I was still every few weeks, popping into London and meeting up with our CMO Fiona and just having some face to face time. In fact, actually our whole team hadn't spent any time together face to face because we created this company in lockdown. Never you know. not all of that one team had met met.

Ed Goodchild:

If you had told me 12 months ago that I would have hired a number of people without having met them. I'd have told you, you were a lunatic! But it worked really well!

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, yeah, there are different ways of doing it. There are different ways of getting a feel for somebody and creating a team that works together and works really well. Even if you haven't met. Obviously talking about lockdown, it's very hard to avoid the subject and us continuing in the tier system, having faced two lockdowns so far. And we just mentioned the fact you've hired a lot of people remotely, but how have you stayed connected to your network and your colleagues, because you have many different sets of colleagues, obviously. Has there been anything that stood out to you as a really useful tool or method for keeping communication open, when we can't be able to get that you mentioned about, you know, picking up the phone more than email? Is it just that that's helped you? Or is there more that helped you?

Ed Goodchild:

Yeah, picking up the phone, bit like your comment about walking around and asking somebody at the desk, you're very hard to read because you're suddenly pushing yourself into their diary and you kind of don't know what to do - and you think somebody frightfully rude, they haven't phoned me back now. They've been madly busy on something else. Back to my comment about prioritisation, yeah yeah, actually what they've done is just prioritised me out of the loop. No, that's fine, that's fine. Yeah, there tends to be the phone. I mean, I have a networking business. So I am, I suppose at one level, I'm a professional networker. So that's my Lamwyk business, we were running forums about every three weeks face to face, in kind of normal times, we now run those on video conference call, it's a bit different, it's really hard to do a roundtable discussion. So we tend to default to having two or three speakers and I chair it and pull that together. So that's, that's one way of connecting with the network, I also pivoted that business to turn it into a digital publishing business. So we put out a Quarterly Journal, and I do it as a commonplace book. It's idiosyncratic, it's just a whole bunch of stuff I find to be interesting. And back to my comment about reach and range and scope and opportunity etc, I use LinkedIn a lot. Back to being the nosy and curious one, I'm interested in what other people do, it's actually a fabulous way of connecting with former colleagues or working overseas. Because I've worked for a Ossie firm in London, I've got a whole bunch of Australian contacts. And actually, that's a pretty good medium and being able to do that. Back to the one about paying forward, that gets to be more lively and interesting, if you comment and help and seek to engage with other people's networks, rather than trying to get people always to come to you, kind of be a reasonable human being rather than trying to screw people up. And yeah, that's probably about it. And when we're all a bit constrained, I mean, I think the thing that's really hard is if you don't have a developed network,

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah,

Ed Goodchild:

So I think those who are seeking to establish themselves, it's much harder and LinkedIn being but one example. You can kind of when you look at somebody whose profile, it has a different - it's often quite ignored by those people who've been working for somewhere for 15 years, but they're argument is Why do I need it? Well, it can actually be a bit of an insurance policy.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Oh, yeah. Absolutely

Ed Goodchild:

I started with LinkedIn years and years and years ago when it first started because I moved jobs a couple of times and you couldn't take your contact book with you, it was a property of the institution. And for years I just used on the kind of the Rolodex, of boxes of physical business card, but they date very quickly. Although, it takes a certain degree of sort of strength of character to throw them away, because they might be useful. So I switched to using LinkedIn as effectively as an online address book because in the cloud and therefore you were fine. So my advice for anybody who is looking or even thinking about portfolio like career, have a network. Doesn't matter who it is or how many it is, have a network because otherwise you fall into the category of Shoulda, Could have, Didn't. Doing that today from scratch, from your own house in lockdown is definitely hard. But then how do you it? Well, people you went to school with, people who live near with you, friends and family, people you like about. I mean there are kind of standard levers, it's not, that bit ain't rocket science. Oh, and I'm so old that I I'm in the demographic that quite enjoying looking at rubbish stuff on Facebook. But I think that's got zero value in terms of my own network. I know other people use it for business, personally is just for silliness. But it's keeping connected with other people. It's quite neat as well.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, you do never know where that next connections going to come from, or that next recommendation, etc, because somebody will see and connect the dots.

Ed Goodchild:

I mean, I often get the comments - how do you know all these people? Get this sort of little weird sort of troll under a bridge collecting business cards! Well, it goes back to the nosy and the curiosity part is if you're interested in other people, if you are minded to be welcoming, then that's how you get to know people. If you're frightfully closed down and head down and never look anybody in the eye and you don't ever offer anything up, you're likely to have quite a small circle of people, you know. And that may be fine. But if you want to get into a portfolio career you want to be out and about, some of those habits, you're probably gonna have to change.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah, absolutely. I going to end on my own nosy and curious question, given the number of things that you're involved with, and you've created, and this might be a hard question. But what venture or role is your favourite?

Ed Goodchild:

Ah, don't have favourites?

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

No? No, not at all. Not one that you really lean towards?

Ed Goodchild:

Yeah, that's tricky. The reason it's really tricky is I have built this venture studio of lots of different ideas. And they're all connected. So it's a bit like the human body. I mean, kind of which foot do you prefer? Your right foot, your left foot? Well, I'm quite fond the both of them. So that's sort of the that's out of the pushback answer. But I also need to nurture all of them because they are all interdependent. The marketing and creative agency group that we've created. Well, largely, my two business partners have, but agencies within that one of them's doing the digital transformation to build my cyber FinTech model, one of the agencies is doing a PR for one of the other businesses. So everything's interleaved. So as soon as you drop out one part, you end up with the law kind of unintended consequences, because it's not just you've lost that bit, but it all the effect that it ripples through. And it's the greatest strength, I suppose it is everything is interrelated, you're not going to get me to pick a favourite. But having said that, there's always a special spot for your firstborn. And the first thing you do because it in my case was Chawker. We started life as a wealth advisory business back in 2011. That was when I did step off the stage and go, Okay, can I do this, on my own, in a recession be made redundant, decent size mortgage, wife not working, couple of kids in school? Okay, so what do I do now? You're definitely vulnerable at that point. That is kind of the beating heart of the beginning of it. I mean, I still had it. And I'm still doing lots of other things. But that's really kind of the nucleus right at the beginning, in the middle, or put it around another way. If I hadn't done that, I probably wouldn't do the things that came along behind it.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Yeah. And beginnings are really important. We talk a lot about endings, but beginnings are really important. Thank you so much for your time, Ed. It's been so interesting talking to us today. And I can't wait to find out what next.

Ed Goodchild:

Stop. Thank you very much indeed for having me. I love sharing and helping and being engaged and... Terrific. Thank you very much indeed.

Lexi Radcliffe-Hart:

Brilliant. Thanks, Ed.

Stay endlessly curious
Keep kindness at the heart of your actions
Determine your own narrative
Start with an idea
Willingly embrace failure