#TakeFiveWith Edward Johnson
Could you tell us about yourself and your job role? And one hobby/fun fact?
I am an entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder of PushFar. PushFar is an organisation that I set up to try and make mentoring more accessible and effective for everyone. The idea is ultimately to bring together mentors and mentees onto our online network and work with organisations to help them with internal mentoring.
Fun fact – I have acting lessons once a week. I enjoy acting and when you’re running a company, having an acting lesson once a week gives me a break from the rush of running a business.
What is a typical day like for you?
There are no two days alike. A typical day will usually start quite early in the morning. I like to get into the office at about 5:00 or 6:00 AM and that allows me to be really proactive in the day rather than reactive, so I can send out emails and prepare my day, I can stay ahead of the game and plan out what I want to achieve.
I do lots of different things because when you are the CEO of a startup company, you get involved in all aspects of it. Everything from the customer success, the client support, the marketing right through to the product development, investor relations and pretty much everything in between.
It’s hard to say what a typical day looks like, but there’s certainly lots of phone calls, meetings, and planning.
Could you tell us how you got into your role?
I was actually looking for a mentor myself. I was part of a small company as their Head of Digital and there was no one within their organisation that was a suitable mentor for me, so I went onto the Internet to try and find one. I quickly realised that there was no platform out there to help connect mentors and mentees.
Because of my background in Digital and Online Development, I decided I would get started on building a platform to fix this problem and find a mentor for myself, this is how I got into my role. And from conversations with HR directors and Learning and Development Directors, I quickly realised there was an issue with mentoring internally for organisations, so we took the technology and started to apply it as an internal solution for organisations too.
I think a lot of people are also working for smaller companies nowadays – either as sole traders, freelancers or people who are a part of smaller organisations where there just aren’t the right people internally.
What motivates you to do a good job?
There are a few different motivators for me.
The first one is that it is born through a personal need, so I’m acutely aware that if I’m in this situation, other people will be as well, so if I can help them then that’s a fantastic thing.
I also get motivation from our customers and our clients by ensuring that we’re not just providing a solution and a service to them, it’s really important that PushFar does the job really well. We don’t just want to be a software provider, we want to be a provider of technology that really does work and helps employees to thrive.
Finally I get motivation from my colleagues, the team that I am slowly building within PushFar e.g. my co-founder, our developers, etc. I think making sure we do a good job to help the business to grow is a big motivator.
How do you learn at work?
There is a lot of knowledge sharing between myself and my co-founder, the development team and the support team we have internally. So we’re always sharing thoughts, ideas and articles.
I speak to a lot of people when I go to several networking events. I think it’s really important to network as much as possible because you will always learn new things from either people in different industries or people in the same industry who are in a different role. Just breaking down communication barriers and talking with people is a brilliant way to organically learn.
I’ll regularly be reading articles and looking at content people are posting on social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
I think the big one for me is the networking element, it’s just amazing how much you do learn just from talking to people.
What are your aims for the next year? For example, if you work in accessibility do you have any plans to help make workplaces more inclusive? If you work in Learning and Development how are you going to promote workplace learning?
We have a lot of plans for the next year – we actually have plans for the next three years and we keep adding to them, which is an exciting place to be for a company. I think when you are building technology, there are always things you want to be doing, there are always new features you want to be adding in, there are always things you want to do to improve existing features as a platform.
A large part of our aims for the next year are growing the client base that we work with, so we already work with some incredible organisations and want to increase the number of clients we work with, which will be driven by our development of our technology and our product too.
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT DIVERSE MINDS UK ON THE FOLLOWING PLATFORMS:
PushFar website: www.pushfar.com
PushFar Twitter Account: @pushfar
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