Pop Quiz, Monday with John McLeod

John McLeod

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
John McLeod

John McLeod
Photo credit: John McLeod

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
JEA Associates Ltd is a boutique public relations firm focused on the Financial Services and Financial Technology sectors. Having worked for many PR firms in the City advising blue-chip companies, I was particularly interested in blockchain technology and its potential to disrupt existing industries. I wanted to create a firm that understood how to communicate blockchain’s potential to the media.

What do you love most about your job?
I am fortunate to be working in such a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry. It means I am learning new things all the time. Throughout the last three years, I have advised many exciting ICOs and blockchain technology companies that could have an enormous impact on people’s lives over the course of the next ten years. Given the nature of my clients, I have learned how to trade digital currencies, transfer assets between blockchains and manage some pretty volatile markets.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I find it very rewarding when ideas from a client are turned into a campaign that then sees coverage appear and awareness of a product or service gain momentum. So many former clients arrive very sceptically regarding the benefits of public relations, however, the value that can be added almost always turns them into evangelists for this industry.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I have been very lucky to partner with and advise a number of exceptional people who despite facing enormous barriers and obstacles continue to succeed. As an entrepreneur, it’s always worth remembering you will face tough obstacles to reach your goals.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Although the hours are inevitably long, I am lucky in that a number of my clients are based abroad and often request meetings in person. I’ve always thought it worth having the team members join me and then have a fancy meal afterward wherever’s nearby (for team building purposes).

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The blockchain industry is new and prone to extreme price volatility and changes in market sentiment. This makes it hard to manage cash flow during periods of irrational exuberance and downturns. If payments are made in digital tokens, it only adds another layer of agonising complexity in terms of knowing when to sell!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Clients don’t always understand public relations and how the media works. How you manage expectations and explain the reality of the media will be fundamental to ensuring the client understands what is feasible and how long things can take.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Never turn down a meeting, no matter how obscure the contact may seem you might well benefit from it at some future point.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
Twitter: @citijohn

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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