Pop Quiz, Monday with Peter Watson

Peter Watson

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?
Peter Watson

Peter Watson
Photo credit: Peter Watson

What is your job role?
MD and co-founder of Distract, a multi-service, award-winning creative agency.

Tell us about your company?
We are a UK-based digital advertising agency, offering Paid Search, Social Advertising, PPC, Web, and PR.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that I can come in every day and it is different. There are no restrictions on us as many of our clients give us full creative control. Because we are able to be reactive, we can change strategies very quickly. Because we are able to change up so quickly, we can choose to form new arms of business, be that eCommerce, new features for websites or campaigns for social. I love the amount of freedom and opportunity there is.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
For me, it is seeing the passion on my staff’s faces. The differences they can make drive me forward each and every day. Their abilities and their level of development mean they can take us in a whole host of directions, and that’s really exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Again, it’s seeing the directions that my staff can take the business in. Seeing someone start two years ago as a qualified entry-level member of the team to leading strategies and coming up with innovations that nobody else has even considered is really exciting.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Taking time outside of work hours to socialise is really important. We run a weekly 5-a-side game of football, and that’s great to develop the team, and anyone can join in. We also make sure we plan social events, for example, we’re taking the whole team to a new bounce park soon which should be loads of fun. It’s crucial the team get a chance to mix outside of the usual work day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
In the world of advertising, there are lots of challenges. When you experience as much growth as we have over three years, challenges tend to appear as part of the growth. HR, investment and projects all add up smaller challenges to one, ever-changing large challenge.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
At Distract we make an effort always to be innovative and never to settle and do the same as anyone else. We have found that collaborating with all teams across the business makes the most difference. Everyone having an input can work wonders. Allow your creative teams to work towards a whole, in our case; this has resulted in awards.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Keep moving forward and never allowing yourself to become complacent is the best advice I can give. Remaining innovative and striving to be the expert in your field will make sure your work is better than anyone else’s by default. Advertising is stressful, and there’s always so much going on. Learn to rely on your team and allow yourself to relax. If you’re of a nervous disposition, it’s probably not the ideal industry for you. If you can switch off now and again, this can really help.

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:



Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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