James Connelly co-founded Fetch Media from his kitchen in Surrey, England, in 2009 at age 23. During the rise of the iPhone, James saw the potential of mobile advertising and seized an opportunity at the right time. His motivation to succeed grew Fetch Media to a £200m turnover business with offices all around the globe. In 2014, Fetch joined the Dentsu Aegis Network - the third largest marketing services network in the world. James acted as Chairman until leaving Fetch in 2019 to take the well-deserved ‘gap year’ he never had.
We were lucky enough to chat with James about his awesome success story on the podcast - during which he shared his advice on starting a business. You can tell James is a sports fan, as throughout the conversation, a clear ‘winning’ theme emerged.
Like every winning team, you must be aware of what’s going on around you to spot opportunities, or avoid failures. James touched on this experience when first starting Fetch, and how he had to quickly adapt his approach when things weren’t quite working. The key is to take lessons from your past, and assess what’s working and what’s not. Have faith in your idea, but be realistic and make a call when it might be the right time to change or adapt based on performance.
James has always had an interest in business and curiosity to learn more. His advice to young entrepreneurs was to surround yourself with people who you can learn from. Creating that ‘winning’ team with the best leaders and players allows you to continuously learn, progress and improve. For James, being close to an MD or CEO and watching them run the business was a valuable experience - to him, far more valuable than any sort of business qualification.
At the root of success is the initial belief that you can do it. James told us that throughout his journey with Fetch, he had a strong belief that they could ‘win’ - and it motivated the company and team to do so. Having the confidence that you can succeed is half the battle for a winning business idea.
When most businesses start off - they don’t work instantly. People who are persistent, and willing to pivot and find something that works, will move their business in the right direction and find traction. 10% of good ideas work. If you know when to kill things, when to move on and learn to accept your failure, you can overcome a lot of challenges.
If you’re considering starting your own thing, but don’t feel like you have the confidence to do it - throw yourself in, try and push through. If it doesn’t work out the first time, adapting your approach and persisting is key.
These are just a few insights from our conversation with James. For more advice on adopting the mindset to succeed, listen to the episode in full.