Merging digital content and services - Interview with MR JOEL

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Hi Mr. Joel,

Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview.

Tell me a bit about your background (where you grew up, your family, your first job, education, etc.).

Mr. Joel: I am Portuguese and grew up in a city called Gouveia in Portugal – a perfect place to relax and call home. My first summer job was in a small restaurant as a waiter’s assistant. I absolutely loved it. At 17 years old, my best friend and I decided to go on an adventure and move to the UK. We had no agenda. This was without a doubt the best decision of my life. For the last 10+ years, I have been living in London where I have been able to get to know a variety of cultures and experience things that have helped me shape the person I am today. Every job I had, every person I have met has helped me grow and understand how business works. From customer service to tech, I believe I was able to absorb every little experience and up to this day, I still use it in everything I do. There is always something you can take away and learn from every experience or interaction you have in your daily life.

So, tell me, what inspired you to start your agency?

Mr. Joel: I’ve always wanted to have my own business, but when you find yourself with a comfortable job it can be quite hard to burst that bubble and face the risk. However, what happened is that I left my job, was going through a lot of anxiety, and wasn’t sure what to do with my life. I had two simple options. The first was to get out there and look for another job and the second was to face my fear of doing it by myself and give it a try. It was a risk that definitely paid off, and my partner gave me a huge support to get it started. With each day that passes by I think to myself “Why didn’t I do it earlier?” but I do think that sometimes you need to experience different paths to then find your own and find exactly what you have been looking for. Then you are faced with the 5 big W’s.

  • What – What type of business do I want to create?
  • Who – Who will be a part of it and how can I expand it?
  • Where – Where is this business going to be located?
  • When – When do I plan to launch it?
  • Why – Most importantly, why is it necessary?

The answer to all those questions was very simple to me. I wanted to create something that I was passionate about and at the same time, involve talented people and give them a platform where they can shine, and from that MR JOEL was born. A creative digital media agency with an editorial side to the digital world.

Now, I heard you work 12-15 hours a day. You must be very passionate about what you do. What keeps you so motivated?

Mr. Joel: To me, motivation is seeing the end results, and once you see them, it becomes some sort of addiction – a healthy one. Accomplishing the smallest task to me is a motivation to move on to the next one. Think of it as a cycle. We all have our good and bad days but don’t let these stop you from accomplishing your dreams. Yes, I do work long hours and hardly have a day off, but the important part is keeping it balanced – which I am now finally learning how to do. Also, there is this quote that has stuck on the back of my mind for quite a while now, “If you work 100 hour weeks you will achieve in 4 months what it would take your competition 1 year to achieve” and that quote is what gets me, because the more hours you put in, the more successful you’ll be.

When did you first realize that you are a success story?

Mr. Joel: To me, success happens every day. I always say that “milestones are little pieces of success”. And believe me, success doesn’t happen overnight. Since starting my business, every day is a milestone, and at night when I’m reflecting on my day, I think of all the things I’ve accomplished. So, the short answer would have to be everyday. A business cannot be created without passion, patience, and the right tools. So every day there’s a new challenge and everyday there is a new success chapter.

What is your favorite kind of client to work with?

Mr. Joel: Hard to say. The obvious answer would be “the easy ones”, but the truth is there are no easy clients. Clients are looking after their businesses, and that’s what I have in mind when dealing with any of them. I treat their business the same way I would treat my own. They all have a vision, they all have objectives and targets, and they all want to reach their goals and succeed. If we can help them grow, we will grow with them – together. If the client is happy, then I am happy, as it means we are working in the right direction and giving them exactly what they need.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Mr. Joel: Women. All my life I have been surrounded by strong women. My mum being one of them, of course, and also Dame Natalie Massenett which I was fortunate enough to have worked with and get to know, and Dr. Barbara Sturm, a special friend and now also a client. My mother always taught me that no matter your age you can accomplish anything you want if you work hard and keep your goals in your head. Since an early age, she introduced me to the power of mind and visualization. Then we have my biggest inspiration – Dame Natalie Massenett. During the time at THE NET-A-PORTER GROUP, I was always inspired by this extraordinary woman who started with a dream and vision and turned it into this huge empire. We then come to Dr. Barbara Sturm. From the first day we met, I felt an instant connection and was so inspired by everything she has done, the way she sees the world and just how cool she is. The way she has built her business inspires me every day and is someone I look up to.

What are your plans for the future? World domination via agency? ;)

Mr. Joel: Yes, ahah! I want to build a business that inspires others the same way I was once inspired. I want to give talent a platform for them to grow and be known for the amazing qualities they have. I have this huge satisfaction to see hard working people succeed.

Find more on Mr. Joel at www.mrjoel.co