Raj Randhawa - WordUp Agency - Interview
'What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?’
My two gorgeous children. As my swimming-addict wife is out the door early, I wake up, cook their breakfast and take them to school, before settling down to a day of work in my home office or I head into London for meetings.
Why and how did you start WordUp?
I decided to do what I loved – writing – and came up with the idea to combine my biz dev experience with copywriting and create WordUp to help other agencies and businesses plan and produce their content – I knew from working in-house, agencies are notoriously bad at getting that done.
‘What does an average day look like for WordUp?’
It varies and that’s what’s so great about it. Today for example, after dropping the kids at school, I headed into Soho for a new client meeting. I then walked to the National Gallery, surrounded by exquisite art, got my laptop out and finished up a case study for one of our busiest clients.
After walking across the Thames, another client meeting at the Royal Festival Hall, and right now finishing up this article for the folks at The Hustlers Journal, whilst enjoying the surroundings at the Tate Modern. A couple of hours of work here and then its networking/ Xmas bash at 5:30pm. Most days however, are slightly less glamorous – and i can be found in my home studio listening to BBC 6 Music, head down and hustling away.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything. The thing about inspiration is that it can strike at any moment - whether you’re looking at a work of Art, having a conversation or driving around listening to music.
The trick is to be open to everything. If there’s one place I get the most ideas, it’s while I’m out running through the woods in Richmond Park, listening to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. I used to try and tap out ideas on my iPhone Notes, but I’ve now taken to recording audio while I run.
What do you enjoy most about running your own company?
The freedom. I love being able to work wherever I want. And come up with new ideas for the business and just get on with them.
The flexibility is great – since I started 4 years ago I take time out to see all of my children’s school sports fixtures and plays etc. And I get to drop and pick them up from school most days. You can’t put a price on that.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?
There are peaks and troughs and hard times. This year’s been interesting – after a great year, from October onwards - everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and the past couple of months have been hellish. But I got my head down and worked through it and thankfully things are looking up again.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for WordUp?
Time and money. I work mostly on my own and there are just not enough hours in the day, especially as my day ends at 3:30 to pick up the kids, cook them dinner, help them with homework etc. I then have to work every evening until late – by Friday I’m broken. As the business grows, i will grow the team to take share the workload. That’s what I’m aiming for.
Any advice for your previous boss?
No, not really. We’re all on our own journey and the way we think and act is a direct result of that. It’s up to each of us to figure it out for ourselves.
Are there any brands, business’ or business leaders that you admire?
There are many people I admire – like Mr. Bingo. I have a huge amount of respect for him. He’s an illustrator who worked for brands for 15 years and then he started creating his own artwork and (whether he tried to or not- his own brand).
Now he has his own studio and he works hard every day, coming up with new ideas and making them happen. That’s my dream job, so it’s inspiring to see that it can be done.
According to his website, Mr Bingo Is An Artist, Speaker and Twat.
What would you like to achieve Professionally in 6 months / 1 year / 5 years?
6 months – to have my huge ‘WordUp To Do List’ done – have all of the operational, biz dev and marketing pieces in place. That’s what I’m cracking on with over Christmas.
1 year – to have doubled my revenue from the previous year and not have to work so hard at getting new clients in.
5 years – to have employed a few people, delegate and spend more time on my creative writing and personal Art projects.
Any advice for talent looking to set up their own hustle?
Absolutely. Don’t even bother if you’re not prepared to put in the time and effort. It’s a hard slog. And do something that you’ll enjoy. There’s absolutely no point in setting up a business based purely on making money, if it makes you miserable – life’s too short.
I think the secret to real success - is to do something you love and work your ass off at it. If you do that, you simply can’t fail to succeed.
What is your favourite quote?
Follow Raj and the WordUp Agency.