Top Turks is a monthly feature on E2M. It features the movers and shakers in the fields of entrepreneurship, digital marketing, social media, and technology, offering insights into how business leaders think, work and have fun.
This month’s Top Turk is Ed Leake, MD at Midas Media, the PPC Agency & Google Premier Partner.
He is one of the Top 100 Digital Marketing Influencers and an influential PPC Marketing Expert. Despite this fact, he insists that he’s no “internet guru” and describes himself as a “business owner, investor and mentor”, and would rather be called a “nerd”.
Ed is based out of UK. He helps his clients scale their business with the help of PPC (online advertising) and Analytics. From working out of his home office (spare bedroom) to helming the business affairs at his firm as an industry expert whose thought leadership found its way across 100+ websites, Ed has come a long way.
We got in touch with Ed to tell us more about himself and this is what he had to say:
1. What do you do within half-an-hour of waking up?
I drink a pint of water, eat my breakfast and go for a 20-30 minute walk around the park. Not matter the weather, it’s a great way of starting the day with energy and some fresh air through your lungs!
2. How much time do you devote to work daily?
It varies on my schedule, anywhere from 5 to 12 hours depending on what I need to achieve. I’m flexible and I listen to my body. If I don’t feel in the right mood or full of energy, there’s no point ‘forcing’ work and being half productive.
3. What is your daily work routine like?
I would say flexible. My phone is on silent and I make sure that I check my emails only a few times a day. I always have my ‘one’ task for the day or week, that must be accomplished no matter what. This is important.
4. How many times in a day do you check your email?
2-3 times at most. Just like social media, email is a time waster – I spend as little time on it as possible. Urgent matters come to me in other forms, and email is for general ebb and flow.
5. How much time in a day do you dedicate to researching or reading/watching industry-related news?
This depends because it’s too easy to spend idle time reading and before you know it, you’ve not achieved anything. There’s too much content out here and there’s a lack of quality. I prefer to learn from my own experiences.
That said, I do read books – old and new. Books are a better way to learn.
6. What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?
This is hard to answer. It could be the simple fact that I’ve slaved over building a business that generates hundreds of millions in revenue for clients, employs a team of people and adds to the economy. I would say that’s pretty big and I’m proud of what Midas Media (my main business) has achieved.
7. What has been your biggest failure so far?
Trying to be everything to everyone. That fails the client, me and the business.
Many years ago I made the mistake of trying to please every client that came along, and in all honesty – to make money. Everyone does it.
This means you push yourself to areas of work you’re perhaps not as proficient, in order to ‘grow’. Its counterintuitive and actually restricts sustainable, healthy growth in the longer run. Revenue is only one growth story, profit is more important and often when you find yourself stretched, your profit takes a hit.
That’s no good for anyone.
But the power from mistakes is learning, I’ve learned from my failings that saying no and being very selective who we work with is the right way. Greed and growth need to be removed from the equation.
8. What is your biggest dream?
In the context of business, ensuring I leave a lasting legacy. A business that is self sufficient and sustains momentum whether or not I’m at the helm.
9. How do you unwind?
This might sound odd, but I read business books. Even though they make you think, it’s a different kind of mental energy and I don’t find it fatiguing – quite the opposite, in fact.
That’s the thing between business owners and everyone else, the successful ones don’t leave work – work is part of their life. It’s a good thing when you enjoy your work. I don’t need to unwind because I’m happy and a very content person.
My advice would be that if you feel like you need a holiday, or you need to unwind – then there’s something wrong with your work.
10. What is the one crazy thing about you that very few people know?
I’m actually a double agent, this business talk is merely a ruze… my cover story. 😉
11. How do you spend your weekends?
Aside from watching a little motorsport and mowing my lawn (a weekend routine, fresh air and exercise), you will generally find me ‘working’. But my weekend work is much different, I’m either reading, writing or planning.
I’m using a different part of my brain at the weekends, so I rarely feel fatigue or mental strain.
Being bored or tired isn’t in my vernacular!
12. What mindset do you think is required to become a successful entrepreneur or a company?
Honestly, after 7 years of running a number of businesses, if you’re only doing it for the money, you won’t be happy. You need a better reason than that, because to truly run a successful business is hard work with many ups and downs.
Therefore, you must love what you do.
The money (if you do it right) is a side product of your success.
I’m not proud of my money, I’m proud of the success. There’s a big difference and I wish entrepreneurs would respect that in their own endeavours.
13. If given a chance, what is that one thing you’d like to change in your life (personally or professionally)?
The business owners I talk to say that going it alone is tough and having a partner makes it much, much easier. I’ve done it the hard way.
So I would find the perfect business partner, one who has the same work ethics as me, but approaches things from the opposing angle.
14. Your One piece of advice for startup owners ?
Read my answer to question 12, absorb it and really think about why you’re wanting to start a business or venture.
If it’s all about getting rich, you need to find a better reason.
Also, we’re in a very comfortable economic position right now – with low interest rates and growth in the markets. With technology being an enabler, it’s too easy to jump two-feet first, borrow capital and start a business on a whim.
That will not last and markets will correct.
It’s only a matter of time before wantrepreneurs get a shock and that’s no fun. Therefore, it’s paramount you have a better reason than money for doing what you do.
Please tell us a few things about you that not many people know:
- Your phone brand – Google Nexus with Android, of course. I migrated from iPhones many, many years ago and I’m on my third generation Google phone.
- Your computer brand – I don’t have one, it’s a black box and it’s got more power than I ever need. If you’re asking, and we’re getting geeky, it’s an AMD Ryzen chip overclocked to 4.1GHz.
- Your favorite app – My trading platforms for checking my investments. I don’t have any social media apps.
- Your preferred dress code at work – Trainers, comfortable trousers and a polo-shirt. Comfort is king!
- Your waking time – I don’t get up early because I don’t commute. In fact, I’m rarely up before 07:30 because a solid 7-8 hours sleep per night is very important.
- Your bed time – Always before midnight.
- Your favorite pastime – Motorsport. I particularly enjoy Formula 1 as it’s the pinnacle of motor racing.
- Your favorite blog/newspaper/news channel – I try to avoid reading too many blogs as they are a time sink, and the news is so negative, often distressing, that I avoid that too.
- Your inspiration – When it comes to business, Elon Musk has done some incredible things through sheer grit and determination, he’s up there. A fellow Brit, Richard Branson, a masterful tycoon of business. My father has been a great inspiration, he’s successful and very grounded. But if we diverge here and look at the wider world, I think we have to look at some of history’s greatest minds such as Da Vinci and Einstein – reading about those men is quite compelling!
- Your health mantra – Do exercise. Go for a walk, daily. Drink 2-3 liters of water everyday and all day long. Eat well, such as fresh food not from packets, where possible. Never eat McDonalds because it’s junk. Takeaway food is a treat, not a weekly thing.Although I do confess to liking hot curry every once in a while!
Apart from having a sense of humour, Ed Leake seems to have all the qualities that make a successful business leader and mentor. This was a sneak peak into the life of this multifaceted person.
We hope you enjoyed reading this month’s edition and will come back to Top Turks for more.