What I've Learnt: Michael Ashworth, MD of Nublue

Josh Peachey's picture

Nublue will be at eCommerce Show North 2019, both exhibiting and delivering a talk, so we decided to find out more about their Managing Director, Michael Ashworth. 

For over ten years, Nublue has been specialising in eCommerce web design and development, and with their added expertise in hosting, have produced and hosted hundreds of online stores.

Here are the pearls of wisdom he can share, looking back at his career so far...


Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Morning dog walk. Gets me out of bed early and gives me some quiet time to reflect and work out what I am going to do that day. 

Obviously, the morning coffee!

What's been your luckiest break?

Our first big client! Starting a new business is always a leap of faith. Considering how little we had in the portfolio at the time, and how young we were as a business. To get a multinational client that believed in you and wanted your expertise was a game changer.

What's your best failure?

I think all failures are useful in helping to create future successes. 

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

Without a doubt, the investment in Nublue. We started the company with nothing and have invested plenty of time (and money) over the years. But to look at what it is today, the brand, the people, the culture, I’m very proud of it.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

OK. I like to have a clear start and end time for work and don’t work late. But as I’m sure all business owners can relate too, it can be hard to completely switch off from work. 

I do try and do something fun every weekend and keep busy outside of work. I’m currently designing and building a garden which I’m finding to be a good creative outlet!

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. No reason, other than I’m reading it at the moment and it’s a page turner! Only just got back into reading in the last couple of years and find it a really good way of switching off. 

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

I’d tell myself to read more, learn more, laugh more and say “no” more.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

I used to work at an Italian restaurant when I was 15. The owner was very successful and had four restaurants in total. I was a dishwasher, and I remember on my first shift, the person I was supposed to be working with didn’t turn up, so the boss stepped in and washed plates with me. I didn’t even realise at the time that he owned the place! I had a huge amount of respect for him, he was a great leader, a dreamer and a really nice man. That was the start of me wanting to work for myself and having the belief that I could do it.  

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I’m not really into computers! I have a passion for technology and digital within my work but outside of work I spend hardly any time in front of a computer. I love the sea, and I’m a certified Dive Master and Skipper, so like to spend as much time as I can on the waves or under them.

What does success look like to you?

Being happy. I know that is a bit of a hippy statement, but I think if you have enough money to do the things you enjoy in life, and you get the time to do them, then you are successful.