What I've Learnt: James Holloway, Founder of Gooey

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James Holloway, Gooey

James Holloway is the founder of Gooey, a white-label coding agency specialising in WordPress, Magento and HTML development based right on the edge of Manchester's Northern Quarter.

Gooey was founded 10 years ago, offering top-quality coding services for agencies to outsource, backed up by clear code and full support, and utilising open-source platforms for clients' ease of use.

We sat down with James to hear about his career experiences.

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

It would have to be exercise - it helps me relax! 

What's been your luckiest break?

I would say finding the office for Gooey, it fits perfectly with us as a brand.

It was a former nightclub called HOME. As a coding agency we tried to split the floors into two spaces. We decided it made sense for the top floor to pay homage to its roots as a nightclub. So obviously we wanted it to include a bar, a full-size pool table, air hockey and numerous chill out areas!

What's your best failure?

Probably leaving it so late getting up each morning! It's always such a rush - I end up being up and out of the house in 15 minutes. 

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

When it comes to investment at Gooey, it's all about our ​staff. It's spending time with them, ensuring they have the appropriate training and then watching them flourish. I find it very rewarding.

I set up Gooey in 2009, so we are nearing our 10th birthday as a development partner for agencies. I plan on making sure I reward the staff to thank them for all their hard work over the last decade. 

How would you describe your work/life balance?

Not very good, however i think most business owners are in the same boat. It's hard to switch off when you run your own business. It's often too easy to 'quickly' reply to an email and then find yourself replying to tonnes. 

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

I don't really read many books, except to my children. The last book I read was 'Funny Bones' to my daughter! It doesn't offer any business advice but she loved it! 

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

Don't fret about things you can't control - what will be will be. It's often easy to forget that. 

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

People often quote some famous person who has been a huge influence to them. For me, without doubt, it is my children. Everything I do, I do for them.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

Sometimes I can be a hothead and impulsive! 

What does success look like to you?

For me success isn't about how much money you have, it's about being happy.

For me it's that simple. As long as I'm happy and my family is happy, that's all I could wish for.