What I've Learnt: Andy Golpys, Co-Founder, MadeByShape

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Andy Golpys is the co-founder of MadeByShape, a Manchester-based web design agency which has worked with the likes of the NHS, BBC and 20th Century Fox. 

Here he passes on some of the things he has learnt over the course of his career so far. 

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

Emails are still as important as ever.

2. What's been your luckiest break?

I started talking to a guy in a pub once, didn't talk business at all. We met by chance again and discussed business. Ended up being a £50k project.

3. What's your best failure?

Getting messed about by clients when I was younger. Not being paid, clients going bankrupt, clients stealing ideas. Those things made me stronger and made it easier to spot client I DON'T want to work with easier. It's much easier to spot warning signs when it's happened to you before.

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

Our team. We wouldn't be as successful as we are now if we didn't have the right people.

5. Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

The Motley Fool investment Guide.

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

Start saving. I wouldn't change my career path in terms of design. But I'd certainly advise myself to be more financially astute. Investing wisely, saving at an earlier age has many benefits.

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

My university lecturer, Mark Scargill. He literally changed my career path. It was a tough love relationship, some students couldn't handle it, but I loved it. He pushed us, he told us when we weren't good enough. He made me a stronger person, a better designer, and my digital career started because of him.

8. Tell us something about you that would surprise people

My mum teaches Salsa dancing, and I've inherited her hips haha.

9. How will the Covid crisis change work for the better?

There's aspects of communication that has improved and I'll be taking that further, when the world is back to normal. Those meetings that last 3 hours, including 1 hour of traffic - are no longer present. So Zoom or Skype will be used much more. And productivity has increased because there's not as much banter face to face like in the studio.

10. What does success look like to you?

A relatively stress free environment (at work and home) that is filled with love, enjoyment and laughter. Although money is not everything, I do think it helps to be financially secure.