What I've Learnt: Ash Jones, Founder, Great Influence
Ash Jones is the founder of personal branding specialist Great Influence, which has supported industry leaders including Carrie Rose of Rise at Seven, Umar Kamani of PrettyLittleThing, and Julian Hearn of Huel.
Jones started his career at Social Chain, ultimately helping Steven Bartlett - the agency's co-founder - build his own personal brand and become an influential thought leader.
Great Influence was founded in 2018 and has supported a range of high-profile individuals successfully grow a personal brand and have an impact on the industry.
We found out what lessons Ash has learnt.
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
I recently bought a Peloton and it's easily the best investment I've ever made. I ride it every morning and I go from tired to energised immediately, helping me kickstart the day.
What's been your luckiest break?
In 2012 I met a then-18 year-old university dropout Steven Bartlett at a local event. We spoke, and I started working with him. That was the moment everything changed for me.
What's your best failure?
I was part of the Founding Team at Social Chain and in the first year I was let go as I wasn't really adding any value and probably in the wrong role for me. I came back six months later to help Steven build his personal brand, and that has led me to where I am today, and was a hugely successful period.
What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?
I took a month off after I left Social Chain to think about my next move. It was June 2018 and the World Cup was on every day, so I resisted the urge to 'do' and just watched football - It made me not rush into decisions and where the idea for Great Influence was born.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
'Rocket Fuel'. Even if you're a solo founder, it helps you understand your role in the business better and how you can give it the most value.
What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
You were right! I've always been really self confident, but it's always clouded by an air of self doubt, and so many times I would worry about what would unfold rather than just embracing it, and I think that held me back, slowed me down or stopped me from enjoying and appreciating the moment. I wish I'd enjoyed it more knowing how things worked out.
Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?
Steven Bartlett. I had no idea the day I met him in 2012 just how inspirational he would be to so many people and how transformational he would be to my career and so many others.
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
I'm a songwriter. I've been working with a producer over 2021 on material coming out in 2022. It will be released under the moniker 'Wasted Youth'. It always surprises people when they hear it and realise it's me.
How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?
It will take away the strange need for us to feel like we have to be telling the world how hard we work all the time.
What does success look like to you?
Not dreading a Monday, or any morning in fact. And reaching a Friday and it not being a sigh of relief.