My Working Day – Matt Hawkins – CEO of Cudos
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? We spoke to Matt Hawkins, the CEO of Cudos, about his working day.
What time do you wake up?
It ranges, but most days around 5.30 – 6 am. I try to get some exercise in (realistically only 15 mins on average during the week, and full gym sessions each morning at the weekend), then ideally I will start work for 6.30 am each day.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I am a creature of habit and enjoy pretty much the same thing everyday: a nutribullet with pea protein powder, raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peanut butter, oat milk and wholegrain rice.
Basically, it’s a meal in a glass that I drink throughout the morning.
What is your mantra for the working day?
It’s simple – “get project work done before midday”. This allows me to focus on BIG tasks. These are often strategies, large documents, major projects, etc. I also try to not have any morning meetings three to four days a week otherwise I can never get my tasks finished that week.
As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?
It’s ingrained into me to always be thinking. I don’t think I’m able to switch off permanently for a day. I do make time to see friends and family, but I like to keep the grey matter going on a daily basis.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when trying to grow your business?
Having grown a successful business before makes it slightly easier the second time, but there are always new challenges. For instance, our business is now purely remote working with people across eight different time zones.
You need to motivate and keep collaboration working in different ways, which is harder to do when people don’t physically meet that often, or ever in some cases.
What advice would you give to business leaders that are looking to grow their business?
If it’s the first time around, then get in advice and mentors ASAP. Also, bring in partners or teams that are better than you and if you can afford it, people who have been there and done it already, and already made many of the mistakes.
Also, bring on people that have the same goals and values otherwise, as the business grows, you will lose those.
Who is your business idol and why?
There are many for different reasons. When I was starting out in my last company, I think it was Richard Branson that inspired me after reading his book. I learned a great deal from that and employed some of his successful ideas in my last company.
Anyone that has built a business or businesses from nothing is generally inspiring as an entrepreneur.
Do you believe there is enough support available for UK businesses that are looking to scale?
There are a few areas that businesses need support but these are primarily financial and advisory.
There are now so many options for getting finance and raising capital, often from newer fund platforms rather than traditional banks.
Advisory-wise, I don’t think there is a great amount from the government, or if there is it’s not clear to people. But there are huge numbers of business and start-up groups sharing knowledge. Learning from others is a very efficient method of learning.
My advice is don’t take advice from someone that hasn’t already done it themselves.
What motivates you?
Working with a team that you enjoy working with and spending time with is very motivational. I started Cudos to create a solution that is better for the environment and to bring money to those that need it the most. It is a long journey as what we are creating is very complex, but it has the potential to be very powerful. So, getting to that goal is what motivates me.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
FOCUS – It’s extremely easy to get distracted with new ideas and new opportunities, but if you don’t focus on key areas, you will rarely excel in any area. It’s really when you excel that you accelerate.
Also, work with people that are better than you. If you’re the cleverest one in the room, you’re doing something wrong.
Are you hopeful about the future of entrepreneurship in the UK?
The UK has a culture of encouraging people to start their own businesses and make their ideas a reality. We have one of the greatest number of start-ups in the world per capita with over 600,000 start-ups per year. It’s one of the best places in the world to start a business idea.