‘The biggest lesson I learned is that you have to create your own luck’

Julio Taylor is CEO of multi-award winning Nottingham-based digital agency Hallam.

Variety is key. There are a lot of good things about my job – although the variety is the thing I appreciate the most. I like progress, change, and moving forward and one of the best parts of my job is that I get to be involved in all of the things that involve progress at the agency.

It’s time for a digital future. Right now, because of COVID-19, a lot of businesses are being forced to adopt a digital-first mindset. A lot of traditional business models will not return because of the pandemic – or at least they won’t return to what they were – and what we’re going to see is an increase in digital activity. The opportunity for Hallam will be to help those businesses become more agile and capable when it comes to meeting their customers’ digital expectations.

Five years is a long time in digital. Ten years is almost unrecognisable. The most significant change we have seen that comes close to that has been the shift towards automation, which has changed the way we do things. The other big change has been the exponential growth in user expectations, in relation to digital, and agencies, like Hallam, are being tasked with guiding businesses through what has become a hugely complex market.

Unity is the word we use a lot here at Hallam – to the extent that it’s become part of our daily language. Unity hones in all of our services and is what makes Hallam great. It’s about taking ownership and pride in everything that we do and as a company that has been something we have all embraced over this year and will drive us forward into the future.

You have to create your own luck. Earlier in my career, I really wanted to be a web designer and I applied to every agency that I could find within Nottingham to do that role. I didn’t get a single reply. I didn’t give up, though. I knew what I wanted to do and so I knuckled down and persisted and eventually started up my own business, BigSpring, with Jon Martin, which eventually merged with Hallam. The biggest lesson I learned is that you have to create your own luck. You have to make things happen and if you push hard enough, eventually something will fall your way.

Inspiration is a fluid concept. I have had several people help me and mentor me at different points in my career and because of that, it is difficult to name just one person. Two relevant, high profile, inspirations to me are Jocko Willink, the author of Extreme Ownership, and the other is Steve Jobs. I have taken a great deal from both of them over the years and tried to apply it to the way I work and live.

Family is everything to me. I have two small children, so my options are severely limited! I like video games and play a fair bit in my spare time. I’m not a big fan of watching TV and I instead turn to video games when it comes to unwinding. I also like and play music, albeit a lot less than I used to. In truth, though, most of my time is dedicated to my family and my children.