Meet Jesse Mullins, founder of Ooze Studios, a Melbourne-based marketing & creative studio. Throughout ten years of working in finance and marketing, Jesse noticed too many campaigns lacked revenue focus by offering just one stream of marketing.
Knowing he could create leaner, more effective marketing campaigns and digital products, Jesse set out to help clients achieve their revenue goals by putting together the award-winning Ooze Studios digital creative team.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Jesse Mullins: My name is Jesse Mullins, I’m a growth marketing & content expert with 15 years experience across multi industries; finance, marketing, and CX strategy.
I’m the founder and managing director of Ooze Studios, an award winning Australian creative and marketing agency. We’ve been delivering ROI-focused ads and content to a wide range of clients and industries for over 7 years.
The team at Ooze is on a mission to deliver the best agency experience in the world. This is embodied by our dual-focus on the client experience and the team member experience. We implement large corporate culture programs at a boutique agency level. All our team members have their own unique career development program with hard skill development courses and soft skill mentoring sessions.
Our people are at the core of our culture, and our culture is at the core of our vision. Without amazingly talented people, we cannot achieve our vision.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Jesse Mullins: I know this is going to sound weird, but I wanted to be a mathematician or a physicist when I was a kid. I loved both subjects at school and went onto study maths at uni. Which is in complete contrast to my parents who are both artists. However, maths didn’t pay the bills and being a cog in a graduate machine didn’t interest me.
From my early 20’s I knew I wanted to start my own business, I just didn’t know how. So I started a journey to absorb as much information and real life business lessons as possible. I started to apply my maths background to business, and I figured out I had suppressed my creative side.
What area of expertise requires logic, data, and creativity? Marketing. I love the meld of data and creative skills. I also love the impact it can have at a micro level (human to human) through to the macro level (population to population). Which is a lot like physics; explaining how the micro (particles) behave, as well as the macro (planets).
I could see from hands-on experience there was a gap in an overcrowded market. There are very few boutique marketing agencies providing a deep level of care and delivering results. I call it Effective Marketing with Empathy. My personality combined with financial and mathematical models helped Ooze Studios launch and succeed. Now Ooze has its own culture and driving force. Whilst there are parts of me in Ooze’s DNA, it’s running on its own and hedging in a very exciting direction.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Jesse Mullins: I was in the maths Olympiad.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Jesse Mullins: The best way I’ve found to quantify this term is to take a step back and look at it from a macro perspective. The 5 levels of entrepreneurship are:
- Wanna-be-preneur – idea but no action
- Entrepreneur – idea and action
- Serial entrepreneur – ideas and actions
- Successful entrepreneur – great idea and great action
- Successful serial entrepreneur – great ideas and great actions
Let’s not beat around the bush, everyone has ideas. A 10 year old can have a business idea. But as the old saying goes “a business is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”. Without action (i.e. effort) your idea won’t go anywhere.
That action is the difference between the person at the family BBQ drinking beer saying they’ve got a brilliant idea. Versus the person that starts the business. Wanna-be-preneur vs Entrepreneur.
Is every business owner an entrepreneur? Yes. But just because you start a business, or keep a business afloat, doesn’t mean you’re a successful entrepreneur.
How do you define a successful entrepreneur? This is where it gets subjective. Is it happiness + any level of revenue? Or is it just focused on a successful exit, regardless of how much stress you endured along the way? The media only highlights the successful exits because who wants to hear about how happy someone is running a business AND being able to spend time with their family.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Jesse Mullins: A business cannot thrive or deliver its vision without a supportive culture at its core. The company’s vision and culture are intrinsically linked. Regardless of the business model, culture should be at the core of all businesses. And the employees are the core of that culture. A supportive culture empowers employees to be at their best, and therefore deliver the best work possible.
Ensuring your culture is inclusive means you’ll achieve far richer outcomes. Different ways of thinking allow for greater stress testing of ideas, as well as more varied ideas coming to the table in the first place.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Jesse Mullins: If you provide a service: You have to find your competitive advantage. This is an exercise we run with our clients to find where they fit into the landscape, and where they have advantages over their competitors.
If you sell a product: Focus on the product category, not the product. Find the niche category you can own and be the first in. Then promote that category. By getting strangers to fall in love with the category you’re not comparing yourself to other products.
When you make statements like “We’re the best…”, you are comparing your product to your competitors. This can drive consumers to do their own research and then shop around. Focus on the category, and you’ll create brand loyalists.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Jesse Mullins: I help people buy the products they want with a great online shopping experience.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Jesse Mullins: 3 years ago I made a permanent rule to never onboard difficult clients again. This meant letting go of 3 difficult clients at the time and the revenue they provided us. These 3 particular clients were bad communicators and caused a lot of unnecessary friction internally. Letting go of the revenue was hard but it just made sense.
We saw an automatic uplift in morale and all the benefits that go with that. We haven’t looked back since. Best business decision I ever made.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Jesse Mullins: I have a collection of dad jokes ready to deploy.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Jesse Mullins: Never Pre-gret: Act quick, optimise quicker.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jesse Mullins for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jesse Mullins or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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