A Day in the Life with Duncan Jones
When I was asked to write a day in my life, my first thought was of The Beatles song A Day in the Life” that was released as the final track of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Not only is it a wonderful song but has always inspired me to reflect on life, learning, and the importance of reflection.
The year 1967 also happens to be when I commenced my commercial career in Agriculture. I set my own business consultancy up in 1989 and have never looked back with any regret, it gives me the freedom to work with the people and business I can relate to and where I can really make a difference.
What’s your typical morning routine?
My mornings like everyone else’s are very different at the moment but I have found that by embracing technology and keeping a structure to your day certainly helps. Breakfast commences the day with nourishment, yes bacon and eggs most days, this is followed by checking on emails from delegates and clients I am working with. These are varied as we work in a few industries i.e., Insurance, logistics, manufacturing but now mainly agriculture.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Motivated, Caring, Communicative
What’s the first thing you look at in the morning on your phone?
Missed calls, otherwise only when it rings!
What does your job entail?
Like any commercial role, creating money. The activity is working with people employed by our clients to grow them and the business that employs them. For the past few years, I have worked with a cattle-breeding company and call on farms with the advisor while they identify the bull that would add margin to the farm`s results. This work has led the company to achieve a 17% increase in sales. “People will make or break a business” so investment in people development is critical to success to achieve any positive results. Always remember P+P=P (Product / service + People = Profit).
What one key challenge have you had in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Leaving a company that had employed me for many years when they merged with a competitor and was asked to sell its products which I had sold against for so many years. This gave me the opportunity to move out of my comfort zone and use the skills and experience gained from my past employment to set up my own business. (Still very sad to see a household name go out of existence, but important to learn from experience.)
Best piece of advice would you give to an aspiring youngster wanting to get into the industry?
Evaluate what YOU want from YOUR life, test your thinking by speaking with someone you trust and respect. FOCUS AND DO IT, and if you don’t enjoy it, change it.
What’s your favourite thing to do when not working?
Have a problem with this question as I am a workaholic, I love what I do, meet lots of interesting people (mainly), and don’t consider what I do as work. One of the downsides is the amount of travelling and time away from family and friends, and I do like spending time at home. COVID-19 has changed this and showed us we can work in different ways.
What’s your best piece of business advice?
Find what you enjoy that gives you what you want. Use your ability and learn from your mistakes. If people tell you that they don’t make mistakes it means they’re not trying new ideas. AND ALWAYS PLAN FOR CHANGE!
I am a strong believer in the only certainty in life being changes. The last 12 months have shown us that. I think how businesses have responded to COVID-19 has shown the importance of vision / forward-thinking and rapidly identifying the changes needed. No change in business occurs unless alert leaders recognise the need for change, create the conditions and motivate their people to make it happen. The timely identification of the need for change will help you overcome competition and deliver better services and products.
Some great takeaways for all of us to consider from Duncan here – if you don’t enjoy it, change it! Get in touch if you’d like to get involved in our Day in the Life feature.