Interview with Rob Law
Who or what inspires you most?
All elements of good design inspire me, from architecture and interiors to software and services. I truly believe good design can improve peoples lives, so I am very passionate about it. Especially when it comes to innovating in a stale market, from the revolution of the iPhone to how the start ups in FinTech are revolutionising personal banking.
What has been the most difficult challenge of starting and running your business?
Actually, overcoming the initial challenges, ranging from factories shutting down, hand luggage bans and funding, I took these in my stride. However, once the business started getting traction, I quickly realised I had a great product, but to take it to the next level I would need a great team. Learning about leadership and how to recruit and then guide my team was in itself a huge personal challenge and learning curve.
It seems your ability to believe in yourself and your idea has driven you past a lot of obstacles. What tips would you give others seeking to have the same kind of drive?
Taking a product to market or running a business is not easy, firstly you really need to believe in your product and ensure your stake holders or team does, secondly listen to your customers and refine your offering as there is no hiding from bad product with social media. Thirdly expect challenges, and trust yourself to overcome the objections, market obstacles and bad luck. You need resilience and tenacity to succeed. One of my personal mantras is “Life is too short to give up, just get on with it”.
Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
Having people thanking me after events saying they have followed my story and it inspired them to take a leap of faith and start their own business it really rewarding. At events I aim to inspire people to stop putting off difficult decision or conversations and just get on with it, embrace the unknown and have a go. I prove failure is a learning experience of self improvement and not something we should be ashamed of or shy away from.
What kind of a leader are you at Trunki?
I’m now very hands off on the day to day, I’ve recruited a team of passionate people who get our vision, mission and values. It’s then easy to delegate almost all the roles to people who are better than me, and trust my team to deliver on their goals. That frees me up to focus on product, strategy and being a global brand ambassador, it also gives me quality time with my young family.
It’s essential to share the business journey with my team, both the highs and lows, showing humility, being down to earth, embracing a flat structure and sitting along side my team in our open plan office.
How much does humour factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?
I think humour is an underestimated business tool if used appropriately. The Trunki brand has always had a bit of tongue in cheek humour – it helps us stand out in a crowded market and our customers really bond with the brand, likewise it has its uses to turn difficult situations around and get people onboard. In my keynotes, its an essential to counter balance my story of overcoming the odds with some light hearted moments.