New! Leicester Startups Podcast: Episode #3 featuring Jim Shields, founder of Twist and Shout Communications.

Jim Shields is the founder of the video production company Twist and Shout Communications. They specialise in making corporate videos with… a twist! In this episode Jim talks about losing his house, finding fans not customers, dealing with theft and the pivot that changed his life. Oh and there’s some exclusive news from Jim in this one too, so listen out for that!

Listen to the full episode👇

Apple or Android: https://podfollow.com/1478284147
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4wIEQy7qfOMBtN1slxQ00G
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/…/ep-3-a-life-changing-pivot…/s-iUIs1

The Leicester Startups Podcast is made possible by the Leicester & Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership who are supporting entrepreneurs through the Start-up Leicester Co-working project.

This episode is sponsored by Erskine Murray, a Leicester-based, UK top 50 independent insurance broker. Visit www.eriskine-murray.co.uk for more.

 

Transcript

Jim Shields 0:22

I mean, I really found my voice. When it was about 15. I joined a theatre company by accident. Me and a friend were on our way home and we had to climb across a dangerous, dangerously high motorway bridge as a shortcut, where you shimmied down a lamppost onto the motorway, ran across the motorway, and then climb down another wall. I’d done this before but my friend hadn’t. “We can do it, just do it”. But what I hadn’t accounted for was if it was a frosty night, and the pole was frosted. And so he jumped onto the pole and shot down the pole, and there’s a kind of shoulder at the bottom of the pole that goes wider. And he hit that at like 30 mile an hour, bounced off… it broke his ankle.

 

Manish Verma 2:12

Jim’s mate was in theatre. And he was meant to be in a show in three weeks time.

 

Jim Shields 2:18

His mum hit the roof and basically said, you are gonna have to take this place. I’ve never done anything. And I did and I never looked back.

 

Manish Verma 2:39

Jim was hooked. Crowds applauding him at the end of the show. He became addicted to the adulation. He’d found more than a hobby. He had found a second family. Probably at the time he needed it most.

 

Jim Shields 2:53

I was a latchkey kid, you know my folks were out all the time. And it was rough. Actually. It was quite rough. They had no money. The electricity and water kept getting cut off. There were problems with substance abuse and alcohol and, and it was it was hard. It was hard. My mother was an alcoholic and, and that was really rough. Yeah, that was home life was really tough. And when I went to the theatre company, it was all okay again, it was all fine and I could really sort of be me and everyone took me who I was. And people liked me for me. It was an escape and and really a refuge a lot of the times well.

 

Manish Verma 3:26

Theatre performance and creativity would not just be a safe haven. It would help shape his life and his business.

 

Jim Shields 4:05

It all started under the stairs at my next house. He was keen on photography. And this was when I was about 14. And he was learning to develop pictures in the tray full of liquid and the red light. And you know, all of that sounds dodgy. I’m talking about under the stairs and the red light. And it’s all sounded really dodgy. But essentially, there was a moment I can pinpoint the actual moment, because I knew nothing about photography, I didn’t care. I just was a mate with him. And he would take lots of pictures. And when he developed them, he would print them under his stairs. Because that was dark. And in the red light, you could see as he put the paper and having exposed it to the negative on a thing called an in larger, he would put the paper into the liquid, the developer, and slowly as if by magic, the image would just fade up from nothing. And that was magic to me. As far as I was concerned. That was just magic. And I’m like, this is incredible. So I actually weirdly what I thought, I wanted that. That was really cool to do that. And to do that, I’m glad to take some pictures. So it was like the chore I had to get through to be able to develop. So I actually went into it by developing to start with just a couple of months. But then obviously when it comes to photography, it was brilliant and it was social, you met lots of people. It was fun, it was creative. And then the seed was sown. And it was around about the time when I was starting to get interested in theatre as well. So the photography and theatre, were two paths in my life and they sort of smushed together and then really to be a director was the only the only real pathway to encapsulate a bit of theatre and also photography.

 

Manish Verma 5:35

Jim applied to Harrow Polytechnique to study photography, film and TV. But before he went off, he worked for a film company in Manchester called Cine Photo. And before the summer was out, he got offered a job.

 

Jim Shields 5:49

And they said, Look, we’re sending the crew to Tanzania. And do you want to go but obviously, we would have to give you a full time job now. Right and I’m about to go to Harrow to study. So I like this might be the job I would have wanted at the end of the degree. So I’m going to take a gap year and take this job and see what happens. So I’ve deferred the degree. And I guess basically what I’m saying is I’m still on my gap year.

 

Manish Verma 6:13

You never went?

 

Jim Shields 6:14

I never went. I never I never really needed to because one job led to another and you know, they would, they would hire me out as a freelancer to ITV, the makers of Coronation Street. I would be a runner or a camera assistant. And my life was in production and during the day, I was filming on actual film as well. 16 millimetre. It was it was just an incredible time because they did in they specialised in industrial documentaries. So for example, Kielder dam in Northumberland, when they built that dam. It was a massive earthmoving projects. Cine Photo was the specialist in that and so we’d fly all over the world filming massive civil engineering projects and things like that. For companies like the builders like the civil engineering companies. And the budgets was huge. I remember one time being sat in the BBC, recording studios at White City, and listening to the composer for our film, play about 22 pieces of music with a full orchestra for two hours, we sat there and they played them. And we recorded them and I went along just the experience. But that was what that was the kind of world and sort of dropped into very, very fortunate.

 

Manish Verma 7:24

And this exposure to corporate documentaries laid the foundations for his future business, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First of all, he worked for Cine Photo for two and a half years. Then after that he got a job at a council in Stockport as the head of audio and visual. But the work was quite dull, frankly. So that’s when the side hustle started.

 

Jim Shields

I shouldn’t say this, really. But I managed to kind of run a sideline business while I was working there. And so I would make films at the weekend privately for corporate clients and things like that, again, dabbling in drama because I wasn’t frightened of it. Because evenings and weekends for me I was also doing shows, I was in shows with amateur dramatic company as a hobby. My side hustle was making little films for whoever wanted it and i’d gotten involved with a couple of training companies who were going to use video and video was new, right. Still only a few years old. I was the only person in Cine Photo who knew how to edit video was I was the young guy was prepared to get my head around the technology. Okay. And that was VHS to VHS. It was grim.

 

Manish Verma

Did you always have a kind of an entrepreneurial flair?

 

Jim Shields

I did. Yeah. And I got that from a family. There was nobody in my family ever had an actual job. They were always working for themselves. My dad was a builder. My mom was sold stuff on the market. And she would put me on a market every Saturday when when I was like, as early as like 11 years old, right? We would drive to a market. She’d dump me into this market with a load of stock. I set up the stall and sold, open outcry selling. So “come on out ladies and gentlemen, come and get these wonderful gift sets for Christmas”. And I learned to be totally fearless at that point is good for confidence. I mean, the norm of somebody going to work in the morning and coming back at night just didn’t happen. Somebody was always working. They worked hard and played hard, but it was never normal.

 

Manish Verma

What did you learn from kind of setting up that very, very first business?

 

Jim Shields 9:20

Well the business was called Certain Concepts. And what I learned was really, you should know where your customers are coming from before you start a business. Because I went into we have no customers, I had no customers. What I realised was that you needed to promote yourself, and you needed to start understanding what differentiation was. So why should people come to you because why were we different? Why would you come to us now, unfortunately, I thought, well, that’ll be price because I don’t have any overhead so I can undercut everyone. But that was a mistake, because then the day we filled up and we couldn’t get any better or break out and do interesting things because we were doing the same kind of work and I needed to do every every job that came in. And we got, you know, quite good at just ordinary boring. I mean, they were dull corporate videos. When I went out to ITV I was working on Coronation Street or, or a game show in a studio and it was like. I want I want to work on stuff like that. So how do I get from this, which is like, gone, you know, to that. And that was that the seed was born there to really start the journey to to start a production company, I guess.

 

Manish Verma 10:27

And then did you?

 

Jim Shields 10:29

Well business ran out and I lost my house. Because I put my house up for collateral to buy equipment and borrow money. And it was I was only me, I didn’t have any family at the time. And I sold the house and said I need to just get a job in production. So I got a job in Leicester, right? So I just I don’t move and I thought I was going to last of like six months. I’ll get a job and I’ll get cast together. I’ll come back to Manchester and we’ll we’ll start again. Yeah, but I ended up continuing with Leicester. I always joke that you know, I ended up going to Leicester for six months and stay for like 30 years because I couldn’t get off the ring road.

 

Manish Verma 11:07

And just talk to me about that moment where you lost your house. That must have been significant?

 

Jim Shields 11:18

While I had a job at the local authority. People say if you go and work for the council you work for life that will be it and they didn’t mean it in a good way. So I got a mortgage and thought the benefit is I can now, I’m eligible for a mortgage so I bought a little terrace house. Really I put the house up as collateral for a big loan. I went to auctions and bought secondhand production equipment and put together an edit suite in my house. The house went away because the bank foreclosed on the loan, essentially.

 

Manish Verma 11:49

What was the job that you took in Leicester?

 

Jim Shields

It was as a director for video for a company called vector vision, and again, industrial films, they worked for people like Volvo, they travelled a little bit around Europe and America. It was quite good for travel and, and worked for a few years for them making these industrial documentaries again, which I knew about from Cine Photo. So it was pretty, it’s pretty cool. But it was still still very, you know, straightforward, quite prosaic, not terribly brave. In fact, it was interesting, because I just felt like people didn’t get it. And certainly, you know, my boss at the time didn’t really get it as a production company. He wanted to, and I always think the work that you do reveals something of yourself, you should do if it’s good art. And that company, there was no connection between art and what we were doing. It was a process and it was perfunctory. And it wasn’t about taking chances or being brave because it was clients money and that’s not what they wanted.

 

So you kind of had a clear idea of what you didn’t really want to do. What did you want to do? You talked about the game shows and Coronation Street.

 

Jim Shields 13:01

No, no, the theatre stuff in the evenings and weekends, which was my hobby, and I loved it. I was in a period where I was doing I was at every night rehearsal. Even even Leicester I brought up sort of hobby with me and then, and I learned a lot about watching directors direct theatre. I learned a lot about comedy and about to make a joke land. By night, I was on stage singing and dancing and trying to make people laugh, I guess. And then during the day I was I was making videos. And again, there’s these two parallel tracks always were there.

 

Manish Verma 13:38

After losing his company and losing his house, he found Leicester. But working as a director on industrial films, just wasn’t doing it for him. And after being headhunted for a role in Queniborough, he met his future business partner.

 

Jim Shields

And she and I had this idea to start a company. We called it Twist and Shout because Nicola used to be a bit of a tomboy, a bit of a street urchin. Basically, she she, she wore like a granddad shirt with no colour and a waistcoat. And we’re just sort of like poddle around the place, doing production and helping people out. And so her nickname became like Oliver Twist. And that got shortened to twist. So that was that. And then that was her nickname, and I’m quite loud. And so Twist and Shout is where that name came from. And she thought of it. Brilliant. Very good Twist and Shout was born. And then we left the company. When we left the company, there was one client who had shared their frustration with the work we were doing. And so what happened when they heard we left, they approached us and said, Look, we’d like to give you the work. And obviously I thought, Oh, that’s awkward, you know. But honestly, within within a year, a lot of clients had come with us.

 

Manish Verma

And the vision for twist and shout at the very start was to continue with doing those sorts of corporate videos but better?

 

Jim Shields 15:00

Yeah, just better just more entertaining, just more, more the kind of ideas, we wanted to make it more like TV. And it was less about the kit in the process and the equipment and the, you know. They used to use a phrase called broadcast quality. What does that mean? Well then it meant all about the equipment, you had to have broadcast editing suites and broadcast cameras, and were hugely expensive. But what we felt it meant was the ideas were broadcast quality, like, you know, you watch a TV drama and its broadcast quality of the storytelling is fantastic. Yeah. So how do we get the storytelling into corporate videos, right? We were embracing the idea of entertainment as a way of changing behaviour. So when you make films that people love to watch, and they’re learning something at the same time, they almost don’t notice it really. I mean, they know what it’s about, but they’re really laughing at the jokes and the characters and the scenarios. And that was the that was our kind of big idea. Behavioural change is possible. Your’e trying to change culture within a business. So I forget who said it, it might have been a famous guru like Edward De Bono or somebody, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. It’s something I picked up on. And if you can change culture, you can change how everybody operates and works together, they’re less protective about information, they’re more ready to share. They’re more ready to help somebody out without something in it for them. If you can get a company to work to that kind of culture. It’s fantastic. And the changes are manifest, and the business usually does well. And so we knew that there was a need for that out there in the business world. We knew we were good at creating entertainment and we just glued the two together and on that journey, it just got better and better and better.

 

Manish Verma 15:18

Okay, so Jim shields is the director of twist and sharp communications based at the LCB Depot demo in Leicester. He sets up His company with the premise of making corporate videos with a difference, essentially fun ones. Think about this. He made a sitcom about cyber security.

 

Jim Shields 18:49

Within about two years we’ve made about 50 short films on cybersecurity. It was crazy it seemed to be a thing. And we had a couple of really big significant clients that we’d worked for. One of them was Barclays Bank, and there was a lovely man, Michael Stephen Bonner, who was just brilliant and knew that there was a problem that information security was a really dull subject. And we had to make it interesting. And so we picked several creative ideas and two out of the three of them, I think were comedies. But one of them caught his eye and this idea of making a series of funny videos called The Risk and it was a film within a film. It was a story about a middle manager in Barclays trying to make a video about information security, and the director is ill at the last minute and they’ve still got the shoot, all booked. So he brings in another director. And this guy is proper theatre, and he’s all “what I really want to do his movies”. And so he gets him and he’s a he’s a visionary. And, you know, for this job that didn’t really need a visionary, you know, he goes in and now what happens is we end it with a series of imagined creative approaches in this directors head which come out as film trailers, and so there are now instead of six episodes this dull thing they were going to get. Now what they’ve got is six film trailers. It was a wonderful experience. And that did really well. They took it on a sort of international speaking tour in a way they used it as a gold standard for how to engage with employees about security. The one thing they did say to me at the beginning of the whole project, and he put his neck on the line when the board and everything like that is a big gamble, because it wasn’t cheap. And he said, if we’re going to do this, for God’s sake, make it funny.

 

Manish Verma 20:27

Well, that was my question, actually. Because comedy is so subjective and with kind of dry subject matter. How do you hit that? Mark? Really?

 

 

Jim Shields

Well, this there’s two options. There really are two options. You can either make a very benign, ordinary boring video, and force everybody to watch. Is that the job done? Was the objective to have them all watch the video? Not really no, because the objective was to change the culture. So the objective really is to get some people go, oh, wow, that’s cool. And actually that’s quite an important issue. I need to take notice of that, and I feel this about that now. You need to engage people. And that’s and that’s a feeling to do that. How many things you know will engage every single person in the company, in the room? Not everything. In every comedy gig, somebody sat there thinking from board and other people are laughing their heads off. Or in every in every TV show, there’s going to be like maybe 80% of the population love it, but there’s 20% that don’t. But the ones the sort of 50% that really love it will now go off into the company and have conversations about security. And that was our ploy. Our ploy was to don’t be mediocre for everybody. Be amazing for a good chunk of the audience. And as long as that is a big chunk like 70% or 80%, or whatever you want most of the company to love it. Then may be one or two people who go on I’m not sure that’s appropriate. Security is way too important to make a joke about. And that’s fine. You can have the millions of PowerPoint slides that are available for you to watch. You can have that life that’s fine by us. But what we do get is almost fan behaviour engendering and companies.

 

Manish Verma

Okay, explain that.

 

Jim Shields 22:01

So with our current product line that we have called restricted intelligence, which is a sitcom about information security, we’ve had people say, call and say, listen, we’ve had some requests, you know, the music that you use in the beginning for the title sequence. Can we get that as a ringtone? Could we do that? Yeah. Or can we use the faces on mugs and on T shirts? And that’s what I call fan behaviour. Even down to the fact that even though the guy like the CEO really loves this, is there any way we could make a video with a couple other characters and him and that will go in and make a special episode just for them just really fan behaviour that is now the goal. The goal is we want fans because if you don’t have engagement, it doesn’t matter what information you shove down those channels. They’re not going to listen. Yeah, but if you’ve got engagement, people are on it.

 

Manish Verma 22:48

So Jim at found a method of making the seemingly mundane into memorable, watchable, shareable content. But there was a problem with his business model. Money.

 

Jim Shields

Most businesses that rely on your time, like production will have the problem whereby when you’re busy, you can’t spare the time to market yourself and make more work come along. It’s a classic small business problem. And we would be really busy for six months, for example, and we’d be all hands on deck and you kind of tend to say yes to everything, because you don’t know when it’s going to dry up. So you say, so you work yourself like an animal for six months, and then it kind of runs off into the wild blue, yonder, yonder, and will wilderness and you’ve got no work. And then you go, oh crap, and you go on the phones, you start emailing people again. It was real peak and trough business. It was highs and lows, it was really difficult. And we needed something to help iron out the troughs a little bit so that we had some income. And so what happened on the end of that first job, which was called the risk that’s it was for Barclays, I’d say give credit to our to our client who said, who’d been asked by other companies. This is so amazing. Can we have it? Can we like buy it or borrow it? Whatever. Now due to the relationship, the job was taken on as internal use only so it wasn’t possible they didn’t have a mechanism to sell it or anything as a bank, they’re not going to sell training videos. But what happened was Steven had said to us you should definitely maybe set up a business making these for people to licence. So you make it once you sell it many. And I was the first time I’d realised how important and passive income could be. And we did and again, borrowed money. Now I’m married with kids, and I put my house up as collateral for the first series. You’d think I’d have learned! My wife was quite nervous. She was brilliant. She came with me on that journey. But I know she was terrified of, of literally losing the house. There were months where I’ve had to pay wages on a credit card. Yeah, I had to borrow and and that’s what happened with the first series. We got some companies coming in. The story of why I did that, by the way was because we’ve gone out and found, like a consortium of companies that agreed the process and would, would buy it if we made it. So we said, what we’re asking us to do is kind of pre order it. So we want you to put in five grand each, there were 10 of them. We need 50 grand to make the whole series. The first day was really on a shoestring. About a week before about two weeks before maybe the shoot, half of our investors pulled out. And yeah, it was all booked and all ready to go. And so, okay, we’re doing this and I had to make a, what they call a come to Jesus moment and just make a decision and just say, let’s do, let’s do anyway. So in order to make sure everybody got paid, I underwrote the production by letting the bank put a charge on the house and then give us an overdraft to finish it with and that’s and that’s basically what happened. I’m happy to say there’s no longer a charge on the house. So luckily we got our money back. And a fantastic person that I had the foresight to, sort of headhunt from Volvo was a customer service manager called Jess who works with me to this day, she’s my number two. And she came on to sell because we never had a product before to sell. I didn’t have to sell the products and make films and I knew how to sell on a market. And I needed somebody who understood about customer care and customer satisfaction, because we wanted everyone to be happy. So Jess came on and she was fantastic. And it’s just grown the business over the years to what it is today.

 

Manish Verma

How long has that that part of the business been going?

 

Jim Shields

About six or seven years now. First two years weren’t It was hard to get sales going because people were still nervous at the concept of using comedy. But we timed it right because the whole growth and advent of YouTube and the idea that comedy virals were a thing, and that a lot of millennials were watching were consuming their media in these four or five minute chunks. So it was in a format that was suiting ever younger and younger workforces. And that’s what that’s what made sense, right? And that just caught that wave.

 

Manish Verma

The passive income then became bigger than the original business idea. It solved their cash flow problem of working for six months and then chasing work for the other six. And it became such a success that Jim was able to tell some of his biggest paying clients that he’ll stop working with them, unless they start doing more interesting, more creative stuff. It worked. They came on board. But while said solve this problem, a much bigger issue was developing behind the scenes. It was something that could have ended twist and shout. In the time that you’ve grown twist and shout.

 

Jim Shields 27:43

One of the biggest mistakes was trying to be friends with everybody in the company. I like to be friends with everyone in the company, but you also realise you’re a boss and you have responsibilities and you have things that you have to do sometimes that are difficult. And I was never, ever great at things like paperwork. And due diligence in terms of what can I say just keeping a tight eye on cash flow and all that kind of thing. And unfortunately, a few years ago, probably 7 years ago or so, we had somebody in the company who was stealing money of us. And the they’d been taking money for about three years, was like quite a lot of money. I just thought we were struggling because we were always struggling. But actually what happened was, we were all the profits were getting sort of filtered away. There was a really dark time in the middle of all of that when I realised that she hadn’t been paying any tax for years. So not only did I not have any money I was printed presented with a corporation tax bill, and the PAYE tax bill. And I think at the time we the triggered VAT inspection. It would couldn’t have been worse. And I just remember opening letters and thinking, you know it’s a lot of money and I didn’t have any.

 

Manish Verma 28:58

Is it fair to say that that could have killed the business then?

 

Jim Shields 29:01

Yeah. And I think a lot of businesses it would have killed as well. Yeah, definitely. After the thing with the internal fraud with an employee sort of stealing from us is one thing I realised that you needed to have really robust systems in where you, as a business owner can’t let go of the handlebars and expects it all to just look after itself.

 

Manish Verma 29:20

Thankfully, Jim got handle back on his business. And as much as it was boring. He’s now very much in control of the ins and outs of twist and shout. So much so in fact that well, here’s a bit of an exclusive for the Leicester startups podcast.

 

Jim Shields 29:36

I’m happy to say that by the time you hear this, we may well have been partnered with a much bigger company who specialises in changing security culture within businesses around the world. Fantastic company called Know Be 4.

 

Manish Verma 29:53

I’m gonna sound really abrupt here and rude but no for a basically buying twist and shout?

 

Jim Shields 29:58

Yeah. Yeah. And by the time you hear this, I’m sure will be allowed to announce it.

 

Manish Verma 30:06

How do you feel about that? This is a company you’ve, you know, you grown over 26 years.

 

Jim Shields 30:11

Until a few years ago, it never occurred to me to sell it. I just thought you will prize my cold dead fingers off the laptop at the end of it. I knew that the business was a lot of potential for growth. Definitely, we looked at looking at having a huge training empire of our own probably, you know, that’s what I thought we would we would have. But we were approached by this company and a couple of other companies as well, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t thought about it. But this company was so keen and interested and really understood what we did and what was the special sauce, you know, they understood why it worked very much so and then they wanted to licence the content office originally. And we let them have a couple of seasons because we didn’t want to cannibalise our own market. Because you could subscribe to that platform and watch it and therefore we couldn’t sell it. But, and so we were very cagey about letting them have a couple of things, you know, and then it was very popular for them. And then they were like, all right, well, we want all of it and, and then I’m like, oh I don’t know. And they went, well, we’ll just have the company then.

 

Manish Verma 31:22

What made you think say, yeah?

 

Jim Shields 31:25

I think actually, what made me say I’ve got, if you could see my back burner list, you wouldn’t believe. I have so many ideas for other things to do. And companies and I thought, I’m still young enough to do other things. So after I’ll continue to work for the company for for several years from now, but hopefully in a few years, I’ll have a bit of bandwidth to be able to try out these other new ideas for companies and things like that.

 

Manish Verma 31:49

Are you allowed to say how much you sold the company for now?

 

Jim Shields 31:52

No I can’t tell you that I am sorry. But certainly is life changing?

 

Manish Verma 31:59

So enough so that you can now pursue those passion projects retire if you want?

 

Jim Shields 32:04

Well, I’m bound for an earn out for a few years. And the thing is no is no hardship. I love doing what I’m doing. And we’re continuing. We’re working on Season Two right now of this big series that we made last year. I have the best job in the world. I get to work every day with people who make me laugh, and they’re fantastic people, I get to meet new people as well. I work with actors and which I adore doing and we’re generating stuff that people take notice of and it’s changing behaviours and protecting the world. I don’t really, I can’t think of- there’s no downside to that, it’s fantastic. I do want to spend more time with my kids and my family and I worry about that a little bit. But I think any entrepreneur that’s ever done anything will tell you that that’s that’s the tough balance to do. But that is I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I love it. I love what I’m doing.

 

Manish Verma 32:52

So massive congratulations to Jim and twist and shout. Whilst it’s not the ambition of all entrepreneurs, I’m sure, many that I speak do say that selling their businesses on is their ultimate goal. So again, congratulations. And it sounds like Jim’s got plenty to keep him busy. Every year he attends the world domination summit. Yep, that’s right, which takes place in America each year with the goal of answering the question, how do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world. Also, Jim tells me there’s a couple of new business ideas he’d like to work on. One is a sort of travel company, but for the theatre, like an exchange visit, where people would visit different theatres. And then there’s this other idea, but he’s keeping that one under wraps, but it’s an idea his daughter had. And of course, he plans to stick around in Leicester.

 

Jim Shields 33:45

There’s a few things about Leicester, obviously I landed here by accident, kinda because I just took a job many years ago, but having grown a business in Leicester, over the last sort of 25 years, certainly the opportunity was there for us to get spaces to operate in. And that was great, space was made available to us. There’s a lot of talent in Leicester, there’s a lot of creativity and I put it down to them the melting pot idea of Leicester. Not just the multicultural nature of it, but to strong universities. They’ve got international reputations. There’s a loads of talent. It’s within spitting distance of London, so it’s an hour and a bit on the train. But it’s the cost base is really low. It’s really great to be here. I feel like of the holy trinity of you know, Nottingham, Lester Derby sort of thing Lester sometimes gets a bad, a bad rap for not having a personality sort of thing. But I believe it does now and I think the quarter the cultural course has made a big difference to that and is attracted lots and lots of talent. So I feel like people in Leicester try harder, because they feel like they they need to and they do. So Leicester has been great for those two reasons that the spaces have been great. It’s been a cost effective to be here. And also the talent is here a lot of talent here. And that’s the main sort of reasons that have helped my business. Definitely. Yeah, yeah. And also you can you can get a really decent takeout food anytime day or night!

 

Manish Verma 35:25

Jim shields is the director of the award winning Twist and Shout communications. Yes, since this podcast was recorded, Jim’s team won an award for Business Communication at the can corporate media and TV awards. Congratulations. Jim is also an author. His first book three guys walk into a bar is aimed at helping creative entrepreneurs navigate their way around business. And his second book is all about the loss of intimacy in business. That’s called once more with feeling and is out in November 2019. Oh and do check out His TEDx Lester talk. It’s interesting. Thanks for listening to the Leicester startups podcast.