Richard Evans: The Recipe To Generate Collaborations
With the advancement of technology, we have thousands of resources that did not exist before. For example, we no longer need an office to start up a company. What is more important today is what kind of impact you want to make.
Richard Evans: Impact Creator
Richard Evans is the Chairman of Impact Hub Association. Impact Hub is now one of the most famous co-working spaces in the world. It has more than 10,000 members and 60 locations around the globe.
-----For those who are not familiar with you, please tell us more about you. Why did you get involved in Impact Hub as the chairman of the board?
I first got involved in Impact Hub about 7 years ago when I quit my corporate career to focus on impact. I felt a bit lonely because I didn’t know a lot of other people with that kind of motivation, and a friend introduced me to Hub Kings Cross in London, which was still not yet open. I loved the idea and got involved as a member and an investor, then ended up chairing the board there. Last year the global association Chair position came up, and I just felt drawn to stand for election, then to my surprise I got elected!
-----You have a rich experience in marketing and branding. How do you convert your experience and knowledge into value as the chairman of Impact Hub?
I have learned over the years that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, and of course you cannot buy that. Behaving in ways that build trust is what leads to positive word of mouth – so I try and keep us focused on that. Our network has grown entirely through word of mouth.
-----If you had had the same amount of knowledge and experience from the beginning, what would you do differently?
If you mean from the beginning of my time as Chair of Impact Hub Association, I’m not sure I’ve been doing it long enough yet – I’m still in the early learning phase! If you mean from the beginning of my career, I think I would have invested far more energy in trying to develop a truly collaborative culture like we have in Impact Hub, rather than relying on traditional corporate ‘command & control’, which just does not get the best out of people.
-----In many cases, the main cause of failure is not thebusiness model, but a mental failure: giving up, getting depressed, or losing passion. How have you dealt with this when things do not go your way?
I think if you can be truly honest with yourself and develop a really clear sense of your life’s purpose, then you can never really give up on that. It’s a cliché I know, but when one door closes another opens, if you stay focused and remain open to learning from every experience you will never truly lose heart.
-----Why do people need a co-working space?
Lots of people want co-working space for lots of reasons – it’s a growing market! But our members are drawn together not just for the cost or convenience of the physical space, it is the opportunity to hang out with like-minded people and connect with others who can help you turn your business idea into reality that they value most.
-----What is the most important thing you have ever learnt throughout your life?
That’s a tough one! I think probably to try and always treat others as you would hope to be treated yourself. It doesn’t mean that you are always going to be treated well of course, but at least that way you can always live with yourself, and be at peace with yourself.
-----If you could leave one message for young people to make the world better, what advice you would give them?
Ask yourself what you really want your life to be about, then follow your heart. In my experience, most people have kindness and generosity in their souls, but modern life puts many distractions and obstacles in the way. But these days it is really possible for any young person to make a difference on a global scale – we see many of our members doing just that – it’s exciting and inspiring to see.
-----If you can make a call to 20-year-old Richard Evans, what would you say to him?
Ask yourself what you really want your life to be about, then follow your heart!