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29 January 2018

Bringing creativity to sales…

Stuart - Business Development Manager

It was inevitable that, at some point during this series of chats, the interviewer would become the interviewee. The job has fallen to me, Ben the Studio Director, to give our very own Business Development Manager a jolly good grilling.

I caught up with Stuart on a dim January afternoon in subterranean Canterbury. Here’s what he had to say for himself.

Tell us about your journey into the creative world.

I’ve always been theatrical, right back to my childhood. I loved being in bands and creating music, until at around age ten my parents strongly encouraged me to give acting a try. It turned out that learning and regurgitating lines that other people had written wasn’t really my thing, and so as a teenager I found my way into Stage Management for the Kent Youth Theatre at the Marlowe. Bossing people around, it transpired, I was much more comfortable with.

Writing stories was also a passion of mine. Watching cartoons? No thanks, it was writing stories for me. In your story anything can happen and, with my hands a little challenged in the artistic department, stories are where my ideas could come to life.

What do you do at Dodgems and Floss?

Everything! Well, apart from design. Or develop. But everything else! I attract and retain new clients, I make people aware of what we do and how, and I help prospective clients to identify if Dodgems and Floss is the right agency partner for them. In short, I put D&F on the map.

One thing I do that’s really important is make us accessible. As in all industries the creative world is filled with jargon, and understanding it all shouldn’t be our clients’ problem. Not that long ago I was in their shoes, and I can bridge the gap between designer, developer and customer.

I also bring creativity to sales. It’s that same energy that goes into everything we do at Dodgems and Floss.

Dead or alive, who do you think you could’ve been in a past life?

Fred Astaire? [Note: this seems pretty likely.] Or maybe a 70s/80s F1 driver like Ayrton Senna. Well, with the charisma of Ayrton but driving ability more akin to Benny Hill. Something like that.

You’re known for spontaneously dancing around the studio… but what makes you dance?

Well Eighties electro pop, obviously. It’s the excitement. It comes up from the soles of my feet and starts me moving. It’s a way of expressing joy, achievement, accomplishment. All joy. I just can’t sit still with all that excited energy inside me.

What makes Stuart Porro™, the brand?

Mediterranean suave with Scottish steel. Charismatic but to the point. My upbringing is reflected a lot in who I am; you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to be nice to people. I’m a great believer in empathy; understanding where others are coming from will get you a long way.

And finally, what advice would you give to yourself ten years junior?

Shut up! Don’t be so cocky. You don’t know anything when you’re 19 so talk less and listen more. While you’re at it, you can shave off that pencil beard and sort the mullet out.
Oh, and always fill the car up with petrol the night before.

Lauren gave me a piece of advice a couple of months ago that has really stuck. “Successful people Make their bed in the morning”. Yes, I know it sounds a little odd, and I’m not just talking about chucking the duvet back on. Make it properly, neatly, like you’d expect to see if you were checking in to a five star hotel. I thought she’d gone a bit crazy if I’m honest, but I’ve done it every morning since and it gets me into a clear and organised mindset to start each day. It’s that immediate sense of accomplishment that just sets you up.

Remember, you pick your mindset, it doesn’t pick you.

That’s all from the man we call Stuart (to his face, anyway), but if you’re inspired by his revelations under pressure then stop by and meet him! Dodgems and Floss is at 19 St Peter’s Street. Canterbury CT1 2BQ and we’re open from 9:30am until 6:00pm – and when he greets you with his trademark smile you’ll know it’s all because at home he has the neatest bed you’ve ever seen…

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