Episode 11 - Suki Thompson - Oystercatchers

Suki Thompson 1 - Cornwall 2017.jpg

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“Be Fearless”

Suki Thompson is co-founder of Oystercatchers and exec board member of their parent company Centaur Media PLC. In addition Suki is a trustee for Touraid and Macmillan Cancer Support as well as a Non-Executive Director for Gately PLC.

Unlike many of my guests, Suki doesn’t come from a Management Consulting background but a Marketing background. Following a successful corporate career she decided to go out on her own founding Marketing firm, Haystack Group, and her own gin business, Bunker Gin, before launching Oystercatchers and ultimately selling the business to Centaur.

Oystercatchers is an industry pioneer. It was created to help clients ‘accelerate marketing performance’ by providing consultancy support to their Marketing functions - to enable brands and businesses to build growth with a competitive edge in a rapidly changing industry landscape. This unique approach and the purpose behind it is something we discuss in detail in today’s episode.

Suki is as open as she is impressive and we go deep into her story and some of the challenges she faced along the way including:

Suki's approach to goal setting and how she sets and achieves her goals

Founding Oystercatchers and how Suki met her Business Partner, Peter Cowie

Suki's battle with Cancer in the early days of Oystercatchers and how she made it through with both her health and business intact

How Suki and Peter decided to sell the business and why they chose Centaur Media

The challenges women face in the professional world and how to overcome them

How to achieve a successful work and personal life by blending the two together

Suki’s advice to those thinking of starting their own business

And much much more!

You can find out more about Suki and Oystercatchers on her Linked In page – https://www.linkedin.com/in/suki-thompson-07615b6/  or reach out to her by email at sukithompson@theoystercatchers.com

Specific Things We Discuss in the show:

Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams Danny Penman - http://amzn.eu/59JpVwp

The 5 Second Rule: The surprisingly simple way to live, love and speak with courage by Mel Robbins - http://amzn.eu/8Qe49o1

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - http://amzn.eu/8TqT2dN

The OysterCatchers Club - http://theoystercatchers.com/category/oystercatchers-club/

Mark Ritson’s mini MBA - https://mba.marketingweek.com/

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: how to turn your fear and indecision into confidence and action by Susan Jeffers - http://amzn.eu/7j6ApZJ

Hayman’s Gin - www.haymansgin.com

Audible - www.audible.co.uk

Suki’s Holiday Reading list – Comments are her own:

The Thing Around Your Neck – By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (a collection of short stories from one of my absolute favourite authors) - http://amzn.eu/gCegS3E

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – by Heather Morris – I love history and this is a simple, thought provoking and emotional story about a different aspect of the Holocaust - http://amzn.eu/5Q4lT7G

Mythos – Stephen Fry – Stephen was one of our guest speakers at our Festival of Marketing last year and we talked about this book, I just needed time to read it - http://amzn.eu/4f6gMo1

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – by Gail Honeyman – my airport purchase, delighted I made a good choice. this lovely story gives an insight into a very different perspective on the world - http://amzn.eu/cAdqix4

What we talk about:

00:03:23 - Suki's advice to her younger self and her battle with Cancer.

00:10:00 - Suki's approach to setting her life and business goals.

00:14:55 - The impact of Suki's Cancer diagnosis on her business and how her friends, family and business partner helped her get through it.

00:21:39 - How Suki manages her time and fits everything in to her busy schedule. As Wilf in her team asked me to ask her "How does Suki fit 25 hours a day in to 24", Thanks Wilf.

00:26:15 - The advice Suki gives to her kids about life and choosing a career.

00:29:22 - The biggest challenges Suki faced moving from running her own business to being on the exec board of a PLC.

00:33:15 - How Suki met her business partner, Peter Cowie.

00:45:16 - How Suki and Peter grew Oystercatcher and how they decided to sell to Centaur Media.

00:57:54 - Suki's advice to those thinking of starting their own business.

01:08:00 - The Oystercatchers Club and how Oystercatchers grew this to become one of the biggest networking events in the industry.

01:15:46 - Suki's view on diversity and the key challenges the industry faces in improving it.

01:28:22 - Suki advice for building your network and reputation.

01:39:55 - How Suki merges her personal and professional life so successfully.

01:49:50 - Suki's venture in to the gin business.

01:50:58 - Suki's top book recommendations.

01:53:00 - Suki's advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:55:12 - Suki's closing advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.