020 | Pete Jenkins | Gamification Expert

Gamification expert, Pete Jenkins, shares his entrepreneurial story, from early disillusionment to successful business owner and “Entrepreneur In Residence” for Brighton University.

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Nicola: Hi, I’m Nicola Cairncross, and you’re listening to “The Money Gym” podcast, where I interview successful entrepreneurs and investors, and ask them, if they could go back in time, and give their younger selves one big tip about money, what would it be? I really hope you enjoy the show.

Pete Jenkins is one of the top gamification consultants in the world. Based in Bryson in the UK, he first launched his business in August 2000 with the intention of providing enterprise level software to small businesses cost effectively. often successfully for many years, he decided that he wanted to help people enjoy their day to day work more, and his company culture is all about enjoying the work that you do.

They do that by teaching people how to utilize a process known as Gamification. They show you how to use game design concepts and techniques such as points, badges and leaderboards. To motivate and engage your style to achieve best results. Whether you’re an Angry Bird addict or you enjoy a good game of snakes and ladders, gamification can make your work even more rewarding.

Now Managing Director of gamification plus, Pete Jenkins has achieved the highest level of qualification in Gamification, completing the Coursera course on Gamification run by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a call 95.1%.

He’s also served time as the treasurer and the chairman of the International Gamification Federation known as GamFed. He also organizes and hosts a Gamification Europe Conference once a year. Let’s see what Pete’s got to say on the subject of money, shall we?

Let’s talk money, let’s talk about your attitudes to money, you know, how your upbringings affected that how good you are at managing your money, how are you blessing you know,

Pete: Good question, because I have an issue, which is entrepreneurs are supposed to take risks, but my upbringing involved watching my debt, run a business and go bankrupt and lose the house and both the ops and so my subconscious wants me to be really risk-averse, which was very difficult to invest in new things.

So the first few years of running a business, I had to actually work at overcoming that. If you’re too risk-averse, you’re never going to adapt fast enough and, take enough chances and running a business. So that’s how I work and the reason I’m risk-averse is because of what I saw when I was growing up, the sounds of the question?

Nicola: It does, but he doesn’t answer them because I do tend to ask him back. So you’ve had to overcome your your aversion to risk and how’s that? How am I suppose for CRM and things is there’s probably some sort of formula for what you charge for things, but now you’re going into gamification consultancy, you know, how you pricing yourself their?

Pete: That’s an interesting question. So with the CRM systems, it’s quite a nice model because you charged up front for customizing and training and setting up CRM system and then you’ve got recurring income for looking after it and hosting it, particularly with cloud hosting. So we’re hosting, supporting and so on and getting a monthly recurring income. This is great.

But with devastation and switching to a consultancy model, I had no idea actually how to price it and how to charge. So to be honest, I did what I always do in a situation I which is only tournament, I went and got advice. So I’ve got a business advisor who specializes really in helping consultants and senior consultant myself. So she’s a good example of how it could work.

She works with a lot of other people and then she’s really helped me price I would have priced far too low right from the start, which is difficult to overcome. In fact, I got told by a client just the other day that I hadn’t charged him enough, I thought was great.

Nicola: So, how are you going? Are you thinking constantly about this whole recurring income thing? Is it something that’s on your mind about how you could is that I’ve got a few ideas for you and I think about it, but is it something you’re interested in developing?

Pete: Well, I’ve spent the best part of 13 years aiming for recurring income. As I saw with my program telecoms company, it gives you something of value to sell, you know, so it’s not just the income while you’re doing it. If you’re building a business, something that can run without you, and I’ve still liked that idea.

So, to be honest, my long run things with the gamification consultancy is that it won’t just be built around me. It’s going to be built around various niche expertise within gamification and other people. But finding ways to bring the recurring income in was quite interesting and tricky, which is why it goes we’ve kept the gamified CRM part of the business.

That’s the bread and butter that pays the bills every month. Then the fun stuff is consulting and teaching is great fun and keeps me so it white tissue teaching you have to stay up to date and stay abreast potentially helps the rest of the business. It doesn’t pay you very well.

Nicola: No, I can imagine it does.

Pete: But it is fun and it keeps me on top of my game.

Nicola: I think there’s definitely a prestige element to it as well which again adds to the expert authority status, doesn’t it?

Pete: I think it does. Definitely. I’m not sure how many more titles I can handle.

Nicola: So tell us about your personal money Pete and I’m always intrigued because sometimes I come across business people who are really good with their personal money and then I come across business people who don’t take any notice of their personal money and just expect it to look after itself. Do you carry over your systems from your business into your personal finances?

Pete: Not really. I think for me, personal finances actually I was on the same heading as with dad. Many years ago when he went bankrupt. He was kind of spending the whole you’ve got it kind of person. My 20s, I was exactly the same as boring on credit spending on everything and I had a big crash, which was what I couldn’t get any more credit.

How shocked. But you reach a point where you’ve just got debts up to the eyeballs. To be honest, I was in the midst of paying or starting to pay that off when we founded the business. So to be honest, we struggled when we started running the business because my Dad and I both had quite a lot of debt.

We couldn’t actually just put much into the business. Luckily, another company we’d work for had been sold. We had some money from shares in that which were splitting the business. Probably, we should have paid off more debts.

Nicola: So you really were up against it when you started that business, won’t you?

Pete: Yes. Organically. if there’s one difference between my business and many of the ones I come across, is that right from the start we had to be money making because we didn’t have any. We had about 15 grand i think.

So it was enough for a few bills, but we had to buy quite a lot of equipment and software, but then reselling other people’s software costs money up front as well. So it was it was a lot to do with that 15 grand. That’s much more money for marketing that’s what I probably want to do networking.

Nicola: Even proves your own finances though now. I mentioned you know, the experience of getting up to the wire and then and then having to work out what to do next that must have made you pay more attention.

Pete: I’m thrilled my wife had a similar experience. So we both now run we spend once we’ve got money, apart from you know, sensible, big businesses like mortgages and houses. Everything else is save up.

Nicola: It’s a learning experience, that’s for sure. I think if people can come through it and and learn from it then it’s it’s a good experience. But it’s challenging at the time, that’s for sure. Good stuff.

Pete: Good insight when I was a financial advisor,

Nicola: I can imagine. Yes. It is always astonishes me how some people have just swung through life never run up any debt always live within their means and saved, you know, saved money. It’s just interesting, isn’t it? I’m always fascinated about what people’s backgrounds and childhood what effect that has on the way they handle money. I find it very fascinating. Good stuff.

Pete: Where I invest now is in industries that are being disrupted. So I don’t put money in a standard ISO account, or savings account. I invest money online through peer lending and peer loan companies like my favorite one.

Nicola: Which one sorry?

Pete: I invest money into peer lending. Companies like Uber, anything that’s disrupting. So that’s disrupting the banking industry, which is great.

Nicola: I’m very drawn to that. I think I’ve invested in film on Kickstarter. So long ago, I can’t remember what was happening with it but I also love Kiva. I love the Kiva organization, because it’s helping entrepreneurs around the world who wouldn’t get any help otherwise, and the majority of them, the loans get paid back, and then you get a really great feeling by being able to lend it again.

Every time I feel a little bit worried about money, I go and buy another hundred dollars in my Kiva account so that because I know that it’s going to help five other entrepreneurs and it just makes me feel really abundant and, and like I’m making a difference.

Pete: I know exactly what you mean. I use Kiva as well. So appeals the entrepreneur in me to help other entrepreneurs.

Nicola: You’ve been listening to Nicola Cairncross on “The Money Gym” podcast. If you’d like to find out more about The Money Gym and how we can help you become more financially intelligent, just come on over to themoneygym.com. We’ll see you over there.


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