​We’ve been in business for nearly 15 years and over that time we’ve been very fortunate and privileged to have met a diverse range of inspiring founders, business owners and entrepreneurs.  On their journeys, they’ve all been in the trenches, as we have, and experienced both the highs and lows that running a business throws at you.

Adam Asks is a podcast series designed to share their valuable lessons and if like us, you want to know what’s around the corner in a world of uncertainty, we’re here to ask them the questions and share their insights.​

Episode 27 - Mark Boler

Leon Milns and Mark Boler

Mark Boler is the founder and CEO of The Mere Golf Resort and Spa. His father bought The Mere Golf and Country Club in 1984, and Mark took over running the business in 1997. Mark spent years developing plans to transform the business into a luxury resort and secured a £15m investment to make his dreams into a reality. The resort opened in March 2012, with Mark selling the business at the start of 2018.

Mark joins Leon Milns for #AdamAsks' first in-person chat since lockdown began to discuss Mark's journey from working for his father's business to overseeing the transformation of the country club into a full resort, and the effect that the journey had on his mental and physical health which led to him heading to rehab.

In this episode, Mark chats all about:

  • What it's really like to take on such a large business transformation project

  • How his dedication to his business led to a crisis point

  • How Mark uses his personal experiences to help others

  • The advice that Mark would give his younger self

  • Why he believes that people need to become more mindful about their wellbeing

​You can listen to the podcast here.

Episode 26 - The Future of Work 2020

Richard Gahagan and Adam Mitcheson

We Are Adam CEO Richard Gahagan is joined by my2be co-Founder Adam Mitcheson, We Are Adam Operations Manager Leanne Scaletta, and copywriter Kimi Wright for a virtual Roundtable discussion about our recently released Whitepaper report, The Future of Work 2020.

The Future of Work 2020 was a partnership between We Are Adam and my2be to investigate the remote working revolution which was accelerated when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived on our doorsteps, the long-term effects that we believe will shape our working lives, and what this means for businesses and their people.

Covering all the topics discussed within the report, the key contributors expand on the research they uncovered whilst creating it, as well as insight and opinions from their own personal experiences. Some of the topics touched on include:

  • The positive effects mentoring can have on all parts of a business, from diversity to progression

  • Company culture, and the challenges of keeping it alive and well whilst working remotely

  • The effects a remote or flexible working policy can have on a business and its employees

  • What does a significant shift to remote work mean for the future of the office?

  • Employee mental health and wellbeing whilst working remotely

And much more.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Episode 25 - Derek Bishop

Derek Bishop and Leon Milns

Derek Bishop is the Director of Culture Consultancy - experts in business culture, working with the leadership teams of global organisations to deliver sustainable performance improvements. Derek has over twenty years’ experience leading people and delivering results for businesses. As an expert on culture change, Derek returns to the #AdamAsks podcast to talk to Adam co-Founder Leon about the importance of good leadership and company culture as businesses attempt to return to normal over the coming weeks.

In this episode of #AdamAsks, Derek and Leon talk all about:

  • The ways in which Derek has seen different company cultures change after such an unprecedented few months  

  • The risks to company culture in the current climate, and why it is so important to your business

  • What business leaders should be doing going forward to help nurture their organisation’s culture and engage their teams

  • What the risks and challenges are to an organisation’s culture as workers return to work over the coming weeks and months, and re-integrating teams

  • The importance of strong, empathetic, and open leadership as workers return to work

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 24 - Kelly Gilmour-Grassam

Leon Milns and Kelly Gilmore Grassam

Kelly Gilmour-Grassam is the Director of Making You Content Ltd, a copywriting and content creation agency in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Born in Yorkshire, Kelly is a proud adopted Mancunian who has drawn inspiration from her urban surroundings to create a name for herself and her business.

In this episode of AdamAsks, Kelly talks about how your company’s culture can influence it’s success. She covers:

  • · How she became a copywriter, how Making You Content came to be, and her journey building her business to become one of Manchester’s best employers

  • · Advice to aspiring copywriters and business owners

  • · The business culture that she has created for her employees, how she implemented this, and the benefits it has had for the business

  • · Where Kelly hopes to take the business in the next few years

  • · The importance of investing in the personal development and wellbeing of your employees

  • · The secret of creating great content

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 23 - Martin Murphy

Martin Murphy and Leon Milns

Martin Murphy is a former special forces soldier, international adviser and coach to leaders and teams. He’s also a speaker and author with vast experience in forming and leading high performing teams, both in the special forces and in the commercial sector where he trained special project teams worldwide to effectively combat terrorism and narcotics smuggling.

Martin has a unique perspective on what makes great leadership in times of crisis. At a time of unparalleled crisis for humanity and business alike, he joined us to share his experience and provide advice to business owners. He covers:

  • Why, as a species, were not great at responding effectively to challenges which are in the distance

  • The 4 R's of resilience for leaders in uncertain times

  • What good leadership in a crisis looks like

  • What other traits leaders need apart from being 'level headed'

  • How to empower your team to help your business come out of this stronger

  • How to slow things down both emotionally and mentally so you can make effective decisions

Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 22 - Chris Hyland

Leon Milns and Chris Hyland

Chris Hyland joins us on #AdamAsks to discuss why last 4 years has been a whirlwind of change both personally and professionally. He shares about his incredible growth journey from a marketing graduate to seeking investors to purchase his thriving agency, 4Ps Marketing. He reveals the unforgiving process of selling his agency as he reflects on the lengthy transition process.

Chris then discusses how the process impacted him personally. He touches on how scrutinising questions can lead to self-doubt, revealing the candid reality of selling for entrepreneurs at the start of the process and the emptiness that is left behind when the euphoria subsides.

Driven by a passion to tackle the corporate ‘monsters,’ Chris explains why he launched The Happiness Index to improve society.

Adapting to your people Chris also recognises that establishing a thriving culture is a journey and why you should spend time getting your leadership team onboard. He elaborates on how the ‘freedom to be human’ can empower employees to be themselves and offers some poignant advice for those feeling the pressure of stress.

Listeners will finish by reflecting on their own work-life balance and be reminded that “unless you stop – you will break”.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 21 - John Readman

John Readman and Leon Milns

John Readmanis the Founder and CEO of Modo25 and the Co-Founder of Ride25– two innovative businesses that challenge rigid work structures.

Recently, John joined us to talk about his experience on Dragon’s Den, the innovative path that Modo25 has chosen to take and how to establish a healthy work-life balance.​

When reflecting back on his experience on Dragon’s Den, John shares about:

  • Ride25’s impressive story of growth - transforming from a fundraising idea into a sell-out business opportunity;

  • What entrepreneurs should consider when facing challenging investors.

Jumping from the past to current day, talk turns to Modo25 with John revealing the practical implications behind his ‘people first’ culture. This includes:

  • Executing a quick recruitment strategy to support growth without compromising standards;

  • How a seven-figure investment helped him to realise his ‘wish list’ of top talent;

  • Increasing productivity with a market leading wage structure and a flexible, 4-day week;

  • The knock-on effect of happy employees improving client satisfaction.

John also makes some important points about how the right infrastructure is essential as society shifts towards remote working and discusses the importance of empowering your employees.

Finally, the podcast draws to a close with an inspiring conversation around the charity work that shaped his business and some humbling advice for budding entrepreneurs who may feel isolated on their journey to success.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 20 - Vikas Shah

Leon Milns and Vikas Shah

Vikas Shah MBE is a philanthropist, a serial entrepreneur, and an investor that has a passion for technology-driven businesses. He holds positions as Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan (Lisbon), Honorary Professor of Business at the University of Manchester and an Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford Business School. It’s fair to say that he has an impressive CV and is a powerful mentor for the next generation of entrepreneurs. However, his multi-faceted portfolio doesn’t stop there. Vikas also hosts an interview series – Thought Economics – which discusses poignant topics with some of the world’s leading thinkers, including Holocaust survivors, Athletes, Presidents and Celebrities - just to name a few.

​Vikas started his business career at the tender age of 14, exploiting the early stages of the internet boom to create a graphic design business to fund his dream of becoming a pilot. An impressive start right? In this podcast, we discover what he’s achieved since on his entrepreneurial journey.

​Unlike most entrepreneurs, Vikas doesn’t have a strict life plan. Instead, he has an innate curiosity to follow paths to see where they lead. In this podcast, we discover how Vikas’ desire for variety led him on a journey full of disruption that expands beyond his angel investments in tech-enabled or related businesses and deep into elements he never expected, such as his practical involvement in teaching and his inspiring philanthropy. He also shares how he juggles his time – subsequently encouraging listeners to apply a ruthlessness to their priorities and to hire the best people to help you achieve your objectives. He also discusses how he consciously defies the unsustainable 'always on the grind’ culture by ensuring he has time for hobbies and downtime with his adorable cats.

​Vikas offers advice to those wanting to build their own business in an entrepreneurial landscape that discourages focus and encourages distraction through an environment of collective hype and shares why securing investment is only the beginning of your journey as a responsible leader. Listeners should expect insight into what Vikas looks for as an early-stage investor, common mistakes he sees start-ups make and why Manchester still has a long way to go in being a top global digital city.

​Finally, Vikas reflects on how interviewing peace-makers and incredible survivors can challenge how we look at the world.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 19 - Amman Ahmed

Amman Ahmed and Leon Milns

Fresh out of University, Amman Ahmed’s began with a career in sales.

​Inspired by the situation of his partner, a producer from a dangerous, gang-run neighbourhood in El Salvador, Amman found himself drawn to research about music therapy. Applying it to his own life and driven by his love of animals, Amman identified a gap in the market for animals with anxiety to support their wellbeing without the use of drugs or physical manipulation.

In this podcast, we discover how Amman took a data-driven approach to grow his business Music for Pets, a TV and music streaming service for animals, from a part-time “side hustle” to an impressive service used by over 20 million pets from all around the world. Now, Amman’s obsession with his customers drives a rapidly growing business that has a positive impact on pets and owners alike.

Amman’s passion and determination to build a legacy is paramount, with ambitious plans for future growth. In a bid to warn others following suit, Amman also shares with our Co-Founder, Leon Milns, how he balances his ‘addictive passion’ for work with enough rest to ensure he doesn’t burn out.

To finish up, Amman touches on how social media can have a negative impact on our mental health when comparing ourselves to others. Listeners are advised to prioritise their own vision, reduce distractions and focus on authenticity in what they’re building. Amman’s learning curve resonates an impactful message that accepting your strengths and weaknesses can help you enjoy your own journey.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 18 - Nick Entwistle

Leon Milns and Nick Entwistle

Nick Entwistle, owner and founder of the Bank of Creativity and One Minute Briefs, shares how a heart attack at 26 impacts your outlook on life.

In this reflective interview, Nick shares how he re-evaluated what was important when he had a life-changing heart attack at 26. The podcast urges listeners to consider whether their levels of stress are making them ill and reminds us that life is too short to be in jobs and situations that make us unhappy. Nick’s changed outlook is inspiring as he speaks of a new lease of life that enables him to be himself at all costs and chase his goals with tenacious focus, speed and authenticity.

One Minutes Briefs (OMB), which evolved from a small University project many years ago, has become a notorious platform for individuals to demonstrate their creativity and build their portfolio. In this podcast, we discover how OMB can become a way of life: improving time-savvy problem-solving skills and dynamic analysis. Nick discloses the beauty in using short time restrictions to reveal ‘cold thoughts’ which often leading to ideas that win awards and create the most effective campaigns. He also speaks about the importance of building your own brand and offers poignant advice for those looking to establish a successful career on the creative circuit.

Within this blog, you’ll discover more about how Nick plans to grow this community and the good causes they support by streamlining his business model to enable OMB the time it deserves to continue growing within the Bank of Creativity: Nick’s advertising agency that seeks to be a community hub of creatives from across the world.

Listeners should expect to finish this podcast with a refreshed sense of time – considering how much time we over think and what really matters at the end of the day.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 17 - Jim Murray

Leon Milns and Jim Murray

Professional actor, Jim Murray, has had a successful career accumulating an eclectic portfolio of roles across the globe in the last 20 years – famously starring in the BAFTA-nominated series Primeval for ITV. In his time off-camera, Jimand his wife, Sarah Parish, also run a charity [The Murray Parish Trust] that supports children's emergency services by raising money and awareness to enable pioneering research and provide life-saving equipment.

Jim joined our Founder and Director, Leon Milns, to share how he overcame the odds to break into a saturated market. Fuelled by an ongoing passion for his vocation and ardent love for his family, Jim provided a heart-on-his-sleeve account of persevering through the tragedy of losing a child and how it affected his outlook on life.

The heart-wrenching beginning undoubtedly demonstrates Jim’s remarkable determination to channel adversity into a positive and character-strengthening experience and powerful legacy. The poignant takeaway will leave listeners moved to seek the good in every situation and take a moment to reflect in gratitude on their position.

Newly equipped with insightful questioning and tools to help re-frame your mindset, Jim revealed how the influence of adversity, shifting cultures and
self-actualising can assist in harbouring a productive environment. He also shares his advice for others going through a difficult time and how to navigate your way through a sea of opinions.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 16 - Dan Forth

Vanessa Jackson and Dan Forth

Dan Forth has an impressive CV and has progressed rapidly in his HR career.  At just 30 years old he became HR Director at Pilot Group, an international electronics and technology business with North West roots.

Dan joined our head of HR, Vanessa Jackson, to share his story and tell us how he's risen up the ranks so quickly.  Dan explained how he's navigated his career, explored some of the challenges he's overcome so far, and shared what it's like to be someone so young in such a senior position.

He also gave his thoughts on some of the biggest challenges businesses face when it comes to people management.  He covered topics such as engagement strategy, onboarding staff, and employee retention, and provided advice to HR leaders on what they need to focus on as we move into a new year. He also gave his advice to HR professionals on the key areas they need to develop to progress in their careers, particularly if they are looking to move into an HR Director role.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 15 - Holly Moore

Leon Milns and Holly Moore

Holly Moore is Managing Director of Make Events. Holly joined us a week after receiving the WOMANC award at this year’s Talk of Manchester business awards. She shared her story of how she’s grown the business from scratch over seven years, built a talented team of event planning consultants and creative professionals and scaled the business rapidly. Tune in to hear Holly explore a range of subjects including:

  • Why Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robins are her inspirations

  • The importance of focussing on profit when growing a business

  • Why employee engagement has been key to the success of the business

  • How to stand out in a crowded market place and leverage your network

  • Dealing with mental health and stress

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 14 - Derek Bishop

Derek Bishop and Leon Milns

Derek Bishop is Co-Founder of Culture Consultancy. 

Formerly a Head of Customer Service at AXA, Derek has over twenty years’ experience of directly leading people and delivering business results in high volume and complex environments. As experts on culture change, leadership and human behaviour change, Derek and the team work with fast growth SMEs through to multi-nationals to create high-performance cultures where everyone thrives.

He co-authored a book titled ‘Building a Culture of Innovation’ which was in the top 5 management books on innovation in the 2017 CMI Management Book of the Year awards and is also an Amazon bestseller.

In this episode of the #AdamAsks podcast, Derek reveals why human beings are the most complex part of any organisation and why he fundamentally believes competitive advantage and business success can only be delivered by enabling your people to be their best. Derek advises agencies on:

How to articulate your culture Why you need to be clear about your desired outcomes How to embed culture within your team Nailing the behaviours that underpin your values Why you need to engage your people to shape your culture The importance of strong relationships between you people, their managers and leaders.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 13 - Steven Bartlett

Steven Bartlett and Leon Milns

Steven Bartlett needs little introduction, but if you need one, his LinkedIn profile describes his inspiring background perfectly:

"Steven is the 27-year-old CEO Founder of Social Chain which uses owned media, marketing and technology to build Social Brands. In the last few years, he has become an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and investor, and now leads a company of 700+ individuals across 5 countries, who are quickly disrupting the ever-changing social world. Social Chain now operates through six locations: Manchester, London, Berlin, Munich, New York and Bangkok.

Along the way, Steve has amassed a large following online (Almost 2 Million people across Instagram, Facebook, Snap chat, Linkedin and his podcast), due to his informative and inspirational videos covering topics from entrepreneurship, business, social media and marketing. This has lead to a number of profiles in the world's leading publications where he has been dubbed "The most influential individual in Social Media Marketing" and has been voted the "most influential individual in marketing in 2017/18" by 100 agency leaders."

We were honoured to have Steven take time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with Leon for the next episode of #AdamAsks, the day Social Chain officially went public, another landmark step in their business journey.  Steven joined us to tell us about his background, what it's taken to grow Social Chain in such as short time, his thoughts on education, the future of marketing and why he puts his and Social Chains success down to focussing on more than just money.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 12 - Richard Hayes

Leon Milns and Richard Hayes

Richard Hayes is Co-Founder and CEO of Mojo the UK’s #1 mortgage broker.  Mojo is an exciting and disruptive fintech company with a fascinating journey.  The business is focused on giving customers a better platform to compare and buy financial products and offers advice and expertise to ensure the customer gets the right option for them, so they can buy with confidence.

Having worked in the financial services sector for over a decade, Richard realised the system was broken and that the customer was being let down. With a passion for technology, he realised there had to be better way, which led to the creation of Mojo.

Richard joined Leon for a fascinating interview where he opened up about the challenges of building a tech busines from start-up to a multimillion-pound company, the challenges he has overcome when pitching for investment and Mojo’s strategy to attract and retain top tech talent.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 11 - Robert Craven

Robert Craven and Leon Milns

Mentor and consultant Robert Craven has helped more than 1,000 companies to revolutionise the way they work. An international keynote speaker and business coach, Robert heads up the team at The Directors’ Centre. He has written over ten books on business strategy and specialises in helping Digital Agency owners grow their businesses.

Robert joined us to share his experience and advice to agencies looking to drive real growth in their agencies. He reveals numerous pearls of wisdom on topics such as profitability, building a culture of excellence and how the agency market is changing.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 10 - EJ Flynn

Leon Milns and AJ Flynn

EJ Flynn is Managing Director of the Supper Club, an organisation for high growth entrepreneurs post-startup with typical turnovers from £1m £250m. She works with business owners at all stages of their business journey. From those running their first business and just reached the £1m turnover mark to those with private equity-backed £40m plus turnover businesses and everything in between. EJ joined us to tell us about the challenges many of The Supper Club's members face and shares insight into what some of the highest performing businesses are doing differently. In this fascinating discussion with Adam Founder, Leon Milns, EJ shares the importance of having a solid 'vision' and a plan on how you're going to achieve it, why culture and values are imperative to profitable growth and what business leaders can learn from the new generation of superstars. She also reveals how the best performing business leaders are continually improving their leadership skills, how they are building high-performance leadership teams and the importance of systemising.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 9 - Atheer Al Salim

Leon Milns and Atheer Al Salim

Atheer Al-Salim is Head of Social at The Marketing Store and Founder at Headstock Festival. Ath joined us to share his experiences of mental health and tell us why he is launching a brand new festival in Manchester in 2020, specifically focussed around the core theme of mental health.  Headstock will be the UK’s biggest ever mental health music festival, launched in partnership with Help Musicians & Manchester Mind. Across 7 days and 9 iconic venues, the festival will bring the biggest music artists from Manchester, the North West and beyond.  In this candid and thought provoking interview Ath explained how the North West is falling behind the capital when it comes to mental health awareness, why it could be at crisis point and why he decided to take on the stress of organising a festival to help tackle the problem.  

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 8 - John Shinnick (Part 2)

Richard Gahagan and John Shinnick

Can't get enough of John Shinnick? In part two John discusses how business leaders can identify a crises in confidence in their teams and help empower them to make decisions.  He also covers topics such as the importance of ethics and values in business, the difference between coaching and mentoring and how to read people's real intentions. Don't miss another inspiring and thought provoking episode of Adam Asks.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 7 - John Shinnick

Richard Gahagan and John Shinnick

John Shinnick is a Portfolio Non-Exec Director, supporting business owners through coaching, mentoring and advising. A former partner at Grant Thornton for 21 years, John spent his career working with dynamic people to help make their businesses great; 12 years of which also involved leading Grant Thornton locations. 

John holds two Board Adviser roles and also Coach-Mentors 4 or 5 CEO's or Managing Partners at any one time. Current assignments range from FTSE 100 to professional services firms.  Additionally, he's an  NLP Practitioner and a Coach-Mentor qualified under the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. 

With a background like that it's no surprise this podcast was packed full of fascinating conversation.  So much so that we had to split it into two parts.  

In part one John discusses his background, his "sniff test" and how he helps business owners progress both personally and professionally by helping them free up head space to tackle transformative projects in their businesses.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 6 - Matt Farrar

Leon Milns and Matt Farrar

Matt Farrar is a serial entrepreneur, advisor and NED with vast experience in the tech industry. Having grown and sold Product and Service Design Agency: Great Fridays for a eight figure sum in October 2014, Matt joined EPAM systems as Vice President of Service Design. 

Three years later he took stock of his professional purpose after a traumatic 12 months caring for his son who suffers with Type 1 Diabetes. This experience inspired a change of course in his career.

Matt joined us to tell us about his journey, the ups and downs of agency ownership and how his new start-up, LovedBy could provide the answer to helping those suffering with the disease.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 5 - Steve Bland

Leon Milns and Steve Bland

Acclaimed BBC Presenter and host of the chart-topping podcast, You, Me and The Big C, Rachael Bland, sadly passed away in 2018. Her husband, journalist Steve Bland has become an authentic and honest voice for those suffering with grief and has followed in her footsteps by joining the multi award winning podcast team. He’s also run a marathon, raised thousands of pounds for charity and become a founding member of Cancer Research Initiative, Manchester Beats Cancer. We’re honoured to share this touching podcast where Steve told us about how life has changed since losing Rachael, how it’s changed his perspective on what’s important and advice for others going through a time of loss.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 4 - Josh Bolland

Leon Milns and Josh Bolland

Josh Bolland is Founder and CEO of JB Cole, a transformational digital technology agency focused on using the latest in tech to solve complex business problems. Josh founded JB Cole at the tender age of 18, joined by his technically-minded brother Ollie. Josh joins us to discuss the challenges of being a Millennial CEO, of relocating a business from London to join the thriving Manchester tech scene and how he harnessed the power of networking to ensure the continued success of his business. Josh is also the Manchester Chair of BIMA, a national digital community driven by excellence and innovation.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 3 - Ruth Naylor

Leon Milns and Ruth Naylor

Ruth Naylor, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017 and doctors were unsure if she would survive. She documented the following year of treatment daily through instagram to help others dealing with the disease, growing over 20k followers. Ruth took the time to share her inspirational journey with us, how her life has changed since she was given the all clear earlier this year and what her new role as Chair of Cancer Research initiative, Manchester Beats Cancer, has in store.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 2 - Jon Woodall

Leon Milns and Jon Woodall

Jon Woodall is founder and Managing Director of Space 48, an award winning agency specialising in eCommerce consultancy, design, build and strategy. Space 48 have just celebrated their 10 year anniversary, a monumental achievement. Jon shared with us his story of how the business developed, relocated to manchester, grew through acquisition and the challenges he experienced throughout that time. He also talked about the fantastic Manchester tech community and why he launched the international conference for Magento developers, Mage Titans.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 1 - Martin Murphy


Leon Milns and Martin Murphy

Martin Murphy is a former special forces soldier, international adviser and coach to leaders and teams. He’s also a speaker and author with vast experience in forming and leading high performing teams, both in the special forces and in the commercial sector where he trained special project teams worldwide to effectively combat terrorism and narcotics smuggling. Martin joined us to discuss the key challenges faced by his clients, leaders of fast growth businesses, and give us an insight into his new book 'From Mercenaries to Missionaries'.

Listen to the podcast here.

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