How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Ed McManus, Powershop.
Current gig: CEO Meridian Energy and Powershop Australia. We operate hydro power stations and wind farms across Australia, and sell electricity and gas to residential and small businesses through our Powershop brand. It’s the Arya Stark of electricity offerings.
Current Location: Melbourne, Australia
Current mobile device: iPhone
Current computer: Dell PC (excel works better on a PC)
One word that best describes how you work: Driven
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
For news I like the Australian Financial Review and The Australian.
Looking at the most used apps on my phone, they are Twitter, WillyWeather, Spotify, Google Maps and ABC Kids iView.
What social network do you find the most useful?
Twitter is really the only social network I use. I’m basically inactive on Facebook and I’m considering becoming inactive on LinkedIn. Twitter gives me the news I need and helps me connect with people.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
Always play the long game and think carefully about when and where to take risks. Although we are always under pressure for short term results, growing a business requires a long terms view and sometimes that requires sacrificing short term profits or outcomes.
It’s also important to be clear with yourself and your team about where and when you’re willing to accept risk and when you’re not..
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
I’ve changed industry several times and that has required me getting comfortable with not being the subject matter expert. It’s surprised me how easy that is, and in fact, how valuable that is.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I’m very good at being efficient with my emails. I tend to reply to most things straight away which helps me stay on top of it. I’ll jump out of a document to respond to something which I know many say is less productive, but it works for me and keeps me on top of things.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I’ve got three kids including one that’s 8 weeks old so now it’s pretty poor, but generally I go to be at around 10pm and get up early to get into the office early.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Resilience is an important quality for yourself and your team. Business is hard. Most businesses will go through harder times and success requires a team of people that will come through that. Having people who perform well when things are going well is easy, you find the truly good people you have in your team when things are hard.