Martin Gibbons: I Never Look at Things in Terms of Success or Failure. It’s All Progress and I Turn up Every Day

Martin Gibbons

Martin Gibbons of PeopleMaps Ltd.

Tell us about yourself?

When did you discover who you were? It happened to me in my early twenties and was life changing. I read my first personality report when I was in my early twenties and it had a profound effect on me. I realised I understood nothing about who I was.

Developing an understanding of “self” was the turning point for me, so no surprise that it became my life’s work.

I co-founded PeopleMaps over twenty years ago, where we aim to make work better for everyone; owners, managers, the staff and the clients by providing a deeper understanding of self and others using practical profiling tools and applications.

As a SaaS company, PeopleMaps makes personality profiling accessible and affordable to all organisations. PeopleMaps applications solve issues such as; staff turnover, staff engagement and performance, management effectiveness and team effectiveness.

I find people endlessly fascinating and enjoy helping them develop their understanding of self and others. Business is all about people and every single one of them is extraordinary.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

It’s easy to forget that your start up is about people. As entrepreneurs we get caught up in our own ideas but we mustn’t forget that our job is always to bring about a transformation in others.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

Be clearer about who you are helping with what and then focus. Creative people get distracted and diversify too soon and too often. To create light instead of just heat, takes a lot of energy focused in a small area.

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What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

I am relentless and adaptable. I know there is always a solution and way forward and I surprise myself at how I just keep at it. I never look at things in terms of success or failure. It’s all progress and I turn up every day.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

I don’t work on Fridays. I don’t act on every idea and instead try to focus my creativity on improving the process and efficiency of existing things, rather than inventing new things all the time.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Work doesn’t need to be awful for anyone. Different people require very different things from their work. Where one requires autonomy another wouldn’t thank you for it.

Too many organisations are looking for single answers, where there aren’t any.

We need to be more personality-centric and meet the needs of individuals.

This is a complex issue because the individuals do not understand what they really need either.

We believe we can find the win for all stakeholders; owners, managers, staff and clients. We can make the workplace more rewarding for everyone.

Where do you see your business in five years?

PeopleMaps will have established centres worldwide helping organisations with recruitment, retention, management and performance.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

We have to educate our market. They are either unaware of profiling or unaware of how it can solve their very pressing problems.

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Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

We have made several breakthroughs in psychology and in helping people understand the psychology.

For instance we identified how personality type affects to the two main issues facing all recruiters; 1) Can this person do the job? and 2) Can they stick the job? Too many employers hire people who can do the job but cannot stick the job.

We can identify who and why. We also did some ground-breaking work with a University to establish that personality-centric teams will outperform standard teams.

We also developed an application to significantly reduce staff turnover and widen the candidate pool.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

Many find us by word of mouth and via search engines. I am a terrible salesperson. Founders get too caught up in talking about their “babies”.

Thankfully our enthusiasm helps us get away with it. However, a good sales experience is about the customer’s story not ours. I am working on it.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Find focus as soon as you can. Creativity can be a burden. If you want to create light and not just heat, you need to find focus.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I am very optimistic about the future. Until the world runs out of problems there will always be a need for entrepreneurs to come up with solutions.

People are complex and they have a lot of problems. PeopleMaps is in a growing market where the demand to solve people related problems is growing.

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