Interview Series: Myles Jensen (one half of Jensen & Jensen)

“Two guys, last name Jensen”, is the motto of Jensen & Jensen, the creative consultancy established by Myles and Bradley Jensen.

The two twin brothers, forever side-by-side, are fast becoming known as serial entrepreneurs.

We caught up with Myles as part of our Interview Series and asked him the questions useful to every entrepreneur. But first, a quick introduction…

Myles was born in London, went to boarding school in Birmingham and studied at Liverpool John Moores University. He began life in the corporate sector, at Diageo as a brand manager for Smirnoff, and then a global tobacco company. It was here he decided to create something himself.

Luckily, Myles had a brother who wanted to join the ride. In 2017, the two together established For Fork Sake, an online dining community helping to drive traffic to independent food outlets.

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However, it is their 2nd venture, Jensen and Jensen, which Myles is particularly excited about. Established in mid 2019, J&J is a consultancy offering services in four key pillars; strategy, marketing, design and development.

Over the past couple of years, Myles and Bradley have put in a huge amount of effort, getting new clients, establishing a cohesive team and working on some dynamic projects. It’s sometimes been intense – last year they worked three 18-hour days on the bounce to deliver a full end to end brand and product system for a client. Myles is delighted at the progress made.

Today, J&J has several high-profile clients, working on bigger projects with higher margins. J&J is blessed in that the more work they do, the more work they get – they’ve got a staggering 85% of their clients through referrals. During the lockdown, Myles spent most of the time in London, spreading the word and attracting new clients.

We caught up with Myles before he returned to Leeds…

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MBTM: What’s the relationship with your brother and what does each of you bring to J&J?

Myles: Believe it or not, for many years we didn’t actually like each other! Our relationship today is a great one, we push each other to do better and we have a common goal to work towards. In terms of roles, Bradley is more organised than I am, so he does well on the project management side. I’m better outside, in client relations, attracting and closing new business. We complement each other very nicely.

MBTM: What are your main sources of motivation as an entrepreneur?

Myles: Firstly, my close group of friends, there are about four of them, each of them now working in different industries, and are real leaders in what they do. It motivates me to be better every day, because I know the direction they’re going in and they champion excellence everyday.

My second motivation is my family, my fathers always inspired me, along with my brothers. I have a very entrepreneurial family, and they always push me to do better.

MBTM: What has been your greatest challenge to date?

Myles: The main challenge was initially a lack of self-belief, thinking we weren’t big enough for certain projects, or skilled enough to go after certain clients, or valuing our time adequately.

Another challenge has been learning to say no, we want to be there for our clients and provide a first class service, but we need to be disciplined with demands that go above and beyond the initial brief.

MBTM: How would you define success at the moment?

Myles: Health, freedom, being comfortable and most importantly being happy. The ability to see family, see friends, and be present moment enjoying life.

With respect to the businesses, as we move to the end of the year, we just to ensure that we hit our targets, and really make sure we are in a position where we can work with the clients we want to.

MBTM: Are there any business icons that you look up to?

Myles: I would say Elon Musk, I like his approach of “move fast and break things” and always challenging everything and how he works across so many verticals. I’m a big fan of Shaquille O’Neil, a basketball pro, personable, a great character, yet he has a serious business head and its fantastic to watch.

Also a more local inspiration Adam Hildreth, CEO and founder of Crisp Thinking, which stops harmful toxic and fake online content from damaging enterprises, governments and more. He set up his first business at 14 making the Guinness world book of records for being one of the youngest directors in the UK, following on to achieve unbelievable success getting him into the UK top 20 richest teens list before he was 18.

Adams ability to see the wider picture, understand value that a business should bring and excels with confidence which enables him to work with some of the world’s leading brands which is truly inspirational for a business based in Leeds. Crisp is putting Leeds on the global playing field.

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MBTM: Where do you want to be in 2/5/10 years?

Myles: In 2-years, we definitely want to be all set up in London. Within 5-years, J&J needs to be a completely autonomous cell, meaning it’s scalable and can work globally.

For me, in the longer term, 10-years, I want to be a passive investor, advising J&J and other ventures. I’d also like to be giving back to the community, such as public speaking and helping entrepreneurs, and join the rest of my family in investing in property and portfolio management.

MBTM: Last question! What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Myles: Don’t worry if it fails, particularly if it’s your first business. If you swing and miss, that’s completely fine, just don’t make the same mistake twice. If you swing and hit and it goes well, then fantastic.

The second thing is do something that you are passionate about. You need to remember you may not be drawing a salary from the business for to 2/3 years, so you need to make sure that its something that you are passionate about and believe in.

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You can keep up to date, and follow the progress, Jensen & Jensen on their website and LinkedIn account.

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