Ben Wild

ben wild

Well what a pleasure it was to speak with Ben Wild, CEO and Founder of Ben Wild Studios. Still in his 20s we were left feeling awestruck by his commitment to strong values. Talent aside, and he has a bundle of it, Ben epitomises the hope and optimism we have for future generations of leaders. People, like him, who lead with their values. People who are willing to turn down the money because they value people and the planet first. Having started with the help of an investor and mentor, Ben is surrounding himself with exceptional people, to build his team and his network. He will be super successful and we’re really excited to follow his journey.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

I have read Start With Why by Simon Sinek which I thought was good. I’ve just finished reading about Tim Cook by Leander Kahney,  the biography looks at Apple and how Tim influenced Apple after Steve Jobs left. I also read about Jony Ive, who designed everything from Apple from its inception until 2019. With the nature of my job, a lot of my day is spent reading but those three books have had the biggest impact on my life. Going from a one-man band to hiring people definitely shifted my thought process on why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ve been fortunate to do every bucket list job for an illustrator and animator within reason and I think you need to understand why you want to do something. 


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?) 

We use this software called Rough Animator which was a spectacular find and only costs about £2.80 on the iPad. We also have the industry-leading equivalent which is much more expensive but for the quick animations that people seem to want, we use the Rough Animate app and even used it for the animations for Diana Ross and King Charles so we have definitely made our money back.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours? 

 When starting the business, we lost a lot of cash, for example, we signed a huge contract last year and then the client stopped paying us so we had to bring on freelancers and fight through that but then moving forward we put processes in place to protect ourselves in the future.  


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?) 

“Do good work for good people.” That’s what we strive to do. 

We are working with a therapy company in Manchester to do all their marketing and they have built a platform that is super affordable therapy that is accessible to anyone and with the choice of therapist. This is an example of good people doing good work and if we can elevate that then that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. 

It doesn’t make sense to work with people who are directly doing bad for the world, for example, we turn down lots of fast fashion companies. We try to make sure that the people we work with have aligned values with us. 


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Hiring people because it means I don’t have to work until 2 am every day. My day-to-day is running a business so it leaves far more room for manoeuvre. 


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

Probably deconstructing old films like Charlie Chaplin and the old Godzilla films, and figuring out how they’re made, I’m not sure how unusual that is but I’d say that’s a starting point. When I was 10 I watched a film commissioned by Pixar and I had a vivid realisation that people can be paid to make movies so I made it the focus from then. 


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Cutting people out who add no value is a good one and that has shifted my life, for sure.  I have always been very precious of my time and it became evident that I  didn’t gel well with people who were not that concerned with time. It’s no disrespect to them but it doesn’t align with how I approach life. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me, some of my closest pals are really amazing.


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results? 

More exercise. I do exercise but not regularly. I’ve bought an exercise bike so that’s a start. I think the exercise would encompass both my personal and professional life because I would be mentally sharper. 


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

I try to read most days and I’m also reading Atomic Habits at the moment.

It is also fantastic to have Andrew there to make sure I’m being sensical with decisions, especially now that we’re doing really big projects, it’s good to have a second opinion. 


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

I would say that no one really knows anything, even at the top level, once you see behind the curtain there are people who shouldn’t be in the positions they are in. I think trusting your gut is always a good way to approach things and just being nice to people is secondary to that.

Topic: Tribe Tuesday