7 Jess Stpehens BODY 1Jess Stephens is a 2x entrepreneur and one of the greatest young minds in digital and mobile marketing. She has a breadth of experience from the boot-strap start-up world through to established FTSE250 companies.
In 2013 Jess Co-Founded mobile proximity marketing platform TagPoints, which after only 1 a half years of founding, sold to Global tech giant SmartFocus, where she gained the position as Chief Marketing Officer as part of the acquisition.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The important mindsets and habits that she has adopted over the years
  • How she’s conquered personal setbacks and failures.
  • Marketing tactics for entrepreneurs
  • Her fierce determination
  • The books she’s read
  • How she had to resort to credit card hopping to fund her second business before she sold sold it to a FTSE 250 company.

Read the magazine interview hereFOUNDING & SELLING: 2 ACQUISITIONS & FTSE 250 COMPANY GROWTH


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  • I’m a complete data geek and you have to be these days to work in marketing
  • Don’t let anyone tell you no, just go and do it yourself
  • There’s a worrying trend of people saying you have to go to a private school or the best University. I think that is bollocks.
  • If you’ve got enough try you will just make it happen
  • Reading powers my creativity
  • When I’m in fiction mode I will almost exclusively read Dystopian or Apocalyptic novels
  • As long as you’re trying, and you’re trying as hard as you can, it’s going to happen
  • Stay focused and learn to pivot
  • Move really really fast
  • When it’s your own business, tomorrow is too late
  • There’s going to be more change in the next 7 years, than we’ve experienced in the whole of the 20th Century
  • What’s your message? What are you going to say about it? How are you going to stand out?
  • I would say the success of TagPoints was 50% great tech and 50% noise
  • I want to take on the big boys, I want to make them scared
  • If a glass ceiling is going to get in the way, the only way to get rid of it is  to build the building yourself
  • You can turn any negative into a positive
  • If I were to change the world in any way it would be to get more women into entrepreneurship and tech
  • I love disruption. Because disruption shakes up the status quo.
  • The thing you have to do when you have an idea is research the HELL out of it
  • The more you expand your horizons the better informed you will be
Links & People

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Time Stamped Notes

00:02:52 – Jess plays the Keytar!
00:04:20 – Overview of Jess’s career starting from leaving uni with a 2:1 in English
00:06:16 – On how Jess was involved in the first UK version of Groupon (Local Daily Deals); acquired by Moneysupermarket after just 6 months
00:08:29 – On the culture shock going from young 6 month old startup, to FTSE 250 company
00:09:27 – On How TagPoints came to be
00:10:21 – On the parental tactic of praising effort not output
00:13:07 – On the importance of reading for Jess and books that have had a real impact
00:18:40 – On TagPoints foundations; the massive risk that Jess took – literally throwing everything she had into the start up
00:22:45 – Having to pay for a coat on a credit card for The Guardian photo shoot – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/12/brighton-leading-tech-startups
00:29:18 – On the importance of focus & MVP
00:32:47 – Importance of PR, and how Jess used it to grow TagPoints
00:34:59 – The TagPoints acquisition. Network & connections
00:42:06 – Meritocracy and female discrimination in entrepreneurship
00:46:01 – On biggest mistakes
00:59:12: – On education for entrepreneurs
01:00:11 – Success secrets and entrepreneur advice
01:08:30 – Public speaking tips
01:08:50 – Jess’s first job was road testing super cars

The Rebel Wrap Up Round

If you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?

01:06:18 – Go back to my 16 year old self who got a place at the Brit School to go and do creative song writing, and I’d say “go and do that”

Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur or creator of the last 2 years?

01:11:50 – Brian Wong. Kiip.  

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?

01:12:47 – “You are good you know, you do you” . Approach and self belief. Believe in yourself.

What is the one generally agreed upon rule or conventional piece of wisdom, that you disagree with?

01:13:46 – That you have to have an early morning routine to be a good entrepreneur

If you could change one law what would it be?

01:13:56 – Business rates on the high streets, to keep the high streets alive.

What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?

01:14:56 – Doing it yourself

What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become an entrepreneur?

01:15:07 – Prep your room before you start painting. Go out and do your research. Obsess and asses the markets. Observe the entire landscape, in every way you possibly can. This is how you will prove your idea has legs and will find your gap in the market

Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast and can you sum them up in one word?

01:15:47 – Brian Wong. Visionary.


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About The Author

Max Pepe

Max spent the first 8 years of his career in music, touring and recording with two UK / US rock bands. With a passion for marketing, Max launched a digital marketing agency in 2012. In three years grew a team from 2 people to 30, driving 800% growth year on year. Max now believes there is a massive disconnect between the world of business and the world of creativity. To address this problem, REBELHEAD was born. Max speaks regularly around the world about marketing and entrepreneurship. In 2016 gave a TEDxTalk titled 'Challenge the Concept That You're Either an Artist or a Business Person'. Aside from Rebelhead, Max is VP Marketing for award winning mobile tech company, Mozoo - and consults on marketing and growth for scale ups.

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