As the CEO of digital disruptor Inc & Co, Jack Mason is an entrepreneurial business leader with a people-focussed outlook who uses his consultancy-led approach to reform struggling businesses. Jack directs Inc & Co’s acquisitions through strategic business frameworks and methodologies, questioning the status quo to form creative solutions. His innovative marketing models and technical systems form the growth solutions that Inc & Co’s acquisitions need to thrive. Jack places a strong emphasis on surrounding himself with experts – the great team that surrounds him are the backbone of everything he does.
After studying Business Enterprise at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Jack went on to found Dreamr. In 2019, he launched Inc & Co to provide a collaborative space and knowledge hub for digital enterprises specialising in software, server technologies, PR, marketing, and design. Now, Inc & Co’s ever-growing collection of acquisitions has access to more business advice and guidance than ever before.
Inc & Co’s acquisitions include the global analytics firm Insight Analysis, which drives success for sports organisations such as the Premier League, LTA Tennis, and British Athletics; sport brand-building agency Skylab; charity data-management firm Wood for Trees; data preference and consent management specialists MyLife Digital; creative agency Neon; award-winning marketing agency Brass; mobile app development firm Cuhu; and leading laundry service Laundrapp.
This year, Jack has also launched Inc & Co’s sister company Inc & Co Property Group. He worked with his partners to acquire and develop Prospect Business Centres into incspaces, which offers ergonomic serviced office spaces for freelancers and business teams of all sizes. incspaces currently provide business-grade workspaces in Manchester, London, and Leeds and plans to expand further.
Additionally, Jack serves as a member of the Forbes Business Council, which comprises a collective of invite-only entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs meet regularly to prepare business guidance for companies looking to scale their services and product offerings.
When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in your industry? Did anything in particular bring you there?
I’ve always been interested in business in general, and this started when I was in secondary school, going to the shops before school to buy a bulk amount of chocolate bars, and then selling them to other students at lunch and making a profit. Now things are a lot bigger than that, with over 180 staff across the U.K, I have bigger challenges than where to source my Mars bars!
What is advice you wish you had received when you were younger?
The advice would be, things will be tough, you won’t always get it right the first time, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail, just get back up and try again. A lot of time in business, there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect, not have any failures and to always look your best. I’m challenging that status quo as I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, but what matters is that you use them to build on your experience, and do better next time.
Have you ever experienced an unexpected lesson or realisation at any point in your career? What was it?
Knowing that you can’t please everyone is a huge realisation I had in the past year. When you’re responsible for hundreds of people, you need to know that you will never be able to please everyone. A decision that I make, has the chance to affect a lot of people, and some of those people won’t like you, sometimes. Obviously you need to do what you can to minimise that, but at the same time you need to realise that you will never please everyone.
Do you have experiences outside of work that impacted your perspective or trajectory within your career?
I’m a cancer survivor. When I was young I beat cancer, and this has shaped who I am today. I never give up and I know that if I can beat an invisible disease, I can beat anything!
How do you define success? Has this definition changed over time?
Success is so subjective, and I try to explain this to young entrepreneurs I meet. It takes you a long time to figure out what it means to you, but most of the time we spend our life chasing other people’s dreams and ideas of success. You see a rich person on Instagram with a Porsche, and you chase their dream of also owning a porsche. There’s a utopia when you find out what makes you happy and if you can figure that out, and you know what you need to do to feel that way, you will be the happiest person alive. By the way, success or happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey you go on, that has no ending.
Do you do anything in your free time that you feel has impacted your work (or allowed you to step away from it)?
I like to get out in the outdoors and away from technology. I spend all my working day surrounded by technology, and its Inc & Co’s bread and butter. So when I spend the weekend relaxing and out of the office, it really allows me to reset my mind and body so that when I’m back in on the Monday, I have a fresh perspective to my work and the 9 companies we have in the group.
What has been your best moment to date with Inc & Co?
Every day is a great moment, whether that’s hiring a new head of commercial, or planning for our group Covid christmas party. As I was saying earlier, you have to enjoy the moments along the way, otherwise you will always be chasing a bigger, better moment. Every moment is special, you just need to take a step back to enjoy it sometimes.
What exciting future projects can you talk about?
There’s one really big thing we’re working on that is in the pipeline, but I genuinely can’t say anything until it’s launched. Watch this space!