The Plunge: John McCartney

On finding value from every experience

Name: John McCartney

Position, Company: Principal, Jmac PR

Previous Titles: Managing Director, Director of Media Relations, US Account Director

Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?

I reached a turning point in my career where I had two options: attend job interviews or take control of my own destiny. After observing several successful PR freelancers, I was inspired by their fulfilling lives. I decided to follow their path, and as a result, my business started to grow and expand. Now, we have a team of ten members, consisting of both full-time employees and contractors.

What do you do and how do you differentiate yourself?

Jmac PR partners with emerging brands, delivering effective PR and marketing communications to drive business growth. We are dedicated to achieving results, providing exceptional client service, generating innovative ideas, and securing valuable media coverage that boosts our clients' awareness and establishes them as thought leaders.

What do you miss about corporate life?

I miss the opportunity to work and interact with a team in person regularly. I also have a certain level of nostalgia for commuting to work on public transportation.

What do you love about entrepreneurial/consulting life?

I absolutely love the entrepreneurial consulting life for several reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy having greater control over my destiny. It's empowering to know that it's my name on the door and my strategy driving the direction of my work. I am not bound by the decisions of a manager or agency owner; instead, I have the freedom to shape the path of my own company.

Another aspect that I find extremely fulfilling is the flexibility that comes with being a consultant. I can provide counsel whenever it is warranted and needed. This allows me to adapt to the unique needs and challenges of each client, providing them with the best possible guidance and support.

Overall, being an entrepreneurial consultant allows me to truly take ownership of my work and make a meaningful impact. It's a rewarding and exciting journey that I am grateful to be on.

What’s your best piece of advice?

The best advice I can give is to take something positive from every workplace and person you come across, while also being mindful of what to avoid. 

Give me three takeaways

1) Try to intentionally help people, whether it's by making introductions, connecting individuals, or offering support. It's amazing how a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect.

2) Good will breeds good will. When we approach our interactions with a positive mindset and genuine care for others, it not only strengthens our relationships but also helps to build a positive reputation.

3) Think about your reputation and take steps to protect and grow it. Your reputation is something that can take a long time to build up, but can be easily damaged. So, it's important to be mindful of the way you conduct yourself and the impact your actions have on others.