John Snow - Move aside the King in the North! This is the Prince of Planning!
By Stephen Drew
May 2, 2022
0:00 / 57:00
Stephen Drew00:00

Yeah. Hello, everyone, wherever you are in the world. It is a fantastic evening in London. And I am joined here by a great guest with a fantastic name and legacy. So this isn't game of Thrones. This isn't the ITV news. This is the Architecture, Social weather planning superstar, Mr. John Snow from somewhere else in London.

And I happen to work with Johnson. In those studios. I'm John, how are you this evening?

John Snow00:34

Ah, Steve, thank you very much for the introduction. That was, that was quite a beautiful thing. Probably the best introduction I've ever had. I am. I am wonderful. Thank you. Wonderful. I've just finished a busy

Stephen Drew00:46

day. Yes, yes, no rest for us.

It seems no rest for no rest for the wicked, but that actually. You you're far from wicked, you've got an excellent reputation than you are kindly. You very kindly said that you would make time to do this podcast episode, because it's something that I wanted to do for a long time. So you do me two favors.

So one, I haven't done one of these for a while. Some came back in the saddle and let's get to do it in good company. But secondly, tick yes, tick number one. But secondly, we're going to talk about the wonderful. And for some, the mysterious world of planning. Okay. So, so, and we'll go on the segue that, because I used to practice architecture a lot, and that was part of the design team, or I'm working with planning consultants and your fantastic planning consultant, John, maybe it would be great.

If you could tell us briefly about yourself and your business and all that good planning stuff.

John Snow01:51

Thank you very much. And thank you for the opportunity as well, because it strikes me from my experience in planning that not very many people know what it is that I do or how it is I work. So this is a great opportunity for me to chat by that.

I mean, so, so I've been working in planning for 16 years. Wow. Around 16. I've stuck at it for that

Stephen Drew02:17

long. So I've got a,

John Snow02:21

well, I mean, you know, to varying degrees depending on what question. So I, I, I started off with, um, Really really junior job. And then I progressed into the planning department. I got planning job.

I did a planning related degree at a post-grads. I really, it was about Woodson there. Um, in the last 16 years, I've worked for several different private companies. I've worked for the council prior to that for a few years. So I've got quite a varied experience and in that alone, I don't know, 15 months I've been running my own company.

So I've taken all of the experience that I've gained and put that into a, put that into a business venture company. And all, I provide advice mainly to two architects, developers, business owners on planning. So if you were an architect or a business owner or a developer, and you wanted to build some houses or build some flats or develop a piece of land, or you want to change the use of your show, anything related to that, that, and a whole lot more.

These are all things that I could

Stephen Drew03:41

advise you. Amazing. Well, we'll have to give you a random post first for setting up a business during the Pantanal. It's an absolute, great time to do that. It sounds like you're doing really well. And I've actually seen you in the office and you are doing really well. So I would love to know John cause I think what's interesting is.

Finding out how people got into planning because we've Architecture for me, even though I don't technically do it so much anymore, I would in the architecture industry, but I work in the bit of recruitment. I work in a bit of internal patron, a bit of internal talent. Well, actually, um, I wanted. Study architecture.

I was super, super keen to get into it. So tell us about yourself. How did you get into planning, studying M

John Snow04:30

you know what, that's a great question. And it's probably the question I get asked the most often planning. It is not running planning perhaps. If you compare it to architecture architecture, for some people is a bit of a vocation and it's something that they want to be from quite a young age.

And they they've, you know, they want to design spaces in a way that that can positively affect people. Um, with planning, I got into it through when I was looking at the various university courses that were available, um, it was suggested to me by a lecturer. And what effects would he said was if you want to make a difference in the world, You want to make a difference to the environment around you, then planning could be a really good place to start.

I didn't know much about it if I'm honest at that stage, but it was something that I, or then it was around the same time. I started my university degree that I got a job at the council and the job of the council. I started out in the really junior pieces of work. So things like digitizing gas pipes and producing sitemaps and going out.

And so with the, with the, you know, the planners in the office and you'd be dealing with all kinds of different issues, but what were these issues? They, there was a lot of problems and a lot of. You were looking at home to people or positives to people, fruit develop things that will be in the world, you know, in the city and the town and the country.

Um, and yeah, I was quite, I guess, inspired by the fact that I could make a bit of a difference. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not gonna say. Th that stage before I could change the world or anything crazy like that, but I could make a difference through doing some planning work. And so really that's how I, that's how I got into it.

And from then on, I, I enjoy, I enjoy dealing with people and planning is, is a lot about people that you deal with. I enjoy articulate an argument. And, um, I enjoy problem solving and those three things are a lot of what planning for

Stephen Drew06:51

me certainly is about. It was amazing. I think, uh, it's definitely a summons.

I wish I always say that if I didn't do Architecture, maybe we would have gone into interior design or planning, but for any listeners out there, that's probably a good distinction to make. Um, earlier in my career, I didn't fully understand John was that when you're talking about planning, you're not talking about master planning.

You're not talking about large urban design you're on that are actually when it comes to buildings being built on site. You're involved. You work with the local councils, you work at what can be made. You make sure that the buildings pike into the frameworks, you make sure that the bins are accessible.

You make sure that there's enough. You know, my story, I'm fencing, the bins

John Snow07:38

have got a bag Sasebo state they've

Stephen Drew07:40

got, it's gotta be accessible and we've got to have their shadow in the shape. And we've got to have all these things. And it's actually really, really important because. And, you know, there's a lot of great architects doing out that, the right thing, but you also have to safe guards, you know, certain buildings and keep, you know, keep the fabric of the neighborhood.

And so planning's really important and really, really complicated. Um, before I got another question, But before you do it, the rest of your headphones is a bit of rustling going around there. It's on this campaign. Oh, is

John Snow08:14

it? It's the old there will love, you know what it is.

Stephen Drew08:21

Do I need to go Dublin? When you were, when I was enjoying that we was getting a better action, but we're going to, we're going to keep all that in because this is what the

John Snow08:30

I have. I ruined the start of this feature. Help me in light around

Stephen Drew08:36

here. Now, now though, I can say we can, we can post that at all that out, but let's keep continuing on with the narrative.

So I'm excited by this. So you've got your first year. Right. And in the council now. Okay. I had my first experience working as an intern for the Swanzi city architecture department and yeah. Yeah. So, and it was, it was really interesting. Really. I opened up very different, very different than private practice Architecture.

How was your experience in council? Did you learn a lot? Um,

John Snow09:17

that's a very good question. And that is a very good question. Um, so I did learn a lot in the council. I'd say that the council is a lot about the process. So what working at the council teaches you, it teaches you how the planning processes together, and it teaches you how you can affect

Stephen Drew09:40

that.

John Snow09:42

But what. The one thing that working for the council, it doesn't allow you to do, which is why I ended up in private sector. Is it, it sets a framework within which you have to operate. You can't really, you can't really exist outside of that framework and outside have developers coming to you who want to do things that perhaps a little bit outside the box a little bit, not in accordance with policy and you want to help them, but you're not really allowed to.

So that's really what, what, what kind of ended me out working for the. No w working for the private sector ultimately was cause I wanted a lot more freedom effectively to help people solve problems, um, you know, through the planning system. And just to come back on your earlier point as well, by the way.

Yeah, there's a, there's a common, the common of. Uh, you know, if you think of what is a town planner, right? So you say, paint me a picture of a town planner and you go, well, a town planner is someone who literally will they plant, they plan towns and they, so they design towns and they dissolve where your house is going to go and where and where your waste facilities are going to go and where your roads are going to go, how will these things are going to fit together?

That is a plus. Um, but it's just say, that's not exactly what I do so that that's the kind of the planet would work at the council. So the councils have a responsibility to put local plans to give I'm sure. Lots of people heard of, um, but a local plan sets out where things can be built, the policies that regulate development and everything in between.

What I do is I work. Sort of on the development side, if you will. Um, I work to try and interpret those policies and to try and find ways to developers, to maximize their interest on site. Well, you know, bearing those policies in mobile.

Stephen Drew11:33

I think it's interesting. So, so when I did my diploma joining Architecture, when I was excited for you, as we were back then, you know, and, uh,

back in the day, you know, computers were around, but I was, I was a happy song. And so my dissertation, one of there, we were, we were, we, we had to talk, we had to basically look at a town, you know, in north or north, north of England is called ha you know, if anybody knows how you know, so we go, we're heading up north.

Right. And, um, and so. Yeah, that's part of the world. And so, so I got really into planning and policy, and so we had to make this regeneration scheme. And so I went really, really deep and learning all about section 1 0 6 and loads of loopholes and all this stuff. So my proposal at the time was to build a mega casino because they would bring in lots and lots of money, which is what, how needed.

But as you know, with maker casinos and putting on your planning hat here, right? What would be the massive side effects of casino gamblers? I, I bless them. We'd have massive issues as could be like a spike in crime and all this stuff. So my oldest cetacean was getting these massive. Section 1 0 6 is to offset my mega casino.

So I got really into it and it was really interesting, like how far I could push it to get the biggest casino possible. And that was my project and I actually got a first for it. Um, but you know, I remember one of my, um, one of the critics came in and he was like, I'm appalled, I'm appalled by your mega cause, you know, but it is an interesting exercise.

And I was like, well, you know, we need to bring in an income. So. Get in the game. It's not called gambling. It's called the gaming industry. John, you know, it's the gaming industry as they, as they like to call themselves. So I am, I had a little foray in that. And then the other one, which I'll tell you is when I got my proper job in architecture, I was working on the big scheme and I had to work with a planning consultant.

And I've told you this story. I messed up all the betas. I think I put two pins for a tower, John, you know what I mean? So you've all the poor solvers trying to put in their delivery boxes and stuff probably were cursing me, but luckily it never got that far because my director was like, no way the plan is going to approve that because it's not on offense then.

So I was saved by the. Uh, those are iPad. So about two phrase, I've had a foray and the exciting part of it. And I've had a foray in the industry, but you must've had a lot of experience working with architects and I'm sure a lot of positive ones. And I'm sure you've also had a lot of interesting journeys as well.

I mean, it's you find your comes? My question is, do you find that. You know, each project, it can, it can vary based upon the team members you got and the projects, as well as each, every job different in your experience.

John Snow14:49

Yeah, massively. So actually, I, I mean, I do everything from sort of things at the small end.

So you might get, say helping somebody with their house extension. I tend to do less of that nowadays up to finally get planning permission before. So it's for 10 plus units. I've also got, um, schemes on at the moment. So the conversion of commercial buildings where we're generating, you know, 30, 40 plus units as part of that.

Everything in between. I'm also working on the public public inquiry at the moment as well on behalf of some local residents. So yeah, it's, it's massively varied. Um, I, I guess one of the things I enjoy the most about it. Probably the number one sort of group of people and, well, that's why we're talking.

And I imagined that I work with his architect because ultimately I can tell you what the rules are. And I can tell you what a site could accommodate, you know, in broad terms. And I can tell you. A strategy that you should use sub-issue development in a certain location, but I'm no, I'm not an architect.

I'm not a designer. So I worked with a lot of our, um, with the sole purpose of them putting, I guess, input in drawings and design to. To my words, if you will, because I can, I can review the policy, reviewed the, and yeah. And that's something I do I do on a daily basis and I do it, lots of different people and I, I really enjoy that.

So I really, and I think that's why I work well at it is because I enjoy, I actually enjoy engaging with people

Stephen Drew16:48

and I've noticed as well that it's actually quite a people orientate a job. Isn't it? Cause you've got to constantly communicate. You've got to constantly work with people. And I do like the, the notion that you bring in the architect's vision to life and what I've noticed by sitting by you as well.

You know, cause planning could be interpreted in both ways. Like, oh gosh, here comes the planning consultant. I am going to get my ideas squashed, but actually know your role is like, look, we, I, this is going to be a tough one, but we'll do our best for it. And we just need to make sure this is here. And so actually it's the opposite.

It's not like someone put in the rules and saying, oh, you can't do that. You're you're basically looking for the best outcome in the design. Is that right?

John Snow17:35

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think, I think it's all very well that there's kind of two approaches to funding. You can have design lead, which is where you start with a blank piece of paper, come up with a design and then see how it complies with planning, where you have what I would call sort of planning, laid and planning led is the, I will start off by saying, well, I think this is what.

You know what this could achieve. And then we go through the architect and the architect can draw something up and, and you know, that relationship is really, really key. And I'd say, I'd say, it's the number one sort of, um, it's the, it's the number one aspect of achieving, you know, the best that you can out of.

So, and, you know, you need to have really good communication in that because one of the big things are very conscious of is because I'm not an architect and because I'm not. I do have views on other people's designs, but obviously appreciate that. I have to, I have to, I have to give them a comment, but obviously without being a designer myself, I can only go so far, but equally I can see what I made.

I don't want to offend anyone, but at the same time, we have to say, if something doesn't work, then it doesn't work. If something needs adjusting in a certain way than it needs adjusting. And so there's a need for, you have to be quite, I guess, diplomatic. Yeah. And how you approach things. Um, and, and there's quite a lot of negotiation as well because we've planning authorities.

It's not just, well, one size fits all this site is going to accommodate X amount of units. For instance, it all depends on. The individual site circumstances. So there's a lot of negotiation with the council, which requires a lot of back and forth. And I'm a big believer in how you approach people when relationships has a big impact on your work and the outcomes that you can achieve.

Stephen Drew19:29

Yeah. Yeah. And so

John Snow19:31

I try and approach things really positively. And I try and when people come to me and say, well, you know, we've got this difficult site I try and be realistic about, well, I think this is what you can lead this to be achieved, but, you know, we can try this strategy. We'll try that strategy.

Stephen Drew19:46

Makes sense. Makes sense. I forgot to ask you another important question about how you feel about my, my mega casino proposal from a planning perspective.

John Snow19:59

That's a great question. I

Stephen Drew20:02

both sides of it that wouldn't bring a massive income into an area which isn't, which could, could use that income, but it comes out our cost structure. We need to sit down and get them sexual 1 0 8. Ready? I need a lot of parks ready. You know,

John Snow20:15

uh, if it wasn't for one thing, I, I'm not quite, I mean, so I don't know if I can mention them by name, given this is going out, but I used to work as a planning consultant for one of the big, one of the big burger

Stephen Drew20:27

chains.

Right.

John Snow20:31

And so all the advised or. New restaurants. So we say, yeah, and much like your mega casino, they had lots of economic benefit. From a local perspective, they're noisy. They can generate a lot of people, traffic, a lot of potentially a lot of litter and all these kinds of things. And so, yeah, with things like that, I mean, you'll make it a casino.

There's a lot of advantages to me, but the, I guess cost the role of a good planning is to balance those things out. You see, and, and is to approach the council and say, yes, it's going to have some impact, but what can we do to lessen.

Stephen Drew21:18

Yeah, I had a big, I had a big budget with my makeup to see the job. We could even have, like some people touring the streets with like, you know, like a little car just sweeping in, you know, the key it's like, we got to keep it friendly, the mega casino world, but a true story though, just to bring it back to that.

But, but,

John Snow21:38

so I was just going to say, but it's exactly those kind of, those kind of initiatives as part of your planning proposal. You know, in a, obviously in a fictional sit right here, but if you were going to propose a mega casino, it's things like that is that kind of creative attitude that could potentially solve some of the, some of the concerns you definitely go, oh, you definitely got a good mind for this.

Stephen Drew22:05

Um, my talents are wasted on it. Isn't that? What it might've been in recruitment. Yeah. I had an Excel sheet as well. John you'd laugh where I was. But depending on how much customers I have depends on how much I give back to the neighborhood, but they go from the, the, from the fictional to the rail. Yeah.

Other than that, for example, of as well and made me laugh. So I grew up in a village called haunted in Wales and there was nothing there apart from a local co-op Chon. Right. Okay. And, um, there's big rumors like six, seven years ago. Steve. Yeah. What task force has come in, what are the tests who's going to come here for?

Are you crazy? And I was like, yeah, they're starting to get loud. Another task to Steffi come. And I go how'd you know that then my mate, bah, you know, Aaron, he goes, oh, they're starting to advertise like, you know, in the area. Oh, that's interesting. So believe it or not be a big Tesco's now bear in mind.

This was this very small village in. Right. And then you had this big task goes there and it was like a massive sheds. It was a bit like at the scene. And, um, I dunno where it's not showing that that day, but the following one, you know, when you've got this quaint little village, you get this massive Tesco.

And they a section where there were six in my village was that they built like this little park and around the bow and it's all nice. So that's what they did for it. They did like a little area. You know where the skate, uh, kids and, you know, when, like, when I to know he boys in school you'd get out of a cigarette kind of various.

So they done all that up and they put like a fancy roundabout, but yeah, that's what they trade off with the village was. And it was really interesting because all the people from the village was like, oh, but that is, that is a nice park. You know what I mean? Nice. They've done a nice job there with the bushes.

It looks very nice. So. And, um, I've seen it myself and that was the, the, the, the section 1 0 6 that I actually can see when I go back home. And for anyone listening, I am allowed to do wild tracks since because I am Welsh. So it's not being racist or any Fang or self-deprecating, I am proud to be wild, but I find if I'm talking about a will is in a village.

It feels like a missed opportunity not to do it. Right. So it's moving swiftly on. Um, okay. Thank

John Snow24:31

you for that. They've got to just say thank you for that,

because actually it's a very, it's a great example of what the public system is all about. You see, because, because they build their Tesco and your town got some better.

Stephen Drew24:48

Right. And the other bit as well, which may as well. The other bit that I did in architecture is that when I was in architecture and I made quite a few mistakes, but the ones that I didn't do is that one of the exercises was they had to go around all these residential apartments and make sure, make sure that they.

That the time, and this was the requirement. And you could tell me if something that they are not, but we had what was called lifetime homes. So it had to be fair to be fully accessible. They have to be a certain size. You have to do all this stuff. So I had to spend many hours going around getting, like, making sure you get the turning circle of, or, you know, for a wheelchair user and all this stuff.

And it was incredibly, incredibly important. And I remember there was this one difficult. Difficult like part of the building and what you were at John. Cause he got the area. So the developer wants the area and they want the number of flats, but then it wasn't quite lifetime home ready. So then you have to do the art form of juggling all the flats around so that I could make sure that the developer is happy that they're getting a return on their investment, but they add to make sure that.

All the flats were lifetime homes equivalent. And that the time, and you tell me if this is true, but in planning, it it's very much a case of like you have, the building has to comply. You can't say all these apartments, except for that dodgy one complies. It has to work. I mean, is it still like that now, John?

Is it like a lot of work, making sure that every fan is accessible, every flat is up to codes. What do you see happen a lot at the moment?

John Snow26:26

So there are, there are standards that new dwellings need to meet. So there are things, I mean, at the very basic level, you have minimum floor space. I mean, let's take London.

For example, London has minimum space standards. For new developments. And then it goes further than that. In the, when you get developments over a sentence, you need to incorporate things such as a certain amount of affordable housing and a certain amount of accessible housing. And if you were going to comply with those requirements, you, you need to be over a certain threshold, but you then are required to meet set standards.

So in a, in a similar way to your exome, Um, although I guess at that stage, if it was a new development, they would probably be more of a paper exercise, but you would need to demonstrate compliance with things. Like if you're designing a disabled flat, for instance, fresh whole woods and turning circles and having the appropriate space for showers and things like that.

So, yeah, that's a really big part of the planning system and a really big part of the controls that are in place. I had a great example actually is the, in London, anyone who's rented in London for any period of time, particularly at the sort of the, the lower end of the market would have experienced.

Stephen Drew28:03

You mean, John, you know, the INM board and the bads and the microfab basically right

John Snow28:13

there, the compact flat.

Stephen Drew28:21

It's really

John Snow28:21

cute. And it's got air conditioning. Just open the freezer,

open the front though. Yeah, exactly, exactly. But the, the, the whole intent, the high, uh, the kind of standards that you've, that you've mentioned, these two. Um, you know, uh, living standards kind of creeping downwards, the whole point of those controllers is to try and try and bring things up, um, as we progress and try.

And, um, and for instance, the planning system also has, um, requirements for things like adequate natural light. So having a window, uh, It's not necessarily good enough because you can have a window, but if it's, if it's up against a, you know, a brick wall or it's very small in size, then it's not necessarily going to improve your living conditions.

So all of these things are part of the planning system and, um, yeah, it's very much a, if we can improve new housing stock in terms of. You know, the, the size is there, mean it is available all of those things, and that's got to be for that.

Stephen Drew29:47

Yeah, no makes, makes complete sense. And them, I imagine as well, it must be a great satisfaction when you get those wins.

And those wins is that you basically, you better, the design people have an enjoyable apartment or you make a positive, or even as you said, you've got the kind of the large scale and the small scale as well. Well, I quite like. Your business as well. And I know you're going to tell everyone where you are at the end, but I love the fact that you sat up Tetrick planet.

I love the fact that you work on smaller and larger, um, projects as well, but I'm sure. Is there any like, um, particular success stories that come to mind where you were like, okay, I know this job is a lot of hard work, but there's today. I feel like it was worth it. I might done a bit of goods.

John Snow30:35

Um, I don't think there's any one individual.

I'd say when I feel success is when, luckily for me it happens a few times a week is when you speak to a client and the client is complimentary for the work that you've done, whether that be. Um, you've managed to negotiate them about a position with the council for, yes, you must secure planning mission to something or you've solved a problem.

And that happens several times a week and you get happy client, you got a happy customer. And for me, that is, you know, that's a big wing if we can solve a few problems and it doesn't always mean, oh, I've secured. Development for X amount of homes. And I guess if that was my benchmark, then, well, you're not going to be, you're not going to be happy several times a week.

Oh yeah. Well, I mean, maybe I will be in a few years, but certainly at the moment, it's about, it's about the little wins and then little wins is, as I say, sometimes it's as simple as someone's very confused about the development that's going on in their area and they want some advice and you give them some advice and they they're very helpful.

Happy and pleased to receive it.

Stephen Drew31:56

I think it's amazing. And so, um, and, uh, you know, good on you for running your own business as well. And I respect that because I'm in the process of gearing up my business and you kindly before the podcast began was a gentle soul and listened to my, um, About accounting because you know, it's a stressful,

John Snow32:21

I think we both have, well,

Stephen Drew32:25

this is it.

This is it. And, um, and just the kind of, it's ironic, but as you told me, and we had to travel this yesterday as well. When you, when you run your own business, you have to do a lot of things. You have to do a lot of things. I, there, there's a joy that you get from that as well. So I would love to know briefly what inspired you to kind of.

From working, you mentioned in public and you've gone and private as well. And now you've set up, uh, you know, Tetric planning and I love the name by the way. Uh, but before we talk about the name or anything like that, yeah. Tell us what made you kind of feel like, do you know what I'm going to, I'm going to do my own business.

John Snow33:03

I guess I could, I fought, I could do it better.

Stephen Drew33:09

Is that,

John Snow33:09

is that a bit, I guess, I guess to expand on that, because that is.

Stephen Drew33:18

I I'm the same in recruitment. And so any of our recruiters listening to this, I think has got a love, hate relationship with me, because I think that recruitment could be a lot better as well. So don't worry about it, but go on, tell us about how you see planning.

John Snow33:32

I see planning and I see the reason that I set up my business because all he failed.

I can relate very well to my clients. And certainly that's what I try and do. And that's the aim. I don't always get it right, but I try and relate as best as I can to my clients. And often times the biggest challenge with the planning system is, is getting the, getting the, um, what am I trying to say? It's getting the sort of translating what the planning system allows someone to do for the.

And the filing system at times for lots of reasons can be quite frustrating. And what are the things I enjoy the most? And probably the reason I wanted to shop online business was because for me, I had a very particular way about how I want it. Not just that there were planning matters because you know, that is, that's quite standard in many ways, but how I want it to work.

You know, to clients and how I wanted to manage that relationship. And certainly within the company, there's a lot more stopping you from doing that. Whereas when you work for yourself, I can deal with my client. How, how was he do you know? So, so that certainly, yeah, I can do it better, but, but if that explains it, perhaps in a, in a, in a, in a slightly better way,

Stephen Drew35:01

it's a, it does.

And I do that. I there's a lot that I enjoy with the Architecture Social as well. The dance. But the upside is that you're your own boss. The downside is that you're also your own boss. You're responsible for everything.

John Snow35:13

Absolutely.

Stephen Drew35:16

Absolutely. It doesn't see where anyone who likes to blame culture, isn't it chunks.

It's like, oh, it's me. You know, but the

John Snow35:25

parks, I admire anyone who, who has the, the, the, the, um, the get up and go. Their own business. And then I know, I think we started our own. I think we started, we both started on the similar kind of time. It was quite pen pandemic. He was in it sort of

Stephen Drew35:48

it's unity with that, but there's also a madness with it as well.

Isn't it? It's like, um, it's a strange time. Um, yeah, it

John Snow35:58

is, it is a strange time. And I'd say that as you say, running, running road business. It wasn't until I really got into it for a few months, I realized quite the scale of, of what you have to do for yourself.

This isn't me complaining. And I know we're not, we're not ones that just sort of outright, outright moan or anything, but it is it's one hell of a challenge, but that is in, in itself. The reason that you do it, isn't it because of the challenge it's, you know, it's both the best and the worst thing about, about running your

Stephen Drew36:34

own business.

I agree. And I, and, and, and conversely as well, because I've had them before this I've had successful businesses and they've had failure businesses, and sometimes at the same time. So for example, I used to run a recruitment business, which was like financially super successful, but me and the other director completely failed.

And so it's, um, you know, it's, it's what you define as, um, a success is interesting, but even, I think in business, failing is learning and, um, you know, I'm constantly failing all the time and, and, um, you know, today, even though I'm pulling my hair out on zero or add on even the, how you pronounce it is zero accounting software.

Once I finally get that. It will be a great lesson. And it's one that then you add to the anecdotes of all the stuff, you know, isn't that like? Oh, you don't worry about that. And you're direct as long, but I think the process. It is rewarding. What I was going to say though, because if anyone's got this far on the podcast, they've done exceptionally well to get past my Tesco's story and may make a casino.

So maybe we can relate. I

John Snow37:41

listened. I listened to seven minutes about planning. I mean, I mean,

Stephen Drew37:48

the tips are up, so anyone that's got to the face and it's, you're in for a treat right now. Cause I'm going to ask for a good piece of overdrive advice. Probably a lot of the people listening are architects and you have a few students who are, you know, Arctics in the making and fantastic.

And anyone listening out there, you got to keep going and you will totally get there. Just got to keep going through that. And for any architects, maybe you're working with planners as well. Maybe what would be cool is to get your advice on how an architect can optimize their relationship with a planning consultant.

I'm sure there's a few tidbits you've learned in your experience. Oh, w makes a better working arrangement. Is there any insights you'd like to share for the, for the 38 minutes? Ooh,

John Snow38:36

well, for the, for the stragglers, for the, for the, for the last, for the last week for that, for the few now, to be fair, this gets a good, good get better coverage.

Sure. There's I'm sure there's many people hanging on when it's in.

It's all about communication, right? And the one piece of advice I would give is when you're communicating, you've got to try. It sounds a bit cliche, I guess, cliches exist for a reason. Um, but, but you want to try and listen to what the other person is saying as much as humanly possible and certainly do that before you respond with anything.

And I think, I think understanding comes from trying to listen. Yeah. But not just listening, but hearing what the other person has to say. If that, if that answers the question and I'd say, um, it's communication is really important to have, uh, sometimes a big mouth. Some people got bigger mouse than others and bad at communicating what you want and what you need, but ultimately being able to listen and understand where someone else is coming from or what someone else thinks about.

Um, you know, that's, I think really key to, uh, does that ask the question? I've got more, the question was, if I'm on, it's getting late, I might have, I might have come up. There's a bit of, bit of cheese.

Stephen Drew40:11

So I like it. You're saying communication is key. I think that's interesting because it's true for every, a lot of work in relationships.

Isn't it? And I do think that. Normally when a business or a, uh, you know, a business relationship is going well. And what I've learned for recruitment is 99% of the time. It's because the relationship's deteriorated and communications is deteriorated. And, you know, once that communication goes, then it's always, it's always difficult.

And, um, it's hard to kind of steer away. It's the 40 minute mark. Now on this podcast, John, we're going to do something else and conventionally, I would love to ask you if you have any questions for me or that we can do live. And as you know, we have not scripted this. So I have no idea what you're going to