PE catches up with the personalities behind The Electricians Guide To Everything podcast and YouTube channel.
Not all entrepreneurs need co-founders, but many of the world’s most successful companies – including giants like eBay, Apple and Twitter – were built by multiple leaders with productive relationships.
Unsurprisingly, these partnerships were formed through long-standing friendships, the individuals may have been classmates at school, or even relatives. Others, however, didn’t get along initially, while some are still not amicable. When it comes to the most successful partnerships, there’s usually a common denominator: the pair in question recognise their individual limitations and respect what the other could bring to a partnership.
In the case of Sam McDouall and Ricky Howell, the co-founders and hosts of The Electricians’ Guide To Everything podcast and YouTube channel, The pair had never so much as clapped eyes on one another until a couple of years ago, after initially debating on a WhatsApp group/forum
Ricky recalls: “Having gained my apprenticeship and been in meaningful employment with an electrical firm for a number of years, I decided to take the plunge and become a self-employed electrician. That’s when the problems started.
“When you work for a company you live in a bit of a bubble, but going self-employed makes you realise some of the pit-falls that are out there, especially when it comes to job security. And this is where myself and Sam first came across one another.”
Sam explains: “Having been in the game for over 15 years, working for agencies and self-employed for a while, you start to see how unfair this industry can be at times for those individuals not employed directly by a company.
“To try and protect their rights, me and Ricky started an electrical industry union – the Electrical Workers Branch (EWB) – through which we’ve been able to engage with agencies etc. to ensure that workers/members get paid (in the event of a dispute), amongst other things.
Although the EWB’s part in this particular story has to be acknowledged, it is the next step in its evolution that has really brought the duo closer together. Utilising the increasing reach that internet podcasts and videos now offer across the electrical industry, Sam and Ricky launched the Electricians’ Guide to Everything podcast.
“Although we’ve been doing the industry a service through the EWB, we felt that the best way to solve a lot of the issues that occur in the industry is through education, and the EWB wasn’t really working as that type of platform,” says Ricky.
Sam adds: “The podcast gives us the chance to do more with our expertise. We’re strong believers that education is the key to unlocking a better electrical industry, and we want to highlight the problems it is facing. We also want the podcast to be a brilliant source of CPD.”
Indeed, with 16 episodes now in the bag, featuring some of the most influential and interesting characters that are working for change in the electrical trade, the pair have covered a number of topics that affect electricians on a daily basis.
“Once you have a few shows in the bag, it’s not that difficult to get guests to commit to coming on, and we’ve been really pleased at the quality of names we’ve been able to attract so far,” says Sam.
Ricky adds: “It’s been great talking to a variety of industry professionals and being able to glean their first-hand experiences of the electrical industry. It also gives us (and them) the chance to dispel a few myths; there are so many different opinions that swim around this industry, so the podcast gives us a point of reference to say “Ok, you don’t believe us? Have a listen for yourself then!”
The initial goals of the podcast now appear to be bearing fruit, as Sam and Ricky’s notoriety and footprint in the industry has taken a sharp upwards turn over the past few months. The lads also enjoy writing blogs about the sector, with Sam offering a more analytical view and Ricky taking a more ‘direct’ approach to their chosen subjects.
So what does the future have in store for EGTE and its founders? “We’ve recently launched a YouTube channel and feel that this will help to extend the reach of our podcasts and content to a much wider audience. It also allows us to move into different areas of content – such as product demonstrations and reviews,” says Sam.
Ricky concludes: “Although this is a very exciting step for us, we’ll never lose sight of what our initial aims for the podcast were: to offer free CPD and education to the industry. After all, it’s so important to give something back!”
All the links to the podcast social media and YouTube can be found at www.egte.co.uk. Or you can find them on any platform under @EGTEpodcast