What I've Learnt: Mario Coletti, Managing Director at Nextatlas

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Nextatlas makes business predictions by analysing web and social-media data patterns and developing key insights for brands and their marketing strategies.

In July, Nextatlas used their AI-powered trend-forecasting technology to partner up with Westfield to create the world’s first brick-and-mortar store selling only the top 100 items of men’s and women’s clothing products trending online that day.

Their Managing Director, Mario Coletti, shares what he's learnt during his career so far.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

I can’t leave home without breakfast no matter how early it is - even if it’s 4am to catch a plane! A good breakfast and shower puts me in the right mindset for the rest of the day. This is also the time I’m the most creative. The best ideas spark during that time and typically take shape during the day. 

I also check my Nextatlas page daily to see if there are any new trend signals that may be relevant, and go through the top headlines of two or three main newspapers in UK, US and Italy that focus on politics or the economy.

What's been your luckiest break?

The break from the corporate world and a permanent job after over 20 years. I thought I had the skills to be an entrepreneur, but soon found out that being one in reality was completely different.

Becoming an entrepreneur stretched my capabilities as I was doing things I’ve never done before, and accelerated by learning. 

What's your best failure?

I left the world of the agency (WPP) to join a consultancy firm. Even though I learned a lot, I failed as ‘typical consultant’ as I simply didn’t fit the culture of a large old-style consultancy firm.

Ultimately, this worked out in my favour as without this failure I wouldn't be doing what I’m doing now.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

The time that I've spent and still spend in networking at a global level - both offline and online - is definitely the best investment I have made and continue making.

These relationships have helped me build my career, continue learning, generate new ideas and drive change in any organisations I’ve been a part of. Social media is key as well. It's accelerated the opportunity to network as I’ve been an early adopter of LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. 

How would you describe your work/life balance?

In this industry, you can work 24/7, but being disciplined is the key to finding work/life balance. For example, I take breaks whenever I feel the need to.

However, as I love what I do, I don’t feel the need to think too much about it. Separation isn’t needed between work and life but instead between the positive and negative energy that constantly surrounds you.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

There are lots, but my all-time favourite has to be 'Sapiens' (Harari) because we need to think more about the future of our children and grandchildren. 

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try. 

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

My job as Marketing Advisor for AsPac at Castrol International has been the biggest influence on my working life. When I joined, I was aware of the market in Europe and Italy, but in my new role I had to understand emerging markets such as Vietnam and India, where there was an immense potential for growth.

This helped me understand different market realities and cultures as well as helped me develop a global network. 

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

When I was the global marketing director at Sparco, I worked with the biggest F1 teams such as McLaren, Williams, and Toyota. Here, I had the chance to meet F1 personalities such as Ron Dennis, Lewis Hamilton, Christian Horner, Jarno Trulli and many others! 

What does success look like to you?

Success is part of a journey, not a destination - it’s about exceeding set objectives and putting a smile on other people's faces. 

Do you have some career lessons to share?

If you believe your career means that you would be able to do a good What I've Learnt, get in touch with Charlie!