Someone who has successfully found the elusive juncture of passion, purpose and profit, Matthew is the founder and energy behind Goal Click, an extraordinary social enterprise that operates as a media platform telling the compelling personal stories from people from across the world.
What makes this project so unique is that it uses the (metaphorical) lens of football and the (literal) lens of disposable cameras to do so. The effect is a panorama that is at once intensely personal and affirmingly universal.
Why do you do what you do?
I think sport and specifically football is one of the best ways to help people understand the world and other cultures. I’ve always studied politics, conflict and culture through the common language of sport. So I wanted to give people the chance to tell stories about the world from their own perspective, show what football means to them, and bring those stories to public attention.
What do you think helps make you good at what you do?
The key for me is building a wide network of interesting people from all cultures, backgrounds, industries, and countries. Goal Click is only as strong as its network! I genuinely enjoy the process of creating and maintaining a network. I’m always open to a new connection! You can have the best idea in the world, but you need people to want to collaborate with you.
What piece of advice has most influenced you recently?
“Intentionality” is my current word of the year. Before I do anything, I try to ask myself if I am being deliberate. “Is this is actually something I want to do or know I should do?” I think it is important to filter out the numerous things that we all do because of a social pressure, routine, or perceived expectation. Spend a few extra moments questioning why you are really making a decision and if you are truly happy with it. If you are not, you’ll just end up more anxious or stressed down the line. That advice probably extends into every part of life!
“Ten Minutes” is the other piece of advice I give people. Everyone waits for that perfect moment to fully dive in to a new project, and continually puts it off. But you should start with doing something for ten minutes! Then ten minutes a week. Then later, maybe ten minutes a day will be possible. It will build up.
Resource-wise, I love podcasts about the entrepreneurial journey. “How I Built This”, “StartUp”, “Without Fail”…it always reassures me that even the greatest founders never really had a fully formed plan, everyone pretends they knew what they were doing, there is no “secret formula”, and the best thing to do is just get on with doing something, anything, and work it out as you go along!
What are your plans or ambitions for the next 6 months?
The next 6 months are huge for Goal Click, as we look to create new series, work with new partners (brands, sports organisations, and media companies), and expand into new media formats (podcasts, film documentaries). Our two big forthcoming projects are around refugees and women’s football.
Ahead of the Women's World Cup in June 2019, our women's football series will tell the stories of women's footballers (professionals and internationals), managers and referees all over the world, from Somalia and Afghanistan to the UK and USA - and we aim to host an exhibition in France during the World Cup. Our Goal Click Refugees project is collaborating with refugees globally to tell their personal stories through their experiences with football in refugee camps and new host communities.
What's your morning routine?
I must admit, since I started working for myself, I rarely see the day before 9.30am. I am a night owl (bed time can be around 1am), so my breakfast is usually closer to lunch! But what I do have is granola with blueberries or banana, and assorted nuts. And maybe some smoked salmon (or peanut butter!) on toast as a follow up…
If I do not have early calls and meetings, my morning routine always involves at least 45 minutes of current affairs and sports reading, a reasonable amount of Instagram browsing, and answering WhatsApp messages coming in from all 6 continents!