Clair Bush

Marketing Director, Ph.Creative

1. Who was your favourite teacher at school? What did you learn from that person?

I was really fortunate to have two standout teachers – Mrs Holmes and Mr Townsend. I loved both their lessons. Mrs Holmes taught business studies and Mr Townsend was the most proper English teacher.

I went to a grammar school with a great history, and Mr T wore his gown at all the functions. He was so strict and serious and everyone was quite wary of him. He did throw himself into his lessons though, and even back then at 14, I recognised that he loved his job, even though he often called us all reprobates!

Jenny Holmes was so refreshingly different to all the other teachers. She taught business studies, which I instantly fell for (#1 geek alert). I remember she came into teaching following a career in business and thought she was the best, and she drove a beautiful classic MG Healey Frogeye. She had been where I wanted to go – out into the big world of commerce, and we’d sit and talk about what her career was like before she turned up at my school. (She was most likely only in her 40’s, but back then I remember thinking how amazing she was for fitting in 2 careers into one life!)

Both of them taught me perspective – that its ok to move forward at a rate of knots, but to look back from time to time, as there’s always lessons in hindsight.

They also gave me time, something that back then I thought I have eons of, but wow where have those 30 years gone? The time they gave to listen to me, answer my questions and inspire my ambition has been the most valuable lesson, and one I hope I give to others.

2. At what age did you become an adult? What happened and how did you know?

When Mr.B and I had a chat about starting a family – I was 32!

I met Paul (aka Mr.B) in 1996, just after I’d finished a university student exchange. We had both been recruited as interns for a small business in Surrey. Fast forward to 2006 and we did what any self-respecting funsters from the noughties would do – we got married in Las Vegas, with 25 friends and family.

Our journey, and growing up together has been fab fun and with a number of ups and downs, twists and turns, so it never occurred to us that we weren’t grown-ups. But then we had that serious talk about starting a family, and that was when I knew we’d crossed the line. There was no going back shortly after that as I was made redundant for the first time – just 24hours before the pregnancy test showed a positive ☺

There’s nothing quite like reeling from terminal morning sickness and signing-on, on a cold January morning as the world is collapsing into a financial crisis, to take the fun out of life!

*I have to say however, that I do love my life, and my 2 boys! 😉

3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?


An amazing friend, who I believe I was always destined to meet has helped me to decode, realign and rewrite my response and reasoning.

I met Rosanna shortly after having my son, as I tried her mother and baby yoga classes. As soon as ZachyB started crawling off the mat, whilst I tried to hold a wobbly down dog, he got to stay at home, and I indulged in ‘me’ time. Yoga has been an absolute for me ever since.

Over the years, Rozy and I have swapped a few notes on our respected areas of expertise and I was one of the first of her students to work through a multi-dimensional coaching session centred around becoming ‘fearless and free to be me’.

The course combines meditation, mindful co-creations (laws of attraction) and yoga therapy which enabled me to redefine how I respond to situations.

The teachings tell us, and I believe that we all carry the scares, loves, pains and losses of our ancestors. By decoding and realigning to recognise certain flight / fight triggers, it’s been possible for me to develop a different way of dealing or managing what comes my way – it’s kind of like breaking out of shackles, and then being able to clearly see which direction I want to go.

I’m now a massive believer in you get what you ask for, so be careful!

4. What are the three books that you would unhesitatingly recommend to others? Why?

Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts

Because whatever shit you think you’re going through, this is the longest reminder that there’s always someone struggling more and you should do what you can to see, and help them.

Rebel Talent, Why It Pays To Break The Rules by Francesca Gino

Because I always assumed I was the only one who thinks as I do. Turn’s out I’m not. So this book is for all those people who just somehow feel different, behave differently and want to be recognised for their rebellious streak!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Nifferegger

Because it’s the most beautiful love story ever told. Everyone deserves to feel that much love.

5. What’s one misconception people generally have about you?

That I’m nice. I’m actually ruthless.

6. What is your untrainable superpower?

I’m an incessant networker and I have this uncanny way, which I love of being able to bring people together – match them with each other to create beautiful relationships. I really do love relationship dynamics.

7. On what topic would you never make a joke? Why?

Politics. I just don’t get it and I don’t want to. I don’t understand why we have groups of people who have to belong in one camp or another.

Are we not educated? Do we still need the drama from 200 years ago?

8. Have you always had the same political beliefs? If so, why do you think you have held them so long? If not, what event caused you to change your view?

Yes, I’ve always believed politics is BS.

9. What app or tech product have you most recently fallen in love with?

Oh my, there’s a couple in my absolutely can’t work without pile right now: – the most amazing project management tool ever. – for (almost) instant transcription of video content. – the absolute nuts for gorgeous presentations, pitch decks and docs which you can share and collaborate on

10. What is the best purchase you’ve made recently? Why?

This is going to bring some haters, but we took the plunge and ordered a hot tub. Bushington Palace is having a garden make over and the hot tub is our present to ourselves for being really good humans during this crazy period.

11. If you were to own a bar, and you could design it how you wanted, what would it look like?

Oh wow, this would be so cool, and I would LOVE to own a bar.

I grew up in Derbyshire, right in the middle of the UK so, there would be nods to the big old pub I first went in at 18 (obviously!) – roaring fire (season dependant!), lots of stone and dark wood, wrap around bar at the centre of it all. It would be a traditional English pub, but without the stale ale smell! There would be lots of comfy seating and a great area for bands to rock up and out. Obviously, there would be a dance floor! The beer garden would be glorious too, with plenty of coverage so that you could be outside whatever the weather. We’d serve all the best beers & ales, and lunch on Sunday’s, because you’d want to hang out with everyone!

12. If you were to survive the zombie apocalypse, what role would you play in the new society that would follow?

I’d be a teacher. I’d want to take care of the children and teach them how to move forward, but learn from the past.

13. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?

Optimism. I always look on the brightside.

14. Tell me about that one project that was a total off-the-rails disaster? What was your role in that shitshow?

I’ve got a couple of killer examples, but the most outstanding has to be the time I ended up booked to stay in a brothel, in Cologne.

In all honesty, I booked the accommodation myself. Cologne has a famous conference centre and the 4 day event we were heading too had a massive amount of events on. There was a massive shortage of hotel rooms as we’d left it late to book, and I couldn’t find accommodation for 3 of us in the same place. So, using a quite famous hotel booking site I confirmed the first room that popped up.

After an exhausting day – 4:30am wake up, 3-hour flight and 9 hours on my feet on an expo stand, I arrived at the erm brothel. It wasn’t until I was left alone in my room that the penny dropped and I realised what type of ‘hotel’ it was! Unfortunately, I needed to charge my phone as there was no wifi – and so I sat in my suitcase and cried a little whilst I waited.

Thankfully a colleague came to the rescue, ordered me a cab and another hotel room. I managed to get a good night’s sleep, and the conference went on like a dream but I had earned myself ‘Helmet of the Year’ at the Christmas party that followed a few months after.

15. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?

I’m not sure there are bad qualities. I find a couple of things irritating – like lateness, untidiness and maybe forgetfulness. But then again, I’m quite prone to all of those too!

16. What is the optimal number of people in a team, with you in it? What roles are those people playing?

9. The Ringleader, The Expert, The Siloist, The Dinosaur, The Stealth Ninja, The Executive, The Socialite*, The Sceptic, The Taskmaster.

*Me (Adapted from a great image I have on Pinterest – source 2014).

17. What common wisdom in our industry needs to be debunked?

Just because we’re connected, doesn’t mean I will have a drink with you.

18. Do you have a secret tip, tool or trick that’s contributed to your success?

I have 3:

– Don’t sweat the small stuff
– Be like Dory…
– And, if it’s all a bit much, have a cup of tea

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

I was going to suggest my epic colleague ‘Google’ Dave Hazlehurst, but recently I’ve got a new work pal – Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson. JKP has just joined the Ph. family and I’m so excited to get to know her. She’s an absolute star, and I know she will have some awesome stories to tell.

Thank you to Clair Bush for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune.

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