Decisions: Keith Johnston, MD of GoinGreen

My best decision... was walking away from the marketing communications business I'd co-founded in 1995. Although it was successful, I wasn't happy.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

I was put on gardening leave for 12 months and that gave me the opportunity to consider what was important to me. I decided I need to work with people I trust and believe in and whose values I share.

I found myself with the time to look through the Sunday Times classifieds in detail, and I would have otherwise missed the GoinGreen ad that helped bring me to where I am now. Money and financial success is still a strong driver for me, but in GoinGreen I found a business that offered the chance to make a big difference.

I'd worked in advertising agencies for more than 20 years and this is nothing at all like those jobs. I'm very happy now. I find my work extremely motivating and it brings me into contact with likeminded people. My job has always been about influencing people, but I think that the brand that I'm working on now is much more meaningful than anything I've worked on in the past.

My worst decision...

...was walking away from the marketing communications business I'd co-founded in 1995. Five years later, I IPO'd the business, achieving a market capitalisation of more than £10 million. I'd enjoyed the excitement of the high growth and success of the business, working with blue-chip clients to help develop their brands. I also enjoyed the lifestyle, with my Porsche and everything that went with that. But I found that I didn't enjoy managing the 100 people there, nor what I saw as the greed of some of my business colleagues once a lot of money came into the situation.

Working at a plc, I felt my entrepreneurial instinct was being stifled. So I resigned and I left my shares in the business, partly because I couldn't sell (the company was in a closed period) and in my eagerness to leave, I did not give enough thought to the value I was leaving behind in the hands of others. Over the three years following my departure, the share value dropped by more than three-quarters. It was one of the worst decisions I ever made.

GoinGreen is the company behind the G-Wiz elecric car 

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