Q&A with Charlie Harry Francis, Founder of Lick Me I’m Delicious
The most important thing is to try and love what you do.
Charlie Harry Francis Founder of Lick Me I’m Delicious grew up on an ice cream farm in South Wales and has a long history of inventing weird and wonderful machines that go bing and bosh and blip. He set up Lick Me I’m Delicious in 2011 building the first Nitro Parlour in his living room, then he built the nitro buggy, then the edible mist orbs, then a corby trouser press toasty maker, floss whizzers, electric tea cups and other innovative creations.
11 Questions for Founder of Lick Me I’m Delicious, Charlie Harry Francis
Harry has taken time out of his schedule to talk to AGENT about his business, his goals and work life balance
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
I grew up on an ice cream farm in South West Wales, and I wanted to invent a machine that could make any flavour of ice cream, right in front of your eyes. I built my first machine, the Nitro Ice Cream Parlour in my front room (much to the dismay of my house mate) and the business has just grown from there, we now have other 30 inventions that we rent out for events, from Zero Calorie Edible Mist to our Everlasting Chocolate Tap.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I think I set the business up when I was 27, but I’d always wanted to have my own business, I used to have this list next to my bed of all my business ideas. I guess I got to 27 and thought, if I don’t do this now, I never will, so Lick Me I’m Delicious was born.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
I’m pretty inspired by problem solvers and clear thinkers, I think Elon Musk has a very clear vision for what he’s trying to achieve.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
Some of the builds have been pretty tricky, working out the rotational speed of candyfloss to create a vortex system to shoot it out like a flamethrower was a particular headache that slowly drove me mad over the course of several months.
5. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
Of course, it’s incredibly important, you have to prioritise it, the most important thing is to try and love what you do, but you need to have time away. I think realising that the number of hours you spend at something is often irrelevant to your effectiveness. You always want to have a mini you sitting on your shoulder analysing how effectively you’re working. It’s also really important to sit and do nothing but think every day, rather than running round like a crazed gerbil.
6. What is the first thing you do every day?
Jump out of bed, the minute the alarm goes off. It’s the only effective way of making getting up fun.
7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
Some rocky snowy place I’ve never been to – new phone, standard screensaver – I dropped my old one.
8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
I’ve got this crazy colour co-ordinated calendar app, I’m not naturally organised so it keeps me nailed down.
9. What is the last thing you googled?
Good answers to media questions.
10. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
11. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?