I’m a Business Coach, Strategist and Author.
I started my entrepreneurial career at the same time I started university aged 19. I negotiated a contract with a local restaurant to run their evening trade. My colleague students thought I was nuts, but I had the last laugh when I graduated from university with thousands in the bank and a thirst for business. For the next 2 years I ran another restaurant and a music business until I decided it was time to learn about the big corporate world. I joined British Airways as an entrepreneurial management graduate.
I had the rough edges blown off my hyperactive management style by some incredibly talented mentors while managing a big customer service operation at London Heathrow Airport. Then I accepted my first big turnaround challenge. I took on a sleepy, badly performing cargo delivery business. I made loads of mistakes including causing a three-week strike that almost got me sacked. Because of the pressure I was under to deliver I had to throw caution to the wind and learn some big lessons about how I was leading the business. Those lessons formed the core of the transformation and growth blueprint I use to this day. The turnaround went so well that I was asked to form a task force to apply the same strategies to the much bigger 10,000 man operational group that my business was part of. I fell under the spell of using tech in tandem with engaged, creative people to solve big business challenges. I called it the fusion of people and technology. I’ve used this concept in virtually every business I’ve run since.
Because I was spending so much time running big operations, I became fascinated by personal development and growth so (of course!) I threw in the corporate towel to learn NLP, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy. Once I qualified, I worked with business leaders, sportspeople and the general public to help them achieve more in their professional and private lives. I learnt so, so much about people and high performance. Strangely I also learnt loads about myself.
After a few years I missed the world of business, so I jumped back in, took courses in sales and marketing and spent the next 10 years running sales operations for a variety of tech companies like Compuware and IBM.
Unfortunately, after 5 great years my career at IBM came to a premature end due to a back injury, that for a time, I thought might stop me from working ever again. That experience taught me just how fragile things can be and never to take my health for granted. However, that personal tragedy meant I had to get back to my entrepreneurial roots to survive.
So, I jumped into another brand-new career, business finance. I started my own corporate finance boutique and launched my business online just as the internet was starting to come into it’s own. The next five years running my finance business flashed past like a whirlwind. Just when it looked like I’d hit the jackpot on franchising my operation, Lehman brothers came crashing down, my sources of finance froze, and I lost everything. Talk about a rollercoaster!!
I was determined to do something that would stretch me into another new fast-growing sector. Around that time, I was reading about the incredible new cloud SaaS business models that were coming out of Silicon Valley around 2010 and I was desperate to learn from them.
I found a cloud infrastructure company based in Manchester just outside of Boston in the United States who serviced the Silicon Valley Tech community. I negotiated a contract to bring them to the UK and Europe. The only problem was they were extremely risk averse.
I had to build it on a shoestring using my own business vehicle as they didn’t want to be exposed to any employment risk. I pulled out my trusty Growth Blueprint and threw all I had into growing the business. 5 years after setting up in the UK, the parent company was bought out for $600 Million. That transaction changed my life, and I was able to take the next few years off to spend with my young family.
At the beginning of 2020 I decided it was time for me to share some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, so when the Pandemic started in the UK at the end of March, I began the arduous task (for me!) of writing my book “Transformation From Chaos”.
Writing the book and helping a few clients with my blueprint motivated me to take the idea to the next level and create my new company, The Business Transformation School.
The concept behind the school is to bring a combination of coaching, consulting and implementation all under one roof. Ultimately to help business leaders to much more quickly and effectively turn their transformation dreams into reality.
I live in Brighton on the south coast of the UK with my life partner, Marie and two teenage girls. I’m a proud Scot but have lived most of my adult life in England so when our nations clash in sports, I’m afraid I always revert back to my ancestry. Which of course means I’m usually on the losing side!
I’m still a keen athlete trying to beat records on the track in spite of my senior years. When I have any spare time, I try to squeeze in some part time coaching in athletics and table-tennis in my local community. I used to be a season ticket holder for my beloved Arsenal football club but family pressures and (more importantly) poor performances have drastically reduced my time investment here.
Oh, and I do love a bit of dad dancing with my mates to some old classic house tunes from the 90’s.