Before Snapchat was a ‘thing’ and we had to hail a taxi on the street, Al was running the London rat race working with one of the world’s most prestigious business consultancies.
He loved it: crunching numbers, playing with data sets, fixing problems and training businesses to work smarter (yep, Al’s a geek). But, as much as he loved the work, he grew to resent the environment. The rat race. Corporateland. Inflated fees and no time to make a real difference. Bleurgh.
So, he did what any of us would do, he moved to Colombia (yes, Colombia). Al then set about building his own business, Siembra Coworking. The shared working space became a huge hit (despite a few early hiccups including no-one turning up on the first day… lessons learned!).
After a few years, Al decided it was time to return to the UK. So, he sold the business and came home.
Sharon, meanwhile, was busy sky-rocketing through the ranks of one of the UK’s largest marketing communications agencies (and when we say “sky-rocketing”, we mean graduate intern to company director in four years. I know, right?!).
Originally from Glasgow, she relocated to Manchester to establish the company’s presence in England. She spent four years firmly fixed on the front-line of startupland with her own business (and the scars to prove it) while creating top-notch marketing strategies for clients in Scotland, the North West and London.
Life was good. She was top of her game in the industry and held a director position in one of the country’s most successful consultancies. So, what did she do? She left.
She decided she needed a fresh challenge, opted to take a risk and trust that the “right thing” would come along (ooh, I wonder if it did…).
Okay, your turn Jim.
He loved it: crunching numbers, playing with data sets, fixing problems and training businesses to work smarter (yep, Al’s a geek).
She was top of her game in the industry and held a director position in one of the country’s most successful consultancies.
Jim is Jim Duffy (yeah, the guy with the MBE and best-selling book – don’t keep reminding us!).
After spending 11 years in the police force, Jim decided he’d had enough of rules, regulations and routine. He was going to do something different, something that excited him.
So Jim became an entrepreneur.
Some things worked and some things didn’t (and we mean really didn’t!). However, along the way he realised all the lessons he had learned through his successes and failures could be put to good use. He could help other business builders by giving them the support he didn’t have when he was starting out.
So Jim created Entrepreneurial Spark. It was, and remains to this day, a huge success. However, Jim wanted more. Rather than focus on accelerating from start-up to seed investment, he wanted to work with business builders long term.
He could help other business builders avoid the pitfalls. He could give them the support he didn’t have when he was starting out.