In 1991, I left college with a pile of debt but no degree. My university failure and associated impoverishment meant I would have to take work wherever I could find it. Waiter, shelf-stacker, farmhand, council bin-man, security guard, commission-only telesales, were all part of a tough time that ended with some robust parental intervention and a lucky break. After the straight talking from Mum and Dad, I stumbled into a business that needed a stand-in salesman one day. With no training and low expectations, I managed to ‘wing’ a meeting to some sort of successful conclusion and the die was cast. A career in sales quickly became a career in software sales as I joined a south-London based tech outfit, later sold to Experian. Working here, provided me with the experience and the attitude to commit to a systemised approach to B2B selling. It’s also where I met my wife but that’s another story.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have run and sold a couple of private equity backed businesses. I started my own advisory firm in 2012, providing a sales due-diligence service to investors, which has now been used over 150 times, worldwide. As well as becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management, I have further underlined my commitment to process and structure by acquiring my PRINCE2 Project Manager certification. Today I Chair a number of investor backed technology businesses across Europe and have a desk at the coolest office in London; 1a Birkenhead St.
At Frog Capital
It is here that Mike, Jens and Steven (my old colleague from Livingbridge days) run Frog Capital. Frog became the VC and Growth House of the Year, 9 months after I joined (just coincidence, of course…) and every day demonstrate to me the qualities required for such an accolade. A range of successful investments and exits, underpinned by Frog’s unique Scale-Up methodology, allied to a clear commitment on purpose-led business through their Positive Growth agenda, makes me proud to work with them.