29 July 2016
I’ve often wondered what makes people become entrepreneurs. Is it a wish to be their own boss? A brilliant idea? Or just a desire to make money?
I truly believe I’ve always been an entrepreneur, even from a young age. I’ve never quite fit the mould, never been great at following orders I wanted to do everything differently; I just felt that there would be ways in which I could make the world a little better.
I remember wanting to make money, because the value of having it had been explained to me at a young age. I wanted security; it wasn’t about expensive yachts or flash cars, it was about security and not having to worry about money anymore. Back then, when we started UKFast, my aim was to make a million to be comfortable and have a life where I could sell up and make music. It was as simple as that.
Growing up on a housing estate, I remember the shop assistant in KwikSave making a big deal of cutting up my mum’s credit card when I was very young. From that point, I just wanted to make money, even if it was by selling sweets in school when I was twelve years old.
However, throughout my journey, one piece of advice has stood out when it comes to finding the right reasons to start a business: if you are only in it for the money, you probably won’t succeed.
Now, 17 years later, I couldn’t agree more.
Sure, we have to be able to support our families and enjoy our lives, but in my opinion it is true that, as more money comes into a business, the less the business becomes about money. If money had been my only driver, I really think I would have stopped coming into the office a long time ago.
When it came to reaching my goal of making £1 million, I simply couldn’t walk away. I was too personally invested, too passionate to give it all up.
That’s when I truly realised that Jim Collins’ theory of three circles is true. Jim believes that there are three things that are key to setting up a business – what you are passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at and what is financially viable. Not what will make you the most money.
My purpose for building UKFast is no longer about simply finding a way to make a nice living, I’m not sure it ever has been when I come to think about it. It is about making life easier, for everyone.
My goal has always been to give Britain something that wasn’t available to me when I was looking for it; a reliable hosting provider that can help businesses succeed. And beyond that, support and education beyond the hosting and technology.
I believe it is passion and belief like this that gets any successful entrepreneur out of bed in the morning and keeps pushing them to work towards achieving your goals. It certainly works for me.
Feeling like we are coming into the office every day to change things for the better helps me to stay committed even on the hardest of days. There have definitely been days when everything seemed to go wrong and nothing went as planned. If I lacked passion for my business, I don’t think it would have been easy for me to overcome failure. Running a business is not an easy journey and you need a long-term vision to make it through.
What were your reasons for going into business?