I am truly blessed to have found Solution Focused Practice, and to be part of this amazing global community. The early part of my career was spent almost entirely in a problem focused world.
I studied Engineering for my first degree, then joined Unilever as a management trainee in 1989. I learned so much about business, sales, marketing, finance, but very little about people and teams. My learning there was experiential, and when I look back on my early career, I realise I was coaching as a survival skill! Following roles in Manufacturing (ice cream and frozen vegetables) and then National Accounts, I moved to join Bass Brewers and started selling beer. In 2000, I was asked to run a project. Bass’ IT team had linked their stock and order system with the world wide web – an industry first – and I was tasked wit running a 6-month pilot project. At the end, I submitted my board paper and it was signed off in 2 weeks – another industry first! Two weeks later, barbox.com was launched which became the on-line ordering platform for the UK Licensed on-trade. In 2007, I made a choice to leave.
I had no particular plan, but I know I did not want to work for another 23 years for barbox.com to only start enjoying myself in my retirement. This was my best decision. I helped a friend start a website company, Easy Web Sites Ltd, which is running very successfully to this day.
Through this, I joined BNI, and learned about entrepreneurialism and small businesses, as well as developing my networking skills and understanding. I also started working as a BizFizz Coach, helping people in Bradford who had little or nothing to their name to start, grow and make a living from their own businesses. I loved it!
And I was lucky enough to meet Greg Vinnicombe as one of my first clients. He introduced me to Solution Focused Practice, trained me, and introduced me to the SFP community. As well as coaching over 1000 entrepreneurs and charities in my 13 years’ as a coach, I have written two books (‘What’s Your URP?’ and ‘Make Life Simple’) with SFP at their core, spoken at SF Conferences in the UK and in Europe, and made connections all around the world. I am a passionate advocate of SFP, especially in how it applies to organisations. I live in Leeds with my wife, Natalie, and my young son, Alexander. I am always happy to help.