Rather like my grandfather, for my first thirty years I had been a ‘journeyman’, served my ‘apprenticeship’ travelling across a number of different sectors, seeking out a series of masters from whom I could learn a set of valuable skills – certainly not to settle for a trade and £1,000pa.
My many part-time occupations had given me glimpses of many occupations and also insight into human nature. From grave-digging there was only one way – up! – cash control and retail systems; reprographics, copying and duplicating; systems analysis and development; anti-shoplifting systems; industrial non-destructive testing; covert surveillance; electronic developments; learning products; home computers; business computing, wholesale distribution of games and computers I had earned my experience.
I worked with a number of inspiring individuals and organisations of every size, encountered all manner of approaches, positive and negative. I had worked with many budgeting, accounting and sales prospecting systems. I had travelled most of the UK, much of Europe and the Middle East, and had made forays into North America and Asia.
I was 30 and I was now ready to apply all this experience into running my own business, from this point forward I only rarely, I would like to think tactically, took a role with others’ businesses. A separate Part 2: Anecdotes will follow shortly and deals with that period, and seeks to outline my conclusions across my three-score-years and ten.