I founded Force24 in 2010 after building a successful digital marketing agency. Why would I leave a growing, vibrant industry to embark on a new path with danger and significant challenges dominated by global software companies? Good question!
Perhaps the answer lies in my passion for ‘beating myself up’ – in all areas of my life – because I seem to be attracted to painful situations!
At the age of six, I was drawn dry ski slope skiing – where my brothers and I would spend every waking hour of the weekend. We loved the thrill of speed and competition which drove us to competing with the British Lions ski team. I’ve raced against the likes of Graham Bell – and got totally thrashed!
The passion of the mountains continued and, in my early 20s, I defected to snowboarding – where a different thrill took over, that was taking to the air. I am sure many of you will understand the dangers this sport is fraught with, having broken shoulders, wrists and ankles!
The obvious problem with the Alps is, what to do in the summer? So, in the late 90s, I turned my attention to the lake where I found wakeboarding. It captured the same thrills – and hit the brief for pain!
Fast forward 20 years later – after claiming ‘dominance’ in the Wake and Ski Boats Rider League’s Open Men’s category – and the toll of broken bones, fractures, ligaments and general ‘beatings’ started to get a little too much.
So, at this point I turned my attention to starting a family. Now, I have four stunningly beautiful children – a boy aged 10, girl aged nine, and two boys aged 20 months and one month – and again I welcome in the ‘pain’. However, this time it’s blended with a whole lot of love!
Going back to my career – and my decision to exit a profitable agency and take on the likes of IBM, Oracle and Salesforce – maybe I was looking for more pain? Or maybe I felt something was missing? The truth is, it’s a bit of both. Why settle for competing against other local business when a bigger challenge exists?
But I’ve also felt something was missing – the tech has never been user-centric, the support has always been poor and training too expensive. As a result, people do not use the tech to its optimal performance, they simply do what they have always done on more expensive equipment. The vision that still remains today is user-centric tech with free unlimited training and support on a two-minute working day SLA via our marketing automation solution.
Now, over 3,000 UK-based marketers send over 250 million emails per month and escalate over 150,000 leads to sales teams each month.
So, I guess all the pain has been worth it in the end!