Tell Us About Your Role In Your Business
As the Founder and Managing Director, I deal mainly with policy, structure, media and financial matters.
How Did The Business Start?
I started working in the heir tracing business in 1990 and set up as a sole trader in 1997.
What Are The Biggest Challenges To Your Business?
Establishing the credibility and understanding of our industry. Regular appearances as the “Heir Hunters” on BBC1 has helped achieve this.
What Are Your Biggest Achievements For The Business?
I have become the spokesman for the genealogists and heir hunters industry and have featured on TV, radio press articles over 100 times which raises our profile significantly, including in Forbes magazine in the US and on ITV’s This Morning.
I also formed an international regulatory body in 2016 for the main players worldwide, call IAPPR (The International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists and Heir Hunters, www.iappr.org) which has grown beyond all expectations.
Setting up offices in other countries and creating growth every year for 20 years has also been very rewarding.
What Did You Want To Be When You Were At School?
I spent a great deal of time working in the music industry. Tea boy jobs mostly, but in some very big studios meeting some very famous people. When the excitement wore off and I realised I needed a more realistic career.
What Was Your First Job?
A Saturday job touring the local car park picking up supermarket trolleys and taking them back to the shop. Around the same time I was handing out “Miss London” magazines at Old Street Station a couple of time per week. Ironically Old Street is now the nearest tube station to Finders International.
What Job Would You Like To Have Other Than Your Own & Why?
I can honestly say there is nothing I would rather do at the moment, but my company is the Founding Sponsor of a new primary school aimed at Scandinavian families in London (www.daniaschool.com) and this has been running for 5 years now. This and other charitable causes are close to my heart.
What Do You Love Most About Working In The North East?
We work with a number of Northern Councils regularly and have had many cases in the area. Being a Londoner, I always appreciate the frank and forthright nature of many Northerners – it makes life a lot easier!
What Do You Do In Your Down Time Away From The Office?
I have 4 children, from ages 5 to 23, so I enjoy resting at every opportunity!
What’s Your Number One Piece Of Advice For Anyone In Business Or Wanting To Start Up?
Stay focused. So many people have ideas and input that may dilute your master plan or ideas. Occasionally these ideas work, but they are rare. Evaluate everything carefully, but believe in yourself.
Whenever this subject comes up, I always think about my grandfather and great-grandfather who fought in both world wars. I’m sure all they would have wanted is peace in the face of unimaginable terror.
There are still many people in the world whose lives are driven by intense bitterness, bullying, jealousy and anger. Always do the right thing, remain true to yourself and they will never win.
The search for peace, love, laughter, health and happiness will never end, but I like to think we can all do our bit to help.
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This article has been first published in tbilaw.co.uk