Why customer service.
I spent too long in the chemical industry and when I was in sales I got sick of being complained to about bad service. I got myself transferred to customer service where my job included explaining why our service was not so hot.
I was part of a team that turned around this service around to be world class.
Around the same time, I was making guitars as a hobby. I was irritated by the lack of professionalism I found when buying tonewoods, parts and tools etc. I was annoyed that Stew Mac could deliver stuff to me in 2 days and local suppliers took weeks.
When I got to the age where I wanted a new challenge, rather than buy a sports car or take up extreme triathalons, I decided to start my own business. I put together my customer service approach and my knowledge of guitar making and came up with a Luthier Supply project. I met Dan Macpherson and between us we started Tonetech.
Coaching / mentoring youngsters.
I worked as a leadership trainer for 7 years and I also qualified as a life coach. I feel fortunate to have had various careers and along the way I’ve been helped and encouraged by some special people. These days I feel it is right to give something back. Many of our young people across Europe are struggling to get employment. I’m doing a few things to help in my own small way.
I am a Skills Ambassador in my local area. For this I go around to various business groups and make presentations on the importance of taking on an apprentice. In my own small company we’ve recently taken on our second apprentice, Daniel.
I also mentor a young person at a local education college. My role here is to help inspire the person to achieve what they want in life. I go to their college for 1 hour a week where we have a 1 to 1 mentoring session.
What about guitar making? I started the luthier supply business because of my love for woodworking and music. These days, even though I have everything around me I could ever need, I struggle to find the time to make a guitar. Maybe this year I’ll make a start on the classical guitar I’ve been promising myself.