The alarm goes off at 5.30am amazingly most mornings I wake up just before it. Between then and 8am is usually a whirlwind of activity in our house.
I usually go for a run over the years my weight increased slowly without me paying too much attention. My son one day told me I had something stuck on my chin, I wiped it and he laughed saying "No not that one, it’s the third one down!" When I weighed myself I was horrified that I was heavier than the scale’s maximum weight. I made a huge change in my life and took up cycling and running, together with cutting out snacks and other rubbish. I have lost over five stone now and feel really great.
My wonderful wife Adrienne (no, neither of us changed our first name to match the other) of 15 years is first out of the house and into the world of local government. At 8am I take number-one son Cameron (who is now 10 and quickly catching up with me in height) to school before heading off into our industry.
It’s quite difficult to give an example ’standard’ day as every day for me is different. Sometimes I’m in the office and sometimes with customers; sometimes on site working with other contractors and sometimes out of the country looking at new technology.
I like to spend time with the guys in my team because they are all so positive and it keeps me high listening to them and working with them on so many different projects, ideas and solutions.
I love meeting up with customers and hearing about the highs and lows, too. For me, it’s not just about finding new opportunities for sales but also staying in touch with the real world and understanding everybody’s business and life. We have so many vibrant characters in this industry. I just love meeting with them all.
Then, of course, there is the organising of exhibitions as well as attending them. That is great fun from start to finish.
I also love being involved in the technical side of the business.
It is so important that you really know how equipment and features work when you are offering them to a customer. I make a point of studying new technology and, when I don’t know how something works, I always ask.
After picking up a voicemail from a customer saying that his new epos and back-office suite has been installed, how pleased he is with it, and how friendly and helpful the engineer was while fitting it, a quick phone call back turns into a 30-minute chat as we discuss all the various menus and functions he thinks are really cool and wonders how he ever managed without them. It’s so nice to have those conversations.
The day goes so quickly with the phone constantly ringing. And there it goes again it’s Mike P (general manager) and it’s time for a ’power talk’ where I wave my arms about and become very animated, talking about how it would be if we just did ’this’, or had a look at ’that’.
Mike laughs because he knows my arms will be waving frantically as I become more excited about new ideas. Then there’s a knock on the door it’s Paul, a member of my team, wanting to talk through an idea. Now the office has two guys waving their arms about and frantically drawing diagrams of VPNs, cloud-based storage, bank connections, online warehouse processing and so on.
I quickly look at my watch is it really that time? I haven’t had my lunch yet, my dinner will be somewhat dry and 100-plus emails have dropped in. And another day comes to an end tomorrow will have more thrills and excitement for sure. As I walk through the door at home I am greeted with a big smile and something smells really good. There’s the sound of football and young voices in the background Cameron has friends over. That’s nice but I hope they let me play on the Xbox too!
And maybe I can just get an hour in at the gym before it closes.
Job title: Sales director, Tokheim UK
Career history: Joined PM Forecourt Services as a service engineer in 1988 and subsequently Tokheim in 1992, initially as an electronics engineer before moving through various technical roles. Moved across to sales in 2003
Greatest achievement: Marrying the most wonderful woman in the world, and having a son who can shock me, anger me, excite me, frustrate me, and make me so proud, all in the space of about seven minutes
Tips for business success: Work and play hard, listen hard and ask questions.
Most likely to say: Yes, that won’t be a problem. Fantastic! I’ll give that a try. That’s really interesting.
Least likely to say: No, I’m not doing that!