What do you currently do?
I am the director of a unique Team Building and Visual Impairment Awareness training events company, Team Insight. We use the Paralympic blind team sport of Goalball, as well as other blindfolded activities, to encourage people to work together out of their comfort zones. It is an exciting and unforgettable experience, delivered by Paralympians, that strengthens working relationships, develops communication skills, improves team work and creates a sense of trust amongst colleagues. By having our participants blindfolded, they experience what it is like to be visually impaired and gain a great understanding of how that effects people’s lives.
What is your inspiration in the business?
I have two inspirations that drive me in running Team Insight; firstly, I am hugely passionate about Goalball, I have trained and competed as a GB athlete in the sport for nearly 6 years, including competing at the London 2012 Paralympics, so have experienced first hand all that it has to offer. I look for any and every opportunity to share my passion and raise the profile of a sport that has given me so much. Secondly, I want to change perceptions of what it means to be visually impaired. Since the age of 5 I have suffered from a visual impairment and have experienced the lack of awareness from the general public, its assumed that you’re either completely blind or fully sighted, and if you are blind, you are expected to look a certain way. I am determined to educate employers to help change the fact that two-thirds of VI’s are unemployed.
Who do you admire?
Sounds cheesy to say it, but I really admire my mother, in 1999 she took over a very small house-sitting company, Minders Keepers, and in the space of one year quadrupled its turnover. Now it is one of the countries leading house-sitting organisations. She been hugely successful, all whilst raising four children and going through one of them loosing their sight.
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
Launching my own business has been a huge learning curve, I’d never done anything like this before, but looking back, I wouldn’t really change anything. This is probably because I’ve sought support and advice from anyone and everyone willing to give it, including from organisations like the Prince’s Trust, meaning that any gaps in my knowledge or experience have been filled through the support of others.
What defines your way of doing business?
My way of doing business is the same as the way in which I train and compete as an athlete, we work and work until we are the best, always moving forwards, never standing still, ensuring we can give the ultimate team building and visual impairment awareness training experience.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
I would encourage anyone starting out to take advantage of the people they have around them.
You can always make a great idea better and that only comes from bouncing ideas around with others. Also, getting holes poked through your idea is how you strengthen it and it’s far better to find small issues early, when you can easily solve them, then to leave it and later find you have huge problems.