It is a big year for Hireserve – it is our ‘Coming of Age Year’.  I find it hard to believe that it was 18 years ago I ‘had an idea’…

If I go back to August 1997 I was working in HR systems at Oracle. I was 34 years old with a young family and life was good, comfortable and secure – I was where I wanted to be in my early thirties.   And then, the grey matter started exploring thoughts and ideas about how I could create a piece of software that could do something meaningful and transform businesses processes that I felt could be improved.

Before I knew it, leaving behind the security of employment to go out on my own with my own software turned from an idea into a possibility, a plan and then reality. Once we talked it through, we knew we had to do this – to live life and try things. If things go wrong, we’d go to plan B (always have a plan B), but we had to see where this idea might lead.

So, looking back with that incredible illusionist called hindsight, what do I wish I had known?   

I wish I had known that we could do this and do this well. We began with nervous trepidation and I wish I had known what an amazing adventure we were starting. Looking at the blank canvas of running a business can be daunting. It’s been hours and hours of hard work, responsibility and commitment but it has opened opportunities that I could never have imagined.   

I wish I had known that employing people and being responsible for our team is not scary but an amazing opportunity to meet and work with great people who believe in what I am trying to do. Each year at our annual Christmas party I feel such pride as I look across the room at so many faces who have played an intrinsic part in helping me build this business – it’s fantastic to feel such pride in our work and, equally, such pride in the people who make Hireserve what it is today.

Hard work is good – and necessary – but there have been times when I would have liked to have worked less hard. At least with my own business I have had the privilege of working without detriment to my family. When I first started Hireserve my daughters were 5 and 7 years old, and for the first few years whilst working at home I was lucky enough to be around a lot. I was able to take them to and from school and spend precious hours with them. They grew up with Hireserve as part of our life, not just ‘daddy’s job’ and today my eldest daughter works in our team. That makes me proud as well as feel pretty old!

In the early days, Hireserve was very much my project whilst Karen, my wife, looked after our family and worked part-time in the business. I wish I had known then what future Hireserve would open up for her personally but also for us working together. We have been so lucky that we have grown this business together and work so well side by side – we both realise how fortunate we are that we can work so closely together after so many years. We complement one another, we have different strengths and we have utter trust in each other. I believe we are a dream team and I wish I had known all those years ago just what we are capable of and how our strengths have made this journey easier than I could have imagined.

So my advice to anyone thinking about exploring their own ‘idea’? Think it through inside out and back to front. Have a plan B waiting in the wings. And go for it – trying to achieve is so much more rewarding then never trying.

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About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.