The 15-point Skinny
Andy Parker, founder, owner, business development
What’s your job?
I have a “portfolio career” which mainly involves running Parker Marketing, but which also has me with my sleeves rolled up taking care of holiday cottages, giving lectures and talks, mentoring other business owners, working with two different charities, and most importantly of all being a Dad.
How did you get started?
I stumbled through school, college and university with little more than the desire to be the best I could at whatever happened to be in front of me, even though I didn’t know if what was in front of me was what I really wanted. I got a graduate traineeship with a large FMCG company and followed a traditional career with a number of blue-chip companies before my low boredom threshold got the better of me and I set up on my own in 2003.
What’s been the lowest point?
A serious injury kept me off work and unable to drive for a time. A real blow, for an (uninsured) self-employed person. On the plus side, it awakened in me the realisation of how tough it was for people in society who are hit with similar bad luck but unable to recover in the way I did.
What do you consider your finest achievement?
Professionally speaking, I was elected Chair of CIM Dorset unopposed.
If you could change something in your past, what would it be?
I would have set up on my own earlier.
What do you most wish for yourself?
To continue to learn, grow and make a positive difference (really)
What’s your most treasured memory?
Easy. Driving a van with my two young children and ALL their things after finally getting custody following a difficult divorce. Yes, it was bitter-sweet but a wonderful feeling compared to the alternative.
What makes you happy?
Decency in people.
What most concerns you about the world today?
The concentration of wealth, political power and privilege in relatively few hands.
For what are you most grateful and why?
Now I’m going to cop out and say there are too many, and they are too important for me to nominate just one.
Who would you invite to be on your ultimate virtual board table?
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Peter Drucker, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Sir Alf Ramsey. (Sadly, they’re all dead).
What song or music inspires you most?
Anything that moves the feet, and moves the heart. I LOVE all types of music – pretty much every genre has some great exponents.
What three books would you put in a time capsule for readers from the future?
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (surely the best final pages of any novel ever written)
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (can’t be read without a tear coming to the eye)
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (just because)
What do you do to wind down?
Walking on Dartmoor, with a decent pub at journeys-end.
If you could only pass one lesson on to anyone in business, what would it be?
Doing the right thing is way more important that doing things right.
Tracey O’Connell brings together business problem-solving and contract law, having transitioned her own career from one to the other. She has worked in both leading UK law practice and as an in-house legal expert. She now puts that deep knowledge to work as owner of LawPoint, who specialise in offering business contracts that are simple and affordable.
Tracey contributed to The Collaboration Game with the chapter ‘A Word on Contracts’.