I was fortunate to be born into a small business family, and experience how a business was run from an early age.

I learned a few valuable tips along the way, presented below. My parents set up an electronic component distribution company in the year before I was born, and it meant that I had the opportunity to witness the highs and lows of a small business first-hand.

On Wednesday I am going to share my career journey and lessons learned with 14 “scale up” businesses as part of a Teesside University initiative to help existing companies grow further and meet their full potential.

In my presentation I will be sharing some tips my father gave me while running the small business:

  1. Learn to read upside down. Less relevant in the digital age, but in a meeting whatever is in front of the person running the meeting is about you – just upside down.

  2. My father looked at recruitment ads to see which companies were growing and hence which companies might need his services. Today we would call this growth hacking, but it was just really smart.

  3. Job applicants responding to an ad were put in 3 piles (this was the 1970s). The “A” pile had typed their application, “B” pile was hand written and “C” pile had simple mistakes.

Guess who got the interview?