To kick off our 10th Birthday celebrations we thought it would be great for you (our followers) to understand a little bit more about who the founders of our amazing little company are and what they have taken away from this amazing journey so far.
In this blog we’ve asked our Managing Director, Bryan Davis, 10 questions about what it’s been like for him at Green Labyrinth over the past 10 years…
GL: You must have learnt a lot along the way in the past 10 years at Green Labyrinth, what’s been the 1 thing that sticks in your memory as the biggest learning curve?
B: The biggest thing I’ve learned is not to listen to the nay sayers and doom merchants who want to talk you down. You can achieve anything if you believe in yourself. The company we’ve built is pretty fantastic and has achieved a lot in a relatively small space of time but there are still people who want to talk us down and seem to delight in any misfortune that comes our way – the big lesson for me has been to recognise just who these people are, and to then to get them out of my life – they aren’t really worth anything to me.
GL: There will have been lots of great stories from the past decade, especially in an environment with young adults, what’s been your favourite?
B: My favourite story? That’s a good one – I don’t think I have one to be honest. I have seen many people’s lives enhanced by Green Labyrinth, and I’ve seen some young people who have flourished and now hold down good careers – that’s really what it’s all about – improving opportunity.
GL: If you could go back 10 years, to the start and do anything differently, what would it be?
B: This company was started from my spare bedroom and has grown rapidly – but we did this “”organically”” from our own turnover. This has been really hard to manage because we’ve always been playing catch-up.If I could do anything differently it would be to have been to put more capital into the company earlier to accelerate the growth. That was a risk call at the time and 20:20 hindsight is great for those that have the luxury to indulge it. Bottom line is I’m looking forward not backward – there’s no point is wallowing in what could’ve been it’s what will be that interests me – and that is in my own hands.
GL: What is your one piece of advice to anyone setting up in business?
B: Make sure you have the capital to launch it and DON’T, under any circumstances, do “”loss leaders”” – if you work for free you devalue your business and ultimately will fail. Concentrate on getting real solid business – real clients or customers will be happy to pay for a valuable service.
Don’t do “”bad business”” and always over deliver – remember though that the customer isn’t always right, but they are the one’s paying you.
GL: What would you say has been the biggest change in Education in the past 10 years?
B: I’m going to be controversial here. I honestly believe the biggest change in post 16 education has been the move away from really poor qualifications like NVQ’s under “Train to Gain”, Apprenticeship Frameworks and the QCF Vocational quals. These haven’t really done anyone any favours – particularly the learners. The recent moves toward Competency” based qualifications have really moved the sector on – but have also exposed some very poor practice and standards.
GL: If you could work with any other Business Person (famous or not) who would that be and why?
B: Hmmm that’s a good one. I’ve never really looked at other business people and thought “”Yeah that person is really outstanding and I want to be part of that.”
Don’t get me wrong I admire innovators like Elon Musk and Richard Dyson, and I like strong leadership like Nelson, Churchill and, believe it or not, Boris Johnson – these people are really worth listening to – but I wouldn’t want to work with them – I like doing it my own way too much.
The person I admire most at the moment is Dominic Cummings – he is a stunning strategist – wouldn’t want to work with him though
GL: Why should organisations consider apprenticeships?
B: Any organisation that is serious about “talent” and staying in business in the long term. We’ve had some brilliant apprentices at Green Labyrinth (we’ve had some “not so good” as well), but frankly any business that wants to thrive should be looking at the apprenticeship scheme
GL: What is your one piece of advice for Apprentices?
B: That’s a pretty simple one – Work hard – listen – and understand that you are employed to add value to a business.
You are not at school anymore and employers are not your parents, they expect you to do your job well and with enthusiasm – so you really need to impress the hell out of your boss.
GL: Just for fun – what did you want to do as a career at 10 years old?
B: I come from 4 generations of Police Officers. When I was 10 all I really knew was that I didn’t want to join the Police – never ever under any circumstances. I wanted to go to University – that was my total focus. I wanted to be an Engineer or a Scientist or something that was really exciting, although I didn’t really know what.
I ended up doing Laser Physics at Uni and was part of the “”Star Wars”” programme in the mid 1980’s. I was very outward bound as a teenager and toyed with the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment but stayed focused on Uni – although I did end up joining the TA which was super fun and I got to “”live the dream”” and play with really big toys
The last thing I wanted to do was to be a Royal Naval Submariner – that’s the thing I ended up doing after I left Uni. So, the moral is – don’t close of any options just focus on opening as many doors for yourself as possible, set yourself goals and then go hell for leather to achieve them.
GL: Last Question, where would you want to be in 10 years’ time?
B: In 10 years’ time? I want to be able to look back without any regrets, having achieved everything I set out to do. However, being on a motorcycle in South America would be a serious bonus.
Well, there you have it, 10 questions for 10 years! Make sure you keep an eye out over the next few weeks for more upcoming blogs and events to help us celebrate this monumental year!
Remember, if you do have a bit of extra time during this lockdown, then why not head over to our online course directory and see if any of our sound like something you would like to upskill on. They’re all 100% available to complete online, so what’re you waiting for!