Why I started my own Company
By Alan Davis
I recognized from an early age that I possessed leadership qualities, yet at the same time, I was never one to seek the limelight. I only stepped into the limelight when circumstances were such that it was merited.
I took a lead role in the high school opera; I had auditioned for the chorus but there was a shortage of soloists so I stepped right in – and loved every minute of it. I captained my college rugby team – only because I felt that if I didn’t, the team would fold. On a residential course, I organized the closing activities- only because if I hadn’t, the evening would have been a disaster.
This penchant for “Leadership when necessary “followed on into my career as a Project Manager in the construction industry. However, in this role leadership became a continuous requirement.
But I never thought of working for myself until, by chance, I happened to get in the recruiting business due to the lack of jobs in construction when I moved to Montréal in 1978. The owner of the engineering employment agency I was using convinced me that I would do better working for him and should shift careers.
Fortunately, I didn’t need much training (there was very little to be had), and was a quick learner. I soon became proficient, and generated significant revenues.
I switched employers and started realizing that if I am capable of generating this amount of business for my employers I can surely work for myself. I started the company, with my wife Diane, on February 14th 1983.
I had no idea at the start of the wonderful opportunities working for your-self opened up. At first, survival was the number one objective. But soon I was able to change the way things were done, to come up with better products and services, in line with actual needs identified by my clients. Working for myself empowered me to innovate and to gain the trust of all kinds of professionals, with whom a mutual respect was built and maintained over many years.
I flourished both personally and professionally as a business owner and, concurrently with Diane, raised four wonderful children. I came to realize what the expression “Mature, well rounded individual “meant, and became an expert in assessing it in others.
Although I never had a burning ambition to start my own business, once I had I never looked back. After a few short years I realized that I would never go back to the corporate world, and considered myself unemployable in it.
Working for yourself is not for everyone, and although I didn’t set out to start my own business, it was the best decision I ever made.
Since taking over the business after my retirement in 2008, Diane has been able to experience the same feelings of liberation as I did. I wish her, and my daughter Gillian, continued success.