It was another fantastic day at our Midland Regional Heat at the Hyatt Hotel in Birmingham.
We had a superb talk from the very inspirational Dale Murray.
A New Zealander by birth, Dale Murray started her career at PwC as a teenager. She went on to co-found Omega Logic, a British mobile pioneer launching pre-pay mobile top-ups for networks including Orange and Vodafone. She eventually sold the company to Eposs and then FirstData Corporation, staying on as CEO and building turnover to £450m in just six years.
Dale now focuses on angel investing in, and advising start-up and early-stage businesses. She enjoyed early success in her angel career, becoming a non-executive director at cosmetic company Pout, which was subsequently sold for £15 million. She now focuses on technology and digital businesses.
She is a non-executive director at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Sussex Place Ventures, a trustee of the Peter Jones Foundation and a board adviser of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. She has been named British Angel Investor of the Year, and by Debrett's as one of the 500 most influential people in Britain. She is also a mum of 3 young boys.
Dale's talk was funny, inspirational and full of anecdotes about the characters she met along the way.
Here are a few of our takeaway from the event:
1. Are the rewards worth it?
Running your own business is tough and you need to be sure that the rewards justify the sacrifices that you are about to make. Once you’ve decided that it is worth it, then you absolutely need to give it your all. You also need to be comfortable with the possibility of failure. Ask yourself, if it all goes horribly wrong can you cope emotionally and mentally?
2. Don’t quit!
Dale was expected to quit when the going got really tough and she found herself struggling to make payroll as well as fighting to retain control of her company from manipulative investors - but she defied all expectations and kept going. Success is determined by the challenges you manage to overcome. Sometimes your best option is not to quit, especially when everyone expects you too.
3. Act with integrity
Business is full of some dodgy characters and Dale came across a few whilst building Omega Logic. The lesson she learnt was to always remember that the deal is not done until you have signed on the dotted line. People who treat you badly before you sign on the dotted line will be worse once you’ve signed up.
4. Take action
Starting and growing a business is all about taking initiative and making the first move. Nothing happens until you take action.
“Enterprise and entrepreneurship require action so you have to be prepared make the first move to get things done” – Dale Murray.
5. Believe in yourself
At the end of her talk, Dale posed the question: Would she do it all again over again if she had another opportunity to? "Yes" she said she would - because now she knows that she would not fail!
Don’t pass up on a chance to hear her speak if you ever get the opportunity - she was inspirational, witty and full of common sense!
Please leave a comment and share this article if you found it useful and do join us for at our next regional finals on the 14th October in Newcastle with Dr Christine Bailey, and on the 21 October in Manchester when Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green and Blacks, share her journey.