Harrison Woods is a Director and investor in http://www.yourparkingspace.co.uk/. He was previously a Director and owner of Primal Parking Limited which he sold on the day he graduated from Manchester University with a degree in geography. He established Primal Parking after an offer of investment on the BBC’s “Dragon’s Den” programme by Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis.
Here, Harrison talks with Alan Lewis, Partner in our Manchester office employment team.
Alan: “ What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?”
Harrison: “I never thought that I was an entrepreneur in my early days. I just found business exciting and I engaged in it. The term ‘entrepreneur ‘ was something I learned when I was already entrenched in business.”
Alan: “Do you have a favourite success quote and can you give an example of how you have been inspired by that mantra?”
Harrison: “ My favourite quote is by Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘Break the rules, not the law. It is impossible to be a true maverick or a true original if you are too well behaved and not wanting to break the rules.’ An example of how that has inspired me is the way I persist in getting through to CEOs when their PA simply won’t put me through. I know it may sound a bit odd, but I have even gone so far as stalking CEOs to coffee shops to meet them. I am now good friends with many of them.”
Alan: “Describe a failure you have had and what you learned from it.”
Harrison: “I believe that failures are our greatest success. I had a failure when I applied for a number of corporate positions at top four accountancy practices. I was rejected by all of them. It is probably the best decision that was made for me, because it has driven me to make myself a success. We even work with some of those practices now.
Alan: “ Do you have a favourite internet resource, like an Evernote?”
Harrison: “Yes, I like Podio a lot. It is a CRM management software and you can create your own apps on it.”
Alan:”Describe a time when you had a light bulb or ‘aha’ moment.”
Harrison: “When I was 12 years old I was selling golf products. I was undercutting the golf pro shop on every golf product they sold. I did this just by buying from an online site that everyone could use. The golf pro asked me to stop. He ended up paying me for information about where I was getting my supplies. I learned a lot from that. I realised that nothing has to be unique to be successful. You just need to find a different and better way to supply it.”
Alan: “What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?”
Harrison: “Don’t follow the crowds. The CEO of Cammell Laird, John Syvret told me that when I was in a difficult patch after following the wrong people and acquiring bad habits. He told me to stick with what I believe in and be relentless.
Alan: “What is the next big thing for you?”
Harrison: “Delivering on all the hard work I have done for several years to produce a value added service for the UK. I just happen to have found myself in the parking industry. I want to create a win-win situation.”
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