In this week’s episode, I’m joined by Stuart Pigram of The Trust Insurance Group.

For complete transparency, I do have my own business insurance with Trust, and I was keen to invite Stuart on the show to talk about whether insurance is yet another paperwork exercise when setting up, or whether it can bring peace of mind to policy holders.

I think you’re going to enjoy Stuart doing his best to convince us that insurance isn’t dull, and therefore he’s not dull by association – because he’s really not!

In our conversation, we talk about the perceived risks with running a business, the downsides of both over- and under-insurance, and the changes he’s made within his business so that he can offer better flexible working opportunities to his team.

All of Stuart’s details are in the show notes, so please do connect with him if you’d like to learn more about what we’re talking about today.

More Stuart-tastic info:

Stuart Pigram is Managing Director of the Trust Insurance Group. With over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry he takes pride in advising clients throughout the UK on how they can minimise risk and protect their business. In his spare time Stuart is a keen runner and cyclist.

https://www.thetrustgroup.co.uk/

 

Show Notes:

Victoria

Today I am joined by Stuart Pigram from Trust Insurance Group. Stuart, it is lovely to see you today.

 

Stuart

Morning. How are you?

 

Victoria

I’m very well, thank you. And thank you for joining me today. So we’ve had a little chat off-air already and one of the things we would like to talk about today is, who are you? And what do you do?

 

Stuart

Well, Victoria, thank you. And thank you for the opportunity of having this conversation with you this morning. My name is Stuart Pigram, and I am the Director of the Trust Insurance Group. We are an independent firm of commercial Insurance Brokers.

It sounds really dull, doesn’t it? And I can assure you that, well, hopefully I’m not dull and hopefully what we do isn’t dull. But an Insurance Broker, as I see it, works in very many areas of business, a real diverse range of businesses and is concentrating on the risks that are associated with that business. And how we, as an insurance expert, can help those businesses manage those risks and make sure that they are being protected sufficiently for their requirements. I think, traditionally, perhaps you would say an Insurance Broker goes and finds me my cheapest car quote, or goes and finds the cheapest insurance quote for my house or my dog or my business.

The internet obviously now controls a large amount of what we do, and that has then led to our business having to change, to take into account the internet provision around insurance. We’ve all heard the adverts, whether they’re for little red telephones jumping around or Italian opera singers or meerkats, they are very good at setting an algorithm, inserting a load of information about you, about your risk or about your business, and then electronically sourcing insurance quotes. For the likes of cars and houses and pets and travel that works perfectly well.

And so how our business has changed over the last 5 or 10 years is that we previously set ourselves in that space of being a broker who ran around the market to try and find the cheapest quote, and 10 or 15 years ago, that’s what we were doing. And that’s what we spent our time doing. Now, systems and computers and mechanics and algorithms work that all out. We have changed our business model to enable us to evolve with business. So what an Insurance Broker did 10 or 15 years ago is perhaps very different to what an Insurance Broker does or should do now.

So the way that we work is that we will take our time and talk to our potential clients to truly understand their business, to truly understand what they do, how they do it. Do they supply a product? Where does that product come from? Where is it going? What’s it being used in? Are they providing advice? Are they providing services? Whatever it may well be within whatever area of business from a professional consultant through to a leisure venue, a hotel and nightclub, a factory and a machinery workshop.

Any type of business UK based, PLC, size really doesn’t matter. Because the fundamental point is that every one of those businesses, whether they turn over a pound or 100 million have similar risks. And those risks may widen as the area or the business grows, or those risks may actually get smaller as the business grows, because the business itself is managing those risks more comprehensively.

So by understanding the profile of our business, by understanding the attitude of the owner, all the shareholders or the directors. And their attitude towards risk, whether there are people that are very, very happy to take risk or more risk averse, and how an insurance programme can align with the attitude of that buyer.

 

Victoria

So are you saying that through those conversations that you have with the potential clients, you’re offering a different level of service that you can get with the online price comparison sites for instance.

 

Stuart

The point is that if you are running a business, whether you are a consultant, whether you’re a florist, whether you’re a second hand car dealer, one would hope that you’re very good at what you do. So, that is your skill set. And what we bring to that table, hopefully, is by saying, “Okay, Mr. Gardener, Mr. Car Dealer, Mrs. Consultant, whatever you are, talk to me about you. Let me understand you, your business and your risks because you’re not an expert at understanding your risks. You’re not an expert at knowing what your insurance exposure is. So how can you fill boxes in online and categorically know that you are protected? If you don’t know what you’re trying to protect yourself against?” That’s key from a business point of view. Whether it be from managing risks or whether it be from setting or growing the business. Before you do anything, you got to work out what you are, and therefore where your risks are.

 

Victoria

I think that’s a really valid point to be honest with you, because I know when I’ve looked at price comparison sites before, I don’t even understand what some of the questions mean, and what the knock-on implication is of getting something slightly wrong. And whether that leads to an under insurance or an over insurance. I genuinely don’t know. So it sounds like you bring a lot of value to your clients by having that conversation and really getting to understand what their business is and what the risks are as well.

 

Stuart

The majority of the first conversations that I will have with a prospective client or with a business that we’re assisting in any way is I would not open the conversation talking about insurance. I would open the conversation talking about you, talking about your business. And a lot of people have put it across to us, or put across to me that perhaps we’re almost acting as a translator in that, as you say, you don’t know how to answer which questions and the implications of how you answer those questions. So if you bare your soul to me and say, “Okay, so this is what we do, this is how we do it and this is where we do it”, then I can translate your comments into insurance questions, to satisfy underwriters to make sure that risks are being protected properly. And ultimately, perhaps all of this sounds expensive, all of this perhaps, from a new start-up or from a small business perspective may well be listening to this and thinking “Well, that sounds all very expensive, it all sounds out of our league or out of our costs”.

But as I mentioned earlier on, whether it’s a one-man, two-man, three-man, four-man band or a multinational, every business and every business person has business risks. And whether you consider that insurance purchase as simply buying a piece of paper, or buying a certificate to satisfy the requirement of a landlord or of an exhibition. We get a number of people coming to us saying “We’ve never bought insurance before, but we’re exhibiting our products at the NEC and I need some public liability insurance”. Well, so why are you buying? Are you buying it because you want to protect yourself? Or are you buying it because you need to satisfy a piece of paper? And may I say that yes, if you are buying an insurance policy to satisfy a piece of paper, buy it as cheaply as possible online. Because if you don’t perceive a risk, and you don’t perceive there to be an exposure to yourself personally or to your business, financially, from the implications of what you do, and you need to satisfy a piece of paper, that’s absolutely fine.

And the internet is very good at supplying those pieces of paper because you can get them very cheaply and by answering a few questions. I would suggest value your business, value your clients, value your staff, and value yourself personally, then you would be better served, seeking the advice of an Insurance Broker.

 

Victoria

In your mind, if you’re saying that every business and every business person has an element of risk, is there ever going to be a situation in your mind where you wouldn’t need an insurance policy?

 

Stuart

I have conversations with people and they talk to me about what they do, they talk to me about who they are, where they do it, etc. And obviously because of what I do, I will ultimately put a proposal together to cover risks or from an insurance point of view.

If you are an individual, trading as business or a sole trading limited company, and you have no external shareholding or no external ownership to worry about, you have no staff, you have no clients and you have nowhere that you work out of then you don’t need any insurance.

Ultimately, if you are a consultant, travelling around to businesses, or having conference calls or making telephone calls, working from home, your exposure is tiny. So you could say to me, “What could happen?”. Well, you could cause injury or accident to somebody that you were visiting, you could cause injury or accident or damage to somebody’s premises that you’re working on. And you say, “Well, I only walk in with a laptop and sit down at a chair and drink a cup of coffee”. And so your risks are tiny.

You have no staff. So you do not have any people that are responsible to you for their well-being. Then in that scenario, I would very happily have a considered conversation with somebody and say, “Your risks are tiny, you may not require the financial security of an insurance policy”. However, because of the simplicity of that type of insurance policy, you may well consider the cost of it. Which perhaps could be less than £10/£20 a month, to be a worthwhile comfort blanket or be a worthwhile cover all to say, “You know what? This is me. This is my business, this is my name”. And if anything were to go wrong, I would want you to be protected properly.

So, again, this all goes back to why am I buying an insurance policy? Am I buying an insurance policy because I want to portray myself as a professional, considered organisation when going to see clients or when trying to sell myself. And you see quite often on gardening vans or maintenance vehicles that are fully insured and perhaps that’s done to give their customers some comfort that when you’re coming to work on my premises, if something goes wrong, you’re insured.

Obviously, whatever size of business cost is an issue. And we all try and maintain our costs and we all try and make sure they’re as low as is right, and there is no way around it. Insurance is a bottom line cost, it is not recoverable, there is no VAT charged on the majority of types of insurance. So, VAT registered businesses can’t recover 20% of the cost. It is a bottom line cost. The only areas of insurance which are a legal requirement are employers’ liability in the event of you employing an individual outside of your direct family and third party motor insurance. So, if you are a business that employs a person and drives around in a car or van, you require two types of insurance. That is it.

When you then look at considering your wider risks and the financial exposure to the business and/or the risk in the event of something happening, then you may consider widening that and incorporating some public liability or incorporating some cover for some office content or for some contents that you travel around with. Or in the event of a professional services business or consultant, a professional indemnity insurance, which covers the financial exposure of any advice that you may be giving as part of your business. All of those are a part of a package which we as a broker would put together. And one of the things that we do at Trust is make sure that our clients know what they’re buying. And our clients are hopefully receiving full value for what they’re buying. So when we put a quotation together, we make sure that business or that individual knows in almost a kind of menu of services, which options are available, which ones are strongly advised which ones are questionable.

I’ve recently been working with a new tech company, and did exactly the same thing with them. So we did it over Skype, and we had conversations, again about their business and about their exposure. They were two young guys that are both very tech savvy, they walk around with a mobile phone and a laptop under their arm and pretty much work wherever they can work. So their initial point to me was still that we don’t have any risks.

The laptops, mine, personally, it’s covered under my house insurance. And we may go and work in a coffee shop or we may hire an office space for an hour.

By the end of the conversation, they were more aware of their exposure as a business. They were a company with two individuals, so they effectively are both employees of their limited company. They have an exposure as they supply a product and they equally have a financial exposure as Directors, they have advice exposures, etc.

So I created for them a menu of services, a menu of products, and we collectively agreed on which products were right for them. And that also is something that’s very important to me within Trust, is that hopefully we sit on the same side of the table as our clients in that we become part of their business. We are aware of their business risks and therefore manage them and protect them with a client. We’re not here from behind a folder to sell policies, we’re here to open that out and say, “Look, if you want to protect this it’s going to cost you £100, £1,000, £10,000, £100,000”. Whatever it may well be depending on the risk. I can’t control that pricing, that pricing is set by the insurance company. So whether you are buying a product online or through a broker, the price is set by the insurance company. The dynamic of that price is made up from the information that you’re telling that insurance company. So going back to you becoming a bedroom insurance expert or an office insurance expert, then how can you fill in that information, knowing what you are telling the insurance is relevant to your risk?

 

Victoria

For complete transparency, I do have my insurance policy with Stuart at Trust Insurance Group. And I think one of the things that was really refreshing to me, because I am particularly risk averse, was if I was spending online, I’d be like, “Oh, yeah, I probably do need that as well. Yeah, I definitely need that and that”. And I ended up ticking all these boxes. Yet, when you and I had a conversation, it pretty much worked out cheaper to go with you anyway. Because you’re saying, “Well, actually you could get that but it’s not really a good use of your money, you’ll be better off doing this”, or “You’re over insured on that, why don’t we bring that figure down, and therefore the insurance premium comes down”.

So just by having that conversation with you, I was instantly able to:

1. Gain peace of mind from knowing that I do have an appropriate level of insurance

2. Bring my insurance premiums down as well and almost feel like I don’t have to worry about it anymore

It’s never going to be that niggle in the back of my mind, because I have the comfort of knowing that you’ve had your eyes on it. And you’ve given me that reassurance.

 

Stuart

We’ve had many conversations with many people that have simply asked the question, in terms of, what do I need? And I guess it’s like anything isn’t it? We all pretend we’re experts at lots of different things, whether it’s our health, whether it’s our money, whether it’s our business. And actually, do you know what? There is no harm in asking a second opinion. There is no harm in asking somebody to review what we’re doing. But the Trust Insurance Group, for all businesses, we offer a free risk review. The risk review is carried out either at a client’s premises, if it is relevant from a machinery or a manufacturing or an engineering type point of view or from a visitor attraction. Or simply over the telephone or over video link with perhaps your consultant business. And that should take no more than an hour of time, in which I’m very happy to sit with any of your listeners and any of your contacts that would benefit from that review. 

The only stipulation that we put on doing that is that I’m not here to be an opera singer or to be a meerkat. I’m not here to churn your existing insurance policy around the marketplace. I’m here to actually open that up and say, “Is it right?” Because equally I’m not going to place an insurance policy for somebody that I can’t myself look that person in the face and say, in your case, “Yes Victoria, this is the right cover for you”. I think one of the things that we mentioned earlier, you were talking about the value or the exposure of under insurance or the value or the exposure of over insurance. And I guess like anything it needs to sit in a middle ground and like anything it needs to be just right. And why we do what we do, the way we do it, is that it enables us to sit with our clients, with our customers, and understand what we are collectively buying is right.

So if the proverbial hits the fan, and something’s gone wrong, whether its financial, whether it’s physical, my clients have suffered some pretty serious claims over the years. And it is rather sobering. It is rather important when you are standing outside, the literal outside, the burning building. And knowing that what we ourselves and the client have put together as a programme is sufficient to ensure they can continue in business. If I were turning around and saying, “Give me a look at your insurance costs, and I’ll save you 10%”, then how can I know that what we are protecting is correct? So there is a reason why we do what we do. It is a consultative approach, I guess, if you like towards insurance, hopefully it’s slightly different to particularly the comparison site approach in that, I ask you to talk to me about your business. I will do the translation, I will do the insurance bit and then come back to you and tell you how we can consider managing your risks.

 

Victoria

So it’s almost like the business owner is talking about what they know best, what they know best about their business, and it’s going over to you for that translation piece.

 

Stuart

And I’m sure you know, with people that you work with that actually, you know what, once you get people in the right frame of mind, they’re quite happy to talk about themselves.

 

Victoria

Everyone’s favourite subject, right?

 

Stuart 

Absolutely. Everyone’s an expert.

 

Victoria

Talk to me about your team, because you mentioned that you have slowly transitioned to slightly more remote team focus. So what was it like before? And what’s it like now?

 

Stuart

I think again, Trust Insurance Group has been in existence for 15 years. We are privately owned. And we’re vividly independent. And I think one of the really important things for me, and for us, is to be able to, as I say, sit in front of a client, look them in the eye and say, “Yeah, this is the right thing for you”. And by ensuring our continued independence, I can make sure we do that.

The business however, as I’ve said, in terms of our clients, has changed. And the underlying ethic that we have running through the business is that we challenge everything and everything that we do. We have weekly meetings within the office in which it involves every member of staff at all levels. And there is nothing that’s not on the table. There is nothing that’s not to be talked about. That’s really refreshing. And I think, from a communication point of view, aligned with a Trust point of view, by bringing all of your staff into decisions, into understanding. When I say all of our staff, there are five and a half of us and the half is a part timer. And so we will sit down and whether it’s five minutes, whether it’s half an hour or whether it’s three hours, and we will discuss everything and anything that anybody wants to talk about.

So over the last 12 or 18 months, the challenges have continued to come. We have gone from being a business which services a wide range of insurance products, I mentioned cars, houses, pets and focused in on where we can add value. Focused in on business insurance, on commercial insurance for companies. And part of doing that is that like I’ve said, the internet has a lot to do with how the business world has changed. So we have had to invest in technology and we have invested in a new computer system, which by the middle of December, our entire business will be electronic, our entire business will therefore be portable. And from a GDPR point of view, from a protection point of view, our entire business will be secure. Where we were then, we had banks of filing cabinets in this office where we had old files, new files, existing laptops, etc. Everything now is electronic.

We are trying to demonstrate to our clients how portable we are by making sure that everybody that has contact with a client has a company mobile phone which their number is passed on to the clients that they deal with. And I’m not I’m not suggesting people working 24 hours a day, but I found it in conversations that I have with clients. With the greatest respect, people don’t want to talk to receptionists, some people don’t want to talk to secretaries, people want to talk to the people they want to talk to. So the best way of doing that is by getting mobile phones and direct hotlines and all the rest of it.

 

Victoria

I think that brings up another challenge in terms of boundaries. So how do you set those boundaries with your clients who do want to speak with you directly, but potentially you need to be on call quite a lot, I imagine, as well in case there is an emergency. How do you set that expectation?

 

Stuart

You’re absolutely right. But I think some of the words that we mentioned earlier on with regard to a team and trust is very much how we work with our clients, enable our clients to manage their expectations of us. And I think that perhaps, we could all have been guilty over the last three, five years of getting an email and having to reply to it immediately and getting a phone call and having to answer it or now getting a text or a WhatsApp message of any sort. And the joy of the blue tick, in terms of, “You’ve read it, why haven’t you replied?”. And I think as soon as you start almost stepping back and saying, “My working hours are this” or “I will review my emails these times” or “I will answer phones during these times” and maybe not having to structure it. But by practising what you preach, then I think your colleagues, your clients, your acquaintances of all sorts will understand how you work. I personally do exactly that to the point that I will make sure that every single piece of correspondence that comes into the business by telephone or by email is responded to within a reasonable time. And how do you gauge reasonable time? Well, if it’s somebody asking a question about your photocopier, then that will be replied to within a suitable time. If it’s somebody saying, “I have a client of yours and my buildings on fire” then again, that’s dealt with differently.

 

Victoria

Hopefully they would have rang you rather than sending an email.

 

Stuart

It’s an education thing. I’ve mentioned we recently acquired a large client, a large PLC, which we’re looking after. For the last six months, me and a couple of the guys here have almost been re-educating that business into how we work. When we started working with them, I’m not kidding you, we got four, five, six emails a day asking questions. They were all valid questions, but they didn’t need an immediate answer. We now have a mechanism with that business where we have a weekly catch up or a bi-weekly catch up, we have quarterly meetings, and things are managed in a certain way where we can begin to control the flow of communication that’s coming in.

 

Victoria

What you’ve done there as well is you have understood what their communication preferences are, recognised them, met them to a certain degree, but then gently move them in a direction that suits you more as a business model.

 

Stuart

But ultimately, it gives them what they need. And it goes back to what I’m saying earlier on about previously. Perhaps they didn’t know what they needed. So their default mechanism was: anything with the word “insurance” in it, throw it to the broker and ask for an immediate answer, because then it’s off my desk and it’s sorted. So they don’t know, nine times out of 10, they didn’t know the questions they were asking, and therefore the importance of those questions.

So by working that way, it enables me to police how our clients are using our services, but it also enables us to be extremely open and extremely flexible with our staff, with the people that work with us. Nobody works for me, everyone works with me.

 

Victoria

Very good. I like that terminology.

 

Stuart

And I can’t do what I do without them and they can’t do without me.

 

Victoria

The truth comes out, Stuart.

 

Stuart

So, for example, people have doctors’ appointments, people have kids at dentists, people have dogs that aren’t very well. And when you are working regionally and if you’ve got a 10/15/20/30 mile drive to the office, should you have to take a day in today’s technological world, should you have to take a day off? Because you got a dentist appointment? It’s bananas. So, by having that flexibility, where people have got access to a system through the investment in the technology, people got access to their telecommunications, to their mobile phone when they need it. And also access to people within the office by email or by voice conversation or by video. Then why spend an hour in the car to drive somewhere for two hours to then go back to the dentist? Why waste today’s holiday?

I have people here that have young children, that are working in school friendly hours. And equally, whether it is people having their holiday, I think it’s a common adage, isn’t it? But if you give, you get back, and I know that everybody within this business would have no issue in saying to me, “Stuart, I’ve got this happening on Tuesday. I’m going to work from home on Tuesday”. And like a lot of things, I think if communication is there, and everyone knows what’s going on and going back to our weekly meetings and getting back to our communication throughout the business. If everybody knows what’s going on, then it’s fine.

 

Victoria

See what you did there.

 

Stuart

If you can create that trust within your colleagues, within your staff, then you’ll get it back. And I know I can assure you I’ve been there, seen it, done it in terms of tricky members of staff and people are your biggest issue. It is difficult, there is no way around it. But I think if if you have that attitude within your business where people know what’s going on, there’s a line of communication and there is an element of flexibility, then everybody in that business will get a better flow and whether that’s from satisfaction from the work you do or ultimately the work that you provide for your employer.

Victoria

I think it comes back to just having that foundation of trust with your team members. So you’re keeping the communication lines open. You’ve got this open door policy going on, and you’ve got this Law of Reciprocity going on. Whereas you’re doing work for me, but I’ll also give you this little bit of leeway if you need the dentist as well. So I think that’s all great.

You mentioned about moving to this electronic system, and all of that will be up and running in mid-December. So how will that affect how you work as a team?

 

Stuart

Basically we are also in the process of relocating our premises and moving to smaller premises. And I think again, that’s come from challenging what we do and looking at how perhaps other businesses are working in a similar sector, and I spent a fair bit of time in Birmingham with insurance companies. And a lot of their sub offices have got London headquarters, but they’re sub offices. I walk in and I see very much smaller desks and no pictures of children around because everyone’s working in pods. And almost by taking a bit of that flexibility, and by again, investing in a system, in kit, so the people that are our colleagues, our staff have the right technology to do their business. They have the ability to access through a VPN, which I can now sound like I know what I’m talking about. So they can VPN into the office and then enable them to access our client records, make changes, make transactions from wherever they are in a secure environment.

So I think that by instilling that trust and that flexibility within a working process, aligning that with the right technology, and ultimately the right people, then I think the majority of businesses in a consultative space can become much more fluid and less reliant on their premises. And, again, I’m an Insurance Broker, I’m a risk expert. So I look at the risks of this business. And 6/12/18 months ago, if this building had burnt down, we would have had an issue, we would have had a paper issue. Touch wood that it doesn’t happen in the next six weeks! By December, we won’t have an issue. And it enables us to therefore be a little bit more resilient ourselves a little bit more protective ourselves for our business moving forward. I guess it’s like a lot of things you’ve said yourself that you got to practice what you preach and whether it’s within the organisation with business process with what you’re continually telling your clients, then you got to start doing some of it yourself.

I talk about that we don’t do car insurance, we don’t do house insurance. Well, about nine months ago, I owned an insurance broking business and I insured my car with Marks and Spencer’s. How can I possibly advise my clients that the best place for them to ensure their car is with me? And that transparency runs throughout the business, from our staff, from our colleagues, to our clients and suppliers.

 

Victoria

Do you wish in hindsight you’d niche down just the business and commercial insurance ages ago?

 

Stuart

As I say, the markets moved. And I think that perhaps the attitude of people who have moved in that 10 or 15 years ago, your insurance broker was like your solicitor, like your accountant. They knew everything and did everything for you and they then did the same thing for your children or they did things for your other acquaintances.

 

Victoria

I thought it was just my parents who had people like that.

 

Stuart

I remember working in a business in West London, and the guy that ran it prior to me taking it on, he was godfather for about 15 of his clients’ children, it was just the relationships that they had were really strong. And I think that changes, obviously, with the invention of the Internet. When I now talk to my clients, and I say to them, “We can insure your business, but we’re no good at insuring your car”. I think 10/15 years ago, people would have thought, “That’s a risk”. That’s exposing you, because another broker is going to talk to that client, and then they’re going to say, “We’ll insure your car. And whilst we’re doing that we can do your house. And hey, while we’re doing that we can do business”. But I think so much goes back to communication, by explaining to your clients that this is what we do. And the best thing that I can do for my clients, for your listeners, is that if everybody knows what’s going on, then it’s actually quite a simple process.

So do I wish that we changed earlier? Well, no. I think that there were other factors that enabled us to require to have those other accesses in the previous years, I think that by doing it now makes us a stronger business. Whether you’re looking at growing your business or whether you’re looking at protecting it, if the first thing you can do is understand what it is, then you can look at developing it or protecting it. And by me understanding what we do, it enables us to have these kind of conversations. Years ago people would walk into a room, whether it’s in a networking environment and once you’ve got insurance on your badge, people walk the other way because they think, “Oh my god he’s going to try and sell me a car policy” or “He’s probably got a good deal on travel insurance this month”. We are not insurance salespeople. We are insurance buyers on behalf of our clients.

 

Victoria

And nice people along the way as well.

Last question. If you weren’t doing all things insurance, and aside from potentially opening yourself up to being godfather to 15 children, what would you be doing?

 

Stuart

That’s one of those great questions and do you cliché it by saying, “I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere, I’d be climbing a mountain”. But years ago when I decided to work in insurance, like a lot of things it came by chance. I left school and I started a job in an insurance broking business and isn’t that everybody’s dream? But one of my issues is I’m not very good at sitting still. I’m not very good at being in the same place for any length of time. So somebody said to me, “Well, being an Insurance Broker, that’s tough because you’ve got an office job”. I haven’t, I’ve got a job. The best use of my time is me being out meeting people and me being out seeing people and looking at their businesses and understanding what they’re doing. So I consider myself extremely lucky in that I do sincerely love what I do. And do I enjoy moving bits of paper or making transactions on a system? No, I don’t. But fortunately, I don’t need to do that. And half the people here would trust me to do it. So it’s great.

But I don’t think I’d want to do anything else. If you said to me, “Go and take six months off and sit on a beach”, I think I probably last six days and then be bored out of my mind. And so by being mobile, by being portable, by being remote, then, yes, I’d love to travel the world. And I could travel the world and still do what I do as a day job. So, as a rather long answer to your simple question, what I would actually do is I would probably do exactly what I’m doing from lots of different places.

 

Victoria

So the next question is, will you do that? How are you going to make that happen?

 

Stuart 

Some of us are reaching larger or bigger number age milestones.

 

Victoria 

I don’t know, I’ve got a big milestone next year.

 

Stuart

Although it might start with the same letter, it’s a very different time. And the R word comes up in various conversations as far as retirement is concerned. I look at it quite seriously that I am approaching 50. But I am not even halfway through my working life. Because a lot of my clients I’ve looked after and worked with for a number of years. So why would I want to stop? Why would I want to stop talking to my friends? Why would I want to stop going to see my mate? Why would I want to stop doing that? Just because I’m 60 or 65, or whatever it may well be, and I should retire.

So will I make that happen? Yes, absolutely. I’ll make that happen. And it will enable me to continue what I do, and continue to enjoy what I do from various places. And who knew that 10 years ago, we’d be sitting talking to each other in front of a screen? And so where are we going to be in 10 years’ time as far as tech and portability is concerned? So if I do everything I can do and sneak off into America and in various parts of the world that work with computers can continue doing what they do, then I’m sure it’ll happen.

 

Victoria

Stuart, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much.

 

Stuart 

Thank you very much.

 

 

Series One of the Remote Working Podcast

So over the next few episodes, I’m going to be having some fantastic guests coming in to speak with me about all of the issues relating to building a remote working business and all of the tech issues and the tech challenges that building a team and building a trust along the way as well. So I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, drop me an email. It’s podcast@victoriatretis.co.uk.

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If you liked the episode, please do give us a review. It will only take a moment of your time and I will be forever in your debt. Thank you so much.