Please explain what your company does in a nutshell
We tell people how long passports are currently taking to be processed. This is achieved by crowd sourcing data from recent passport applicants. This eases the stress for people who are about to travel, knowing how long it should take at each stage of the application process. We receive around 3,000 timeline submissions per month from recent passport applicants meaning our average is an accurate guideline of current processing times. As all of our website users intend to travel in the near future we are well positioned to sell travel products such as car hire, hotels, airport parking and other travel services. We provide this service in the UK, USA, Canada and Ireland.
Tell us about your background
I started my working life as a PGA golf professional which I did for eight years which included working for Colin Montgomerie’s golf school and playing in tournaments throughout the UK. By the age of 25 reality struck that I wasn’t going to be the next Tiger Woods. I got the opportunity to be part of a project to open children’s play centre in Kilkenny, Ireland. This gave me an opportunity to exit golf. I then set up a digital agency called Tablish which allowed publishers to convert their printed publications to digital. This was at the time the iPad was first launched and we went on to create apps for the RFU, British Athletics and The Body Shop to name a few. During this time I self-taught myself to code websites and apps which gave me all the tools to develop Passport Waiting Time.
What do you enjoy solving for your business?
Since Passport Waiting Time was launched there has been a pandemic and passport strikes. We have been recognised as a leading authority for passport related data and news by the media. Therefore we have been able to inform the public about the impact of these events, helping them with their travel plans.
What keeps you motivated?
My motivation comes from just trying to be successful as possible and to provide a good environment for my 4 year old son. I also want to continue to provide a service that is greatly received and slightly unique.
What’s been your biggest learning experience?
My biggest learning experience is to be detailed in your research and preparation for any new project or venture. I learnt the hard way in Ireland when we took on a retail unit before securing change of use for a play centre. We were unable to get the change of use which ended up being an expensive mistake.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?
My main advice would be to set goals. Daily goals, monthly goals, yearly goals and five yearly goals because without this you don’t really have any direction. Since I started setting more regular and detailed goals I found my results have improved.
Who has inspired you the most in your journey and why?
I was always inspired by sports professionals growing up which gave me a strong work ethic which I have continued into my working life.
What is your next big challenge?
On a work front to grow Passport Waiting Time to be a leading travel portal offering a range of travel services. On a personal front it is to complete a 100 mile ultra marathon.
Anything else to add when it comes to your experience?
Try to break away from the crowd and your comfort zone. I have always tried to think slightly differently to others whether its in my personal or business life. Most importantly is to look after your body, healthy body equals healthy mind.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you…
Most people don’t know that I use to be a professional golfer. People close to me know but in business it’s nice to surprise a few people when I get invited to golf days and they ask what my handicap is.
What would your dream job be if time, resources and location were no barrier?
Actually, the same as my previous answer, a professional golfer, but just a bit more successful this time round!
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Kevin Costner – Maybe it could be Tin Cup 2! n