The first origineur I met was when I was just a few days old.
This first origineur was my grandad. Of course, I don’t actually remember that moment. But he was certainly a character that people noticed. It took a few years for me to appreciate how he’d started with nothing but, through ingenuity and determination, had built a thriving farming enterprise near the coast which not only created fresh produce but created many jobs too. His potatoes were served at dinner tables all over the UK as the farm grew from supplying local shops to national supermarkets.
My grandad had the most important ingredient all origineurs need to succeed: Passion. Everyone who met him felt compelled to both visit one of his farms and buy his delicious potatoes!
Farming can seem low-tech on the surface but I was always fascinated by the array of tractors and farming equipment, many of which he’d adapt to do specialist jobs. My grandad didn’t just accept the way things were usually done. He did things his way.
Another thing that fascinated me was the railway that ran between his potato fields, particularly the regular express train with a long tail of carriages. My grandad would tell me about the steam trains that used to journey past and how technology had developed over the years. Innovation was something I’d started to appreciate as, back home, I’d also taken an interest in the aircraft that frequently flew over our garden. I enjoyed spotting anything new.
Turns out, I lived near one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers and, years later, in the middle of my marketing degree, I was excited to be accepted for a marketing job there. At the time, the double-decker A380 was getting ready to be revealed to the world and I felt privileged to see it up close in Toulouse, France. Even better, during the aircraft’s first visit to the UK, the pilot let me try out the cockpit.
Marketing has taken me all around the world and, for over 20 years, I’ve worked with leaders of global brands as well as incredible SMEs and start ups, helping them succeed by standing out as origineurs. Nine years ago, I took the bold step to go it alone, setting up my own marketing agency, called Milan Creative, so I could choose the projects where I could make the biggest impact. I went from managing multi-million pound marketing budgets to starting from scratch but being an origineur is exhilarating.
Having no budget and no safety net was the ultimate motivation. Our performance every day, week and month mattered. It was the difference between failure and rapid success. My agency quickly grew into something special because I’m passionate about helping great people, with great ideas, to take off.
Now I’m on a mission to expand that impact.
Through Origineur, I’ll be championing the entrepreneurs, leaders and pioneers who are creating a bright future, powered by great ideas for products, services, technologies and positive change. I’ll also be sharing my expertise to help origineurs all around the world stand out, scale and succeed.
This is Origineur. This is your time!