READY BUSINESS PODCAST: 'I didn’t make the tough decisions at the time but I vowed not to make the same mistakes again'
“I’ve had ups and downs in life and business but sport is a great leveller and a great way to learn how to win and lose. Boxing is a great character builder because it’s just you and your opponent in the ring. I’ve been able to bounce back up from the knocks in my career and learned not to get too high or too low when success or failure comes along.”
Brian Crowley, founder and CEO of recruitment company, TTM Healthcare, knows all about knocks and getting back up off the canvas. A former Irish boxer who nearly made it to the Olympics aged 19, he was determined that in business he wasn’t going to miss out.
Although his company now turns over €50million in revenues each year, in 2007 when things were slowing down, his accountant told him to wind things up, hang his creditors, let his staff go and start all over again.
“I said to myself I wouldn’t let this beat me. I didn’t make the right or tough decisions at the time but I vowed not to make the same mistakes again.”
It has been his ability to pivot his business when the market conditions weren’t favourable that was to prove his success and after changing the company’s focus to the flexible HR market, the company turnover went from €500k to €14m in just three years.
“The bad times can help act as a North Star directing you towards the right decisions,” he says.
TTM has since moved into the UK market where it now provides 1 in 5 of the nurses being hired overseas by the NHS and through their recent partnership with Broadlake they are continuing their development with more residential care homes in Ireland, growing their contract numbers and trying to break into the German market.
Brian Crowley has experienced and learned plenty along his business journey, refusing to give up when so many others would have thrown in the towel. But he also points to mentorship as playing a vital role along the way and says every entrepreneur should have them on board.
“For every euro I’d spend on entrepreneurship, I’d spend 99c on mentorship. There are people out there willing to help and it can be transformational.”
You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.