Ian first graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1993 with a Sociology degree and no clear idea of what to do. Falling by chance into a job as a librarian and general assistant for a small financial publication, Ian became fascinated with finance, markets, and companies, sparking the drive and desire for self-improvement that saw him start a rapid growth upwards through the business side of a raft of Fintech companies.
2005 brought around the opportunity for Ian to come back to Edinburgh to take his MBA.
"It was a fantastic year. I never missed a class, I met my wife, and learned a lot about myself that has subsequently helped me in the next stages of my career."
In 2012 Ian relocated from London to Southern California. Having spent some time working in Fintech, Ian went into business for himself, co-founding Enshored, an outsourcing company set up to help disruptive technology companies scale and grow.
"Just as we strated moving towards meaningful size, my business partner and co-founder died from a brain aneurysm. I can say that without doubt this was the worst day of my professional life, and he remains the closest person to me who I have lost."
A key lesson for Ian during these challenging times was that you must trust the people around you. When you give them responsibility and ownership, great things can happen.
Since Enshored started, the business has grown from an idea into a 700-person company, operating primarily from two offices in Manila, growing at around 200% year on year.
"A further lesson I have learned is the absolute need to always be networking. I make sure I stay in touch with as many people as possible, and any trip to a different city is an opportunity to reconnect with who I know, or to learn what businesses are based there and what opportunities there could be to work with them."
Having driven the growth of Enshored, Ian has taken the chance to launch a second company, Fast Circles, a sports marketing business aimed at supporting the huge growth in interest in cycling and eSports cycling racing in particular.
"I will always have time to give to help others with their careers. I find the most satisfying thing of all is being asked your opinion as someone faces a career crossroads. You know then that you touched them in the right way."
A key lesson for me was that you must trust the people around you, and that when you give them responsibility and ownership, great things can happen.