Challenge For A Cause 2020

I am raising money for the Electrical Industries Charity who help people in the electrical industry by completing the Challenge For A Cause 2020 – Inca Trail.

The ECA challenged me! I accepted! In September 2020, I will be undertaking the huge challenge of trekking through the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu to support the Electrical Industries Charity and I’m asking for your support so I can support the work the EIC do! The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are a charity specifically for people in the electrical industry.

That means the EIC look after anyone who works within the electrical or energy sector whether you are retired, an apprentice, a relative or an employee. Think of the EIC as a charity which can assist with almost every issue from every walk of life, the only qualification you need to seek assistance is to have worked in the sector for over three months. If you know of the EIC you will understand some of the incredible things they do. If this is your first-time hearing of them here’s just a little list of some of the cases the EIC have.

  1. Freddie, a two-year-old boy, undergoing chemotherapy and his family are receiving financial aid from the EIC and have enjoyed a trip to Peppa Pig world, Freddie’s favourite place funded by the EIC.
  2. Retired couple the Smith’s, who had worked on a regional electricity board, now have a warm house after the EIC helped to fund a new central heating boiler.
  3. Emma, who suffered with addiction and anxiety, is now on the road to recovery after the EIC sourced and funded both a counsellor and a rehab facility.
This is Freddie’s story. A two year old undergoing chemotherapy who the Electrical Industries Charity have been supporting.

These are just some examples of the over 10,000 people the EIC help each year. It is because of the incredible work they do to support our sector that I am trekking the Inca Trail. Over five days I will be trekking up to 12 hours daily to reach the famous wonder of the world, Machhu Picchu. I can expect to battle high altitudes and scale dizzying heights of 4000 metres above sea level.

If you can, please donate to my trek, any amount helps and support my journey to support the EIC and the incredible work they do. You can donate using the link below to my fundraising page:

SPONSOR ME! CLICK HERE


Alternatively, why not make your company the star of the trek by sponsoring a flag emblazoned with your company logo for me to display when I reach the incredible Machu Picchu. When you sponsor a flag, you are supporting the EIC and all the assistance they provide. In return for your sponsorship I will take your flag with me across the Peruvian Andes and towards the ancient Inca civilisation of Machu Picchu where once we have reached the perfect vantage point, we will unveil your business to the world. To take advantage of this incredible opportunity contact the charity directly who will arrange your company flag: fundraising@electricalcharity.org

Thank you for your support!!!

You can check out more what I have to say about the challenge below.

Winner of the 2019 ECA Power Players

ECA Power Players 2019

Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer is the winner of the 2019 ECA Power Players.

Two outstanding individuals in the electrotechnical and engineering services industry have won this year’s ‘Power Players’ initiative, recognised at a ceremony held yesterday (2nd October 2019) at Aerospace, Bristol. The initiative was supported by leading industry business Schneider Electric.

ECA Power Players Winner 2019

Dan Jackson, also known to many as ‘Dans The Engineer’, impressed the judges with his sustained advocacy and support for small business owners. Having previously run an electrical business, Dan is now a business coach for tradespeople and business owners. He has also become a successful YouTuber, raising awareness of fundamentally important issues such as mental health, fair payment, and work-life balance.

Policy analyst Nadia Smith of the Renewable Energy Association, and business mentor Dan Jackson were selected by an independent panel of industry experts, who judged entries based on five criteria: social impact, industry impact, collaboration, innovation and leadership.

Outside of work, Nadia is a part of the South East London Community Energy Cooperative, which helps install solar panels on schools and community buildings and uses the funds to tackle fuel poverty. Nadia has also just returned from Ghana, where she taught students practical business skills through the ‘Dream Renewables’ programme, which she co-founded.

ECA’s energy advisor Luke Osborne, who was on the judging panel, commented:

“Many congratulations to Dan and Nadia, and indeed to everyone who entered this year’s Power Players initiative. Both winners this year were able to show huge commitment to making significant contributions not just to their employers or within the industry, but to wider society.

“Once again, Power Players has recognised excellence from young people who have already made their mark in our industry.”

Nadia and Dan have won several prizes, including participation in a forthcoming fundraising initiative with the Electrical Industries Charity, a business trip to Schneider’s facility in the French Alps, and lunch with business guru Sir John Parker.

Power Players winner Dan Jackson said:

“I feel so blessed to have won ECA Power Players 2019 amongst many amazing people who entered. It is fantastic to be recognised by the judges, who are industry leaders, for my efforts towards the electrical industry which I am very passionate about.”

Power Players winner Nadia Smith said:

“I’m really proud to be part of the Power Players this year, and very thankful to the ECA team for their hard work in pulling this together. It’s great to have initiatives that celebrate the work of young people in the sector, not only to support their growth, but to also attract further talent into the engineering services sector.

“ECA do a sterling job of showcasing excellence in engineering services and I’m excited to see where else the generous prizes from Schneider Electric and the ECA’s industry partners take me on my career path.”

The judging panel, led by FETA’s Russell Beattie, also included: ECA’s Luke Osborne, EDA’s Anne Vessey, SELECT’s Alan Wilson and Tessa Ogle of the Electrical Industries Charity.

You can watch Dan Jackson ECA Power Players video entry here:

The original ECA article can be found here.

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets

Electrium-Podcast-From-Sockets-To-Sunsets

Electrium Podcast From Sockets to Sunsets – Episode 4 The Electrium Podcast. Electrium talk to Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer about travel, his career and business coaching for electricians.

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets
Electrium Podast – Episode 4 “From Sockets To Sunsets”

HAVE A LISTEN HERE

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets

Have you thought of just giving it all up and travelling the world?

Sounds like a pipe dream, but that’s what Dan Jackson (aka ‘Dan’s the Engineer) and his family did last year. Dan sold his share of his electrical contractor business and with his wife and two children travelled the world to seek new horizons.

A popular YouTuber and now business coach, Dan talked to us about:

– Making that decision to travel
– What he learned from his experiences
– Creating a YouTube channel for your business
– Coaching advice 
– Unusual installations around the world

HAVE A LISTEN HERE

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer written in Essex, information taken from the Electrium Podcast

Electrician Made Redundant So Started Business

Electrician made redundant

Electrician made redundant so started business. HELP! I got made redundant as an electrician. This post is about my experience of being made redundant and taking the opportunity to set up an electrical contracting company.

I remember it well. I was 22 years old working away from home on an 18 month project in Nottingham and we got called to the office at short notice on a Monday.

Everybody within the company was there. There were many concerned faces and a lot of confusion. You knew something serious was happening because why would every employee be called into the office on the same day? The management were all quiet and looking down at the floor. The atmosphere was intense.

Then we hear the words “You’re being made redundant”.

You could see on most peoples faces that they were worried. Worried about money and worried about what they were supposed to do next! Some had worked for the company for a very long time since leaving school and didn’t know any different. It was the end of an era for many.

I’m an electrician. I’m a good electrician. What am I worried about being laid off for?

Was I worried about being made redundant?

Was I worried? Nope. I was as cool as a cucumber. I’m an electrician. I’m a good electrician. What am I worried about being laid off for?

The company had been going for over 50 years. It was well established and made a good name for itself in various sectors, primarily working on petrol filling stations. Guys who had worked there for 20 years were laid off. Just like that with no warning.

When the 2008 recession struck, the industry changed. Nobody wanted to spend money. It was a worrying and uncertain time. In my career it was the first of its kind and my god it affected a lot of people. I know so many people who were made redundant and businesses that went bust. Some trades people were out of work for over a year!

However, the company I worked for were busy. Our clients still had projects starting and all in all I saw many buildings being constructed, particularly in London. My hours didn’t decrease at all. I suppose there must have been changes within the company itself but due to my work ethic and making myself available at any time, I believe I was at the front of peoples minds when a job came in because I was more capable than most. I would work anywhere, do anything, at any time. Forgetting employment law for a second, if there was a list of engineers and they had to choose a few to get rid of, let’s just say I would be high up the ‘safe’ list.

At the time of redundancy in June 2010, I was working on a new build house. It was enormous and high end. It was a fantastic project which I was running. I had spent nearly a year there and Nottingham felt like my second home. We made friends up there, went to BBQ’s, went out drinking in town and started to get to know the area.

Electrician made redundant in the middle of the recession after buying first home

The previous summer I had just bought my first home; a right dive but due to the recession, prices were low and I got myself a bargain. One that I planned to refurbish. I used to get home Friday evening from working away and got straight to work on my house by stripping back the walls, rewiring, and erecting stud walls. Life seemed busy like normal. I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

When we were told on the Sunday to come to the office the next day, I suspected something like what would happen but the unknown didn’t bother me. I enjoyed my Sunday, had a roast and drinks and slept well.

When we were told the ‘bad’ news I instantly felt sorry for the many people who were out of jobs. After all, many of them were my friends. We were told that the company relied on a bank overdraft of £70k due to the directors borrowing money to buy the company from the previous owner. Allegedly, due to the recession, Barclays bank pulled the overdraft whilst the company was heavily into it and went into administration even though they had plenty of work including purchase orders and contract maintenance. It’s disgusting really to think a bank doesn’t care in the slightest about an individual but is always happy to take your money and gamble with it as they wish. Sorry, did I say gamble? I meant invest. Or did I?

I got made redundant and I was working a couple of hours later!

What did I do after being told I am redundant?

My old contracts manager pulled me to one side and said “do you fancy starting up a new company?” I thought he meant work for him, but he wanted to start a business with me. I didn’t expect that in the slightest. I told him I’d let him know tomorrow. There was a lot to think about, I didn’t know the first thing about business! I was just an electrician. He told me we have to act quick. He was due to send a couple of lads to a pre-planned shut down that Monday night for a very good client and didn’t want to let them down so I agreed to help out. I literally drove home, had a bite to eat and went back out to work. I got made redundant and I was working a couple of hours later!

News travels fast. I had three job offers by the end of the day! That is the exact reason why I wasn’t worried. I knew what I was worth. I am confident in my ability and skill and know how to land on my feet. I have always put myself out there. Although the offers were fantastic which I really appreciated, I thought I’d try my luck and take up my old boss’s offer.

I went from electrician to company director over night!

There you go, I had set up my first business

The following day we met up and made an action plan. Our new Limited company was incorporated! I went from being an electrician to a company director over night.

Funnily enough I had already thought of the name and made the logo a few months prior. I wasn’t planning on leaving my old company but I am always coming up with ideas and potential plans. I don’t think my new business partner was too impressed with the name at the time but quite frankly he didn’t have much of a choice. We were working to make things happen on a tight time frame.

That day we asked 3 of the best engineers from the old company to work for us. They all agreed and were all in work by the end of the week. Two of them still work for us. The other retired whilst working for us.

Not a bad little number to land

We concentrated on contacting the clients who were good payers. After all there were a load of clients who needed work doing. We hit the ground running. We had no option but to learn to run before we could walk. The Nottingham project was still unfinished and they needed an electrical contractor to complete so we simply took over as our new company. One of our guys was already working on the job underneath me so it was perfect. He took over running it.

A lot of people put great trust in us and I am forever grateful.

A lot of people put great trust in us and I am forever grateful. Believe me, I had to do my fair share of what I call juggling but I am am honest person and I feel honesty goes a long way. I delivered all of my promises.

Managing cash flow is so important in construction

The issue with starting up a company at such a rate is cash flow. Contrary to belief, it takes a lot of cash to run an electrical contractors. The bigger the jobs you take on, the more cash you need and bigger the risk. Good luck trying to get a bank loan at that time! I had to finance it somehow. This is where suppliers are more important than you may think. Most electrical wholesalers are fair sized companies with serious amounts of financial resource. They need it to buy in bulk to reduce their costs to maximise margins. Many will be supplying projects with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of goods.

Two wholesalers in particular were willing to supply goods with very kind credit terms. Again, these people knew us. We had purchase orders from clients, most of which were clients regarded as financially safe so it was enough to satisfy providing credit. I also struck a deal with two large clients that they would purchase the materials direct from the supplier and we would supply labour only. They get reduced cost of works due to zero mark up from us on materials which formed the bulk of the cost. Everyone was happy. It would allow us to trade for a couple of months without having to buy materials.

Paying for labour was a different story. I had about £15k in the bank which I was using for my home refurbishment (this was before having kids by the way. Young free and little responsibility. Well, until this point). I set aside some money for setting up the company and to buy a van and the rest was there to last for a while because I didn’t know exactly when I was next getting paid.

Buying my first van

I had a few grand in my back pocket and set out to buy my first work horse

The week we started up, I literally searched on Auto Trader for a van, went with £4k in cash and was on mission to get one that day. I succeeded! The first van was the best of a bad bunch of second hand white vans that were being sold by Derek Trotter like characters.

Two of our new guys plus my business partner worked for the last company for about 15-17 years and were given VERY generous redundancy pay. That really helped because they didn’t need paying immediately. The other received help from family until we could pay him, but he was the first to be paid. Again, very grateful to those people who trusted me.

I cancelled gym membership, Sky and anything that I didn’t NEED to reduce my outgoings. I was screwed over by redundancy because you are only paid an amount from the age of 21. I was 22 and had worked for the company for 3 and a half years so was only entitled to redundancy for one year’s service which was a few hundred quid. Plus they only pay a set amount per week as a maximum regardless of your wage. Because I was working away, I had accumulated a large amount of expenses and I had worked a lot of hours that month so I was totally out of pocket. I didn’t even get paid expenses. I can’t help but feel my whole life I have worked my arse off, always paid my taxes, yet penalised more than others regarding any form of government benefit. I can see why this country is a complete mess because the less you work, the more you are entitled to! The system isn’t for people like me.

The money started rolling in

We started getting paid for work and the priority was to pay the guys who worked for us and suppliers. We had to make do with what we had including old laptops that were slower than a snail, working from our cars, and making it up as we went. Our office was a shed in the back garden using a shitty old Samsung printer that someone donated to us. God I hated that thing. It barely worked. I wanted to beat it with a stick on a regular basis. Times were tough! As soon as money came in, it went straight back out paying someone we owed in priority order or equipment that we needed to complete jobs.

Initially the business had been financed through generosity and trust. I didn’t have to dive into my pockets too much at first (later on I had to make investments into the company), but due to the nature of the business start up and the need to finance the cash flow, I couldn’t pay myself for 5 months. Yes 5 whole months of no pay! I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. The guys had to be paid before me and we owed suppliers. There literally wasn’t money in the bank to pay myself! I was at breaking point but the money started rolling in and we got paid for a couple of large jobs. I got paid 5 months of pay in one go just before Christmas!

What did I do? I went out and bought a £3k Tag Heuer watch!

I didn’t get paid for 5 months. What was the first thing I bought when I was paid? A £3k Tag Heuer watch!

That watch had sentimental value for obvious reasons but I recently sold it to buy a holiday! I bought it as a present to myself for the hard work I had put in. It felt good at the time and it was a great watch but I wouldn’t do the same now. Did the £3k watch bring me much joy? Not as much as I value experiences with my beautiful wife and children, but my goodness I loved that watch! These days I’d choose family experiences over luxury consumables any day of the week. Life changes, ey?

Electrician Made Redundant
After not being paid for 5 months, the first thing I bought was a Tag Heuer watch

Managing finance was vital

Besides the watch purchase, I made sure I was careful with money personally and within the business. Cash flow is key, without cash in the bank it wouldn’t have worked. We started investing in plant, equipment, vehicles, technology, training, etc… But all in priority order.

A business lesson I learnt was that you don’t necessarily need your own personal cash to fund anything. You can use money that belongs to others. I want to strongly follow up that statement with – don’t just gamble with someone’s money with little care. It has to be in their interest, often with a larger return and make sure you take extra care when it belongs to someone else. Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure you’re on the right side of your debts and always pay your debts. Christ, I sound like a Lannister from Game of Thrones!

Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure you’re on the right side of your debts and always pay your debts

I have never been a fan of banks,I always had terrible experiences with them. It is funny; when I first started up they made it very difficult in the beginning but as soon as they start seeing tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, they all of a sudden want to know you and feel they can interfere with your business by pretending to be a helping hand. Everything they offer you is for them, not you. Arguably, terms from every money lender will suit them more than it will suit you, but banks are just greedy. They do as they wish with your money, dictate to you how much they will guarantee, offer poor interest and as soon as something goes wrong on your part, you will be nailed. Yet we all need money to survive that runs through banks.

It was a very challenging time for everyone. The guys who worked for us were experiencing change. They went from job security in a well established company to a start up growing company which was running around like a headless chicken. Sometimes it’s the small things in operations that are taken for granted like not having phone parking set up working in London. It can completely mess up your morning trying to organise it, but we pulled through every challenge one way or the other.

How was home life starting a business?

Home wasn’t great either. I was working crazy hours, then getting home and working on the borrowed laptop. My partner at the time wasn’t very supportive at all. I won’t go into much detail but the relationship went sour very quickly. We didn’t last long after being together for almost four years. I believe everything happens for a reason! I enjoyed being single for some time, then later went on to meet my future wife and mother of my kids. It all turned out for the best and I wouldn’t be who I am today without my wife.

After trading for 6 months, we were awarded our first major maintenance contract with a large client. That was no easy task! It took a lot of running around and proving what we were worth. It even cost in the beginning because we had to neglect a couple of jobs to attend emergency call outs and attend site surveys at a couple of hours notice. The risk paid off! Once we started our first major contract, although hard work, it was all uphill. Our name was on the map. We could afford to rent an office in Sutton, Surrey, were paid regularly and we soon became a professional business.

Redundancy? Probably one of the best things that happened to me!

Want to find out more about my career progression? Click here.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer originally in Kent on 20th June 2018 and re-published

P.S. I appreciate my situation may differ from many other people. Being made redundant can be awful and very unsettling. I believe in continuity of personal development, always learning and aiming to become the best at your job. That way, in the event you are made redundant, you provide yourself with better chances and choices than those who do not. Don’t ever be scared of change, embrace it!

#redundancy #employment #businessstartup #danstheengineer #AtTheConstructionSite

Electrician Career Progression

Electrician Career Progression

At The Construction Site – Electrician Career Progression. At the Construction Site is a series of blog posts I will be posting from my own experience and other electricians to provide first hand experience what it is like being a tradesman – the battles, the victories, the losses, and the lessons. This week, we have: Electrician Career Progression – At the Construction Site

I wrote this whilst still electrical contracting in London, UK before I sold my business to travel the world with my family.

During my apprenticeship I worked for three companies. I wasn’t sacked from any of them, I decided to leave to further my electrician career progression.

The first company I worked for was more of a building services company. They had some good guys who I still speak to today but also some really lazy engineers who are not good role models for impressionable young apprentices.

The reason I left that company was because I hadn’t even connected up a socket whilst working for them. In fact the only electrical work I participated in was re-lamping. I was more likely to have my hands in toilets fixing them and learning how to fiddle expenses and getting home as early as I can get away with.

When I handed in my notice I was spoken to by my line manager with the F-word many times in the conversation and he told to leave there and then. It suited me.

Electrician Career Progression
Yes, that is a picture of a young, energetic, ambitious me as an apprentice! Fresh off the council estate.

Onto the next opportunity

The second company was a specialist in power engineering up to 33kV. The work I done was incredible – panel building, bus bar installs, thermal imaging, containment, large cable pulling, jointing…. the list goes on. The experience was certainly there but at times I was not impressed how apprentices were managed.

It wasn’t a large company, but often apprentices were treated as labourers. I don’t mind doing anything but they had labourers. The labourers were doing electrical work! They also used to get me to work on a jobs far from my home but near another apprentices home and get him to work near my home where we could have just worked nearer our own homes. Again, I couldn’t care less where I worked but I felt that as an apprentice, you were not thought about much as everything was to suit the company.

“Dan, You’re not doing yourself any favours. You’ll never make it in this industry with the way you’re going”

I was clearly far more skilled and advanced that the other apprentices even though some had been doing it longer than me so I didn’t feel valued. I rang up my boss to tell her I’m giving notice and it was a similar reaction to my previous boss. She said to me “Dan, You’re not doing yourself any favours. You’ll never make it in this industry with the way you’re going” and told me to leave there and then. Was she right? Was I damaging my electrician career progression?

The ironic thing is that now I often tender for work and they are a competitor! **I now teach other electricians on how to grow their businesses!!!**

Is moving companies as an apprentice a bad thing?

I then joined my third company. The reason I joined this company was because they worked all over the country, mainly shop fitting, rewiring petrol stations, carried out a variety of work and seemed like a ‘team work first’ type of company. I was right and I loved it! I literally worked up and down the UK, learnt so much and met some great guys.

What I found odd about the company was that it had more apprentices than electricians. I think this was mainly because a few electricians left just before I started. I definitely had my work cut out to prove myself because there was a lot of competition! I think all my ex colleagues would agree that I certainly stepped up to the challenge. I climbed the company ladder quickly. Before no time, I was running jobs and had others working underneath me. Did it cause conflict? Yes, at times, but I was concentrating on my electrician career progression.

Be smart. Find ways to make your work more efficient. Aspire to be as knowledgeable as you can. Become an asset to those who need you.

I found a company I was happy with

I was clearly treated with favouritism by the company, but why shouldn’t I? I worked every hour under the sun for them; days, nights, weekends. I got jobs done quickly and efficiently. I was capable of tasks that some were not and I was willing to try new things that were outside of my comfort zone. I was also willing to work anywhere in the UK even at short notice where some were only willing to work locally and I wasn’t making ridiculous wage demands. Surely that is what every employer wants?

I always got the new van. If I wanted a new tool or plant that I felt I needed, I got it. I always got the good jobs. I got to work with whoever I wanted to.

The lesson here is that if you put yourself out there, make yourself available more than others and willing to go the extra mile, you’ll become very valuable.

The problem with that is when you are taken for granted. And it will happen!

Being taken for granted by my employer

Being taken for granted is a problem. A relationship between an employer and employee is a mutual agreement between both parties who both offer each other something in return for something. That relationship has to work both ways and each party needs to receive what they want from the relationship. When one starts to not play their part, the relationship suffers. So when an employer takes you for granted you need to remind them what you offer them. When you constantly put yourself out there, you are in a position to make demands. Please don’t ever be delusional with your role within your relationship as your employer will no doubt do a lot to keep you in work and to pay your wages but you need to gain from the relationship what you are looking for. It is two way!

No alt text provided for this image
Me and one of my good mates “Stealthy” on a hotel project in Dorset, UK.

During my time on my third company I felt I was being taken for granted. I was working 7 days a week, doing serious hours in the week, running multiple jobs and under pressure to complete jobs with not enough people. I was also slightly put out that I was on the same JIB wage as some of my colleagues who clearly were not as capable as I was. Why should I be paid the same as others who quite frankly could only handle half the amount of work that I could?

I was offered a job with a rival company. The money was similar but the change sounded intriguing. I spoke to my boss and told him my issues. I was in the position to force him to change a few things because I was an asset. To be fair, he made changes and we were back on track. I didn’t accept the other job and stayed where I was. Good choice in hind sight.

At the age of 19, I was working on a job on a petrol station in Somerset where we started the project 5 weeks late so we had to catch up, with not enough men and absolutely zero specification and direction from the client. We didn’t even have drawings! On top of that we were asked to work nights in Cardiff for a few days in the week as well as working weekends in London! Sleep? What sleep?

Experience is everything!

At the time I was still an apprentice and I was speaking to a guy on the job called Ian who owned his company working on the pump gauges. I was explaining that I’m exhausted but felt pressured to complete the jobs. He gave me some of the best advice anyone has told me. He said that I might be working silly hours a day but every hour is experience. Every hour at night or weekend is additional experience and often out of hours works provide a different experience to normal hours. So when I’m compared to my college mates who work 7 hours a day 5 days a week doing the same thing everyday and in the pub for 4 o’clock, I am gaining double the experience. He was in a similar position and due to experience he was able to set up his own company and is now the master of his own destiny.

From that day I totally looked at what I was doing in a different way. It is experience that allows you to progress! I’m not saying work yourself into the ground, but gain the valuable experience and knowledge and use it to push yourself forward. Be smart. Find ways to make your work more efficient. Aspire to be as knowledgeable as you can. Become an asset to those who need you.

Qualifying as an electrician is just the start of your career

Before I even qualified I started my City and Guilds 2391 Electrical Testing and Inspection course. I absolutely smashed my electrical AM2 practical exam. It was a doddle. The examiner even said to me as we left “It’s your birthday this weekend isn’t it?”. “Yes I replied”. He said “I am not supposed to give results before the official time, but let’s just say you can celebrate further for your birthday”. As soon as I qualified I sat my City and Guilds 2400 Electrical Design and Verification course and it hasn’t stopped there. I am constantly reading content online and looking to complete the next course which will further my career and knowledge.

The electrical industry is exciting and full of opportunity! The limits are endless. I highly recommend that anyone coming into the industry sees qualifying as the start. Once qualified, look to see what areas you wish to explore and enjoy and have an aim. Set goals and set aside some money (unless your employer is willing to pay), so you can complete additional courses within your chosen direction.

Find a niche in the electrical industry

You can progress into EV charge points, solar PV, fire alarms, intruder alarms, project management, contracts management, health and safety, construction, engineering, maintenance, training, sales, owning your own business…. The list goes on!

The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to understand and read a situation. It provides more opportunities and allows you to have choices. Keep on learning, read and watch educational and inspirational videos.

Life can be tough and full of questions. Wouldn’t you prefer to have the answers?

Electrician career progression isn’t handed to you, it is an attitude

I come from a council estate in Surrey. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like Compton, Los Angeles but I have been in many situations which I wouldn’t want my kids to be in. My experiences as a youngster certainly play a part in my drive, aggression and hunger. I have worked since being a teenager and I believe a massive part of being in the electrical industry is learning the right work ethics and attitude. Some will naturally have it but some need to learn it. Somebody needs to teach them!

I have never been afraid to stand up for what I think is right. I can be arrogant. I can be cocky. I am not scared of confrontation when necessary. I can be a nuisance. But I look out for others. I believe in teamwork and I have done a lot of growing up. I believe life is a long journey and you learn as you grow through experiences.

I have worked on some fantastic projects, some of which I am very proud of. My experience and knowledge has taken me places, but I am not finished yet, my career has just started! The electrician career progression continues.

Look out for more blog posts in my series – At The Construction Site.

#e5 #AtTheConstructionSite #electricalindustry #apprenticeships #danstheengineer

Originally written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Kent, UK and posted on LinkedIn on 14th January 2018. Re-written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Is The Electrical and Fire Industry Broken?

This blog post was originally published on June 24, 2018, I am re-publishing it to show everyone who follows my new blog on danstheengineer.co.uk and my career path.

Dangerous electrical system in a basement of a mixed retail/office block in Oxted, Surrey 2017

At the end of this month (June 2018), I will not only be exiting my business, but also the industry I have been working in since leaving school. I am leaving to travel the world full time with my wife and kids and have booked a one-way ticket out of the UK. You can see our announcement here.

Many are asking me what plans I have when I get back and what I will do for work when I return. I have also been offered many jobs in various roles.

The truth is, I don’t have plans to come back. I don’t know where I will be in 6 months’ time, in a years’ time, in 3 years’ time. That is sort of the point! We stop off in Iceland first in August and have booked one-way tickets. We will adapt and mindset will alter on our amazing journey and I will remain open minded.

I have very mixed emotions right now.

I have been in the trade for 15 years and I boast some fantastic achievements in my time here. The last 12 months have been the most memorable and my career has been at an all time high…. I was accepted into The IET: The Institution of Engineering and Technology as a Fellow, I helped set up the #E5 Group as a founding member, turnover and profits within my business are at an all time high, I setup my YouTube Channel – Dans the Engineer which has gone rather well, carried out some prestigious projects and I have many contact me online to ask for my advice, help and guidance (which I am happy to).

Many didn’t expect my decision to leave but I have my reasons. I will openly admit that I love and loath the electrical and fire industries. I am a geek at heart, love the technical and engineering aspects of my job, love meeting interesting people all over the UK, building relationships and completing fantastic projects. BUT, the industry requires improvement. The type of improvement I mean is increased safety and procedures to prevent people getting hurt, or worse still – deaths.

My content online, articles written, and YouTube videos were to raise awareness of issues we face, to improve standards and to help people. It is something I am very passionate about.

This is where it gets complicated for me. I spend god knows how many hours focused on work and my business, learning and researching within my field of work. But my new Venture is to enjoy time with my family, watch them grow, travel and take some time out for me. We are filming Our Venture Beyond on YouTube and Instagram so others can follow what we do.

I decided that when I exit I will stop my focus on the industry and to focus on my new lifestyle. It is something I have to do for my family and for me.

Since announcing my decision to leave, many people including industry influencers and leaders have got in contact either wishing me well, thanking me, and/or offering something for the future. Honestly, it is very overwhelming!


I love innovation. Any company who change the game by making a great product and making a difference is just brilliant – Linian Clips.

I do have a few final things to say though.

The electrical and fire industries are very similar in many respects in that each industry is very vast in what it covers but legislation is similar for both.

What I am about to say in generally speaking about both industries.

Anybody and I mean anybody can work on fire alarm systems…. Worrying right? In fact it is the same for electrics too. Legislation allows this which I will touch on in a minute.

A person or organisation who owns or is in charge of a property is also responsible for the electrical and fire safety. It is down to them to determine how they do this. There are many ways to achieve this but in my honest opinion, this is a slight conflict of interest due to money. There is little way of enforcement to be compliant.

Responsible people can have work carried out with the intention ‘to be compliant’ but it doesn’t mean they are compliant, and it is down to client / person ordering the work to ensure it is carried out correctly. The problem with this is that the client needs to either be able to assess the work carried out themselves or contract somebody who can on their behalf. There is a risk of relying on the contractor carrying out the work to ensure they have done it correctly because it is a conflict of interest in many cases. The way contractors make money is by pricing a job, there will be a margin on labour and materials so the quicker they complete a job, the more profit there is. They are hardly going to highlight to you any issues because it will cost them! There seems to be a horrible culture in the industry where many have reduced costs so much that it is very easy to be so tight on making a profit that there isn’t room for any errors. When there is, many cut corners to maintain profit at the risk of reducing safety! Don’t get me wrong…. there are some fantastic contractors out there who consciously think about their actions and strive for a great install regardless if it won’t make as much profit as they hoped.

The accepted level and quality of training needs improving. Training providers seem to be in battle with each other to provide the cheapest training possible to win over clients based on price more than anything else. It seems to be the accepted by society. We all like a bargain but the quality can vary so much and can make such a difference. Some trainers will be happy making a little margin which is fine, but there are too many courses available which do not offer a good outcome for the trainee. That is not ethical.

The level of knowledge and skill has been watered down. It is very easy to do a short course and get some tools and start working on life safety and electrical systems. System that can cause fires or prevent suitable means of detecting fire. It is an important job and there is far more to it other than it just ‘working’. Courses I have attended and feedback from others suggest that they passed the course via a very easy system such as multiple choice but walked away not really knowing everything they should do. It seems like the pass result percentage is what matters and measures the success of the training. A bit like the UK education system. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the student. Correct and suitable training is vital!! IF people knew what they are doing and the dangers caused by their actions, they would have more of a chance in installing systems to a better standard.

Attitudes towards management of systems can completely change how effective a system is. I could install a brilliant compliant system, but if it isn’t maintained adequately, it is only as good as the day it was installed.

That doesn’t stop someone dying, does it?

I came across a project recently where the client has a procedure where the contractor has to sign a permit to agree that they will make good any penetrations to fire compartments to ‘the best of their ability’ as part of their works. They sign the permit in the morning, do the work and bring back the permit at the end of the day. When I carried out a survey I noticed tons of cable and pipe penetrations in the fire compartments, it was like swiss cheese and informed the client that clearly previous contractors have not installed fire barriers. The client turned around to be and said, ‘I have this bit of paper that says they have installed fire seals to their work’. I was gobsmacked!!!!! That paper DOES NOT STOP SOMEBODY DYING IN A FIRE!!!!

Common sense seems to be a thing from the past. It almost seems like we are trained to be robots who cannot think for themselves outside their pre-programme. I say, step outside of the norm and think for yourself. Question everything!! Why do we use this cable. Why do we install smoke detectors there. As a parent it can be funny at first but then frustrating when your child keeps asking why…. but honestly, I encourage my kids to ask why. Then we explore the reason why together.

Who on earth designed that?

In 2017, BS5839 Part 1 was revised and one of the good changes in my opinion was that manual call points are to have covers. So there is a plastic cover that you lift before activating the call point. This is to reduce false alarms by people accidentally pressing them. It is a great idea and has reduced false alarms in the many properties that I manage. But I have seen so many covers installed but have old signage above them advising how to active the call point by pressing it failing to provide the vital information that you need to lift the cover first! It seems obvious to people who are in the know, but in an emergency, a layman may not know this and it reduces the chance of activating an all important system. An example of this was a very fancy building in London I was in recently had manual call points with covers and pointless signage above and all the smoke detection was literally right by an air conditioning ventilation system blowing air into the room. If there were a fire, the smoke would be blown away from the detectors so manual call points would be vital because I believe the smoke detection to be pretty ineffective in this premises.

Who on earth designed that? Design is so important but what is more important is that the design is to be verified by the designer once installed. I strongly believe in third party consultancy where the consultant designs a system based on the clients needs who signs design documentation, oversees the installation and commissioning and testing, then signs a verification of the system to effectively takes responsibility of the system. This is supposed to happen with fire alarm systems but often what happens is either the contractor is the designer and carries out verification or a third party does it but doesn’t sign the documentation at all and leaves it to the contractor as well. Going back to my previous statement, I believe this is a conflict of interest.

If a third party was involved from the outset, it would be in everybody’s interest to make sure everything is how it should be! The problem being is cost. It would cost much more contracting a consultant or third party but can a client who isn’t able to make the necessary judgements themselves afford NOT to have a third party? I mean, I know clients responsible for the electrical systems and fire safety who have never read or even heard of the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 or the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Guess what? Both are free. Click each link and you can download it. Every person involved in systems and management inside the scope of these documents should read them from an apprentice to a manager. They really are not complicated.

I walk around premises all the time and notice issues with fire and electrical safety. The problem is, you cannot un-see them. It could be a pub where a fire exit sign is pointing down instead of left. Or a hanging exit sign which is double sided effectively directing you back into the property. I believe that exit signage is confusing to the layman. Professionals keep saying it isn’t confusing at all. Well of course it isn’t confusing to someone who deals with it day in a day out but in the event of an emergency, the majority of people who need to understand signage, won’t. When I was in the US recently in Disney World, Orlando, in most of the areas, the signage is so clear I felt confident I would be able to find my way out. Every sign was electrically illuminated, directional, says clearly EXIT, and was supplemented by low level signs in places. It just made sense yet I was standing in a very large shopping centre in the South of England the other day and it has the smallest exit signs only located at the exit point which are not obvious unless you look for them because generally they are not at the main entrances and the colour clashes with the colours of all the fantastic shop front displays. It is confusing in normal circumstances. I hold little hope when the place is full of smoke!

Poor escape signage in a pub / restaurant I noticed whilst on a jolly up with the #e5 group in Coventry.

A few years ago a client has a fire in their property and it was reported that people struggled to see to get out due to smoke filling the place as the emergency lighting did not illuminate. Well it wouldn’t! It is run in FP200 fire rated cable and only activates when the mains fails. The mains didn’t fail because the cable withstood the fire! Nobody could turn on the functional light due to the panic of the emergency and didn’t want to locate the switches as they were near the fire.

And just to clarify to a few contractors…. exit signs are not necessarily emergency lights. Think about it.

Just because a contractor is part of a CPS (Competent Person Scheme) does not mean they are competent and/or carry out works to the relevant standards. It is up to the person ordering the work to carry out due diligence to assess if they are able to carry out the work and then review the work is acceptable. Cost SHOULD NOT be the main factor on choosing who does the work and just because they are part of a CPS is not good enough due diligence at all.

Remember, the British Standards are a GUIDE. However, unless you have sufficient knowledge and experience to deviate from the standards, you should stick to them as the minimum. There has been many situations where I have deviated as a designer but I have been happy to take that responsibility without reducing the risk of the level of safety of the system(s).

I believe we all have a duty to improve standards in the industry and can all make steps to assist this:

  • Individuals and companies to continue training externally and internally
  • Review management procedures
  • DO NOT put pressure on time to complete tasks but penalising individuals but also financial incentives to complete tasks in impossible times. There will be errors in this way
  • Stop boasting how cheaply jobs can be done. I am all up for saving money where possible, but under cutting others usually isn’t as transparent as it may seem. When cost goes down, often quality does too
  • Putting safety first…. always…. without compromise. Let’s go to bed every evening, knowing what we have done could save a life
  • Use this fantastic site as a forum to help each other, share experiences and ideas. There are some seriously clever guys and girls on Linkedin who can provide so much help. This is pretty much what #e5 is all about so being part of it is to help each other.
  • Remember that people are humans and not robots
  • We all need to earn a living, but let’s not allow offers to suffer as a result of greed

In the words of Paul Meenan, we should have assurance, not insurance when talking about electrical and life safety systems. Ask yourself, have you done everything you possibly can to ensure you have done your part including highlighting any shortfalls on the parts you may not necessarily be responsible for. If not, you may be breaking the law!

Grenfell was a national disaster but speaking to professionals within the industry, it is no surprise a tragedy like this occurred. The problem with fire and electrical safety is that it only tends to be apparent there is a problem when an accident or disaster occurs, not before hand. IF all fire measures were in place in Grenfell, it may have been a different story. One where many people wouldn’t have lost their homes and lives.

This is how I see ‘The Industry’

I am about to leave my company to set off on an amazing trip, but I believe that every one of my team who works for my company matters. Whether it be my head electrician, my fellow director, receptionist, clients, the guy who supplies my materials and even the cleaner! We all have a role and together, we are a team. The team cannot operate without the team players. This is how I see ‘The Industry’ . We are all involved and linked together. We have our roles and the goal should be to provide safe systems to protect each other and the public. If one team player doesn’t pull their weight, the goal will not be achieved.

I could keep going with this but I hope you get the idea of what I am talking about and can relate, maybe stop and think about a few things I have mentioned.

I would post lots of fancy pictures for this article but my van got broken into and my photos were on a hard drive that also got stolen. Those photos probably will mean nothing to the thieves but little do they know, that they are evidence that could potentially save their lives one day!

Now you’ll have to excuse me because I am currently doing some research on mountain hikes 😉 Must go!

Tradesman van broken into parked in the car park at the Excel in London

#e5

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Kent, England

Holy Crap!! I left my great career to travel the world… Have I made a mistake?

This blog post was originally published on November 5, 2018, I am re-publishing it to show everyone who follows my new blog on danstheengineer.co.uk and my career path.

I’ll explain my background a little.

I quit A levels aged 16 to work to earn money. Soon after, I started an electrician’s apprenticeship which I loved! I worked my way up the ranks very quickly and aged 22 I started up an electrical contractors’ company which grew year on year.

Aged 30 I decided I wanted more from life than working every awake hour 6-7 days a week, the stresses of being an employer, the pressure of a very hard industry and wanting more time with my family.

I had fantastic security of income to pay the mortgage and to provide for my family, a 5-bedroom hillside house with a great view, good cars, and a business which turns over £1.5M per annum.

In the year 2017-2018, my career was at an all-time high. I had been accepted as a fellow of the IET, I helped set up the e5 Group, my YouTube channel Dans the Engineer was growing and gaining lots of interest, business was booming, I had a great client base, and I was given plenty of opportunities within the industry I was about to leave. 

I left the UK aged 31 to embark on an adventure of a life time early August 2018. I am writing this 3-months into my full-time family travel journey lying in bed in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

I certainly left on a high! 

My family have now travelled across IcelandBC CanadaAlaska, California, Nevada and Arizona to where we currently reside in Mexico.

My life is completely different to what it used to be.

I have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is and that really doesn’t matter…. apart from Sunday’s when certain things aren’t open. That can always be a pain.

My life used to be full of strict routine, procedures and schedules. Everything was a timeline. 

I still have timelines now, but they are far more flexible other than flights and key dates.

The only ‘routine’ I have is working out, eating and bedtime. A word was introduced to me recently which I would like to replace routine with; ‘rhythm’.

Typically, I get up when my body tells me it wants to which is around 6.30am. I work out in a gym if I’m near one or a park if the weather isn’t terrible. I then come home and wait for the family to wake up and make us breakfast. My wife then works out and I get the kids ready for the day as well as myself – although getting ready myself usually involved throwing on a top and shorts and I’m done! 

We love food and being vegan, we have to plan where we eat if we choose to eat out but we try to home cook as much as possible if we have a kitchen. In between eating we carry out the usual family chores, but we try to explore in the location we are as much as we can.

It might be a walk on the beach, checking out a town or going to a visitor attraction. It all depends where we are, and we try to be as active as possible…. but we all need rest. So, we do that too! 

My wife Poppy does our travel planning which is time consuming so when she needs the time I will take the kids out. Essentially, we have swapped roles. She was a full time stay at home mum. I worked. I spend a little more time with the children than she does, and she does more ‘work’ than I do.

I also have this huge amount of time that I have never had before during adulthood. We are always doing something but even on a walk up a mounting or around a lake, I don’t need to think about where my engineers are tomorrow, or if Charles has the quotation he was asking for.

I literally have time to think about whatever I like plus to enjoy being in the moment. And this is an important point…. I am totally living in the moment.

The transition from my old to new role has presented some main changes. Another point I would like to make is that I often replace the word ‘change’ with ‘develop’. So here are some of my main developments:

1. Being a main carer of my children.

This is something I never thought I would be doing. I enjoyed fatherhood in my old role but I looked at work as an escape because parenting is tough. I no longer have that. Do I find it hard??? Hell yes!!!! Parenthood is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

I’ve had to adapt my parenting and self to be able to deal with the mental challenges parenting brings. 

I’m not going to lie. My skills still need tweeking but I’m getting there! 

My kids have taught me more than anyone else. I learn from them all the time so it is important for me to embrace this role change and absorb what I can whilst having fun teaching my them and myself.

2. The sense of importance.

Being a business owner, I felt my team relied on me and in some sense they did. I had responsibility on ensuring they had work, were paid, we were paid, projects were completed, and materials ordered.

I’ve worked my way up the career ladder, so I’ve always had responsibility due to always managing but now I no longer have that responsibility.

This was tough. Sure, I have responsibility being a father and husband but that hasn’t changed, but the responsibility that I had with work has totally changed.

I grew up thinking that one must work. One must bring back bread to the Family home and provide – very traditional thinking. I thought that was essential as part of being male. 

Now I am very open minded. I’m not sexist and I welcome change but when that change is implemented it doesn’t mean I can adjust within seconds. I need to process the changes, especially when I have had certain beliefs my whole life. 

When I started travelling and no longer worked for my old business there was a huge hole inside and I started to question who I am and what my role is. I became paranoid that my wife may think less of me and wondered what I offered her. I developed anxiety.

I realised my job defined me!!!!! It was self-importance.

I thought that my job was everything I was, but now I realise how stupid that is!!!!

I’m not just what I my job was. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a friend. A sibling. A son. 

Although I no longer bring home the bread, I support my family. I teach my kids. I encourage both my wife and kids to do whatever makes them happy and support them however I can. 

I have had so little time before travelling to think about myself that I have actually forgotten who I am and have neglected self-care!!!

I know that feeling important was perhaps egotistical and slightly delusional because the truth is my old role has been fulfilled by someone else. Whether or not they do the same job better or worse than me, I don’t know, but they have taken on the responsibility that I thought was so important. Do the engineers call me up asking for my help (not going to lie, I’ve had a few phone calls) but in general, no they do not. It isn’t my job anymore. 

A JOB is temporary thing. YOU are not.

I’ve realised this now, but I know I still need a focus to exercise my mind more than anything. My wife and I are implementing our future plans. To maintain some sort of focus I work out each morning, I read, I eat as well as I can on the move, I meditate and socialise when I can.

I’m spending as much time enjoying what I can, when I can. I’ve started to look after myself!

Since working on myself I understand that when my mind and body is in a good place, I am at my optimum. This is important, so I provide positive energy which transfers to my family. It dawned on me that all the time in my old role I was overworked and practising self-neglect, I was transferring negative energy to my family because I wasn’t happy.

My advice to anyone….. balance is key. You need to work to earn money, but you also need to be happy and do things for yourself. You will not be at your optimum performance if you’re over worked and unhappy. Employers should also take note of this. People are human. Not robots.

If you manage a team of people who are directly affected by you, if you provide bad energy to the team, they will absorb that whereas if you are providing positive energy, they will benefit too! Who wants to be around someone who is always stressing, negative and unmotivated???

3. The relationship with my wife

We have always had what I believe is a good relationship. We care for each other and support each other. We always seem to be on the same page and agree on most things. The extent of arguing is a disagreement about something but that’s it. We laugh more than anything else.

We are with each other ALOT. We don’t see friends regularly. We don’t have an escape from each other (not that we need one). 

We are best friends as well as being married but our bond has grown. We have created a stronger team. We are fully aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help each other where needed. This is so important when travelling because you need team work!

I think mutual respect is vital in any relationship. Understanding each other’s roles and being happy with what each of you provide, whether it is marriage, friendship or a business relationship.

We have become incredibly open with each other. The way to explain it is that you have friends you may talk to about certain topics but not to others. Well, we are that friend in all cases and no topic is off limits.

Our very strong relationship has got stronger!!!!

4. I can do whatever I want to. I can be whoever I am.

I don’t need to answer to anyone but myself.

Obviously, I have to consider any repercussions of my actions, but I don’t have to answer to society! 

I don’t have to do the same as everyone else and don’t have to meet others expectations.

Every country has its own culture which I enjoy learning but as a foreigner, I stick out like a sore thumb in many places. People may already judge me as a tourist which is fine, but nobody’s judgement will influence how I do things, how I dress, or how I act.

I just have to ensure that my family unit are well, and we are living life how we wish to! 

I am essentially at the start of my journey on Our Venture Beyond and hope it may inspire you if you feel you share similar struggles with your life! I will be posting more blogs as I go and hope to share my experiences with you.

The answer to the title of this blog post – I left my great career to travel the world… Have I made a mistake? HELL NO!!!!! I feel free. I feel like me. I am enjoying every second and have zero regrets. I have realised how unhappy I was and how negative my life was but when you’re in the thick of it, it is easy to be blind sighted. Do I know my future and is it secure? Nope, but that is the fun of it. I am in my own story book and I don’t know what is going to happen next!!!!

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Meet Your Coach – Dan Jackson – About Me

My name is Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer. I am originally from Surrey in the UK, but I travel the world full time with my family and I am a business coach. I am a digital nomad!

I served an electrical apprenticeship in the UK, set up an electrical and fire alarm contractors aged 22 and grew it to £1.5 million turnover per annum within 8 years.

I sold my shares in my business so I could spend some much-needed precious time with my wife and two young children.

In this post, I am giving you some further background information about me, what I do and how I can help you. I may come across as a bit nuts, it might just be true!

Diving through the waves at Lucky Bay in Western Australia – The best Beach I have been to! – Instagram @danstheengineer

My clients come to me to help them grow their business, for personal development, marketing, sales, social media strategy and / or to create a better work life balance.

The reason they come to me is because I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, then sold the T-shirt.

I am not all talk and no trousers. Everything I teach or post online is from my own experience. I have evidence to prove it all. I have been featured in a variety of press articles including; The Independent, The Daily Fail, I mean Mail, the IET, Sparks Magazine and IFSEC Global.

I have had a colourful career in the electrical and fire industry. My experience is vast, I’ve worked all over the country in multiple sectors and I have relationships with world leading manufacturers, organisations and individuals. My career highlights include:

  • Being a founding member of the e5 Group
  • Becoming a fellow of the IET aged 30
  • Contributing to industry leading technical publication – Napit’s Codebreakers book
  • Tendering, being awarded and running fire alarm upgrade project of the prestigious 15th century grade I listed historical property – Knole House
  • Selling my business to achieve my dream – travelling the world

Life is full of hurdles and so is business. I wasn’t fortunate to have any mentors. All of my ups and downs came from first-hand experience including being knocked for £60k, winning a contract for the fire alarm upgrade of a 15th century historical property which I project managed, creating all of my own marketing techniques, employment and competing in a market full of cowboys and chancers!

I started blogging about parenting when my first child was born as I was up all night and had nothing better to do. I turned blogging into a business tool, which then developed into creating YouTube videos on my channel Dans the Engineer and regular social media content. All of which contributed to business success and personal development. It is likely you have found me and are reading this due to my knowledge on social media and marketing strategy.

Besides coaching I am a freelance author and content creator. It is work I can do remotely, and I love doing it. I write articles for media companies including technical content and content that will provoke engagement. I also create social media strategy plans for organisations.

Ethics are the forefront of my business morals. I used to treat people like shit! It was only when I had a child, my mindset completely changed and instead of treating staff like robots, I treated them like humans. Compassion goes a long way. I reduced staff turnover, increased morale, had less guys in my team but increased profits! I actively promote employers to reduce hours staff work to increase productivity. Yep, you heard me.

All my methods and techniques are self-taught, and I utilise them to help others. I provide another perspective to business owners because often the guys at the top have nobody to go to. I am that person. I believe in team work and believe collectively, more minds can produce so much more than one, providing communication, direction and ethos are aligned.

My core values are; keeping things SIMPLE, remembering we are HUMAN, and ALTERNATIVE thinking.

In my personal life, I have faced many challenges that we all tend to face in modern society but the big one for me was having such a crap work life balance. I worked like a dog for the majority of my working career with little gain. Now you’ll find me on the beach more than you will find me working #beachlife.

I believe in looking after myself both physically and mentally. Working smart is something that can be taught, and efficiency of individuals and companies is vital to increase profit and available TIME.

I believe time is more valuable than money, but you must go on a journey to find your opinion out yourself. Many of my clients come to me to help create a better work life balance and it is something I am very passionate about.

Exploring Wilson Prom, Victoria, Aus – Instagram @danstheengineer

I am vegan, I am a family man, I research a lot about the environment, I am a feminist (yes you heard me, I’ll explain more another time), I LOVE travel and believe we should show compassion to every being that roams this planet.

I invite you to follow my Instagram @danstheengineer where post about my day to day life to show you the man that lives an alternative lifestyle who many dream of. Honestly, it’s not that exciting. Well maybe sometimes, if you call swimming with sea turtles, seeing humpback whales, learning to trapeze, living in the Bajan jungle with a pack of dogs, being robbed by Mexican police, going inside an Icelandic glacier or randomly getting a boat from Alaska to San Diego, exciting. To me, it’s normal!

Although I have wild hair and I’m slightly crazy, I am honest, I am open minded, I am caring, I love to help people and I have very alternative views and tactics, I am actively working for many clients showing incredible results. Check out my reviews to find out what they say! My CV is also available upon request.

Running a business can be very personal at times and it has been critical to us rely on his level head, knowledge experience. Having Dan Jackson as a consultant has been an absolute asset to the company.Stephen Wallach20/09/2019
Dan has been coaching us since May this year and we can not thank him enough for his expertise, knowledge and experience, He has a positive outlook on work and life, and it’s fab to bounce ideas with a likeminded soul, we will continue to work with Dan and look forward to many more sessions and chats putting the electrical industry/world to right! Thank you DanChris Thompson23/07/2019
Would recommend dans service. Drops in little nuggets of information that get your thinking cogs going. No bs approach and no general management stuff, just brilliant info tailored to your businessneil robinson22/07/2019
I’ve known Dan for nearly three years and our relationship is built on trust and respect. Dan will go out of his way to help anyone in trouble and always offers sound advice. There are few people in the world who look after others, just because it’s the right thing to do, as such, Dan is always seen doing volunteer work online, or in person and trying to change the world around him for the better. I would have no hesitation in recommending Dan, as you will be in safe handsAdrian Davey20/07/2019
I approach Dan after watching some of his Youtube videos. We start chatting, and he helped me improve my business, the way I promote my work, how to offer better services for my customers, plus many more He is knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and approachable. Don't hesitate to get in contact you won't regret it. Many thanks for all your valuables bits of advice, Dan.Laurentiu Martinescu07/07/2019
Dan provides so much value with his business coaching. It has helped me improve my sales technique which has led to greater profits and converting more surveys and estimates into orders. My business efficiency has increased.Harry Kellermann05/05/2019
I can’t say anything but great things about Dan. Both as a person and also the fantastic service he offers. Dan has gone above and beyond in helping me and I can’t thank him enough. His knowledge has helped me improve my business and more importantly helped me as a person which I think is something that is very rare to find. If you are considering Dan’s services I would stop considering and just get on board! Can’t thank you enough Dan!!Joe Cooper29/04/2019
I have been working with Dan and using his services as a business coach since February this year. His help, advice and knowledge within his expert field are second to none! He has a wealth of experience within the electrical and fire industry. Through his coaching sessions I have been able to ensure all the right processes and procedures are in place and have made some great connections! I highly recommend Dan to anybody seeking help within their business! Top man! I for sure will continues to use Dans coaching services, thanks Dan!Daniel Nickson25/04/2019
Dan has been mentoring me for some time now and I have been following him on YouTube for some time too. His knowledge and real life experience is very unique and his mentoring sessions allow me to look at my business as someone who is not only a tradesman but someone who runs a business, who has a family and other commitments . He has helped me work out my day rate, taught me how to deal with customers so I can attract the right customers and how I should always behave ethically whilst doing so. Thanks Dan for all your help, I will be continuing with our sessions as I have a lot to learn and Dan has a lot to teach.AMF Contractors13/04/2019
I've been taking mentoring from Dan and I am really impressed. His knowledge in contracting is incredible and his methods are genius. The focus is partly on my company but also my personal development and my whole outlook at work is different. I really enjoy work now. Dan has taught me how to attract the right people, employees, clients and general people around me!Scott McRae12/04/2019
I signed up for business coaching with Dan to expand my electrical contracting business. It helped me see my business in a different light. Overall It has been a very positive experience and I will be contacting Dan for some more sessions at some stage.Adam08/04/2019

If you ever want to reach out to me, hit the Whatsapp button at the bottom of this page and give me a shout. I might be on another time zone to you or up a mountain, so please be patient if I don’t get back to you quickly.

Best wishes

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

Why I Am No Longer Proud To Be British – BREXIT

Brexit. What a joke. Yet everyone has something to say about it!

I am British. I was born in Britain – England to be exact. I have always been proud to be English. Being English has always been important to me but I always like when Britain pulls together so I would say to many I am British and that I also used to be proud of being British.

I am currently travelling the world with my family. I left the UK in the summer of 2018 with a one-way ticket. To date I have been to Iceland, British Columbia, Alaska, California, Nevada, Arizona, Mexico, Barbados, Florida, Australia and I am currently in India!

I have already mentioned being from England, Britain and the UK. Either way, they typically all mean the same thing to me.

On my travels, I speak to many people and often Brexit comes into conversation. Not so much in Mexico or India but certainly in the other places I have visited. I have spoken to people who simply follow the media, but mainly Brits who have moved abroad or non-Brits who have once lived in the UK. The ‘outside’ perspective of someone who has experience living in the country is very interesting. These people have been Dutch, German, Australian, American, Canadian, Spanish, Swiss, and many more.

They obviously ask my opinion Brexit. I am very upfront from the outset and advise them that once I left the UK, I stopped following UK mainstream media so am not fully up to date with Brexit. The reason I stopped following mainstream media is because it isn’t always factual, it is biased in some form and it is mostly negative. The news isn’t always relevant to me. News articles are created from ‘stories’ that would be popular. The more people would find something interesting whether negative or not is more preferable to publish simply due to popularity. The more people read or watch the media, the larger the advertising potential it has. Media also massively influences people’s thoughts processes so it wouldn’t surprise me if everything was written in a way that was paid for to sway the mindset of the reader. This crooked world is run by greed. Money talks unfortunately and runs the majority of decisions on governmental scales to smaller individual scales.

Anyway…. What do I think of Brexit??

I voted for Britain to remain in the EU.

When I heard the outcome of the United Kingdom EU referendum held on 23rd June 2016 which was that 51.9% voted leave, that was when I decided I wanted out of the country I once loved.

Let me explain.

To date, bearing in mind it has been almost 3 years since the outcome of the British EU referendum, I haven’t heard a single justified reason that has evidence to why the UK should leave the EU. Not a SINGLE reason!!

What I have heard is stories and predictions.

Now, many of you who know me and follow me on social media will know that I do not base all my thoughts and feelings based on facts, but actually I base a lot of it on gut instinct and following my heart. Obviously, logic plays a huge part and that is what I often use in business, because I have to!

I started an electrical and fire alarm contracting business in 2010 near the start of the recession. I was based near London and London was still booming despite construction and the building services industry struggling in the rest of the country. However, the recession really messed up my trade and industry during that period.

Many clients used it as a way to reduce the market value of the services from an electrician simply because many were out of work. When that happens, people become desperate and reduce prices and some even worked for cost or for a loss!!!!

Prior to 2010 starting my business, I worked for a well-established company working all over the country and I earned fantastic money. I was young at the time – in my early twenties and had no children. Life was great. I wouldn’t think twice about splashing a thousand pounds on something. I was made redundant because the company I worked for were into their bank overdraft (or so I was told) and it was taken away by the bank leaving the company with immediate cash flow issues which couldn’t be resolved. Everyone was made redundant overnight.

It led to my opportunity to start my own company and boy it has been one huge learning curve. Learning to be a businessman is very different to being an electrician.

I was a shareholder of my company until 2018 when I sold my shares to travel so I was at the helm of the company for 8 years. The business steadily grew over time to turning over shy of £1.5M before I exited.

At first, things were tough. Partly because it was a start up business but also because we were in a recession. However, 2015 was a turning point. Organisations, companies and individuals had money to spend. The sales of homes were crazy. In parts of the South East, you could put your home on the market, have an open day the following Saturday, have a dozen people round who saw the property for 15 minutes and entered a bidding war to buy it! It was nuts. All good for my industry because there was money and value on spending for installations and maintenance.

Up until 2015, wages in the industry typically hadn’t risen at all. From a point of view as a business owner, I couldn’t charge any more than what we did because the market didn’t allow it. It was still recovering from the recession and how the market rate was massively reduced. Clients were still really keeping costs down and held lots of power. Again, money talks and the UK safety culture tends to understand it has legal duties but neglects responsibilities by passing the buck. Something that shouldn’t be done *cough* Grenfell.

2015 was different. There were tons of work out there. It was amazing. Without being completely ridiculously priced, I could name my price and it would be accepted providing I could deliver the timescales. Fortunately, I had a great team and working short notice wasn’t a problem. Clients would struggle finding an electrician who was available, so I ensured I was available and charged accordingly. Wages were on the increase and so were the market value rates. All good!

When the EU referendum outcome was announced, that all stopped. Home sales decreased. The amount of work declined a little but clients continued pressure with lowering costs again. The prospect of higher wages became all but a dream supplemented by higher overheads to run a business. I noticed cost of living was generally rising in all aspects of expenditure. Nothing went down, it all went up!!!

Up until the referendum, I saw the UK economy from my point of view rise from the recession and was onto a good thing. Once the outcome was announced, it hasn’t moved forward one little bit!!!!!

I spoke to many business owners in a similar position to me, peers and friends about Brexit and I didn’t hear a good enough argument to leave.

“It’ll save the NHS millions” ….. Oh really?? Tell me how…. With evidence.

“We can farm our own foods” ….. Sure we can. UK oranges sound lovely.

“We need to get Great Britain back!” ….. Hmmm. Okay.

“We need to stop immigration” ….. Why? This country has repeatedly been invaded time and time again and immigration is our history! Many have said this who work in construction because they claim foreign workers come over to our country and take our construction jobs. Firstly, the need to build new properties and to maintain existing is relative to the population growth. If it suddenly stopped, it would lead to a huge hole in the need to build new homes and commercial premises. Construction would suffer!!!!!!!!!

Now when people say that foreigners come over to the UK and steal British jobs, I can’t help but roll my eyes. NEVER have I ever thought to myself, someone has stolen my job because they are foreign. I would think that because they offer more than I can to an employer. This is bold and I mean it….. Many Brits are bone idol and LAZY! Yes, you heard that. I come from a council estate in Surrey. It is working class for sure and although there are many very hard-working people there, equally there are completely lazy people who think the government owe them a living. They have capabilities to work but the UK system allows people to be lazy. The majority of people from my home town are white English.

We are brought up in schools thinking Britain is great! Great Britain!!!!! We are led to believe our ancestors sailed around the world making our mark in America, Australia, Asia and Africa and it creates some sort of self-importance. Let me tell you, I have lived in Barbados recently – a country that was cut down, destroyed and created to farm sugar and tabaco worked on by slaves!!!! The history is frightening. There should be no ‘pride’ in that. The brits done this in many new lands across the world killing people as they pleased. It seems acceptable because we forced our social norms and culture across the world dismissing that any others could live any different. Again, all for greed. For precious metals, for land to farm on, oil, and slavery. Money is a man-made product yet, proves to be the most valuable.

Spending time time at the Taj Mahal, India – on my travels

I voted remain because the economy was on the rise in my opinion, business was flowing in the right direction and although there were huge problems in the UK at the time, I didn’t see that leaving the EU would solve issues. In my opinion it would create more.

The aftermath in the UK was weird. It felt like it was divided by the narrow minded who were using racism as a driver for a decision, people who saw value in the EU at the time and people who really didn’t give an F or didn’t have a clue.

Now I don’t think Britain should remain in the EU forever, but at the time and at this time, I think it would be beneficial to stay. There are many countries who are not in the EU who operate very well but you can’t easily compare them. I spoke to some Brits who originally voted not to enter the EU back before I was even a dirty thought on a Friday night and they express how they voted leave simply because Britain hasn’t been the same since and shouldn’t have entered. Comparing back then to now is completely and utter madness. Post war was a very different time. Society was different and so was technology. You can’t compare 25 years or 50 years to now!!!

Speaking to foreigners who were in Britain at the time all have said the same things to me. They didn’t feel welcome in the UK. To work in another country requires bravery in some respects because you have to slot into their system. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t feel they offered you something different to your own country, but diversity is a good thing. If everybody had the same views, came from the same background and did the same thing, you can prevent development because you can’t progress if you use the same practises time and time again without change. Britain needs a change for sure, but I don’t think leaving the EU is the change it really needs.

I found that many people around me based their views on racial influence and hearsay on how better off the UK will be to leave the EU. When someone does this, I switch off. I’m bored of it. Someone please tell me something factual! I am open minded and always willing to learn something. I’m even open to changing my mind.

We cannot trust politicians because it is their job to polish a turd. There is always an alternative motive – usually financial for somebody. Like the media, popularity is important because popularity makes money. Influencing how we live our lives has huge benefit to business and where those with money invest their money. We are simply sitting tax ducks waiting to declare our tax returns to HMRC. The rulers are laughing. We pay for everything!

If I could completely live out of the system, I would!!! But it isn’t easy, isn’t cheap and provides little security. So, I have to suck it up and do what I feel is sensible from time to time. Anything in life has a compromise. I just feel we shouldn’t do everything for this man-made story called money.

As for my future, I have been out the country for 9 months now. I don’t miss it a bit and I love travel. I enjoy learning about British history and society because it fascinates me. Fortunately, I happened to be born in a country where I have white and male privilege. It sucks for those who don’t because believe me, if you travel India and see the poverty first hand, it might make you stop and think about how hard you feel your life has been. I feel countries with privilege should use the ‘power’ influence positive change throughout the world. For now though, I feel the average Brit is sucked into capitalism and materialism because we know no different and lives could be improved at home in many ways. My decision to leave was because I saw a decline in lifestyle, individual money and prospect. I’ll be back at some point because the system forces me too! Plus I better see my family at some point!!!!

Let’s see what happens in Brexit next.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

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