Hi all, I’m pretty sure you have already guessed I’m called Steven Spiller. I’m originally from somewhere near the Severn Bridge which crosses the river Severn between England and Wales. I can’t remember exactly where as I left to live with my dad and stepmother when I was about 8. It’s true about the first few years having the most impact of your life – being raised in the country I have always preferred the quiet of the woods and open fields to the hustle and bustle of town and city life.
I left school in 1984 with 3 O levels and 5 GCSEs. My first job was working for a gentleman’s tailor in Winchester as a shop assistant. I left that job after about a year and have had a variety of jobs after that; milkman, delivery driver, barman, bar manager even working in a warehouse for an airline but just never found the right job for me.
In 1994 I started a back to work scheme about 6 weeks early because I kept pestering the local job centre for a place. Now, you normally didn’t get on a back to work scheme until you are unemployed for about 6 months. I didn’t want to wait that long! I joined the staff at a local computer sales and repair shop as an unpaid trainee (I’d get unemployment benefit instead). I hit the ground running. This was the job for me! This was where I got my nickname of Fred. Short, boring story, not worth repeating (there was another Stephen working there already).
I know, repairing and building computers doesn’t sound much of a career choice to most people. I found the simple logic of how computers worked interesting. The most fun was figuring out their little quirks and how to make two bits of technology that should work together, but didn’t, give in and co-operate. After about a year I was offered a full-time position.
After a couple of years I moved to another small computer company still in its infancy and watched how that company grew from 3 people (including myself) to over 15. Still small stuff to most people, but we were close and had fun.
I was then asked to help build a website called the Missing List which would be the first to offer crime mapping of the UK. We would receive press releases from the various police forces, enter them into a custom database and show a map of the location using Google Maps. This was before the Home Secretary decided it was a Good Thing™. While Crime Watchers was concentrating on the “big-ticket” stuff – ongoing murder investigations and big crime stories, we covered everything from stolen milk bottles, to antique jewellery thefts, to petrol bilking.
Shortly before the full and official launch, there was some disagreement between the main backers which caused the Missing List to come to a screeching halt. the Missing List is now maintained by a core group of people with no funding and no advertising budget.
I was not able to find full-time employment quickly after that and so registered as self-employed instead. I have sustained a life being the go-to guy for computer help and website builder for a small but slowly expanding group of people in my local area.
Building websites is enjoyable, but only 25% of the job. I knew I had to learn how to market and improve the websites performance. I over-spent on various tutorials, guides, so-called “push button” software, etc. Then I heard about John Thornhills’ Partnership to Success program after attending one of his webinars. For the life of me I cannot remember what the webinar was about! What stuck with me though was John’s true no BS style, coupled with an obvious talent for inspiring people. I took the plunge, investing in what I believe will be the turning point of my online career. Who knows, 2014 might be The Year!