Freedom at work

5 years ago

Simon Middleton (Watershed)We know that many of our customers choose our Sage One online accounting and payroll software because they need the flexibility to manage their business anywhere they choose, at any time; whether that’s via a WiFi-connected laptop in the local coffee shop with an afternoon latte, or on a Saturday morning on their sofa with a tablet.

Sage One Accounts user Simon Middleton knows all about this. He worked for over 30 years as a senior HR director in a range of blue chip companies before started his own company, Watershed, which mentors young entrepreneurs and provides them with the springboard to succeed.

Simon wanted to start his own company to finish his career working towards a goal about which he felt more passionate.

My background

I was involved in the corporate world for over 30 years, and employed in a range of blue chip companies in senior HR roles. This was with a series of high-performance people and organisations with a particular interest in how behavioural economics improved organisations.

Initially I was in my native South Africa then Vienna, Austria with Hewlett Packard. I moved to Phillip Morris Switzerland, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in London before joining Lufthansa services group in a global role in 2002.

Eventually, I decided to leave this world because I wanted to restore my work-life balance. The payoff was no longer a motivation and I was no longer enjoying my work. I feel this mindset has given me freedom to my work.

Why I started my business

My new business is called Watershed to encourage young entrepreneurs who may have been affected by the recent economic downtown to continue to pursue their dreams. I want to remove the risk from these people so they receive financial support, mentoring and guidance. The ultimate aim of my company is to help the entrepreneurs receive investment and convert their dreams into reality.

Behavioural economics is how Watershed identifies these people when they apply. People doing what they love doing! I now have the freedom in my work life to do the things I love and devote time to Watershed while maintaining a steady work-life balance.

How Sage One helps me

This balance is enhanced further because I was recommended to use Sage One by my accountant. I find it very useful and even enjoyable! I can do everything related to my accounts easily on my laptop. (See our in-depth interview with Simon here).