David Cook

Founder of Out Of Office

My Name is David Cook and I'm the founder of a company called Out Of Office which helps people to start their own businesses and leave the corporate world.

Since you don’t know me yet let me just tell you a little bit about myself and why you should let me be your guide in this programme.

Going back a few years I was in university studying towards an engineering degree, I was going to build airplanes, rockets and other cool stuff. In the third year of study my friend convinced me to take a gap year in London, apparently investment banks were looking for engineering students and we would have a better chance to join if we studied there.

In 2005 I didn’t know what an investment bank was but fast-forward two years I was sitting on the trading floor of one of the largest financial firms in the world. There’s a book called “The Accidental Investment Banker” and I guess that could have been me. I was doing fine but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do in life.

I had wanted to start my own business since my university years but from this point I was more determined than ever before. I tried all types of ideas with various friends, starting a rental car company, an advertising firm and a mobile phone contract company amongst other ideas.

The main problem was that none of these ideas could really take off without us leaving our jobs and become entrepreneurs full time. We had all been poor students the years before and our new jobs were paying well with new financial security. I started to give up on the idea of starting my own business and prepare for a long career in finance instead.

It was around this stage I came across two crucial ideas, system thinking and a virtual business model. Coming from a scientific background this really appealed to me, being able to set up a business system and test and maximise each component seemed to be the perfect way to learn. This was also something that I could test myself as a side-business while still working. So I wrote an eBook initially and started to figure out how to sell it.

In the beginning it didn’t work too well, first I didn’t have enough traffic and once managed to get that handled my landing page didn’t have enough conversion. But bit for bit I figured it out until I began to have predictable results and the business became profitable and allowed me to leave my permanent job.

I noticed that many of my colleagues around me seemed unfulfilled at work but was stuck in the financial security the job gave them. This is when I started the Out Of Office business; I figured that if I could do it I could show other people what I’ve learned and help them set up a side business as well.

So now I hope that I can show you how to find a profitable business idea and be on your way to your own successful business.

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