I'll be honest when I say I really didn't expect to be here (here in the sense of the size of amber energy now, the great team I have around me, and the new shiny offices we are in)....

Sure, the plan has always been to grow the business and to deliver a service that stands out for the right reasons....It's always been the plan to diversify the offering so that we could look at all things energy, and it's always been the plan to try to be a little bit different...

So why am I pleasantly surprised about how the last 5 years have gone?

Well, I suppose you just plan for the worse and hope for the best (even if your business plan disagrees), so when the best keeps coming (touch wood!) the challenge can become keeping up with the growth.

It's a great challenge to have & it's certainly where we are now at Amber HQ...we've been taking on near a member of staff a month recently and training and development of the team is now a big part of the role I have...

It's nice to look back at some of the earlier challenges...

I think back in 2009-11 I did suffer from the start-up syndrome a little. Those who have started a business, met or done business with a start-up will probably know what I mean.... It's a bit like being an overbearing parent who wants their kid to be the next David Beckham but hasn't quite worked out yet that they have two-left feet! Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that I had a business proposition that couldn't kick a football, just that it was far from being refined, far from being a brand, and far from performing on the big-stage.

What I did have however was a background of wanting to challenge the way things were done, asking the question 'why do we have to do it that way', researching for answers until I was blue in the face, and then point-blank refusing that we couldn't make changes...I reference my days as a relationship manager for Royal Bank Of Scotland....I don't think having a challenging attitude necessarily makes you many friends but it certainly shakes things up and gets you answers...

I've had to tone that guy down a little as I've developed the business but I always remember why I got into the energy sector in the first place....it wasn't to have a team of people or to have a nice comfortable office space- to be honest........ you accept that you may never ever have those things when you start your own business it's all about a mission, and delivering on promises to make a change....

I'm hugely passionate about energy because the amount of problems and in particular corruption that exist in the sector. I've always thought, why don't other businesses just think long-term and avoid making a quick-buck and instead try to build a brand? I don't know the answer and can only think that sometimes the temptation of making that extra few £ is too much for some people...

I still get a massive sense of satisfaction and achievement when we help a small business save a few hundred quid. It's what it means to the business that is important to me. It's also really cool when someone tells us how different our service was; being different is really important to me.

The last point (being different) is part of the make-up of amber energy. I decided when I started the business that the journey wasn't going to be to follow the profit but to follow the problems in the industry. So when we hear that a business is un-happy, angry, or close to 'blowing up' over energy problems we are inspired to find a solution...

So what have we had to say hello & goodbye to? Well, gone are the days of the "board meeting" with my Dad and brother, Kevin & Chris up at top golf, and gone are the days of myself and Mark (then my 1st FTE, now one of the seniors in the business) wearing flip-flops in the home office and cooking £1 pizza's in my oven for lunch..those pizza's were ok I guess.

We've just said hello to another 3 members and are growing the team towards 20 members of staff, we've just broken 10k of monies made for charity (with the success of the 2nd annual Charity Cup), we've just launched our www.studentenergyproject.com, as well as 20Below Solar, Wales Zero, and currently under development is Energy Relief.

So it all sounds a bit of work and no play, reading back the paragraph above, but rest-assured we work-hard play-hard. In the past week alone we've done an awards night on the thames, a festival with one of our long-standing clients, and Belfast with our extended team from Mission Performance . Oh, and I'm off to CUBO tomorrow for a couple of days (a student housing conference with a cheeky black tie event tomorrow night for good measure).

As we make exciting plans for year 6 one thing I can't forget is just to say thanks. Thank you to anyone who took a punt on me back in 2009-11; as there were some dark and gloomy days back then & thanks to all those who have joined amber energy as a member of staff, a client, or a supplier during the last 5 years.

I(We) couldn't have done it without you!