We recently connected with Patrick Forde and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Patrick, thanks for joining us today. Who is your hero and why? What lessons have you learned from them and how have they influenced your journey?
I think the greatest heroes among us are the medical professionals around the world that go without sleep to save lives.
A big inspiration is my Mother. While raising a large family and doing her fair share of farm work, she still had the time to encourage us and make us believe we could be better than average through education. I think of her strength as it has helped me get through challenges on my own in this country.
For public figures, I find inspiration from people like David Bowie. He was fearless, he was at his best when charting his own course. He rarely pandered to the public, yet showed utmost respect to his audience by only delivering his very best.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I grew up on a dairy farm in Ireland. My favourite task was tinkering with tractors. Our tractors weren’t the newest, so there was plenty of opportunity to repair and modify. This lead me to studying Mechanical Engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology.
We had cattle dogs on the farm. As much as I love dogs, I learned early that I am not cut out for dog training. Dog training for herding is quite intense. So, I really respect dog trainers out there and I’m glad I can contribute by building agility equipment.
I moved from Ireland to Austin TX in my twenties. Having worked in IT most of my career, I wanted to work in something that is a combination of engineering and visual creativity. In 2017 I created two dog playscapes and promoted them on Facebook. Once I got some traction, I realized this is what I wanted to do full time. I quit my job in IT and I’m grateful every day for that decision.
Conversations about M&A are often focused on multibillion dollar transactions – but M&A can be an important part of a small or medium business owner’s journey. We’d love to hear about your experience with selling businesses.
For 11 years, I co-owned an IT business. We had branches in Austin and 2 other cities. Although it was still quite small, it got big enough to the point where I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. We sold to a larger company probably for the wrong reasons. The buyout was not as smooth as we hoped. So, I would advise anybody in that position to make sure they know what his/her role will be at the new company, examine the accounting practices of the purchasing company before selling and most importantly get a good business lawyer throughout the transaction. In addition the purchasing company should understand and have a real interest in the nature of your company’s business.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Thankfully, I’ve had an easier journey than many people. I would say the most challenging time for me was after I sold the previous company. The financial strain with the legal process was tough. I also had two sons about to enter college which of course is not cheap. I think that during times like that you need to convince yourself that no matter what comes around you have the tenacity and adaptability to push through. It would be so easy just to hang on to a job that makes you unhappy, but for as long as I’m healthy I will still dream about improving my life and my kids’ lives. That’s why I’m so grateful to be working at Puppy Scapes.
- Website: www.puppyscapes.com
- Instagram: puppyscapes
- Facebook: @puppyscapes
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-forde-0a7b9311/