BUSINESS PROFILE: EAMONN STEVENSON OF EAMONN STEVENSON FINANCIAL SERVICES, MOUNTAIN TOP LETTERKENNY
Donegaldaily.com: What is your career and what do you do?
Eamonn: I’m a Qualified Financial Adviser – my job is to give my clients the best possible advise on all aspects of their financial lifecycle – banking, savings, income protection, mortgage, life & serious illness cover, pensions, investments, retirement planning, business planning and any other monetary issues they may have.
Donegaldaily.com: Tell us about your first job and how much were you paid?
Eamonn: Summer job was in Model Bakery at Oldtown – I was a wrapper ( before it became cool) 17.00 punts per week – First full job was in AIB bank 1980 – I earned 3660.00 punts per annum before tax which was 56% then.
Donegaldaily.com: What was your first success in business?
Eamonn: Getting appointed Shift team leader after 3 yrs in the bank – working shifts came with an extra third on my salary and with two weeks where I couldn’t spent money due to evenings and night work, I remember buying shirts every second day instead of washing them – how things have changed !!!!!
Donegaldaily.com: Name the one local or international business person you look up to?
Eamonn: Warren Buffet – An American investor – third richest man in the world who has pledged to give 99% of his income to charity – he already has given 20 billion to charity and when he and his wife die, 99% of the rest will also go to charity. – His ethos in business is “hard work” – and on share/market investments it is “get out when everybody is getting in and get in when everyone is getting out.”
Donegaldaily.com: What has been your biggest mistake in business?
Eamonn: While working in the bank – thinking – that there was a future career plan laid out for me and that all I had to do, was my job to the best of my ability – I learned that if you don’t push yourself or don’t ask for things, no one else will. This is probably the same in all large institutions so remember “the baby that cry’s loudest gets fed first.”
Donegaldaily.com: What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever been given?
Eamonn: All the so-called Secrets of Success will not work unless you do – If you say you will do something, do it, and laugh every day.
Donegaldaily.com: What advice would you give to someone starting out in business today?
Eamonn: Sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pen – and write down, what you want to do – how you are going to do it, what are the costs (all the costs) how are you going to meet these costs – who or what is your market – who are your competition what are they doing right, what they could do to be better, basically do a business plan in writing . Then do up a cash flow plan – many very profitable businesses fail due to lack of cash flow. If doing up a business plan or cash flow is something you feel you cant do – go to somebody like me – but this is very important for start-ups.
Then work hard and stay positive.
Donegaldaily.com: What one item would you take with you to a desert island and why?
Eamonn: Bear Grylls – he was able to survive the west of Donegal and Glenveagh, what a man !!!!
Donegaldaily.com: What item can you not do without?
Eamonn: My Phone – sorry, I know I grew up without mobile phones but that’s only because they were not invented – the amount of times in the past I waited for people who couldn’t make it and were unable to let me know.
Donegaldaily.com: What item would you prefer to do without?
Eamonn: Simon Cowell – he has invented a show where he doesn’t have to pay the performers – we pay him money by voting for these people then he gets a contract with the best of them, so he can make more money – no wonder he can look smug.
Donegaldaily.com: What do you do in your spare time (if you have any)?
Eamonn: Don’t have much between Lions Club and Letterkenny Chamber – but love spending time with my wife and kids. Walking in Glenveagh with my family on Sunday mornings is my favourite time of my week.
Donegaldaily.com: When will you retire?
Eamonn: Never – didn’t the Government do away with retirement ???
Donegaldaily.com: What’s your tip to surviving the recession?
Eamonn: Don’t spend money you don’t have – seek out value for money – review all your financial outgoings, are they necessary, could they be cheaper – things have gotten cheaper over past number of years eg. Life cover etc. Work together – we are all in this together but by shopping local and supporting local businesses – money circulates within this area and helps everybody.
Donegaldaily.com: What one thing would you do if you were Finance Minister to help business?
Eamonn: One Thing – there’s so many things we need to do – We are a spending economy so taxing people only reduces spending power – finish all the capital expenditure jobs that have now been put on hold – Nama was to put 5 billion into the economy this year 2010 where is it ? Japan tried to tax its way out of recession and it took 15 years – USA and Britain have pumped billions into their economies and are over the worst. In Ireland the light at the end of the tunnel has just gone out. But be positive, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
INTERVIEW WITH GREG HARKIN