Business Development Director at EFM Ireland takes the Business & Finance 60-second interview

Former TD and Business Development Director at EFM Ireland, Áine Collins, met up with the team at Business & Finance magazine to take part in their 60-second interview.

Take a look at Áine’s answers below:

Q. What was your first job?

I discovered the value of work and reward from a young age – selling cabbage at local markets in Cork for my Dad. The incentive was that you had to pick the cabbage for the day, and you could keep whatever monies you made.

My first “real job” aged 19, as a legal cashier at Bolton & Lowe, was with a law firm at Temple Bar in London. It was a challenging time to be a young Irish professional in London as it was 1988 at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It is interesting to reflect on this time, especially now in the context of Brexit.

I believe lessons learned in your first job can lay the foundations for the rest of your career – and this job certainly fueled my passion to enter the world of finance and the importance of the hard-earned penny!

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

I consider this my role in driving the policy change for the self-employed to equalize the taxation system, as a TD from 2011 – 2016, as my greatest work achievement. I found being a member of Ireland’s Parliament an exceptionally fulfilling role, where I helped lead a difference on issues that were of major importance and that had direct effect on our country’s policy making and governance.

On a personal basis, my greatest achievement is being a mom to three children, one of which is now an adult living in Toronto and two who are still in national school. And, last but not least, choosing a husband who is supportive in all that I do.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Content business owners.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“You will get a lot further in life with a bag of sweets than a bag of sticks!”

I set up a accountancy practice in Millstreet in 1996 and a client who is in the construction sector said this in the early days in the context of managing and leading people, bringing people with you. This has always stuck with me and on many occasions in many walks of life l repeat it to myself.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

By being open, transparent, energetic, trusting and having a vision that is well communicated and understood. I really enjoy connecting people and seeing what can happen.

Q. How do you relax?

I relax by taking time out to enjoy activities such as hill walking in Kerry, going to the gym, running and cooking. Listening to Andrea Bocelli, especially while walking the beach in the Maherees, is like my medicine for the soul.

Q. What’s your motto?

Have No Regrets, Keep Focused and Drive On!

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

At EFM Ireland, we hope to promote the growth of the Irish economy through our support of the SME sector. We provide our small to medium business clients with the benefit of having an experienced Finance Director on their team – without bearing the full-time cost – who will work in partnership with them on business strategy, financial advice and management services.

We work with our clients to develop the roadmap to their business growth and how to maintain a steady level of continuous development. We believe thriving small to medium indigenous businesses are Ireland’s answer to a secure and successful national economy and we hope to play our part in that success.

Contact EFM Ireland

Find out how EFM Ireland’s financial management & business advisory services can benefit your company. Get in touch with Áine Collins via Email or call 0872326945 to set up your free one hour consultation.