Surviving for a while only on cereal, and earning a meagre, but honest and necessary, living working in a Thai takeaway, he had ambition to do something else.
And after a long, hard slog, with support from many others, he achieved that ambition by setting up his own IT outsourcing company – a company which now has 6,000 UK clients in the UK, and is rapidly expanding its growth into the US. It employs over 99 people, and has achieved an annual turnover of more than £12m, with yearly 5-fold annual growth.
So, success in abundance, and all looking rosy in Mr F’s world? Well yes … and maybe no.
The best thing I heard about this wonderful rise to fame, rags to riches, hard-work, business success story was that Mr Furness has had to overcome some insecurities to get where he is now.
“I always had a fear of being found out… that I had made it up as I have gone along,” he says.How wonderfully honest and humble and brave.
I know a few people who I guess might feel a little like Mr Furness. They’re brilliantly talented people, much admired by all (if only they’d believe it), with proof of their excellence being their ability to having held down a fabulous job in a very demanding, competitive industry without . . . being found out.
For the only thing to find out about them is that they have the capacity to be even more marvellous.
That is, of course, if the imposter syndrome doesn’t take hold and destroy their chance.
Being modest about your achievements is a good thing – it’s a trait that I firmly believe makes for some of the best leaders, those who don’t need to boast about their talents or skills. You definitely know one of these leaders when you meet them.
But not acknowledging your own talents, or worse still believing that others can’t possibly see them, can be destructive, demotivating and dispiriting – they’re not the qualities most of us look for in our leaders.
So lest you are in danger of letting that imposter syndrome take hold of you and blight what you do today or tomorrow, please can I encourage you to ask yourself just one very simple question: