ABOUT DARREN FINLEY DIGITAL
The’ About Me’ page is where you learn about…you guessed it…ME!
It’s where you decide if we’re a good fit. Because when you work with someone, even on an outsourced basis, knowing you’re going to get along well together is important. It is to me anyway. I have to have the right experience and credentials to help in the ways I’ve promised, of course. But I
hope you agree that when we have our monthly conversations, they need to be fun as well as informative. So, rather than bore you with my life story, here’s a snapshot of what’s important to me and what has influenced me.
Me, Dad, Teide
Not only was my Dad the reason I joined the Light Infantry, so I could ‘be like him’, but we also share deep-rooted respect for all those who have and continue to serve. This is us at Etapes, with the number three lady in my life, Teide, our rescued German Shepherd cross.
While there, we honoured the fallen and placed personal messages on graves on behalf of children at a primary school in Washington (Tyne and Wear). This idea is, we hope, about to supported by SSAFA as a national initiative. Watch this space!
Our Rented PC
The next PC for the Finley’s was an all-singing, all-dancing Olivetti Pentium with Windows 95. Sadly, not ours – it was from Radio Rentals (you have to be really OLD to remember them! This meant I could expand my digital knowledge further and spent far too many hours glued to the screen, exploring how it all worked. I was keen to expand my general knowledge too and was ‘gently coerced’ into buying an online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica. WTF!!! I used it twice… But back to the Olivetti. Radio Rentals refused to take it back they said “Keep it”. So I’m not surprised they went bust, and the computer stayed with the Finleys. Boom.
Personal Reminders Of a Past Life
I served in the Light Infantry for 13 years and deployed on nine tours of Northern Ireland. Those 13 years were some of the happiest and proudest of my life, especially when I became an honorary Chosen-Man while serving with 1RGJ temporarily. And, of course, they were some of the most traumatic years too. Northern Ireland was tough as a young soldier. And I experienced some pretty bad bullying for which I still pay the price 30 years later. But even so, there aren’t many moments I would trade. Each – good and bad – has made me the person I am today and led to roles as a BT Engineer, SW Trains Training Champion, and a British
Transport Police Officer. And now, as the owner of my own business specialising in Google My Business and Organic SEO.
Only when you serve can you understand the connection, camaraderie (and the ridiculous banter!) among the armed forces. So it’s those Veterans, starting on their business owner journey, that I want to help with my digital services. And it’s why I spend almost half my working week ‘giving back’. I support Combat Stress as one of two National Veterans Voice representatives in the northeast. I’ve also developed a SITREP Journal to help those who, like me, cope with PTSD. It’s a new venture, endorsed by SSAFA, and the majority of the proceeds from this, I will donate to them.
I’ve mentioned Teide is the number three lady in my life. And my mini-me amazing Mum is second (sorry, Mum!) Theresa is hands down the owner of the NUMBER ONE place in my heart. We met later in life – I’m not sure she would have fallen for me in my squaddie days! – but we are now inseparable. Although not from a military background, she has so much respect for everyone who has served their country. We share a love of all things military, from films to military and marching bands (oh and whiskey?!), and one of our favourite places is Bletchley Park.
Not enough space here to say what an inspiration and support she is to me and everyone she meets – I would be lost without her.
First PC – Commodore 64
My Dad is a proper gadget freak, so we usually had the latest gimmicks and gadgets! SodaStream, VCR, polaroid camera, you name it, Dad bought it.
But this one had the most influence on me, without a doubt. Hours spent on that Commodore 64 is the reason I’m now so confident with all things digital. And was the reason I was chosen to instal the new computer system when I was with 1RGJ. It landed unceremoniously in loads of boxes, and the decision was made, “Corporal Fin’s had a computer – he’ll know what to do!”…