Speirs Gumley owner Lorraine MacDonald has a confession. Before her successful property management career, she wanted to be a PE teacher.

Appearing on the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey, Ms MacDonald admitted: “I never chose property management. I wanted to be a PE teacher and frankly didn’t get the qualifications. I then decided to be in the police but was too small. No matter how hard I tried to stretch myself there was no way I was getting above five foot two!”

So she started as an office junior in property management. “As office junior information’s power and I remember I had to do all the filing but I also read all the filing. When someone asked a question I had the answer because I’d read the file. All of a sudden you get noticed and can move quickly.”

Despite this and having worked in a property management company for eight years Ms MacDonald decided to pursue a singing career and was on the cusp of leaving when she got a call from Speirs Parnie & Adam and was asked to join. She’d go on to become sole owner of Speirs Gumley. However there were challenges.

“My team are great and I bounce a lot off them but being the owner of the business and realising I’m solely responsible for 70 people’s lives and jobs was a big transition.”

Asked if there was any advice that had been helpful Ms MacDonald replied: “I remember having an honest and frank conversation with the bank. I had to say: ‘Here’s where we are. Here’s what I’ve got. How can we make this work?’ and not be embarrassed by the fact I managed to buy Speirs Gumley without having a huge amount of money behind me. I think it’s that: wear your heart on your sleeve sometimes. Just be honest with people.”