Debra Burns: The brains behind the brilliance that is Boss.

Was it always a goal of yours to one day to have your own agency? 

No!  It was a happy accident – I worked in hair and make up and got to know some brilliant clients, and how the business worked.  That’s how it all started.

 

Was there a key moment that made you take the risk and make the ultimate decision to create your own business?  

I was the black sheep of the family, I left school at 16 and wanted to be independent, get a job, earn my own money, and do things I hadn’t been able to do before.  I was unconventional, and not afraid of taking risks.  I didn’t actually see it as a risk – more of an adventure.

Who/what are your biggest influences?  

 

Music has always been important to me, I have massively varied tastes but classical always comes out on top.  I love the powerful stuff – Wagner, Verdi, Brahms – there is classical music for every single mood you can imagine. Also choral and religious music – Bach’s St Matthew Passion is my absolute favourite.  I worked at Strawberry Studios when I was 18 for a couple of years which was totally inspirational and a lot of fun working with some of the most influential Manchester bands and international artists.  I read a lot of the philosophers in my teens and twenties which helped me form my views of the world.  I was also massively influenced by spiritual teachings and have practised meditation and yoga for many years. My Dad died when I was 25 so that made me ask a lot of questions about life and what we are here for.  He always said that no matter what you do, just do your best, and no-one can ask more of you than that.  So I do my best.

 

Boss is turning 30 this year, and since the launch it has achieved so much – to what do you owe the success of the company? 

Wow that’s a big question!  It is attributable to so many things – drive, passion, knowledge, people, and intuition, and an unrelenting commitment to getting things right.

What attributes in your eyes does it take to become an influential business woman? 

If you’d have asked me that a few years ago I’d have said the same as it takes to become an influential businessman, and then triple it.  Now, the landscape has changed so much for the better.  I’d say determination, intelligence, understanding and a great deal of commitment.

If you could describe yourself in three words what would they be? 

Passionate, altruistic, committed.

What are your hopes and dreams for the companies future?  

I love Boss and what it stands for.  Our company values are really important to me and our staff – our clients have come to know that we stand for trust, transparency, honesty, respect and integrity, and we bring these values into everything we do.  I’d love nothing more than for Boss to continue to influence people and be a force for good in the world. We help our people to develop and aspire to be more than they sometimes thought possible. Achieving success in this industry is often a hard and difficult lesson in self development and awareness, and to be part of the development of so many peoples lives is incredibly rewarding.  We see our responsibility to help young people as a serious commitment, and that’s what we do, we help people grow and learn and achieve both personal and professional goals. Which is why we have a happy, thoughtful, thriving, busy agency who stand up for what is important.

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