Not many boys dream of getting into insurance when they grow up, which is probably as it should be. When it comes to exciting careers, handling insurance claims isn't much of a match for a career as a footballer, WWF wrestler or fighter pilot.
Yet at the age of 23, Daniel Mitchell did exactly that. In 1993, he set up The Source as an IT components provider, which he then turned into a supplier of IT products to insurance companies. Mitchell, now 33, saw that most insurers were still asking their clients to provide three different quotes for replacing lost or damaged IT products, then writing a cheque for the cheapest. The Source aimed to save insurance companies time and money by supplying competitively priced replacement products.
Having started with a team of four, The Source now employs 44, and lists Zurich, Churchill and Direct Line among its clients. Turnover is predicted at pounds 15 million for 2002-03. Mitchell has also spun off his original IT components firm into Rapid Source IT, of which he remains non-executive chairman. And he found time in 1998 to launch Notebook Express, a laptop distribution business that he later sold to Connect Electronics for a 'seven-figure sum'.
Mitchell could probably afford to stop work if he wanted to, but he has changed his goal of retiring at 35 and now plans to continue launching and running businesses that he loves. 'What drives me is enjoying what I do as well as the financial reward,' he says. So insurance can be fun after all.