A DAY IN THE LIFE
David Duke, Founder & CEO of Street Soccer Scotland
David Duke is the founder of Street Soccer Scotland, a non-profit social enterprise that delivers a range of football-related services to socially disadvantaged adults and young people. He lives in Leith, Edinburgh.
What time does your alarm go off?
I usually get up around 6am. If I’m in another city for meetings, this gives me plenty of travel time and if I’m office based, it allows me to get a head start on the day ahead. I always start the day by catching up on emails and/or creating my daily to do list drinking some peppermint tea and listening to Radio 1.
What is a typical day for you, and who are you responsible for?
Every day is different for me. My diary can include a variety of activity, from meetings with potential and current partners, government action groups, team meetings, visiting our programmes, or speaking at events.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
In 2008, I was working for The Big Issue in their offices alongside my youth work in the evenings, and I was also doing football coaching at the weekends. The following year I set up Street Soccer Scotland to provide support for people who were experiencing difficult times and to use football as a catalyst for change. I drew on my life experiences and how football and the right support helped my own journey.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s hard to pick a single piece of advice. I think we should always be looking to improve personally and professionally and for me, advice comes from a variety of sources, our players, people involved in the sector, or other leaders who I’m connected to. I pick up most new knowledge and skills by watching people and how they do things. Watching what people do, instead of what they say is always better.
What are the best things about your job?
I enjoy working with passionate and caring people, such as our staff, our players, and our supporters and seeing their support grow.. Sometimes the work we do can be really life-changing for others and that inspires me.
How do you unwind after work?
In the evenings, I like to go jogging and play football to clear my head and help with my decision making. If I’m ever struggling to carry out a piece of work, I’ll go on a run and then come back and get the job done. I also like to play guitar as it allows me to switch off and relax.
Where do you go for personal &/or professional advice?
Personal advice always comes from friends, people who I trust. I seek professional advice from a range of people in my network who I value and look up to.
Who is your go-to colleague to get things done?
The great thing about our team is that everyone is really passionate and driven, but my PA Nicole massively helps with my workload and scheduling.
What do you attend/read/watch to get ideas and inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many places, the people I meet and work with and from other organisations who are out there making a difference. I read a good book recently called: Doing Good Better by William MacAskill, which is about the effective altruism movement. Another is the Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, who was a Scottish self-made steel tycoon and philanthropist.
How do you stay productive throughout the day?
I’m constantly on the go, so making sure I have time to eat well and also have quiet times (phone off) allows me to think and focus.
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