Firstly let me start by saying a big thank you to all for your kind messages.
I must say I was tempted to use this space to “promote” our services but decided instead to off load the last ten years. It has been a heck of a ride. I remember when I left IMD, a fantastic business school in Lausanne, to start my own business. I started out with bravado and dare I say it… a lot of arrogance. It was a steep learning curve!
We started out with the promise of earning millions and being our own bosses, we would conquer the world where no other has conquered before. Our first step was to create a website, print letter headed paper to deliver all our invoices on and business cards to give out to all those desperate for our services. Well if I were to do it again (and I have many times over the last ten years) I wouldn’t bother with the headed paper, I can’t count the number of times we have changed our “look” to adapt to our clients, so the business cards, as cheap as you can get without looking tacky. The website, well I learnt don’t sit back and expect the clients to role in because they won’t.
On making millions, well actually in some respects we have. I know this might sound corny but we have had millions of experiences and learnings. We have met people we would never have met otherwise. We have been driven to do things that we would never have thought of doing at the beginning. I have felt, that for some, we have truly been privileged to be next to our clients in some of their most important discoveries. So have we made millions of $ ? No, we paid the bills but we have something infinitely more precious than money, experience.
On being our own bosses, how are we doing there? Well it’s true that you start out with grand strategy plans, visions, missions and loads of conviction. Then you take it all to the market place and people look, get excited, and ask if you can adapt to fit their vision, mission and conviction. In the beginning we said “No! This is what we stand for!” Then economic reality starts to set in. Now don’t misunderstand me we stick to our values and we move forward on our vision and mission but reality is, my boss is my client. So no I don’t have one boss I have many bosses and I listen to them intently to try and understand how I can be of the best service to them.
How close have we come conquering the world? Well as my world has changed so radically over the last ten years I would have to say that, yes I feel I am conquering my world but I have learnt that, whilst I am the centre of my world, I am not the centre of theworld.
Thank you to all of our clients, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and competitors who have helped to make the last ten years so amazing. My biggest thanks goes to Lise my wife and business partner who has put up with me for the last ten years. I can say with absolute honesty I look forward to learning from you all over the next ten years too.
If you are starting out on this journey believe in yourself, accept advice from others and when times get tough (and they always do) let the internal questioning drive you to new ways of doing things. Oh and remember “you will never know …”.