It actually happened...
Updated: Apr 30
I still can't believe this is reality.
It's been a lifelong dream of mine to start my own business, but whether it be due to inexperience, insecurities and a torrent-load of various other -in's, the opportunity was never taken. But now, it has finally happened and Sweet Child o' Mine, am I excited!
How it came to pass is a long story and certainly isn't one I want to bore anyone with - not in the absence of a whiskey or two, anyway. But the opportunity has come about and despite how corny and Hollywood it might sound, I had a realisation that if I don't do it now, I might regret it a few years down the line. I didn't want to think about what might have been.
For the last four years or so, I've been working for a Swedish telecommunications company. They're listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm, are on the road to world domination in their industry and it has been a pleasure to be a part of it. I joined the company in late 2015 as a Marketing Coordinator. Jack of all Trades, Master of None. Back then, I was young, raw and nervous. God knows what possessed my manager to take a punt on me, a working class lad with little to show, but she did.
I worked hard, I was learning every day, in an industry which was moving so fast at the time and one that is still powering on like a freakin' juggernaut. After showing what I could do and impressing, I was promoted to Marketing Automation Manager in early 2017, which then expanded into Marketing Communications Manager in mid 2018. I was on a steady path to success at a global company which had shown no signs of slowing down, and certainly hasn't since.
Everyone was (and still is, AFAIK) chocker busy, the perfect baptism of fire for this venture. I was also fiscally comfortable, pulling down a very good salary that people on the daily commute up to The Big Smoke would be jealous of. Difference is, I wasn't the mug standing outside Canterbury West at 6AM every morning. So, I hear you say, why would I leave a job that paid so well and take a huge risk in starting my own business?
That's an easy question to answer. I wanted to do it for me. My father has his own business, a butcher. Back in 2006, he took a risk to buy his shop. I remember there being NO money around that time. We weren't well-off, anyway; my parents made sure my siblings and I wanted for nothing, usually to their own detriment, but times were always pretty tight. The day before we moved out to Preston village from Spring Lane, Dad gave me a scrap note from his back pocket so I could go down to St Lawrence and watch Kent play Worcestershire. Years later, I finally found out that the tenner he gave me was the last bit of cash in the house. I cried.
I cried because as I grew up, I saw the risk he took. Bank loans, credit cards, borrowing from family and friends. Putting everything on the line to better himself and his family. To give my siblings and I the upbringing he wish he had. But I look at him now, a success in his own right. I might have been a working class lad with nothing to show in 2015, but Dad is the Working Class Hero that John Lennon sung so eloquently about.
He made a success of himself and answers to no one. Well, except my Mum, but you would too if you met her. Butchery certainly wasn't for me, but I still want to be like the old man.
Now, it's my turn to take that risk. As everything that I've done in my life, I'm giving it my everything and that resonates with the work that I am conducting for my clients, and will continue to do with any new ones I am lucky enough to work with.
A working class hero is something to be.