In just over a week, Futrsmpl will celebrate its 1st anniversary.
And, in just under a week, we are heading to the Scotland & Northern Ireland final of the great British entrepreneur awards where we are shortlisted for the creative industries entrepreneur of the year.
This time last year I was wondering whether to try going it alone, whether anyone else would see value in a marketing consultancy concentrating on the strategy and effectiveness over design.
I may have had the confidence to do it, but I didn’t have the confidence to be the face of it.
When I launched the 1st (of many!) iterations of futrsmpl.com I presented it as a new company I was working for, not one I had set up myself, afraid people would think I was being too big for my boots or being ridiculous for thinking little old me could do I such a thing.
But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that you have to own who you are and who your company is for people to get behind you and want to be part of your journey. Whether you’re working from a windowless shed or trying to cram in work while your toddler old naps. No one wakes up with the perfect business it’s a journey and, all going well, it always will be one.
I was at the startup summit this week and one of the founders of FreeAgent, Ed Molyneux, described running a company as, like a drug, there can be incredible highs but to have those highs you have to be prepared to deal with the equally strong lows that inevitably come too.
I am far from running a Freeagent scale operation but even on the small scale I am in I can attest to those highs and lows. And if running a business is a drug, I think a may be addicted.
You’d think with my mental health background talks of highs and lows would be enough to make me steer clear, but I think having had a wealth of training in managing my own ups and downs (thank you NHS) I’m in a strong place to identify, monitor and manage them.
My mental health was negative for a very long time, now I’m enjoying having a reason to take some of those leanings and make them a positive force for my business, life, and family.
As part of the package of being shortlisted for the GBEA awards I get to use these quotes for my business:
Creator of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “We have been inundated with some incredible entries this year, and all shortlisted applicants should be extremely proud of themselves! This year has yet again seen a record number of entrants and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the strength and diversity of applications.”
“We cannot wait to celebrate entrepreneurship across Great Britain with them, and put a spotlight on the incredible talent within the British entrepreneur ecosystem.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank said: "Following another record-breaking year, I want to thank all of the entrepreneurs who entered and congratulate those who have been shortlisted, I look forward to seeing them at the regional finals.”
“Entrepreneurial spirit is still clearly alive and well, and NatWest is thrilled to be able to continue to support these awards to celebrate success with the businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK Economy as they start, scale and succeed.”
I know, they are generic and all those shortlisted get to use them. But it is still pretty awesome, right?
Whether I win or not next week, I’m going to be there. At a celebration of amazing businesses; I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.
If developing a business is a journey of highs and lows, I’m going to be sure to make the most of this high.
I mean it’s pretty good of them to organise the awards in time for our first birthday, it would be rude not to enjoy them..!
In the last year, we have worked with some amazing businesses, delivered some fantastic results, doubled in size (not that hard when there is only one of you to begin with) and had the pleasure of working alongside some truly inspiring people as part of the Royal Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator.
Roll on year two - we’ve got big plans for you!