1. Biggest Mistake you made in the last year & how you fixed it?
I like to think I’m a nice human being and that everybody else in the world is too. But we all know that’s not true, some people aren’t trustworthy, they don’t act upon their words, and ‘gentleman’ promises are a fairytale.
On this occasion I met a new client who was awesome, they gave their word, and we jumped into a project based on a conversation. Excuses appeared when it came to signing the contract. We had only wasted a few days working on the project so not the end of the world, however, we really wanted to work on this project, as it was beneficial to us as a company both financially and in terms of exposure. We stopped the work and the truth then came out. Without going into detail, we cancelled the project and that was that.
Morale of the story sounds simple, but make sure a deposit and invoice are paid before you even open your computer. This has been our rule for 7 years now, but sometimes certain projects slip through the net because we are human and we get excited about certain projects.
2. A lightbulb moment
Moving away from Manchester City Centre. One of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. I monitored this and got the results…. I was wasting 3 hours of my life every day!!! EVERY DAY!!! Exactly…. it’s ridiculous.
We spent a year in Manchester city centre but then broke away to my hometown of Atherton. All my staff now commute to work which is easily accessible by train, bike or car. If they travel by car, they are going against the traffic – so they turn up to work in good time, and are in a positive mood – rather than being pissed off with the traffic, and being in a negative mood before they even start the working day.
Saves me money to be in Atherton, located near fields ( looks nice ), the studio interior is awesome, easily accessible, and close to my home. No brainer. But it was 12 months before I decided to action this move.
3. Tip for tomorrow
Examine your work/life balance.
It’s so important to me, and I presume most people don’t have the right balance because of many different reasons. I know people who hate their jobs, they aren’t on a great wage, but it’s hard to go and just get a job you love for loads more money.
So I’m basing this on agency owners, and freelancers specifically…
I love my job, I love going to work, I prefer to have all the pressure on my shoulders and it’s part and parcel of having your own business. I love checking emails at night, answering to clients, creating solutions, checking my emails when I’m on holiday. But it’s important to not only focus on work. Family is just as important and getting that balance right is difficult. I’d advise that in stressful situations try to do something that week even if it is only 2 hours out, something simple like going to the gym, the cinema, a walk with the dog, a pub meal, anything but surround yourself with family and friends and forget for a few hours. This sounds so simple but on occasions, I’ve concentrated on work too much and is does affect more people than yourself.
Enjoy life. Enjoy Work.