When heading up a start-up company there seems to be no time to do anything. In fact, there is no time to do anything. This is probably why they take so long to get started. Finding the time to pen-down a new blog is practically unheard of and despite a real passion for creating newly written material, I’ve fallen into the very trap I’ve been preaching about to others to avoid.
The lessons I’ve learned throughout this journey are numerous and could even constitute creating a series of blogs to log them all but the one I feel most passionate about is this one here, don’t give up your writing!
For many years I’ve journaled, both electronically and more frequently, in hand-written form. These journals are full of daily feelings of joy and pain and have helped me through some really dark times but the thing I failed to do when I started BrowserBloom last year, was to document the journey in the same way as I did previously in my personal life. I regret this, A LOT. The main reason I regret it is because I don’t have an “in the moment” record of what happened. Yes, I have stats, audit trails, financial figures and all the things you would expect from somebody who works in a digital environment, but I don’t have the soul. The very part of the journey I needed at the beginning of this year when I had to make a career-changing decision, was missing.
My fiancee and I have 4 children between us all under the age of 10 (9,8,7&4) and all of whom expressed their desires to become vets… Yes ALL of them! This got me thinking more deeply about my selfish and costly investment into BrowserBloom. Whilst the company is built on a very strong foundation of expertise and uses the most sophisticated of SEO tools available, what it doesn’t have is a stable client base. And when the final two prospects of 2018 failed to materialise in the way that they had promised, pulling the investment and returning to fulltime employment became my only real option.
Why? Quite simply because I have 4 children I want to give the very best start in life to. Getting into multiple thousands of £ of debt isn’t going to help them. In 8 years from now the first of the fledgelings will be leaving the fold and before that point, we have the accrued BrowserBloom debt to repay and University savings to create. This isn’t going to happen when all you get is fake promises and zero commitment.
I’d like to think that as a professional salesman, I should have spotted this sooner, but the reality is; there was nothing obvious to spot. My fiancee and I looked at the financial damage and in the second week of January, We made the decision that I should go back into a full-time sales role. Being able to focus on the clients’ outcomes (future state) and assist them on that journey requires 100% commitment to the role. Being in charge of your own business means that you don’t have that time to commit. Building a company on your own requires you to be everything! From cleaner to CEO everything stops with you and as diligent as you might be, some things get overlooked. It was these elements in the sales process that should have raised the alarm bells that I didn’t see. And why didn’t I see them? BECAUSE I DIDN’T WRITE THEM DOWN!!!.
If I’d have taken the time to do, what I’ve always done, and written everything down, I would have spotted the “not obvious” I would have “red-flagged” the minor details and I would have seen much sooner in the sales process the things that ultimately lead to the demise of two critical potential clients for BrowserBloom.
Now things happen for a reason, those who know me well will know how much I believe in this, so I have no regrets about anything that has happened, other than the lack of writing. BrowserBloom will continue to grow and develop and the latest development (PR to follow soon) will ensure that the company will hold its own over the years that come. What it won’t have, is me at the helm. This experience has given me the knowledge and understanding of where my strengths really lie, and that is helping others get from their current state into a future state with the best possible solution. And that is what sales is all about.