In this post, Anthony describes what his first month at Nevergrey has been like, and exactly what he has learned in this short amount of time that may inspire you to follow your passions.
First of all, I’d like to point out that I am no writer. The literacy genius (or at least the literate genius) of Nevergrey is Kate. Kate has been actively working for our company Nevergrey since its inception last November, patiently waiting for me to jump ship from my previous job into this full time.
Now, it’s been a month since that fateful jump date… In my previous company, working for someone else and on someone else’s projects, I’d recognised I had become quite comfortable in my role. Dare I say it, the job had become quite easy to me and, having been doing the role for nearly 4 years, I had come to realise I was missing a challenge. Now stop. I don’t mean “challenge” in the most cliche of senses; I mean a circumstance that would shake me to my very core, force me to learn new things and enable me to react quickly to a new element of my life. Of course, my previous employers were not tasked to create this circumstance or difference for me; why would they? They were on to a good thing and continue to be, but for me, I was chomping at the bit for a new adventure that would give me a kick up the proverbial and provide me a new sense of purpose to focus on. I honestly was not expecting it to be quite like this.
Here are my 5 findings since ‘going it alone’ so far…
1) I might be missing meetings…?
A shocking statement, and to be honest, I don’t actually miss meetings at all, it’s quite frankly a bollocks thing to say in isolation, but what I have found is that my previous “corporate” schedule had always been subsequently taken up by meeting, after meeting, after meeting. Some days I’d have so many back to back meets I would look up, not been able to action a single thing, and it would somehow be lunch time or even worse (or better) home time. What is the point in that? Now I’m in charge of my own destiny, and indeed my own diary (!!!) I’m having to learn to structure my day. Sounds ridiculous but I genuinely was not prepared for that autonomy to shake me up and make me realise just how reliant I’d become to my Outlook calendar!
Outcome: Being able to prioritise my actions and days structure to increase efficiency, quality and flow. I have rediscovered my love for doing work just by owning my day again.
2) I have to be realistic!
In my previous roles, wherever I’ve had the pleasure of meeting someone who’s just started at the company I was at, I would produce one of my favourite graphs to show – “The Idiot Curve”. The curve, below, is from a fascinating website I still use called beloved-brands.com and this is particularly what I’m having to remind myself I’m going through right now.
I’m getting dumber before I get smarter. Now that’s not to say that I’m literally getting “dumber” clients and potential clients! My observation however is that I’m adjusting to a new environment and culture that I’m able to define, from scratch. And that is truly exciting!
Outcome: When I remember how to tie my shoe laces again in about 60 more days, that might be handy, however the ride and exhilaration of creating Nevergrey with Kate definitely outweighs some of the laughable faux-pas I’m experiencing, but I don’t expect they’ll last long, and it’s one everyone starting their own company must feel…
3) You get to meet, and learn, from really interesting people!
So far, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support and interest in Nevergrey. For Kate and I, our clients are like family, and with that come some fantastic benefits where supporting individuals and organisations leads you to connect with other individuals and organisations who are making positive change. Long may it continue, as what I love is that it reaffirms how much good is still in the world!
Outcome: Keep ‘networking’, meeting great people, and believing that more and more positive work is out there, ready to change the world.
This is a great opportunity (a little bit side tracked from the original point) to highlight this article: Ten uplifting news stories that prove 2016 wasn’t such a waste of time after all
If you enjoyed that, the following is also brilliant for a little extra skip in your step: 20 Good News Stories You Didn’t Know About
4) Switching off is really hard!!
It happens to me in particular when I’m in the zone and in flow. I don’t want to stop. I can’t stop. When I’m working and on a roll, a heard of stampeding buffalo’s wouldn’t be able to stop me from carrying on working when it’s time – and that’s wrong.
Work life balance, especially when working for yourself on something you’re really in to and passionate about, is paramount. I have quickly had to realise that, whilst I dictate my ‘working patterns’, I do not necessarily have the same privilege to dictate my ‘personal patterns’.
Quality time outside of work is essential, and quite frankly, I’m working on not blurring the lines too much – and equally, not separating the two too far either.
Outcome: Defining personal time and let work fit around that, has been quite an interesting tactic towards becoming more efficient at work whilst maintaining a healthy, positive, lifestyle.
5) Get out and… walk?
Similar to my last point, and related to my first… we’ve somehow discovered that getting out and beginning the ‘Nevergrey walking meeting’ really kicks off the week and helps us become more productive first thing on a Monday.
It really helps us get the week off to a great start, and is actually where most of our ideas and solutions come from. A brisk walk and pounding of the pavement (or Ealing Common when nice), is something we’ve both never had before. In actual fact, why would we? The corporate environments idea of collaboration and group productivity centres around meeting rooms with no windows and limited oxygen… Ours is infinite.
Outcome: Buy new meeting shoes that have an air bubble, this one is here to stay!
And that’s that. My first month. I’ve enjoyed documenting and taking stock of where we are, and what we’ve experienced thus far on our journey.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to share then please do so! Alternatively, if you indeed haven’t enjoyed the read, please do get in touch 🙂