Ten years ago I sat at my desk looking out onto Ashburnham Loan without a single client. I’d walked away from my job as CEO of a Stock Market listed communications group. Just like three years earlier I had walked away from my role as MD of my own advertising agency (50 strong and highly regarded).
Why had I done this?
(After all, to lose one senior level role is unfortunate, to lose two is downright carelessness.)
But I hadn’t lost either of them.
I’d elected to change my viewpoint on work. To get out of the hamster’s wheel of eternal financial year ends, HR responsibilities, client bum sucking, to keep the corporate machine rolling on when I didn’t always respect all of the clients or all of the work my team was doing for them.
And that’s actually the crux of it. “the work my team was doing for them“.
I, personally, wasn’t actually a net contributor to anything that came out of either of those agencies.
I was simply a manager, albeit a senior one.
I didn’t want to be a manager.
And so I walked away.
Ten years later I’ve completed 694 creative (mainly) projects for no fewer than 80 different clients. The vast majority of which I can say I’m proud of. And have enjoyed the process, liked the people I’ve worked with, and for, and made many new friends along the way.
In fact, it’s the longest I’ve held down a job in my life.
And it’s allowed me to indulge in other things I consider worthwhile; NABS, FCT, The Lyceum, Creative Edinburgh
Thanks very, very much.
I hope some of you will stick around for the next ten.