22 Feb 2007

The Good The Bad and The Ugly


What a week! Having finally signed myself out of full time employment yesterday, it seems that not working doesn't involve sitting at home watching end to end Kilroy and Trisha. It hasn't involved much blogging either - so my site stats have taken a terrible tumble!

Here's what I have been doing.

The Good. . .catching up with friends who have been short changed over the past 5 years as I turned into an uninspiring and stressed out 'corporate' cipher. (I have a firm belief that money is the Matrix - creating an illusion of 'real' life devoid of any real emotion or feeling. So along that theme I also went shopping to replace a host of black - female undertaker type - suits, with some cool casual stuff. I'm on the other side now - thought I should look the part!) More good stuff came in the form of a hook up with SmallBizPod - a really neat site giving quality audio content to help small businesses and start-ups. From next month I'll be doing a marketing blog on there too - which I'm very excited about. And the guy behind it - Alex Bellinger - seems to really know his stuff. In fact there's a bit of footage on his front page that is really worth a look - it says more about the way the web is going in a couple of minutes, than most could do in a couple of hundred pages! And to finish the 'good' on a high, I also signed up my first piece of business yesterday - just for me! Which strikes me as poetic on the day that I sign myself out of my contract. It's a fabulous little beauty business here in Yorkshire, with big aspirations. But what's really great about it is the two people who are running it are brilliant at what they do - making people look and feel wonderful - but they're also happy to admit that they're not good at marketing. Brilliant! So often baby businesses obsess so heavily on controlling costs (and controlling just about everything else) that their marketing becomes a DIY disaster waiting to happen. Anyway more on these lovelies as and when there's something to show, but no links for now.

The Bad. Despite a couple of attempts at being a 'lady what lunches', I'm struggling with the psychology of working/not working. Up one minute, down the next. I know that I can afford a reasonably long 'break' (or maybe I should be like an actor and 'rest'). But working is like smoking. A tough habit to break. My head is still full of it. I'm dreaming about it. Yuc Yuc Yuc. And as you can see from 'The Good' stuff, I've already got a couple of irons in the fire - so I sense that the vacuum created by stopping one job, will be filled with other stuff before I know it. This doesn't worry me over much - I keep repeating the new and only rule I'll be living by over the next few months. . . If it makes you smile, do it. If it doesn't, don't.
Unfortunately you can't get patches or hypnotherapy to ween you off working. So I'm going for some ultraviolet therapy - a bit of sunshine for the next 10 days.

Now for the Ugly. Grrrr. I ignored my own rule and did something that was never likely to make me smile. And unsurprisingly it didn't! A friend of mine has won himself some office space in Leeds - it's all European funded and seems like a really great set up for baby entrepreneurs looking for their first footing in business. Anyway, said friend, being very persuasive thought it would be great if I pitched for some space too - working shoulder to shoulder - ready made lunch buddy and all of that. And I'm thinking - ok, city centre office space could be really handy - seeing as I live on a hillside in the middle of no-where. So I put in an application and this monday I was invited to 'pitch'. But as you're probably sensing from this blog - I'm pretty clued up about all things marketing and I've done practically every job a good agency has to offer - so I'm potentially a marketing one-stop-shop. But what I'm not right now, is overly ambitious or looking to put my pants back on over my undertaker suit trousers as a captain of industry. I'm in the 'down-shifters R us' club.

Anyway to get back to the point - I walked into the 'pitch' room. To be presented with a row of 4 respectable looking gentlemen and one 'cool dude' sat behind a bank of desks. The room was in darkness, projector screen lit up. Otherwise it was empty - if you discount the fact that there was a full film crew in there from our local TV news!!! Worse to come - it seems my panel of judges were avid viewers of Dragon's Den. Actually, the 4 respectable gentlemen, were exactly that - gentle. But the 'cool dude' on the end - OHMIGOD. He was sat down, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, this guy was no taller than 5ft 2" and obviously laboring under the largest chip on his shoulder. . . Enough said I think. Definitely Ugly. Needless to say I won't be taking office space there any time soon - the whole set up represented so many things I dislike about UK business. Egos, politics, expected cap doffing to authority, and above all little blokes throwing their insubstantial weight around!! Grrrrr. Lesson's learned - don't be persuaded to do anything that doesn't feel 100% right for you. Don't enter into something half-heartedly and expect a good result. Don't ever unwittingly let yourself be featured on local news!!!

Fortunately the good stuff has far outweighed the bad and the ugly this week. And with any luck spring will have made its official debut in blighty by the time I return from my sunshine break. I've purchased myself a couple of books to read in between snoozes - 'Made to Stick' by Chip and Dan Heath and - wait for it - 'The No Asshole Rule - building a civilised workplace and surviving one that isn't' by Robert Sutton. I think the second book may be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has run the derby - but I was highly entertained to discover that Waterstones were displaying this on the shelves face down for fear of offending customers. How VERY English.

1 comment:

Walter Burek said...

I haven't read it yet, but guess I'll have to pick up a copy of "The No Asshole Rule" -- if only because when I worked at my last agency, a sign on my desk proclaimed that none were allowed to enter my office.

WGB