‘Overwhelmed’ feels like a word that gets used far too often, but I honestly can’t think of a better term to describe how it felt to win ‘Young Business Person of the Year’ at the Cheshire Business Awards last week.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’ve never been one for the limelight. In the No Brainer office, we have a mantra that says it’s our mission to make our clients look like rockstars, and we work hard every day to put them and their businesses in the spotlight.
Perhaps that’s why picking up an individual award like this has been so overwhelming. I’ve always been perfectly comfortable putting the great brands we work with in-front of journalists and cameras, but it feels very different when the shoe is on the other foot!
Take the risk or lose the chance
Someone said to me recently that life is about chances and choices in that order, and success is down to sheer hard work. I’ve been thinking a lot about that these past few days, trying to recall the chances and choices that have got me to this point.
Picking just one of each, the choice was back in 2014, when I decided to join my No Brainer co-founder Gary on a couple of freelance projects he was working on.
I was in a full-time job at the time and my son Sebastien was only four months old. The freelance work would only cover me for six months Gary said, (although he recently admitted that in reality, it was more like three!), so I had to make a big, career-defining choice.
The sensible, rational decision would have been to play it safe and stay where I was. But I didn’t. I chose to roll the dice when I’m sure many others wouldn’t, and I followed my heart because I believed in Gary and I felt that together, we really could create something special.
The idea of starting our own PR, social media and content marketing agency called No Brainer had actually been sketched out some time before that point. We’d spent a few late nights in pubs and restaurants putting the world to rights and saying how we’d do things differently if we had our own agency! And then, in April 2015, with no investment, no clients and no staff, we made it happen and No Brainer was born.
I’ll always remember our first day working together – the excitement of controlling our own destinies combined with the fear of needing to actually make the business a success so we could afford to live and feed our families! As any entrepreneur will tell you, those early days of a fledgling start-up are some of the most exciting, and we quickly discovered that fear can be a wonderful motivator.