AMJ Comms has just celebrated its second birthday. 24 months. 104 weeks. 730 days. 17,520 hours. 1, 051,200 minutes. Time that has transformed my life and my wellbeing.
I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved since making the tentative steps into working for myself and starting my own business – leaving behind full-time employment and the suffocating corporate world. It is by far the best thing I have done professionally and the most rewarding work of my life.
This is not a post full of false modesty – I am very proud of my hard work and efforts over that time and what I have achieved for myself and my clients – but I am also proud and grateful for the help I have received from some fantastic people and organisations, without whom this wonderful journey would not have been possible.
The support and love of Mrs and Miss J are my lifeblood in all things – including the ups and downs (thankfully many more ups so far) of running my own business. This endeavour was always as much about them as me; being able to see them all the time; for my work to fit around our life; for the work to help me find a better balance and wellbeing so that we can all be happier. I love them with all my heart and am thankful every day that they are in my life; happy husband and happy dad equals happy business owner!
My wonderful clients
I have been, and continue to be, incredibly fortunate to work with brilliant organisations and people who are doing important work that folk care about – but most of all, they have been fantastic to work alongside.
I have been very selective about what I will do and with whom I will work. That has been driven by wanting to work with people I respect, like and enjoy spending time with. I have also been clear from the outset of all the work I have done why I am working for myself, why my business is called AMJ (my daughter’s initials) and how I want to work. Happily, my clients have responded with great support. In reality if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been my clients.
There has definitely been a shift in attitudes in my time in work; I meet more and more people from all backgrounds, sectors of the economy and parts of the country who share my passion for doing good work but in a way that leads to a happier, more fulfilling life. Life always coming before work. People no longer prepared to be married to the job. I am delighted to have found clients who can buy into that vision whilst providing me with stimulating, challenging, exciting work, which pushes me to be my very best.
My supporters and community
Having friends and former colleagues who have also made their own journey and have shared their war stories, their ideas, their advice has been hugely helpful. The introductions they made; the understanding cups of tea or coffee; the phone calls of support; the encouragement. This goes for the online community on LinkedIn and Twitter, who has been source of great support too – it’s always heartening when people like an update, retweet something you have said and support your work. When you work from home, and mostly alone, this virtual contact and community is super important.
This business is mostly me and little bits of Mrs J working in our house to help organisations and individuals get the most out of their communications but I also see it as a big team of people who have helped along the way. The brilliant team at the Accounting Crew, especially Darryl and Kate, are stars. I see them as part of my team such is their importance to the business. The help of Dan Hartland on my website was invaluable. The specialist support available to small businesses like mine from Kingsbridge, Contractor Mortgages and the like is another vital network.
The move to work for myself was a lifestyle choice – a chance to change my life and my family’s life for the better. Aside from the decision to ask my wife out for lunch in the autumn of 2007, the decision to set up AMJ Comms has been the best of my life. It’s only two years and I know there is lots of hard work ahead – I don’t take anything for granted – but I am allowing myself a few moments to stop and reflect; to be proud of what I have achieved; to enjoy this special moment; to thank those around me for their help.
It has been a wonderful two years; two years and counting.