I had a fantastic response to my blog last year ‘What have I learned from my second year in business (which you can read here). It was a very open and honest piece and many people were kind enough to say how much they enjoyed it. There’s no doubt – Year 2 was a tough year for me personally.
Now I’m at the end of year 3 and things have changed again. I feel a bit like Daenerys Targaryen (I wish!), in that I’ve come through the flames of year 2 into a different reality. Year 3 saw more big changes to the business and it contracted in size and the number of clients we were looking after. What’s been really pleasing is that some of the people that were on the team have taken new roles that they love and some have even taken the plunge and set up on their own now, too. It’s really rewarding when you think you’ve been able to help someone else take a leap they hadn’t thought about before.
But this year started with a bit of a personal bump for me. A close family friend, a boy I grew up with playing in our back gardens was taken seriously and suddenly very ill. For a few days he was close to death and the shock it caused to his family and ours was intense. For me, it was a very poignant reminder that ‘there but for the grace of God…’ Conrad is only a year older than me and like me, has a young family. He has always worked really hard, perhaps too hard. It was one of those moments that made me ask why I work so hard – what am I doing it for? The answer of course is for my family, as Conrad was. Yet while I was working so hard, spending evenings tapping out emails and nights worrying, my kids were growing up anyway. (I’m relieved to say that after an emergency operation, Conrad is on the mend now.)
Around the same time, I came across this great piece by Robbie Bach, an ex senior exec at Microsoft. Bach stepped away from Microsoft after many years, but a lot of what he talked about in his blog also resonated with me. Be here now. The present is happening, whether you’re in it or not!
Another great blog I read recently came from Virgin. It was about being an ‘intrapreneur’. I really liked this idea. As an entrepreneur, you have to think a different way. Every action has consequences, and these consequences reflect directly onto the success of your relationships, business and cashflow. As an entrepreneur you have to be creative, always thinking ahead, always planning for worst while aiming for the best. It’s a different mindset to an employed person – especially one who calls themselves a ‘wage slave’ – that says it all, really. An intrapreneur according to Branson is someone with an entrepreneur’s mindset, but working for a business they don’t own. It seems very clear to me that someone who is always looking for how to make improvements, do things better, go for growth, build relationships and create opportunities is going to do well in business – whether it’s their own, or not. They’re also going to feel much more fulfilled, develop their careers more quickly and have opportunities that wage slaves never dream about! As an intrapreneur there’s also the benefit of working alongside an extended team of other people who share the same beliefs and values as you, and who are working towards the same goals. Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely place, especially when times are tough.
So, after a lot of thinking, talking and listening to my heart as well as my brain, I’ve decided to next the next big step – that of being an intrapreneur. I was honoured by the number of people that congratulated me recently on my third year in business (thank you to everyone that did!). Setting up, building and running The IT Marketing Agency has been an absolute privilege. There have been some spectacular highlights, shared with my team and my clients, and a few pretty dark days. As a person I know I’ve been tested and grown. And I know the time is right now to hand the reins to someone else. So I’m delighted to announce that The IT Marketing Agency has been acquired by Sherpa Marketing, run by my good friend, Tom Perry. Sherpa and The ITMA have many things in common which made absolute sense to bring together. Both businesses have a background in specialist technology marketing. Tom, as ex EMEA Marketing Director for Shoretel has many years of channel experience and is already working with vendors, distributors and resellers across the channel. There is a lot of synergy between the approach of the two businesses and Tom has an experienced and professional, multi-skilled team. Sherpa is also a Hubspot partner, as was The ITMA.
So, exciting times ahead! The IT Marketing Agency will continue to run as before, but backed up by the strength of the Sherpa team, too. The website is www.theitmarketingagency.com and if you want to check out Sherpa, too the website is www.sherpamarketing.co.uk
Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing Tom and his team to my existing contacts and clients and I know they will do a great job of looking after everyone. If you’ve got a marketing need and you’re in the IT sector, then get in touch!
And for myself…I’ll be popping up somewhere else in August…watch this space!
An absolutely massive thank you to everyone that has supported me, advised me, worked with me, alongside me or listened to me over the last three years. I’m so glad to have had the experience and know that Sherpa will take The IT Marketing Agency to the next level!