I recently re-read my first blog post about our sea change written under The Marketing Clan. The last sentence I wrote was a hopeful one, whether we would be here in two years time or not and establish a better work-life balance. Four years later, here we are in 2020. A lot has happened in between.
Along the way we have worked with some extraordinary clients in the Shoalhaven, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and even Singapore. All very different businesses, but with one thing in common; they needed support in communicating their message and telling their story.
Some of these clients have come and gone after a quick project or some tactical work. Others have grown not only in terms of the work we’re doing with them, but also the kind of trusted relationships we have sparked.
We are still in our infancy as a company, but we have big goals. The clan has grown from the original core team of friends, to now having even more like-minded marketing people that we have met along the way, here on the South Coast.
This is a great sign.
Why? It not only means that more people believe in and like what we have created, but what’s more, we’re seeing plenty more talented people making the change from the big smoke and out of corporate world, in search of a better balance in life.
This will be our seventh year living here and so far, I haven’t regretted the big move to the Shoalhaven. We have met so many great people along the way, some of whom have ended up working with us, and others who have become clients. I still stand by what I wrote four years ago – the Shoalhaven is full of surprises. It’s exciting and it keeps getting better.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its challenges, both personally and professionally. Often I think it would be easier not to run your own show. To have somebody else take responsibility for the direction of the business, to be the financial controller, to mange recruitment, be the IT support and not having to worry about where the next new client is going to come from.
For anyone who has run their own show, you’ll no doubt understand. For those considering the jump, think carefully. It can be lonely. It’s tiring and can be stressful or frustrating at times. What’s more, the financial return may not be what you were used to, so you have to love what you do and be clear on what motivates you. There’s always a pay off. I am lucky that I have a very supportive wife who believes in what we do and is 110% behind me. Without her and some close mentors, it may have been a different story.
Why did I choose to do this? I love what I do and I’m always learning, I meet new people every day and for me being able to help people is extremely fulfilling, especially when it means I can be part of the local community both personally and professionally. Doing it for yourself motivates you to be better, always. It also gives you a sense of achievement, whether it’s based on effort or results.
My objective was to achieve a work-life balance. I have a young family and I want to see them grow up and be present in their lives, as opposed to being stuck in the corporate world of commuting, endless meetings and traveling too much. There are many things I miss from that world, but not enough to change what I have now. I have the luxury of being able to go and watch the children in a school performance, or take them to the beach with the dog before ‘Close of Business’. I know that when they’re older, perhaps I won’t be needed as much (or maybe not cool enough), so that’s why being present today is important – a benefit that you don’t necessarily get from the average workplace.
Today I have that work-life balance.