Regular readers may recall my last blog entry – May 2013 – when I made one of the biggest leaps of my career and became one of seven owners of Langdowns DFK (I’ll let you decide which of the seven dwarfs I am!)
Well, this feels like a good time to pick up the story, one year on…
Like many people who make the decision to become their own boss, the outcome is both terrific and terrifying! Inevitably, it requires a large investment of both cash and emotion, and you go into such a venture with enthusiasm at the opportunities that you hope will present themselves.
Well, my first year has had its fair share of highs and lows – some that were expected and some that were not!
Like a book from my GCSE English exam, “To begin at the beginning:”
My investment was made, I was committed to the firm and 1st May 2013 was enjoyed with a bottle of champagne, “Here’s to starting a fantastic life as a partner!”
However, over the next two weeks the firm underwent one of its most significant changes in recent times – the exit of a partner. This was somewhat of a surprise to everyone, particularly me! Hastily organised meetings were held to agree how we would deal with the situation, how quickly can we implement the changes and how do we deal with complexities of a partner exiting the business at such short notice.
Dealing with change is inevitable as a business owner and thankfully we took this in our stride. The following weeks and months flew past as the transition took place, and I started to meet clients – many of whom were previously attended by the exiting partner. It’s certainly a daunting way to start your relationship with a client!
Together with the support of a great team we have survived and thrived in this changing environment. I hope my clients agree with this assessment, but I’ll happily accept any comments on a postcard! (Preferably a picture of a beach or ski slope please!)
As with any role change there is often a change in pressure, and this was no different. The pressure is never greater than when you’re reporting to your fellow partners, trying to meet / exceed your targets and the inevitable healthy competition! This is part of what drives us, and any business owner, to succeed and strive to work harder.
I have certainly been invigorated by the challenges over the course of the last year; I’ve seen the success of taking on new clients, the challenge of building new relationships with old clients, but mainly the enjoyment of working with all my clients to set and achieve goals as we move to the future.
So what have I learnt over the last year? A lot would be the simple answer! Entering into partnership is not something done lightly – you do it with your eyes wide open, hoping for the best, while trying to be ready for the worst. But partnership has been about the people I work with, the partners I’m invested with, and the one partner I could not have done this without – a very patient wife! A massive thank you to everyone inside and outside the firm, clients and contacts, this first year has been quite an experience.