One of the most fulfilling parts of my role as an executive coach is helping clients realise their dreams and execute on them. It rings true for me as making bold moves is something I have had to master over the years in order to do what I’ve done.
By way of example, in 2010 I was running a traditional web agency and, by most people’s standards things were going well. We have a stable set of customers and some great staff and were beginning to make a name for ourselves including being shortlisted for several national awards.
It was about that time that I went to India to explore the potential to setup an outsourced development centre. The trip was a disaster and involved the usual culprits of cross cultural misunderstandings, a healthy dose of stomach flu and a 4 day traffic jam which I averted by seconding a guy on a motorbike to give me a backie up a mountain pass.
On the way back from India I bought my first iPhone from Duty Free and was amazed … the power I had in my hand was incredible. On a personal level I could now effectively email whilst remote and actually use the web! But, more profoundly, I saw a glimpse of the changes and shifts to society that were on the horizon … I’d like to profess I understood the depth of change that I was holding in my hand, but that would be a vast overstatement.
On returning to the UK I announced to my employees and colleagues that we were now a mobile app agency and all web work should be wound down. Again, I’d like to profess that they cheered and clapped, but it would be more truthful to admit they looked at me like I was crazy!
Fast forward 12 months and we were working with Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, David Lloyd, Jamie Oliver, the BBC, Channel 4, Breaking Bad and Borat (amongst others). We have over 15 staff in mobile and were regularly speaking and chairing events in the mobile space. It was a wild 12 to 24 months and we grew like crazy before the recession made an exit the most viable path for the staff that had helped us grow (but thats a different story!).
I tell this story to make one simple truth apparent. If you have a eureka moment, follow your gut. Don’t wait for data or validation as that is a simply a sign that someone else is already there, doing what you know is right. There is almost NOTHING as powerful as a man with a vision and a mission and almost every successful company, from Microsoft to Nike and Amazon to General Electric start in exactly the same way.
Dare to Dream Big and you might just get what you dream of!
(Needless to say, the outsourced office wasn’t the magic bullet I had hoped for!)