There is so much to be said about the people we work with, the friends we have, the colleagues we sit with for a lot of our days and the acquaintances we make throughout our careers. They help to shape us, they build on our experiences, we learn from them and we are impacted by their lives whether we realise it at the time or not.
I can very honestly say I have worked with some awesome individuals who have made a difference to the way I think about work and life and have taught me amazing skills.
Being self-employed has helped me to see a very long history of impacts (well maybe not that long) but I'll share a few:
Kate Atkin - A trainer and speaker who I first met in about 2000 who carried out some training for the Cambridge Building Society where I worked for 7 years. Her very gentle, calm nature and speaking made an impact on me, so much so I contacted her when I first started my market research, 15 years later. She helped me again to shape my thinking, has gone on to be a wonderful client and may well be part of The Work Bees team when the opportunity arises.
Ruth Hannant (now Gibson) - Ruth, I worked with during the ConsultingTools (now Synermetric) years of my life and to this day I am still in awe and aim to live up to the examples she set me without realising. Ruth is the only person I have had the pleasure of working with that comes out of every meeting to carry out all the tasks she agreed to there and then, if you email her with a task it is complete, she does something I aspire too. Her implementation is second to none.
Helen Smith - Also from the Cambridge Building Society wowed me when I first worked with her back in 1999 with her email writing and customer service. I still sign off my emails in a very similar if not identical way to her own.
David James - a supplier of a very gentle nudge when I needed it the most, he might not even know he had done it.
Caroline Hyde - the Director of the Future Business Centre who will little know the impact the centre, herself and her staff made on me when I was a little lost.
There are many others, yes you Matt Pocock and your conscientiousness (and multiple pairs of bright socks), Anna Ward and her ability to never say a bad word or frown in frustration, Dawn Percival and her professionalism, Katherine Little and her never ending energy, Helen Palfrey and her perseverance, Louise Whitehead and her kindness to her staff and sooo many more.
Why is this important though?
Some of these people have been working alongside me through setting out, some have been inspirational in the service I want to bring to my clients, some have become clients and others have referred me.
It matters because when we set out on a sole venture, when we look to do something radical, to test the impossible we need these people and what they brought to us so that we might fight back the imposter syndrome when it taps in our brains, so that they might support us just a little more and remind us how great PEOPLE are.
People buy from People, we know this, it's about the individual impact we make on each other’s lives.
If I can bring these traits and skills to my business and my clients, I will be one very happy MD.
Maybe if you have a business idea, it is time to look at the people who have made an impact on you and call on them to get you going. Don't put it off for another day, go for it.