The dawning of a new era. R3tro style.
I have a blog. Here it is. Post numero uno! I've had other blogs. I've dipped a toe in, swirled the water around, even swam around a bit with my head above water, careful not to get my hair too wet. Then, without much thought and consideration for others, I've stripped down to my brown paisley Y-fronts, slicked back my hair and plunged head first into the deep blue below. Let's just hope I can not only tread water, but avoid the shark attacks, floating sewage and somalian pirates to survive the long haul, perhaps even managing to impress a with a few "rocket splits" and "eggbeaters" (check out my synchronised swimming jargon!) in the process.
OK, random intro over, here's what I really intend to use this site and my blog for, so you know what to expect and hopefully, so you'll find something relevant and appealling enough to eyeball for a few minutes whilst enjoying your sandwich break or instead of flicking on the TV to catch Jeremy Kyle dish out anothe DNA test result. You may even feel compelled enough to chat back - please do, more's the welcome.
So, who the hell am I and what do I want?
I am 28 years old, I've got 3 bassett hounds and I live in the Dorset countryside with my wife of 3 months. Since making the transition from relaxed, somewhat misaligned student I have turned into a driven and passionate entrepreneur, having cut my teeth in the world of retail design, global procurement and working with some of the worlds largest sporting and telecommunications brands.
A few years back, I lost my father to lung cancer. It was and still remains a dificult thing to talk about. I found that writing down my thoughts and sharing with strangers was a great release for me. My family was able to read and understand what I was feeling, when I may not have been open to discussing it at the time. It proved very powerful and I discovered that people were affected by my writing. And that felt good.
My father suffered for a long time with acloholism. I talk frankly about this and I'm not ashamed of it - the embarrassment I used to feel has been replaced with a sense of sympathy for those who go through the same thing as I came to learn that the support systems to help the affected individuals, families and friends are severely lacking in this country. I'm not going to talk about htis right now, but may come back to it in later blogs.
At the time when my father deteriorated and eventually passed away, I took a look at my life in many ways and tried to assess my direction, ambitions and beliefs. I was also determined that in these times of trauma, I would react differently to how he would and instead of finding solace in the bottle, I channelled my grief into more physical exertions, sports, the more extreme and challenging the better. And I loved it. I thought that if I could do this for the rest of my life, I would be totally happy.
I don't think that's entirely true, but not far off. I love business too. Since I was young, I've known that I would, one day, be running my own business. I recall being at university, and instead of working in a bar (well, I did work in a bar as well) I worked for a security company, guarding office buildings, airports, even protecting the sacred stonehenge from scraggy haired, smelly hippies. Working through the night while everyone was out drinking, I used the time to do a bit of college work, my dissertation (which I got a 1st for!) and write business plans for ideas that came up with - such as commercially run exercise referral schemes to treat and prevent illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, CHD and cancer using exercise and a healthy lifestyle as the preventative and treatment measures. I just did my drinking during the day ;-)
So, in a style suited to one day going in my autobiography, I was sat in the pub with a friend and former colleague, conversing in the usual mix of character assassinations and where the best XC trails are at the moment, we began chatting about our lives and as the nectar flowed, everything got a little more serious...
I had to start a business. Full stop. I was putting pressure on myself to stop talking, stop writing, stop thinking and DO. I had no money, in fact I had less than that, being a student I was carrying the burden of debt most are now faced with. I was young and fairly inexperienced in terms of running a business, whilst my career progression in my roles to date were good, it was enough to knock my confidence a bit. Only a bit. But I knew I could do it, i knew I could get through the inevitable issues and problems and challenges I would face and I was so up for it.
I had the idea that people would be interested in reading what I had to write and talk about. I thought that if I could travel around taking part in all sorts of amazing new activities and sports, people may be interested as it might be something they have been considering doing but didn't know where to start. I'll talk more about this in future blog posts, but needless to say it was a noble concept of providing information for general mass consumption, whilst at the same time, allowing me to keep doing the things that I love doing so dearly, and ideally, doing it for free...
I pitched it to Spud, and he was in. Spud is an amazing creative. When he gets to work, the end result is always WOW. At times, requiring some delicate handling, his expertise is unquestionable. Typical creative types!
We were introduced to Funker, the self-confessed technical geek, recognisable by his crazy trousers and programming related T-shirt slogans.
And so, Fidgetstick/ was born.
Actually, I wish it was that simple! I'll talk about this more, but man, naming a website business is a pain in the arse! Anyway, we settled on Fidgetstick/ and we were off.
Since then end of 2007, when we were first introduced to the back end of social media - inside the engine room of your Facebook's, your Twitter's your MySpace's. We went looking for own and geez, that didn't get any easier either! But we have learnt a lot about creating your own network, creating your own internet business, branding, marketing, content, business startup, finance, partnerships and everything else you need to make the step from 9-5 to whatever you need it to be, dictating your own route, making and learning from your own mistakes and ultimately creating the lifestyle of your dreams.
And that is why I decided to create this blog. By sharing my experiences, my knowledge and chucking in a bit of fun content as well, I hope this will prove an interesting, valuable and inspiring resource for you and to share. It will also keep you bang upto date with what we are doing, where we are going, and how you can come along too.
I hope you enjoy and I would love to hear back from you on anything I talk about...