Bye bye Digital World. Or Not
After 10 years of working around digital, here I am, finally looking for change.
Pivot you said?
It’s been a long time I was thinking of changing, starting to be bored to repeat the same tasks again and again. Yes, hard to say but I believe even such a fascinating field can be boring. During the last 5 years as an entrepreneur, I learnt a ton of things, worked on awesome and various projects. Web Development, Web content, Videos, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and then communication at a wider scale with print, events, graphical identity, and so on and on.
Yes, it looks all great and to be honest, it is. But put together the ingredients “Digital” and “Entrepreneur” and you obtain the constant change of digital and the pressure of being entrepreneur mixed up together.
In my case, the company I built 5 years ago was built together with my partner in life. I see many advantages in working with your partner when you are a business. The thing is that your business is your life so there is no possibility to draw the same kind of life you would when doing a 9 to 17 job. Working with your partner allows the two person to ride in the same direction and to understand each other. The drawback: if the relationship is over in your personal life, it is very difficult to overcome and keep the boat going forward. We behaved wisely and decided to shut down the company. No anger, no stupid fights, all went smoothly.
One thing this event helped me realized is that when your company stop, people don’t really care about your company, they care much more about you, specially if the company is small. In my case, shutting down the company opened me so many doors. At a smaller scale, the effect is the same when you say “No” to a potential customer. My 5 years business helped me understand the good side effect of saying no. By closing the company, my ex-partner and I said a huge “NO” and a flow of opportunities appeared…
I never considered myself as a big expert… Let me correct: I considered myself an expert only after graduated, when you think you know everything. But quickly I considered no one can be expert in everything.
I never considered myself as a big expert but I am doing things with passion. And I was starting to get bored. It was time for some change and I am confident the future will give me what I want. As a baby entrepreneur fed with BMC, Value Prop., etc. I would say it was time to pivot!
The hard choice
No, I am not the most wanted person in the world. Barely no one knows me and I didn’t accomplish much but working in the digital opens windows so I received a few offers to do what my resume says I do best: project manager in IT or Digital.
If I decide to work in France, I am assured I will earn a good salary. Let’s decide to work in Luxembourg and the salary is even higher. An IT company caught my attention: the team looked nice, the promise was beautiful and the salary not so bad. Here is the thing: I have been promised a challenging job that will make me learn new skills. The mission: work inside a famous Luxembourgish bank in order to create and overhaul websites. Which is what I have been doing since years. Thus, it is worth noted that I spent 5 years working in a bank before being entrepreneur. I liked it but I felt a gap between what I want today and what this company was offering me. Furthermore, in case you never worked in a bank in Luxembourg, being an external resource in mission is quite difficult. There is often a gap between external and internal people. If you decide to go for this kind of job as an external resource, don’t be afraid to ask a lot as you will need to be respected, specially when you are project manager. It seems that the company was not really aware of this side of a project success. Though the salary offered was quite high, it was still way under the average expected when working inside a bank in Luxembourg. I declined the offer which allowed me to hear a great : «well, again a money matter». Exactly the answer I was very well prepared to answer as I actually accepted an offer way less paid…
Why did I accept a smaller offer? Is it a part time? Not at all, is it more relaxed? Certainly not. Is it more secured? Nope…
When you build a company, it is important to meet people that are not necessarily prospects or customers if you don’t want to shut down in less than a year. We met a few people in five years and I decided to work with someone I appreciate but never done business with. Indeed, when I talked with Thierry about the opportunities I received and how hard it was to choose, he told me : «I will give you one more choice». Indeed, he is willing to retire in a few years and he was seeking someone to help his company keep growing, like it did since 2001. I bet on this project for at least the next months, at best the next decades ! The thing is: I am a perfect beginner in what he offers. I know how to code, I know how to design but I don’t know how to … create and design ergonomic office spaces and sell high quality furnitures. I felt so honored he thought of me. Organizing such beautiful spaces like he does is really an awesome job but am I able to do it? Never mind, I would regret if I don’t try so I easily accepted his offer to start working with him and who knows what future can offer. I am confident!
Future will tell if my choice is wise. But one thing is sure, I will not regret it. I am certain there are many things to do. This small business is working mostly on paper today and is not online at all (only an old fashioned website). We both identified a tons of opportunities working together and we want to make Actoffice the number one office organizer online in Europe. It will take time and I have a lot of things to learn but I am sure it worths it.
If the company grow, we will both be more than satisfied and if not we would have tried. Either it works or not, I personally will learn a lot. Isn’t it the most important?