In the last quarter of 2016, the regional arm of a multinational financial institution invited us to pitch as the agency of record for a campaign they were hoping to roll out. At that particular time, we were at the penultimate stage of a project of a rather sensitive nature (both confidential & timewise) for a new client we had just gained. We were very tempted to send a regret explaining that we were unable to honour the invitation. As it so happened, two of the people on the marketing team were acquainted to us, having worked with us on other projects before they moved to the financial institution in question. So, despite the long and arduous hours the entire team was putting in, we felt it would be a professional courtesy for us to at least take the meeting.
A few years ago, we had a brilliant business idea for one of our divisions whose industry we felt was on the wane. We conducted a lot of research– focus groups, questionnaires, spoke to owners of similar businesses across the world, got in contact with the manufacturers of the technology we needed for the endeavour, negotiated exemplary rates for equipment, poured through mountains of training manuals, designed uniforms and arena simulations– the works. The idea was great and the market was ready. Unfortunately, the venture required a handsome amount of money that we clearly didn’t have.
Measuring a mere 5.2cm by 5.2cm, one of the most, if not the most formidable weapon in the Sticks & Stones arsenal happens to be our business cards. While the regular business card dimensions are 8.5cm by 5cm, ours are nearly half the size of normal cards. In many respects, this is where the differences in cards ends…or so it may seem.
As a child, I was unfortunately bullied. It was systematically, methodically, consistently, almost relentlessly, done. One would think that having a brother who was about nine years and some change older would dissuade, if not deter, my tormentors. One would be very wrong to think this.
A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to speak at a local university about what it is like running a small business (I thoroughly dislike the words ‘CEO’, ‘owner’, and ‘proprietor’ since my mind associates these with fleecing, Enron and whatnot).
A while back, I made one of the hardest decisions I have made thus far in my life; I decided to walk away from formal employment and focus all my energies on building and expanding a business I had started with two friends. Not many people know this, but I was afraid.