Yep, this is me - a subject I don't really like talking about that much to be honest.
I've learnt to listen more than I speak, which actually wasn't the case (at all) in my teens. Personally, I blame my three active "smart-but-how'd-they-know-that?" kids for shutting me up.. and yes, I've loved "learnt to embrace" time management. And thank goodness they did..
If you're a parent too, you'll know all too well that young ones love exploring the world and, well, letting us know all about theirs is a delight only we can really behold. By the way, mine are (currently) 12, 12 & 16 (Edited 2019). You've guessed right, I have boy / girl twins.
Here's my sweet little smilers. I'm biased (obviously), but I'm lucky to share a life with such beautiful souls :)
3x Insights Gained
Yes, I've tried applying for the Patrick Swayze lookalike award (my era..) but alas, my grey hairs are a dead giveaway. Between leaving education at 17 and forming DWM, I spent invested 20 years finding out what worked, what worked well, what sucked and what defines who I am.
Let me explain those 3 x "insights":
Working hard whilst employed, ignoring office politics, doing my very best - regardless of others' opinions, paying the mortgage (to keep a roof over my and my families head), and a firm belief that as long as I produced results, I would be valued by my employers.
What Worked Well:
Developing an opportunity mindset, training myself to look further than the end of my nose, falling in love with the power of words, reading every damn self-development and starting-your-own-business book I could get my hands on, questioning everything and praying that, one day, I'd eventually work for myself.
What Defines Who I Am (still a work in progress - do we ever really find out?):
I've realised that EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE has helped shape my character and refine (continually) my career, life and purpose.
The cards I've been dealt with have provided little gems of insight, that when understood and internalised, helped sharpen my axe and hone my levels of conviction, tenacity, determination, compassion and humility. One of my favourite quotes sums this all up perfectly: "Iron doesn't become steel until it's been through the furnace". Indeed..
Frustration Gives Way to Passion (and a load of risk!)
What the hell was I thinking? I turned down a good role (with a good salary) that I'd been offered by a reputable company selling IT solutions, to start my "dream". I can't express the fear, uncertainty and dread I felt when I first stepped into my new office facility in September 2009 - well, a converted tool shed in my outhouse at home.
Here's me at DimmockPlex all those years ago, with my trademark goatee, an old and dusty curtain covering my shed window and a telephone. Well, I am in business for myself now, right? Let me at 'em..
More about what I've learnt during my 7 few years of running a business can be explored here (though not for the faint of heart, that's for sure).
Fast forward to February 2012 when I decided, due to space limitations and noisy-kids-coming-home-from-school syndrome, to finally (thank goodness) move office to a proper office "facility". Thankfully, it was just a 10 minute drive from home. EDIT: In February 2017, I decided to work from home again - as by now, my children were all being home-schooled and the costs of rental-space were sky-rocketing.
Here's what I took with me from my tool shed when I moved offices. Spot the tool bag?
Humble beginnings, huh? For those of you who've just started (or about to start) your own internet marketing or SEO business, we're on the same page my friend. But take it from me: your first few years will be the toughest challenge you've ever faced; personally, professionally and mentally. If you didn't know that before, you do now! #PayItForward
The one million dollar question you might be asking is "Was it worth it?" I really can't stress this enough.. YES! If I could do it, so could you!
Business Challenges, Inspiration & Passion (a few interviews I've done)
An interview with Moosa Hemani where I talk business lessons learnt, pre-qualifying clients and who's inspired me.
A Q&A style interview with Krystian Szastok on "How to Start Your Own SEO Business" (a view from the trenches..)
Another Q&A with The Meld (via Rob Duckers) on "7 Digital Entrepreneurs Talk Business - Our Approach"
I'm also an active member of the MOZ community - see my member profile and stay updated on my comments and posts.