Ten things I’ve learnt in four years
A Facebook memory popped up yesterday – the first blog post I ever wrote for Pomegranite, right before I quit my job and joined Liz in the lounge of her little Long Street flat, which we called “the cave”.
It was written before we even had our own website, and was published on Blogspot. (When I told Alex this she LOLed at how old we are.)
Reading it felt like reading something written by a different person. And, to be fair, I sort of was. But it made me think about how far we’ve come with this little business of ours, so I thought I would tell you about 10 things I’ve learnt in the last four years.
1. Sometimes it’s better not to know exactly how hard something is going to be before you take the leap. Sort of the same reason I would never watch a birthing video. If we had known what that first year was going to be like, we probably wouldn’t have done it. But I’m so glad we did. Because it’s been worth every second.
2. Backups are important. When you’re building websites, when you’re planning a social media campaign, when you’re making lunch plans.
3. Clients will always surprise you. In good ways and bad. Don’t forget that they are just humans making their way through their day – and so are you.
4. The right office space is important – even if it takes a while to find it (and afford it). When you do find it, fill it with plants and nice people. On that note: thank you, Crush, for being such wonderful office mates.
5. Failures don’t necessarily mean you’ve failed. Some of our best lessons have come from situations that have felt like utter disasters. This is tough to appreciate in the moment, especially when it’s costing you time or money. I find, if you file these “failures” under the “school fees” tab in your brain, it stings a little less.
6. Some days you’ll be able to go out there, guns blazing, and sign three new clients. Some days you’ll want to sit quietly sipping tea, hoping no one makes eye contact with you. Both kinds of days are necessary.
7. When you need time, take time. This has probably been the hardest thing to learn, and something I keep re-learning. Taking time off when you’re under pressure feels counter-intuitive, but when you’re only operating at 50% brain capacity, it really does make more sense to stop, recharge, and come back refreshed. Sometimes that break is a 20-minute walk. Sometimes it’s a long weekend. Sometimes it’s a trip to Mexico. Schedule them all in.
8. Nothing makes you feel like more of a MOM than having some simple computer-related thing taught to you by a 22-year-old. Just remind yourself that it’s ok, you still know things.
9. You can create the best office culture in the world, and people will still come and go, because that’s life – and, you know, they’re allowed. What’s important is how much they cry when they tell you they’re leaving.
10. And finally, the biggest truth of all: you can love your job, you can really love your job, but in the end, work is work. What matters the most, I’ve found, is the people. You spend more time with them than you do with your boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives. (Especially if you’re doing long distance.) So, best you work with people you like. People you trust. People who inspire you. People who make you laugh. Carla, Alex, Liz – you do all that and more. Thank you for making Pomegranite what it is. This little four-year-old that has found its feet and is just going to go on to do bigger and better things each year.