First Harvest And New Fruits

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Back in early January 2015, I posted a picture on this blog about what I wanted to achieve with Formation London in 2015. The promises I wanted to frame. Six months on, I thought it was worth taking a look at how it’s going.

Here’s that Resolution Tree.

The Resolution Tree

A lot has happened in those six months, not least the fact that the business focus has changed. I realised that, while making money was a great thing, it wasn’t an ambition. It was never going to be the thing that got me out of bed each day. I appreciate that might sound like madness to many people; however, I wanted it to have a bigger purpose than just making money. I wanted Formation London to be grander in its vision and its schemes.

January was a dark time. Short days, long nights. Work had dried up after a spectacular December. I had two choices: ramp up new business, or think carefully about what I wanted to do. Rather than do the natural thing and go on a sales drive, I stepped back and started creating instead. What would be better than having great ideas I could make, that would then drive the business?

Thankfully, it worked. Not immediately, but by the end of February I was being booked on some really interesting work and people were genuinely interested in what I was doing. They were coming to me; I didn’t need to become a salesman (which is good, because I don’t own a cheap suit and have access to a bucket of smarm).

I got out there, had coffee with people, talked about what I was looking to achieve. I wasn’t selling, yet of course I was selling. Passionately, no doubt.

During this time I sat down properly and looked at the first draft of Formation London’s proposition I’d written during the summer of 2014. It didn’t fit, not entirely. Much of it was marketing waffle, the bullshit that I’d railed against so many times with my peers. I didn’t want empty words, I wanted the business to have the purpose I was putting into my own thoughts.

The Fruits Of My Labour
The thinking I did when work was scarce has led me to get a lot of things right around how I wanted to present myself to the world – or as right as it can be for now. I also started thinking about a website: the first fruit on my tree to be harvested. It didn’t happen overnight, but it’s happened. Go take a look at the Formation London website if you haven’t already. I’m rather pleased with how it’s looking. Soon it will have a showcase of the work I’ve been doing. Version 1.1.

And I’ve been busy collaborating. Lots of collaboration, with an agency or two, with individuals. All of them are people I admire. And there is a lot more collaboration to come – I can’t do interesting projects with smart people without it. I can’t talk about many of these projects right now, today, but the showcase that’s going up soon on the Formation London website will have them all. I’ll be shouting out loud about all of them. And it’s brought about the harvesting of the second fruit.

I’ve got a product coming up, as part of one of those collaborations. The third fruit to be plucked. Again, I can’t say what this is right now. I think we’re weeks away from shipping. I’ll be telling the story of how this came about soon, though. I’m incredibly excited about it.

I’ve been blogging a lot more. Here, over on Formation London, on Medium, at Imperica, and for Creative Social. There are also pieces to come for a variety of other publications and magazines in the next few weeks and months. I’ve already written more blog posts and articles than I did in 2014 and there are still six months to go before the year is out. I’ve enjoyed taking commissions, as well as generating my own ideas, especially now that I’ve got my purpose worked out. I was also spurred on by winning Post of the Month on Only Dead Fish for December.

I’ve done more speaking engagements this year, some without swearing at all. I’m getting more comfortable doing them, and better at it. I’m hopeful of getting more. My next ambition is to be asked by Neil Perkin to speak at a Google Firestarters event. Having said all that, I’d rather speakers were picked from the list on Articulate Network.

The Next Stage
Those things have all been easy, relatively. Not everything has.

A significant client win. That’s been a hard one. Harder now that I have a different purpose. Yet, I’ve done it: twice. I can’t talk about it. I might never be able to take about either win – or certainly not for some time. It’s done. The card, however, will remain. Significance can be measured in many ways, so it will need the monetary aspect removed.

The same goes for hiring someone. It almost happened, but it didn’t. And for both of us I’m glad it didn’t work out. Hiring someone isn’t compatible with where I’m headed, or where Formation London is going. Not this year. Never say never, though. So the card remains.

That just leaves business cards. I still don’t think I need them, yet they are still the token that is used to drive the wheels of business. So who knows? It’s high up on the tree, and that’s a good thing. I’m not certain it’ll ever bear fruit.

What does this mean for the remainder of 2015? Am I finished and coasting? Far from it. All of the things that I set out to achieve in January, bar one, are still relevant. The year has a long way to go and I can’t wait to see those fruits ripening further before readying myself for a new year of growth.

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