2010 was possibly the most interesting of my life.
It was a year of independence and adventure. Most welcome after 2009, a difficult year of survival and confidence building in the wake of redundancy.
I remember embarking on 2010 full of ambition and hope. I knew the year would end with The Apprentice airing, which meant I was full of anticipation and excitement. I went into the year working as a consultant on a big project so I was financially secure. The instability of 2009 was behind me and the hard work had paid off.
I wasn’t totally sure of my long term intentions; Joyous Communications had been a reactive move rather than a planned pro-active intention. Did I want to continue growing the business or did I want to head back into full-time employment? The not knowing didn’t worry me because I had some time to figure it out and I believed that doors would open after the show one way or another. It was a nice place to be.
Now at the start of 2011 I look back on 2010 with pride. I achieved a lot during the year but three things in particular will stay with me forever.
1) I started my Joyous Acts blog and documented one joyous act every day. In part it was to celebrate Joyous Communications’ 1st Birthday but it was also to act as a reminder that everyday is joyful if you keep your eyes open.
2) I had so many Joyous adventures when I travelled to India and through Central America on the trip of a lifetime. I got to teach English to Tibetan refugees and began a love affair with the ocean learning to Scuba dive.
3) I appeared on The Apprentice. It didn’t turn out quite how I expected – blink and you’d be forgiven for missing me – but I left with my head held high and got to experience everything you’d expect. Andy Warhol predicted we’d all have 5 minutes and in 2011, thanks to Lord Sugar, the BBC and Talk Back Thames, I enjoyed mine.
So – what now in 2011? I get asked this question more than any other.
Professionally, I’ve decided that I want to go back into full-time employment as an employee. The main reasons being that I don’t like to work alone, I want to be part of a team.
This combined with the fact that the level of work you can compete for with only one resource is rarely as exciting as the scope of work you can win as as part of an integrated agency. I want to work on challenging high level work. Similarly when acting as a consultant resource (comparable to an in-house role) even if you embed yourself you are never part of the long term goals. You are there to support the strategy rather than drive it. I want to be a driver.
Of course, I am very proud of the Joyous brand and there are major benefits to working for yourself. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would probably be hiring a team and taking Joyous into the stratosphere but, I’m no millionaire and it would take me years to get to a place where I have a team around me so, I’m keeping Joyous as my hobby and I’m on a mission to find the right job – which I have to admit, is almost harder than working for yourself!
I’ve had a few meetings and an interview where the feedback was that I was perhaps, overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Its not the first time its been said. Not to worry though, I expect knock-backs and plenty of them – no-one said life was going to be easy and I can handle the challenge. I am enthusiastic – In truth, I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to having a permanent desk again and working on long term goals.
Personally, I have a few plans – all of which will receive further attention once the matter of my employment status is resolved. It goes without saying that I hope romance finds its way to my doorstep; I hope that 2011′s joyous acts are more exciting than ever; I hope that I re-ignite my love affair with the gym and remember that really I don’t like carbs or chocolate; I hope that I watch more live music and that I contribute to charity and make a difference in some selfless way; I hope that I learn to cook and have the courage to do more of my creative writing and maybe even share it. Mainly – I want to change my hopes into realities. And all, with a great big smile on my face.