I often find myself telling the story about why we started Keynote. People ask why I left a great company, leaving an awesome position, working with great people… especially when I tell them we bootstrapped without any outside investment! I could give you the rhetoric about opportunity and progression, but the truth is, I’ve always dreamed about being totally accountable for the success of a business. I wanted to be in a business, with people, that I can fully identify with in everyway.
Taking the Start-up Leap
Throughout my career I’ve had wonderful mentors, people who saw the best in me and allowed me to screw up, pick myself up and learn from my mistakes – all to be in the future. That started when I was running a pub and my first mentors, Jon & Gavin, gave me my shot. They promised that if I listened and committed myself to the process, they would teach me to sell in a way that was sustainable and respectful. From there, people taught me recruitment, how to manage people and to do so in a genuine way. They developed my leadership skills and taught me the intricacies of running a business unit. The only thing that was missing, was the chance to take their guidance, combine it with a vision of what recruitment should be about, and most importantly… take the biggest leap of my career!
Understanding the Risks
At that stage people often start imagining what it would be like for them to make that leap, the uncertainty, the risk, the challenge. Trouble is, I am quite possibly the worst person to ask, it is simply the most exhilarating and rewarding thing I have done in my career. Every day is filled with promise and opportunity, mixed with surprise, stress and frustration. However, that is the beauty of it all, it is very real, it is very personal, and most importantly I wake up full of pride that a vision that was once a dream, is now a reality. What makes it so powerful is that I get to share this with equally passionate and forward thinking people. We have one focus, our clients. Everything we do is geared towards their success, all of the distractions of being an employee are gone.
Every place, every person and every client we have worked with has contributed to the reality of Keynote. The experiences from where we have come has provided the direction for what will be. We may be early in our development and have a crazy road in front of us, but we know who we are, what we stand for and what we are capable of. Here’s to the future, wherever it may take us all!