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Jane Hayward

Back to the shop floor

Moving out of my office and into the engine room has been a refreshing view of the business.

After twelve years of running the business, I decided it was time to step back a bit and allow the business to grow under a new direction and so it was timely that a good contact came along and was able to fill the role bringing energy and knowledge along with a fresh approach. Great for me! But anyone who has ever owned and run their own business knows that it’s not easy to just step away completely and that any new found freedom of semi-retirement is slightly shadowed by a fear that everything will fall apart and the staff you have worked with for years will be unsettled and worried about such a significant change.

Why was I even slightly worried? Not only is our new MD doing a great job, but the team are happy and excited at the new chapter of our company’s evolution. No wringing of hands or counselling required as the team happily embrace the change and for me it’s opened up a chance to sit among the team and be at the sharp end of the business once again.

My old office is now Jerry’s office and my work is done on a laptop sited temporarily in the overspill meeting room. ‘Hot desking’ is now the norm and I am happy to transport my bits and pieces around between home and my ‘new’ desk that is utilised on the days I am in the office. What has been interesting is being back in the hub of the day to day transactions, answering the phone and even being the ‘receptionist’ when required. Hearing my colleagues around me talking to media and clients, observing how deadlines are adding pressure but handled with a calmness and seeing new creative ideas coming out of the studio has put me back in touch with the grittiness of the work we do and how exciting it still is to be in this world of media. So much has changed over the years but the thrill of new business and the pride of completing a complex project still generates a buzz.  Media channels have developed immensely and it is wonderful for me to see the talent in our company handling the enquiries and giving advice with a confidence and expertise that is certainly beyond my capability.

Reflecting on twelve years of growth reaffirms my ability to be flexible; to be grateful for the trait of resilience that I have inherited from my parents and for the knowledge I have acquired along the way. I can still present with conviction and passion, I can produce a reasonable business plan, write training programmes, deal with pressures, lead on projects and make enough money to keep the team employed and happy. The journey hasn’t finished and in this new chapter I will be relishing the opportunity to balance my personal life with the satisfaction of knowing that I could do it all again…. If I really had to!

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