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The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!

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Spaghetti Blog

Wednesday 19th June 2024

What Happens When You Quit – 10 Years On

Wed 5th Jul 2023
By Todd

10 years ago I quit my full time job in the wine industry to start a business with a girl I met on twitter. It’s been a tough 10 years and a fun 10 years. It’s been 10 years of learning, growing, shrinking, thinking, and planning.  

A decade of business; running my own show with no permission whatsoever. I’ve constantly felt like an imposter and continually fucked it up. There have been times where I’ve wondered if I’d carry on. There have been a few times where I got ready to close bank accounts and social media channels.  

But here we are, 10 years on, post pandemic, early AI introduction, learning, yearning, and currently going viral on TikTok of all places.  

What Happens When You Quit – 10 Years On 

One thing from all of this is that I could not have predicted this. Any of it.  

It’s all so far fetched:  

Met a girl on Twitter, fell in love, got divorced, sold my house, quit my job and started a business all in the space of 7 months in 2013. Unbelievable. 

One thing I really want you to know from all of this is this: you’ll never know where that idea will lead, and it’s not a good use of time overthinking its outcome. Just go with that flow!  

As Tony Robbins so eloquently puts it: 

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.” 

You can’t predict it all, if any of it. I still have no idea how I did all this but 10 years on and I’m reflecting on the main learnings from running a digital marketing business, growing a team, and changing who I am as a person.  

Here’s my advice from this crazy journey so far… 

1. Trust your intuition 

This is important. I can’t explain why, but there’s something going on in your ‘gut’ that seems to be a guiding light for your life. When I ignore it, things don’t go well, but when I listen, they do.  

2. The universe has a plan for you

I promise this won’t all be woo woo but I’ve learnt that the world around you is bigger that your inbox on a Monday morning. There’s more to this world than meets the eye, so stay alert and keep listening.  

3. In the bad times, look for the lesson 

This took me ages to ‘get’. Sometimes (more often than we like) shit hits the fan and things come crashing down. I used to run around like a crazy guy in a blind panic, but now I’m very quick to respond (not react) and lately I’ve been quick to look up, look around, and look for the lesson or opportunity in the chaos of a disaster. It’s always there.  

4. Be yourself, everyone else is taken  

I learnt this early on. It’s all I know. The more I’ve been myself, the more good things I’ve attracted into my life. You’ll repel people too, and that’s OK. To be honest, you rarely ever find out who you repel, so it’s not even that painful. Attract those on the same vibe as you. It’s meant to be that way.  

5. Do it with love and energy  

I know I promised no more woo, but this is important. When you do what you love, it shows. People are literally attracted to it. When you ooze passion, excitement, and giddyness in your craft, people notice. Please do this as much as you can.  

6. Hire well and stick to what you’re good at 

You know this, right? Good. It took me ages to let go. I’m still doing things now that I’m not excelling at if I’m honest. As soon as you can, get an outsourced admin or assistant on your team. Get the accounts moved, hire a cleaner, find some tech gurus. Whatever it is, move the crappy tasks that you’re not so good at off your plate asap. Focus on where you – and only you – add the big value.  

7. Don’t create yourself a job, create a business for yourself  

And moving on from the above point, don’t lose sight of why you started your business. If you’re an amazing photographer, please don’t let the world conspire to retrain you as an IT systems and accounting expert. Don’t lose sight of your ‘thing’. It’s a tricky one, I get it, because in the beginning you need to do it all until you can afford not to. But be wary along the way too. Even in growth you’ll get pulled back in.  

8. Take the opportunities that feel right and do it quickly  

Speed is important. If you get a great opportunity please take it, fast. I’ve lingered and pondered on way too many great opportunities and it’s never served me well. If you get a good lead – jump on it. If you’re offered an opportunity and it feels right – take it! Opportunity is like a test; it tests how much you want it by the speed you respond to it. If it feels right, go for it.  

9. Profit is sanity, turnover is vanity  

Simply put, get good at numbers or at least bring someone on-board who is. I’ve learnt the hard way in the past by not having the VAT or Corp tax when I needed it or on countless times being completely surprised that my bank account is empty despite all of those transactions being totally predictable! Get good at numbers, oh and please stop chasing turnover, OK?  

10. Say yes to saying no  

It’s important to say no when thing aren’t right. Say no to potential clients, say no to current clients, say no to opportunities that don’t feel right, say no to people who want to work with you who aren’t a good fit. In the long run, you’ll build a business with all the right elements. 

11. Your environment and the people you hang out with make you who you are  

In addition to point 10, surround yourself with the right people. We all know by now that you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang around with so don’t hire or work with dickheads. “We don’t work with dickheads” has been an unofficial mantra for Jo and I for years. (Thanks Peter Thomson!) 

12. Look after your most important asset and put it first (that’s you!) 

I quit drinking in September 2021. The main reason for this was because I needed to be successful. “Successful people don’t drink” was a thing I kept saying to myself for a while. It seemed sobriety and the healthy lifestyle was more prevalent in successful people than boozing down the pub. You’re the business owner? You need to be on fire more times than not and you’ll need to be free from health issues, problems, downtime, and you need a high amount of energy. I quit drinking, lost 3-4 stone and got stronger in the gym. I do not regret it and neither does my business.  

13. Learn to adapt and do it often  

The only constant is change. You need to get good at change. 2020 taught me that. Everything changed in a small amount of time so we needed to change too. AI is the next big shift for us and you. Change, fast. Adapt with it. It will change whether you do or not.  

14. If you’re climbing a mountain, get a Sherpa  

I learnt recently that the first person to climb Everest wrote the book on climbing it and to this day the way to complete it is largely unchanged. If you’re growing a business then it’s highly likely someone else has done it in your industry or knows how to do it. Get a mentor, a coach, a trainer or guide. For too long we winged it. Winging it is for amateurs. Sherpas (including coaches and mentors) are for winners.  

15. Get comfortable being uncomfortable 

Oh this took a while, Todd! I resisted change. I didn’t take risks. I avoided challenging conversations and sales pitches. But that doesn’t lead to growth. So… I got used to being uncomfortable. The gym has helped with this. It’s the reason I do ice baths. I get used to being uncomfortable because your growth is outside your comfort zone and you know this too, right!? Get used to being uncomfortable.   

16. Admit when you’re wrong  

Again, a tough lesson I learnt late on. We’re gonna be wrong from time to time. Get used to it and admit when you are. I screwed up last week. I admitted that to my team this morning. I learn things when I’m wrong, and I admit it when it happens now. It’s honestly the best way to go.  

17. Listen twice as much as you talk  

Those who know me will know that I talk a lot. It’s one of my strengths (being able to present and train) and it hinders me too (in sales and business).  

I’m constantly amazed how much someone will tell you when you just shut the fuck up for a bit.  

Silence is powerful and if you allow it to appear; someone fills it and when that’s not you, you learn, you grow – you both win! 

18. Don’t have 10 lessons from 10 years (or anything similar) – give it your all! 

Stop conforming. Stop making things perfect. Nothing in life has 10 lessons and no business gets it right all the time. I stopped caring about perfection a long time ago. That doesn’t mean I don’t aim for it – far from it – I just don’t expect it all the time.  

We have so many systems in place (mostly built from lessons in screw ups) so you’d think we’d get perfect all the time. But we get near perfect. We do the best we can and we give it our all.  

This post could have been 10 lessons in 10 years. Instead I sat down with my iPhone and just wrote what came to me. It could also be better, but it’s better than overthinking it and not publishing it.  

In 10 years thats my main takeaway, really… 

While others are thinking about posting on Twitter, going live in a Facebook group, asking for permission to be a social media trainer, or sharing their brutally honest view on TikTok, I just did it.  

And the times I didn’t just do it? I regretted it.  

Trust your gut.  

Move fast.  

Get a Sherpa.  

Give it your all.  

Learn when you fall.  

Here’s to the next 10 years of ups and downs.   

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