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The importance of being 'present'

For years I have wanted to write a blog, but have always found excuses not to; too busy, would anyone be interested? What would I say? Over the last few years my life has changed massively and who I am has changed with it. Deep down, I guess I have always had an inner desire to be in control of my own future and this came to a head this year resulting in me taking the plunge of starting my own company. I thought where better to start our new blog, than with my experience of the last few weeks.

My natural personality is such that when I decide to do something…I throw myself into it 100%. I feel like Usain Bolt racing towards the finish line. In the last 6 weeks we have got ourselves a city centre office, registered NewbyCore as a Limited company, set up a business bank account, created a business plan, a website, a logo, branded merchandise and so much more. And most importantly spent hours and hours doing research, research and more research. Drawing on my own experiences, my vision on how things should be done and a lot of reading, I have spent most of my time on producing the service offering that we provide. And I am very proud of the results. Reputation and being recognised as a high-quality company is so important to me – the quality of what we do has to be of the highest standard. I believe we have services which will really help add value to companies and individuals.

So, what advice would I give to any potential new start-ups? Invest in good coffee and a whiteboard! Joking aside, for me the whiteboard has been symbolic of ensuring professionalism and discipline. Anyone working for themselves will tell you, self-motivation and discipline is essential. I have my office set up as a very conducive working environment, and have a strategy, budgets, action plans, timelines, objectives – the same as any good business should. You need to hold yourself accountable, and meet your own targets. The hours have been very long but enjoyable, and flexible. I still ensure I have time to spend with my children. Oh, and I am not joking about having good coffee, and lots of it!!

A very important mentor and coach to me has helped me think differently – always stressing the importance of balance in life so maintaining health, wellbeing and happiness. We all have many commitments in life, and sometimes feel like we need to spread ourselves too thin to meet them all. However, the eureka moment for me came this year when actually I realised that spreading yourself physically is the easy part, doing so mentally, not so much. What do I mean by this?

Taking my own experience of working for a large company – the time in my life when I started to progress to senior roles was around the same time I became a parent. It’s one of life’s little quirks, that often these two stages of our professional and personal lives happen at the same time! As if getting 2/3 hours sleep a night isn’t bad enough, we take on greater responsibility at work and sit in the office until 10pm at night! Like most parents, having children is by far the most important thing to me, and I have always made sure I have spent as much time with them as possible. But, upon reflection this year, I asked myself how much of that time was I ‘present’? Was I fully in the moment enjoying my amazing children, or was my mind wondering to work, and a report that was outstanding, or a stack of emails that needed answered? That’s the eureka moment – that’s not happiness, that’s not living. But I worked hard and had climbed the ladder to provide a nice life for my family, so that is surely enough, isn’t it? The same wise mentor asked me the following question:

“What do you think is most important to your children - possessions or quality time with their Dad?”

Wow, that hit me between the eyes like a lightning bolt. It’s crazy, as the answer is so simple…but sometimes it takes someone else to make us stop and think for a second. I chose the latter. And that is when life changed. I have never been happier (and as a result neither has my family).

So, for a first blog entry which started off about setting up your own company, it may feel like I have gone off at a tangent. I haven’t though, not really. My advice to anyone, whether starting your own company, working for someone else, being a full-time parent, is the same; to think about what is truly important to you, and ensure you are truly present at the times that mean the most. When doing something you love, turn your phone off, stop flicking through Facebook, forget about that big meeting the next day and ‘be present’.

For me, these last couple of weeks, being honest, that has been very hard to do…but that is ok. You need to be kind to yourself and I am comfortable with the fact that these first few weeks setting up NewbyCore comes first, but not forever (and we stick rigidly by our rule that Sunday is a non working day – a sacred family day). The happier you are, the more you can achieve a work life balance, then I have no doubt that the more successful your career will be.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed our first blog – these will be regular, so please subscribe to our mailing list here for updates on our next blog. In the meantime, any comments, feedback, sharing of your own stories is most welcome.


Managing Director

‘Limited by name, Limitless by nature.’

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