Before I stop bleating on about having gone solo in the big wide world of digital communications (I’ll be back to my normal, snarky self next week, I promise), I wanted to publicly say a quick thank you just a few of the people who’ve offered support, given me advice and helped me out while I worked this thing out.
I’ve been truly, genuinely humbled by the response I’ve had from friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even strangers since I announced my news on Monday and I can’t possibly thank all of you individually here (though I hope I have already somewhere else). So if I’ve forgotten anyone, I apologise!
The last few days have been a massive reminder (if I needed it) of the power of social media in making meaningful personal connections. If anyone ever questions the value of the friendships you can build across the web, just send them my way and I’ll have a (not so) quiet word in their ear.
Anyway, please look these guys up. You could do a lot worse than make them a part of your network.
Gemma Went (@gemmawent) and I have known each other for several years in and around the social web. She wrote a guest post for me as far back as 2010 when my blog was under a former guise. And she’s been immense in offering advice and support over the last few months. The thing is, Gemma and I have only met two, maybe three times (correct me if I’m wrong, Gemma), and yet when I have asked for her advice she has gone out of her way to answer my endless silly questions about working independently. Thank you.
If you read my blog on a regular basis, you’ll already know my old sparring partner Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich). She’s one of the most respected PR people on the web, has written a couple of fantastic books and I’ve quoted and referenced her more than any other individual since I started blogging. I have semi-regular debates with her about social media topics, and though I don’t always agree with her, I totally respect her opinion. (And don’t tell her this, but she’s normally right, much to my annoyance.) Despite living 4000 miles away, Gini’s been one of the most effusive in her best wishes and offers of help since I told her I was setting up on my own. Thank you.
Jan Minihane (@janminihane) offered me some fantastic advice from her personal experience of setting up and running an agency when I first seriously considered doing this thing. That was way back in August. She even responded to a silly little question I asked her when she was on holiday (I didn’t know that when I asked it!) and has since offered more help and advice should need it. You’ve got to respect that, right? Thank you.
Kate Hartley (@katehartley) and I served together (if that’s the right wording – it wasn’t a prison sentence!) for a couple of years on the PRCA Digital Group before I left due to lack of available time a year or so back. She knows her stuff when it comes to the communications field and she’s also one of the nicest people you’ll meet. Kate took the time to meet me for a coffee so I could pick her brain when I needed it. Thank you.
Jo Porritt (@brandguardian) is another person I’ve never met in real life but have known for a long time through social media. (I’m still waiting for the invitation to Guernsey on holiday with my family though.) Jo’s run her own agency from the Channel Islands for the last four years and gave me some fantastic and more cautious advice that balanced the gung-ho “go for it!” stuff really well. It gave me something to consider. Thank you.
I had a really good chat with Meg McAllister (@megmacpr) back in the summer that helped me think about my career at that time and how any potential move may affect me personally. I’m not going to reveal any more details about that, but Meg, it helped. Thank you.
Last on the page but without doubt top of the list is my wife, Michelle. You won’t find her on any social networks other than Facebook, and she’s only ever sent one tweet. It was to tell me to leave work on time as I hadn’t responded to a text 🙂 She’s always described my job as “talking to people about talking to people” (© Michelle Sutton, 2015), which is insightful, funny and, hey, accurate. Like her, in fact.
Michelle has been a rock over the last six months since I first tentatively suggested that leaving well-paid, full-time employment to gamble with our family’s future by setting up independently might be a good idea. She’s been supportive, encouraging and all-round awesome. For that, and for much, much more, thank you.
Now, on with the job of making a living…