It was taken in the same place as five years ago, in my parents’ kitchen which was often my office back then. Seeing the two photos together, I thought I’d play a fun game of spot the difference….
Smiles all round
The first difference I spotted was that the dogs (Harvey left and Hugo right) were much happier! My smile is much more natural and happier too.
Setting up a business can be a daunting time and I was just a tad tense about the whole thing. By the looks on Harvey & Hugo’s faces, I think they were too.
I also had in my mind that in order to be taken seriously aged 25 with just a few years’ experience under my belt, I had to be very serious, because serious meant professional.
Nowadays, I’m much more laid back and fun, although I’m sure my team would probably beg to differ! I’ve learnt that you can be fun and professional at the same time, which as an agency I believe Harvey & Hugo is.
I’m also incredibly happy to be doing what I love and running my own business.
Dark circles under eyes
I knew running a business was going to be hard, but nothing prepares you for just how challenging it is! This is why in the latest picture, I have darker circles around my eyes.
In the five years, I reckon I’ve clocked up about 14,000 hours working on my business. That’s just working on my business, I’d hate to think how many hours it would be if this included thinking about my business as that’s almost constantly!
If you asked me at the start, I’d have said that my ‘five years on’ photo would probably be taken at my luxury beach villa in Barbados as I’d have successfully built up a business that runs without me, yet still generates a tidy monthly dividend for me.
This hasn’t happened.
Even if we hadn’t been through perhaps one of the worst recessions we’d ever known, this probably still wouldn’t be the case, but I still have high and extremely optimistic hopes for the next five!
For the eagle eyed amongst you, you will also have noticed that I’m now engaged. Sorry for banging on about it still, but I will explain why this is a noteworthy difference.
When I set-up the business, it was the most important thing in my life. I devoted all of my love, energy and attention to it. Meeting my fiancé Chris made me realise there was much more to life than running a business. If I hadn’t realised this, I can safely say I wouldn’t be wearing an engagement ring.
Chris entered my life towards the second year of running the business. He was ill at the time and was about to have an operation to remove a tumour in his head. Unfortunately this operation went wrong and he ended up having to go back under the knife for major surgery another two times in the period of what was a very miserable year and a half for him.
Suddenly work didn’t seem so important and I would quite happily drop a meeting to fit around hospital appointments. This made me realise that my business isn’t everything.
It is still tempting to work long hours especially when I love what I do, but I make sure I take regular holidays to spend quality time with not just Chris, but my family and friends.
Paws on the table
In the new photo, Hugo confidently has his paws placed on the table. At first, people weren’t certain that a Pay-as-Hugo PR model would work. Well, it does and our Pay-as-Hugo packages continue to grow in popularity. Hugo is very pleased about this, hence his assertive pose. (I’m actually a little concerned that the power has gone to his head!)
Despite these not warranting a full explanation of their own, for those of you playing along at home, give yourself a point for spotting the following differences:
New collars on Harvey & Hugo
I seem to have a webbed right hand (?)