I spent 18 years as a 9-5 office worker. Having had 2 kids while juggling a demanding job and never ending business travel, I live under eternal maternal guilt.
So I started my business venture in my spare time, not to make my life even more unbearable, but to build a pathway out of regulated hours and dependency on the employer.
One night I put my kids to bed, sat on my daughter’s bed to kiss her good night when she said something that shaped the way I think about business forever.
– Mummy, are you going to bed too? – she asked.
– Not yet, baby, I am going to work for a few hours.
– Why do you always work so much?
– Because I have to travel tomorrow and I won’t have time otherwise.
– But why do you need to travel?
– My boss wants me to, he wants me to join a meeting in another country.
– So he’s a bad person, because he takes you away from us!
– No he’s not the bad person, he’s on his job too. He also travels away from his family.
– Then who decides that you have to travel and work so much?!
– The business owners. They decide how to run the company, how people work there. That is why I so want to build my own company, so that I decide for myself when I want to travel and when I want to spend time with you. I’ll be the boss.
– Will you be a good boss? Will you let other mums be with their kids?
That brought tears to my eyes, and at that very moment I gave myself a promise that whatever business I build, the requirement to allow anyone working with us to have a freedom to decide how much time they want to give to work. I’m eternally excited and motivated by this mission. I’m sure great examples exist, but I believe it’s absolutely possible to build the business around the people, and not vice versa.
So we’re a small team now scattered around the world. Some of them I never met in person! My vendors, partners and employees live in Armenia, Czech republic, Bali and Chile or simply are mums (and dads!) in London.
There is so much talent, skill, experience, brain power and motivation that I uncover in those amazing people, and it’s only met, because I’ve decided to think outside of 9-5 box.
I’m thinking about how are we going to work when we are 20? 100?. I play around with the ideas and I imagine the task dispatcher systems, jobs for grabs, time flexibility management systems… maybe we’ll innovate there one day, or maybe someone else will, and we’ll use it, but it’s the course we want to go.
My company motto: no one has to compromise. And it’s not only about the customers, quality, standards of service. It’s about our team as well.
No one has to compromise their loved ones.