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One year of genie

It’s our anniversary this week. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been delivering the genie magic for a full year.

When we started out, it was difficult to articulate what we wanted to do. We were a virtual head of comms, offering businesses support on a part time basis – but what did that really mean?

Over the past 12 months, we’ve become able to tell people our story. To talk to them about the passion we have for internal communications, PR and social media. We can promise them confidently, that we can come into their business for a short period of time and really help to make a difference. We pride ourselves on using communications techniques and tools to help businesses to solve problems.

We’ve developed our narrative. Our messaging house. Our purpose.

Helen and I have both worked in communications for a long time. It’s something that we both love doing - and something that we’re both really good at (minor sales pitch alert). I went to University at 19 following a (heartbreak related) gap year and studied PR. This was a career that I really wanted. Even then, I hoped that one day I would be able to run my own company doing just that.

Everybody we spoke to told us that the first year would be the hardest, and it has been a real challenge at times. In the early days, we had to really fight to stick to both our values and the type of work we wanted to do, and that’s something I’m incredibly proud of. After years of working in a leadership role across large businesses, taking home a decent salary, it was incredibly tough to then not earn a penny. It would have been so easy to say ‘yes’ to those jobs that were wrong for us, just to make some quick cash. But it would have meant we’d still be saying ‘yes’ to those wrong jobs now.

My advice to anybody starting out would be to hang in there. There’s a reason that you started this adventure so hold your breath and keep going. Be true to who you are and what you want. The sacrifices you made to get to this point are too big to turn your back on so quickly. Equally, don’t be scared to turn left at the fork where you were supposed to turn right.

The first thing that struck me when we started was the kindness offered by people that we didn’t know very well at all. People who were practically strangers and they wanted to help. To offer a level of advice and support that was invaluable. And the best part of being self-employed has definitely been getting to know these people well enough to call friends. I wanted to say thank you to everybody who has supported us during our first year. Clients, colleagues, associates, partners, friends and family.

I couldn’t end without saying a special thank you to the lovely Jim Muir. Jim gave us the confidence to be ourselves and the contacts to help us to fly. The world is a lesser place without him in it. We couldn’t be any more grateful for his help and support. We have added a rolling item to our monthly catch up agenda and that is quite simply, ‘what would Jim do?’

We think he’d be delighted with where we are today, and one of our goals for the year ahead is to make Jim proud.

So watch this space. 2020, we’re coming for you.

geniecomms.co.uk