Why am I doing this? Why did I decide to resign my well paid, secure, successful job when I have a young family and COVID is very much at its peak to start Digital 51?
- I believe in recruitment.
- I want to control my own destiny and give something back.
I did not fall into recruitment. I wanted to work in business, I wanted to look inside a range of different organisations to see what makes them tick, and I wanted to sell. Recruitment allowed me to do all three. I hate that people think calling recruitment ‘sales’ is like using a dirty word. Recruitment is sales, yes, of course it is, but it’s also about people, service and relationships. If you don’t see or get that, then you will never truly be happy or succeed within recruitment.
Take a step back for a minute and think about the three most important things in your life right now (aside from your health). I’m going to suggest that over the course of your life the most important things will always centre around your family, your home and your career. The reason for the first two seem obvious: family is important, whether it be yours, someone else’s, the desire to escape it or the desire to create it. Family matters. The same with your home, not in a way that is aesthetic, but at a basic human needs level. Home should be where you are safest and most secure, it’s important.
Your career is where it gets tricky. Unless you are extremely fortunate, your career will fund the ability to do the things you want in your life and will certainly impact on your family and your home. It is also highly likely, your career is where you will spend the most amount of time during your adult life. I believe being in the right career is fundamental to being happy and this is where recruitment comes in. Across the recruitment industry we get to support, disrupt, and impact your career, the careers of those you employ and those who shape the future of business. I created Digital 51 because I want every member of the team, business, and organisation to understand this and realise what a privileged position we are in.
If you only look at recruitment as filling a role, beating someone else to the punch or generating a fee, then you are missing the point I believe. Yes, all these things matter, but they are outcomes of doing the right thing for the right reason in the first place.
I have been privileged to spend the last eight years leading other people’s businesses. It has given me some of the best moments of my career and it has allowed me to enjoy the life I have. However, you are always inheriting something when running other people’s businesses. You are always compromising, and you very rarely get to live your true beliefs. That has been my experience anyway.
Personally, I have spent the last ten years driving to achieve my career goals. I wanted to build a national sales function within an SME recruitment business, one that could take on and beat the big firms at their own game. I did that. I wanted to earn over six figures consistently. I did that. I wanted to become a Director. I did that. I wanted to be known for the quality of my service, for doing what I said and for saying what I thought. I did that. I wanted to become a Managing Director. I did that. I wanted to lead a brand, a London based, global footprint brand. I did that. I could not have achieved any of these things without those who worked around me, but I must acknowledge, if only fleetingly, that I did achieve my goals.
It is not that I didn’t value what I had achieved, or how others helped me, but I wanted more. That is why I have given it all up; the role, the money, the size, the scale, the ‘power’. I have given it all up to go back to basics, to build my way, and with those who can challenge me. That is why I started Digital 51. I’m in awe that four other people have quit their jobs to come on the ride with me.
Will it work? Will it be worth it? I don’t know, but I am going to give it everything I can to find out. Where will I be in ten years’ time? What will I do then? That’s simple too. I am going to give Digital 51 away. No small print, no ifs, buts, or maybes. Ten years after we started (March 1st 2031) I am going to spend 12 months transitioning the business to those who have helped me build it. Whatever Digital 51 is at that point. Then I will step back completely from the business.
I believe true purpose is very hard to identify. Digital 51 is my purpose, and the purpose of the business is to ultimately belong to those who build it.
Now lets enjoy the ride.