Wednesday, 26 October 2011

So long from Sophie!

In a way it feels like yesterday that I was sitting in Rich Mix café, writing my ‘meet Sophie’ blog with all the zeal and cockiness of a newly-hired recent graduate. In another way it feels like far longer than a year and a bit ago. It’s really only now, as I prepare to move on to new employment, that I realise how far we’ve come as a company since July 2010.

When I started at Red Button Design, there was a Midomo prototype, secured investment, and some pretty impressive awards in the bag. As I leave, there is a deployment of actual Midomo units in Mwingi, Kenya, a designer jewellery collaboration in place that funded them, some exciting high-profile charity partnerships in the pipeline, and the dawning realisation that we may actually succeed in both making money and effecting vital impact to people’s lives.

I’m certainly not saying this was all down to me. I may be cocky and zealous but I’m not delusional! Obviously there is also a long way for Red Button Design still to go. But grant me if you will a small moment to marvel at what Amanda and James have achieved in little over a year, with some help from me, and some from Esme.

And wow, have I learned a lot. I learned that business is difficult, but it’s certainly do-able, with an ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ spirit. I am no longer a ‘networking novice,’ hiding behind my glass and not wanting to disrupt people’s conversations, but instead, I have thrust cards into the hands of Matthew Pinsent, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Doug Richard, and yes, Peter Jones (all of whom were gracious). I can just about get in front of a camera now without being completely trashed.

I’ve also realised the simple fact that good business is all about good relationships. We’re social animals and all, so the trick to getting press, sales, collaborations and stuff done seems to be to just talk to people and be decent and direct. And that can be by email, twitter or even the scary old phone. Getting on with your colleagues also helps the day along and I know this won’t be the last I’ll see of Amanda or James. I owe them much.

And that’s quite enough precocious musing from me for now[1]. If you want me, I’m moving to Knowledge Peers to work with directors of businesses and charities, challenging them to work better. I’ll also be working with Esme, in a new #marcomms team that will never forget its RBD roots.

Thanks everyone,

Stay in touch.

Sophie, FRSA x

(Enthusiasm and idealism still intact)

[1] Save for the job spec to follow...

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