Brain Dump #1

Brain Dump #1

We never intended to start a business. Certainly, I never imagined spending 6 hours in staff meetings on a Wednesday 14 years later. Our 10am weekly all-staff meeting, a productive hour running through current jobs, identifying issues, presenting ideas, talking bottom-line financials, announcing our best month of web sales to date, sharing an amazing concept and tool I was recently introduced to 'Above the Line'. Craig from Mood Workshop introduced me to it a few weeks back and it immediately felt right as I tool in how we relate to each other as a team.

I'm a reluctant boss, manager, leader, that's the word, leader. Again, never imagined I'd be one of those. 11am it was straight into the first of our quarterly one on one staff check-ins. Known as hot laps, we walk, around the block, it's a 5-minute circuit so Arron and I must have cut 15 laps this morning, baking in the unusually warm August sun, no wait, it's the first day of spring! I love a walking meeting, particularly for individual one on ones where topics can get personal and raw quickly, the horizon is there for reassurance, there's the mechanic who starts giving us shit by the 10th lap, asking if we're fit yet? We cover a lot of ground, talk about the previous 3 months, set goals for the next 3, hold each other accountable.

I recently added a quote I'd heard in the Business of Machining podcast into our company cultural standard document. "Be curious, not judgemental" only to discover a week later that it's a line from the Apple TV program Ted Lasso (actually Walt Whitman). I'll keep it there, it fits nicely with what we've built through intuitive nose following. Undirected organic growth.

I had a marketing firm, trying to solicit my business, ask me a whole lot of hard questions about growth expectations and cost of customer acquisition yesterday on a free consultation call. I came away feeling rattled and incompetent, I need business coaching (something I am absolutely sure I'd benefit from) I don't know what I'm doing (I don't) and other such doubts. Both Lauraand William (my trusted marketing firm) assured me with soft words that we've made it this far, through intuition and hard work and that such questions would be a solid script to leave any business owner feeling like they had better reach out and employ help immediately.

The last meeting of the day was our advertising review with William from Concrete Digital and how to proceed without feeling like Zuckerberg-feeding-dirtbags. So thankful to have my best alongside me for this one, trusted digital marketing partner William, co-founder Laura Woodward and business manager Sarah, all wise and frugal practitioners of decisive logic. We will proceed with another 3 months of ad spend and hope we can maintain our voice amongst the algorithms.

Trust your gut and just make stuff. Thanks for reading. Maybe we'll do this again some time. J

3 Responses

Chrissy Cooper

Chrissy Cooper

November 11, 2021

I’ve bought a couple of your pigeon holes and several crates off you and just love love love them! They are an interesting, stylish way to store stuff and so strong! ..I was looking at your catalogue online when I came across your blog.
Im wondering why the marketing guy rattled you ? Was it because he was promoting mainstream marketing principles? Because what you are doing is collaborative, authentic, original and pioneering. I have followed your business for quite a while now on Insta and have watched the business grow and evolve and slay the technical, design and environmental challenges! I definitely see your business as a collaboration of bright minds and you definitely as an innovative leader on so many levels! Well done and don’t doubt yourself! You’re winning!



September 06, 2021

Thanks for sharing Jem,
This post makes me want to work for you, then I remembered I found you because I’m on my own business journey. I’ll be referring to your business model as I grow and will be in touch to discuss services in the future :).
Best wishes, Jen

Joe  Bradford

Joe Bradford

September 02, 2021

Love it!

You and the team are legends in our book.

Walking a similar line just across the ditch.

Keep going. Keep inspiring.


Leave a comment (all fields required)