A few months ago, I remember having lunch at work, chatting with my colleagues about working in start ups. I was reminiscing fondly about my first job out of university, working as a developer in a small web design agency, in a team mostly made up of graduates or people a couple of years out of Uni. There were times when it was frustrating and hard, but I look back fondly on it being a lot of fun, the steepest learning curve, and among the most pride and ownership I ever felt in my work.
I left that job to go and find out how bigger companies worked, then I went on to work in a consultancy because I still didn’t have enough of a breadth of experience. And then the start up bug came knocking.
Somewhere along the way, I had got used to earning a good salary, travelling, living well, got financial responsibilities; then I moved to Australia and became dependent on having an employer to sponsor my visa. Those things aren’t really conducive to working in a start up. And yet, that bug was still there, nibbling away at the corners of my brain.
The perfect opportunity turned up … at a decidedly inconvenient time. I was waiting on my new visa, and had just taken on a management role in a team that was taking on a new project with all kinds of demands for learning new technologies as well as leadership skills – and so, it nearly passed me by. Somewhere deep down though, I couldn’t let it go – I had to try, and if I failed, at least I’d know it wasn’t right.
I had fallen in love with the idea behind You Chews almost instantly – a catering company providing quality, artisinal food for corporate events and meet ups – probably because I’d eaten pizza at so many meet ups, and encountered the mystery meat sandwich at many training courses, conferences and meetings. Or perhaps it was just the idea of being able to sample new suppliers … mmmmm.
I just had to convince them that I was worth waiting for …
Fast forward a little, and here we are: in two more weeks I will finish up to go and dedicate myself full time to You Chews. We’re in the final 20 for both muru-d and StartMate, so the next six months could take us anywhere. It’s exciting, and scary, and it’s pushing me to learn and do things at a speed I haven’t experienced in a long time. It’s bloody fantastic.
We’re part of a community of people who all know what it’s like, and even though they’ve probably got to do lists as long as both of their arms, they’re willing to spend time to talk about our difficulties and lend their advice – from investors, to fellow founders, nobody is too superior or too busy to lend an ear.
I’m on board the crazy start up ship! Let’s start the next adventure