Just over a month ago I gave a workshop at UX London which kicked off a series of events and one heck of a month. Since the 20th of May I’ve re-thought what I want to do with my life, let my team go, lost a loved one and then of course, there is Brexit.
For just under 2 years I’ve been building my startup Glimt. It’s been the biggest learning experience of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Bootstrapping it has been hard. I considered taking on investment, but there’s always been that voice at the back of my mind that investment wasn’t the route for me. That night of the 20th of May after being sat in the pub with the other UX London speakers, I realised what I wanted to do with my life and also what that meant for Glimt and more importantly the team. I got excited and felt optimistic for the first time in a long while and as I shared the news with D the next morning, he told me some bad news which made my decision to focus on a future that involves less work and stress even easier to take. This decision meant not to go ahead with our planned crowdfunding campaign, but instead start turning Glimt into what in the startup world is called a ‘lifestyle business’. With the pressure off and more time to focus on delivering value rather than go after investors, I’d also be able to dedicate more of my time on helping companies, individuals and startups with UX related matters, plus do a great and not just a good job with my upcoming book for O’Reilly about Storytelling in Design.
That following Monday, the 23rd of May, I let my team go. It wasn’t fun but it was easier than I thought it would be. I know it’s the best thing for them as it’d be a very long time before I’d be able to offer them what they deserve now that I’ve decided not to take on investment. Being bootstrapped has been hard for them as well and throughout this year I’ve spent part of my time consulting and freelancing and as a result not really been there. And that shows when you’re a small team of 3. Letting my team go sparked a lot of thoughts and I’m slowly starting to post the blog posts that I’ve kept in draft on my phone where I’ll share some of these.
Working with Elle and Emma has been incredible and as sad as I am that we won’t be working together in the same way anymore, I’m ever more excited for them about what their new opportunities will mean for their lives, careers, future friendships and their finances.
Looking back I’ve not regretted the decision once and in hindsight I’m relieved that I took the decision when I did. Someone very special passed away in the beginning of June and I’m incredibly glad that we weren’t in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign with Glimt as planned and that I instead could focus solely on being there for D. He’s been an incredible support to me over the last year in particular and this past Friday we celebrated 10 years since we met. What the future will mean for us – one Welsh man and one Swedish gal – post Brexit, we’ll see, but one way or another we’ll all come out of this stronger. Hopefully, it’ll be sooner rather than later.
Image via Flickr