I had a great night out last Thursday – Claire organised a Hard Reality reunion (hmmf! Sadly there’s nowhere for me to hyperlink that name to any more, I don’t know who the hell is running the boatbuilding website at hardreality.com) at the Cod, our old stamping ground. There weren’t as many of the old crew there as I’d have liked, but it was great seeing Keld again, and seeing how people have carried forward a little of the Hard Reality energy in the three-and-a-half years since Mark and I abandoned ship.
Everyone is now scattered around various web agencies in London, but Tim said something very lovely – I forget his exact words but it was along the lines of “everyone who’s any good in the web industry in London seems to have come from Hard Reality”. I don’t know how much truth there is in this somewhat drunken statement, but it gave me a wonderful warm glow and made me feel that, hey, perhaps my judgement isn’t that bad after all and my totally chaotic idea of a “job interview” actually used to serve some purpose.
Tim went on to buy two bottles of Laurent Perrier just as last orders rang, in memory of the time I splashed out £550 on 13 bottles of pink champagne one lunchtime. It was lovely to see a great tradition being carried on (albeit in a slightly more sensible and grown up way. Slightly).
All of this made me realise what a great bunch of people we’d nurtured during our time in South Kensington, and how much I miss it. It also gave me a lot of self-confidence, realising that I’d done the right thing, and made me want to do it (or something similar) all over again. It played on my mind a little the next day, and then at bed-time I lay awake working out how I could make it a reality: find an assistant in Sheffield; go all out to get some new business in rather than (as at present) being scared of getting too much new business in case I feel overwhelmed; be bold, be brave; when we can justify taking more people on, open an office in Sheffield; nurture and grow talent; have a bloody great laugh.
Yeah, I’m really fired up about this. Second time around, I might even be able to hang on to some of the money we make, instead of spending it all on pink champagne. (Obviously I will still be spending some of it on pink champagne).