Welcome to my blog! This week I’m talking about fundraising, dinner parties and my quest to achieve
Most of the week has been spent preparing for our imminent investor presentations which start in a few days’ time. But thanks to the help of our wonderful intern, Melissa Ross, I’ve also started working on Unforgettable’s first birthday celebrations in September. It’s going to be bigger than our launch last year and will involve key suppliers, customers, charity partners and friends. We’re also hoping to pull-off a very special event… I’ll let you know more next week.
I don’t often stop to consider what I’ve learnt since founding Unforgettable so I was quite flattered to be asked for advice about running a start-up business from fellow entrepreneur Ryan Houston McMillan. I met Ryan today and it was interesting to reflect and realise that I have learnt quite a bit, mostly by working so closely with our CEO David Lethbridge, who’s a bit of a genius. I know from personal experience that mentoring can be really useful, so maybe it’s time I did a bit myself.
I’ve invited our management team and their partners over for dinner on Wednesday evening so I spent Monday and Tuesday evenings preparing food for my guests David, Maurice Helfgott, Katie Mountain and James Honeywell.
I started pulling together products for comedian and author David Baddiel, whose father has dementia. David’s taking part in a Channel 4 documentary about his dad’s condition and has invited me to come along and talk him through a few products which might be relevant to him. I’m really grateful to David – this should be very interesting.
Later, I interviewed a few candidates for the role of Customer Services Manager. It’s proving quite difficult to find a replacement for Andrew who does an exceptional job.
I spent the whole day reviewing our financial business model. I also managed to speak to the producer of the David Baddiel documentary who wanted to know more about Unforgettable.
I then spent a wonderful evening socialising with the team and their partners. The BBQ was very successful (all those preparations were worthwhile) and the drinks flowed. It was particularly good to spend time with our chairman Maurice Helfgott, an exceptionally intelligent man who runs several prestigious businesses and adds enormous value to Unforgettable. I’m really grateful to work with such lovely, talented people.
With investor presentations looming, I had to cancel my planned visit to the Virtual Dementia Tour because fundraising work had to take precedent. It was disappointing, but I’ve rescheduled and look forward to experiencing the tour next week instead. We’re currently looking at ways of combining an Unforgettable pop-up shop with the Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour which travels the UK enabling people to experience the fear and frustration of dementia.
Later, I was pleased to meet Tam McDonald from Alzheimer’s Insights – a fascinating site which searches the internet every day for interesting articles about dementia. Tam is a very intelligent man with big ideas and I’m sure we’ll find ways to work together.
Every morning I check Google Analytics to see how we performed the day before. If it was a good day, I feel elated and really positive. If it wasn’t so good I take it personally and find that it massively effects my mood. But the good news is that whenever I meet or speak to our customers I know from what they tell me that we’re doing the right thing and I’m completely utterly convinced it will work. When my resolve wobbles, it’s usually when I’ve been stuck in the office until midnight and begin to lose perspective.
Founding a business like Unforgettable is undoubtedly an emotional experience, it is, in essence, a business that is part of who I am. My daily challenge is to learn how to manage the ups and downs and achieve a better balance between life and work…. if anyone has any tips, please let me know!