Two years of full time entrepreneurship
Facebook kindly reminded me of a status I posted two years to the day…
‘It’s official – I’ve retired from banking (not Cockney rhyming slang)’
This represented, after 9 long years, the day I quit my banking job. I can safely say based on the experiences we’ve had as a business over the last two years, that nothing can quite prepare you for stepping into the business wilderness.
Popular opinion says that you should build the business up, in your spare time, until it reaches the point of it being unsustainable for you to juggle the day job with the business. I didn’t!
The way that my contract was structured at the bank meant that I couldn’t have a business interest and work there at the same time. I had to do what I could to test the feasibility of my business prior to taking the leap. So, prior to quitting, having hand labelled the bottles and without a feasible way to manufacture my range of drinks, I took my wallpaper table and a bed sheet to the Lunch show 2015 and, with the help of my brother and two friends (big thanks), set up my first ever trade stand (see pic).
This was ironically the first time I’d tried my drinks as well as I’d only tried separate elements – the apple profile, the sweetness, which mint I wanted etc. Luckily, the pieces of the jigsaw came together to reflect something rather palatable. Over the next two days, we sold over 2,000 bottles to independents, signed up three distributors and I had a collection of cards from major UK retailers. Within 4 weeks of this I’d quit my job.
Now, after the roller coaster of the last two years, a few more grey hairs and finally embracing ‘Murphy’s Law’, I can safely say that being a solo-founder is the most difficult but, equally, the most fulfilling job.
It seemed quite apt to coincide this anniversary with another great announcement for Rejuvenation Water. As of tomorrow, we begin our roll out into Coco Di Mama, London’s healthy Italian grab-and-go eatery. Our range will initially be available in their new White City outlet, followed by their new King William Street outlet in Monument and their newly refurbished St Paul’s outlet by end of the month.
With 2018’s product and listing pipeline, it’s looking increasingly like I’m going to [happily] have to delay my first holiday until 2019.