Happy birthday to us

sail is one

Happy birthday to us! By Mandy Barker

44 project completions
Freelancer of the year finalist
6 new collaborations
2 offices
130 new connects

2 design journal features
2 exhibitions
3 mentors
And lots and lots of music and tea!

It’s Sail’s first birthday! The first twelve months of business have been exciting and educational. I have learnt more in the past year than I ever have getting my design degree, or working in other design agencies. Self employment has opened up new opportunities, collaborations, introduced me to new people, and enabled me to constantly develop, and clarify my focus and vision.

I have loved getting to know Sail’s clients and their businesses, along with meeting new friends and colleagues. I would like to thank Sail’s clients, colleagues and collaborators, along with my business mentors, friends and family that know how much has gone into the last twelve months, and who have helped along the way. 

Year two looks to be just as exciting, with some exciting client projects in development, a brand strategy framework underway, a sparkling new website coming soon, and an additional office in Newcastle.

To make this a useful post, I wanted to share some top tips I have learnt along the way:

Clarify your vision, focus and mindset
This is important. And I don’t mean in just in the business sense. Think about the bigger picture. What do you want out of life? Answering this will help you refine your business vision.

What is your why?
Answer this question, watch this amazing video by Simon Sinek. 

Step outside of your comfort zone
Don’t run away from fear. Comfortable is easy. What you know is easy. Feeling uncomfortable means you are trying new things. It means you are growing. Use this as a driver. Push yourself.

Say hello
Everyone is just a person. Want to speak to the director of a company you want to work with? Want to speak to someone in industry you admire? Drop them an email, go for coffee. Most people are happy to help out.

Focus, focus, focus
Why are you doing what you do? Who is your customer? What are you selling them? How are you selling it? It’s hard to resist new things, new ideas, new opportunities. But taking your eye and time away from your vision can be dangerous – you can’t be everything and it’s okay to say no if something doesn’t align with your business goals.

Take time out
Don’t burn out. Working 10 hours a day everyday is counter productive. You will not get the best of yourself. Make sure you take time out to refocus. Go for a walk, do things you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, take holidays (had a good piece of advice recently from someone who said they get their diary out every January and block out holidays – otherwise they do not happen!)

Never stop learning
What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Things change. Markets change. Expectations change. Technology changes. Professional development will ensure you don’t get complacent and left behind. Never stop learning and evolving, as a business, and a person.

And if you fancy a coffee, drop me a line!

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