Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paying the Price

Until today I had never got up at 4.30am before for work. But I had a meeting with a Director in the biggest local authority in England and he could only do 9am. So I took no chances and caught the 5.30am from Ely which landed me safely in Birmingham for 8am and a welcome bowl of porridge.

At the moment, I am, it feels paying the price of entrepreneurship. Doug Richard once defined the main condition of entrepreneurs as one of` anxiet’y. To that I would add frustration, loneliness and, occasionally, tears. While there are pretty reasonable days, many evaporate in IT problems, invoicing and queues at the Post Office. I have found reserves of anger that I never knew I had.

Of course none of this goes down that well at home. I have swopped the life of a busy hunter-gatherer CEO, bringing home a reliable 80-odd grand for a future of loans, no income, profound uncertainty and, for now, even longer hours than ever. Keeping it all up as a father, husband and citizen isn’t proving easy. I can’t even say anymore that I am at least keeping us all from the wolf at the door.

So why do this? I ask myself, some days, believe me. There is another living for me – bit more speaking, writing and bit of consulting. A decent wad. But isn’t this a bit of a cop-out at 41 I ask myself? I have always felt its important to do what I preach. If I want to change the public sector, then I bloody well need to do something about it myself. Yes, I will chatter with the chattering class, but I will also get stuck in too. This has always been my way.

The challenge is not to break myself proving it.

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