It was a sunny afternoon in Canary Wharf. I was a proud ‘5 to 9-er’, building my business and my client base after work and on weekends. My current 9-5 in one of the biggest investment banks I pretty much had on autopilot, but today was different. I remember it clearly; I had two mobiles, one for work and one for my business. I was really busy at work so got my head down so I could get it out of the way.I felt my business phone vibrate in my pocket, a prospect I’d been pitching for a few months was calling me, and at that exact moment my manager at work called me on the other phone. I held up both phones in front of me as I sat at my desk everything felt like it went in slow motion, enough for me to really think about what was happening. I had created so much momentum in my 5-9pm efforts that it was time for the business to become the 9-5. I answered the business phone and asked the prospect to hold. I answered the work phone and told my manager we needed to talk.Less than a month later I was walking into my own office, in Shoreditch, Great Eastern St with my business partner. We bought a pot plant to put by the window and that made it feel official as silly as it seems. I had no idea how much work was ahead of me. I slept in that office on occasion, had breakfast, lunch and dinner in that office. We had great times too, holding 3 summer parties on the roof, meeting some really great contacts who I’m still in contact with till this day.But how did I know things were going to be ok? Enough to leave the security of my well paid city job? As a 5-9er I had spent every spare moment I had learning, reading and researching the digital marketing space. I was a closet nerd so enjoyed every minute to be honest, but underestimated what I’d learned and the strategies and ideas I’d tested.I went to my first breakfast meeting in the city being brought along by a web designer. At the end I went to grab some water and someone came across to ask me “So how do I get more traffic to my website?” – Easy I thought, so I proceeded to tell him, not sure why but I was kind of looking down as I spoke, fidgeting with my feet and after about 30 seconds I looked up and there were now 10 people listening to me, almost hanging off every word I said. At that moment I knew that what I had in my head had a value.That breakfast meeting lead to a referral, I went to meet a lady in central London who was interested in taking my services on. I proceeded to tell her what I could do to help her business and had fun doing it. As I was about to leave she commented that “I could sell ice to Eskimos” – The funny thing was I didn’t feel like I was selling, it felt like I was just having a conversation, great! The next day she transferred £2k to my account and told me to get started. That was the moment I realised people would pay me for what I knew and what I could do. All I had to do what replicate that and build on it.As they say I never looked back, and today have travelled the world doing my thing, published my first book in 2010 and am publishing my second book “Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur – 100 Ways to Up your Game” on the 26th July 2012 (available on Amazon or www.JulianHall.co.uk). The moral of my start up is really the idea of being able to deliver commercial value to an business. That value was built up through something I loved and was lucky enough to be really good at. The marriage of those two things gave rise to a brand I’ve been able to build until this day.
About the author:
Julian Hall (also known as ‘The Online Genius’) is an award winning digital entrepreneur who lives and breathes innovation and entrepreneurship. In the last 15 years he has consulted and worked for companies big and small, from boot strapped start-ups to blue chip corporations. As a prolific international speaker; he travels the globe delivering engaging seminars around innovation, entrepreneurship, social media, and the internet.