Today marks an important day for me and OMB Communications. It is the second anniversary of the business.
On this day in 2011 a dream came to fruition. I was finally in control of a business. The dream started many years ago. In fact it wasn’t the first time I’d run a business.
When I was 14 I started what could be considered a communications consultancy. Yes, even in 1988 I was eager to enter the commercial world. With the support of the Prince of Wales Committee, help from a local organisation that let me have a desk and cupboard in their office from where I could work after school and at weekends, I felt I had made it.
Needless to say that dream didn’t last long. Far from being unsuccessful, I was supported by a number of businesses keen to show support to a local youngster. I even made the headlines myself, being interviewed on Radio 1’s Newsbeat, appearing on HTV Wales Tonight (as it was then), BBC Wales Today, several local and regional newspapers, two nationals and the Times Education Supplement. And then I was named Young Achiever of the Year by the Development Board for Rural Wales (now defunct).
It didn’t mean much to me at the time and, to be honest, I didn’t realise it was a sign of where I would end up.
But the business lasted a year or so before at the age of 16 I was offered a job on a local newspaper as a junior reporter. And who could refuse. £6,500 was a lot of money to someone at 16.
I spent 10 great years on newspapers in Wales and the West Midlands, rising to news editor and working with some great people and news organisations. But PR was something that gave me a bit of a buzz. Having worked as a journalist with a range of in-house and agency PRs selling stories into me, it was a job I wanted. And when the opportunity came in 1999 I jumped at it.
But not just for the PR job, it was a way for me to work with an organization where I felt I could make a difference, not only to my career, but to the area I lived and worked in.
A couple of jobs later and 14 years older I decided to return to my dreams as a 14-year-old of having my own business. And two years after beginning that dream for a second time I’m fortunate enough to still be here.
I’ve been working with some great individuals, companies and organisations in that time, as well as partnering with other agencies and sole trader PRs. And it’s been great. Yes, a few more grey hairs, but I’m a firm believer that in order to play hard you must work hard.
When I was 16 I was working from 8am often until 9pm or even 10pm. That stays with you. But get the job done properly and you can take the rewards.
So here we are. OMB Communications is two. That’s a target I set for myself and it’s been met. So here goes, hopefully, for another two years. Enjoy the ride.