When I left the UK for South Africa back in 2009, my brief was to help grow a fully operational design studio. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears and I have loved every single second of it! I am so proud that today, not only have we achieved our objective, but I strongly believe that we have a world class design team with some of Cape Towns best packaging experts and many incredible business partners!
After eight years of playing a role in the company’s incredible growth and six unforgettable years prior to that, at our UK partner 'Somerset Creative’, I am so honoured to have been part of this incredible journey and wanted to thank each and everyone of you, who has touched my life throughout this time!
Love and design... Do what you love and love what you do… Stay hungry and stay foolish...
Below is an abbreviated version of a speech that I gave at my leaving party:
Over the years we’ve become quite a family and that’s what I really want to speak about toady. Family....
Well in some ways, we have moved on massively. We have large offices now and a warehouse. We have a strong team of many people, all professionals in our chosen fields. Which is good as none of us were that professional in the beginning. We should all remember, that each and every one of us here brings something unique to this organization. All of us! ALL OF US!
In other ways we are the same as we were back in those early days. I am still outside spraying boxes with paint and every now and then I get one of my Eureka moments. We still have our reassuring hugs from time to time and Tim (CEO) and I continue to make our maverick calls, reaching for the next big thing… and I’ve loved every minute of it. I am going to miss all of you greatly.
So, why leave your family? It’s a good question right! Why… And just for the record, we should all keep asking ourselves why. Always ask why!
Well for me, it’s because you need to keep moving… You need to keep pushing yourself forward. If it’s feeling too comfortable then maybe it’s time for you to push yourself harder. I am going to tell you one thing for sure. If you stay in comfort you will not grow. You will not succeed and you will not have a full life. We all have the ability to achieve. We should all give ourselves the opportunity to fail and to remember that it’s not failing… but its growth. Renowned designer Paula Scher says, you have to get bad, before you get good!
Furthermore, If you get too comfortable, you will get complacent and when you get complacent, your no longer moving forward. Make sure that every morning when you wake up, that you have a purpose to get up for, and go and be great at it! Never make it just about the money. Money is the lifeblood of every business, but it is not the reason or the purpose that we do it for. The reason needs to be bigger. It needs to be your passion and your purpose. If you have passion, the money usually follows anyway!
I recently listened to a presentation by John Maxwell. He simply says, EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, THAT IS WORTHWHILE, IS UPHILL… Your relationship.. uphill… fitness… that’s uphill… and success, that’s also uphill.
So I say again, "Why leave your family"… Well I had to actually leave my blood family to come to South Africa and it wasn’t easy… Still isn’t now! I am not alone in this. Others here have done the same. We do it to push ourselves forward and if our family loves us then they will support us. And just look at the journey I have had. I now have a new family, or should I say families. Since moving here I now have a son, born in South Africa and I have all of you here today! If I hadn’t of got on that plane back in 2009, I would of never met any of you… Can you imagine that?
Never miss an opportunity and banish regret. Remember it’s better to regret the things that you have done than to regret the things that you have not done!
So this is why I am leaving you now… my business family…
It’s growth… purpose and I hope that you all understand my reasoning.
Most importantly… Remember:
Never be too big to make someone a cup of coffee.
Work your arse off and don’t be an arsehole!
Don’t shit on someone on the way up as they will do the same to you, when you are on the way down…
... and as my mum used to always say to me, its nice to be important but it’s a lot more important to be nice!
I really believe in all of those things.
So I want to wrap up with five simple words. I want to give them to you and I want you to think about them from time to time. When Steve Jobs spoke these five words, they resonated with me and have kept me on track. They are simply…
Stay hungry and stay foolish!
And that is all I want for each of us here today…
Stay hungry and stay foolish!