Happy New Year!
This update is coming from me, Josh, to share my plans for 2018 as this year I am looking beyond Tywardreath and sharing what I have learnt to help other business leaders and communities.
Trudy and I have worked our socks off to turn the vision we had for our business and Tywardreath Village Shop into reality and all that hard work has paid off with the shop being a huge success and us being in demand as speakers, coaches and consultants.
We have both been through a rollercoaster of a ride, as challenging and frightening as it has been thrilling and fun, to save and turnaround our village shop bringing it firmly into the 21st century and securing its future. I’m incredibly proud and amazed by what we have achieved despite the odds against us.
I’ve made many friends in this community but also seen some laughably bad behaviour from others trying to sabotage our business. Luckily, when the going has got tough, Trudy and I have always had our shared sense of humour and friendship to ground us and give us the perspective we needed to keep carrying on regardless.
I fully admit that until Trudy wasn’t well for a few months last year and I stepped up to take her place, I have happily let her take the lead in the past because it is easy to just follow her. She puts other people’s success before her own and she makes well rounded, thoughtful and good decisions, which has helped me avoid making many mistakes and quickly fixed the ones I did make!
Our paths crossed five years ago when I gave a talk at an event and Trudy was in the audience. I didn’t get paid at that time to give talks but I did meet an entrepreneurial friend who encouraged me to do more talks and projects and turn it into a business which would enable me to travel the world doing interesting things and getting paid to inspire others to do the same.
Fast forward to the middle of 2017 and I’m even more passionate about delivering public talks and incredibly lucky to be represented by some of the top speaking agencies in the UK. I was turning down well paid speaking engagements and corporate investment last year, to instead work with little financial reward for hundreds of hours a week because I had to make sure the village shop I co-own runs to the best of its ability to benefit the community first and foremost.
We now have a great team around us with the shop continuing to grow in sales and more customers by the day. It’s given me the confidence to adapt my role so I can take advantage of the opportunities being offered to me, to deliver talks, workshops and consultancy work on my own for the business.
It’s a brilliant way to spread the word about the shop and our experience and create new opportunities. It’s also the right time for the business to expand its network, meet other people, see other places and this fits with personal goals of mine too.
Saying this, I should make it very clear that I’ll still be heavily involved in the business – just spending a lot more time working away from our base in Cornwall.
Trudy is the person who holds this business together. I have a lot of respect for her ability, there’s no doubt the business will thrive and grow whilst I am away. Without her support, understanding and solution based thinking I wouldn’t be having the opportunities I have this year. We are great, great friends and because we value our friendship before anything else, we’ve ended up with a stronger business which puts people before profits.
I know a lot of our pledgers, supporters, customers and friends see how hard Trudy works but trust me when I say that you only see the tip of the iceberg. She will work throughout the night and into the daylight for days if it is what she needs to do and never loses her sense of humour or gives up trying to do the right thing by everyone else. She is simply a great role model, as kind as she is strong and switched on.
I look forward to seeing the shop expand and I’m particularly looking forward to sharing my experiences and growing this business, it’s been a fascinating adventure so far.
If you know of an event or business who might be interested in hearing me talk about saving our village shop and my experience as a young entrepreneur please do put them in touch.
Here’s to a productive 2018!