I watched the film Sliding Doors again the other day. That film always fascinates me about fate and how the decisions we make have an affect on the rest of our life.
Thinking back to my own fate, there are a couple of decisions that I made that could have changed my life for ever, well certainly from a setting up a business aspect.
Firstly, back in the day of being an Account Exec at Alexander Advertising International (they had affiliations in Greece, New York and… I forget now, but strangely no one ever knew what they were!), the normal career path was to work there for a couple of years, get really good and then pop your CV over to Barkers (RIP).
There were quite a few in my time that made that move, apparently the guys at Barkers saw AAI as a bit of a training ground for them. And so after a couple of years, that seemed to be the obvious route I would take.
But moving to London didn’t really sit well with me back then (in hindsight, I would have loved it) so I decided against it. Besides I had other ideas, I wanted to go to University. Bournemouth University ran an Advertising Communications course, I had the grades they required and after a year out ‘in industry I applied’. I loved Bournemouth, the prospect of going to the beach, the student life and doing a course on a subject I loved was very very exciting. I couldn’t wait, I planned my accommodation, my nights out, even stayed there a number of times to get to know the area. I even thought the telephone area code of 01202 was cool (oh dear).
They rejected me.
Too many applicants they said, I was gutted. I had my heart set on that course, I hadn’t really bothered to fill out the other Unis, I may as well of stuck a pin in the UCAS book.
I ended up plumping for Plymouth University and a degree in Marketing. What I hadn’t realised is that rejection set in motion a series of events that today sees my company employ 15 people to pay their mortgages and live their lives (it might have been helpful if someone could have told me this at the time!).
Knowing I was off to Uni, my boss flung me a copy of the then encyclopaedia thick TES and declared he was starting an education recruitment jobsite. This was in his words ‘the future’. He wanted me to cancel Uni which was starting in a month and he wanted me to run it.
Wow. I was in hook line and sinker. Looking back probably a little naive – I was sold the dream!
Now had Bournemouth accepted me, I wouldn’t have stayed, I wouldn’t have set up the job board, and been involved in online job boards, I wouldn’t have disagreed with my great Robert Maxwell look-a-like boss over investment, I wouldn’t have decided to start my own job board which then turned into Wave as it exists today. None of that would have happened.
Funny thing fate.