Ten years of Lucid Computer Solutions. Ten years since I decided to quit the day job and start my own thing. I’d say it’s flown, but that isn’t strictly true, sometimes it seems to have gone really quick, sometimes it feels an awful lot longer than ten years.
Having set up a business during the biggest recession of my working life, people said I was mad. People said I should “play it safe” and not be stupid. But I didn’t really listen, it was going to happen regardless, and if I could make it work during a recession, I could make it work anytime.
The obvious thing to point out is, we’ve made it to ten years, growing the business year on year, like clockwork in the process. This isn’t boom and bust, this is steady, controlled and manageable growth. Pat on the back for me.
I’d love to tell you some fantastic unearthed secret of how I made it work over the last ten years, but the truth of the matter is, there is no secret. It’s simply a combination of really, really hard work (not all the time, we’ll get to that), learning all the time and simply making tough decisions.
Could I do it all again? Of course, I could, and I’d do it in a third of the time now, as I’ve learned so much. Would I do it again? Again, of course, I would.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t had times when I thought about sacking it all off. Over ten years, I’ve probably had two or three times when I’ve genuinely thought about knocking it on the head. This was either down to a tough time for the business, me having a lot happening outside of work or simply down to burn out. But I’m glad I didn’t give in, and I probably never will.
Life has changed for me personally so much over the last ten years, and with that, my attitude to work has changed too. I now know the “I’ve worked 80 hours this week” isn’t actually a badge of honour – it’s a sign there’s something wrong. I now know that work isn’t actually that important in the grand scheme of things – family, friends and looking after yourself are way more important. But I also know the right type of work, doing something you genuinely love, will always trump any other job or work you’ve done before.
Having the right people around you is something it took me a long, long time to actually get to grips with. The difference between the right team member and the wrong team member can actually set you back years. Choose people carefully, and if it’s not working out, do something about it quickly (as long as you have given people a fair chance though).
Whilst we’re on the topic of people, I need to thank each and every person who has worked for Lucid over the last ten years. We’ve not had many, as we’re pretty good at holding on to people, but everyone has contributed in some way to the business that our customers now see before them. The team we have right now is genuinely the best team I’ve ever had – I’m actually a business owner and able to work on the strategy for the business most days now – which in turn is seeing us having a flying start to 2018.
Alongside our people, are our customers – we’d obviously not exist without them. We’re able to work with some great people, who we work hard to provide a great experience for. We don’t always get it right, we’re far from perfect, but the point is, we’re aware of that, and we work hard to ensure things don’t go off track. You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Richard Branson for me to say your business is nothing without its customers. I’m so thankful to all of our customers – old and new – who give us the opportunity each and every day to help them, to learn from and to share ideas with. Thank you.
So, where do I want things to be in another ten years time? The honest answer is, I’m unsure. That’s not because I don’t have a plan, it’s because I now work on the next three years, and I’ll review and tweak what I want Lucid to be along that way. A few things are for sure though, we’ll continue to grow, we’ll continue to be the highest Google rated IT Services business in Worcestershire (and beyond going forward) and in ten years time, we’ll be doing completely different work to what we’re doing now – and that’s what the exciting part is. We work in an industry which changes all the time, at a pace, unlike any other industry. We have to stay on our toes, we can’t keep still, we have to keep learning, each and every day. And I’ll probably be working part-time.
It’s been a little strange writing this, as I’m not the type of person who looks back, I’ll admit I live in the here and now, with an eye on the next few years. Those that know me well, will tell you, I’m not one for celebrating my own success or wants attention – I actually shy away from it. I like to be at the party, but I don’t like it being my party. Even now, having written this, all I can actually think about it is what the next quarter and twelve months hold for us, and how exciting it is to challenge myself to make Lucid even better than the months which came before the last. Don’t dwell on the past people, move forward and keep going. If you’re being true to yourself, that’s all that matters. Wow, that was some proper life advice right there wasn’t it?
Thanks to everyone who has helped Lucid along the way – that’s our people, customers, family, friends, and mentors (yes I really don’t have all the answers) who have supported us. Lucid wouldn’t exist without the contribution of all these people – I can’t stress how thankful I am.
Go forth people, make a difference, drink more water, sleep more, work less, be kind to people (it’s all gone a little Jerry Springer hasn’t it!) and do things in the right way.
Feel free to share your thoughts with me on firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Gavin Moorhouse who is the owner of Lucid Computer Solutions, the highest Google rated IT Services business based in Worcestershire. He likes to pretend he is ten years younger than he actually is.