Jack Barber / Website Design

Take the Opportunities

In a couple of hours I'll be on my way to York, to catch a train to London.  Tonight I'll sleep in a Travelodge and tomorrow morning I'll join the rush-hour commuters darting across The Big Smoke, attempting to get to our destinations on time and unflustered.

Why am I going?  Because on Wednesday last week I received a phone call and was given an opportunity.

I've been working with a medical doctor friend of mine who works in old-age care and particularly with patients with dementia on the first in what we hope will be a range of assistive technology products.  Prasanna had applied to a funding competition run by John Lewis - and then completely forgot to tell me about it.

As it happens, it almost didn't matter anyway, as we were rejected.  However, someone else pulled out and we were handed the opportunity to pitch to a panel of 8 investors in a skyscraper in London's Canary Wharf.  You can find details of the competition here.

The fact that we were originally rejected shows we were obviously not high on the list - and perhaps therefore not at all likely to progress further.  But this is an opportunity to be in an environment not often open to small rural businesses and one I was only too glad to accept.

And I like going on trains.

As it happens, I could do with a few hours peace and quiet as I have an article to write for a book.  Again, an opportunity worth taking in my mind. 

I contacted Joel Hughes earlier in the years with an idea for a talk for his upcoming conference The Business of Web Design.  Sadly I won't be able to attend the conference, as it turns out I'm going on holiday with the family that day.  However, Joel asked if I'd like to convert the talk into an article for his book.

And then I heard about the Dot York conference, the day before it ran and too late to attend.  The organisers are going to run some smaller events through the summer and were open to suggestions for talks.  So I made contact, was offered the opportunity to speak, and on June 3rd I'll be talking about 'Building a Sustainable Business whilst Raising a Family in the Middle of Nowhere' in York.

Obviously, none of these 3 opportunities have happened yet. 

I am yet to find out whether I'm capable of speaking clearly to a group of investors with the intention of winning their cash and their backing.  I do not know whether an article about my experiences running a small business in Whitby will be of any interest to anyone else.  And I do not know whether my random thoughts and musings on the matter will translate into an interesting talk for a web/design event.

But I will find out.  And regardless of the outcomes I will be happy that I took these opportunities.