I've wanted to run my own business for as long as I have had any thoughts about what I wanted to 'do' or what I wanted to 'be'. I remember not liking the options in the careers advice sessions at school and very much wanting to go for it at many points along the way. After a maths degree and graduate maths course at the University of Cambridge, I went down the route of getting experience working for other people and gaining contacts, knowledge and skills in someone else's company. Now, two and half years later, after working in IT, finance and strategy consulting roles for household name companies, including IBM, Cable & Wireless, Nokia, private equity, banks and government, I'm ready to be building something of my own.
Duncan and I have been running small-scale enterprises ever since sixth form at school. Neither of us can remember exactly how we met, but we played a number of team sports together, including on the (unbeaten!) basketball team at the age of 11 or 12, so it's been a while - more than half our lives to date. Sports have featured heavily in our mutual experiences and the teamwork and hustle experiences are no doubt going to feature in our future as well. We're different in many ways, we have different builds, styles and strengths, but we've played at similar levels in our chosen sports and always used to finish long-distance runs within seconds of each other (OK, he used to win, but I reckon I could take him). We're different in business as well, but our skills overlap and complement each other.
Looking back, there's a thread running through - a story to be told, through the sports and watching each other's back, the years before university when every day was a brainstorm and a daydream, our first business in sixth form, our one-off ventures such as Pannal Cricket Camp, Gordon Blue home restaurant for charity, WDJ Publications making unique 18th birthday presents for our whole circle of friends, being in South Africa, in a tiny room with a view of table mountain at the height of the dotcom boom, daydreaming about millions of pounds in venture capital, struggling to keep WandD alive through university and jobs in the City, gaining the skills and experience we needed, through to today. We're going for it - WandD is becoming more than the dream. We have no illusions, we know it's going to be hard, but it's going to be hard work for ourselves, building a company and that means a lot to us.
It is a dream, but if you don't chase the dream, you'll wake up one day and have missed your chance. Better to regret something you did than something you didn't do.
Keep coming back to WandD uncensored, and we'll share more of our experiences with you in more detail as we go along, and I'm sure there'll be new ones along the way. That's the point, after all.