Two Years On and Time to Say “Thanks”
It is not often I sit idle. It is not often I take time to reflect, breathe or acknowledge how I got to where I am. My innate sense of being has always been focussed on ‘playing forward’ – know where I want to be and making it happen. No excuses. No expectations for ‘easy street hand outs’, just working hard and driven by my acceptance that failure is right behind me lurking in the shadows.
In December 2011 following a 6 month soul searching sabbatical I received a call from a well respected friend and ex-colleague who recommended me for a project. I said yes – of course I can do that by the 22nd 3 days before Christmas and Bonney Creative Pty Ltd (BC) was born.
To paint the picture….I was the sole supporter of an 8-year-old son, I had a mortgage and a host of other financial commitments that came standard with that role. While supportive, many of my nearest and dearest were surprised at my brashness during what was the collapse of the Australian economy and generally a difficult time to A – find work and B – start your own business. But I had chosen unemployment quite deliberately. I needed a break. I had an intense yet inspiring 7.5 year journey with my employer in Melbourne (Di Donato Partners) but it was time for a new path. It had never really occurred to me that it might not work, that I might go down in a fiery inferno. ‘Que sera sera’ I thought.
As is typical of my ‘bite big and chew like hell’ approach, I have not until this very moment looked back, reflected or appreciated my journey over the last few years. This month Bonney Creative turns 2! Wow. I now realise not only how quickly this has happened, but the steep learning curve this has been. General administration, finance, HR, taxes, accountants, PAYG, BAS, cash flow, superannuation, bookkeeping, annual leave entitlements, indemnity insurance and the list goes on. All things I was not always privy to in my previous General Manager role but have become the backbone of staying afloat in this cut-throat competitive clamour. And then there is the actual work.
I once said to my former boss and mentor Tony Di Donato “I’m not a hunter, I’m a gatherer”. This is true and while I love that about myself, it is a scary acknowledgement for a small business owner to face the looming ceiling of their capability. I am not motivated by money – it’s my passion and commitment to raising the standards of brand design and packaging, and my genuine love of beautiful things and craftsmanship. I love coming to the studio each day and being surrounded by professional and committed people who care about what we are doing. The BC team are just that – warm, open, dynamic, witty and highly talented.
So, that said – this is a time that I am grateful for the people that have helped me grow this business. To say thanks to the family and friends from whom I have been absent and those who just wonder what the hell I do all day. What do I do all day? Running, jumping, vaulting and back-flipping. Everything from taking the bin out and making sure there were chocolate chip cookies to have with tea, to creating 40 page strategic documents for leading Australian brands. I have been getting my hands dirty, working long days and nights and juggling the perils of a work-life balance that actually WORKS. It sounds great in theory but I’m not sure I am quite there yet.
Coinciding with our anniversary is the launch of our web site and showcase of what we have been up to and the reason I have been incognito for so long! It is most definitely time to say thanks. Thanks to my dad who gave my first Pantone colour swatch book and talked me through the printing process in excruciating detail. Thanks to the BC team for putting up with my often fast paced semi-neurotic thought processes, thanks to our peers and partners who inspire us everyday with new and innovative ways to work. Of course it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge our incredible clients who believe in our work, listen to my philosophical rants and continue to give us new opportunities to help fulfil our vision.
2 years on and very much with thanks.