Living the dream
Written by Sophie West, Co-Founder and Marketing Director at Sense Media.
It’s our third anniversary, but I had only planned for our second… Last month, I was reminded that we planned to send a 2nd anniversary gift out to our friends and supporters but these were still sitting in a box, unsent, complete with “It’s our 2nd anniversary” custom printed cards.
Ironically, I pride myself on being extremely well organised, especially when it comes to my main role of marketing and, as the team teases me, obsessively detailed about pretty much everything else. Every action is usually planned to the smallest degree – but even as co-founder of the business and Marketing Director, I couldn’t have imagined how busy 2017 was going to be for us, and a business birthday was the least of my worries.
When Rob first approached me about joining him in setting up Sense Media, I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to work with someone who had such a passion for delivering successful events in this exciting up-and-coming industry. I was excited about being able to have the freedom and support to implement well-thought-out marketing strategies without the restraints that can arise in other larger corporate entities. I was also able to work flexibly around my family needs, a particular requirement that is not always common in the events industry. I’m pleased I took the plunge into the world of a start-up business and have loved working alongside Rob once again.
Three years on, I am still here, planning marketing strategies and juggling toddlers, supporting Rob as a business owner and in return, guarding the principle that the well-being of our employees, our team, our friends that make up Sense Media, are looked after as equals, and that personal or family issues are always at the forefront of our minds. HR responsibilities aside, I have been able to live out my 10-year dream of having an in-house content producer, supporting my marketing strategies and enabling an aligned Content Marketing approach. My aforementioned expertise lies in attention to detail, high levels of organisation and a drive to create an engaged community of engineers to whom we interact. High quality branding has been paramount in our marketing approach. Right from the word go, I wanted to create a professional, slick and easily recognisable brand, working with an award winning designer to develop the concepts. We have come so far from the initial ideas of what Sense Media was going to be – but where we are today is everything Rob & I could have ever hoped for and more.
Writing about myself is not something I’m comfortable with, likewise you won’t find me networking at external events. That’s how I like it, and being a co-founder enables me to at least make sure we have people in the team that do enjoy that sort of activity! The company is bigger than we could have expected, and all our responsibilities have grown – professionally and personally, and in line with Rob’s comments – it’s a relief to reach a point that we can both start to think about a longer-term future for the business, rather than battling against a series of short term priorities.
For all its challenges, it has been an incredible experience, and it’s helped me to think and operate at a level that, if I’m honest, thought might overwhelm me because I lacked the tougher instincts of a Director – at least as I saw it. Now I know that’s not the case, and that ‘toughness’ is not the most important part of being a business owner – certainly knowledge and experience are important, but if I was ever seen as uncaring, then I would have to stop and think if I was still in the right job.
In the mean-time, I love what I do and the people I work with, and I am endlessly impressed and inspired by where we have got to in 3 years, and where we’ve come from.