I was really pleased to be asked by Craig McKenna to be on the panel at his Business Mixer event at The Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh last night. About 50 people turned up, an interesting and eclectic mix from all over central Scotland. Plus me from the Frozen North.
Craig’s innovation with these events is to have a panel that take questions from the floor. A nice twist to the traditional networking event.
As we rounded off last night, Craig offered the last question to the delightful Fin Wycherley. Fin’s question – What was your Biggest Mistake?
I went first and rambled on about how I make mistakes every day (which is true!) and how our culture at Freelanceworld is all about taking risks and being prepared to fail. A good answer, and a true statement on our culture, but ultimately not the correct answer.
That would be deciding to get involved in a business opportunity on the basis of the potential money I could earn from it. That was back in 2004. I was 35, and the chance to earn big money was appealing. However, looking back I should have realised that these people didn’t share my values at all. And those values would end up being compromised. Eventually I realised what I was doing, and after uncovering a major fraud, got out. But it ended up costing me a six-figure sum.
A painful lesson. But one I would learn from. My values are now the *most important* thing in my working life. I’m lucky enough to work with some amazing people, and we’re building an amazing business. But one that remains grounded in our values.