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Three is often referred to as ‘the magic number’. For me, five really is the magic number. Life’s been brilliantly hectic of late but I recently found the time to reflect. As it turns out, I’ve got a lot to reflect on. As I write this, I can hear our five week old daughter in the distance. That’s right, my wife and I are now responsible for another human. That little human is Isla. She’s beautiful. We’re delighted. We’re exhausted! Nothing quite prepares you for the mayhem that a kid brings.

Having Isla has made me think a lot more deeply about the business and the future. And, as I’m doing that thinking, I realise that we’ve now been in this business for five years. How the fuck did that happen? Five years? I’ve got no doubt I’ll utter the same phrase when we’re cutting Isla’s 5th birthday cake. Maybe with less profanity. I’m a responsible parent after all. Maybe.

Five Years – We’ve Only Just Begun

It’s been a mad five years, complete with the usual expected highs and lows. In some sense, it’s felt like the longest time. In others, it feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. In keeping with the ‘five’ theme, here’s the five greatest things that have happened so far since I launched the business.

Launching

Just starting was a mission. There’s quite a few logistical hoops to jump through before you can start a business in Australia. Then, of course, there are the mindset issues. “Can I really do this?” But, I still remember that feeling when that first project proposal was approved. Sending the invoice and getting paid was a moment I’ll never forget. Those of you that know me well, will appreciate my passion for words. With that in mind, I’ve come to term this the ‘shit got real’ moment.

First Employee

In the early days it was just me. That was lonely and it was also clearly not scalable. I wanted a business, not a job. The realisation that I needed to hire someone was scary. I’ve been very lucky with the people I’ve added to the team. This business wouldn’t be here without them.

First Holiday

If you’re in business, you’ll know that in the early years it’s very difficult to justify taking a holiday. For one, there’s the financial side of things, but also the ever-lingering belief that if you’re not there ‘it’ simply won’t get done. My first holiday was to Portland, Oregon, and it was liberating. Reflecting on that also reminds me that Amy, Isla and I, need to take more holidays together.

Rebranding

Coming up with a brand name can be one of the biggest challenges when you start a business. It was no different for me. I settled on Ocius Digital. There was meaning behind the name, but as time moved on, it became more a hindrance than a help. Let’s be honest, you questioned how to pronounce it! Everyone did. In January 2018, we changed the name of the business to Waypoint. It’s one of the most stressful decisions we’ve made. There’s always a fear when making any change, but when it’s something as significant as changing your name, it feels like the pressure is on. The feedback has been really positive and we feel the business is stronger for it.

Clarity

Reflecting on life and the business has given me renewed clarity on what this business is now, and, what it can become in the future. When I first launched the business I tried to be all things to all people. Now, we know what we’re good at and more importantly where we can add more value. Narrowing the focus to inventory management and service operations gives us, our clients and partners much more clarity. The future has never excited me more. We’re building our client base, our reputation and our business. And, we also have a really clear vision for our future and have been cementing that in place through the last few months.

What it all means

Those five points represent success for me and the business. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved as a team. I also know that reflecting on the past is a little bit self indulgent. I’m committed to driving this business forward and I know the team feels the same way. We want to help more businesses achieve more by working smarter. To hold us accountable and to focus our energies in the right areas, here are the 5 things that I commit to.

  • We’ll sell $1,000,000 in professional services next year.
  • We’ll work with only five chosen software platforms, and provide even better solutions to our clients.
  • We’ll get out of stealth mode and share more of what we do. You’ll see more content online and we’ll be at more industry events and conferences.
  • I’ll take five weeks off from the business, to stress test our structure, processes and, of course spend more time with Amy and Isla.
  • We’ll continue to invest in the team that make it all possible.

It’s an exciting time in the development of the business. We’ll continue to learn as we go and we’ll enjoy the journey. We’ve come a long way in a short time and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to take the business to where we know it can be. Looking back and reflecting on what we’ve achieved makes me proud, but our focus is now fixed on the horizon and an exciting future. And, yes, it’s scary to think that when the business is 10, the gurgling little bundle of joy that is Isla will be celebrating her 5th birthday.

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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