The times, they are a-changin.

At the very beginning of last year, several amazing things happened to me, none of which I could ever have anticipated:

1) One of my friends became my girlfriend.

One of my goals of 2012 was to improve my fiction writing, this was also one of my goals in 2011 and in order to achieve this I joined a writing class. There I met a bunch of great people, one of whom was a girl called Colette who I very quickly became good friends with, then in late 2013, Colette started looking for a new place to move into. As I was struggling with rent at the time I suggested we move in together, well it wasn’t long before one thing led to another and we realised that we actually had quite a strong attraction to each other and became the amazing couple we are today.

2) I left my job and started my own business as a contractor

In 2010 I landed one of the best jobs I’d ever had, it was working as an Interface Developer at a very prestigious digital agency. I loved the vibe of the place and how exciting everything felt. Previously I’d only worked at large agencies or VERY small companies who didn’t have a clear direction. I stayed there for 2 1/2 years whilst the company grew and grew until eventually it felt to me like I was working for a faceless corporation who had lost their original charm. There was also little room for career progression in the company so I decided to become a contractor.

3) My girlfriend believed in me so much that she left her job too and we decided to form an agency.

A few months into my contracting career, it became apparent that I’d definitely made the right choice, my financial situation had dramatically improved and I was quickly gaining a reputation as a skilled and reliable developer, working on prestigious projects such as Plusnet, Nokia and Asda almost immediately. I’d spoken to Colette before about my goal of one day owning a digital agency as I believed that 99% of agencies out there are too quick to say ‘that will do’ when it comes to producing websites, whereas I wanted to have an agency where building a perfect website was the goal, each and every time. It turned out that Colette loved this idea and wanted to join me in making that dream come true, luckily her career (although not in the digital industry) had been very client focused and was almost a direct analogue (skill-wise) of a Project Manager. She left her job, went on a Prince 2 training course and is now helping me build a digital agency.

4) We moved to the South coast of England.

I’d lived in Leeds for 5 years and I was beginning to tire of being surrounded by a big city, plus I have always wanted to live by the sea. We realised early on in our business planning that it would be very easy to get lost in the noise if we stayed in Leeds (it’s saturated with digital agencies) so we started looking elsewhere. We loved the South coast so we started looking for gaps in the market. In December 2013, we rented a house in Hampshire a mere 10 minutes walk to the sea and we couldn’t be happier.

The only downside of all of this is that my apparently lofty goal of keep on top of my blogging fell by the wayside; it was difficult to find the time in the day to fit everything in. We decided that in order to really make a difference and become an agency of the highest calibre, we would need to spend a lot of time building up the business systems to deal with projects as efficiently as possible. In the mean time I would continue to contract during the day as it made enough money to pay us both a salary and save enough money to invest in our business goals.

That time is almost at an end (only 2 1/2 months to go!), when the contracting has finished and I will officially work for my business full-time, working towards launch. When that time comes, my blog (alongside a new and improved digital fusion – coming soon!) will finally be able to be a higher priority. I’ve already got several articles ready for publication and even more partly written. So you can expect a lot more activity on here soon enough.

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Alex Foxleigh
Freelance UI Developer at
Freelance User Interface Developer, Aspiring novelist and ill-informed political writer from Sevenoaks, UK.

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