Three pieces of Advice for those of you thinking of going it alone
It is the end of November 2020, and we have been in and out of a pandemic lockdown for the last eight months, and whilst there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, it is not yet clear when we will all be able to bathe in it.
The end of November also marks the end of my first two months in the outside world. No longer part of #TeamBayer but now a member of #TeamJulianLittleCommunications – to be honest, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.
During this time, I have learnt a lot about myself, my motivation touch points, my need for fresh air and , however good Zoom, Teams, FaceTime and HouseParty are, my need to occasionally see people in 3-D.
Excitingly, I have also met and worked with some really interesting people in this new 2-D world. Working with the John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory has been a total joy – it never fails to amaze me what incredible science is going on at the Norwich Research Park (NRP); you only need to follow them on Twitter to start to get a feel for the depth and breadth of it but when you start talking to individuals, whether Group Leaders or one of the Communications Team, you get to really understand what a special place the NRP is.
In addition I have presented at the Nufarm European Customer Conference (I’m trying to forget the internet going down for a moment as they introduced me) and an Audax Seminar, both on the critical need for innovation in plant protection technologies – such a crucial topic when looking at how UK agriculture is going to have to respond to a tailing off of support payments and the net-zero carbon agenda.
And of course the #Agri-TechE REAP Conference, one of my favourite conferences of the year – quirky yes but unbelievably well put together with an online platform that other conferences should aspire to. So there I was hosting a virtual sofa session with the eminent author and geoagriculture expert, Professor David Montgomery and a group of invited expert commentators. Not quite sure how “relaxed” any sofa session can be on-line but I did thoroughly enjoy animating it!
Coming into December, I have lots more thing to do and to tell you, but to anyone who is thinking of going-it-alone but are worried that life is a bit scary out there, I would say the following:
- Think about what you are good at – is it one thing or are there 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 things that you could do that people might be interested in? How would you explain them to people? What examples would you be able to give?
- Talk to trusted people in your network – you know the ones, those who are your traditional go-to persons when you want advice. Gauge their opinions – is this a good idea, have you missed or overlooked something?
- Sketch out what your website would look like – it is actually an excellent way of really thinking about what you do, what you are good at, and crucially how you would present yourself to the outside world
In the meantime, keep safe – remember you need to get to the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel before you can benefit from it.