Six months!

Six months is a long time – half a year in fact.

The end of April marks a major milestone for me – the conscious project has been running for six months. And while this may be so clichéd, I really have learned a huge amount. Setting up our new business has been a lot of fun!

Sure, there’s something deeply challenging about leaving a regular salary and putting your (and your family’s) future in your own hands and assuming responsibility for finding ongoing work. It’s a daily choice to wake up and believe in the business and our ability to deliver great solutions for clients. And to keep faith that if we do our job well then our pipeline of work will be healthy. Entrepreneurs have to work hard and think harder. They get what I’ve coined ‘entrepreneurial insomnia’, i.e. I wake crazy early and my mind starts buzzing and there’s no way I can go back to sleep… so I get to work instead!

But it feels so good to have put routine 60 hour weeks behind me, and to have respite from the daily tidal wave of hundreds of emails. And to instead do work I love for a few days each week, sometimes more, sometimes less. And to be able to keep up with email. And go running. And spend time with my family. And bake artisanal bread. And go to start up school. And learn new things like multi-media story making, and building a website.

I am still travelling to new places and meeting inspiring humanitarian and development professionals. In the last six months I have worked in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and of course, Brussels, Geneva and London. And I have had the privilege of collaborating with some truly amazing individuals – that’s been so rich in terms of learning and I really enjoy the complexity of collaboration and the returns it brings when done well.

I’ve even linked with a couple of kindred spirits and together we are in the process of launching a new, not-for-profit coaching company for social ‘change-agents’. I’m so excited at what has come together with my fellow entrepreneurs – we’ve been busy piloting a workplace programme in Kenya and doing the legals associated with setting up a social enterprise. I look forward to officially announcing the launch shortly.

Meantime, if you’re on twitter follow me @ben_emmens or come over to www.theconsciousproject.org to find out more about the Conscious Project.

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