Two is Better than One
So in case you’ve been living in a vacuum, under a bridge, or just don’t follow us on social media (which is entirely your choice), you’ll have probably noticed that we turned two recently. We weren’t sure how to mark the occasion, our first birthday felt like both a huge celebration and also an immense amount of pressure on such a young business.
Jess and I never felt any pressure when we initially set up the business, we both felt strongly that considering we’ve never done anything like this before, if it doesn’t work out then at least we’ve given it a good go and we’d walk away with our heads held high. We’ve only ever planned things six months at a time which, despite furious complaints from others about five year business plans, has worked out brilliantly for us, as it has meant bitesize business chunks which felt solid but not too overwhelming and with room for manoeuvre if we needed it. So initially we didn’t even think about getting to our first birthday, never mind beyond. But as the big day loomed, a feeling crept up on us that if you’ve made something work for a year … it really can’t fail after that.
Thankfully, it didn’t! We arrived at the eve of our second birthday feeling incredibly proud about what we’d achieved over the past two years; a big bag full of diverse clients, some incredible work under our belts and half a year in Amsterdam as the cherry on the cake.
But just what was it about two years rather than one that made us just that little bit more relaxed? I think there are three important elements that all have a knock-on effect from one another, and have led us to the point of feeling excited and prepared for year number three, and all the big plans we have to go with it.
Proof of concept – There’s something about two years+ that just feels like you know what you’re talking about to the outside world. Of course, we’ve learnt so much along the way and gained a whole shed load of invaluable insights, but really the fundamentals haven’t changed. We’re still the same two people, running the same business, but our second year feels more credible than one, and that’s a nicer box to sit in than last year.
Confidence – Self-promotion is a real sticking point for a lot of women. So many studies have shown that we’re far more likely to let others take the credit for our work, or wait until we’re already doing the job our promotion would entail before asking for the step up. And that’s just not OK. There has definitely been something about going it alone that has enabled us to stand more firmly on our own two (or four) feet and remember that there’s real value in what we can offer, and we want to shout about that.
Pride – They say that pride comes before a fall, but I’m hoping in our case pride comes as a result of ignoring the imposter syndrome and recognising that it’s not easy to set up and run a successful business for two years. We want to use this momentum to continue our work beyond our day-to-day client work and continue to collaborate with other brilliant women looking to, or already running their own businesses. By continuing to share our own journey, offer advice and mentoring where we can and connecting others who can help each other, we can allow the balance of ‘women at the top’ to shift to a more equal place.
We did, in the end, settle on a small celebration with some excellent new members of our social media girl gang in attendance … and a rather excellent rainbow cake from Hummingbird Bakery. But the prosecco and giant balloons were secondary to the point we’ve wanted to make all along about believing in yourself (particularly as women), setting your mind to something, and then making it happen. It takes a lot of hard work, determination and a thick skin, but neither of us would trade it for the world, and we’re both looking forward to spreading that message far and wide. Whether that be through direct mentoring, volunteering, blogging, tweeting and RANTING … we want to change the state of play for women entering our industry, and try and help them to feel educated, inspired and empowered to go for whatever they want to achieve.
Here’s to the next years of #girlsdonegood, here’s to the next stage of Mac&Moore including a soon-to-be-launching new website and #equalitywithattitude vibe, and here’s to a whole new generation of women who have the stabilisers off, and are ready to (as Cindy Gallop so wonderfully puts it) ‘make a goddam fucking shit ton of money’.