So, The Bennett Group turned 25 on Sunday and I find myself at the helm of an operation that has members of staff younger than the company itself. I think this fact, more than turning 50 in 18 months, is guaranteed to make me feel old.
I was going to list ten things I wish I’d known then that I know now, but that’s too predictable and patronising. Instead, I’ve decided to make a list of things I still don’t know after 25 years (on the basis I keep doing them).
1. I still don’t really understand my audited accounts. I probably should, but I don’t. There, I’ve said it.
2. Telling myself that ‘if I get my rolled up paper ball in the bin first shot I’ll be successful all year’ is not a scientific fact, it’s not even a proper superstition – it’s just stupid. Incidentally this is a shame: I’m quite a good shot.
3. Just because something has happened in a particular way many times over your career, it doesn’t mean it always will. For example one day, if I live to say 987, a prospective client who phones up and asks for a freebie, with the promise of ‘masses more work to come’ might not be lying through their teeth.
4. I am still reassured, though I’ve no idea why, when somebody tells me they are a Limited Company.
5. I maintain a deep-rooted belief that I can limit mindless Internet surfing to less than 7.5 hours a day.
6. I seem to forget (quite regularly) that drinking 2 pints of London Pride followed by a large glass of merlot at lunch has repercussions.
7. I must stop feeling smug about stealing office loo roll: a) it’s mine anyway and b) it’s the epitome of a pyrrhic victory.
8. (7.5, really) Ditto pens, paperclips and coffee.
9. Tweeting is not working. Nor is writing blogs. Not really. But I still do it and pretend that it is.
10. Finally, people can tell if you’re picking your nose behind your computer screen: it’s all to do with the angle of your elbows and rotation.
And there you have it, not exhaustive but it’s a start: feel free to respond with things you still don’t know – or even things you think I don’t know (if you know me).