Emily and I have known each other for a while. We were introduced in 2011, always got on well, and in recent years we have become close friends.
I often say Emily is the closest person in my world to a peer – not only is she also a founder MD of a similar sized business, we also have sons who are very close in age. So when my world suddenly split in 2014 into business-friends and mum-friends, Emily was the person who could relate to the dual life I felt I was living.
Our situations aren’t exactly the same – I’m one of four co-directors at Fountain, while Emily was the only director of Indigo Swan until late last year, and continues to be the majority shareholder. So we have had different journeys to where we are today.
But in each of our businesses we have taken a very similar approach to focusing on our company culture. We’ve each been on a journey of growth, trying to retain what was awesome about our companies when they were starts-up as they doubled, tripled in size. And without really discussing it much, we both were putting similar policies in place, being influenced by similar books and seeing the benefits in similar ways.
At the end of 2017, Emily introduced me to her Vistage group, saying it had been a life-changer for her – and, since joining, it has been for me too. Under the excellent stewardship of our group chair, Vistage is an amazing source of personal as well as professional development for everyone involved.
The monthly meetings also made sure Emily and I were seeing each other more regularly, which meant we got better at arranging play dates for our boys, and spending more time together — and it was on one such play date, as we flitted between encouraging our sons to eat their lunches and stop them from destroying Emily’s lovely living room, that we came up with the idea of the podcast.
So here goes – we love learning from each other, discussing books we have read, sharing our experiences, both good and bad – so hopefully it will make for interesting listening.