Today has been a day for reflection. Six years ago today, I decided to set up Delta Strategies, my first business, at the age of 21. To say it’s been an up-and-down journey is an understatement, and I’ve made some mistakes along the way. It’s been stressful at times, depressing at times, but exhilarating 100% of the time.
I’ve worked with some incredibly talented people, and some amazing companies, in sectors ranging from international development, academia, aerospace, to political campaigns and beyond. I’ve worked for clients across the world, and the job has taken me from clubs in the City, to the mountains of Sri Lanka, to refugee camps on the Syrian border, and all points in between. I’ve made some great friends along the way (and fallen out with a couple of people as well), and I haven’t felt bored in six years!
The truth is, running a business changes a person – I compare myself now to who I was then, and the difference is pretty stark. I even read through some of the first emails I sent out to prospective clients - in hindsight I sounded way too keen!
Running a business teaches you discipline, it teaches you resourcefulness, it teaches you patience, but most importantly, it teaches you resilience. You learn to move past adversity, learn from mistakes, and constantly come up with new ideas. It destroys the arrogance of youth, and it forced me to grow up, and to accept that life won’t always be easy. There will be months when you won’t get paid (quite a few in the early days), plans which will not succeed, and things you can’t take for granted…but it makes you a stronger person.
To anyone thinking of ‘taking the plunge’, my advice, wholeheartedly, is DO IT. It may work out, it may not, but you will come out of the experience a better, more rounded, more grounded person.
I’ll have a glass of whisky this evening, and think back on the journey, and what comes next. Exciting plans are in the pipeline, new projects with old friends and new connections….and I’m always open to new ideas, so if you’ve got a plan, or feel like a chat, get in touch!
Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing!
-- Nabil Najjar Managing Director Delta Strategies Limited