A New Year’s Resignation
4th January 2016 6am
I wake up from a fitful night’s sleep, I didn’t sleep well at all, i’m just TOO EXCITED! James enters the bedroom with my morning coffee and juice. Ohhh, he’s a gudden! He hardly slept either, today is the day, the day that Fairclough Photography truly begins; he is handing in his notice at his 9-5 job!
This day has been a long time coming. There have been endless, very often drunken conversations between the two of us. “what about the mortgage and all of the bills? Will we be able to manage? Ahhh, this hurts my brain, I need more wine!” But then one sunny winter’s day, James: “I’m going to do it, I’m handing my notice in” Me: Shocked look on face, mouth hanging open, then came a lot of surprised expletives. Then came the realisation that YES. Yes, we are doing this, what is the bloody point in waiting, in delaying the inevitable?
2015 was the start of a journey that has seen us do more than we could have possibly imagined this time last year. We have been to so many new places, met so many new people, and pushed ourselves far past our own expectations creatively. Was 2015 tough? Did it push us to our physical and emotional limits? Did we at times have ‘disagreements’ that lead to heated discussions in the car park away from the couples and their guests? Hell to the yes! But it’s all of that that has made us what we are personally and professionally as a couple and as individuals. This year, i’m sure will be tough, will push us to our physical and emotional limits, and i’m damn well certain we will have disagreements to be saved for later on in the car park, but let me tell you – BRING IT! All of the negatives are certainly outweighed by the positives – the experiences we are so lucky to have ; the love, the laughter, the (mostly) happy tears, all of these amazing personal moments we are privileged to share, it is what we live for and the reason we are now both Fairclough Photography full-timers for what we hope will be for years to come.
My husband thought long and hard about his resignation. About how to bow out of First Technologies, the place that he’s spent a good chunk of his life, and this is what he wrote:
I have worked for The Company for five years, one month and three days. I have made eight thousand three hundred and thirty one sales, to the value, as far as I can fathom, of six million, eighty three thousand, seven hundred and twelve pounds and seventy seven pence. I have driven seventy seven thousand two hundred and twenty miles in six cars and the entire length of the M55 motorway two thousand five hundred and seventy four times to achieve this. During this time, I got married, we bought a fisherman’s cottage in Lytham St. Annes, and on the first of march 2013 alongside my new wife, launched a business which would change our lives forever.
In November 2015, after our first full year as Fairclough Photography, we attended a gathering in an underground ping-pong hall in Faringdon, and were asked the question – ‘what is your why?’. After much deliberation over such a simple question in relation to our own business, it also dared me to ask this of my role at The Company. Why have I committed such a part of my life to this job, why have I driven all of those miles, sat in that chair for so many hours, written those countless thousands of emails and forged those relationships on which the business relies?
The answer is that I have done those things in hope of providing the best future for my family, and the best quality of life, to be more than just average. But recently I have come to realise that being a computer salesman in the middle tier of a retail enterprise is ultimately not the opportunity to achieve this – yes it has served to provide a comfort zone which has been admittedly been difficult to ignore, but ultimately it is not the endgame for me, and therefore a distraction from achieving what I believe is my full potential.
We are wedding photographers because we believe in more than logic and mathematical equations to calculate profit. We are wedding photographers because we do not believe in commoditisation and price-driven economy. We believe what is right is striving for the furthest reach of the quality spectrum, eternal betterment in producing work we can proudly show under our brand, and most importantly, the highest attention to detail in curating authentic visual memories for future generations of our couples. The path we have chosen as a business is not an easy one, but the client satisfaction and personal fulfilment from striving to be the best, is our reason Why.
So what’s next? If selling computers no longer provides the vehicle to achieve my goals, do I believe that the pursuit of excellence in our own business can ultimately provide the best future for my family, the best quality of life and achieve the ultimate goal of being more than just average? Yes, I believe this process has already started.
The following testimonial is from just one of the wonderful couples who booked us to photograph their wedding in 2015. It was part of a nomination that after just one year in business, saw us compete for the title of Best Wedding Photographer in the North West at the Wedding Industry Awards.
“My wife and I were so happy with Katie & James, they are such a friendly and approachable couple with a great zest for their profession and it shows through their work. When we first met them we had no idea what was involved and it was all a bit new for us but they made us feel so comfortable and helped us with ideas. Our wedding day was incredible and they captured every smile, every emotion and everything else in between! So impressed with these two and would recommend them to anyone!”
This one comment, of many, borne of our own hard work, and the determination to do what is right and not what is easy. This is one of the things that has given me confidence that we are on the right track to a future of success more than the average.
So thank you, for believing I could bring positive change to the business when I had no idea what it took. Thank you for helping me develop both my sales skills and and world-view of business, and for showing me that a leap of faith towards starting a business can yield such reward. My time with The Company will not be forgotten, and the skills I will take forward are due to both the opportunity provided and the mentoring you have kindly shown me during our five years together – but it is now that I must take the hardest step towards the next stage of the adventure, and resign my position with The Company so that together, Katie and I can take Fairclough Photography to the next level.
We are so thankful for all of our incredible couples, who have put their faith in our artistic vision to capture their wedding day so far, that have invited us into their world, their family and their most intimate moments for the day. Without you, we are nothing. We can’t wait to start this year full-force and 100% committed, and we’ve never been so excited or determined to make the best year of our lives – despite being the scariest thing we’ve ever done!
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