How has my business evolved over the last 6 years?
Thirst First Ltd...my trading name for those not in the loop...turned 6 years old today. 6 years ago I got Pissed off with making other people money, so decided I was going self-employed and being the master of my own destiny.
Well, what a journey it’s been!
Pretty safe to say my Business has evolved just a tiny bit during that time.
Partly due to confidence. Partly to do with my new-found love of Learning. And partly to do with Age.
You see, since turning 40 over a year ago, the combo of all 3 factors have helped me Niche...and rather dramatically own that niche.
At 40 I now get respected because of my 23+ years in the industry and knowledge I’ve gained. But that confidence has help me go from “Bartender” to “Entertainer”. I’ve developed my own brand of Comedic Fun and rather than being booked to make people cocktails, I now get booked to entertain and help create memories.
There's a saying across the pond..."The Riches are in the Niches". Well ain't that the truth?! When you think you've Niched as far as you can, trust me, there's always a step further. And the more you Niche, the bigger your Target Market becomes.
In year 2, going into year 3, I’d developed a healthy Wedding Trade. I’d already had 20ish Weddings booked for the following year...understandably because most Weddings are sorted out a good year in advance. But during year 3, I got so fed up with Weddings, I took the bonkers move to stop taking them...literally 75% of my trade gone virtually overnight. All that deposit money coming in a year in advance. Gone. It was almost as bonkers as quitting the real job 6 years ago. It was the equivalent of completely starting again, but this time using all that ‘business knowledge’ I’d acquired in the process.
However, now year 6, going in to year 7, I’m now a ‘Go To’ Bartender for Hen Parties. I’ve got in excess of 30 Hen Parties already booked in for 2019. Hens are booking their Parties with me 12 months out, because they don’t want to miss out. I’ve even got Hens booking me for a Sunday afternoon, because the Friday & Saturday of their weekend have already gone! That is a truly humbling feeling. I literally cannot put that feeling in to words. If they just wanted a ‘Bartender’, because of my Hire Fees, I’d lose out every time. But they book me, because they want ME!!
But now it is my duty to evolve again and bring something new to the proceedings. The ‘show’ will get better. The value I give will be greater. The amount of fun I create will be higher.
Because if I standstill too long, I get bored. It’s half the reason I’ve gone so hard on the Videos. Video is almost like a separate business now for me...and as a side note, that’s evolved massively too with exciting news coming imminently.
Am I surprised I’ve lasted 6 years?!
I’m no businessman. I’m a Bartender done pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t afford to retire any time soon. And if I had been a businessman in my first 3 years, I’d probably be a lot better off now too. But when what you do...and have done for the past 23 years...is a way of life, why would I want to retire?!
I may not be the head down and serve Bartender much longer, but booze runs through me in more ways than one. Over the last 6 years I’ve learned that I LOVE to Learn. I consume anything and everything. (Hence the #MoreThanJustABarman Hashtag that follows me around) And as a result, there’s more and more avenues opening up for me to explore. And of course, all that knowledge has to go somewhere.
So Happy Birthday me.
I don’t often blow my own trumpet. But 6 years and not going back to the real world of employment, that deserves me a pretty healthy glug of some decent Plantation Rum. And of course a little Treat! Yup, this sexy Jacket is my Birthday Pressie to myself!! You see, that's the thing I've done since day one. Celebrate every little milestone! A Business Birthday, First Booking, first £1k Event, first £50k Year, More Events than the Previous year. If you Don't find the time to Celebrate or reward yourself, then whats the point of doing it in the first place?!