It’s 15 years since I started PURE.
I worked out I have probably spent roughly 30,000 hours working on PURE. If it takes10,000 hours to master something, I must be a super-expert by now!
At this special milestone, I have reflected on 15 things I have learned about business, life and myself through the journey so far, some good, some not so good, but on the whole I have absolutely loved the journey, the people who have been there with me, past and present, and I am excited to see what the next 15 years will shape up to be!
1.Top thing –the amazing feedback we get left by our lovely clients on a daily basis is when I know we have created a service that means a lot to a lot of people and that is a really good feeling. I especially love the comments that our clients write about their own PURE experiences which makes me realise how much of a positive influence PURE has and how we provide happiness and enjoyment to our clients which is what we are all about. If I am feeling down, I just read some of the wonderful comments we have received and it immediately puts a smile on my face!.
2.The PURE team amaze me with their dedication to their jobs. They are the face of PURE, they handle 80,000 customer visits every year and they dedicate themselves to making every single one of them amazing! It takes hard work, team effort and dedication to make that happen and I am immensely proud of them, their willingness to go above and beyond every single day is what makes PURE the company it is today.
3.I love the feeling of creating something new, of the endless opportunities and possibilities we have at PURE. This sustains me through all the tough times and whenever I feel down I just need to think of all the things we have created; 120 jobs, thousands of happy customers, 7 spas that weren’t there before, our product range, the £750k per year we pay in taxes which helps sustain and grow our society as a whole.
4.Employing people is the best thing I have ever done. To think that 120 people and their families are supported by PURE makes me feel immensely proud. This year alone we have welcomed 10 PURE babies into the world and it’s the greatest feeling knowing that the business helps and supports our new mums and families on their life journeys.
5.You can never stand still. To sustain you have to grow and innovate and create new opportunities. We have never stood still at PURE in 15 years and much of the creativity and innovation has been in perfecting our services, our culture, our processes, so that we can continue to grow.We have many exciting times ahead including our first spa south of the border opening in September and many other opportunities in the pipeline!
6.Having a set of values that you exist by as a company is incredibly important. You can’t sustainably create a business without them and the CEO is the gatekeeper of the values. I am very conscious now of my role in keeping and sustaining a great company culture I regard it as one of my greatest achievements at PURE.It is the foundation that holds it all together.
7.Cash is king in business, ignore it at your peril! I feel lucky that as a trained accountant, the figures come easy to me, but even now the thing I pay most attention to on a daily basis is cash. Second is net profit. Third is net working capital. These three elements are essential to grow sustainably.
8.I feel like I have done everything the wrong way to start with before finding the right way! Its easy to beat yourself up with hindsight and say, why didn’t I try that first or over-analyse where you went wrong, but what I have realised is, this stuff is hard and all you can do is try your best, live by your values and do what you think is right at the time. And try not to beat yourself up when you get it wrong.
9.Running a business is really challenging. I would love to say it’s been a smooth journey but it has been very rocky at times. It’s made me be very careful about who we do business with. I still believe in the saying ‘treat people how you would like to be treated’ and I like to believe that if you stay true to your values it’s the best way to be. My duty as CEO is to always act in the best interests of the company and so in every situation, I will make an assessment of the best outcome for PURE and try my very best to achieve that outcome.
10.The buck stops with you so you need to be able to handle anything and everything that is thrown at you! You need to be resilient and adaptable. Everyone relies on you, so you need to have confidence in yourself that you can deal with any situation. I am very often faced with a situation I have no idea how I am going to resolve, but I now have 15 years’ experience and the belief that I will find a resolution to any issue because that’s exactly what I have been doing for the last 15 years!
11.I used to do everything myself and I have now learned to be very mindful what I spend my time on because it’s very limited. I constantly ask myself – is what I am doing adding value to PURE or is there a better way?
12.It’s vital to have a vision and detailed strategy for the business, it helps to focus the whole company and it’s amazing what you can achieve with a good strategy to start with. Don’t underestimate how long it takes to develop a good strategy. It takes months and months of focused work.
13.I have come to learn my own limitations, to know what I am good at and not so good at. I now focus on recruiting people who are better at the skills I am not so good at and give them great autonomy to do what they do best! It’s had a great impact on the team and culture at PURE, and had led to some great ideas, contributions, sharing and collaborating from the team, which has helped us get to where we are.
14.It helps to have people you can go to, to have a good old moan. I call it ‘having a hippo moment’. I have one or two people who I can call on if I need to have 5 minutes to ‘wallow in the mud’, moan, swear, be very negative. It really helps to let all the negativity and emotions come out, once it’s out you can put it in perspective and move on. It’s very therapeutic
15.I have learned to enjoy the journey! The journey is the best bit. I am really looking forward to the next 15 years and all the exciting things still to come!