If there is such a thing, today I met a man who believes he’s found it – in Dorset. ‘We lay on the beach in 28 degrees and thought, this is it, this is the life we want.’ And so, a man of many entrepreneurial ways, he moved here from Up North, initially got a job in marketing, then set up a magazine, then ran some events, did some Tweeting (lots of Tweeting) and the rest is the history in the making..
I have always held the strong belief that when it comes to business there are two sorts of people – the type who will always work for others because they lack the confidence to set up on their own; and the type who have the confidence to set up on their own – and do so. And I’ve always thought that the word ‘confidence’ is the only thing separating the two. But today I met a man who combines this requisite attribute with the extraordinary ability to turn his hand to whatever new business captures his imagination. Take, for example, the capacity to learn InDesign in a week in order to put a magazine together when you’ve had a row with your designer. Now that’s impressive.
What shall we call him? Let’s call him Shaun (she says, looking at the photo of the sheep in front of her). Shaun grew up in Leicester, where he did many jobs, including truck driving, printing, event organising for Walmart, before moving onto conquering the local rave scene. Perhaps it was the relentless thump thump thump that made him crave quieter climes, but a few years ago he found himself lying on said beach and decided to make the move down South.
After a brief stint working as a marketing manager for the local council, he decided that with all the contacts he’d made he’d like to start up a little magazine – despite no previous experience in publishing. ‘What shall I base it on?’ he wondered. ‘I know, things I like.’ And so in 2013 the magazine was born, featuring local arts, food and ‘the eclectic talents, passion and spirit of our county’s people’.
Now, 11 issues on, it has the backing of a major sponsor, more than 90.000 readers and is an established and much loved element of the Dorset arts and food scene.
So what else did I learn today? That you don’t always have to do things the traditional ways. That you can become a publisher without any previous experience. That sheer enthusiasm and joi de vivre can carry your ambition through – and are delightful commodities which then become palpable in the pages you create. And that anything is possible. As long as you have the talent to cope with mastering any curveballs you’re thrown along the way.
Impressed? I was. In fact, inspired is probably a better word.