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7
Dec

A Little bit about us…

As we free-fall towards the Christmas break, it’s a traditional time for everybody to stop and take stock of the last year’s events – and here at the I Am Group, we’re probably doing more of that than most!  

We’re a long way from when we first set out on this journey.  If you had been wandering around Soho almost 2 years ago to the day, you might have bumped into Debbie and I, sitting in a café, trying our best to articulate our vision for the new company, and what we wanted to achieve.  Little did we know how tough the road ahead would be, and we probably weren’t aware of the hours we’d be putting in either.

We didn’t have a name, a brand, a logo, corporate colours or even any kind of visuals – but we did have the most important ingredients that entrepreneurs talk so much about: vision and passion.  We knew then that, disillusioned by our former place of work, we wanted to prove that morals can count for something, that values can be created and upheld, and that quality can be maintained.  We both loved the charity and social enterprise sectors, and felt that our lives had been leading us to this point, where we were ready to take the big step of entering into a brave, new world of uncertainty…

It took us another year before we came up with the name, the business plan, the timelines and the first tentative, but oh-so-critical steps, towards starting in business together.  At the time, we were more focussed on the legalities of setting up a company, opening business bank accounts, setting up a website and all the many obstacles that the Gods of Governance were throwing in our path…

If you had bumped into us on that cold December afternoon in 2010, grabbed us both by the arm, looked deep into our eyes and said: “Debbie and Julian, in two years’ time you’ll be running more than 50 events per year, recruiting for some of the largest names in the charity sector, speaking at conferences and writing blogs…” well, we might have tried to have you sectioned…but you’d have been right, and we’d have been wrong.

It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and it’s fitting that we end our first post on a few ‘thank yous’, to our friends and supporters, to some wonderfully loyal ex-colleagues (you know who you are!), talented individuals, inspirational speakers and amazing interns.  In particular, Juan, who helped us realise the true merits of social media, and proved that you can teach old dogs new tricks; Magali who came along at the right time, and has become part of the I Am family; Joanne, Zeynep and Inge whose tireless support at events has been much appreciated; Everton for both our website and finding us the extraordinarily talented designer Natan Heber; Lucy George and her wonderfully talented team at Wordville; and finally our friends at HUB Westminster, who have shared our little successes and several bottles of wine along the way…

 

We hope you’ll be indulgent of our first post, but promise to post more exciting and relevant articles in the future.  Going forward, we want to use this space to join some of our speakers in highlighting important campaigns, to congratulate them on their successes and to help spread the word about issues that are important to us, and which we think will also resonate with our friends. LinkedIn is great, but gets overlooked by the next status update, and Twitter forces us to say things in 140 characters (and it takes us a little more than that…).  But for now, we’ll leave you with a sneak preview of our events for 2013…it’s looking good!

 

 

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