On the 12th anniversary of our business formation I’m in a reminiscent space, looking back at what has been achieved. What has it all meant? Being an entrepreneur is risky, challenging and sometimes scary, but the beauty in special moments can outweigh all of that. After a few years you become used to the fear of not meeting obligations and it becomes a driver in your success.
This last year and a half of my entrepreneurial journey has been filled with new levels of uncertainty. I didn’t start this business with the end in mind, or ever think 12 years into the future (my business coaches will be gasping reading this). The business was born out of necessity and we have had some really great wins and oh have there been some pitfalls!
There have been moments where I contemplated what I thought was the failure and closure of the business and yet here we are. But, it was a global pandemic and national lockdown that brought this reality closer than it has ever felt before.
When lockdown level five hit our industry last year, events were postponed and eventually cancelled. The industry was sent reeling and I remember countless phone calls with clients, contractors and suppliers. We were all asking, “What’s next?” What got me up on my feet were the connections I have with other people. Those phone calls with my team, our extended team of collaborators, clients and friends, brought so much hope and inspiration. I will be forever grateful for their kind words and moments where we were all able to share what we were going through – and for once in our lifetime, we all understood exactly what the next person felt.
And, the outcome? We expanded our service offering – not just once, but three times, since the start of the pandemic. I wrote about it here.
I had to take stock and review what EnOv8 offers because it was no longer required. Again, out of necessity, I found a new opportunity to sell PPE and launched new product lines. It was such a joy to build a new section on our website, market our new product and serve a growing array of new clients. Providing workplace safety equipment in the midst of the pandemic brought a great sense of purpose and gave us a chance to be part of the solution to COVID-19.
Gaining an understanding of the components and managing virtual events, and getting to grips with cutting edge digital technology, was a massive learning curve for me. I spent many hours attending virtual summits hosted all over the world to see what I could bring to our clients. And then I had to learn how to describe this new service! It has been exciting to bring our clients’ virtual events to life and to “wow” participants – and it’s been rewarding to see their teams connect and interact, to be encouraged and find renewed purpose even in the middle of tough times.
Our third and newest offering is providing corporates with an end-to-end employee gifting solution – curating tailored gift boxes that will bring joy to those who receive them and strengthen employee employer relationships. And, of course we can provide goody boxes for events, too.
Looking back, all three of these new business sectors still serve our corporate clients in taking care of their teams, just as our original service offering did.
My work has always been about collaborating, with a wide range of suppliers, contractors and part-time workers, and I am grateful for the extended team and the wonderful relationships I have had the privilege to be part of. In the events industry, everything is project-based and I’ve seen magnificent teams come together to create wonderful productions to entertain and delight audiences.
It has been a huge challenge for the industries I work in, and serve, as we all battle to stay afloat. One of the things that I am most grateful for is what can be created through the power of collaboration and how challenges can be overcome. Tenacity and reinvention for me means not knowing the answer or the final solution, but putting one foot in front of the other, even when the pathway is dark, and finding your way to a brighter place, together.
You can either choose to give up, or find a way through. And building something together is so much more rewarding.
I will be forever grateful to the EnOv8 staff team, past and present whose input will always be appreciated. They have each given me purpose and support, taught me new things and brought their hearts and minds to serving the team. We may have been far apart over lockdown, but we were in it together.
I appreciate our clients for their loyalty and trust, and for their creativity and collaboration in bringing projects to life. It is such a compliment to have our clients refer us to fellow corporates based on how happy they are with our quality and service.
And last but not least, I am grateful that when we are able to serve our clients, it provides work for our team and our suppliers’ teams.
Thank you to everyone who has impacted my journey. 12 years on, I know I made the right decision!
Nicole Rollings, MD