a whole year they would cover their faces each day with a company logo and that companies would pay for the pleasure! BuyMyFace was born.
Imagine going along to your Mum and Dad, after 3 years of University and 25k+ of debt, with this suggestion and a target of paying off your student debts within the year…We picked up on the story just after they had started on this wacky plan and paid £21 for the privilege of having our new company name TheEmployable painted on their faces. £21.
Last week Ernst and Young decided to pay for Ross and Ed to go on their Varsity Ski Holiday for a whole week, as long as the Ernst and Young logo was painted on their faces. The day our logo for TheEmployable appeared on their faces, Ross and Ed, aka ‘BuyMyFace’, appeared on the BBC and featured in over 100 news articles across the world. We were even contacted by a German News Channel interested in finding out why we had ‘bought’ their faces. So BuyMyFace are an example to us all in the power of Social Media and the power of word of mouth to spread a message, however crazy that message might initially seem.
A few things TheEmployable have learned over the last few months include: (and I will come back to all of these points)
1. Your Crazy idea – could become the next big thing
2. If you believe in your crazy idea, even if no one else does, it might just work
3. Sometimes you find your own luck, if you go looking for it
4. You don’t have to spend big, to make a big impression
5. Its all about Networking……
The second story relates to a guest blog we ran on theemployable.com a couple of weeks ago in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week. Simon Robinson the Founder of gigsandfestivals.co.uk talked about a time he went to speak with the school Careers Advisor. Simon had said that he wanted to work in the Media. A fair enough request one would assume. However the school Careers Advisor, after a moment’s pause, asked Simon if he had ever considered joining the Army. The Army? ‘Media’ – The Army?
Obviously the school Careers Advisor had made a judgement call on Simon based on his expected grades, but not considered his talents, dreams, passion or interests. A typical mistake….However whether this nonsensical suggestion ended up spurring Simon on, Simon went on to write music reviews for NME and set up a successful website called gigsandfestivals.co.uk, which has over 40,000 hits per week and a growing following of fans. The lesson I have learned from this is simple; Don’t be told what you can’t do, when you know you can. Please feel free to check out the two posts featuring Simon Robinson, at the bottom of this post…..
So just to recap slightly on TheEmployable, for those of you who know nothing about us. Myself and my now Co-Founder, were made redundant 4 months ago. We both worked for Reed Recruitment for a combined 14
years and we had good experience in Commercial Recruitment and Business Development. Our concern after finding out that redundancy was on the cards, was knowing how bad the job market and job situation actually is. So, we vowed to meet each week, have coffee and chat about our job search. This quickly turned into an attitude of “if there were no jobs, then we would have to go about creating our own ones” . And so TheEmployable was formed.
Our key aim was to grow a community of; like-minded graduates, the recently redundant and unemployed and the disillusioned worker – whose skills and talents were not being used, and see if this community could inspire, create opportunities and in the long run – create their own jobs and businesses.
The real lesson is that we have, and quite easily at that, been able to, just by asking, interview and run articles with some of the top and up and coming Entrepreneurs and Innovators in the UK and Ireland. Now we have not got Lord Alan Sugar or Sir Richard Branson as yet, but we are working on it! The real coup is that, coming from an industry (recruitment) where you are used to being told ‘NO!’ and 90% of your calls end on a negative, we have been amazed at how easily it is to make contacts and friends in the Entrepreneurial Community. Perhaps it is because there is a self interest in speaking to each other and networking, but the main point I can make, is that you do make your own luck if you go after it. Just ask. You will be amazed how much you can learn and find out and GET (and for free), just by asking!
Part 2 of my Top Tips for a DIY career will be appearing on Friday…