Creating A Life Friendly Business

All has been quiet here on Rosie Land as I try to get my life in some kind of order. Who am I kidding, right? 5 kids, what chance have I got? Yeah, it’ll probably never happen as I always seem to be chasing my tail, but nothing like giving birth to a child to re-motivate and energise me to do all the things that I never manage to get around to doing.

I recently announced Richard taking over as BossBoss at Ministry of Testing. It 100% feels like the right decision and I’m confident he will do us proud. It’s not easy handing the reigns over, MoT is my baby and I’m putting it in the hands of someone else. Sniff, sniff. But honestly, the wise business people say to hire better people than yourself, and Richard is that better person for the role.

Also like @constancehermit says. I’m the original badass. So all is ok. 😄

The reality is that Richard and I have had a while to get to know and importantly work with each other. It’s been almost 2 years since he came to me asking for permission to host a TestBash Manchester. Since then he’s always impressed me with everything he does and how fast and effective he does things.

On top of that we have a similar way of thinking of how we should do things. We’re both driven to genuinely improve the software testing world, yet we refuse to compromise on our ethics, always putting the craft and community ahead of financial choices. This is easier said than done in the world of business.

Along this journey, I’ve known for quite a while that I’ve not wanted to be leading a growing company. And thankfully in my journey I’ve found someone who would be so much better at the role than I am. I honestly don’t see it as talking myself down. I see it as a growing understanding of who I am and where I want to be.

I started this whole thing from scratch, learning how to do all the things mostly myself. Over the years things piled up on me and I had ended up doing many things that I just didn’t want to do. This is really not a great place to be in for a long period of time. I knew I needed help from others and I was trying to offload things, but all too often failing at the task. It turns out it ain’t so easy to find the right people at the right time within the right budget to help out with things in the right kind of way.

And even when you do find the right people it takes time to offload ‘all the things’. Or sometimes it’s not offloading, it’s getting around to all the things that should’ve been done ages ago. Like giving our SEO some proper attention and love.

The reality is I adore the community that I started. Not having it as part of my life would be like losing a part of me. I check into it daily, I can’t help myself. The ‘love’ that I see and receive is only super seeded by my closest friends and family.

The fact that I’m talking about a ‘business’ with these words may feel strange to some. Go to business school and they’ll teach you that the purpose of business is to make money! Well, I’m living proof that that idea is wrong. The world is changing and at the heart of it are people like me wanting to make a difference through business. We understand that money and profit is essential to staying around, but that is not what drives us.

I feel lucky to be in a position to offload all the things that I don’t want to do and be able to look at myself and my business and (re)define my role to match the things that excite me. And I can honestly say that I don’t know exactly what my role will be. As MoT grows things are getting more complex to manage. The way we do things needs to change whilst keeping to our values/missions/goals. We’re going from a 50 piece puzzle to one with a 1000 pieces.

The same things excite me now that did 10 years ago when I started this thing: community, the social web, marketing, a different business world, unschooling and ‘work-life’ balance, and of course, software testing. 😄 And to be honest, at the core of all of this, and perhaps the most exciting part for me, is creating a life friendly business.

I know that most companies wouldn’t hire me because I put my unschooling and family decisions ahead of work. The reality is my work needs to fit around me and my family. There is just no other way, for me. If I had a normal job I would not be able to unschool or have the 5 kids that I do have. And that would just break my heart and send me to a miserable place. Everyone has different desires and needs, I don’t see why we can’t accommodate them.

I want to prove that people can live the lives they want whilst fitting work around it. Rather than having to create a very specific formula for our lives just to please work. I want to do this for myself and for the people that work with us. I don’t really know what it will look like, but I’m determined to give it a shot. I hope BossBoss approve 😉