Big news and big changes

After 13 years of working at Headscape, I am going to be stepping down as a full-time member of the team and striking out on my own.

Don’t misunderstand. I will continue to be a non-executive director and have a shareholding in the company. I will be there in an advisory capacity and we will no doubt work together from time to time. It is just that on a day-to-day basis I will be doing other things.

Okay I know. The title oversold this post. Sure it’s big news for me, but it’s not life changing for anybody else. That said, you may have a few questions, especially if you work with either Headscape or me. With that in mind I have tried to predict your questions and answer them below.

Why have you decided to step down?

When a politician gets embroiled in a sex scandal and has to resign, they often say they want to "spend more time with their family". Well in my case that is true! (not the sex scandal bit.)

Working at Headscape has been the most amazing experience. But it is also demanding. Over the years it has taken it’s toll on my health, well being and family life. It has been worth every minute, but eventually you must re-examine things.

Now is that moment. We started homeschooling our son a year ago and it has changed our lives. We have so much flexibility and we want to make good use of that. We want to travel, enjoy time off and have a more flexible schedule. Unfortunately working in a team doesn’t make that easy. That is why I have decided the best course of action is for me to strike out on my own.

What are you going to do?

Good question. I have a few ideas, but I am open to suggestions!

I want to write more and continue with my speaking. I love sharing what I have learnt over the years and enthusing other people.

I also want to spend more time working with clients on their digital strategy and reaching connected consumers. I want to help organisations become more user focused. I am looking forward to educating and fostering a new culture within companies. A culture focused on customer service.

In practice I suspect this will involve:

Alongside that I am going to be an advisor and sounding board for freelancers, digital leads and agency founders. The idea is to provide help and support in what are isolating roles.

Beyond that who knows! I might do some online courses or partner with some other company. That is what is so exciting (and terrifying) I couldn’t tell you exactly what my life is going to be like going forward.

But I have bought a new domain name so that makes everything alright –

How will this impact Headscape?

Not as much as you might think. Headscape will continue to do incredible design and development work. They will continue to do the in-depth research that helps set the digital direction of clients. Nothing will change.

After all it will be the same amazing team behind the scenes. Sure, I may be the person you associate most with Headscape. But I don’t do that much client work. I haven’t designed a website in years, not even this one!

The team at Headscape is one of the best in the industry. You only need to look at their work. What is more, it is a team with strong leadership. Marcus and Chris have years of experience delivering incredible websites. That is not going away just because I am no longer around every day.

Will you and Headscape still work together?

Absolutely! That is what is so exciting about this move. Rather than creating two competing businesses, we are creating two complementary ones.

I am not going to start designing websites and the research heavy consultancy work they do is just not my thing. As a result, I am sure I will be calling on their help.

Equally, they will still need my expertise in training and presenting business cases for digital transformation. They will also call upon my insights into digital strategy when they need it.

In short, I expect us to not only pass work back and forth, but work side by side on many occasions.

I have this project, who do I go to?

Well that depends on the project. If it is a straightforward design and build project then the answer is easy. Contact Headscape.

If you want an in-house trainer, writer or speaker then I am your man.

Things become a little more complicated if you want some consultancy, but not much. If you need some in-depth research done then I suggest Headscape. If you want a simple site review or a day or two of consultancy then try me first.

That said, it doesn’t matter. Contact whoever you want. We will always refer you to the other if we think that would be a better fit. Hell, you could even get both of us if you are lucky!

Will this change things with Boagworld?

Not really. For a start the podcast will remain unchanged. Marcus and myself will continue to host the show just like we always have. I also expect Headscape staff to continue posting here from time to time.

I will continue posting to Boagworld just the same as always. But there will be a few extra goodies added as well. More on that soon.

That said you might see the occasional bit of advertising sneak in as I struggle to pay the bills! I promise it won’t be too annoying. Also, check out the new header and footer. Now tailored to my new lifestyle.

When does this all happen?

I finish working for Headscape on a day-to-day basis at the end of January. After that I will have to feed my family myself! So if you have any work for me, I would love to hear from you.

  • Jeff L

    Congratulations and best of luck Paul!

  • Five Sticker Rides

    Good luck Paul with your new project. Love the podcast. Say hi to Marcus! Ross.

  • Good luck! I’m sure things will turn out great!

  • Thanks for the encouragement all. Now just give me some money ;-)

  • Best of luck Paul, I’m sure you’ll be just fine. And I do want to give you money! I’ll be in touch :)

  • Darren Griffin

    Hi Paul,

    Good luck with the new venture. Might just follow up on that conversation after all :-)

  • CyndyMcC

    Best of luck Paul. I’m sure you, Catherine and Boagboy are over the moon about this exciting new adventure.

    • Thanks Cyndy. I am still here if you ever need somebody to argue with ;-)

  • Russell Spencer

    I’ve been listening to your podcast almost from the very beginning and have enjoyed it immensely. I just want to wish you the best of luck on your new adventure and I’ll be eagerly listening in to the podcast for the latest happenings in boagworld. ps the money’s in the mail ;-)

    • Money is always good :)

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Wish you the very best of luck!

  • Markus Freise

    Paul, as a long-time fan of your Blog and someone who did exactly the same thing three years ago – leaving the safe seat as a director a big web-agency and going into freelancing – I do not only want to wish you all the best on your way, but that things work out as good for you as they did for me. It’s such a great experience on so many levels. Enjoy it. If you ever happen to be in Bielefeld, Germany, give me a call. ;-)

    • Thank you for the encouragement. On the surface it seems such a mad thing to do so I am glad it worked out for somebody else!

      • Markus Freise

        Oh, I only know you from your blog and podcast, but I am 100% sure that this is the right thing for you to do. In other words: I was in no way surprised when you told about it in the podcast. And, yes, sometimes you wake up and think: „Damn it, how stupid was that?“ Because it is on a very rational and grown-up level. But beyond that, and with the safety of knowing you’re very good in what you do and can make a living out of it, that’s where the fun starts! It feels a little bit like the day you left home and rented your first appartment. Of course from now on you’ve got to do the laundry by yourself. But on the other hand you can play video games all day long and no ones telling you to stop.

        And let me use this short message to say thank you for all your inspirational stuff you and Markus did in the past years.

        Keep up!