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December 19: The Story

Tis the season to be jolly and all that. It also happens to be a time of year that companies need to balance their books and have to make people redundant as a result.

We are always asked “Why the name?” when dealing with people for the first time. This is our story…

I had worked at Universal McCann London, an advertising business for 13 years. I had my ups and downs there but started my career at UM, rose to a lofty(ish) position and overall, loved the place.

The last couple of years though were wearing me down…not learning, not challenging myself, running out of gas and just getting by. Then Lehmans went down triggering the worldwide financial crisis of 2008.

My boss was good enough to warn me that my time was coming to an end if we did not win a piece of business… I didn’t want us to win that business… we didn’t win that business. I was made redundant on the 19th December 2008 (10 years ago today).

Elated, scared, excited, crapping myself… all the emotions went through me as I was out of work for the first time in 13 years. The one thing I did not do was doubt myself. I had an inner feeling I would be ok.

I took time out. I spent the first six months travelling and then had a little think of work and then relaxed again. I did not rush my decision.

An old colleague and friend @Dave Barnett had also been made redundant at a similar time. He was doing maternity covers to bring the money in as he had a young family to support.

We did not see ourselves as entrepreneurs but we felt we could create something different in our industry. Create a business where our clients would have 100% trust that we were doing the right thing for them. This was 6 years before a report into our industry uncovered years of media agencies doing wonky deals behind their clients backs.

We incorporated December 19 Ltd on the October 1st 2010. It would revolutionise the way the industry behave towards their clients (you have to dream). We now run a nice boutique business employing 15 amazing people and working with fantastic clients. We have not revolutionised the business but we have the reputation that we do things the right way which is good enough in my books.

The moral of this story is that redundancy is not the end but the beginning of you. Embrace it, be happy, look at it as a new beginning. Take time out, relax and only think about your next move when you are in fully chilled out mode. You will be fine if you stay positive and look forward rather than back.

Happy December 19 everyone

@Dan Pimm x