BY Benjamin

March 29, 2019

So after months of feeling burnt out, approaching six years with the same company, and knowing I had hit the ceiling in terms of career progression, I was grappling to figure out where to go next. I started looking at alternative corporate gigs, applying for jobs and going to interviews but I wasn’t getting that enthusiastic about the suggestion of doing a comparable position in a different organisation.

I’ve always been a person who loves a good side hustle, but even the motivation to keep these going was beginning to feel like a burden rather than a passion, so something had to change, and I needed it to change soon.

I started to look a little more inward at what inspires me, my passions, my fears, and whether or not I was working towards my goals or preventing them. Naturally, I thought a new job in a new organisation would entertain me and give me a burst of energy, but in reality, I knew it would dissolve quickly.

So, I decided to look back to the first time I felt passionate about my future. The earliest memory I have was in the sandpit at school considering my first ever business, a company that was going to design and distribute theme park merchandise–of course, I had no capital, so I had to make merchandise from toilet paper rolls, glue and paint.

After having my first sandpit board meeting with my best friend, I went home and called the local theme park and asked if I could meet with the CEO as I had some products that might interest him. I remember the phone call so distinctly with the theme park insinuating the CEO would call me back; of course, he never did, but from that day, I’ve always wanted to make it on my own.

I’ve had many hustles over the years, in which I’ve always endeavoured to launch behind the protection of a full-time job, but I’ve never truly nourished these ideas into something more profound than some extra pocket money, and a killer of my spare time. So, after looking back over the years, I decided I must become a full-time entrepreneur, and I must take that leap immediately.

So, 55 KNOTS was born, I incipiently intended to ramp up to a defined amount of cash flow before I vaulted from security, but I found myself doing the same thing again, hiding behind the protection of my full-time corporate gig. This time it needs to be different, and I need this to work. So I have to shift my mindset, I must take a distinctive approach, and so I am jumping wholeheartedly into uncertainty.

So here I am, resignation handed in, a life of uncertainty placed out before me. Yet, I have an extensive measure of enthusiasm, drive and purpose, and I’m excited for the challenges on the road ahead.


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Captain of ships and commander to a crew of designers. Benjamin Williams is a creative director with over 20 years of experience working with the world’s largest brands.