Yena Member Tom has been working on his website development business over the past 6 years, but didn’t take the leap of faith to go full-time until 2018.

The ‘dream job’

Before putting all of his eggs into one basket, Tom worked in-house at agencies across the South West. A few years before going full-time on his own business, Tom landed what he believed to be his dream job with a quirky, creative agency. Despite a hectic commute to work and long days away from his young family, Tom continued the role whilst freelancing in the evenings and weekends. Although the job seemed great for Tom, it wasn’t ideal for the whole family.

Taking the leap into his business full-time was a worrying concept with four children to support. Despite loving the buzz that working for himself gave him, Tom wasn’t sure that it would be enough to support his whole family.

Taking the plunge

It wasn’t until Tom was introduced to Yena, via founder Ash, that he gained the confidence to quit the agency and start working permanently for himself. In an initial meeting, Ash helped Tom to work on the numbers to validate the feasibility of the business and give him the confidence he needed to go for it. Ready to take the plunge, he decided to join Yena.

Within his first weeks as a Yena Member, Tom ‘went along to a Rebel Meetup and Yena members started reaching out’, eventually leading him to land one of his biggest clients to date. By the end of his first year, Tom had turned over £30/40k enabling his wife to stop working and spend quality time with their children.

Bump in the road

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Not long into this venture, Tom had just secured the biggest project he’d ever undergone for his business. This was a large project for him and would change a lot for the business. Ahead of a meeting with the new client, Tom was forced to rearrange when his wife developed complications with her pregnancy. As a result, the contract was dropped and the client was lost. In moments, Tom had gone from the highest point of his career to suddenly having it pulled away from him. 

Although Tom knew his reason for rearranging was totally justified, he couldn’t understand what had caused this sudden change of heart from his client leading to a period of self-doubt. Hitting the lowest point of his startup journey so far, Tom wondered whether he was wrong to rearrange the meeting and worried about the impact this lack of security would have in the future. For Tom, his family would always be more important than securing a big deal and, ultimately, any client that refused to see that would not be one that Tom wanted to be working with.

Looking forward

Thankfully, Tom managed to bounce back and is now on track to double the turnover from his first year.

Tom’s advice to others starting & growing any business is to make sure you remain confident, grow a support network and to remember that people have different ways of achieving success. 

‘Just remember, you can never start too soon so begin by putting that extra effort in.’


Written by Olivia Brooks, Yena Intern

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