A day in the life of a Jersey Entrepreneur – Sam Watts

16/11/2017

Sam Watts, Owner, Orchid & Sleep Well Milk

What makes you spring out of bed in the morning?

I can’t say I’ve ever sprung out of bed in the morning because I love sleep way too much! What drives me to work hard is choice.  Choice for me and my family – to be in a position where we have the freedom, in time and money, to give, learn and enrich our lives and the lives of those close to us.

What does your normal day look like?

The only constant in my day is when the alarm goes off at 6.45 and I have to walk and feed our black Labrador Henry.  There is no normal, particularly since the recent launch of our second business Sleep Well – a natural milk drink made by Jersey Dairy that helps you relax and sleep. I am lucky to work with my husband because we can be flexible to cover work and home commitments. Days are packed with meetings, conference calls, creative sessions, writing copy and content, helping to direct our client accounts whilst also doing all the things involved in running both businesses. I’m not sure what a normal day is but I know my days are fun, challenging, exciting, scary, tiring and inspiring.

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve still got a long way to go but I would have fallen by the wayside long ago without my husband Allan in my corner.  He is a critical partner in our business. Having someone there who understands the situation but often sees it in a completely different way is invaluable.  I can over worry but Allan is much calmer and helps me stop, take stock and look at all the options before deciding which way to go next.  I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with so many inspiring and talented people, particularly our brilliant team at Orchid. There have been so many who have provided advice, guidance and the necessary kick up the backside when I’ve been losing my mojo. And then there’s our clients.  Their challenges and needs have massively influenced how we have shaped our business, driving us to be more creative and strategic in order to keep making a positive difference for them.

What couldn’t you live your life without?

Family, friends and Labrador aside…. my phone, my laptop and a good book.  Yes, devices can be evil if you are always on them – guilty as charged – but they make it so easy to learn, be inspired, write, create and listen. I’m eager as an Andrex puppy to lap up ideas and inspiration and my Apple gadgets and mountain of books on my bedside table help scratch that inspiration itch.

Which outsiders (professional services, investors, mentors, family etc.) have been most important to the success of your business?

I was given a copy of the excellent book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins a few years ago and it had a massive impact on me.  It says that one of the core pillars of success in any business is to get ‘the right people on the bus’.  That doesn’t just mean the team that work with you, but the broader mix of suppliers.  The success of Orchid and Sleep Well will be in great part because we have worked hard to build a brilliant team (making and learning from mistakes along the way); we’ve been supported by an inspiring, intelligent and visionary investor; we’ve found a diligent and expert bookkeeper (they are like gold dust!) and we have a combination of suppliers who ensure our customers for both Orchid and Sleep Well consistently receive the very best service and product possible.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

The biggest challenge is finding excellent creative and marketing talent and attracting younger interns and trainees who have the passion and communications skills to deliver to the standard we need.  The employment laws mean we are hugely restricted in attracting top talent and this has held back our ability to grow.

What advice would you give to your younger self before embarking on your business journey?

Focus on what is possible.

Do the thing you least want to do on your task list first thing each day.

Celebrate success.

Listen more, talk less.

 

ORCHID

Website: Orchid

Facebook: Orchid Communications

Twitter: @orchidcomms

Instagram: @orchidcomms

SLEEP WELL

Website: Sleepwellmilk

Facebook: Sleep Well Milk

Twitter: @sleepwellmilk

Instagram: @sleepwellmilk

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