Values versus value…

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When I decided that I wanted to dedicate my freelance career to working with charities, credit unions and co-operatives it was primarily because these organisations had an absolute fit with my own personal values and would inspire me to do more, do better, be better. What is a greater motivation to get up in the morning and be the best that you can be?

Yes, I absolutely understood that in the current climate there was a need within the sector, particularly given the cuts in funding and the struggle with the onset of austerity that has damaged so many organisations to the bone. I knew too that, as in the corporate world, the first roles to go (and quite rightly) would be in ‘non-essential’ areas.

I was sure that there was a way for me to offer my help, my support and experience.

I knew that there was a need and I wanted to step into that gap and offer a professional service that was collaborative, inclusive and a professional offer at a price that was fair to all.

I know that many people thought I was naive and probably in need of a dose of reality. Perhaps some still do.

What I have learned though is that communications activity, that can add significant value to organisations, is being given to people who already have a full time job. Perhaps they have shown some enthusiasm or commitment for it but they are often struggling to fit it in alongside the day job. I’ve seen people carrying out these ‘side of desk’ roles who are terrified, lost, stressed and even downright resentful. None of these are good for the individual or the organisation.

I now know I can help more than I thought and it’s why I’m proud of the choice I made and the pricing structure I have in place. I refuse to charge overly expensive day rates or project rates for third sector organisations. My view is that you can be fair, honest and offer a quality, efficient and bespoke service at a reasonable rate.

Challenge me on that if you like but I stand by it wholeheartedly.

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Wochi all about then?

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Oh okay so I know that this is the blog that you’ve been waiting for. This is the question that you’ve been asking isn’t it? Wochi. Wochi mean?

So, some of you, knowing my fondness for a certain set of sic-fi trilogies from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away may think that I have sadly misspelt Wookiee and having done it I’m fronting it out. It’s a lovely theory and I have to confess I do love a Wookiee but no, that’s not the answer.

My fabulous friend and awesome Marketing guru Paul, (apologies if you wanted anonymity but you really need to take the credit for this) gave me invaluable help in working through how to find a name for this exciting new business venture of mine. I simply explained to him what my dream was and confessed I had no idea how to go about finding a name to encapsulate everything I hoped this venture would be. Paul, knowing me, my values and the values and principles that I wanted this business to stand for was the perfect person to help me navigate the dangers of nomenclature.

Let me confess now, I had tried to think of a name myself. I’d tried really, really hard. I spent hours wracking my brains. It was an unmitigated disaster. I was worse than the worst of teams on an episode of The Apprentice. I’m so embarrassed at my efforts that I can’t even share them with you, not even in the name of comedy!

Legend that he is, Paul gave me some great, considered, meaningful suggestions. But for one reason or another the initial options weren’t “the one”.

And then he contacted me again with a single, additional suggestion. Wochi. Wochi is a Navajo word, it means illuminate, the literal translation is ‘to light up’. Instantly my heart soared. Everything made sense. It felt perfect.

I tested it with some of my closest friends, the people I knew who would be really honest with me, especially if they didn’t like it! Their instant reaction was incredibly positive. The more I thought about it, the better it felt, the more natural it felt. It was the answer.

I am so happy to have such a strong, fabulous, meaningful name, that has heritage and values behind it.

Thank you Paul for all your support.