We caught up with Ricky of Beaty Consultancy and talked about his move from being employed into the world of being self employed, his love of a good hug and got some incredible top tips along the way!
We start with the crucial question, what’s your favourite Leonardo Di Caprio Movie?
Ah dude, I’m so bad with films. Titanic – he’s in that isn’t he. Ah no, wait, that one with the 80’s money guys. Wolf of Wall Street – that’s him isn’t it. That was good. Yeah, Wolf of Wall Street, that’s a great film. And not just because of Margot Robbie in the bath – although that doesn’t hurt does it.
Give us a run-down of how your business has grown with any major turning points or highlights
Well Beaty Consultancy isn’t all that old, so I still feel like the time is blurring into one, and I’m still dashing around trying to get everything as sharp as I want it. It’s like when you’re little, and adults look like they have everything together, and that they know exactly what’s going on. Well I’m 33 now, and I still haven’t a clue how to adult.
But okay, I started doing cloud consultancy and bits of infrastructure support on the side to begin with. I was already working full time as a Lead Technical Advisor for an international firm with fingers in many technology pies, and it was a great job. But I had heard about this mad cloud technology, and the more I learned about it, the more I got excited to try it out for real. The company I worked for were a little bit stuck in their ways, so I knew I wouldn’t have that opportunity there.
So I studied insanely hard, and achieved my AWS Cloud Solutions Architect certification. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it, I just did it, passed the exam, and then started advertising my services on some freelancer platforms.
After 6 months of working silly hours making both jobs work, I was ready to make a decision – one of the biggest of my life now I look back on it: Is this always going to be a side gig that earns me extra beer tokens and lets me play with cloud tech, or is this a real business. After speaking with a few friends, my wife, and actually Jacqui here at the guild who was kind enough to give me a bit of a pep talk one afternoon when I visited Dan Jesse, I decided to go for it!
Since then I’ve steadily been getting busier and busier with more work from more clients, and I honestly love it! You don’t need to look awfully hard to see I’m a geek, and working with my amazing clients allows me to geek out on wicked cloud tech all day every day!
So, we have to ask what is your favourite thing about the Guild?
I can’t pick one thing, but top of the list is certainly the people. Everyone here are just so warm and friendly. Everyone genuinely wants to see each other succeed in whatever it is they’re doing, and we would all go out of our way to help any one of our fellow Guilders. And that seems to just happen! Nobody ever told me that’s what anyone expected, or there’s nothing like that written down anywhere – no, it just seems to happen when you put passionate people in a space together. It’s pretty incredible.
I know you asked for 1 favourite thing, but can I have two? I flippin love a hug, and it turns out, so do a lot of Guilders! Well, when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic of course, but normally, hugs man! Business, just like life, isn’t always roses is it. Sometimes you just need to step away from that email or that server that just won’t do what you say, make a brew round, and grab a big hug from whoever’s around. Hugs are great.
Oh, and the fact my best pal Nigel Maximo gets to come to work with me and hang out. Nigel is my collie cross rescue dog, and he’s brilliantly rubbish – but everyone here knows Nigel super well by now. And when other folks bring their dogs in, there’s always a four legged pal to just grab 5 minutes with, and it just makes work that much less of a chore.
If a kid walked up to you, asking for your life advice and you only had a few minutes to give it. What would it be?
Oooh, good one. I reckon I’d probably just tell them that stuff generally pans out. Don’t worry about things. The media makes things seems terrifying these days, but in reality, there’s still so much awesomeness going on.
So yeah, try really hard. Listen to what people have to tell you. Try to do well in exams and stuff. Yeah, totally do all the sensible stuff, but also, just chill out and take one thing at a time. Everything pans out in the end, and we’re all just humans floating about trying to be a bit less rubbish today than we were yesterday. And if you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, that’s totally cool – you don’t have to know. But do try stuff. Try everything!
The big question is what’s next for your business?
Managed clouds! I built my whole business on the idea that businesses don’t really care about their servers and other cloud doo-dads, because they shouldn’t have to care. In the same way as I have no idea how the heating works in my house, but if the heating engineer does their job, I don’t ever have to worry my pretty little head.
I’m working with some awesome developers to come up with a suite of tools that help me and my technicians to look after businesses cloud environments really easily. The ease comes from a mix of joining up systems, a bit of machine learning to predict failures, and good ole experience. We’re nearly there and I can’t wait for the launch!
Try to explain coworking to someone who didn’t know what it is?
That’s tough! It’s a nice warm feeling when you’re working with other people as passionate about what they’re doing as you are about what you do. As if we’re all in it together. So even if you’re having a day where you swoop into the guild, plonk yourself down in front of your laptop and just mash the keyboard with your stress-riddled fingertips all day, it’s just nicer doing that in the guild than it is at home. And on the days where you do get to hang out a bit more and catch up with everyone else, it’s just awesome!
Finally what are your three top tips for business?
Nothing is actually that difficult, and there’s no magic about any of it. Everyone has had to work things out for the first time at some point, and actually when you’re in the guild, there’s usually someone who had solved the problem you’re up against, so take advice from people who are willing to give it.
You don’t have to be a dick. You see it on TV and stuff, this idea about being a “hard-nosed businessman” – it’s rubbish. Yeah, don’t be a push over, and you’ve got to be persistent, but the people I like doing business with the most are really friendly and approachable people. So don’t feel like you have to behave like you think someone in business does. Just be you.
Set achievable goals. Whether that’s to get to a certain profit margin this financial year, or just clearing out your inbox by the end of the day. Make goals that should be challenging, to keep you interested, but that are achievable. And when you do achieve them, reward yourself. Ticking things off a to-do list is awesome, so do that!