Did you see the hype about our chief, Paul Allington, being crowned IPSE’s Freelancer of the Year 2015 last month?
This may have seemed like a bolt from the blue for some – is this suited and booted chap the same guy who spends most of his days in his garden shed? – but in fact, it was the culmination of a long judging process, the outcome of which The Code Guy never expected to be walking on stage and receiving an award!
Let’s bring you up to speed with the events preceding that marvellous moment…
The vague promises of a competition rarely tempt Paul away from work, but on the particular day when he stumbled on the IPSE Awards, he was feeling quite pensive. Putting on his kettle for the umpteenth cuppa of the day, he decided that filling out the questions might be a good opportunity to take stock and look back on what he had achieved since starting The Code Guy.
As is often the case with a questionnaire, the exercise took several hours (or, more accurately, days) longer than he expected. But taking the time to sit and think about his work and the direction of his business turned out to be a reward in itself.
A surprise invite
The application was soon a distant memory amidst a buzz of coding, so when the phone rang inviting Paul to a Judging Day in London, it was a little unexpected! When it transpired that the interview would involve a presentation, he frantically searched for the retract button on the IPSE website. It seems they had hidden it.
After a few days of fretting over Powerpoint and public speaking, Paul resolved that the best thing to do was to simply be himself. If this was a normal business process, what would I do? So he picked out his best hoody (ed: actually my wife picked it…I’m not that daft), prepared some background slides and an animated stick man. What’s the worst that could happen?
On the morning of the Judging Day, he pulled out his best flask, filled it with vanilla tea, and made his way to London to meet the other contestants. The wait for the interview wasn’t as nerve-wracking as expected, as he soon realised that the other applicants were just as down to earth and self-employed as he was.
When his name was finally called out, Paul straightened up his hoody, took a deep breath and entered the interview room… to find the loveliest bunch of judges you could ever have hoped for. He then pulled out the flask that he’d been carrying around all day and sat down to have a friendly chat with the judges.
That’s how all of my business happens, over tea and as informally as possible, and it was the only way I was getting through this.
It seems his approach paid off, as the judges seemed to like vanilla tea just as much as Paul did. What happened next? Stay tuned to hear about the excitement of the Awards ceremony, and how the prize has helped The Code Guy so far…