Laddermaker: Money For Nothing

by Ryan Ward March 18, 2016

Laddermaker: Money For Nothing

In this new series of blog posts, I'll be looking back at where we started and how we got to where we are from my own personal perspective. 

Laddermaker: Literally having to build our own ladder and climb it after our first one was nicked (sort of).

Money For Nothing

Getting the sack was the best thing that happened to me. Career wise.

I wonder, now I’ve seen it written down, how much a cliché the opening line is. And now recognising it as a cliché probably is cliché itself. It never ends.

A call out of the blue at the start of 2014 led me to an interview with a design startup. They had investors and products already in pipeline. It would be my job to sell them.

I’d had some retail experience prior to this and at the time I was working in an independent cookware shop (which, sadly, is no longer with us). That was all (except the shoe shop I worked in where we had a chameleon that would rest on my shoulder as I talked to customers) and it was part time work, not getting me a house or some form of financial security.

And neither is he...

A change was needed and I said yes. I got my suit out of the bag it had languished in and got my hair cut. I had about two weeks to prepare for the interview. This would pretty much be the most corporate, super serious interview I’d ever had. And, if things keep going well, the last I’ll ever have.

I got the job and handed in my notice. The shop folded that weekend (coincidence).

Now, I was an integral part of something new and exciting. The two other guys I’ve known since university. I was confident in my ability and willing to learn.

But sometimes, that isn’t enough.

I worked hard and tried my best but it never satisfied those who became known as ‘The Guns of The Navarone’. I was being paid to research and sell but my research was ignored and my sales focus redshifted every month, basically meaning I had to start from scratch in areas I knew wouldn’t work.

Eventually, five months in, The Guns pulled the plug. Suddenly, three people had lost their jobs and had little to fall back on. We had to start all over again.

But sometimes, starting again isn’t such a bad thing. The phrase ‘start again’ seems daunting and crushing but as long as you learned from the first failure (or failures), starting again isn’t the worst thing in the world.

As I was saying to my business partner earlier, sometimes the push comes from behind and forces you to jump. But sometimes, whatever you’re stood on collapses and you have to jump, hopefully onto something more stable. In our case, we took a leap into the dark and began down a road we had no experience or knowledge of.

Being cut loose gave us the opportunity to start afresh. We had to start from the very beginning and that is a very good and very hard place to start.

This post is also available on Medium here.




Ryan Ward
Ryan Ward

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