...cost me millions of pounds, brought me millions of hours.
So, FriendsReunited is to close down. Years before I ran charity campaigns, coffee awards, ten marathons, wrote some books and have now got to cycle for GB, I used to work in an office - running my own marketing company.
One day I opened a geeky computer mag to see an article about this site. I thought it was a great idea and contacted them about us doing their PR. We had real fun riding a crest of a wave as the media couldn't get enough of the 'husband and wife founders at home in Barnet' story that we led it on. Our team of Laura and the sadly, late, great David Fisher did a job that resulted in them winning the highest award in the PR industry.
It was without a doubt a fun time but what I haven't reflected on before, but is obviously a key memory I now have looking back, is that I had the offer to make £millions from part-ownership of the site - but made a decision that meant I didn't.
That was the best - wrong :) - decision I ever made!
Later, I was only looking in a newspaper because I needed to earn some money when I saw the ad for the 'Creative Communications Director' role at Comic Relief. Getting that has resulted in the most fulfilling and valued ten years of work I could ever do. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done much of what I have done since if I'd made the other - correct - decision.
Me and Helen might well not still have been together either. I did OK but the large house we bought didn't work as our 'home' and we split up until we downsized back to a house where you can shout 'dinner's ready' from the kitchen and everyone can hear you..
Money does not bring happiness. Having family, time and something you believe in is worth far more than anything you can ever buy - and that lesson is worth millions - millions of wasted hours chasing a dream that doesn't exist :)
They were bloody good times though...
reflected here at the time in PR Week
Profile: Chris Ward, Beatwax Communications After Friends Reunited, Beatwax CEO Chris Ward is keen for new challenges. Chris Ward's main claim to fame in his seven years of managing bands was handling the support act that toured with Debbie Harry. But as a PR impresario he has made an indelible mark as the man who delivered the coverage for web phenomenon Friends Reunited...Suggest a correction