I left consulting business last March, wow. And I have been so busy working till then I didn’t have much time to do anything else.
I started a new business, putting together my experience in building IT systems, in CRM solutions, in software development and the web in general with a treat which have been in my family for 70+ years: tires.
I launched an e-commerce website for tires, gomme-auto.it; plain and simple e-commerce, but where I am trying to do everything at excellence level.
I started working in consulting in 1997, and since then I have been used to working pretty hard, usually I enjoyed it quite a bit. It gave me great opportunities to learn a lot (about IT and about how enterprises work), to make a career, to make money, to travel (I worked in Italy, Germany, France, US, Canada, India…).
Now I don’t want to digress talking about how dysfunctional consulting can be, but let me just say I started looking around me and asked myself if it was really worth working 12 hours a day for someone else company, what can you hope? Became the CEO of the company one day? Is it fun? Is it worth it?
That’s why I thought was much better to work 14 hours a day for myself, from home, being able to feed my kid at lunch, play with him sometimes, go to the gym in mid afternoon, and maybe work all night, but at least try to build a life where I don’t waste time commuting to the office everyday, where I don’t have to tell joke and make friendship with asshole directors of my current customer, and where I don’t have to travel that much (I was used to get hundreds of flights a year).
My family have been in the tire business since 1947 when one of my uncles started with a tire shop, it lead to the whole family being involved; I have uncles, cousins, my father, brother and sister, and some distant relatives, all working in the tire business at some degree and in different fashions; shops, wholesalers, equipment, importers… When I was a kid I was spending my summers working for some of them.
In fact I was so pissed off by tires that I tried to steer totally away from it… Till now.
I tried launching an e-commerce website for tires years ago, in 2007 actually, but it didn’t work out, I had 7 partners, all tires wholesalers, who were scared as hell by internet and never really embraced it. Was a constant fight to convince them to do even the most simple things.
This time around I am totally alone. Gomme Auto is born on Sept 2012, I was still working as head of CRM @ Atos Italy at the time. I tried putting all my experiences in IT and business in it and after one year I have the major european tire wholesalers as suppliers; I have hit the 1M sales mark, I started having a profit last month, and planning to open in other european markets in a couple of months.
So it’s still tough but I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel; and yes I am able to go to they gym in the middle of the afternoon, so I lost 10kg; and yes I take few breaks from work during the day to change my kid and feed him (even if my wife is doing the bulk of the business there), and even if I work all night at least it’s 5m between my desk and my bed.