Honesty Time

Paramount Properties

By Reagan Bradley, Operations Director

Recently work has felt a bit crap. I can say that because I know Spencer feels the same.

We've just been dealing with a build up of incidentals that altogether have left us both questioning what our place in the business is, what our purpose is, and why does it feel so wrong at the moment? It’s been really, really hard.

Heavy, I know, but bear with me.

We preach a lot as a society, and certainly as a business, about the importance of talking, and not presenting Instagram-perfect lives. Well the same is true of work.

As a business owner (Spencer) and someone running the day-to-day (me) – it’s been really hard of late to admit things just aren’t quite right. I know Spencer has always struggled with the accolades Paramount have collected over the years, the feeling of ‘we know what we’re doing’ and ‘Paramount must be excellent’ and how hard that is to accept – because it comes with huge amounts of expectation and pressure. 

Our celebration and acknowledgment of these awards only ever lasts as long as the hangovers do – and then its back to the drawing board – where can we go next? How do we improve? It’s constant.

We've found ourselves once again picking up the ‘red’, working in the business and not on the business, and 5 members of staff down. On top of this, we're both navigating the trickiest times in our personal lives for different reasons – all whilst trying to be good employers, good colleagues, good parents, good partners, and good friends to each other.

And as I say, because there is no other way to put it, it’s all felt a bit crap. We spoke in a podcast released only last week about our vision for agency – how strongly we believe in what we do, how it should be different. Is that all a lie? Are we kidding ourselves that this is what we usually achieve? As I tag up keys and agree renewals, and Spencer arranges payment for some overdue invoices and books end of tenancy cleans…..

So – our Strategy Day was booked for this past Tuesday. This is a day we usually spend brainstorming, coming up with new ideas and planning out the next few months and what they might look like. These are positive and exciting meetings that we come out of raring to go. This time we just didn’t have it in us.

"I just want to do something fun." The text came from Spencer as I sat in Newcastle train station at 6pm on my way back from the Property Academy. A meeting I had so looked forward to, and took so much from – yet how would I have the time and energy to make the changes? I was already starting to worry.

Fast forward a week, yesterday we left our office at 10am, phones off, and we walked 17km, 22,000 steps around London in glorious sunshine. We started at Selfridges (quick divert, Spencer had to show me the foodhall. I will be going back. I know, no I’ve never been to Selfridges…yes it’s a bit weird…), and covered Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, St James Park, The Strand, Soho and ended up in St Johns Wood.

We got some exercise, something I hadn’t been great at since having covid two months ago, and we got some very much needed vitamin D. Our plan to walk and talk about work? I don’t think it was even mentioned until we took a pitstop for lunch at 2pm.We didn’t make any grand plans – because we’re both pretty self-aware, and we know what we need to do to get out of our rut.

We're just taking a moment to breathe before we do it.

The points I want to make are these:

1. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors, with colleagues, with other businesses, with other people. Everyone’s struggling with something.

2. You don’t have to drive forward all the time. New ideas, new plans. Sometimes you need to take stock, rebuild. You can’t drive forward on empty.

3. The effect of exercise, sunshine and fresh air should NEVER be underestimated (And if a bottle of rose is thrown in part way through, so much the better).

4. Get out of the office, get out of your environment with whomever it is you need to speak with. You’ll have better ideas, more honest conversations and you’ll feel revitalised.



As written at Constitution Hill ‘Our future is greater than our past’. When all the system and team issues are resolved – we will be stronger than before. We're not losing sight of that.

I am embracing this uncomfortable period, I am ready for it , and we’ll find our way through it like we have so many times before.

SL – it was a pleasure walking with you.