As 2019 and a whole decade comes to an end, it has been rewarding to reflect on the highs and lows of the year, and some of the amazing experiences along the way. The list below represents the very best highlights and moments of resilience throughout the year, as shaped by my own set of Values:
Family - by far the greatest highlight of the year was a family long-weekend to Dunedin in August to celebrate my wife's graduation with her PhD. A 6-year and 106,000 word journey came to an end with a joyous weekend full of Scottish pipe band, capping ceremony, great meals and lots of laughter! Not to be outdone, Cameron graciously managed NCEA Level 1 (Level 2 for Maths) exams this year and was recognised as the Most Improved Diver of Wellington Diving Club and Ross completed primary school and was awarded for his Services to Kapa Haka. So proud of all of them!!
Health & Well-Being - while I set out to lose 10 Kg in 2019, I am disappointed to have only lost 4 Kg, but proud of the fact that my gym discipline and training as a diver have been more consistent this year. My diving coaches coaxed me to re-learn a reverse dive and one of my prouder moments of the year was to perform synchronised diving with son Cameron at the Wellington Diving Showcase! Much to everyone's surprise, including my own, I gave up alcohol on 1st January 2019 and with the exception of one glass of champagne to celebrate Fiona's graduation, have stuck to abstinence with many positive effects. I also invested in an 8-week Mindfulness course, hosted by Lotty Roberts, which brought many benefits, including new focus and less stress.
Life is Fun & Easy - while 2019 began with some financial challenges in business, it did not prevent enjoying life with some of my favourite people. Concerts featured heavily this year with some of the highlights including Phil Collins, Tom Walker, and U2. None of these compared with watching both boys compete nationally as divers, and watching Ross perform with Kapa Haka and his school band Connected!!
Creative & Financial Freedom - following a very difficult start to the year (January and February cashflow was worrying), I invested heavily in Creative Freedom, creating about a dozen free resources for business owners and Strengths Coaches which can be found here. The investment paid off, with a number of new clients joining my community in the second half of the year. Financially, I was able to grow my Practice substantially from June to December 2019, and December was a record revenue month which bodes well for 2020 and beyond.
Live Life Out Loud - with some concern about my authenticity on social media platforms, I have invested in a more disciplined approach to my online presence with the help and support of Francesca Jago at Get Ahead Media and Antonia Milkop.com who have both helped me see that my 'voice' does not have to change my approach to connecting with an audience, wherever they might be.
Honour the Evolution - Despite the slow start to the year, I was proud to pace myself, be patient, and resist the urge to sprint, rather than plan for the long haul. With most of my income coming from Business Coaching, Executive Strengths Coaching and Strengths Workshop Facilitation, I 'experimented' with a couple of public speaking engagements in the middle of the year. One went well (audience of 30) while another was a huge learning experience (audience of 120), and probably represented my biggest disappointment of the year...
Thirst for Knowledge - 2019 felt like a year of renewal, and more investment in my personal and business development than I have undertaken in a long time. There are a few books that have changed the course of my life (Good to Great - Jim Collins; 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey...) but 2019 was remarkable in how few books I read, but the discovery of one book in particular that changed my business journey completely. In February 2019 (when my cashflow was at its most strained), I was invited by Peter Cook to a Thought Leadership Business School breakfast. At the same time, Peter offered and sent me a copy of The Thought Leaders Practice, co-authored by Peter, Matt Church and Scott Stein. In April 2019, I read the book and was entranced by the elegant confirmation that I am not running a 'business', but rather a Thought Leadership Practice, dominated by my own ability to add value to others through unique intellectual property, and a very deliberate Practice infrastructure that relies on the talent of myself and a few select individuals willing to contribute to my journey. In May 2019, I restructured my Services, and the way I presented myself to prospects and existing clients. In June 2019, my Practice income grew substantially, and has remained very strong for the second half of the year. I have since invested in the Thought Leadership Foundation Programme, and intend to do their immersion programme in 2021 or 2022. For those reading this familiar with TLBS vocabulary, 2019 saw me grow from pre-white belt to solid white belt with 4 months of yellow belt income in the latter half of the year.
While proud of the achievements above during 2019, I am looking forward to an extraordinary 2020, full of great moments with family, friends, team members and clients!!