I wonder what sort of year you have had in 2019.
Inevitably the events of the year in business and across our lives have an impact on us.
Our personal challenge is to make sure we have the support in place that enables us to keep a positive mindset and a grounded relational base.
In my world, many people have had a rather unsettled year. In Australia, we had a National election in May, preceded by a State election in my state of NSW in March. Elections always seem to create some business uncertainty. This followed all the revelations and outcomes of the 2018 Banking Royal Commission. As a result, banks generally made lending much tougher, adding to the economic woes of some. The housing market was in the doldrums until just recently. For most of this year, there was a sense of the economy being tight. Not many businesses were investing with a positive sense about the future. Building and construction in NSW is still on hold – although there is some light on the horizon for that important sector of the economy for later in 2020. This is all against the backdrop of global trade wars and other distracting and disturbing news.
A year of challenges and adventures
This year, I have juggled a mix of challenges and exciting adventures.
I know in my mentoring business, I have been down about 20% in income on 2018. (But 2018 was a cracker of a year for me!) Potential clients were being very careful and slower to make decisions about investing in their personal growth or in their team. It has still been a strong year and a privilege to be working with some amazing people, helping their businesses to grow and their lifestyle to be good.
Personally, I started the year with a hernia operation in January 2019, which stopped me playing cricket for a couple of weeks. Got back on the cricket field and sprained my ankle in the grand final (which we lost), which took longer than the hernia to fully heal.
I had a new grandson born in May (makes 7 grandchildren now). Then, my wife and I enjoyed an amazing 4 week holiday in Europe in August and September. Attending my first Ashes Test Match at Lords was a huge highlight, as was a week in Paris and a 7-day Adriatic cruise that had us fall in love with the Islands off the Croatian coast. We fully disengaged from work for that period. I learned an old lesson over again – the benefits of clearing your mind and emotions of all the little things that clutter you up when you run your own business.
Upon our return from Europe, I had some tests for a small growth in my bladder. This little squatter was discovered almost accidentally. I received the results of a biopsy in early November and they were not good. Fortunately, it has been caught early, and the prognosis for a full recovery is good. However, the treatment is rather radical. I am already 3 weeks into 9 weeks of chemotherapy as I write, and face the prospect of surgery in February. This has been a bit of a shock and feels quite surreal as in every other way I am very fit. I am still playing cricket and working with a personal trainer and walking 10,000 steps most days.
Having a bit of a health challenge certainly puts everything into perspective. I so value my wife, my daughters and my family. They have been amazing. As have the many friends I have made through various business networks over the past 10 years.
My mentors have taught me that if you build strong and healthy relationships in the good times of life, you will have lots of friends and support when you face more challenging times. When I think back over this past decade of business connections and growth, I am so grateful for all the great people now in my world.
I am sharing a bit more personally in this newsletter. Hope that is okay. I am confident about the future. In fact, I am running my Quarterly Planning Workshop this week for some smart business people who want to start 2020 strong. I am doing well in my self and in my mindset. Very positive in my thoughts. And deeply grounded in my faith that God has my life in His hands. I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
I have some exciting things planned for 2020 already. Including a new Group Mentoring Program which has business owners signed up from across Australia. This kicks off in February.
I am also excited about Ignite Men’s Business Group which has been developing during 2019. 22 different business men have attended an Ignite Dinner where we create a judgement free zone to discuss some of the ways business pressures affect us as men. These dinners have been brilliant and will continue into 2020 with a great team helping me. If you are a businessman in Sydney and want to join us, please see the Ignite Dinner Invitation.
I am looking forward to continuing to assist my two groups of clients – small business owners with teams of 5 – 50, AND businessmen and women, usually in their 40’s, who need to hit ‘time out’ and focus on themselves again, to know who they are and what they want for the next season of their lives.
As the year draws to a close, I want to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas, a good break, and a positive start to the new decade.
I have put together a 2 minute video that expresses a little more of my reflections and wishes for you at this wonderful time of year.