How did I go? The 2016 Retrospective
In January this year I made an open promise to the LinkedIn community and Aide de MD clients to practice what I preach and to be accountable. I’m honouring that commitment by re-posting the article and commenting on it as if I was marking my own test-paper (eek!).
THE “MUST DO” LIST FOR 2016
What do I really WANT to do this year? Continue to adjust the balance of work and life; maintain and support returning clients, improve and specialise my offering, be open to new referrals, time permitting.
HOW DID I GO? Hmm, balance is hard but I have kept it front of mind. Although we have grown significantly in both client base and programmes the “high stress” days have numbered below @3 pcm…and I do have an amazing mental photo book of relaxing occasions with family and friends… I’m still losing Backgammon to my son regularly, and having fun doing it!
What do I really HAVE to do this year? Plan, schedule and honour my commitments. Invest in my education through AICD and conferences; improve my knowledge and experience through breadth of research, reading and focussed listening to the wider world.
HOW DID I GO? Yes, I can tick this box, there are always more opportunities to learn but at AICD, I completed courses on Establishing Boards for Business Owners, and have implemented learnings from both Finance and Strategy & Risk. Reading, so much to do, am starting “F**ck it, do what you love” (thank you Clare, Barton Mills), the old classic “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work” and keen to get “Originals” by Adam Grant. I also loved Gillian Fox’s Woman of Influence.
How can I be more EFFECTIVE this year? Ensure I commit realistic timeframes to any actions, e.g. breaks between meetings and plenty of preparation time. Say NO occasionally.
HOW DID I GO? Yes, I have done this but could improve. I have said NO more than once and, Sarah and I, (specifically Sarah), works hard to ensure my schedule is realistic and preparation is complete.
What do I NEED to do this year? Explore options in Singapore (trip booked in May), ensure regular gym/meditation and time to work on my business. Keep perspective!
HOW DID I GO? I can’t believe Singapore was only a thought this time last year. Yes, I have confirmed business there through two visits, and booked my next trip in March. Have joined a new yoga school. I will increase time “on the business” and will book my own off-site next year. On-going presence in the AFR and my first live radio interview on Triple J have added to my business profile.
What DON’T I want to do this year? Invest time which feels “wasted” or where I would prefer to “be cleaning the kitchen cupboards out”. Ask, is it important?
HOW DID I GO? We have pared back work and are developing systems to measure value (thank you Gill, CFOinaBox). I understand that for clients to invest in Aide de MD, there needs to be short and long term qualifiable value. We will continue to work on this matrix. The new website (thank you Kristy) has been a huge success.
What MUST I do this year for my own satisfaction? Keep fit and healthy, spend time with my family and friends, on-going Pro Bono work (Bushlink), continue to make my business work for me, not the other way around.
Agreed, Bushlink is growing and I have added to the Pro Bono list by supporting another local business in their set up stage, and running a workshop “ Finding the Right Job” for my local community.
What is a LUXURY for me this year? Spare time, it’s up to me to manage that.
Like most business owners, spare time is a rare commodity and I need to use it wisely. Difficult when work is screamingly busy and the whole school/home/life balance gets too tight. Mindfulness and yoga are a worthwhile investment for me.
And my ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL GOAL for this year? Have fun, enjoy the people with whom I’m lucky enough to work. Appreciate that I’m going into my 10th year of business and have the same enthusiasm that I had when walking into my first meeting in 2007! How LUCKY AM I??
AGREED, I love this business, Aide de MD, and feel appreciative constantly, laughter is beautifully ad hoc. Lunch with my team in December was a real joy, and I am so lucky to have the lovely Sarah supporting me daily with her smiling efficiency. I enjoy enormously the times when I play an integral part in the topline strategy for my clients, make pancakes and drop the children to school, get to work at home on a rainy day, visit the AICD lounge for a mid-morning break or sit in a restaurant overlooking Singapore. Life is good and I am grateful.
So, what’s next? Have a holiday! Develop plans for 2017 to 2020. I keep thinking that we are almost at capacity, yet when approached by an exciting challenge, we manage to find more time in the diary. Sarah consistently helps keep the balance. I need to find more time for marketing, the fun “blue sky” thinking and continually improving the offering to clients. As always, we’re happy to have feed-back and your thoughts.
Result? Yes, I’m giving myself a B+, can always do better but we will celebrate the wins!