02 Jan 2018 Reflection and 2019 Intention Setting
Have you had a chance to reflect on your year yet? I like to take a good few hours to write down how mine went and find it rather therapeutic in a way too. Here is a summary of some of my writings.
When I take a look back at 2018, I feel like it has been a massive rollercoaster (I LOVE ROLLERCOASTERS!), filled with trials and tribulations, as well as some awakenings and sweet victories. I’ve learnt that more than anything, patience is the key ingredient and foundation of something being a success or not. Success can be defined many ways, for me it means having a positive impact in the world, which people are able to use themselves and easily share, as well as provides you with enough income to make ends meet. I also feel that 2018 was an ‘incubation year’ in my entrepreneurial journey. An incubation year is basically working on a lot of things; some which start to simmer, some which are ready to now start boiling and others which never even heated up.
Looking back the past few years, I can see my values strengthening with my personal growth and how I always needed to make changes around me to align with changes within me.
- In 2016, I had to plan meticulously, focus on growth and understand more about what my purpose was. It allowed me to understand that I needed to make changes in my life and begin a new path
- In 2017, I had to put on my big boy pants and take a leap of faith. Learning, exploring, understanding the art of possibility and discovering new opportunities, led me to a massive year of self-development and self-investment, to figure out my purpose and new business options
- In 2018, I started coming more into my own, realising a deeper sense of purpose within me. To be the best and most fulfilled version of myself, I needed to be more open and honest, as well as make some real commitments. So here is my reflection of 2018 and my intention setting for 2019
1) After 5 years of dreaming about living and moving to a warmer country, that is now one step closer than it has ever been before. My girlfriend and I bought a beautiful piece of land in Portugal, which we are really excited about! We can’t wait to build our simple dream house and for it to be somewhere we can live a more self-sustainable and outdoors lifestyle. With me being South African and Maressa, Brazilian, it’s in our blood for a more rural and outdoors lifestyle. We went to Portugal twice this year to finalise and arrange everything. I best start polishing up on my Portuguese now!
Lesson learned: Make sure that you get all of your finances in order before you start your own business. It’s very difficult to borrow any money when you do not have a guaranteed income. All previous years of earning a salary amount to nothing when banks consider your applications.
Lesson learned: Buying something with your partner can be a rollercoaster of emotions but make sure that you always communicate how you are feeling with each other, so that there are no surprises.
Lesson learned: Sometimes you’ve just got to say yes and open yourself up to a new possible life. Almost 20 years in London have been awesome, but it’s time for pastures new.
2) Launching my Coaching Business has been one of the best things which has happened to me. Seeing first hand the impact it has on people and the changes it brings to them, is something which I will always treasure. After years of working as an Investment Banker, it’s nice to finally feel like I am giving back to the world in a more positive and meaningful way!
Lesson learned: I should have launched much sooner. Procrastination is something I am still trying to improve and do less of. It is a constant learning process. What I learn and how I overcome it, will be lessons I’m able to share with others in the future.
Lesson learned: 19 years in the corporate world will never prepare you for starting your own business. It is a different beast completely and you have to be flexible and ready to pivot at each moment. What I thought was going to be a high-end fitness coaching business, is now an Executive and Lifestyle Coaching business. Things change, you change, and being adaptable is how you survive and thrive.
3) A full year of Podcasting – If it wasn’t for the Podcast, I don’t really know if I would have been able to get through the year. It has provided a constant sense of stability and been a guiding light. Each week we need to show up and do our thing by providing value to our listeners and supporters. It’s been a constant year of ups, learnings and self-discovery!
Lesson learned: I operate at my best when I have others relying on me. I never like to let people down and having Craig (my co-host) as a partner, ensured that I showed up for him first and foremost, each and every single day and week. When I do things that are ‘just for me’, I need to create a story about who is also relying on the outcome, so that I get things done properly.
Lesson learned: Interviewing superstars has very little correlation to the amount of downloads you’ll get or the response you’ll get from your listeners. Each of us, no matter who we are, has a story to share and it’s worth sharing our story because we never know who it is going to help, or how it is going to help them.
4) A solid relationship and a loving, supportive and understanding partner and girlfriend has made this all possible. I could not do this without you Amor. For enjoying the good times together, but most importantly for helping me in the tougher times. I’m truly forever grateful for having you in my life and being there for me every step of the way!
Lesson learned: Before you embark on your journey of entrepreneurship, let your significant other know about your plans. Having them onboard will be the difference between make or break.
Lesson learned: Always talk about your day and tell your other half how it has gone. Especially the bad staff. Humans generally gravitate towards wanting to help, especially those close to you. Also just telling them about your day, makes them feel closer and more bonded with you.
Lesson learned: Make time to take a break from work. I’ve worked longer and harder than I ever did in Investment Banking (sorry to my old Bosses!). It takes a while to figure out and strike the right balance of work and play, especially when you enjoy what you do! Each hour that you put in, you can equate to building your business, but remember that having a break is essential for recharging the batteries, increasing your creativity and adding to your personal interest in what you are doing.
Things to improve on
Cashflow – before I started this journey, I saved enough money to fund me for a couple of years. I also sold a couple of investments to free up some cash. I have really learned to live much more minimalistically than I did before and that has allowed me to stretch things out a little longer, but now it’s time to ramp things up in 2019. Cash certainly isn’t everything, or my driving force, but the lights need to stay on and dinner needs to be served!
Exercise – I actually cannot believe I need to write this but the last 6 months I have not really done a helluva lot of physical exercise. Perhaps my 30 years of previous intense exercise, needed to have a bit of a balance by doing less these last 6 months. (Nice excuse Gareth! Haha!). I have felt a little out of kilter because of it, but realise that is just temporary and it’s easy to get my fitness levels back on track. However, my mental exercise game has been very strong with much more meditation, mindfulness, journalling and breathing practise.
Seeing people in person – I truly miss this the most of my corporate life. I thrive when I’m in front of people. People give me energy through their playful banter, the conversations, the more difficult discussions, the team work and camaraderie. Having an online business has many benefits, but striking a balance with face-to-face interaction is essential for me to operate optimally.
2019 is about setting down roots, building confidence in the person I am today, having a bigger impact and creating a more successful business.
I think that having goals in life is important to progress and keep you moving forward. Goals are generally around personal development in one way or the other and they help keep you interested, excited and relevant too 🙂
My high level goals are to:
*To exercise my right and responsibility as a human, to do the absolute best I can in relation to each situation I am involved in and each person I come in contact with.
*Build out my existing online coaching programs, by coaching in person and on-site in businesses.
*Create a business by leveraging our Podcast and to also build on and nurture our existing community of like-minded people.
There are specific overarching themes, values, beliefs, and ways in which I want to conduct and live my life more by in 2019 too. How I go about my year and the way I do things must tie back with these themes and values.
In 2019, I plan:
- to be more disciplined: Motivation and inspiration, can get you started. However, it’s discipline, which will keep you going in those tougher moments. I heard a quote recently which said, “Stability doesn’t create discipline, discipline creates stability”
- to seek clarity: We are in an age of information overload, especially an overload of bad information. Being very careful and selective with the information you consume will help find clarity. Without clarity, we remain confused.
- to be more curious: Ask yourself ‘why’ five times, each time you do something, each time you read something, each time someone says something. Look under that stone, open the closed door, break down the barriers, speak to strangers. There is magic in the unknown.
- to have a load of fun: As I get older, I feel that the fun factor seems to go down a little each year. Possibly due to having more responsibility and worries, but that needs to change and only through a conscious effort will that happen. Life is too short to take it too seriously.
- to spread more love: In each situation I encounter, with each thought I have, with each person I cross paths, how can I create a greater sense of love and enjoyment. Nothing in life is definite or permanent, including our neurology. If life was a game of Ching, Chong, Cha (Rock, Paper, Scissors) then Love would trump, Anger and Aggression each time. Expect lots more man hugs from me!
- to have greater compassion: The more we realise that each one of us is probably struggling with one thing or the other, the less judgement we will make. People who seem tough, are often hiding behind an insecurity of their own. People who seem weak sometimes just need to be listened to. Considering others perspectives in the first instance, will help you in the long run for any relationships you enter.
- to let generosity flow: We all have so much to give this world. Every one of us is unique in our own right. So we need to offer our unique ways to this world and not hold back. Give all you can and somehow the world will replenish your stocks.
- to do things slowly: At a high level be more patient (although don’t confuse it with not working hard). Travel slowly – walk or ride instead of taking the car or train. Eat slowly – enjoy your food, chew more and enjoy sitting around a table having rich conversations
Have you had time for your own reflection and thought about how you would like to be and live in 2019?
Some things to consider when writing
(1) What did you do a lot of this year that you want to do less of next year?
(2) Did you spend your time in a way that was meaningful and conscious or were you ruled by habits and defaults?
(3) Did you invest in the right relationships?
(4) Are you living deliberately and consciously?
(5) Did you go after what you want or did you hope it would come to you?