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2015 in Review: Gazing back to move forward

If you know me then you’re aware of my philosophy.

“Only look back if it helps you move forward.”

I think too often people get stuck in past events that they allow to define their life.

In saying that, I’ve done lots of soul searching this year and I’ve allowed myself to really reflect of things that happened in my past that were still with me. I knew that to be future focused in a proactive and positive way I had to let go of that stuff.

2015 has been a rollercoaster of major highs and major lows.  I’m going to share with you parts of my year so that, one, I can let go of them to move into 2016 fresh; two, so it gives you inspiration to share and be vulnerable; and three, so it shows you that even tough times can be some of your best for the future if you allow them to grow you.

Here’s 2015 for me:

January – I went into the year with a new idea.  I wanted to only work with young up and coming professionals. I realised quickly that this wasn’t working due to many reasons. What I was offering wasn’t right for them. And the price point was unreachable for many. I began my ‘doubting myself’ journey here. A new fur baby joined our tribe (Angel the ‘girl’ rabbit – three months later we discovered that our girl bunny had balls!! Whoops gender reassignment bunny style).  We went to the wedding of a couple of friends of our that organised a 250+ wedding in 6 weeks! Shows anything is possible LOL

February – School holidays were over and I needed to refill my bank account after a fun couple of months and Xmas. However, still attending my pity party I decided that I should work with only people from my profession (which at the time I thought was HR). I developed an amazing leadership program focused on HR Leaders….. During February my partner and I decided it was time for a new Business Coach.  So after maxing out my credit card we now had a Rich Dad.  We are both big followers of Robert Kyosaki and we new his philosophies would be right for us.  This was the beginning of a massive identity shift for me….and a huge shift for our business.  Oh and attended another wedding.

March (sucked!): In March an interesting shift began to happen. I started to realise that the profession that I had identified with for so many years. One I had spent countless hours, bloody sweat, money and tears on…may no longer identify with me. A number of challenging conversations with colleagues told me clearly that HR was no longer my profession.  This coupled with the new business model that we developed for our Music Education business meant a big change was on the horizon.

April (sucked bigger!!!!!): I don’t remember much of this month other than I lost a very dear friend. It was a moment that I knew was coming but it wasn’t real when it happened. I miss her and will always be grateful for her. This month I had a number of very challenging confrontations which had me questioning the HR profession and my contribution to it.  I was starting to loose faith that I could make a difference, and was loosing faith that I wanted to.  I was starting to realise that HR was no longer for me.  This was the month that I fell into doubt. To doubt my purpose, doubt why I was here, doubt myself, and doubt my journey.  My pity party was in full swing and I was struggling to see an end.

May (sucked less): It’s official.  After lots of tears, and tantrums, I discovered that I’m no longer in HR.  I left my volunteer position with AHRI and had to start a process of redefining who I was professionally.  Since beginning my business I hadn’t accepted that I’d stepped out of my profession and into a new one. I was now a business owner who served business leaders and sometimes they wanted HR stuff done….  I was an entrepreneur first. Funnily enough, I love my new profession even more than my old one. It gives me so many more challenges. I can think much bigger and more creativity than ever before.   I knew that I had to focus more on leadership and culture, and less on HR.  Although I still was working on HR projects, I realised that this was what I did, not who I was.  I also went to Sydney to speak at a Conference, which was amazing…other than I gave the worst keynote of my career.  Massive learning experience for me.  I wasn’t connected to my material and thus the audience couldn’t.  Back to the drawing board for my speaking career.

June: No longer defined by the HR Profession I could branch out and started to do some really interesting work.  Customer service strategy, administration and business excellence projects, leadership coaching and culture transformation projects started to emerge and fill my dance card.  The Universe was doing its job and once I got out of my own way and stopped arguing with it, the real work, stuff I wanted to do, came to me.  The other BIG thing that happened this month was our first live pitch to a group of IT professionals for our new software platform.  We were looking for an IT developer to love our concept so much that they would get on board and build our software and app as a co-founder. The end of the financial year also came with more heartache. There was another wedding and sadly another funeral.  Funerals really make you focus on what’s important in your life.

July –  My partner and I met with someone that show’d some interest at the IT platform pitch…and be buggered if we didn’t find our IT Co-Founder first go!  They were excited by the concept, loved our ideas and could see the massive potential in the market we were targeting (and the problems we could solve).  It was starting to sound like a strange joke…what happens when a drummer, a ex-HR chick and an IT guy have a coffee…oh they decided to make a dent in the Universe, that’s all 🙂

August – By August I had a few regular clients who I loved (and still love) working with, doing the kind of work I enjoy (leadership and culture transformation).  My partner and I were focused on further refining the IT platform and getting additional investors and co-founders on board.  My kids were going great at School, and we were heading to the Gold Coast in a month for a family holiday.  Yay!  Life was starting to get super good.  I was beginning to get some real focus for the first time in over 2 years.

September – After spending 8 months writing a book I started looking at my material with brand new eyes.  So I began to tear apart what I wrote and started again.  They say this is common with first books.  At the end of the month my kids and I went to the Gold Coast.  We went primarily for my son who was playing in an international soccer tournament on the Gold Coast. Soccer is his absolute life.  I’d spent the past 9 months fundraising to get the team up there with minimal cost to the other parents.  Remind me to never coordinate another quiz night…

October – October started off amazingly. Lots of career highlights happening. Lots of fun and laughter. I was preparing for a trip interstate to help some clients through a strategic planning process and my kids were back to school and kicking goals. Then it happened, the two weeks that I will forever call “big mummy challenge” time. I won’t got into details or the intensive emotions I felt, but it’s fair to say that my coaching skills have never been under a bigger test than when my son experienced the biggest disappointment of his short life. And then a week later, ‘mummy guilt v client outcome delivery’ at its worst when my daughter went into surgery for her appendix while I was in Victoria. I had to stay and deliver for my client knowing there was nothing I could do for my daughter. She was in good hands and I had to trust them. Stupid appendix!! She was fine and I was desperate to cuddle her when I returned.

November – All of a sudden “this shit is getting real” was on reply in my mind. We had commenced design of our IT platform, we were having board meetings, and we we sourcing investors and looking for financial backing from government grants. Discussions with a PR company, music executives, IT gurus, and business mentors told us that we are onto a winning idea. We engaged a project manager, our accountant stepped onto our board, and we got into big picture planning. Holy crap, this is really happening.

Which brings us to December – in past years December has been a month of relaxing and downturn. This years I have client appointments up to a few days before Xmas and was delivering work for them up to Christmas Eve. I love that I’ve got a number of great clients who I enjoy working with and they enjoy working with me. I go into the new year with confidence.

This year has been a roller coaster. I’ve had two coaches this year. One for business and one for personal. I enjoy the challenge that I get only from coaching. Workshops and training is good to, but add in coaching and you can’t help but grow.

I know that I am not the same person I used to be. The challenge now is allowing the people in my life to catch up and realise that too.

Throwing off the shackles of HR and being an employee has definitely been a liberating experience. Terrifying, but liberating. I now define myself very differently and I’m excited for the future.

2016 is my year and I will remain future focused. As I go into a new year I look forward to engaging with you on a whole new level.

Its time for #futurefocus, #futureminds and #futureleaders.

It’s time to create a new future.



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