Like sand through an hourglass…
Firstly, I’ve updated to the new WordPress platform and the block structure behind the scenes is driving me crazy. The first website I worked on used Dreamweaver and an FTP Server – it wasn’t quite rolling my own HTML, but I feel super comfortable doing that to make writing for the web faster so this is annoying. Bonus outcome: Shorter update this month, by far!
Let me know your favourite note. (This is also where I link to last month’s and next month’s blogs, if they exist. Last month’s was the first in this new series, so includes a lot of the background if you’re interested.)
So how is the current reality working out for our family vision?
Holy crap am I tired, and our beautiful (first) child is still somewhere between 2 and 6 weeks away from arriving.
I’ll be honest – I’m the second most organised person I know, and I’m married to number one, so maybe a lot of this extra work we’re doing around the house stems from our practicality … and other couples wouldn’t find necessary.
Reviewing the many jam-packed weekends, we have actually been doing a lot of optional extras. The Calmbirth Course over consecutive Saturdays – brilliant. The Infant and Child First Aid workshop – relieving. Gifting a niece (Queensland Ballet open home) and a nephew (Museum visit) some one-on-one time for their birthdays – well I always say, money shows up in this report but it’s a means to an end and the end is enjoying time with family.
I also had my Baby Shower, which will be the last drinking I do for a long time. I’m looking forward to a ‘Babymoon’ next month … mostly because it’s time away from home and the piles of stuff we are accumulating / ditching.
Nothing to report on for February – a client trip to Melbourne was postponed. In March I will have a flying visit to Newcastle to deliver a keynote presentation, my last committed flight before the baby.
Once she arrives though! The planned Europe trip for the Northern Summer continues, although we are way behind on the amount of planning we would like. I hit a wall trying to juggle French Riviera to Santorini to Munich for Oktoberfest, so think I’ll leverage a travel agent (haven’t done that in years, but this is what they’re good at).
Remarkably, when I tell people our plans to fly around the world with an infant, those with kids are most supportive – easier to do it then, than to wait until they’re older when flights are excruciating (and they have to pay for a seat).
Income & Equity
February 2019 ($22,750 gross; $18,563 take home) was one of the best Febs of my business advisory career – narrowly pipped by 2018 (when I had an offsider, who probably made the difference) and 2014 when I delivered a workshop in Hong Kong alongside two incredible coaches, Chris Dionne and Aalok Gupta.
So I’m well above my household budget target of $14,500/month, and starting to bank some cash which will help calm some of my financial energy when baby and Europe naturally lead to some quieter income periods.
This was all client work too, including a handful of one-off workshops for long-term relationships – perfectly timed, because I don’t have capacity for any new project clients in March and April.
It was also an excellent month for our Equity / Net Worth / FIRE goals. The markets were up, although a revaluation on our original investment property confirmed that we probably could have sold it a few years ago and been better off. (Still, it costs us about $5,000/year, which isn’t a bad bet on mid-to-long-term property prices in Queensland, Australia.)
We are now 43.62% of the way to our target (up 1.62% from January).
Activity: Clients / Marketing / Businesses
This section is an opportunity for me to share any significant wins in either my businesses, or my clients’.
One target I set myself for this year was to sell a few Keynote Speaking Engagements. My plan is to ring-fence that revenue, to re-invest back into building this business / income stream. Even though it’s not getting the focus I originally thought, it seems I’m in demand with 3 presentations already booked for the year!
Another highlight of February was running a Management Training Workshop for my first ever client. I love this story – that the client I first worked with in 2006 still invites me into their business a few times per year to add value. I think that says a lot about me and my business skills, plus it is SUCH a rush seeing how much they’ve grown and developed in that length of time.
That was actually one of 3 similar workshops I ran in February, for long term relationships. I’m going to turn the notes into a video-laden blog shortly.
Further evidence this month about the 3 month lag between my business development activity, and the revenue showing up. I was expecting last October / November to be busy (it’s usually my busiest time), but some laziness mid-year meant it wasn’t … which then led to a lot of hustle leading into Christmas … which led to a lot of extra work in February.
I map my Capacity Forecast out 3 months in advance to monitor this kind of thing – let’s see if I hold myself accountable to making sure that roller-coaster doesn’t happen again (I sent out 4 proposals yesterday, for example, and on Friday have a meeting with the Blackboard Fridays brains trust to review our overall marketing strategy for 2019 and beyond).
See you next month.