Wow. Shit’s getting real folks…
For the first time since I started my coaching practice in 2006, I am now fully operating under my own Brand. #BrandJacob.
This is not to take anything away from Shirlaws Group (2006-2016), Real Estate Grow (which rolled into #RealReach, where I am a shareholder and Editor-in-Chief), or businessDEPOT (where I am no longer a Director, see below). All were invaluable.
And yet as far back as the Hawkesbury Conference in 2008, there was always the “Let Jacob be Jacob” distraction. Time will tell whether the world is ready for my unshielded awesome … we’re all going to find out together!
First, the most important update category.
We learnt this month that the Baby Growth Charts in Queensland’s Red Book are based on data from American babies in the 1990s, A.K.A The Decade NAFTA Introduced Corn Syrup to EVERYTHING and Americans got Fat.
So our 3 month weigh-in felt like a disaster – our happy and calm baby suddenly veering down the percentiles and making us feel like terrible parents who were starving their child. A quick trip to the Doctor (to talk travel vaccination schedule, see below) meant we now have actual Australian data instead! And that shows a steady climb over all three months within a very narrow band of consistency. Phew!
Undoubtedly, month 3 has been a vast improvement on the fog of the first two months. Now that we have reached the end of the “Fourth Trimester” we are all sleeping consistently, feeding schedules are understood and accepted by all, and my beautiful wife and I even have a pretty good routine for washing, drying, and folding away the oodles of nappies each week.
(And by week, I mean doing a load of nappy washing every 36 hours.)
The first week of July will even see me sending my beautiful wife out to a fancy dinner event on her own, the first such respite since becoming a mum in March. It’s important to me that we feel like … well frankly, like the Catholic Holy Trinity. Three separate beings and yet one being at the same time. I suspect many new fathers can feel a little like the third wheel in a family unit, which also puts a lot of undue pressure on the mother.
To steal the awesome Portuguese saying I recently learned from my assistant Kiki: “Why would I want to be the candle at the dinner?”
Our first night away as a family! And I have to thank the Family Law Practitioners Association, as well as the awesome lawyers at BGM Family Lawyers and French Quarter Chambers, for inviting me to speak at their annual Conference in Noosa and spend the night up there with my family.
Flash was a dream (mostly) at both dinner and breakfast, and especially given how many new people she was suddenly meeting. It turns out I have coached four separate Family Law practices over the years, and just hanging out at the Conference we both ran into friends who were there as speakers, delegates, and sponsors.
The next big test comes in late July, with Flash’s first flights as we dash to Sydney for a Baptism.
And Flash’s passport has arrived, which is handy as I think she’s now up to 17 countries planned to visit between now and early December. That’s right folks – we’ve committed to the Scotland wedding in late November!
For me, this means 23 flights in roughly 23 weeks, including 3 long-haul round trips (to the USA for the NSA Conference, to Europe for our 3 month family-cum-remote-work extravaganza, and then back to the UK a month later for the wedding and some London clients). Yeah, there are Pacific Islands sinking into the ocean for which I am solely responsible. And while this probably undoes the last 5 years worth of reduction-reuse-recycling, it underlines why the slo-mad journey is part of my business vision: so much greener to visit the world slowly, shifting one’s homebase every 3 months or so, than to do it based out of Australia which is a long-haul flight from almost everywhere.
Income & Equity
I like being transparent about these figures (and thanks to the one reader who spoke to me in real life about enjoying this as well!) because it’s an objective way of cutting through the bullshit. I could paint a picture of travelling the world as a legend, when in reality I was sleeping in dorms and struggling to make ends meet. And it might still come to that! But not any time soon by the looks of things.
June’s income ($21,250 gross; $17,263 net) continued to exceed our monthly goals for the year and was the highest earning month since Flash was born. It’s also the last month I will report Gross and Net separately, since from July all of my clients will now be running through our family business.
(I don’t break down our costs and net profit, partly because that’s a LOT of extra work, and also because I don’t really do that fully until the end of Quarter and with my accountant at end of Year so I could be shooting myself in the foot reporting inaccurate information to you that the Tax office later looks at.)
Last month I said we were almost going to Net our annual target in the first six months, and we went closer than I expected basically falling $2,000 short of doubling that financial goal.
Equity-wise, we’re back up to 43.59% of our Financial Independence target. One of our regular Equity milestones is to grow our Net Worth by 1% every month (which was much easier at $250,000 NW when we started tracking it than it is today). For June we hit 1.01% growth, thanks to a good month in the stock markets.
Aiming to have our house appraised in July which (fingers crossed) could give us a big jump as it has been a couple of years.
Activity: Clients / Marketing / Businesses
If you missed the detail of my “Important Update from Jacob Aldridge and businessDEPOT” you can read it here.
I won’t repeat the detail, except to note that me stepping out from under the businessDEPOT brand is amicable, well-planned, and doesn’t really change anything about how I’ve been running my coaching business for all these years.
Sadly, it does mean the end of Blackboard Fridays, the web series we jointly created which ran to 134 Episodes in the end. And “jointly” it was – it proved impossible for even a team of business experts to continue producing the weekly content I churned out (so businessDEPOT couldn’t do it without me), and the high production value was a massive team effort every week (so I couldn’t do it without businessDEPOT Marketing). Better to end on a high.
Watch this space for my next consistent Marketing strategy … indeed a refreshed website which is in the works … and also possibly a repackaged Blackboard Fridays something.
In addition to speaking at FLPA, I also onboarded a new client in June. They will likely be the last new client I take on in 2019, and they were also the first client to invest in my advisory services fully aware that I would be based overseas for most of their initial engagement. Really good fun company too, which I love!
Interestingly, of the 8 major clients I’m currently working with, only 1 has decided that me being remote is going to be an issue. (And even then, I think that was a change in some leadership decision-makers, which I didn’t manage well from a client engagement perspective.) The other 7 are sticking around!
Which makes me feel awesome, and demonstrates the value I deliver, and also means I’ll be generating almost 3X the revenue needed to “keep the lights on” while we’re touring Europe.
Trust. Self-Belief. I have basically given all of my clients an easy way to end our engagements, and almost universally they have said “We trust your ongoing value, and value our ongoing relationship”.
I feel I’ve been too busy prioritising family to truly communicate just how amazing my future business plans are. And there’s a little bit of doubt and uncertainty there as well.
One of the most experienced business coaches I know, from my Shirlaws days, saw it immediately though and he dropped me a note on LinkedIn: “Love to see how full-time remote coaching goes. The holy grail of the industry.”
Bring it on! I leave July 25 …