Monthly Update May 2019

As the year approaches its mid-way pivot, so too I prepare for a change in direction.

While the June 2019 update will be more comprehensive, the details for changes to my business structure and focus are becoming clearer now. I’m massively excited for what that means for my work, my clients, and my family.

Last month’s post is here; next month’s is here.

Family

As our beautiful daughter turns 2 … months … we seemed to be shifting away from the ‘worst’ of the newborn phase. She’s definitely a night-time sleeper, which means we’re no longer suffering the worst of sleep deprivation; the flipside is a little clinginess during the day which means it takes two of us twice as long to do many basic tasks.

Made worse in May when I caught a decent cold, which basically smacked me about for a week (followed by my beautiful wife catching something similar, so taking her out for a week). Thank goodness for a wider family network there to help, and we made it through. Me sick as a dog sleeping in the spare room on a single bed, so as not to share, with baby Flash in her moses basket on the bed with me because I was the only one who could get her to sleep that night … being woken every few hours and dealing with that in my stupor … that’s probably the challenging newborn memory I’ll hold longest.

Needless to say, this is definitely impacting the time I have available for work, and so I have made the decision not to pursue or accept any more next clients until at least November 2019.

That may sound extreme until you remember that I’ll be visiting 17 different countries between not and Christmas – some solo, but most with our wonderful family.

And actually, is it needless to say? How many of my peers have already dived back into full time work by this point in their child’s life? I’ve worked hard to create a business that affords me the flexibility of time and clients that I can decide not to take on more for now, and to work fewer hours to be more at home, and indeed to work from home some days so I’m more available.

Our Location Independent etc vision is turning into reality!

Travel

May was another travel-free month, but plans for our 3 month European extravaganza (including one set of our parents as well) are in full swing. All the accommodation has been booked, the itineraries and travel days are close to being finalised, and that means I can start scheduling my clients for the remote coaching work I’ll be delivering.

Just when I thought it was all running smoothly … I won a trip to the National Speakers Association Conference in Denver, Colorado! Thanks to SpeakableYOU, it’s a brilliant opportunity and perfectly timed for the week before we head to Europe. What an incredible, beautiful wife I have who is supporting our business by being as excited as I am for me to make the trip.

There’s also now the increasing likelihood that we’ll be attending a Wedding in Edinburgh in late November. This will be the second Scottish Wedding in as many years – and I can’t wait to wear a kilt again!

Our next Travel is early June – an overnight in Noosa, linked to my keynote at the Family Law Practitioners Association annual conference.

Not Noosa. (This was the Edinburgh view at the end of a Client Call from last January.)

Income & Equity

May’s income ($19,250 gross; $15,525 net) was back above the primary monthly income goal we set for 2019. Our base annual target for the year was $100,000, which would have allowed for plenty of baby time if needed, and we’re on track to invoice that (though not net it entirely) by the half-way point. Which is awesome.

It was, however, a declining month for our Net Worth (down to 43.15% of our FI target). This is partly attributable to a lousy month in the sharemarkets (particularly the US and Emerging Markets we’re exposed to) and also beginning to outlay a lot of accommodation expenses for Europe, which meant our cash stash took a 5-figure hit!

Activity: Clients / Marketing / Businesses

May and June will see a nice kick of revenue for two keynote presentations, while July includes a two day Retreat that I’m hosting. These are brilliant gigs that I would love to do more of in 2020 – I’m not willing to give up my coaching business, because I think (at this point) the two support each other. Let’s see what the NSA says about that belief!

It was also excellent to welcome back some Alumni clients in May. While I love the clients I work with who want (and value and benefit from) coaching every month for years, it’s also amazing how many of my previous clients are comfortable sending through an email for a strategy workshop or a business review every year.

Great strategy is also about what you say ‘No’ to. Again, June and July will have more details, but I can see a lot of current activity that will cease mid-year to gift me more time.

Lessons

It takes a village to raise a child. The biggest thing I’m learning about parenthood is the impact of its relentless nature. All the warnings / advice / jokes that other parents give before your baby arrives – I understood it before and understand it now.

What I didn’t appreciate was the depth with which it affects you. The sleeping, the feeding, the curtailing of your very life because of the constant need to consider this other, dependent being. I think if you could just parent for 23 hours a day – pick an hour when you could switch off that constant demand – it would be infinitely easier. So it’s the relentlessness that has surprised me the most.

Add in some illness, and absolutely you need all the help you can get. I always interpreted the ‘village’ saying to refer more to ongoing education and guidance. But having tried most of the first month with just ourselves (due to sick or international parents … plus a lack of asking or acknowledging vulnerability on our behalf) and then being more welcoming of their presence in the second month … yeah, it makes a world of difference. I even managed to end May at a charity golf day (sponsored by Suburban Pest Management) thanks to having some loving family around.

Work wise, the biggest lesson is accountability and responsibility with project plans. Obviously, as a coach, I help create a lot of strategy plans and project implementation plans – essentially, outlining who will do what by when (and why). And most of my clients love that and take responsibility without being pushed by me to do so.

Which means I forget that I still have to take 100% responsibility for monitoring any project plan I’m involved with. And that’s been a big let down for me as May ended, realising I put faith in a provider to complete the project plan we agreed back in March … but not actually checking their progress. It’s now 3 months later and clear they won’t meet the deadline, suddenly putting a lot of pressure back on me which I could have avoided.

The temptation is to blame them of course, for not fulfilling their promise and not updating me (their client). That’s the old paradigm style though – point, blame, take no responsibility yourself, and then as a result you don’t have to change … and wonder why your life runs into the same stuff over and over again! Best to own my failings there and learn from it.

See you next month!

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  1. Monthly Update April 2019 | Jacob Aldridge - June 17, 2019

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