The Truth about Business Growth: Enough is Enough

TTTMBF growth

The Ten Truths for making business Fun

The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun

And building a business that sustains you for years to come:

This is the sixth article in a monthly series on Making Business Fun: This article is about the myth of business growth and it’s the 10th Truth

The last article explains what it takes to be the Leader of a fun business and you can read it here

The articles are based on my book, The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun, published in 2011. All of my books and other resources are available for free here

Building (and growing) a Fun business: Enough is Enough

Everything we’ve been taught about business growth is a myth

too much growth ois too much

More is not necessarily better

Over the years, I have been on a journey in my thinking about entrepreneurship. Part of this has involved noticing a nagging feeling that I later realised was coming from a deep discomfort around the business world’s obsession with growth.

My second book is called “The Ten Truths for making your business grow” [you can download it for free here]. Whenever I re-read sections of this work, I still come away feeling excited and pleased with the content. However, pausing on the term “great growth company”, specifically, makes me realise that I have stopped believing in the business growth myth and the entrepreneurial model.

Here’s what I now believe to be true:

  1. A business doesn’t have to grow to be healthy.
  2. Enough is a good place to be.

The Myth

The myth sounds something like this: Every healthy business must grow and a business that doesn’t grow, dies.

TTTMBF singging from the same song sheet This is a foundation principle of business, capitalism and society at large. Every business coach, guru, mentor, consultant, author, academic and MBA student will tell you this. I admit that until not long ago, I sang from the same songbook too.

Today, I realise that the principle sounds good but is wrong… quite wrong. I am reminded of the quote by American journalist HL Mencken, “For every complex human problem, there is a plausible solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.”.

I don’t know who first stated that businesses must grow (and by extension, that more growth is better than less growth), but I do know that this “rule” is dangerous rubbish that has caused all kinds of damage to business owners, their families, their friends and society.

In fact, I think the idea that a business must grow or else it will fail exists alongside a number of other nonsensical notions on which we base the management of our society, such as celebrity worship culture and the basic belief that nothing is ever enough.

Never Enough

In the 21st century, we are never: thin enough, rich enough, good enough parents, educated enough, successful enough, beautiful enough, clever enough. And we are definitely never good enough as business owners. Well, unless we get to sell our business for $100 million or more.

The list of role models that we are told we must aspire to usually includes grass-roots entrepreneurs turned gazillionaires, such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Larry Page. Don’t get me wrong, I think these are all amazing individuals, but I know many other people who are just as inspiring, yet they will never become billionaires (probably not even millionaires).

My Favourite Client

I have a client who is a plumber. He has three vans and employs three people. He might end up hiring one or two more people and having one or two more vans over the next few years but that’s probably where he will stop growing. He may continue to operate his plumbing business for the next 20 to 30 years and then, possibly, one of his kids or employees might take over. In any case, someone will probably run the same business in almost the same format and size for the bulk of this century and beyond.

His business isn’t dying, though. Far from it.

My client’s business is providing him, his family, his employees and their families with a good, meaningful and rewarding life – a life that allows him to feel proud, look after the people he cares about and do the stuff he wants to do.

In my eyes, this is a perfect model of a business that sustains the owner and everyone in the business and will do so for years to come.

The Little Voice

Now, I haven’t talked about this with my client specifically, but I can guarantee there is a small part of him, the little voice in his ear, the famous critic on his shoulder (mine is called Ted, by the way. What’s yours?), who will be whispering:

“You suck as a business owner.”

“You obviously aren’t fit to polish a true entrepreneur’s boots because a proper business owner would be well on his way to dominating Australia with offices and operations everywhere, ready for a lucrative take-over by Lend Lease or some other conglomerate like that.”

“You suck.”

What does your little voice whisper to you in the quiet moments?

We are told by all the self-help gurus, business coaches and entrepreneurs who have already “made it” that we have to have an “abundance mindset” and that there are unlimited growth opportunities offering unlimited money for everyone.

TTTMBF enough tropical island All we have to do is think right and have the right attitude: “Screw It, Let’s Do It”, as the title of one of Richard Branson’s books suggests, and you too shall have an island in the Bahamas!

Allow me to be blunt: You will not have an island in the Bahamas, and nor will I, but you know something? That is perfectly okay. Who needs all that sun, sand and sea without 4G mobile reception anyway, right?!

Daring Greatly

Brene Brown says, in her book “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead”, that the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. She states that scarcity and abundance are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. Instead, the opposite of scarcity is enough, or sufficiency.

And it is. In time, my client’s plumbing business will enable him to employ a full-time admin assistant and then spend two days per week no longer “on the tools”. This will probably be “enough” growth for him.

That doesn’t mean the business goes to sleep and stagnates. There are all sorts of things that can be improved and run more smoothly. There are efficiencies to be gained and his people can get better. The business can steadily become more profitable as well. The challenges don’t stop, life doesn’t stop, but business growth can.

The Abundance Fantasy

When we are told to let go of our scarcity beliefs and embrace the abundance mindset, we are sold a fantasy. The pressure to embrace this mentality sets us up to feel bad about ourselves. It sets us up for failure and shame.

There is only room for one Richard Branson and one Donald Trump on this earth. 99.99999999999% of the rest of us are not going to become billionaires.

Neither you nor I will likely sell our businesses for $100 million. This book may end up being read by 100,000 people, for example, and it is possible there might be one or two in that group who will sell their business for some enormous amount of money. The rest of us will simply arrive at the end of our lives and have to find another way to measure how well we’ve done with the 75 years (hopefully more!) we were given.

The Entrepreneurial Myth

The entrepreneurial myth has done us all a lot of damage. We walk around with feelings of inadequacy, guilt and shame because deep down we know that we are not going to be the next celebrity entrepreneur and wealthy venture capitalists are not going to stake us with a few million dollars, only to cash out a few years later.

Stop it.

Enough is a great place to be. As Brene Brown says in her first TED talk, “You are enough.”

Your Homework (The Fun Kind)

So, I want to encourage you to ask yourself what “enough” looks like. What constitutes “enough” for you in your business? What do you need to achieve in your business that would mean you would be content with your achievements?


Next Month, I’ll be talking about what next and how to make it all come together for you in your business

More on this topic:

Your time, your kindness and your No, is what creates success

a cup of self love

The Three Secrets to Building a Beautiful Business and Life

self esteem and kindness

Have you ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated or stuck in your business? My guess is that most of us have, and, if you haven’t, then you’re either knee-deep in denial or some kind of entrepreneurial unicorn. (If you fit into the latter category, feel free to move smugly on to another blog post… but not before you send me your secrets!)

When we first start out on our entrepreneurial journey, we’re told that success is all about the sensible, hardnosed principles and business buzzwords that you’ve likely heard a bazillion times: visioning, leadership, delegation, systems, planning, KPIs, and more. Of course, all of these things are crucially important, but there are three key principles that matter even more.

Three Unrecognised Factors for Success

I believe there are three undervalued and almost unrecognised factors for business success that are far more important than all those clichéd examples put together. These are the secrets to getting unstuck, stepping out of overwhelm and finally building the beautiful business and life that you deserve.

So, what must you learn?

  1. Your time is your business’ most valuable asset.
  2. It’s okay to say “no”, often.
  3. Be kind to yourself.

And that, my friends, is it.

Simple, right? Too simple for some of your sceptical minds, I’m sure. In fact, I can feel the eye rolls and smirks burning through the screen, but don’t write my theory off just yet! Your beautiful business (and life) is on the other side of listening to, and applying, what I’m about to share.

Maximising Time: Your Most Valuable Asset

In my experience, most business owners believe their most valuable asset is their staff, customers, intellectual property, stock, equipment or buildings. All of these things (or people) are incredibly valuable, for sure, but time is the only asset that is truly limited. You can never get more time – no matter how much you try to beg, borrow, hire, buy or steal.

Your time – spent fully focused on the stuff that really matters – is an asset almost as rare as rocking horse droppings.

In order to build a beautiful business and life, you must learn to become greedy with your time. You need to repeatedly check in and ask yourself questions like:

  1. Is this thing the best use of my time right now?
  2. What would happen if I didn’t do this thing?
  3. Is there someone else who could be doing this thing instead of me?
  4. What would happen if I did this thing later?
  5. If I do this thing now, what am I sacrificing?

Trust me: it pays to train yourself to ask these questions, often. Make it a habit. You will always have a “to do” list longer than your arm. You will always have more demands on your time than you can physically fit into a good day’s work. That is, of course, if you aren’t an aforementioned entrepreneurial unicorn (in which case, why are you still reading?!).

In short: learn to do only the stuff that matters most.

Saying “Yes” to Saying No

There is no more important skill for a business owner than knowing how and when to say “no”. Why? For starters, it will help you out immensely with achieving point 1 (maximising your time), but it will also pave the way for making your business stand out from the crowd.

Marketing 101 says that every business needs a unique selling point (USP). That’s why it pays to know your fortes and play to them by turning other opportunities down. After all, “a jack of all trades is the master of none”. Focus on your fortes and you’ll reap the rewards of presenting a highly differentiated brand.

Here’s some homework to get you started. Practice saying “no” in front of the mirror and then make a pact with yourself to say it for real at least once this week – or better yet, today! Remember, it is possible to say “no” respectfully, clearly, calmly and without feeling guilty. This brings me to my next point…

Less Guilt, More Kindness

Do you frequently beat yourself up for procrastinating? Believe you’re inherently disorganised, forgetful and lazy? Think your time management SUCKS? Does a cruel voice in your head frequently tell you that you’re not good enough?

You’re not alone. Absolutely everybody (except psychopaths!) has that critical inner voice. Everyone lets their worries, anxieties and irrational feelings of guilt get the best of them sometimes. However, us business owners are particularly hard on ourselves. In fact, I often jokingly say that small business owners are the most guilt-ridden people on the planet because I hear these kinds of self-deprecating words so often in my coaching practice.

That’s why I saved this particular pearl of wisdom for last, hoping you would remember and digest it well. In my humble opinion, being kind to yourself is not only the most powerful antidote to self-sabotage, but your fastest path back to JOY.

Being kind to yourself is not just the most effective way out of feeling stuck or overwhelmed in your business and your life – it’s the only way.

When we allow negativity and feelings of guilt to take hold, we give ourselves ever bigger burdens to carry. We set the bar impossibly high and then we punish ourselves when we don’t hit the mark. We lead ourselves to the paralysing place of overwhelm with too many tasks to complete in too little time and no plausible end in sight.

An overwhelmed brain is not pretty. It’s extremely inefficient, scientifically proven to underperform at every level and an enormous waste of your incredibly valuable time. And while the devil on your shoulder is, in fact, a protective mechanism designed to keep you safe, that doesn’t mean it ain’t a giant pain in the arse. So, how do we overcome it?

The good news is that you are completely capable of dialling down the negative voice and freeing yourself of imposter syndrome (feeling inadequate despite your success). Our brains are surprisingly malleable, and it IS possible to break the habit of a lifetime. Begin by noticing it and catching yourself in the act. Be inquisitive about where the self-doubt could be coming from. Remain compassionate, judgement-free and patient with your perfectly imperfect self while you reframe those pesky misperceptions and then continue on your merry way feeling 10 stone lighter!

I promise you; this soft, cuddly kindness stuff is the most crucial and hard-hitting work of all. Silencing (or at least muting because it’s a work in progress for all of us, including me!) that inner critic provides the space for creativity to flourish and a new level of clarity and productivity to arise. Plus, as soppy as it sounds, you have every right and reason to give yourself a pat on the pack. You’ve made it this far. You’re alive. You’re learning. You’re growing.

Your Permission Slip

So, here’s your permission slip to stop, give yourself a break and smell the roses. Look at what you’ve already achieved. Tell that little voice in your head to kindly move along because you’ve got this, and you ARE good enough. Now, make a note of my TLDR summary below and then TAKE ACTION on the good stuff today.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or stuck and you want to build a beautiful business and life, you must learn to:

  1. Accept that your time is your business’ most valuable asset – and act accordingly.
  2. Say “no” regularly, calmly, respectfully and clearly.
  3. Be kind to yourself, above all else.

This shit works. I promise you.

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More about these topics:

AY: Mental health and wellbeing for small business owners

How about your mental health as a business owner?

A healthy small business needs a healthy mind

It may not sound sexy, but the most valuable resource in your business is your mental health and wellbeing. If you want to build a beautiful business and life, then it’s critical you learn how to look after yourself, be kind to yourself and value your own time.

mental health in business inner voice critic kindness

Your inner critic:

Do you frequently beat yourself up for procrastinating? Believe you’re inherently disorganised, forgetful and lazy? Think your time management SUCKS? Does a cruel voice in your head keep saying you’re not good enough?

You’re not alone. Absolutely everybody (except psychopaths!) has that critical inner voice. Everyone lets their worries, anxieties and irrational feelings of guilt get the best of them sometimes. However, we business owners are particularly hard on ourselves.

In fact, I often jokingly say that small business owners are the most guilt-ridden people on the planet because I hear these kinds of self-deprecating words so often in my coaching practice. So, what’s the solution? Keep reading for my two cents on the subject.

Less guilt, more kindness, more Joy:

When we allow negativity and feelings of guilt to take hold, we give ourselves ever bigger burdens to carry. We set the bar impossibly high and then we punish ourselves when we don’t hit the mark. We lead ourselves to the paralysing place of overwhelm with too many tasks to complete in too little time and no plausible end in sight. Sound familiar?

In my humble opinion, being kind to yourself is not only the most powerful antidote to self-sabotage, but your fastest path back to JOY. Being kind to yourself is not just the most effective way out of feeling stuck or overwhelmed in your business and your life – it’s the only way.

Being kind is the only way to mental health in business

In 2020, I was interviewed on this topic by Donna White (of Build Your Best Business in the USA):

Remember, you are the only resource in your business that is limited: your time, your brain, your energy. That’s why you need to look after yourself, first and foremost – forever.

Your brain in overwhelm is not a pretty sight

As I mentioned in the video above, an overwhelmed brain is not pretty. It’s extremely inefficient, scientifically proven to underperform at every level and an enormous waste of your incredibly valuable time. And while the devil on your shoulder is, in fact, a protective mechanism designed to keep you safe, that doesn’t mean it ain’t a giant pain in the arse. So, how do we overcome it?

The good news is that you are completely capable of dialing down the negative voice and freeing yourself of impostor syndrome (feeling inadequate despite your success). Our brains are surprisingly malleable, and it IS possible to break the habit of a lifetime.

Begin by noticing it and catching yourself in the act. Be inquisitive about where the self-doubt could be coming from. Remain compassionate, judgement-free and patient with your perfectly imperfect self while you reframe those pesky misperceptions and then continue on your merry way feeling 10 stone lighter! 

Above all, take this seriously and learn to be kind to yourself. Have you ever stopped to wonder whether you may be perpetually overwhelmed and stuck in a whirlpool, paddling like a crazy person every day? I have developed a free self-analysis tool called “Overwhelm and the Whirlpool Report“. You can go and complete the survey now if you like. It will take 10 minutes and you’ll be sent a 6-page report that I’m confident will give you some useful food for thought. Make yourself a cup of tea and get started today.

You can go and complete the survey now, if you like, it will take 10 minutes and you’ll get sent a 6 page report, that I’m confident will give you some useful food for thought. Make yourself a cup of tea and go and complete it now.

Department of Jobs and Small Business

In 2019, the Federal Department of Jobs and Small Business launched a project to improve the support of small business owners in building a health business by maintaining a healthy mind.

I was asked to take part in this project in various ways:

  • I attended and spoke at the department’s national roadshow, Small Business Fairs, in Launceston and Hobart
  • I was involved in a workgroup run by the department on improving the support for small business owners in mental health and wellbeing
  • I took part in the creation of 5 videos on mental health and wellbeing in small business (featured throughout this page!)

Pressure points for mental health in business:

Being a small business owner is intense. It often means wearing A LOT of different hats and bearing intense growing pains.

Of course, cash flow and finance in general are two of the greatest pressure points for small businesses.

But then there’s also this illusive “work-life balance” that most of us seek. How close have you come to achieving that so far (don’t worry, we’re all in the same boat!)?

Whether you’re in the start-up phase or your business is well-established, numerous different stressors and challenges are bound to come your way.

That’s when planning, processes, structures, communication, coming back to your “why” and using stress as a learning opportunity become your business besties:

Managing stress:

Talking of stress: it’s pretty insidious stuff. It creeps in and builds up without us realising, and before we know it, we’re drowning in overwhelm and paralysed by fear.

So, how can we spot it? Here are some indicators:

  • Becoming disengaged
  • Feeling less joyful
  • Forgetting your “why”

Remembering what you’re here to do (and therefore, what you’ll say “yes” or “no” to) is the key to relieving pressure. It’s also essential to eat, sleep, breathe and move in a way that fuels you each day. And then, of course, there’s connection – because even if you’re a one-person band, you shouldn’t have to do entrepreneurship solo.

Family business and balance:

Building balance in business (and life) always comes back to boundaries, such as limits on working hours and scheduling social time.

Family business has notoriously blurry work-life lines, so it becomes extra important to hold each other accountable and keep investing in your relationships outside of work.

Pearls of wisdom for small business owners:

Here are some first steps to maintaining good mental health in small business:

  1. Stay flexible and adaptable
  2. Seek support
  3. Hire a mentor/coach
  4. Adopt a growth mindset
  5. Cut yourself some slack!

More about mental health in business here:

The other coaches involved in the small business wellbeing project:

The cuddly stuff is key:  

I promise you; this soft, cuddly “being kind to yourself” stuff is the most crucial and hard-hitting work of all.

Silencing (or at least muting because it’s a work in progress for all of us, including me!) that inner critic provides the space for creativity to flourish and a new level of clarity and productivity to arise.

Plus, as soppy as it sounds, you have every right and reason to give yourself a pat on the pack. You’ve made it this far. You’re alive. You’re learning. You’re growing.

So, here’s your permission slip to stop, give yourself a break and smell the roses. Look at what you’ve already achieved. Tell that little voice in your head to kindly move along because you’ve got this, and you ARE good enough.

Overwhelm and being stuck in a whirlpool; Your next step:

Have you considered that maybe you are overwhelmed and that maybe you’re actually stuck in a whirlpool? Because if you are, the first thing you must do is to stop paddling. I have created a detailed self analysis tool, called “The Whirlpool Report”. You can go and complete the full survey now and you’ll be sent your personal Whirlpool report within the next 24 hrs, entirely for free. Make yourself a cup of tea and take 10 minutes to complete the survey today. I think it will give you some useful food for thought.


How can I find greater work-life-

balance in my business and life?

work-life-balance business owner leading balanced life

Work-life-balance is elusive for most business owners

Work-life-balance is a term that’s been bandied about by many business and life coaches, lifestyle gurus and the personal development industry at large. It’s what we’re all supposed to be creating for a long and happy life. It’s the dream. Sadly, work-life-balance is a distant dream for many business owners.

One of the reasons for the unattainability of said dream is that the generally accepted idea of balance between work and life is a myth. Many great philosophers and thinkers, such as the gently spoken Alain de Botton, consider that the way we think about work-life balance is fantasy (Watch Alain de Botton’s TED Talk here).

You know this is true too because if anything is to get done in your business, it’s down to you. If you don’t do it, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards.

You’re the first one through the door in the morning and the last one to leave at night. You have breakfast and lunch on the run, and after the kids have been put to bed at night, you catch up on your admin and quoting. 

And by the way, isn’t it funny how with every new staff member you employ to lighten your workload, you seem to get busier?

I believe we need an entirely different picture to model our lives on if we ever want to feel satisfied with our life’s work.

It’s personal

I believe there are a few key principles for creating a better work-life balance as an entrepreneur:

  1. Balance is a personal thing. What works for you won’t necessarily work for anyone else.
  2. What feels right, is right. There are no hard and fast rules for balance.
  3. Balance is a never-ending negotiation. There is no set formula for balance. Priorities change constantly in life and business.
  4. Sometimes we’ve just got to get it done.
  5. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, there’s nothing wrong with averting a crisis, but too much is too much.
  6. Sometimes, not doing something at all, or not doing it perfectly, is fine. Your business and your life will most likely survive, and the world will not come to an end.
  7. Nobody has ever come to the end of their life and said, “I wish I’d worked harder.”.

There is no rulebook for work-life-balance. There have been times in my life when I’ve worked insane hours while feeling totally balanced, in “flow” and happy. Other times, I’ve worked much less hard yet felt completely overwhelmed and stressed.

Just because I might work fewer hours per day than you, doesn’t mean I have achieved better balance. If you feel that your life is balanced, then it is (and vice versa). Read “Drowning in the 21st Century” for more on this concept.

All-nighters can be fun sometimes, can’t they?

As business owners, sometimes we’ll be confronted with situations that mean we must pull an all-nighter or work on a Sunday. It’s part of the entrepreneurial package.

It can even feel highly rewarding to pull an all-nighter on a project with a deadline looming because at the end of the day, you know you’re the one that made it happen. You pulled a rabbit out of the hat! In fact, I believe it can be one of the most exciting experiences in business.

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Memories from the Sydney Olympics


I will always remember the time leading up to the opening of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. My team and I worked every hour that God gave us for two weeks straight to complete the fit-out of the Holland Heineken House in Darling Harbour. It was probably the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, but I have nothing but fun memories of that period (and about the 14-day long party with 100,000 of my closest friends in the same building afterwards!).

The simple fact is that if you feel good about your life and the mix of things you spend time on, you’re in balance. However, if you walk around feeling bad about the fact that your kids, spouse, choir, health, fitness or peace of mind are missing out, then your life is not in balance.

And what’s more, you must understand that what’s right for you today may not necessarily be right for you tomorrow. It was perfectly alright for me to spend those weeks building the Holland Heineken House and barely seeing my family, for those weeks, at that time. But not forever.

But things change… Don’t they?

Right now, it may be fine for you to catch up on your emails after the kids have gone to bed, but it may also be that at some point in the coming year it will start to bother you, and then it’s not alright anymore.

One thing is for sure: You must take the issue of work-life-balance seriously and check-in with yourself regularly on what is and isn’t right. You must also move towards finding the balance that is right for you because nobody has ever laid on their death bed wishing they’d worked longer and harder. (The top five regrets of the dying)

Work-life-balance comes down to 5 things:

  1. Clarity about what matters most, to you, in your business (Also watch my short video about The Purpose of business here)
  2. Learning to say NO (and watch my short video about saying NO here).
  3. Learning to trust yourself
  4. The 4 quadrants of time management (and watch my video about managing the most valuable asset of your business here).
  5. Learning to delegate (one of the 4 D’s, see below)

Work-life-balance follows automatically once you’ve learned:

  • What really matters in your life.
  • How to say “no” to the stuff that doesn’t matter.
  • How to trust that you’ll probably make the right decision (you’ve got this far!).
  • How to set time aside for the important stuff you must do and delegate the rest (or apply the “4 Ds” see below).

Once you’ve mastered all of that, you’ll have started to create a beautiful business and life that might not look balanced to an outsider, but it works for you, and that’s all that matters.

The 4 D’s

The 4 Ds is a nice management concept. The idea behind it is somewhat parallel to the 5 things I talked about above. For any task that comes across your desk, consider one of the 4 Ds:

  • Do It – If it takes less than two minutes and it needs to be done, just do it now. You could schedule it for later, or delegate it, but it might take you a couple of minutes just to do that. Save yourself the hassle and do it now.
  • Diarise It – if it’s going to take more than two minutes, it’s got to be done and you’re the right person for the job, block out some time in your diary in the next week or two to Do It.
  • Delegate It – The secret of getting more done and scaling your business is to delegate, delegate, delegate. So, get good at delegating and look for every opportunity to do so.
  • Dump It – When you really stop and think about it, and you have a look at the 4 Quadrants of time management, some stuff isn’t actually all that important. A lot of demands on your time are firmly in quadrant 3 (urgent but not important) or maybe even quadrant 4 (neither urgent, nor important). If that’s the case, the world won’t come to an end. What’s the worst that could happen? DELETE.

Work-Life-Balance surveys:

Have a look at my Big Pain of Small Business survey to see how you compare against other business owners on balancing work and life.

You might also like to complete the very short Richard Branson Questionnaire to see how you compare against the most famous of all the noble knights of business (who also seems to have his work and life sorted better than most of us poor peasants).

Your next steps

I’d love to help you take those 5 steps to achieving greater work-life balance. I have created a “Five Steps to Discovery Process” to help you get moving on building a beautiful business and life.

We start with a free initial chat and then a free 60-minute Discovery Session (via Skype or similar) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book these through any of the contact forms on this page.

In the Discovery Session, we’ll get to know each other, and I’ll gain some insight into what stage you and your business are at. We’ll also discuss your challenges, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the process for you.

Further Reading:

The Ten Priorities; Priority #1: Yourself

business owners priority looking after yourself

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

This is the first post in the series of The Ten Priorities: Laying the Foundations for a Great Business and Life. The first Priority is about You, the business owner. The introduction to this series on The Ten Priorities is here.

As seen on Kochie’s Business Builders

I sometimes like asking my clients what they think is the most valuable asset of their business.

Most people will mention, their customers, their staff, investments, equipment, IP, etc.

Of course, it’s a trick question, because the answer is, it’s You.

All other assets, as valuable as they might be, you can buy, borrow, hire or steal more of. But you, your time, your health and your brain cells are absolutely limited.

The first responsibility of any business owner is to look after the assets of the business and to maximise the return the business gets from those assets. And so, the most important job of a responsible business owner is to look after him- or herself.

Breakfast sitting down

Responsible business owners prioritise themselves.

They ensure they get enough sleep and rest. They ensure their brain gets time to relax, so it can function optimally. They ensure they have breakfast sitting down, most days. They get some form of regular exercise and they look after their own mental health and wellbeing.

You won’t always be successful at prioritising yourself, some days things just get out of hand, but regularly, maybe at the start of every day, stop for a moment and plan some space for yourself in the day.

If you take the responsibility of looking after your most valuable asset seriously, you will start to build a Great Small Business that Stands the Test of Time, and your Life will never be the same either… I promise you

Next week Priority #2: Doing Nothing

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My ego and the death of my mother

no desires presence lotus

presence no desires, nothing left to prove lotus

One year on, and all I care about now is Being here, it seems

I’ve written in the past about the death of my mother, most recently here:

It’s now a little over a year ago and I’ve noticed that her passing from my life has had a quite unexpected impact on me.

In the weeks and months leading up to her dying I’d tried to imagine what life would look like after the event. But no matter how hard I tried to imagine that future, it was as if I was looking at a black screen of a big television that wasn’t turned on, just a big black flat nothing. My imagination simply wasn’t able to create a picture of life without my mother in it.

And then, a couple of months after she died, I suddenly realised I was now on the other side of that big black screen and that, surprise surprise, life on the other side of the television looked very much like normal, life goes on.

People asked me how I was and how I felt, and if I missed her a lot and I wondered about that myself.

And the answer I generally gave, was that I felt at peace with how she’d died and how we had been able to complete our journey in life with each other and how much time and attention I’d been able to give her and the process, and I was ok, quite good even.

Don’t speak too soon

A little voice on my shoulder kept muttering things under it’s breath like: “Don’t you speak too soon”, and “I’ll talk to you in a while, you’ll think different then”, but it all sounded fairly harmless and I didn’t pay it too much more attention.

But now, a year later, I’ve started wondering.

Most of my life I’ve been interested in doing things differently than everyone else. Break the norm, stand out from the crowd. Whatever field of endeavour I went into, I felt the urge to do things differently, whether that was in boat building, home renovating, coaching or in any of the many other things I’ve occupied myself with in my life.

It’s always been Projects (with a capital “P”). Projects have excited me and kept me interested and moving. But I’ve noticed something change inside me this past year. And it might lead one to think that the little voice on my shoulder was right to be concerned after all.

My Ego-Projects

You see, I now think of these projects as “Ego-Projects”… Projects that were designed to stroke my ego, to convince myself how special, clever, creative and different I really was.

Or …

Projects that were designed to show my mother how special, clever, creative and different I really was.

And now that’s she’s gone, it seems like I don’t feel the need to convince myself or my mother of anything anymore.

Projects hold no interest for me at the moment. All I’m interested in is Being.

Being with myself and Being in relationship with family and friends.

Tuesdays with the grandkids

I wrote about my wonderful Tuesday afternoons with my grandkids here and I get engaged when working with my clients and I love investing time in my friendships and in my relationship with Lady D, but I simply do not feel the need to go and do anything beyond that kind of Being.

For example. Some years ago I set myself a big Project, to be talking on a global TED stage by the time I was 65. (I wrote about that Project in November last year here). But now, I have zero interest in doing that anymore. Quite apart from the fact that it’s unlikely I’ll actually get to speak from a global TED stage, I’m simply not interested. I have better things to do with my life than chase after such a thing. And even if I were to get onto that stage, what then? What’s next? Election to the USA presidency? (oh wait, there’s a thought)

But it’s very strange, It’s a weird experience for me, unsettling. I’ve never felt like this in my life before.

On the one hand I think it’s actually really positive. What else could I ask for than to feel good about just Being, to want nothing else than to just Be. To be here and nowhere else with the people that matter to me? Free from striving, free from feeling pressured and free from feeling I have anything to prove.

But on the other hand, isn’t that also dreadfully close to being depressed?

Aren’t we meant to be striving, and achieving and making things happen, building stuff, creating stuff, developing stuff? Isn’t that what sets us apart from the monkeys?

Striving for Sgt Pepper’s

I suppose there is little doubt that if it wasn’t for human striving the Beatles wouldn’t have created Sgt Peppers, van Gogh wouldn’t have painted “Irises” (or cut of his ear), and Bill Gates wouldn’t have created his Foundation, but by the same token, all that striving has led to all the wars that ever were, to overpopulation and to global warming, to loss of bio diversity and to looming mass extinctions.


And then there is this little thing called: “The need to earn money” (To be honest you could easily argue, that writing blog posts such as this one, don’t fit in any kind of regular marketing strategy for my business. Maybe if my business was a meditation retreat, blogging about giving up all earthly desires might prove to be useful, but for a business coaching business?… Not so much)

So… It’s been a weird year since my mother died. I imagine the changes it’s wrought in me, will continue for a while yet.

I wonder where I’ll be a year from today?

I’ll let you know how I go.


I used to be the smartest person in the room

throwing a tantrum

Why throwing a Big Fat Tantrum feels like a great option right now

Life feels a bit like I’m wrestling in a mud bath right now. There are a bunch of challenges and big changes in front of Lady D and myself and I’m not finding it all that easy to navigate my way through.

I know about emotional intelligence, and part of me knows that I can trust myself to ride through these challenges and changes, that I’ll come out the other end, and that life will go on. I tell myself that 58 years of living my life as I have, means I’ve earned the right to trust myself to manage, to decide and to do the right stuff.

But there’s also a hint of panic creeping in. What if this time I don’t get on top of the challenges, what if this time I slowly but inexorably spiral down into a deep black hole and what if this time I won’t find the way out?

I volunteer at a homeless support centre in Sydney called the Wayside Chapel, and I have met many people who have spiralled down into that black hole and many who don’t ever find the way out again.

Those people scare the bejesus out of me. I see them drag themselves through life, day in day out, and they freak me out. I’ve sometimes wondered how it’s possible that people allow themselves to disappear down that hole so deeply. I’ve always considered myself “better” than them, because I held the cocky belief I have the inner strength to pick myself up by the scruff of the neck and go and do something constructive.

But right now, I’m not so confident of that strength.

Crawling out of Trouble

And maybe that’s a good thing. To quote Graham Long, the CEO of The Wayside Chapel: “Whenever you find yourself thinking you are the smartest (strongest, most resourceful) person in the room… You’re in trouble.” Maybe I’ve been in trouble and now I’m crawling out!

And I remind myself that the last couple of years have brought significant change in my life and all of that change is bound to have an impact on me and to just allow it to take its course.

But it’s not that easy, is it?

There’s simple practicalities of life to consider.

It may be perfectly healthy to just let things develop as they will, but I need to get new clients, I need to find a new city to live in and buy a house, I need to make sure that things in our house in Holland go well, I need to support Lady D and I need to continue to develop my business and stay healthy.

And I’m not sure how to do all that. Actually, forget knowing how to do all that, I’m confused even about the steps to take, to arrive at that knowledge.

Lean into The Discomfort

In the past, in the days when I was more or less convinced that I was the smartest person in the room, I used to say stuff like: “Lean into the discomfort” and “Being lost in the wilderness is the only way to discover the hidden treasure” and “Trust you’ll have the answers deep inside you”.

There’s nothing like an Inspiring Facebook Meme to remind people you actually are the smartest person in the room, is there?

But it doesn’t feel so great when the shoe is on my own foot, and I’m not feeling so smart these days.

The Wave Form of Life

Graham Long talks about the wave form of life. We go from peaks to troughs and back up again. He makes the point that the impulse to stay on top of the peaks all the time, and never descend into the troughs, is the impulse of the addict.

wave form of life

And I get that, I really do. I accept that as soon as we find ourselves on the top of a wave, we’ll start heading down into the trough, every time. It’s just that these days I feel less certain about the opposite, about climbing out of the trough again. Or maybe it’s that I’m not so sure I’ve hit the bottom of the trough yet, maybe there’s a lot further to go, who can tell?

And while I’m here, what am I supposed to do? Swim? Or let the wave toss me about for a while?

One of the challenges I am currently struggling with is the fact that we’re going to have to leave Sydney, probably NSW, possibly even Australia. I won’t bore you with the reasons, suffice to say it’s a consequence of decisions we’ve made over the past 15 years. I am not regretting the decisions I’ve made, I believe they were entirely the right decisions for my life at that time, but ultimately it now means we can’t stay here.

Blind Freddy Could Have Seen This Coming

It’s not as if the situation we find ourselves in right now comes as a complete surprise. To be honest, Blind Freddy could have seen this coming 15 years ago, and what’s more, at least we have options, many more options than the people I meet at the Wayside have. But I don’t want those options. I resent being forced to choose one of them. What I really want is to throw a tantrum, stamp my feet, throw myself on the floor and scream at the top of my voice, until someone fixes things for me.

Not a good look for a big 58 year old, balding, overweight man (I tried it on my grandkids the other day, they were not impressed).

Lack of Conclusions

For the last hour, I’ve been procrastinating about how to continue this piece. One of the reasons I started writing this post was to help me clarify things for myself, and to make me feel like I was doing something constructive. But I’m stuck now. Not sure where to go next or how to finish up.

Normally, having arrived at this stage in an essay, I’d start drawing a conclusion and a lesson and then find a way to finish with my signature closing words: “I Promise you”.

But now that I’m not the smartest person in the room anymore, that formula doesn’t really work any longer. I don’t have a lesson, I don’t even have a conclusion for you…

Sorry about that.

I’ll just go and throw that Tantrum now… It will make me feel better… I Prom…


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10 Rules for Happiness in Business and in Life

chocolate happiness


The Rules I’d have if I didn’t hate Rules

I’d love to hear about your Rules in the comments below

I hate Rules, as a Rule (!!), but if we must have Rules, I’d rather we had Rules about happiness than about eating chocolate or wearing helmets.

I recently watched a great video by Robert Waldinger about a 75 year Harvard study on Happiness (watch the video here). It’s a fascinating talk and a fascinating research project. It got me to thinking about the good life and happiness and I arrived at these 10 Rules. As a business coach who’s focus is helping his clients feel great about themselves and build great businesses, my perspective is tilted in that direction of course. Robert Waldinger talks about the value of relationships and at some point in the video he says: “On the whole, the people who do best in their lives as they get older are those who have leant into building relationships during their younger years”. I am completely convinced that he is right, and so I offer these 10 Rules as additional to the findings of the Harvard study.

BTW, they’re not really Rules of course, think of them as food for thought and conversation starters instead.

Also, you need to know, that for me, there is little difference between Life and Business, so I suggest you consider these 10 Rules in whatever context suits you best.

And I’d love to hear about your own Rules for happiness… Please share your thoughts in the comments below… I dare you!!!

So here goes:

Rule 1 : If you know where you’re going and you’re in control of the ship, it’s easy to get up in the morning.

I believe there are two reasons we get to feel overwhelmed and stuck in life. The first is when we don’t know where we’re going and the second is when we feel that life is living us instead of the other way round. The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland told Alice: “If you don’t know where you’re going, My Dear, any road will do“. I’ve always loved that quote (as long as you keep Rule #2 below in mind as well), but what is just as important is that we have a sense of agency in our lives, of having our hand on the tiller. Nothing is more stress inducing in my experience, than feeling we are being pushed and pulled in directions that we have no input over. It is one of the reasons I believe we, as business owners, suffer from depression less than the average population, because even though business might be terribly stressful and frustrating at times, at least we have this sense of being in control of the levers.

Rule 2 : Goals are merely directions on a compass, not destinations to get to.

The self-development craze of the past 30 years has sent us up the garden path with it’s focus on goal setting. We’ve been told that you must set clear measurable goals in life and strive to achieve them (Remember SMART Goals?). But goals can never be anything else than a Hail-Mary: “Given everything I know right now and assuming my best efforts in the future, I am going to achieve XYZ”. You don’t actually know anything about the future. Tomorrow the world will be a different place than it is today; Tomorrow you’ll be a different person than you are today. You may well decide to change your mind about your Goal tomorrow. So Goal setting is indeed a very useful thing to do, as long as you treat the Goal as a direction, a course to travel in, not a destination. And when circumstances on the journey change, you should of course always be prepared to change your direction, if that is what’s required to keep your journey going.

Rule 3 : The smallest difference that makes a difference will change your life.

Forget Change with a capital “C”. Sustainable change in life or business happens by taking one small step at a time, one day at a time. Every day a tiny step forward is a much more effective recipe for effecting change than attempting to jump forward in big leaps. Small step change is much less risky, it allows for everyone to adjust to changed realities and if one of the steps doesn’t work out, it’s no big drama to take one small little step back again.

Rule 4 : Forget growth, concentrate on delivery.

The myth is that business must grow or else it dies. I’m not sure where the myth comes from, but it is a myth, and a dangerous one at that. Focusing on growth as the measure of success in anything is a recipe for disaster and many businesses have grown themselves right into oblivion. The trick is not to grow your business or your organisation, it is to do so while continuing to deliver the quality and consistency and reliability that you aspire to. Growth will follow automatically if you do what you say you’ll do by the time you say you’ll do it at the price you say you’ll do it for, every time, with a smile.

Rule 5 : If you want something you’ve never had before…. You’ve got to BE someone you’ve never been before.

Your business (your career, your relationships, your health) is what it is today, because of WHO you are today. It follows that if you want your business to be something else, you have to Be someone else first. Change in other words, personal Change with a capital “C” (don’t forget to take Rule #3 above to heart as well). You simply can not create the business you dream of and do so without putting your face right up close to the mirror, looking yourself in the eye until it gets uncomfortable, and stay there.

Rule 6 : Today’s plans are tomorrows toilet paper.

Someone once said that planning is guessing, and a famous general is quoted as saying: “No battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy”, and in my days as a builder I used to say that all project plans I’ve ever created were out of date before they’d come off the printer. But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that planning is therefore a waste of time. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. The conclusion to draw is that we must always be planning. Because planning is a verb, it is what we must do all the time. We must constantly ask ourselves “what-if” questions, imagining the possible scenarios we might encounter and how we’ll respond to those should they come to pass. The value of the plan is never in the piece of paper but in the work done to create it.

Rule 7 : Change is uncomfortable, and that’s OK.

Human beings don’t like Change, we’re scared of it. And that’s because change happens as a result of going on a journey. And going on journeys is scary. Think of the anxiety you feel before going on a big trip, especially a trip where not a lot has been pre-booked. And a journey of change is like a journey where nothing is pre-booked, it’s a journey out on the open ocean, out of sight of land. Journeys of change never take place in the safety of the harbour. It takes courage to leave the harbour behind.  After every visit to the harbour, we have to take a deep breath to push off again, set a course for the horizon and resist the temptation to turn back as soon as the first big swells hit. But then once the sails are set and the ship settles on its keel, we start to revel in the possibilities of the open ocean again (even if we might feel sea sick from time to time).

Rule 8 : Feeling fear and anxiety means you’re not a psychopath, and that is a good thing.

Fear, anxiety, nerves, worries… They’re normal human emotions. There is nothing wrong with feeling fear. Being nervous about the outcome of things is a good thing. Worrying about things means you’ll double check that your parachute is shackled on securely before you jump from the plane. Feeling anxiety before making a new investment, employing a new staff member or signing a contract is healthy. Love your anxieties I say; Seriously, they’ve gotten you this far, don’t knock them.

Rule 9 : Presence is a great thing to aspire to, but un-achievable for normal humans.

Yep I know, it is a great thing to be Mindful, to be “here and nowhere else” and to always remember that Now is all there is. I know it, I feel it, I hear you… and… I also know that I will not attain that state of mind until about 1.5 minutes before I die, and I suspect, nor will you. So by all means, remind yourself to be in the Now from time to time, but don’t give yourself a hard time when you’re not… Noone else is either.

Rule Last : You’ll never be as cool or as rich as Richard Branson, and that’s cool.

‘Nough said…

Here’s how I help my clients life and work by those 10 Rules

My Brain in Full Trickster Mode is a Sight to Behold

Tricks of the brain illusions

Emotional roller coasters as the facts of life in Sydney catch up with us

Lady D and I have lived in an amazing apartment in Sydney with sweeping views over the harbour for the past 7 years. Besides enjoying the space, the light and the view, I’ve felt at home there and possibly even “house proud”. As I was want to say to various friends and acquaintances: “They’ll have to carry me out of here in a box”. But the harsh realities of Sydney real estate and tenancy laws meant we’ve had to move a bit sooner than that, and on our own two feet.

We found a nice place in a new suburb and we’ve settled down again, three months since being confronted with the facts of life in Sydney. The past three months have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, as you might imagine, and it’s been fascinating to observe my brain in action during this time.

One of the first things I noticed, was that my whole outlook and appreciation of what had been our home for the past 7 years changed.

  • Suddenly, the apartment became just 4 walls and a roof.
  • Suddenly, I stopped looking at the view and where previously I’d always opened the doors to the balcony, whenever I could, now I couldn’t be bothered half the time.
  • For years I made a point of waking up around sunrise to see the sun come up over the water, but suddenly, I started sleeping in most mornings.
  • Suddenly, I felt out of place in the suburb and even Sydney lost some of its gloss.

Once the decision was made to move, I couldn’t get out fast enough.

Looking beyond Sydney

Beyond the short-term move we’ve now made, we also decided it’s time to look beyond Sydney for the next stage of our lives. The house we’ve moved into a month ago will only be our home for only a year or so.

And again, I’ve noticed my brain scrambling into action. Because we know we’re only going to be here for a year or so, I’m finding it difficult to get emotionally connected to this place. It doesn’t feel like home and where previously I would have gone out of my way to make our place feel homely, now I’m not even motivated to hang up any pictures. I have this sense of having moved into a furnished apartment.


It’s a fascinating process my brain is taking me through these months. It seems to me that it’s all about self-preservation. My brain is intent on protecting me from being hurt. Having to leave the apartment, having to move again in a year and having to leave Sydney, potentially involves a lot of pain, but if I don’t like the apartment, if I’m bored with the view or with the pretentiousness of the suburb… Everything changes, doesn’t it? I won’t grieve for something I don’t like anyway. And as long as I’m not emotionally attached to the new place, well it won’t matter so much to leave that behind later either.

It’s a neat trick really.

A con trick, but a neat one nevertheless. Especially when bundled with the other trick the brain plays to minimise pain. The trick of blaming the rest of the world.

Landlords and Carlords

I found myself getting incredibly angry with the rental property managers, with the government’s mis-management of the Sydney property market, with the pre-historic state of Sydney tenancy laws and with the property owners (I refuse to call them landlords by the way, as if I would refer to the owners of Hertz car rentals as “Carlords”).

Red hot angry.

Those moronic &%$**$% and corrupt @#%^$&& etc etc etc, you get the picture.

(Don’t get me started, I can work myself into a right frenzy here.)

But of course, it’s just my brain doing more self-preservation. It stops me from focusing on what’s really going on.

Righteous anger

My anger may indeed be righteous and justified, as I firmly believe it is, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I could have seen this thing coming for years. The Tenancy laws haven’t changed in any recent past and I made good use of the insanity of Sydney real estate myself, some years back.

Really what’s going on is frustration with myself for not having prepared better and possibly even some embarrassment that my business hasn’t become so successful that a little thing like a 40% rent hike is of no consequence.

The primary function our brain has, is to keep us alive and to protect us from any and all possible attacks. It all goes back to cavemen days in fact. If a sabretooth tiger is about to pounce, you don’t have the luxury to check in with your deepest feelings, to feel the disappointment in yourself for not being more careful in your choice of camp site. The only thing that matters is to preserve your life and the lives of those that are dependent on you. Time enough for recriminations and learning the lessons and feeling the pain later… As long as you make it out of there alive first.

A hundred thousand years on

And so it goes with our brains still, 100,000 years later. Our stresses and pains have different causes, but our brains behave in the only way they know how: preserve life, minimise pain, get out of there and live to fight another day.

I’ve found it really useful to realise that that is what my brain has been doing over these past few months. It’s allowed me to calm down more easily and it’s allowed me to make cleaner decisions.

Of course I can’t know what tricks your brain plays on you from time to time, but rest assured it does. I suggest you be on the lookout for them and see if you can’t catch your brain out some time. It’s quite wonderful to behold your brain in action… I promise you.

Change: Life is what happens when you’re making other plans

change planning coaching

From Pirates in the Bahamas to Danish women in Italian Piazzas

One of my favourite Facebook memes is:

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”

We grow up and find that the world looks quite different when we’re 30, 40, 50 and beyond, than we thought it was going to look when we were young.

I thought I was going to be a modern day pirate like Long John Silver (a fantasy recently revived with the swashbuckling Netflix series “Blacksails”), but it turned out I got violently seasick on the oceans of the world. And besides my wife and I had our first child and children don’t go that well on pirate ships.

Then I thought I was going to be a journalist of world renown, but I didn’t have the patience to make it through the ranks.

I set my sights on a boatbuilding business on Sydney Harbour, but what I knew about running a business in those days could be written on the back of a beer coaster, and the business failed.

Next I started a building business in Sydney. I developed it and ran it for about 20 years. At times it did very well, at other times not so much, but in the end I had enough of the never ending struggle between contractors, homeowners and architects. I was very happy when a former employee of mine offered to buy the business.

More or less at the same time my personal life took a 180 degree turn and where I’d always thought I would grow old as one half of a happily married couple, I suddenly found myself single (by my own choice I hasten to add).

The rest of my life

I was 45, single, without home or business or any immediate responsibilities other than to work out what to do with the rest of my life.

And I had no idea. None.

I figured I needed to create a bit of space in which to work out what direction to head and I took myself off to Italy. The idea being, that if I were to sit myself down on a piazza in Italy for long enough, the universe might speak to me.

And it did.

change planning coaching I actually remember the precise moment that it did: I was having dinner with a bunch of friends in a little restaurant in Perugia in Umbria. I got talking to a Danish woman who was in Italy for a month long sabbatical and she told me about her life coach. My ears pricked up. I’d never heard of the term life coach and I was equally intrigued and sceptical. Long story short. I did some research and decided to do a foundation coach training course when I got back to Sydney. I loved it and in the next few years I enrolled in as many studies and trainings in coaching and related fields as I could.

Various coaching practices

I set about building Life coaching, Executive coaching, personal counselling practices and combinations of all of them. In the end I created the thing I do now, which is all about helping small business owners feel great about themselves and their business and about making business Fun (with a capital “F”).

I love what I do these days and by all accounts I am actually really good at it. Until quite recently, I saw myself growing old in the inner-city of Sydney together with my new spouse, doing what I do now, connected with the community and my kids, grandkids and extended family and friends. But another change is coming down the pike, heading straight for us. Life is going to take another 90 degree turn. I can’t tell you exactly which direction this 90 degree turn is going to take, but it seems quite clear that we’ll be leaving Sydney in the next year or so.

Not happy

We’re upset and anxious about this prospect. It’s going to mean significant adjustment and changed circumstances, but really, the change is no greater than any of the changes I mentioned above, and those were just the tip of the iceberg.

There’s a good chance that the changes will turn out to be really positive in the long run and that we’ll look back and smile at the memories of our anxieties and dine out on the stories, just like I do now when thinking about the changes I mentioned before.

Life is indeed what happens when we’re making other plans. Planning is guessing. I’ve said it before when writing about goalsetting in business here, but it’s no different in life.

The one thing we can be sure of is change But us humans, it seems, are hardwired to resist change as much as we can. There’s a primal instinctive fear we feel in change, I believe.

But change is coming and In any case, I’m going to remind myself how positive the experience of change can be, especially in hindsight, even if it doesn’t quite feel that way now.

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