I write these posts from time to time.
This one has been on my to do list for about… oh… three months now.
Today, my sordidly bad internet has decided to completely fuck itself, so I’ve been afforded the gift of… not being able to do anything else BUT write. What a blessing! What a gift!
So, where am I at?
I was thinking about where my company was even a year ago.
My team was tiny in comparison, and before the year was out, I was going to have to do some horrifically painful firings in order to have the “right people in the right seats” as Jim Collins would say. Only the strongest survived – and I’m endlessly grateful to still have Joyce + Amber working in the company.
And over the last year, I’ve built my team step by step by step.
I found Erin through a recommendation from a business mate. And Grant came to work with us as a tech contractor, and I quickly realised he was perfect for our Chief Operations role. It took me a few months to convince him to leave his own company and work for us.
Since then, it’s been a wild ride, really.
I’m in a dot point kinda mood today:
- We’ve built our new Academy membership site from scratch (a HUGE undertaking).
- We’ve created new Academy programs (including How To Build A WordPress Website course, Super Simple Money Planner, Mother’s Meditation + Healing and the Shining Habits System).
- We created a whole new product range for 2016 – including a diary/planner, to do list pad, wall planner and a completely redesigned + rewritten 2016 Life Goals workbook + 2016 Biz Goals workbook. (We’ll release those shortly – and, as always, Academy members will get digital workbooks for free with their membership, as well as a discount on printed workbooks if we want them.)
- We became grand prize finalists for a national business award – a HUGE honour.
- We’ve learned how to work together as a team. (You can watch adorable videos of all of them here.)
- We’ve built systems + standard operating procedures.
- We’ve been influenced by and strived to live up to the business teachings set out by Jim Collins, Verne Harnish + Michael E Gerber in their best-selling business manuals (“Good To Great”, “Scaling Up” and “The E-Myth Revisited”).
- We’ve argued and made mistakes and forgiven and worked out how to be better from them.
- Grant ran our first US team retreat with Joyce, Erin + Amber all flying in for it.
- In two days, he is going to run our first US Academy retreat in Denver, Colorado with Amber as his assistant.
- We’ve pulled off the book printing a month earlier than last year, and have some excellent, efficient distribution houses in the US, UK + Australia so we don’t run into any shipping delays like we did last year. Last year was a huge trial by fire as we printed and distributed the books ourselves for the first time, and we learned some incredibly painful and expensive lessons from having US Customs delays and a US distribution house that did not meet their service obligations. If you were watching last year, you can probably remember the crazy, magnificent rescue mission through the snow across the US during Christmas to save our books and get them shipping again. We feel like we disappointed so many of our customers last year with those awful delays, and we’re making sure it never happens again.
- I’ve attended my first (and second!!!) business conference after many years living remotely as a hermit in the rainforest.
- I’ve been interviewed on ABC radio, been a keynote speaker at an event in Launceston and ran two meet-ups in Hobart (with more planned for Academy members in Canberra!)
- Me & Chris have invested a huge amount of cash back into the company this year to take it into its next growth phase… investing in a bigger team, the membership site which was a huge project, the new design of the 2016 product range, printing them all ourselves again and producing even more stock, looking at all the ways we can grow and improve and make our Academy and workbooks even more exceptional.
It makes me happy to look through our Academy mastermind + see lovely message after lovely message of our members being so happy with how they are being supported.
And on the home front…
- I’ve also moved across the country twice (Kuranda => Hobart => Canberra) and bought two houses.
- I’ve spent a lot of time injured… for some reason the universe REALLY wanted me recuperating in bed for a large chunk of our time in Tasmania. I had surgery, injured my foot, fallen down stairs, and three bouts of chest infections. It was like a hibernation between two places, I think.
- And we’re here now, settling back into Canberra. It’s been about six weeks. It feels much longer in a way, despite the house still not being fully unpacked and despite me still having a long list of friends to make dates with to see yet. It feels longer because it is familiar and homely and easy. In many ways, like we’ve never left.
- Our new home is a good fit for us, despite us taking a leap of faith and buying it sight unseen off the internet. Ha! The gardens are a wonder to behold, the kids spend many hours happily fairy-ing it up out there, mixing endless flower and leaf concoctions in buckets.
- It will take us more time to ground and settle in. I think we might need some kidcare support with Beth to give Chris a break and find his identity outside of kidcare again.
- Ostara adores her new school which is a relief. Her teacher is funny and earthy in the best of ways.
- I haven’t unpacked my woodworking tools yet, or my sewing supplies.
- The art studio is almost unpacked. I’m really looking forward to finding my rhythm with creating again.
Spring is here. Moving from the steamy tropics down to the colder southern states, I think I overprepared myself mentally for the cold. I forgot that winter actually DOES end… and that there are indeed four seasons to be had! I forgot that Canberra in Spring is a symphony. Tulips! Wattles! Cherry blossoms! Whole trees bursting into white and pink flowers. It’s incandescently joyful. The blue of the sky here is good for me too. So much sunlight waking me up again. I haven’t been ill at all since we arrived, which has to be a new record for the year.
My dear old immune system and muscles have taken quite the beating over the past while, starting with the horror of hyperemesis gravidarum in my pregnancy with Beth. Now I’m here, my body has been telling me its time for rebuilding, so I’ve joined (GASP!) a gym. My whole motto is to “underdo, not overdo”. My whole personality and habit is to push too hard and injure myself in the process, or make myself hate exercise so much I run away and hide in a closet for a couple of years. This time around, I’m just trying to find a way to enjoy it. Enjoy feeling my body moving again. Stop before I hate it. Just let it grow in its own time.
Having said that, I did ignore my cardinal rule two days ago and completely rued the experience. I went to an aqua aerobics class with all the awesome oldies, and thought it would be SUPER smart of me to really push it to get MAXIMUM.WORKOUT.POSSIBLE.DONE.IN.AS.SHORT.A.TIME.AS.POSSIBLE. I ended up with a terrible stitch, couldn’t breath, was ready to vomit in the pool and had to do the shuffle of shame out of the pool in front of everyone BEFORE THE CLASS HAD EVEN FINISHED. And the instructor who was FORTY YEARS OLDER THAN ME had to ask me if I was okay.
I KNOW GUYS. I KNOW.
I’m laughing and shaking my head too. #lessonlearned
So what’s next for me?
On the life front…
Well, I ended up finishing my 2015 life workbook off at last. Somehow I must have known at the start of this year that my year hadn’t really begun yet… after all, I had two cross-country moves to make before I would be settled. I’ve been really craving it since we arrived, so I made a sweet date with myself over the weekend. Me, the bed, the workbook and a sunbeam of light. Even though there is only three months until the end of the year, it’s still a good time to do it. As I always say: It’s never too late, unless you don’t do it at all. I kind of feel more resolved now as well, like I have a beautiful structure of goals beneath me… setting course for where I want to head, and gently, resolutely, making my way there.
School holidays are just about to begin. I miss sweet Starry when she’s at school, especially now she’s a lovely, easy-going 5 year old (younger kids are HARRRRD WORRRRRK GUYZZZ). Beth misses her too and loses her shit when Starry arrives home. “YAR-YA! YAR-YA! YAR-YA!” (Her pronunciation of “Ostara!”) So yes… school holidays will be nice (until we all start wanting to lose our shit, that is. Just to be clear.) I’m planning on family adventures to Floriade and Questacon and the art galleries too (if Beth doesn’t tear the place down like a Tassie She-Devil, that is. Just to be clear.)
I have been trying to take more photos with my digital SLR camera as a creative side-project. My girls, at sunset, in our Canberra Spring garden!
There’s a beautiful walk around a hill just near our suburb, through paddocks of big grey kangaroos and rabbits (and if you’re lucky, a wombat!) I’d like to walk it some more, watch the sun slip down behind the Brindabellas as I do. I mostly just want to keep fostering my sense of connection and grounding to here, to this land again, to the earth and animal and devic spirits here. They are so gentle here, and it is doing me good.
On the creation/service/business front…
We’re heading into 2016 workbook season soon (we’ll open pre-orders shortly) and start shipping in a month (late October).
I will continue to be pouring all my courses, events, coaching time + energy into the Academy for the next year.
Grant will continue as Chief Operations Officer, but as its become increasingly obvious, he is a fantastic, gifted heart-centred and savvy teacher as well. Our soul missions have definitely aligned. You’ll be seeing even more of his tech courses coming out in the Academy, plus a range of business and life courses that we’ll be creating together.
Wow… Grant… you look like a real MUG in this video still. GET IT??? GETTTTT ITTTTTTTTTTT?
Two big courses we’ll be producing for the Academy: “7 Chakra Business Model” – a magical business analysis tool we created together in a burst of giddy joy to help you work out exactly where you are in business and what you need to focus on to move up to the next level in business. And “Lasting Love: Tools To Creating Enduring Relationships” (between the two of us, we’ve been with our spousal units for close to 50 years!)
On the live events front, we’re looking at ways we can run even more of these – both in the US and in Australia. They will be only available to Academy members (and will either be free or a nominal cost to cover outlays). We’re not looking at making them a major profit centre for the business, just a bonus service/gift to our members.
We are soooooooo damn passionate about what we are creating with the Academy… still, after five years, it’s my very favourite thing in the world to be creating and sharing helpful and beautiful things with people, and seeing their dreams come true because of it. I know what we have created and what we are continuing to create is something that is truly unique in the world. Something that is amazingly affordable, and gives women and entrepreneurs exactly the training, mastermind + support they need to create the kind of life + business they want.
I’m so excited to be welcoming so many wonderful new souls into the Academy during our Shining September Sale. There are only 5 days left to grab our extended payment plan option to make it as affordable for you as possible. We’d truly love to support you and help you make those beautiful big dreams of yours come true.
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