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New Year, now what?

January 9, 2019

We are mid-way through what for some of my Australian clients is the first full week back after the Christmas and New Year holidays. In Australia our end of year break coincides with summer and the end of the school year so many of us take extended holidays to reflect (deeply) on what we got up to last year in an attempt to learn something.

Along with many of my customers, I’ve been doing just that.

One of the good and bad things about my type of business is in seeing the brands I work with bob along on their own individual journeys. Some of them zoom into the fast lane, selling heaps, expanding greatly and pushing all kinds of boundaries, others take three, four or five years just to gather themselves enough to launch one thing and manage that from home.  All of this is success or failure depending on how you wish to measure that. I don’t sit here in judgement, I travel with my clients as I do with my own business, holding their hands as best I can (or as much as they let me), holding on for dear life when the shit hits the fan and sharing their elation when there is a big win. As you can imagine, it is quite a journey and one that is played out across different brands in different spaces working towards different goals for different reasons.

During this time of reflection and especially after a prolonged time away from the chaos it is common for people to sit back and ponder the point of it all.  Is this enough?  Am I doing it right?  Does it mean anything?

I have my own fair share of that and I have to admit that I wrapped up 2018 looking more like this:

Than this:

For a variety of reasons that have led me to wonder if it is all worth it too.

When that question comes up for me or anyone I am involved with in business I tend to advise taking a step back to critically evaluate why that feeling or thought has surfaced.  In some cases it’s just sheer exhaustion after a busy year of juggling, in other cases it is a sign that things are critically wrong and need some attention.   In all cases it’s quite possibly a sign that you have notched up another rung on life’s learning ladder and, if you are open to it, you will grow just that little bit more after taking a moment to reflect.

From what I see one of the most common underpinning issues that brand owners and supporting businesses face is them losing their direction, becoming somewhat dis-orientated or realising that they actually never had a clear direction in the first place or, as is sometimes the case with older businesses, their original direction has shifted as they learned more and now they don’t quite know how to portray that – I sometimes feel like that’s been the nub of my problem…

In terms of what can lead up to that moment, I’ve noticed that for a brand owner it can happen when they feel like they are constantly chasing the rabbit  – their distributors or sales people constantly tell them that ‘we’d sell more if you changed that, added this,  went there’ therefore always giving them more problems than solutions, always wanting more stuff, the perfect baby, the next best thing etc.   For my business and in my case it’s when I wonder why the information that I give and share isn’t valued as much as it used to be, when it gets drowned out by the noise or plopped into the bargain basement with everything else.  In both cases that ‘what is the point’ feeling is being fed by a feeling of no longer being enough or of somehow missing the target in spite of being enough.

In my case I’ve realised that I have reached a point in my career that I need to make some changes to the way I do things in my business to ensure that the joy, the detail and the point (my point of teaching, valuing resources, the art of paying attention) don’t get drowned out in the rush.  In the case of my clients and brand owning friends it may be that the next logical step is to sell, diversify, consolidate or to hold firm, slow down and observe more. Whatever the case it will all be worth it as long as you keep your eyes and mind open to change and appreciate the saying that goes ‘if you want different results, try a different approach’ easier said than done but nonetheless true.

To sum it up I found two great quotes that I’ve put on my personal mood board for this year.  One says ‘I’m one of the lucky people. It doesn’t get much better than this’ and I’ve popped that on top of a black and white picture of an old camp site in the forest to remind me of the amazing feeling of being grounded and free that being in the great outdoors give me.  The other is a quote from a book I just read over the holidays called ‘Milkman’. and it goes ‘after generation upon generation, fathers upon forefathers, mothers upon foremothers, centuries and millennia of being one colour officially and three colours unofficially, a colourful sky, just like that, could not be allowed to be’.  That means a lot to me, both literally and metaphorically, indeed that’s the way I see my science in a world when the evidence points to most others seeing something much more one-dimensional.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with that and with the space (hopefully) to ponder your new business year and hopefully set yourself up on a pathway to great success whatever and however that looks.

Amanda x


2 Comments leave one →
  1. indochinenaturalcom permalink
    January 9, 2019 1:53 pm

    Yes, in my reflective mood right now as we try and push our business forward in 2019 a quote that resonates with me is:

    George Bernard Shaw. “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world”

    It is the unreasonable man who is responsible for change. Picked this up on a book I read about the founders of Le Labo.


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