Today, April 1st, I have been classed as self-employed for 40 years. That means that I have taken responsibility for ensuring that I keep a roof over my (and my family’s) head, that I acknowledge when times are good and acknowledge that times will not be so good. I have had ups, downs, made mistakes, learned from them (eventually), met some great people and a few, a very few, “less than nice” individuals.
I have tried to ensure that I have worked with people who understand me, care for me, take the time to know me and support me these include accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, insurance people and very occasionally banks. Of course I have encountered dentists both as colleagues, clients and some who even called themselves competitors and who sadly behaved as if we were in a fight for business. I have always believed that there is plenty of work to go around and that if your offering is good, you are straight with people, tell them the truth and don’t try to rip them off you will succeed. You need a team that you can rely on and I have been blessed in working with some marvellous people. My thanks to my teams in practice, nurses, hygienists, practice managers, front of house people, behind the scenes people, laboratories who dug me out of messes and the specialists and consultants who did the same.
I’m writing this in my studio/office/workroom at ReesAcres (approx 2.6 acres fact) in West Cork where we moved permanently in 2013. For the past twelve months I have rarely left home and can think of no better place to be. Work continues to be interesting and whilst I do miss meeting people and speaking in public, travel itself can get tiresome but I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with Cork Airport again in the foreseeable future.
Most of my contemporaries have retired but I enjoy what I do and, whilst there are people to help with their businesses, careers and challenges, editors wanting copy and all that goes with this life, I’ll keep going. Do I regret 40 years of self-employment? Not in the least. The hills, valleys and roads less travelled continue to keep me in their thrall. When I started out in coaching we had to do an exercise and choose the five values that would guide our lives. After much deliberation and thought I opted for Integrity, Independence, Co-operation, Communication and Curiosity and of all I think Curiosity has guided me most.
Communication has dropped below the level I would like so I resolved this week to write a blog post every day, starting today, if I don’t make the effort nothing happens, one of things that I learned very early on. IADOY It All Depends On You.
March 23rd 2021 my first cup of coffee for more than a dozen years. Thanks to Will and Susan for choosing the coffees and the kit for my birthday. I’m back on board.