lighthouse xmas e card copyI can say with a hint of smugness that I have survived 10 years (well close enough) running my own business. Before I tell you about some of the challenges, let me just say that I love what I do, I do it well and I do it with a fantastic business partner. What makes our business relationship so strong is that we are both women of a certain age with similar life values, who have kids, aging parents and a range of other commitments we need to squeeze in and around running our business. I have heard it all before about having it all – sure you can but eventually something has to give and it’s usually sleep and the time to just sit and be still.

We don’t do this completely on our own - we have partners, family and friends that help where they can. But most importantly they accept that we have another ‘family’ that competes with them for our attention. They are the sanity check that we often need.


On the flip side, we have to fit in school, sports, doctor runs and trying to keep a household standing (not going to aim for running smoothly) with being business owners. At this time of the year, Santa is often an afterthought. But we always manage to make something happen. Never underestimate your ability to pull it together, even if it isn’t always a super slick effort. Christmas for me is about spending time with those who are important to me, not how big your credit card bill is at the end of it all. It’s also a time to take a break from working in the business and starting to think about working on where to next.

We haven’t always worked for ourselves and over the years many of my friends, particularly my married female friends, have asked why I would take on the stress. It is a still a challenge for them to understand that I freely chose to leave a promising corporate career. I don’t really know how to explain it to anyone, other than by saying that when you are passionate about making a difference, however small, to your life and that of your family and clients, it really isn’t a choice.

Sure my life would have been much easier and possibly more financially stable if I had followed the corporate route, but it would never have been so challenging, terrifying and rewarding. I have discovered a resilience, tenacity and confidence that makes me want to pat myself on the back. I’ve also finally discovered that I don’t need everyone’s approval or attention – the thing that I truly value is when my clients say thank you and my family, in their own weird little way, say that they are proud of me. Don’t even get me started on the idea of innovation and what it really means in the business context.

My path into business hasn’t been a traditional one, but its almost like I’ve come a full circle. I started my professional career in psychology and over the years have meandered through IT, finance and advertising. I gave up my professional accreditation years ago because it got too hard to keep it up. It was good luck, certainly not planning, that my business partner started her working life in the same career. Our current business focuses on the individual rather than their business. Our premise is that a business, organisation or team is only as good as the people in it. Yes, we do focus on the business fundamentals and business health, but we do this by developing the capabilities of the individual and making them feel like that have a real understanding of what’s going on. Being in full control is a dream, rarely a reality.

Is our business exactly where we want it to be – maybe not, but we are actively working our way towards it. Do we have exciting plans, you betcha! One thing we have learned over the last 10 years is that nothing stands still for very long, and we definitely can’t. I hope our families are ready for the next 10 years.


We’ll be back in the office on the 8th January, ready to embrace all the challenges and opportunities 2018 brings!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,

Anna, Candice and Rachel.