Looking back and thinking forward

It’s the last week leading up to Christmas and we call it a day for a couple of weeks for all to enjoy a well-earned break. I’ve been doing a bit of looking back at our achievements, not so good choices, family challenges, as well as business.

For me some great events and projects include:

  • Northern Conference at Bowcliffe Hall with our fab host Jonathan Turner. Seeing family business chums who value this very special community and sector of the UK and Irish economy
  • Helping new clients with their family business challenges. Christmas can sometimes be a difficult time and can magnify hurt – whilst we put on a brave face
  • Being a guest speaker at PwC, Credit Suisse, Herts Chambers of Commerce on all things family business
  • Trekking 165km of the Camino de Santiago and raising just about 10K over the year for Alzheimer’s Research
  • Launching our Family Business place Membership – whoa!
  • Interviewing Lord Karan Bilimoria of Cobra Beer and the unstoppable Dame Stephanie Shirley
  • Having Wednesdays off with my Grandson Hendrix – pure joy!
  • Welcoming newbies on board, Rhian in Art, Caz in Membership, Danielle in bookkeeping
  • An exciting reshuffle of the Family Business Place focus and strategy
  • Attaining my Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising and taking part in the annual FFI Global Conference
  • Hosting a record-breaking year at the National Family Business Awards and welcoming the most uber amazing fabulous family firms from around the UK and Ireland.
  • Amalia winning the IoD Family Business Director of the Year – soooo proud! Firmly putting the family business sector on the map.
  • Launching the Kent Family Business Unsung Heroes Award – humbling and enriching – celebrating all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make our family businesses shine

The list goes on, and too many fantastic events in 2018 to mention them all. Some sadness this year – in holding my mum’s hand as she took her last breath – dementia is cruel – and watching my dad’s health deteriorate with COPD. Sobering times to reflect on how lucky I am. So blessed, so thankful. Our parents make us the people we are today. What gems and gifts do you take from yours?

I’m sure like many you, it has been an up and down year, but that’s why we are here – to support each other over the coming months of uncertainty, family issues, business challenges. Mostly though I urge you to make the most of family at Christmas and to approach the New Year with optimism, energy. Let’s look to each other for support, advice, trade, and influence to help us to flourish in 2019.

Wishing you all a time of peace, harmony and love. From our family business to yours.

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