The year that nothing and everything happened all at once.
One year ago today I was in New Zealand, in a small town, a long way from anything familiar.
A handful of friends and a few family members scattered around the country.
I spent the first weeks of New Zealand’s level four lockdown sleeping in a friend’s living room.
The latter part was spent isolating in a bedroom after a COVID scare waiting for test results.
5 weeks prior I had been in China.
3 months before…
I’m going to preface this by saying that while I do not necessarily expect sympathy for my predicament.
Especially considering what the rest of the world is going through and my current location, there are some very real and unexpected mental health impacts that I am experiencing as we enter year two of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As writing is what I do and it is my release I thought that having this discussion might help some other people. …
As anyone who follows this site will have noticed, I’ve been a bit quiet lately. I’ve started writing many articles but they’ve never quite made it out of the drafts folder.
It’s not that I’ve got nothing to say, it is, that I am overwhelmingly underwhelmed.
This time last year I was getting ready to head to Hong Kong. The tail end of 2019 in that city was gloriously tumultuous. …
I can still remember the first time I landed at Kai Tak.
It was 1987, I was seven years old.
I had lived in Singapore earlier in my life and spent a few years in both Australia and New Zealand but Hong Kong would be the town that I would end up calling home.
I remember it being delicious.
I remember it being busy.
I remember it being colourful.
I remember it being awfully exciting.
I remember the streets being paved with gold and opportunity everywhere.
Hong Kong in the 80s was a heady place to be.
A little under…
Working for someone else is easy.
Even if the job is hard.
Unlike the US, in countries like New Zealand, you don’t even have to worry about doing your own tax return.
You worry about nothing.
If your employer falls on hard times your rights are held above theirs, if they want to fire you for financial reasons your position takes on more importance than theirs most of the time.
Basically, if you’re employed, you get to turn up, do what you’re told, go home and keep your lights on. …
Like most people I’ve had to fight the anxiety demon from time-to-time over the course of my life.
It is the most useless thing to get caught up in but it can also be all-pervading.
It rapidly becomes an existential battle.
When it was at its worst anxiety was utterly debilitating. I would find myself so mired in stress about things that might or might not happen that I completely lost my ability to focus on things that mattered.
Finding a way to completely remove it from my life was an aspirational goal, one that I had always wanted to…
Money. A necessary evil. One of those stressors that everyone has to deal with. I hated it for a lot of my life, I blamed it when I didn’t have enough, I blamed it when I had too much and wasted it. It was all money’s fault.
The very fact that it existed made it guilty.
I used to think about money in a very damaging way. I approached everything from a foundation of scarcity yet with a somehow gluttonous attitude. When I had it, it had to be spent. When I didn’t have it I suffered. …
New Zealand is expensive. Most people who live here have long accepted that travel for pleasure to places such as Queenstown is far beyond their reach. Asia is easily and readily accessible, as is Australia, both represent better value for money than a local holiday. This has been the norm for the intrepid Kiwi traveller for many years.
New Zealand is poor. The dichotomous nature of our economy has things costing a lot but very little money in most people’s pockets. Again, it has been like this for many years. The median salary in the country is a miserly $52,000…
We spend our lives talking. We talk to people we like, we talk to people we don’t like, we talk about good things, we build people up, we put people down.
Life is one big string of conversations. They are an extremely important part of our journey.
There are conversations with co-workers, business partners, life partners and with others, these conversations matter. We take time out of our day for them, we prioritize them, they are important to us.
We take some so seriously that we put everything on hold just to attend to them.
We devote significant resources to…
If there’s one thing that matters beyond all others when it comes to being an entrepreneur it is keeping motivated. That’s no mean feat. You’re on your own, results are often a long time coming and getting disheartened is really easy.
The temptation to throw in the towel and go back to a traditional job is often baying at your heels. Underestimate how essential motivation is to success at your peril and, rest assured, motivation is not something that just happens.
It takes effort.
In traditional employment, there are plenty of things that you can use as metrics for motivation…