Kevin’s Reflections on 2012

2012 brought a lot of change for our family.  We somewhat jokingly named it “The Year of Change”.  I made my biggest career shift in 20 years and Nicky and I started a brand new venture with Timeless Cottage from just an idea.  Over the course of the year, I read a lot of articles and websites to help figure out my path.  I want to share a few of the best items I came across with you.
First things first.  I started 2012 grappling with the question of what made me happy and what I wanted from my career.  If you haven’t read it, 5 Regrets of the Dying written by Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse from Australia, is a good place to start.  That helped me refocus on what was important.  Over the past few years, we have lost many great people we were close to and you realize none of us will live forever.  As my very wise dad says, “This life ain’t a dress rehearsal.”
Since I was considering a career change, I did a lot of research in this area.  There is a fun and useful website, Escape the City, started by 2 cubicle dwelling professionals in London.  They encourage more dramatic escapes to far away lands but I found the thoughts, concerns, and advice just as valid in moving my job 20 minutes from the City!!  Their inspiring Manifesto reminds us once again of dad’s advice; “This is no dress rehearsal” and “Do Something Different”.
Only recently, after my career decision, did I see this great article from Harvard Business Review – The Top Five Career Regrets.  This summarizes a lot of the themes I read and considered in my change process.
For anyone going through similar challenges and thinking, the links mentioned lead to many more great resources on the web.  I also found it very useful to talk to many people who left corporate jobs, started their own businesses or became independent consultants.  For the price of a coffee, I got tons of great advice and questions to think about.  Thanks to everyone who helped me with that process.
Nicky and I expect 2013 to be the “Year of Stabilization” (I know, big engineering / management term) or maybe more simply the “Year of Geling”, where we settle into our new life.  We are learning tons of new things about serving customers, marketing, and small business management that continues to improve our business.  More importantly, all 6 of us are tighter as a family then we have ever been.  I wish all of you success in 2013 and challenge you to make sure you are on the right track – the track only you can determine through some deep sole searching and talking with those you love the most.
Kevin

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