Celebrating the year that was
31.12.09 | Posted in General
Entrepreneurs don’t celebrate enough. It’s like we accomplish one goal, pause for a quick breath and then go to the next one on our to do lists. I’m certainly guilty of this. So I’m going to stop for a few deep breaths and celebrate the year that was. I encourage you to do the same. Take a few minutes to do a stocktake of what you achieved in 2009. For now though, here’s a bit of my story.
In January Rowan and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Hamilton Island at Qualia – amazing. This trip coupled as a babymoon and was our last holiday with just the two of us.
February brought the first round of Business Chicks breakfasts across the country. Crowds flocked to hear Geraldine Cox’s story. We were so moved by her work that we decided to organise a trip to Cambodia to visit her orphanage. Later in the year almost 40 Business Chicks got to cycle around Cambodia (one group is pictured here); complete some project work at the orphanage, and raise over $130,000 for Kids Helpline.
My term as the President of the Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney was fast coming to a close and whilst I’d had a great ride with the board I was ready to step down after four years of service.
My belly grew and grew and in early May I birthed a beautiful baby girl, Milla. She was nine days ‘overdue’ but I was committed to let nature take its course and not interfere with the process. Milla was born in water at our home after an incredible 23-hour labour. Rowan only missed three contractions during the whole day, and his hands were the first to touch her.
The experience was exhilarating and powerful and I’ll definitely be birthing all my babies at home in the future (health permitting). Milla had such a gentle, peaceful, loving and calm entry into the world and we’re sure that her beautiful temperament now is owed in part to this experience. The care and support I received from our private homebirth midwife and doula was absolutely first class and way above any level of care I encountered in the hospital system.
Eight days after giving birth I braved the next Sydney Business Chicks breakfast. The lights, music, energy and 980 strong audience overwhelmed me. It was my first day out of PJs and first time out of the house but it was worth it to hear Li Cunxin, author of bestselling autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer.
My year gets a bit fuzzy after this. I endured five months of chronic sleep deprivation (the longest stretch of sleep I achieved was three hours during this time) but loved every minute of getting to know Milla and her little ways. I jumped back into my businesses and taught myself how to juggle in the way that all working mums before me have. I’m proud to say that I’ve only ever been late home once for the nanny. Motherhood has taught me the value of time and the importance of focus.
The highlight of my year has been watching my team grow and mature as people and in their roles. Unsurprisingly, they stepped up and made decisions in my absence, and completely supported me in my journey to becoming a parent.
We celebrated the first anniversary of Business Chicks in Perth; introduced our Lunch and Learn event series (with guest speakers Mia Freedman and Amanda Gore); leapt into the social media game; heard from Layne Beachley at another of our events (pictured left); and partnered with NAB, Sofitel, HP, Tahiti Tourism and hundreds of other brands.
I was one of four finalists in the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards, and one of three finalists in my category in the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female of the Year awards. After a frustrating experience with awards programs this year the gorgeous Matt Church from Thought Leaders awarded me the Entrepreneur of the Year, which to be honest, means more to me because he actually knows me and knows what I do.
I’m positive I’m missing many crucial events and milestones, but that’s not the point. What matters is that I actually stopped to give myself a quick pat on the back, and took a look at the year that was. Great. Now on to the next goal on my list – 2010! Happy New Year everyone.