7 things that changed my life in 2013

7 things that changed my life in 2013
So it’s that time of year again where I look back and reflect on the year just gone. The intention? To reflect, to learn and to take some positivity into 2014.


I’m hoping that these points may help/raise some questions/give you ideas too. Ok, so you won’t be getting married to my wife (or at least I hope not) but you might pick up a few take-aways from the list below or at least add a few of your own in the comments that follow.

If you’re interested in my posts from the last few years, you can find them here: ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12 (can’t believe this is my 4th year doing this!) – here comes the list:

1). Getting Married!

Lizz and I had the best wedding we could have asked for. For those of you who’ve been through this, you’ll know just how stressful it can on the run up to your big day. For me it was about making sure it was perfect and that everyone had a great time. We got married at the Two Bridges on Dartmoor, a beautiful venue, worth checking out if you’re in the region. We had sun, we had outdoor games, we had beautiful flowers, we had each other and it rocked. They say its should be the best day of your life; unless West Ham get a good cup run and win a final, it’s definitely going to be up there (joke Lizz ;). So here’s to many happy years of marriage. Any secrets or top tips from those of you who’ve remained successfully married for many years are welcome in the comments!

Check out some of our photos here if you’re interested.

2). Losing my friend Pete 
This happened very recently so it’s still quite raw. I don’t feel I can sum up my feelings to this any better than I did recently here. I’ll let you check out that post in your own time.

Happy New Year Pete, I know you’re watching down pal.

3). Moving Office
One of the main points we had in our vision statement last year (which I referenced in 2012’s post) was to move office. We desperately needed to do this for a number of reasons. We had staff sitting on each others laps, our office wasn’t reflective of the Optix brand any longer and we’d run out of meeting rooms! Having hunted down the perfect office, we set to work moving and finally changed over in May this year, just a month after my wedding! We spent the second half of the year working on making it an awesome place to work. We have great artwork, plants, an astroturf meeting room, a training suite and of course our purple pool table – a particular favourite of the Optix team. James and I have seen morale increase in the new office and there is a real sense of family about the place. We’re attracting the best people for roles, who do the best work, meaning we attract the best clients. A major change for team Optix and one we look forward to building on over the coming years.

4). Creating a Sales Process
Having built Optix from the ground up and being its sole salesman for many years I didn’t quite realise the impact this had on building a sales team around me. I do things my way. I have my own processes (many of which are in my head). I make sales because I own the company and people like dealing with me. None of the above are conducive to being in a team, especially not heading one up. So I’ve had to learn a lot this year and change my attitude. I’ve had to step back from things where I would have stepped in before. I’ve let the reigns go a little and my team have built us a sales process which we all now follow. This has lead to a strong team with a great attitude, one which I have the utmost pleasure in leading and learning from. The second half of the year saw that team win 6 out of 6 tenders in a row – unheard of for us. Its hard to let go, its hard to re-learn what you know you’re good at but its worthwhile in the longrun. Special mentions here go to Olly Harrison, Kris Sousa and Charlie Martin, you guys rock.

 

5). Freeskiing
I’ve got to have some fun ones right? I bleedin’ love skiing, if I could move to the snow and ski everyday I would. Skiing has been through a bit of a resurgance in the ‘cool stakes’ due to freeskiing, which was born out of new ski designs with two curved ends (called twintips). I purchased a pair in 2013. Basically these allow you to ski switch (backwards) and do tricks that you can’t pull off on normal skis. I’ve finally hung up my snowboard and committed myself to skiing for the remainder of my days. By the way if you’ve not seen this type of skiing check this guy out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTUQ66TOyHs

Oh and watch out for the freestyle skiing in Sochi too – we even have a medal hope in James Woods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAOvzz5-MjA

6). My Stag Do
Don’t worry I’ll save you the sordid details. Actually there weren’t that many. What this is really about is friends. When my best man asked me what I wanted to do for my stag a year or so ago I replied I wanted to go skiing. I was half joking. He said why not, its a once in a lifetime event, do what makes you happy. I concurred but given the cost I thought numbers would be limited to 4 or 5. In total, 11 of my best friends joined me in Feb this year to Les Arcs. It was quite literally the best few days I can remember and certainly my favourite holiday of all time. I realised how lucky I am to have such a close knit group of friends, ones that stick by me through thick and thin. You can never underestimate your support networks but I’d guess that most of us don’t spend enough time with them, getting cuaght up in the day to day of everyday life. Perhaps a resolution for 2014 could be to reach out more and spend time with those that make you laugh?

 

7). Freddie
When I was a kid my grandparents had a black lab called Sam. I loved that dog and made it one of my life goals to own one. This year that goal was realised. Lizz and I bought Freddie a couple of months ago and although our life has changed due to the new ties, it is definatley for the better. We both love him dearly, he’s part of our family. A word of caution to anyone thinking about buying a puppy – think carefully, its a lot of hard work. If you can put in the time and effort though, its extremely rewarding.

 

So there you have it, just a few of the things that changed my life this year. Unlike previous years and with the inclusion of my point about Pete, its not all positive but I’m determined to make something good of that tragic event.

 

To end on a more positive note and remind you how important it is to write things down, do remember that goals that aren’t written down are just wishes.

Now Your Thoughts

  • So what changed your life this year?
  • Who and what made an impact on your 2013?

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