What doesn't kill us makes us stronger
On 28th June I felt as though my head may burst. Not from the usual tax planning overload, but because we received confirmation that my little girl Reagan has dyslexia. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not see this is a disability or life threatening condition, and there are a huge number of extremely successful and talented dyslexics, but the emotions ranged from relief, in knowing we could help her unlock her talents and help her in school, to fear of where do I start and how do we best support her in our next steps to give her the best opportunities in life.
The support we received from her school, family and friends was incredible and we were soon on a path which has led to where I sit today writing this blog. In Double Bay Sydney. We researched programs that would help unlock the learning processes and understanding along with providing learning mechanisms, methods and strategies. After a few weeks of preparation, I headed to Sydney with Reagan and Beau and this is where we have been for almost a month. Surprise, you didn’t even miss me did you….
It has involved a lot of adjustment. Living in the city, going into a learning centre for 6 hours a day for intensive tuition, being away from home and their dad, and being away from friends were all big steps and what they were learning was also very draining. But what I have witnessed is nothing short of amazing. In this time, they have both grown in confidence and maturity. They speak to grown-ups, where most children around them will not, they navigate with me around Sydney and they have supported one another in the journey. And the skills they have learnt around how our language works is astounding, some I do not even know! There have certainly been some rough times but overall, they have adapted amazingly.
Then there is the business side. I have always harboured a flexible work environment with a family focus, this is the rule across the entire team. There was never a question that I would take the kids to wherever they needed to be to get assistance, but here’s the beauty of hindsight. For all the changes KLAS have implemented over the last 2 years, the cloud technology, the team structure in how work is managed through to our communications have all meant that I have been able to work while in Sydney without disruption, and it really has been easy. I have still had meetings with clients, solved problems as needed, attended to reviews, trained the team, communicated seamlessly with the team as though I was in the office and you know what else – it’s worked better than it ever has. Because of the evolution, the confidence of the team and how readily and easily they have adapted to change. What I was seeing in my kids I was seeing in my team. I am so appreciative of the terrific team that we have at KLAS.
And this is what I define as success.
For years I have struggled with my own version of success. What is it? What is the dollar value I should earn, the car I should drive, how many houses should I have, how long should I work, How many holidays should I get – I was looking for something that doesn’t have a defined answer and for an accountant that is the ideal torture as there is no RIGHT. But what I have found in these few weeks is that success is by your own definition and for me it is to be able to do what I want, when I want, be able to support my family, be able to support and be there for our clients and importantly be there for my team, but not need to be in an office working 60 hours a week to achieve all of that. I strongly believe that all KLAS have done in the past 13 years have led to this point of having a terrific team that have close relationships with clients, that if they cannot access me they are more than happy and most of the time prefer to work with the team. This also gives our team flexibility in their work structure. Having the technology to allow us the flexibility we need in our current working lives and accessing talent that ensures we have the right people doing the right tasks to enable those client interactions and relationships to grow. Its not about a bank balance or all the material things its about connection, enjoying what you do and being able to enjoy life, and not miss the important stuff.
So don’t look at your next challenge as a burden or something to fear – it might just be the change you need to bring on your own awakening or fine tuning of your business to evolve.
PS – I knew there was a reason I was so drawn to Richard Branson, one of the most successful dyslexics of our time.