To Know Where You’re Going, You’ve Got To Know Where You’ve Been

Dec 23, 2019

As the end of the year approaches, I have been looking back at the 2010s. It has been so inspiring and motivating to think about how much has happened.

Turns out a decade is a long time and you can achieve so much in 10 years! 

One thing that really stood out was how important the people I worked with were and how so many achievements would not be possible without the hard work of others too. 

So I hope you will forgive this (almost) end of the year indulgence where I look back at the last 10 years and the important people who made it possible. 

Thank you so much for being part of the last 10 years and I hope we can work together again in the coming decade. 

The Early 2010s: Launching Myself Into Freelance Work in South East Asia

Inspired by work at SolarAid with the amazing Anna Wells, John Keane and Nick Sireau, I took the leap in the early part of the decade and set off to work internationally. Within a few weeks with the help, I had found a huge demand for my skills in the region and started working with different international clients on a freelance basis with people like Tim France. It was inspiring and motivating to be working closely with organisations in the region all working for positive impact. 

Thank you also to Hannah Perkins and Rose Koenders who welcomed me to South East Asia and changed the course of my work that year. I can’t wait for the day

Experimenting: Working as an employee, freelancer and then launching my own business

For those of you who know me well, I have an insatiable curiosity and love of learning. I have done some amazing training courses with professors at MIT, Cambridge University and more (don’t make me list them all!) and I learned a lot from these amazing courses but I also learned so much being courageous and making some big leaps. The first was from employment to self-employment. That leap was made possible by so many different people that it would be impossible to list them all but I’ve tried. And then there was the leap from being a freelancer to being Director of my own company. That is another huge learning journey as well. 

Thank you, Kathryn, Nikki, Jenny, Vanessa, Vardeep, Natalie, Nat, Heather, Sly, Carla, Ruth K, Ruth G, June, Jess, Hayley, Kate and so many more!

Finding My Version of Creativity: Helped to launch an ethical beauty brand and a data science software product along with multiple websites.

If you judged my creativity on my artistic ability you’d conclude that I have very little. My drawing skills are only just in front of my sons and he will soon overtake me. 

However, this decade I found my own version of professional creativity through experiments and launching myself into new fields. 

Did I mention I love diversity! This really sums me up really. I leaped at the opportunity to launch a new ethical beauty brand (thanks Camilla, Louisa, Kate, Mathilde and Diane) and then, more recently leaped at the opportunity to develop a new data science SaaS product (thanks Rich, Matt, Ben and James) for that crazy journey). What made both of these things possible were the brilliant teams I worked with and who helped make it possible.

Turns out that I am creative. Who would have guessed it!

A Decade of Personal Change: International Travel, Moving House, Getting Married and Creating Two New Human Beings 

The first year of the decade really set the pace for the coming years. I found my work took me all over the world. New York, Washington, Antigua, Hong Kong, Paris, Kuala Lumpa, Singapore, Zurich, Geneva, France, Italy to name just a few. I remember so many great trips and times with the great team at Cass Business School (Kelly K, Kelly R, Christina and Paola). We moved house within London and then out into the wonderful world that is not London. I have found joy in walking in ancient woodland, swimming in the cold north sea and finding clarity and calm in beautiful environments. Turns out London is easily accessible and open for me to work there whenever I need it. 

I am so thankful for all the people who made the challenges and changes positive and productive. Many of you are mentioned already so I won’t thank you again though you know who you are. 

 

Learning to Invest In Myself and Others

This was a decade I became a (micro) investor and supported some amazing organisations like Beam, Young Women’s Trust, Re-engage and more. It’s been amazing how relatively small amount of money can make a big difference. 

I’ve also been investing in myself. I easily invest between 10% and 25% of my pre-tax income into my own development. By thinking about training and development as an investment, I know that this pays back more than I invest in it. I invest in a mixture of skills training, coaching and professional groups. I can’t imagine achieving half the things that I do without having made these investments. 

Thank you: Alex, Taryn, Sonal, Emma,, Natalia and Lorraine

Growing Confidence and Finding My Voice 

In this decade, I have been on expert panels, written white papers, taught live webinars, spoken at conferences, done facebook Lives, broadcasted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram simultaneously to an audience of more than 10,000. When I look back at these things, I remember the fear I felt before doing them and feel proud that I said yes to them despite the fear. 

I had some great support from people like Sorrel, Alison, Tom, Amelia, Jhumar, Ann. Thank you!

 

New Connections and Relationships

In the last few weeks of this year, I have been connecting and meeting some amazing people and had some awesome experiences.  I can’t wait to work with you in the coming years.

Thanks Katie, Liz, Jackie, Nicola, Ragini, Richard Lucy, Ruth G, Kim, Elizabeth, Jane, Marie, Sarah, Sara-Lynn

Increasing My Impact: Trained over 2,000 people, coached more than 150 people on a 1:1 basis, reached over 10,000 through social media

 

Amusingly it is hard for me to put an exact figure on how many people have been trained by me. Anything I’ve delivered live is obviously easy to count. However, I’ve also created training content for lots of different companies which has been used in multiple courses. I am guessing at over 2,000 people but it could easily be much higher. It’s also hard to quantify how many people have read my blogs, watched my videos or read a post from me. I am thinking over 10,000 is a safe bet. When you add up my audiences across all my platforms it is quite a mindblowing number of people. 

In the next decade, I have some even bigger numbers in mind, combined with a lot of deeper work on a one to one basis with individuals.  

My plans and aspirations for the 20s is a whole other post, maybe I’ll take some time over the seasonal slowdown to write that post. 

For now. 

Quite simply, thank you.

Wishing you a wonderful seasonal break. 

Love Ruth