Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director and Coach at Aspirin Business Solutions
Floyd Mayweather has hung up his gloves, saying “I’ve been in this sport 19 years, been a world champion 18 years, broke all the records. There’s nothing else to prove in the sport of boxing”
To retire as a world champion, aged just 38, having never lost any of our fights, is a goal many of us would be satisfied with … and yet, it reminds me of a conversation with a friend, who’s recently retired. He heartily recommended retirement to me. I heard myself say “I’m not ready for retirement yet, my best is yet to come.”
I have a very strong sense that my life is still building. My passion, focus and certainty are getting even stronger with time. Part of this certainty, I’m sure, is the quality of the people who are coming forward to work with us. Their passion, talent and belief fuel my own.
Our journey to success is very different to Mayweather’s. He was born into a family of boxers and taught to box before he could walk. Beyond the gruelling training were a series of ascending battles. Each with clearly define ways to win and a declared winner. Fuelled by frenzied media and pay-to-watch matches, his route to success followed a well-trodden, if intensely tough, path.
By contrast, our own route has felt at times more like fumbling around in the dark. It’s not been helped by my own desire to reject the well-trodden paths. I suppose I wanted to be in no doubt that I’d earned my own stripes, that I’d followed my own values and not played another’s game by another’s rules. There’s something wonderful freeing and invigorating in knowing you’ve created your own success in your own way.
Instead of a ladder to success, my own has felt more like a diminishing spiral – of circling closer and closer to the truth. That’s why my best is yet to come. I feel it building and, unlike Mayweather, I’m still excited.
I love, with a passion, the difference we make for our clients. On a monthly basis that may be seen through increased sales and profits. But our passion is inspired by the day to day, sometime mere glimmers of transformation, that we see, hear or feel in our clients.
Sometimes it’s in the physical presence and engagement with our work of someone who was previously too busy and sceptical. Sometimes it’s hearing of team members who, seemingly out of the blue, ask if they can research a new and potentially lucrative market. (Both stories shared by our clients this month.) For it’s the day to day, mere glimmers that build to create these increases in sales and profits. It’s the butterfly effect, the turn of the tide that create ongoing success.
Yes, it’s about the great sales person or manager who spots an opportunity and races off heroically to ‘bring home the bacon’. Of course, it’s about a strong and focussed Senior Team who’ve agreed which strategies will grow the business. But – for every reaction there’s an equal and opposite reaction. It might be the reaction of a competitor for having a high profile deal snatched from under their noses, who decide to squeeze you out of the market or steal your sales person; like an arms race.
Yet the gentle flutter of a butterfly’s wings goes unnoticed until it build to a point where the competition are taken unawares and left behind.
For many including us, the sustainable joy in a career comes not from these quick heady, but soon forgotten, individual successes but in knowing you’re part of creating a winning AND happy team. It’s in the joy of nurturing the spark of potential in your team into flames. It’s in being proud of how you’ve spent your time here on this planet.
The best is yet to come. I’m sure of it. I’m doing it right now in writing this. There is plenty of potential left to be released.
If, like me, your best is yet to come, would that be worth a conversation?