BIG.

Big companies have deep pockets. They can afford big offices, big workforces, and big salaries.

But ideas, dreams, passions — they cost nothing. They are the only domains where David and Goliath stand on level ground, where the startup can face the giant incumbent eye-to-eye, and win.

Shift.

Life does not follow gradients. It feels like that most of the time: in school where we move steadily up a level every year and at a job where salary follows experience.

But zoom out and life is not characterised by slopes. It is a series of sharp shifts, up and down, with periods of relative monotony in between. A game of snakes and ladders, of interchanging periods of shift, grind, shift, grind.

Work on the grind, but focus on the shifts.

Innovate > improve.

Disrupt > defend.

Pitch > perform.

Don’t run uphill with your head down – jog with your head up so you don’t miss the next opportunity to jump to the next level. When you find the opportunity, sprint. It’s no longer the run, but the run-up.

Sprint with nothing left in the tank so you make it.

Ancient monument.

Today was one of the more exciting days at work — our lawyer found an Ancient Monument (that’s the official terminology) on our site, a Medieval moated enclosure. We went to explore it just before dark to make sure it doesn’t affect our development plans too much. Had flashbacks to army days as we bashed through lots of thorny branches and thick vegetation to get into the enclosure, but by then it was already dark and we couldn’t really see anything.

EDIT: False alarm, turns out the monument is just outside the boundaries of our site. Still cool.

2016.

Taking a breather to reflect on the year gone by.

The festive period between Christmas and New Year is usually a period of rest and reflection, but a last-minute business trip to Hong Kong meant there was no such comfort this year.

In 2016 I:

  • Broke free of things that held me back or slowed me down
  • Grew my company and took on new employees
  • Started two businesses with two giants in the industry
  • Personally sold my flat (I get a real kick out of this) and bought a place closer to work
  • Completed on two other investment properties, both now stabilised and generating income
  • Completed on a development project, making good progress
  • Got engaged to the love of my life (saved the best for last!)

I failed at so many of the things I tried to do this year (at least five times as long as the list above, looking at all the folders in my Dropbox), it’s just nice to see that 2016 still looks respectable if you put all the good bits together.