6 November 2016
Arriving back in Britain this morning, it would be easy to feel the post-holiday blues. The rain and wind lashing at the windows and bouncing off the runway. It is significantly colder than in Mustique but every time I return from holiday, particularly today I feel so energised, so excited to get back to work and get stuck into a new stage, a new era.
Being away from the office is incredibly valuable. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut and fall into a pattern of working every hour available, however disciplined I am I often find myself falling into this pattern. Since the birth of our four-month old baby too, it feels like time is flying faster than ever.
If you are anything like me where you live your life at a fast pace, to find the necessary time to make precious memories with the family. Holidays are a change of pace. A chance to slow down.
I’ve spent the past few weeks with my wife and daughters building sandcastles, playing tennis, making new friends and enjoying the sunshine. I have actually managed to switch off at times too.
I wrote last week about the precious moment I shared with my mother while on holiday, swimming in the mornings as the sun came up. I grew up with big family holidays in North Wales near Nefyn where the entire family came along. I am fortunate to be able to carry on this tradition ensuring the kids get lasting memories with their grandparents.
Spending time on the beach with our little ones, Summer and Coco, and watching the girls ride horses on the beach are memories that will live with me forever. Just hanging out with them is so much fun and makes up for some of the gaps I have created by working too hard. These are moments that I will treasure forever. Moments that inspire me to do more and ironically work harder.
We are all driven for different reasons. Mine is not for profit, I work hard to create a platform for my daughters. To be able to teach them about running and growing a business and getting the most out of life, whatever their vocation.
I constantly read books by other successful entrepreneurs or thought leaders – Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, Jim Collins, Chet Holmes – all so that one day I can feed back to our girls and others I meet on my journey. To help them learn the lessons of others and avoid some of the mistakes I made hopefully helping give them the best start in life.
It makes perfect sense and I cannot wait for the moment that my girls begin their own journeys and careers. You never know what is over the next hill, all we can do is our best to equip ourselves and our children with the skills and tools they need to face the future. Not easy when our schools are ranked number 22 out of the 23 European countries.
Holidays are not only a chance for us to change the pace, they’re also a break for our children. A change of scenery. Watching them delight in the smallest of things, Poppy is great at catching lizards. She enticed one on her hand and it stayed with her for 3 or 4 days before going off on its own adventure. Each night she’d leave him where she found him on the pillar outside the house, each morning, he was there waiting. She’d bring him to breakfast, which raised a few eyebrows.
But teaching her a lesson that making a friend of a creature and letting them make the choice to hang around was far more valuable than trapping them. She was sad for a bit when he disappeared, but she was soon on to tortoises and other animals!
I often speak about the way that children look at the world and how we lose that magic at some point during adulthood. I try my best to hold onto that spark with both hands and find that being on a beach, somewhere new, with new people, I am suddenly full of ideas and excitement.
I have played the piano more in the past three weeks than I have in 17 years. I quickly became known as the piano man on the island because I gravitated towards playing each time we went to one of the 3 bars. It is truly quite wonderful how music brings us together like that. Music was my first love and my first dream; I still have huge aspirations for business ventures into the music industry one day and we are just building our first recording studio in Switzerland as we speak.
Invariably, family, a change of pace and a new environment are a guaranteed recipe for inspiration! Tomorrow is going to be a fantastic day back at UKFast Campus. I cannot wait to share my new ideas and plans with the team and listen to them and hear about the past few weeks at UKFast. Nothing ever stands still in our office; I’m guaranteed a few surprises when I walk through the doors.
We have a few events lined up for the week ahead, including the Digital Entrepreneur Awards at the Palace Hotel on Thursday. It’s one of the biggest events that we’re involved with and, as the headline sponsor, I am proud to see the room filled with extraordinary businesses from across the digital industry year on year. Its fantastic to have friend Dan Cobley who used to be Managing Director of Google speaking too.
So, will I feel the holiday blues? No! How you look at your life determines the quality of it. It is often said that we should not be sad that something is over, we should instead be happy that it happened. That’s how I feel about holidays, I don’t feel the post-holiday blues, I take the opportunity to channel that energy into making our business extraordinary and helping my team to grow so that they too can take amazing holidays and make lasting memories with their families.
Have a great week and if you haven’t already done it, book yourself some winter sun or a skiing trip, who knows I may even see you out in Verbier in Le Farinet at Christmas.