Well, that was a first!

At the very beginning of January, I managed to do something that I have never managed before. Is this a sign of what 2023 has to offer.

You may or may not have noticed that I took a break from posting over Xmas and New Year. This was not particularly scheduled but just happened. You see, preparing the content for these weekly posts is woven into the fabric of my normal weekly routine. Tuesday morning, while I am travelling, I write my weekly article. Later in the week, I have regular timeslots for pulling together the tax news from the last week, and on a Saturday afternoon, I pull everything together. So, over the festive period when I was not travelling there wasn’t the necessary trigger to get the ball rolling. It wasn’t that there was actually no time, but  I was out of my usual routine.

Anyway, I am travelling this morning. So, we hope that you had a great Xmas and New Year and that you and yours all have a fantastic 2023.

New year, clean page on which to write your story. Have you prepared the synopsis yet? For your 2023 year book you need an outline of the plot. Do you have an idea for the ending yet? If you know or at least have an idea of what the ending looks like, how do you steer the plot in that direction?

Now. The question is, where do I want to be and what do I want to be doing when I take a break for Christmas 2023?  This was the same question I asked myself after I had fallen out of the education sausage factory with a decent degree in Geology and no idea what I actually wanted to do or where I wanted to be. At 23 I asked myself the question “Where do I want to be and what do I want to be doing when I am 40”. Well, I achieved my goal by the time I was 32. I spent a few years coasting (and working pretty dam hard) and then Helen came along and to cut a long story short, we have achieved much more together than we ever achieved on our own.

So what are my takeaways from this brief bio. Try these for size:

  1. You need a sense of direction. What and where? That will influence every decision that you make going forward and little by little, you will move towards your desired outcome.
  2. What you want to achieve will, in all probability, be driven by what interests you, and if you are interested, you will be motivated. I never worked in Geology. It was a fascinating topic to study, but the job held no attraction for me. Instead, I stumbled into working for a local entrepreneur and it opened my eyes to the world of business, so I trained as a Chartered Accountant with Thornton Baker (now Grant Thornton)
  3. You need a team. Helen and I have been a team now for a long time. In many ways we are very different but like pieces in a jigsaw, when all the differently shaped pieces are put together, you get the whole picture. But we also have our extended team without whom we could not do what we do in The Long Partnership.
  4. Don’t take advice from friends and family. This is an interesting one. When I first heard this piece of advice, I did not understand. Surely these are the people closest to you who you can rely upon to help. But, how many of them actually have the experience to give you the advice you need. If you want to grow your business, go and speak to someone who has done that. Your friends and family will want the best for you and they don’t want you to make mistakes and fail. But you need the experience that comes from mistakes and failures to succeed.

I could go on but these are just my takeaways. What worked for me might not be what works for you. You are the master of your own ship. To put it another way, time flies and you are the pilot.

So, here we are at the start of 2023. What do I want to achieve by the end of this year? Well, one of them is to be a better cook. I have always enjoyed cooking and Helen and I share the cooking. I need to learn how to follow recipes, to plan and improve my execution.

Now, this reminds me that I started 2023 doing something I have never done before. We have an array of good quality sharp knives. I hate blunt knives! However, over the years I have cut various fingers or shaved a layer of skin off my thumb while holding an onion that I was cutting. What was my first? Well, this time I surgically removed the end of my finger and had to pick up the piece of finger (not a huge piece) from the chopping board and throw it in the bin.

So, I now have a reminder, if I needed it,  that 2023 has started differently and so it is up to me to keep that going.

What are you going to do to make 2023 stand out?

Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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