Looking Back at 2015

I see that I opened the last post of 2014 with a link to a Slade video. I’m sorry. Let me make amends. And maybe the abusive e-mails could stop now?


2016 Calender on the red cubes

Last year saw me draw on the shining examples of David Moyes – whoops – and Dave Brailsford, whilst counselling you against listening to Gordon Gekko.

This year I seem to have gone a stage further. I’ve suggested you make your business pitch standing in a hole in the ice; been inspired by the business lessons of a $10,000 bag and a bacon sandwich – and wondered if the world’s leading business guru might be the Pope.

I’ve also – as I wrote two weeks ago – zipped over to Australia for the weekend, for my sister’s 40th birthday party.

That’s a memory I’ll keep for the rest of my life. But the trip was important from a business point of view as well. Not only was it tangible proof that I’d made the right decision when I started TAB York six years ago:

…it was absolute confirmation that running your own business can lead not just to material rewards, but also to something far more precious: the freedom to spend time with the people you love.

That’s the one message I’ll never tire of repeating: running your business isn’t about your business, it’s about your life. And rest assured that I’ll do everything in my power to help you in the coming year – to run a successful business, and to make sure your work/life balance stays well and truly balanced.

At the end of 2014 I wrote that 2015 might be a challenging year:

there are worrying signs for the global economy and the UK isn’t immune to what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Snap. And you don’t have to go far to see the evidence. What is it to Redcar? Fifty miles? A town where the slowdown in the global economy will see a lot of families having a very different Christmas to the one they had last year.

But then, it will always be challenging. Whether it’s the economic uncertainty in China, the uncertainty in Syria or the uncertainty over a possible exit from the EU, there’ll always be challenges. Add in the pace of technological change and you could be forgiven for never making a decision again.

Decisions, though, have to be made. Hopefully your colleagues around the TAB boardroom table will ensure that the vast majority of those you make in the coming year will be the correct ones.

Let me finish – as I always do at this time of year – with some thanks. The team at TAB head office have, as ever, been wonderfully supportive, efficient and hard-working. Neither I nor my TAB colleagues could be anywhere near as successful without them.

The same goes for Tom, Julian, Dave, Nick, Dougie, Graeme, David and all the other TAB franchisees. You’re a group of people who never fail to inspire me. If only you could up your level of banter a little in the coming year…

Closer to home, my thanks to Dan and Rory who have a) kept me thoroughly grounded and b) kept me fit by sending me to the corner shop for cereal on a regular basis. Someone did once tell me how much teenage boys can eat: I didn’t believe it at the time.

As ever, my love and thanks to Davnet, my wife. No one could do what I do without the support of someone special: I count myself very lucky.

Finally, the members of TAB York. Virtually every day I get out of bed knowing that I’m going to spend time with an intelligent, motivated, ambitious entrepreneur – or several of them. Like my colleagues, the team at head office and my family, they all have two things in common. They’re enormous fun to work with – and I continue to learn from them.

As Anthony D’Angelo said, “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

Thank you to everyone who has helped me to grow this year. Have a wonderful Christmas and may 2016 bring everything you would wish for. The blog will be back on Friday January 8th.


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