In just a couple of days, we will pass into a brand new decade. While some may say it’s just another year, we humans have made a custom of dividing out these ten-year increments for retrospective and historical value. It’s that time of life for us again…
I don’t remember the 1960s. Now for many people, that was due to reasons “other” than being too young! I turned five years old on the last day of the decade and really only remember the back half of 1969, specifically moving into our new house in Oak Harbor, for which I would call home for the next 17 years.
The 1970s was all about growing up. I experienced grade school and junior high; played with friends and developed relationships that have lasted the past four decades; and dealt with the challenges that come with that transition from child into teen. There was no Internet, no cellular devices. The coolest technology was Pong (if you don’t know what that is, Google it). It was a simpler life, but not always so easy. I’m fortunate that I grew up with a strong family, good schools, and great friends.
The 1980s was probably my most memorable decade due to the vast life changes that occurred. I began the decade with my first year in high school; which led to: learning to drive a car. getting my first (and only) girlfriend, graduating high school, community college, and the University of Washington; getting married to that same girl; getting my first real job; quitting that job to go to another; seeing the birth of my first daughter and conceiving the second; and witnessing some of the most incredible world events such as the freeing of the hostages in Iran, the nuclear arms race, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now THAT’S a decade to remember!
The 1990s saw us start and fail at a business; move to the area that we still live today; watch our girls grow though exactly the same growth years that I had 20 years earlier; get to coach them in sports, and for us to develop as young parents trying to figure out our way in the world. We also got our first dog.
The 2000s started with the most chilling event in my life; the attacks on September 11, 2001. I will never forget watching the events unfold with Barb that morning as we were getting the girls ready for school. The 2000s saw me get to realize a lifelong dream of coaching high school basketball for six years. I founded my consulting practice midway through that decade and will be celebrating 15 years in 2020. My parents moved close to us and our family was able to enhance that relationship in the twilight of their lives. Our daughters graduated from high school and started college. I even had the unique pleasure of watching my father receive his high school diploma 65 years after he quit school to join World War II. And, we added two dogs to the family, including the incomparable, Captain Jack (Bella joins us in 2010…).
This past decade held a lot of growth and change both professionally and personally for me. I lost both of my parents; watched our girls graduate from their respective universities and then go off and get great jobs; and walked one daughter down the aisle to get married and then provide us with two beautiful granddaughters. My business has been re-invented in several ways over the past 10 years; I wrote three books and became a LinkedIn Learning author with three courses. Most importantly, that girlfriend who became my wife back in the 80s joined me in business and we’ve had the best three years ever. I love having her by my side both as a wife and a business partner. It’s hard to believe that we are about to finish our fourth decade together.
Here’s your assignment: Go through the same exercise I just did. Start with the decade you were born and review your life – both personally and professionally. Take a look at the the events and people that put you where you are today. As a New Year’s Eve birthday boy, I have always taken a somewhat reflective and eager perspective of the year that was concluding and the one ahead. Decades add even more perspective to that. My hope for you is that by doing this exercise yourself, it will be both thought-provoking and exciting.
Here’s my birthday offer for you. I’m happy to offer you a complimentary 15-minute phone call to help you create your game plan for 2020 to start the decade off on the right foot. The only catch is you must schedule it before 4:00 pm PT on December 31st (the calls will be in January; you just need to schedule the date). Email me from this memo and tell me you want to schedule your time and we will get it done. I’m limiting this to 12 people; first-come, first scheduled.
I don’t know what the new Roaring 2020s will hold. What I do know is that I’m excited and eager to find out. I hope you are, too. Here’s to your health and success, and that you slide in ahead of the tag in 2020!
Quote of the Day:
“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”
~ Madeleine L’ Engle (20th century American novelist)
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