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Why I’m rebooting my blog and my business

Rebooting my businessIf you’re a regular reader of this blog (yes, they do exist!) then you may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat quiet on the writing front for some time now.

While I’ve been reasonably active on Social Media (Twitter remains my platform of preference), the articles I’ve written here on my own blog have been few and far between.

The reason? Well, let’s just say that 2016 has been an eventful year for me on a personal level…

2016: My Year in review

If I were to summarise my past twelve months as an analogy, then 2016 was Windows Vista for me. While the year as a whole had lots of downs I’d prefer not to repeat, upon reflection, lots of really good stuff happened too.

By way of explanation, let me share what my 2016 looked like and what I have learned from it (and what you can learn from my experiences too).

My new book

The IT Business Owner's Survival Guide2016 started well. In February 2016, I completed my new book, “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide“. Writing this book was a labour of love for me. In a nutshell, it’s all the lessons, techniques and practices I learned to survive being an IT Business Owner and I genuinely hope the book is of help to anyone who becomes frustrated with running a business and feels like returning to employment.

Being knocked over in a hit and run

Being knocked over

A computer simulation of my hit and run accident.

Now, if you weren’t aware I’d released a new book, then it’s not very surprising. You see, a couple of days after the book was published and I was due to start promoting it, I was knocked over by a car in a hit and run accident that put me in the hospital. Yikes!

Thankfully, I experienced no broken bones or head injuries, just some extremely painful bruising and a shake up that laid me up for a while. I had to cancel all my speaking appointments, and, as you can imagine, work slid down the list of my priorities in the weeks that followed.

But, the show must go on, and I’m grateful that I’ve surrounded myself with a team who kept things ticking over with the minimum of input from me. I’m also very appreciative of my friend Craig Sharp who stepped in to take on my keynote presentation at the Continuum European Partner Day and my other business friends who helped me out.

The big takeaway here is yes, life really can happen to you and when it does, be prepared. For any business owners reading, then my advice would be hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Who have you surrounded yourself with to make sure that your business can perform without you?

Getting married and moving to the North-East

Richard and Claire's WeddingBack to my 2016, and in September, I married the love of my life, Claire, at Birmingham Registrar’s Office.

We had a very small ceremony. In fact, we didn’t tell a soul other than close family that we were actually getting married. We let people know the good news by taking a selfie after the ceremony, posting it to Facebook and then inviting friends to join us in celebrating for the rest of the day. It was awesome!

After 20 years living in the same home in Birmingham, I also sold up and moved to start a new life in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in the North-East of England. It was a huge move for me, to leave behind my friends and family, and I’m grateful to say that I have quickly settled in and am loving my new life in the North-East.

So, we lived happily ever after, right? Not quite…

Bleeding out on my 40th Birthday

In Hospital Bed

I was ripe for flattering photographs during my hospital stay!

One week after getting married, and at 5 am on the morning of my 40th birthday, I collapsed at home bleeding heavily from my nose. Now, we’ve all experienced the odd nosebleed during our lives, but this was something else. I was bleeding so profusely that I was choking on my own blood and it’s about as pleasant as you’d imagine.

I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Five cauterisation attempts (quite literally burning the inside of my nose to try to stem the bleeding) and a few days later, and the Doctors could only intermittently stop the haemorrhaging. The decision was made to send me for surgery under general anaesthetic to correct the problem.

The surgery I underwent is called Septoplasty and is basically a procedure to correct issues inside of the nose. I had what is called a deviated septum — and it’s quite common. It’s something I’ve since learned a lot about and with hindsight, I’ve suffered with since my teenage years — although obviously, it’s never been quite as dramatic as this time!

For those who are suspiciously wondering… no, the nose injury had nothing to do with getting married (my wife didn’t smack me in the nose so soon into our marriage) and yes, she really did have to take her “In Sickness and in health” vows seriously quite quickly! 🙂

Once again, the show must go on and my fabulous team rallied around and kept things ticking over without me. Whereas with my accident in February I was able to do light work, this time around I was simply unable to do anything other than lie in bed and recover. Thankfully, I’d previously made provisions for my team to have access to my email and all my systems.

The lesson here? Ensure that the people around you that you trust can act on your behalf before you really need them to.

Make sure somebody trusted can access your email and all of your critical systems without any intervention on your part. After all, you may not be able to grant them access after the fact!

A huge shout-out to my clients who were super patient with me. After my team had let people know what had happened, everyone was very understanding. I’m forever grateful for that. I think the lesson here is that people will understand if you set their expectations accordingly.

2016 – My Windows Vista Year

Windows Vista

My 2016 could be described as Windows Vista!

So, when I say that 2016 was my “Windows Vista” year — you can now see what I mean, right?

On the surface of it, it looked like a bad year with two unexpected hospital visits.

But getting married and moving to the North-East have been amazing, and the good news is that I’m now healthy and happy.

A note on Life/Work Balance here. That mythical balance between having the perfect professional and personal life. I’m really not sure it exists. What I am sure of is that in certain seasons of your life, you need to focus on home. In others, work. As long as you’re aware of where you’re spending your time and adjusting accordingly, you’ll maintain a healthy balance.

With that said, what are my plans going forwards?

Rebooting my business

Richard's First Quarter of 2017

The first quarter of this year has seen me get out and spend time with business friends

Business-wise, all of the above events meant that 2016 was an unprofitable year for me. With the income I did generate, I basically paid for my team to keep the ship afloat. On a personal level, I keep reminding myself that any one of the events I experienced (even the positive ones like getting married or moving house) could derail a business owner’s plans — the fact that I’ve weathered them all while retaining a business is something to be celebrated.

And so, in the first quarter of 2017, with my health regained, I’ve concentrated on getting back out there, meeting new people and re-connecting with old friends.

I’ve done a lot of travelling, attended a tonne of events and the result is that I’ve started to generate opportunities and to free up time to work with businesses again.

So – if you’re an IT business owner who is interested in working with me to help you grow your business, then get in touch — I’m itching to help make a difference to your life and business!

Rebooting this blog

My other immediate goal is to give this very blog an overhaul and write consistently again.

I’ve been blogging for over ten years now, and I’d like to give the blog a new coat of paint to spruce it up. So, there’s a re-branding in the works. Watch this space.

I also need your help. As a reader of this blog, what do you want to see me write about? Please get in touch. I’d really value hearing the articles you want to read, the people you want to see me speak with, the topics you want to see me cover — what can I do on this web-site that will help you and your business?

Other Plans for 2017

Some of my other plans for the second half of 2017 include:-

  • Giving some proper promotion to my afore-mentioned book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide“. If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your feedback and could I ask you to leave an Amazon review?
  • Saying thank you to my loyal clients. For those business owner’s who decided to stick with me despite my being on the shelf during a lot of 2016, I plan on over-delivering in value through spending as much time as I can with you, offering additional workshops and exploring how else I can help you.
  • Generating some revenue from this blog, my Podcast and other media channels. If you’re one of the IT vendors who I know would value reaching my audience in an authentic manner, please drop me a line and ask about my Media Kit which explains the opportunities available to you.
  • Moving to a seasonal format with my Podcast. I’m currently recording episodes for three new seasons, entitled “The Vendors”, “The MSPs” and “The Experts”. More to follow.

And finally, continue to reconnect with you, my peers. I want to speak with you, to hear what you’re struggling with, to hear where you’re headed and to understand how I can help you. I’ll say it again, please get in touch.

I need your help!

Richard Tubb presenting2016 was my Windows Vista year. With two unexpected hospital stays, it may have been considered a bad year — but I got married and I’m now healthy and happy in a new life in the North-East, so I look back on it as simply a year of experiences.

I hope that this blog isn’t too self-indulgent and you’ve found some value in my story as a fellow business owner. The biggest takeaway I can offer is to re-iterate that life happens whether you ask for it or not, so be prepared for the unexpected and value health and happiness above all else.

Can you help me by offering your advice? Leave a comment below, email me or call me, or  Tweet me @tubblog — I really would value hearing from you.

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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
Why not find out more about how I can help your business. You can also check which events you can find me at or read one of my books.

Comments

  1. Richard,

    Always good to hear what you are doing and the fact that you were prepared for the difficult times with your team. Rebooting is not uncommon in the IT business and is often a necessary step to greater success. IT moves so fast, so our businesses must change appropriately.

    Keeping a good perspective on things is also vital and remembering the wonderful highs as well as learning from the lows is best practise! You are a super star!

    Good luck on the journey. I’m just finding out how hard it can be after a major health incident to carry on. I think I’m going to be putting in more resiliency around me 🙂

    Take care of yourself above all else

    • David — that means a lot to me, especially coming from a legend of our industry like yourself who I’ve learned so much from. Take it easy with your own recovery mate.

  2. 2016 was certainly a tough gig for you Richard, but some clear stand out great moments too.
    I’m 100% sure that 2017 will be a glowing success and put Windows Vista firmly behind you.

    Cheers,
    Col

  3. Wow, I didn’t realise you’d been through so much last year. At least you had some good bits among the bad.

    2016 was very Windows Vista for me too and I was glad to see the back of it.

    Health always comes first. I’m glad you had such a strong support network to manage when all you could do was recover.

    Also a reminder that I need to read & review your book! 😀

    • Thanks Claire! It sounds like 2016 was a challenging year for both of us. Health definitely comes first – as I’ve said before “Being dead is bad for business”. Thanks for the kind offer of an Amazon book review, you’re a star!

  4. Allister Frost says:

    As the guy who launched it, I admit that Windows Vista was a bit, no, make that a lot, rubbish. But not as rubbish as your 2016. Glad to hear things are back on track and raring to go. Full steam ahead! Good luck 🙂

  5. Hi Rich, Great blog and even bigger thanks for the birthday message today. Life never runs straight and in my view like a cardiograph ups and downs. It’s how we respond to the lows and pick ourselves up and what we do to share the highs with those that support, encourage and inspire us. I will give you a call and catch up properly over the next few days. Welcome back to 2017 !!

    • Hey Simon. Thanks for the feedback and I absolutely agree, it’s how we respond (not react!) that determines our path. I’ll look forward to speaking to you soon!

  6. I think you will look back and realise that 2016 was a great, memorable and life changing year for many reasons. However if there is an IT and road safety lesson to be learned here, it is to remember the green cross code was not used to develop the computer game FROGGER 🙂 #Atari

  7. Paula Maplesden says:

    Wow… wow… and wow! What an amazing story, such a lot has happened to you in the space of a year and yet here you are… still getting on with life, business, etc. and still smiling! What an inspiration 😀 What advice would I give you… enjoy the little things. Thank you for sharing – really enjoyed the read!

  8. Paul Gillespie says:

    Sounds like not even a service pack could have helped your 2016. Welcome to Windows 10, I mean 2017!

    In all seriousness, it’s good to hear from you again, I was missing your blog posts.
    Have just ordered your book, I’m expecting a great read 🙂

  9. We’re privileged to have you here in Newcastle Richard. Despite everything you’ve been through your outgoing and giving nature have remained at the forefront. I started to read your book only yesterday and was amazed how much value was packed into just the first couple of pages!
    Good luck, I’m looking forward to seeing seeing you all over the north east scene in the weeks, months and years to come. IT business owners will be queuing up to work you!

  10. Hey Richard – great post and fantastic to have you back on the blog – looking forward to reading more interesting posts, listening to more podcasts and perhaps even the inaugural episode of Tea Time with Tubb.

  11. Richard rebooted I’d say. Life has happened and you’re lucky that the hit and run wasn’t more serious. Many congratulations on getting wed and moving to the great North East. Sure 2017 will be great. By the way, your day with us last year set of 18 months worth of change, so thank you and add that to the plus points! Catch up soon.

  12. Thanks for sharing the personal story, Richard​. Good to hear the plans. I reckon a year is never wasted if we learn something from it. Glad there​ were some very good parts of 2016 too. Here’s to an amazing remainder of 2017.

  13. Richard
    Great summary and learnings about life and business. You had a tough year, but the lessons you learned will serve you well for the rest of your life.

    We can never forget that life happens whether we are ready for it or not. The best thing for each of us is to have a plan and be prepared for whatever life throws our way. Planning our legacy can only be done while we live, not after we’re dead. That is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and those we love.

    Thanks again for sharing your story and all you have learned. Hope we can connect soon!

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