Don’t just count your years, make your years count ~ George Meredith
When I was a child, like most children, I loved my birthday.
I was blessed to be bought up in a stable home, the eldest of four children and birthdays were definitely a celebration. We had incredible parties, presents and cake. To be honest, part of the attraction was also about feeling at the centre of things, unconditionally loved and celebrated.
When I got older and had children of my own, I celebrated birthdays from a slightly different angle.
You remember carrying them, the emotions when they were born, tending them as babies and a series of milestones. You relive their lives so far; the good, the bad, and the terrifying (if you have lived through teenagers, you will know exactly what I mean).
We have just celebrated the magazine’s seventh birthday.
When we launched it, I was working from home and it was just me and the designer, Emma Beamish. There were many nights spent working into the wee hours to ensure the finished product was exactly as we wanted it to be and I remember vividly joking with Emma that it was just like giving birth; it seemed to be taking forever, was quite painful at times and ultimately with a final push, it happened.
We put a tree on the front cover to symbolise spring and new beginnings. Every birthday issue since has also featured a tree.
The last seven years have been a whirlwind. Never in my wildest dreams would I have seen us here. It was meant to be a small magazine that I ran from home, that gave me a better work: life balance.
How wrong I was! We now run conferences and training all over the world. We publish books. We provide support and mentorship to Assistants globally and we are driving change across the profession. Like most fledgelings, it has taken on a life of its own.
But what gives me most cause to look back and smile is the impact we have had on individuals. Our tagline is ‘Changing Lives One Person at a Time’ and whenever I receive emails or testimonials, when I look at our Isipho girls in South Africa, every time I watch an incredible trainer that we have been able to put on an international stage for the first time, who truly belongs there, and visibly moves our audiences I am thankful.
There are Assistants all over the world that have picked up the mantle and committed to their own personal development and to elevating the role of the Assistant because of the conversations we started in 2011.
I am proud of my baby!
Happy Birthday Executive Secretary and here’s to many more.