30 on 30: I Decided to Give Myself a Six-Month Review (In Public)


So, we’re halfway through 2017.

Generally, in the past, I was always preoccupied with the next destination, and not taken enough time to enjoy the journey. So I’m trying to change that.

Today, on June 30th, I decided to take 30 minutes and give myself my first ever public six-monthly review. (I had six-monthly reviews in some of the jobs I had in the past, but this one has been much more enjoyable…)

I reflected on four questions:

  • What I’ve Done
  • People I’ve Met
  • Places I’ve Been
  • Progress I’ve Made

And then share it with you here. I hope you might do it too.

Things I’ve Done

  • I started January with one client and not many ideas about how I might get more. I now have seven and have a couple of proposals out for high-impact projects for great customers in the second half of the year, so really excited about everything.
  • Back on January 2nd, I wrote an article on Medium about my problems with depression over the last 10 years or so. It was the first time I was fully honest with myself and everyone around me. It opened up amazing, liberating conversations with family, good friends to whom I’d previously hidden the real me, friends I hadn’t seen in years and people I’d never met before who I can now call friends.
  • Twelve months ago I hated networking — I felt like I was the guy who was always the one not talking to anyone. I’ve got much better at it. Like a lot of things, it comes with practice.
  • I’ve done some public speaking, about digital business and depression (and sometimes both!) at three events in Belfast, Dublin and Cork
  • I have been included to speak at a TedX later this year.
  • On January 1st I knew literally no-one in Belfast, Cork or London but set myself a goal of getting one client in each place by the end of the year. I now have a client in Belfast and one in Kerry (okay, not Cork, but it is a Corkman!). So, London’s next 🙂

Places I’ve Been

  • London. The British Museum and Natural History Museum with my wife Lorraine and children Cara and Shay (there’s so much free stuff in London!)
London, with the crew
  • Gweedore. I shared two days in March with about 25 other businesspeople as part of Moira Ni Ghallachoir’s Gnó le Croí retreat. It was two of the most empowering days I’ve ever experienced. [Update: There’s another Gnó le Croí taking place at the end of August. If you’re a small business owner — or thinking of becoming one — you should come. Here’s the detail.]
  • Cork. Strangely, I don’t think I had ever been to Cork (certainly never as an adult). I spent 24 hours there in April, spoke at an event and continued a conversation with someone who has since become a client.
  • Tullamore. (Meath walloped by Kildare. Say no more.)
  • Belfast. I love it there. There’s a great energy about the place. Looking forward to spending more time there in the rest of the year and beyond.


Belfast, home of good energy

3. People I’ve Met (and Got to Know a Little)

I’m going to miss loads but here goes.

  • Finbarr Bradley. Writer, academic, educator, tangent-explorer, thinker, motivator. I hope to start up a podcast soon and I hope to have Finbarr as one of my first guests. (He doesn’t know this yet!)
  • Conor Devine. Living with MS and running 26.2-mile marathons as preparation for Ultramarathons. Ironman triathlete and source of apparently endless good energy.
  • Graham O’Rourke, CEO of Aphix Software, a bright young B2B ecommerce solutions startup based in Drogheda but branching out to UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Announced 25 new jobs recently and currently recruiting for a Product Marketing Manager and a Mobile App Developer (details here — you should apply. They’re great!)
  • Tony Heffernan, Founder and CEO of Bumbleance, an amazing charity that provides ambulance services for seriously ill children all over Ireland. Recently launched a dedicated service in the north-west. I believe there’s a big Bumbleance milestone this weekend (which I’m not sure I can speak about, so I won’t. But … look out for it!)
  • Eve Earley, part of the team at Tangible Ireland and professional change agent. The best of Ireland and the United States in human form.
  • Mags Boland Murphy. Owner of Bofin Consultancy, a Wexford-based strategic sales and marketing company. Honest, open, warm, helpful in every way.
  • Emma Boylan. Owner of a Donegal-based marketing company and the possessor of relentless drive and energy. Going places!
  • Patrick Keeney. MD of a Green Golf Travel, an ambitious golf tour company based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and dedicated to showcasing the golf courses of the north-west to golf tourists all over the world.
  • Orla McLaughlin, nutritionist, who has helped me lose weight and find energy. Thanks Orla. [Here’s more on Health by Orla.]
  • Robert McKernan, who has helped me more than he’ll ever know. As generous with his time as he has been intolerant of my bullshit. Top quality sales trainer and business coach.
  • Emily Gowor, international publisher, author, speaker, inspiration, who has been to the brink and now brings light to thousands.
  • Sally Murphy, storyteller, coach, communications expert and very funny amateur comedian. Another of my weirdly growing Donegal circle!
  • Gobnait O’Grady, life coach, empathy specialist, purveyor of calm.

4. Progress I’ve Made

  • I’m dealing better with depression. I’m not out of the woods. The day I feel on top of the world is always, always, always a day closer to a dark low. But I know that now. And I know that it will pass. So far it always has.
  • I’m grateful for every morning. I’m grateful for sunshine and for rain. I’m grateful for good health and physical strength and clean air to breathe.
  • I’m learning every single day. The day I think I know something is the day it will prove me wrong.
  • Surrounding myself with great people who instinctively think “Yes!” and reducing time around people with negative leanings is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
  • I don’t think happiness is a choice, but I realise now that our choices have a massive bearing on our happiness. So I’ve been paying close attention to my choices — food, sleep, exercise, work, people. And it’s been great.
  • I’ve helped maybe half a dozen people remove their own limitations. (I’m not sure I’ve properly made this is as part of my business yet. And I know that’s a limitation I need to remove from myself.)

Thanks for reading.

Now it’s your turn. Take 30 minutes out and try it.

And Happy Part 2 of 2017.