Back to work reflections…

After a wonderful break in Norway with the family, it’s back to work today, facing the reality that it’s almost September, which means it’s not going to be long until 2020 is upon me.

Running a business is a full time (in the true sense of the words!) job, and it’s very easy to just keep going, and never really switch off as there is always more that could be done.  Particularly when it’s my husband and I who own and run the business.

Kan Do Ventures is now five years old, and this year is the first year that we have had a real holiday together, really switching off (both us and our laptops).  And what a pleasant surprise it has been.  Apart from the usual joy of travelling somewhere new and spending time together as a family, making a conscious decision to leave the business in the extremely capable hands of the team was wonderful.

Our team are like our second family, so we kept in touch about the adventures we were having – mainly Chun-Kit sending photos of all the meals and weirdly named foods we were eating – rather than talking shop.  And it’s been a great learning experience for us all.  

The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that stopping work to really enjoy a holiday has a real impact on me, as I return to work refreshed and recharged.  Much like turning off my laptop when it starts running a bit slow, I benefit from a reset as well.  

We have a brilliant team – they are more than capable of keeping things going while we have a holiday, and I’m sure they appreciate the break from us!!  It’s great to see the team again and catch up on what they have been doing, and we are all ready to face the challenges for the remainder of the year.

But mainly I’ve learnt that stopping to be really present and enjoy our non-work adventures is a necessity, not a luxury, and we all benefit from regular breaks from work.  So bring on the next adventure….the only job is to decide when and where…

Daring to be different

Do you dare to be different?

What does it mean to be different?  In the current age of social media, I regularly see posts with people all trying to look the same, doing the same thing and trying to be part of the cool crowd.  What does it say about you if you’re not run of the mill?  Can you succeed at school, work, or in life?

The answer is yes, but is it an obvious answer?  

In case you haven’t noticed I am Chinese, but I am born and bred British. From Chinese people I get called a banana or a BBC, and if the British throw insults my way I hardly notice. Has that stopped me in my tracks? If you know me then you know I do not conform to the norm.  Chinese people are usually skinny – I am not. Guys don’t wear pink or dance – I do both (although not often together).

I have made being different an important part of who I am, and I am proud that I stand out. It has really helped me get noticed in my profession.  I’m the smiley Chinese guy that always wears pink. My wife is the female engineer who gets stuff done and we have one very important thing in common, our work ethic. You can be different and stand out for the right reasons, so we have always worked incredibly hard to make sure our professional reputations are ones to be proud of.

Now we are fortunate enough to work together (so far without killing each other) and we are building a business and a team that is not afraid to buck the trend.  We are not misfits – we just like to challenge the norm, ask the awkward questions, and we dare to be different. 


What do you want to be when you grow up?