Lessons of the Year

InTouch - Newsletter - #51

Welcome to the fifty-first edition of "In-Touch". As always, I would love to continue the conversation so let me know, in the comments below, what you think.

Story of the Week: Lessons of the Year

As we come to the end of another year, it's a good time to reflect on everything we have learned and how we can apply that knowledge over the next 12 months. Let me share the five key lessons that I have learned in 2022.


  1. Number one on my list is the importance of family. It's too easy to get caught up in the bustle of daily life but it's very important to make time for the people we love and to show them how much they mean to us. This year I have been working fewer hours at the office and invested the ‘saved’ ones in the family. As a friend observed recently, “You were a trainer and speaker in the morning and now you’ve become a taxi driver in the afternoon!” In truth, I don’t see it like that but, rather, I feel that it’s more a case of “being a mentor behind the wheel instead of in the classroom.” I cherish every moment spent with my family.
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Virardi family photo (16th of December, 2022)

2. Number two is the importance of taking care of ourselves physically. This year, as our twins are turning two and are finding their sleeping pattern (at last!), I made a commitment to work out in the gym three times a week. It has made a huge difference to my energy levels, my mood, and my overall well-being. Whether it's hitting the gym, going for a walk, or just taking some time to stretch, taking care of our bodies is crucial for our overall health and happiness.

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Working out in-between keynotes in Zagreb, Croatia (11th of November, 2022)

3. Number three is the value of brainstorming with great minds. Surrounding ourselves with people who inspire and challenge us can lead to some truly creative and innovative ideas. This year alone, my TikTok account has grown from 1,000 followers to 54,000 and one particular video registered over 10 million views (yes, you read that correctly!) on Tik Tok and YouTube shorts combined. The same video was shared more than 423 times on LinkedIn and went so viral that someone decided to add Arabic subtitles and it became an instant hit (with over 1,929 reposts) in that part of the world too. This was all a result of my working with some very creative minds and being open to critical feedback. You will be amazed at the ideas that can come out of brainstorming sessions and you should make a point of seeking out opportunities to collaborate with people who may well be better than you are.

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Tik Tok screenshot taken today (28th of December, 2022)

4. Number four is the value of welcoming a capable associate onboard. This year, I was lucky to bring in a new team member who has proven to be not only extremely creative and helpful but also a great fit with our overall team of associates and freelancers. I had spent several years searching for someone who could do a specific job. This time around, I decided to look for someone whose work would complement mine. It's been a pleasure to work with Max Pleasance, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else we can accomplish together in 2023 and beyond.

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Max Pleasance on the right of the photo (7th of November, 2022)

5. Finally, number five is the value of learning from failure. We all make mistakes from time to time but how we respond to those mistakes is what really sets us apart. My greatest challenge this year was not making any progress on my major business goal: to offer online courses, which would enable me to reach more people and impact more professionals and, of course, provide an additional source of ‘passive income’ as happens with ‘Stand Up, Stand Out’. I don’t want to make any excuses for not managing to get this new venture off the ground. What I can tell you is that Max and I have drawn up a plan to eliminate all distractions, in part by starting to say ‘No, thank you’ to the majority of requests and also by setting our fees at a level that will, on the one hand, mean fewer customers but, on the other, more time, enabling us to work on that major goal in 2023.

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Photo taken whilst reviewing my goals for 2022 (25th of December, 2022)

Whether your year has been great, good or not-so-good, it will surely have taught you a few things. Be bold and face the facts if you’ve failed; if you think you’ve succeeded, be quick to embrace constructive criticism. Life is a long series of lessons and we need to learn and apply them if we want to become the best we can at what we do.

I wish every one of you a happy and prosperous New Year 2023!

Words of Wisdom

Even fatal mistakes can be valuable

“Mistakes are part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”

Al Franken

A Question to Ponder, my dear friend.

“What are the most important lessons that you have learned in 2022?”

Comment below and let me know.