My favourite daughter recently informed me that we would not be going on any more family holidays.
Let me clarify a couple of points here: Firstly, I have not committed the ultimate in parental sins by admitting favouritism of one daughter over another – I only have one; secondly, when she said no more family holidays, she meant as a family of four. Holidays, in general, will remain a core activity in the McGowan annual calendar.
At the age of 16, my daughter has decided she no longer wants to spend her holidays with her parents and her younger brother (aka favourite son) but would prefer to stay home, spending time with her friends – whether this is literally or virtually I’m still not sure.
So, there we were, in the kitchen, me processing the information, trying to make a call as to whether I could challenge the decision, and her tentatively waiting for the response.
I was stunned to say the least, not just by how this would impact on our family holidays but by what this represented to our family as a whole – change!
All I could muster was a meek ‘okay’ as I turned away, tears welling up, not wanting her to see the force her words had on me. She hadn’t said anything wrong – she was merely becoming the strong, independent woman I had hoped she would. Case closed.
As a marketer, I am very comfortable with the idea of life cycles. All products and services have them and have often commented that the concept mirrors life itself. Introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Sound familiar?
But in life, as in business, these are not four neatly siloed parts and the impact of change that is the catalyst for the transition from one phase to another can feel brutally tough to get through.
I read recently that successful entrepreneurs are more adept at reconciling the fact that although change is an essential, it is uncomfortable and they are more proficient at dealing with and maximising from it.
To me, this sounds like dealing with change is a physiological response but I think it’s psychological too. We get emotionally accustomed to things the way they are; there’s comfort in familiarity. Then, often without realising it, things change. So, what do we do?
Make the most of the new opportunities.
Change brings opportunity – this is where the entrepreneurs have it sussed and it doesn’t need to remain an exclusively entrepreneurial domain. Change is a constant in all our lives so we can all become more adept at making the most of it.
So, while I will always treasure the memories of the holidays we have had as a family of four, I am now looking forward to holidays of a different kind. In the short-term, we will be a family of three who don’t have four people’s preferences to accommodate. In the longer-term, a return to the couple’s short-break with only myself and Mr McGowan checking-in.
And our family holiday song? The Ketchup Song by Las Ketchup (played non-stop when on favourite daughter’s first family holiday). Can’t say it’s a top ten playlist but it certainly brings back memories.
Awareness and management of your business life cycle can yield vast possibilities – new products, new markets or both. Speak to us today about making the most of these opportunities by contacting us via the form below.