Skip to main content

Edition 128 – Uluru

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that last week, I ventured to the Northern Territory for the first time. Why it has taken me 50 years to head to Central Australia is a question I can’t honestly answer. However, it was a completely unforgettable experience that my wife and I are aiming to repeat sooner than later.

We ventured to Ayers Rock, or what we now refer to as Uluru, for what was part conference and part R&R. For four days, Trish and I immersed ourselves in the beauty and wonder of what the Australian desert had to offer.

As is always the case when you escape for a few days, your mind and body de-clutter and allow you to take in not only the environment you find yourself in, but different thoughts that help you with your life and your business.

Here’s what our few days away had me reflecting on:

  1. It’s not just desert – there is much more to Central Australia than you can imagine.
  2. The landscape thrives, even in winter.
  3. The humidity is incredibly low (lower than an aircraft cabin), so the plants adapt by being less broad leafed and much hardier.
  4. At a spectacular dinner in the desert wilderness, we experienced the beauty of the sun setting over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The picture changed right before your eyes and the beauty continued to evolve.
  5. At that same dinner, when the lights were turned off and all the diners remained silent, the two things you heard were the gentle sound of the wind blowing through the Desert She Oaks – and frogs.
  6. The night sky was unlike anything that I’d ever seen before. To savour the beauty of seeing Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars all in the night sky, all at the same time, was mind blowing.
  7. I’m prepared to go out on a limb and suggest the brightest blue sky that I have ever seen greeted me last Wednesday as we walked the base of Uluru.

Whilst this week’s edition of Growth could be considered a travel log, it proved to me once again the beauty and value of travel in restoring and rejuvenating your mind and your body. Re-interpreted, here are the lessons I’ve just eluded to:

  1. Some family business owners don’t realise what goldmines they are sitting on until someone from outside points it out to them.
  2. Adversity is always there and we need to accept it and work with it, not bemoan it.
  3. If your business environment changes, what are you doing in your business differently to accommodate that change?
  4. Change can occur very quickly in a family business – sometimes right before your very eyes.
  5. Silence and solitude are important for considering what real messages are out there that you should be listening to – and what is otherwise, noise.
  6. Look up and out – you may see things that have always been there, but you’ve never previously had clarity over.
  7. Family business is not merely black and white. There are often shades of grey that we need to deal with. Stepping back helps to pain the picture in other colours as well.

Back in the 80’s, Australian TV legend Daryl Somers once fronted a tourism campaign for the Northern Territory along the lines of “if you never, never go, you’ll never, never know.” Now, 30 years later, I fully appreciate what he meant.

This Week’s Tip

“Immerse yourself in a different environmental or cultural experience. The lessons for you, your family and your family business could be astounding.”