Appreciation – the heartfelt business relationship cementer














I have just finished reading a little piece  by Graham McGregor  in the NZ Herald about the importance of showing appreciation by  (you can click on his name to read it)  and it got me to thinking.

Showing appreciation to the people that make positive difference for your life in general but also in particular to your business is a really smart idea. I have often heard about people who have gone out of their way to give a leg up to new businesses who then feel somewhat disillusioned that that was never acknowledged or seemingly quickly forgotten. I have also observed managers who have taken great care and time to help establish someone’s fledgling career and when the person is promoted or gets that opportunity they helped engender, they never hear from them again.

I really would hate to think that I have missed out on acknowledging and thanking any of the people who have been great supporters of mine so this post is a public tribute to all the people that  chose to make a difference.

In my life I have been very lucky to have wonderful career influencers and people who were prepared to go into bat for me to give me a go. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all that you did and still do for me.

My first thanks are to my parents Tom and Bron Ashton. They have been unstintingly generous in their support even through some rough patches. Even today when we bump heads, I know that their love and care is always first and foremost. You have supported every enterprise I have been involved in in a variety of ways to numerous to mention. I really love, that sometimes, you consider me wise enough to help out.

Next came my past- employers. I blossomed and really came into my own under the loving care of Robyn Mason (then owner of Pampers Hair design). She schooled me well in the fundamentals. Another employer I think of very fondly is Cari Batenburg (then owner of CFB Hair Studio). We had so much fun exploring our craft, what an inspirational and strong lady. I look forward to reconnecting this summer.

Jumping forward a little, I have many academics and teachers who did and still continue to inspire me today by helping to shape my understanding of the world. Ann Dupuis, Janet Sayers, Duncan Jackson, Virginia Warriner, Kaye Thorn, Keith Macky, Andrew Barney, Bernie Frey, Bevan Catley, and Bill Kirkley you actively grew my little brain. I thrived because you were passionate about your subject knowledge and because you always made time to chat and engage even when I must have been painfully naïve and you had so many better things to do. I am forever grateful to have been part of your classes. That intellectual curiosity that you sparked still burns brightly today.

The efforts of those people above meant I also had opportunity to experience and inhabit the oft touted mysterious and slightly strange world of academia for a wee while. John Monin and Marie Wilson thanks also for believing in me and creating opportunities that were near impossible to engender in organisational systems very flawed. I also thank Joe Beer for his mentoring. Some of your lessons were tough but surely have stuck. Judy Bonny and Lyne Tunna I hold you both close to my heart. The toughest jobs ever, you both performed like the total stars you are.

Another group of people that have taught me so much are those that I was privileged to manage.  My first employee was Jude Trumm, a real firebrand, she was so much fun to have in the salon. That business ended up in so many unusual and unique situations because of her zaniness and wonderful outlook on life. Other people who inspired me every day that I worked with them include, Henry Shi, Parizad Mulla, Daniela Basurovic, Kit Peebles, Eli Nana, Michelle Kilkolly-Proffit, Mirko Benischke, Lydia Woolley, Antje Fiedler, and Natalie Jones. There are so many talented people starting out their careers that I got to share time with, so thanks for being crazy enough to keep signing up for the joys of stage one ;-).

My best friend Lyn Samson, we go back so far I don’t have enough body parts to count that high. Your kind heart and quick wit has been a mainstay of my life for so long. My children adore you; all our lives are richer for having you in it. My flawed friendship seems like a little return on your investment, but I really appreciate that you have never completely given up on me.

Thanks to the Business Concierge clients (a relatively small but hugely talented group) who have kept me out of trouble in the last six months. The variety of work has been mind-blowing and I really love that I am able to contribute in a very small way to your own business successes. I look forward to working with you as we head into the New Year and beyond. I also thank you for the referrals and the belief that you have to continue to chose me when this industry is over-run by people who market similar things that I can do.

My final appreciation award goes to my wonderful husband Nick Love. I must have got something right in my childhood to be gifted with such a strong and outstanding human being as my mate. I really like who you are you as a person, I admire your sense of what is right and just. You make me laugh and my knees still go a little weak when I look at you. You and the beautiful strong willed children we are blessed to parent, are so much an integral part of my happiness and contentment.

Occasionally, I catch myself obsessively looking to the future, I worry about where do we want to be and how will we get there. Following a pathway of overcoming infertility certainly heightens the anxiety of what if never comes or happens.

But then I catch myself and remind me to breathe, live in the moment, and to truly experience life as it is. As we head into the festive season, I want to let you know that I am grateful and I am blessed.  To those who are no longer a part of my everyday life, I remember you with fondness. To those who are still a part of my personal and/or professional circles, thanks for sticking with me. I really look forward to doing more together.

This post is not just about the people I have specifically named but also seeks to acknowledge some of the people who were unsung heroes but also important contributors to my well-being in life. I seek to remember something positive from everyone I have the privilege of spending time with. So to all, thanks for your efforts, and thanks for being generous enough to let me borrow some of your wisdom and verve for life.

I wish you all a happy and safe festive season. May you be continued to be blessed with wisdom,  a generosity of spirit, and the gift to teach others what really matters in life.