Over the last six weeks, I set out to prove there was an alternative view to the one that was being peddled by the world media. That it was possible to resuscitate a business that was handicapped by the pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions, red tape and inconsistent messaging by our leaders. I wanted to make a difference to my teams and give them a cause to believe in and a leader they can trust.
If I had believed the news channels, what I was about to do was dangerous, stupid and even some close to me questioned my sanity. You are going to high risk areas. Well in the past six weeks I have learned a lot. Airports are full of great marketing fodder – those that all brands want to reach, fearless consumers, spenders not searchers and those like me who just have got on with life. We made a decision to continue life as normal in spite of what’s going on in the world. That doesn’t mean the virus doesn’t exist, yet I chose to live with it rather than cower in fear of it. It was a huge sacrifice and I thank my wonderful family for supporting me through this time. Without their incredible love and encouragement none of this would have been possible.
What a trip it’s been, six weeks of making magic happen. Interviews, podcasts, adventures, a massive shift in performance, pivoting the business, making easy and difficult decisions mostly around ego, shame and guilt. It was a lesson in living life to the max and giving the people around me a belief that anything was possible.
Despite the pandemic, I played one of the greatest golf courses in the world, wandered with film stars, poets and opera singers along the beach in Malibu. I shot guns, rode horses and hung out with 39 super cool dudes at a cowboy ranch in Arizona. I made new friends and rekindled old relationships that helped get me in a great place ready to finish 2020 strong.
The airports were busy, I took 11 full flights, travellers were spending like always – they always spend more when on a trip. I had ten covid tests and remain healthy.
I helped talented people create TV shows and brought more great writers into our magazines. Nurturing talent has always been something I enjoy and through this journey I realised that I want to do much more of this. I want to help as much up and coming talent to get huge exposure through our amazing mediums and grow within our business.
I celebrated my friend Tim Storey’s sixtieth birthday, dressed up for Halloween and partied till the wee hours. Drank 17 year old Balvenie and smoked Montecristo’s on the beach in Santa Monica as the sun set. I did press ups all over America and at the last count went well over 3000 push ups over 6 weeks. I feel superb and I sure hope I left a few people energised by my newfound good energy. Staying home versus seeing the world and meeting new people is a choice and one I am glad I took.
I studied and learned from the best and started a new routine to get my life back in order. I even painted my nails pink for charity. I gave a homeless man a gift bag and helped my mate Alex Stephany get his message out to a US audience.
And if that’s not enough had my broken nose fixed after 40 years of not being able to breathe through it over zoom from an energy and emotions healer in Mexico.
I reframed lots of people within our businesses and the belief is at highest it’s been this year. I am leaving the USA better than I arrived and am excited to get back in 2021 to create more magic moments
Here’s the final truth, it’s easy to accept that Ink has been severely ravaged and damaged by the pandemic. We took a direct hit, yet it’s the resilience to keep fighting, and with the amazing team around me we continue to defeat the odds and finish the last two months of the year without losing millions of any currency.
I certainly will not be looking back on 2020 with any regrets, with no fearsome living, I enjoyed every month and still have one more to go. It’s been a wonderful year to get lots of feedback and I am grateful to all who dispensed it.
Happy thanksgiving USA and let’s make every day left of 2020 count.