This week could be one of the most frustrating weeks I’ve ever experienced. I’m frustrated because I’m writing to you from our old factory - not the new one that I was so convinced we’d have the keys for this week - but the old one which has been completely packed up minus the work computers and a single desk which I’m sitting at now.

Waiting for something to happen is one of life's greatest times sucks. It attacks you from all angles. Not only is the thing you want to happen not happening, which is disappointing. The waiting itself can consume you. If you’re not careful, you can end up wasting valuable time just watching the waiting happen. 

Classic example is waiting for the toaster to pop. The longer you stare at it, the longer it seems to take. This week I’ve been so distracted by the waiting to get the keys to the new factory that I haven’t been able to complete more than a solid 30 minute stretch of focused work. The worst part is I get cross at myself for letting the waiting game get the better of me knowing full well that I can't control what I can’t control.

The only thing that has helped calm my rage this week is the idea that you are exactly where you’re meant to be. Wherever you are in life, you should embrace the present moment and trust that the current circumstances, location, or situation is right for you at this particular moment in time. This is a strange concept when I’ve felt so helpless all week. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, the hard parts of life also offer the greatest rewards. The obstacle is the path.

Comprehending the reason why this week was required as part of our story is lost on me right now. I’m still too cross to appreciate the lesson. There has to be some time and space to reflect. The only thing I’m 100% sure of is that one day we’ll look back at this week, the week we ‘moved’ and we’ll see that it couldn’t have happened any other way. 

Life is funny that way, it is only when we look back that it all makes sense. The challenges, hurdles and stop signs that caused you to pivot or change direction become the path. They often only make sense in hindsight.

You are exactly where you’re meant to be. 

At the complete other end of the emotional scale, last night I found myself at the 2024 Future Shapers Launch night - the reason being that I’m (very fortunately) the recipient of the Peter Davies Scholarship and will be part of this year's 18 strong Future Leaders (pause for applause).  

The Future Shapers has been run by the Committee of Ballarat for the last 19 years and is a once in a lifetime experience, especially for small business owners such as myself. The ten month long leadership course is participant lead and the first half of the year is packed with extraordinary learning opportunities. Industry experts are invited in to share their knowledge and experience with us. We go deep into government working our way from local right through to a 3 day trip to Canberra when we go federal! 

Can you imagine the incredible opportunities this will have for a prefab housing manufacturer in the middle of a housing crisis! Despite the obvious networking opportunities, the real takeaway from the course is the group projects that are the focus of the second half of the course. 

What sets Future Shapers apart from other leadership courses is the cross contamination of industry. This year's intake has people from manufacturing, council, education, and healthcare just to mention a few. The value of this group is the diversity of perspectives that are brought together to work on self-lead community projects. Previous projects have been the sleep bus, community gardens and Prison to work programs.

When you give a bunch of smart, enthusiastic and passionate leaders the tools and time to create something meaningful, the sky’s the limit. The strong involvement from Future Shapers alumni is testament to how profound peoples experiences have been. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of this year's Future Shapers. 

While most of this week has been spent scrubbing out cupboards and taping boxes it was a real treat to celebrate the start of this exciting year ahead with my new classmates. As a naturally curious person who loves learning, having access to all these incredible experts throughout the year is going to be amazing! I plan on taking advantage of every single opportunity that sprouts from this experience - starting with being on ABC radio on Monday for a chat about Future Shapers. 

I feel like I'm part of something special. There is nothing quite as thrilling as being at the start of something big. Something meaningful and transformative. I know this feeling so well from growing HUCX as a business. The term ‘untapped potential’ was mentioned a lot last night and that's the exciting part for me. I’m so fricken enthusiastic about life already (despite and because of its stresses). Imagine what I’ll be like after being built up by the best in the industry for the next 10 months. 

You are exactly where you’re meant to be.

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