Welcome to this latest instalment of The Church Street Chronicle! The header this month is not an early Christmas list but a hint at where this latest edition is being written. I am enjoying a brief respite from an intensive three-day conference in Zurich! You might think that the life of an Optometrist is quite dull; most of our time is spent in a darkened room, twiddling with optical lenses and and an array of other incomprehensible gadgetry, fine-tuning everything with a seemingly endless list of questions, “is it better with one or two?”, “does this lens make your vision clearer or more blurred?”, and to the casual observer it must seem that there’s a whole great dollop of monotony thrown in for good measure!
Well, there’s certainly some truth in that, and for most opticians and practice owners that’s probably what life is like for their entire career. Which is fine for some, but I think there’s a much more enjoyable way to work. For the past four-years I’ve been working with a small group of some of the best opticians and practice owners from around the UK and Ireland, business owners who choose to invest significant time, money and energy in a constant and never-ending process of self-improvement. As a founding member of this group I was invited to travel to Zurich to take part in the annual “Advanced Academy Conference”, a three-day intensive mastermind session, where practice owners get to brainstorm and share their experiences of “life at the coal-face”. I know many of you are (or have been) business owners yourselves, so you know that life at the top can be tough and lonely sometimes! Which is why it’s good to meet-up with fellow business owners periodically and spend much-needed time away from the consulting room and really focus on the business rather than being in the business.
This was our first conference overseas and what a great city to spend it in! Although we didn’t get a great deal of free time, we did manage to dine out in a couple of nice restaurants (including the very impressive Clouds restaurant at the top of the Prime Tower with its stunning views over the city, lake Zurich and the Swiss Alps on the horizon), take a wander down the Bahnhofstrasse (one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues) and also enjoy a boat trip on the gorgeous Lake Zurich! It’s been a great few days, but all good things must come to an end and so, as I continue to write this newsletter, I wonder where our next Advanced Academy Conference will be in 2020..?