I despise the word lockdown. The more I hear it the more I despise it. Wanna hear one positive thing about it though? I am back writing for The CTJ!

It’s been a minute since my fingers and brain have been working in a journalist-type way. I feel like I have so much to catch up on and share. So much that it’s almost overwhelming. My last writings were in November of last year, just before the previous set of restrictions were eased – how fast has that gone! I had plenty of time throughout 2020 to sharpen my writing sword so I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling a little rusty today. However, that rust is never going to be enough for me not to try! 

That brings me nicely on to my first point – one thing I’ve realised about myself over the past few months is my tendency to not get in my own way. I feel that it’s so important for us to understand whether or not we are doing this to ourselves. So much so that I’d like to share more on this with you… Oh, wait I kind of did that already – last year. Come back & click on this once you’ve finished reading! https://thecutthroatjournal.com/is-your-perfectionism-holding-you-back/

Alright, so let me reflect and recap on some of my 2021 learnings thus far…
To put things lightly, these last 12 months have been an extreme test for my patience. Can you believe we are fast approaching the one year mark since AREA Academy finally became a real thing? I’ve learnt countless lessons since starting this business – things that they don’t teach you in school. It’s been so interesting and exciting. When you learn to cut hair you don’t learn how to properly manage a team, how to roll out an effective marketing strategy, how to deal with the customer service side of things, how to project the budget & so on… These are things that we learn “on the job” with real-life experiences and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster trying to figure it all out. 
AREA Academy is already transforming into something a lot different than what I initially dreamt it would be and that’s a direct reflection of my personal growth. What’s exciting about this is the fact that by this time next year who knows where it could go or what it could look like. 

Since (re)opening I haven’t had a minute to sit back and smell the roses. It’s something I rarely ever do due to the pace of life I live in Melbourne, but I think it’s time and I also think it’s important. Not just for me but for all of us. So in saying that, I am going to have a moment of pride and gratitude – we’ve seen over 100 people come through our doors, we’ve run x3 charity events for the Jack Reed Foundation (across Australia – raising over $10k for JRF), x2 interstate trips & 16 workshops. Then to top it all off we’ve been fortunate enough to entice some amazing partnerships such as Dyson, and a few more that haven’t yet surfaced. Although this may all sound great and it sounds like we are rolling in it, I can assure you it is not the case. I am broke. I am going through a period in my life where I am working the hardest behind closed doors but seeing no external reward or validation financially. That’s cool though, because intrinsically I am stinking rich! We have been going through a lot in terms of outgoing expenses and my partner is unemployed, but all you see on IG is the fancy stuff, the highlights. I don’t care though, ultimately I am the happiest I’ve ever been as I am working on something that is great and something that continues to challenge me. 

So, getting this blog back on track after my little sob story (don’t feel sorry for me by the way, I’m good!). We were on a momentum train. Everything was coming along splendidly. Then boom! Another major hurdle to encounter. On the build-up to the busiest time in our 2021 calendar when trade shows have finally been reintroduced, the momentum has quite literally been swept from under us and there is nothing we can do about it. I had forgotten about this feeling – uncertainty!

I am not going to lie, I am very nervous about our upcoming schedule, so much so that it has spun me out a little. We have re-invested all of our capital back into these trade shows and now they might be compromised. I have had friends and clients tell me “don’t worry, you’ll be able to get that money back.” I understand that and I don’t care about that whatsoever. What I do care about though, is the potential missed opportunity. The opportunity to share with everyone what we’ve been working so hard on. To share value and receive feedback so that we can continue growing. The opportunity to gain even more experience. The shows will go on and that’s what kills me. But anyway, let’s end that thought there as I don’t want to manifest anything, but it’s just an insight into my mind right now. 

What I do know though, is that we will survive. We will recover and we will overcome. I trust in the universe. Since my last blog, I have become so much more aware. I have two people to thank for this, my partner Hannah & my other (non-sexual) partner Leigh (@thebarbellbarber). They say you become like the 5 people you spend most of your time with and if you hang around 5 millionaires you are likely to become the 6th. Now I don’t give a shit about becoming a millionaire but what I do care about is my connection with myself and what matters. Thanks to Hannah & Leigh I have regained and reignited my relationship with my consciousness and I have seen a lot of personal growth since starting AREA Academy. So a moment of gratitude for them is warranted here! 

I think that’s a nice way to end this blog – on the topic of gratitude. If we could all just be more grateful for what we have instead of always searching for what we don’t have, the world would be a much different place. Right now there is nothing we can do, only to have patience. If I had a dollar for every time I have been told that last statement in this last year…
I would still be broke…

Eoin McCarthy