I flew up to Sydney last week to kill several birds with one stone.
I got to see dad again, and stayed with him the two days I was there. We had dinner and shared a bottle of wine and had a characteristically long and rambling conversation about everything from the state of Australian political debate (diabolical) to his burgeoning romance.
I also saw my brokers, who took me out to a lovely dinner at Wildfire. I've been investing with them for about 2 years and have built up a relationship that is more than just business. My main broker, Ben, is a genuinely nice guy. We had brunch last year when he visited Melbourne and he was keen to get me out for a meal should I visit Sydney – ergo last week.
It was a good night. Accompanying him was his offsider Chris. Both are from the NSW Central Coast, an area in my mind associated with bonzer people. I've yet to meet anyone from there I didn't like. These guys are no different, though are of a very particular type. Ben is about 30, Chris about 27. They both live in Bronte and are regular surfers first thing in the morning before work. They work-out just about every day, and while they like to enjoy themselves have an inclination towards a healthy lifestyle. Both are very fit. They're open minded, respectful, inquisitive, both with very liberal attitudes towards many of the great questions of the day, and – as befits the business perhaps – have keenly searching minds.
Our conversation was rich and provocative going and backwards and forwards and then peering into the future. The churrasco would visit our table from which we would partake, before returning to the conversation. Whilst genuinely curious and engaged the reality is their business is to look forward, to predict trends, to find links and dependencies. Much of them are economic and financial, but many also are political, even social. And so we discussed the unrest in the Middle East heartened by what was happening and hoping for more – whilst considering the market implications.
I also met up with an old boss of mine. Peter E was my boss when I was an IT Consultant. We got on well right from the word go, and he's the only one from those days I still have any contact with. He's a rangy Swede, good looking, intelligent and affable, we clicked because we saw in each other some reflection of ourselves – independent, restless and free spirited.
He has now resigned having risen to the role of regional manager. He got bored and is now looking for something that suits his state of mind. As much as our lunch was a social reunion there was also the opportunity to network to our mutual benefit. I gave him some tips – never sell yourself short, never worry if you can do it or not (you always can) – and we agreed to look out for each other and potentially for opportunities to work together.
I've been busy in general doing all sorts of things to generate business. I'm attending functions, presentations, joined networking groups, was to attend a SharePoint conference (tomorrow), and have met with industry types who have given me some great tips. It's a largely tedious process, but absolutely necessary. The most promising job opportunity is one in Jakarta, a short term role that normally I'd jump at – it sounds interesting, fun – but which I can't do because I can't leave mum.
That's where it's at.