Over the past 12 months I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want in life and where I’ll add the most value. It’s come at a significant time for me, as we celebrate 10 years of hard work and dedication, together with an amazing group of people who have given their everything to make Thankyou what it is today.
The journey of self-discovery can be quite confronting, especially when all arrows begin to point in the opposite direction to the way you’re going. It can also lead to making some really tough calls which I’ve had to do. I’ve come to the decision to hang up the boots and call time on my journey here at Thankyou.
There’s no doubt in my mind this will be one of the hardest decision I will make in life… which is why I’ve made it with a lot of thought and consideration and with the counsel of some of my closest people.
I make this decision with great excitement for both myself and Thankyou, as I’m believing in an amazing future for both of us!
As you can imagine I’ve made countless memories throughout my 10 years at Thankyou. As a team we’ve shared some incredible moments, but one of my all-time favourites will always be the first retreat we ever went on as a team of 10.
I’ll never forget playing hide and seek in the dark and in that moment realising that this group of people were quite unique and that this was going to be the start of the fun and crazy adventures we’d have as the team grew.
I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel to Kenya, Burundi and Cambodia to see first-hand the impact we’re making in these particular countries. I was privileged to meet some seriously inspiring people living in these communities that Thankyou is funding in. I will always remember Veronica from Kenya, a woman who showed me where she lived and how she made the most of her life with the little she had. This was a moment that ignited a fire and passion so strong inside of me, and gave me a great perspective on what is actually important in life. A moment along with many others that reiterated the importance and significance of what we are doing.
I can’t go without mentioning the most epic campaigns I’ve ever witnessed and been a part of. The 7 Eleven Campaign, Coles and Woolworths Campaign and the Chapter One Campaign! I still remember hitting ‘order’ on 80,000 books for the Chapter One Campaign and my heart skipping a beat! I was a tad nervous but quietly confident. We gave everything to make sure what we had planned for each campaign would work, and when it did it was the most rewarding feeling in the world. We’ve now sold over 124,000 books!
There were so many of these moments along the journey but what I’ve learnt and will take with me is that you really can achieve the impossible with the right mindset and team of people alongside you.
I’ve been privileged to travel alongside some of our team to meet with our customers and suppliers around the world, who are partnering with us to end global poverty. These trips will always be some of the biggest highlights for me, mostly because I got to see members from our team represent Thankyou on a global scale. We have some seriously talented people making this happen!
It’s surreal to think back over all of these memories, but here’s a fun fact – my journey at Thankyou was nearly over before it begun! At the very beginning, back in early 2008, we had a couple of brainstorming meetings after hours in the lounge room of Daniel’s parent’s house. There was one time when I had a basketball game on the same night as one of these brainstorming meetings. I decided to play basketball (good decision I thought as I love my sport) but little did I know, that game nearly decided my fate!
The next catch up I had with Daniel consisted of me basically pleading to be kept on the team as my commitment to the cause was questioned! Haha! Graciously I was allowed to stay as part of the founding volunteers and after that I made sure to never give reason for my commitment and loyalty to be questioned again!
I’ve been consistently reminded throughout my journey that teamwork really does make the dream work. Time and time again I’ve seen a group of incredible people come together to create campaigns, products, and launch events that are world class. I will always be most proud to have worked alongside these people; both past and present and I will cherish all the memories and relationships that I’ve formed forever.
I’m a big believer in finding your why. My why has always been about the Impact. I wholeheartedly believe in the cause and why Thankyou exists. Along the way I met many inspiring people living in the communities we are funding in; people who don’t have much and yet seemed so joyful. I will be forever grateful for those encounters that have changed me and also proud to have played a part in positively impacting over 785,568 people.
I write this looking forward to my next chapter. I do know that I will always be a Thankyou supporter and I’m extremely excited to see where it goes! You’ll still find me straightening the supermarket shelves and maybe cheekily adding an extra row of product here and there ;).
In the short term I’ll be working on being the best Father I can be to my two beautiful daughters Jordan and Josie and the best husband to the most amazing woman a man could ask for, my wife Jess. I’m so thankful for their support in all of this and I’m excited to see where life takes us next.
JB – over and out.