What I'm Doing Now
This is my "Now" page. It's different to my "About" page in so far as that's partly a look back in time (at what was), but also a look forward (to what might be). This page, however, is all about what I'm working on now. I'll update it from time to time as things change.
Updated June 25th 2023. Brighton, England.
Reset. Drop. And Go!
2022 was a year that brought stability and clarity to a lot of areas of my life.
After three years spent struggling to work out how the two halves of VetX would work together, I finally thought, perhaps they were never meant to. So you will probably notice that I've separated the VetX and Dr Dave Nicol brands to focus on entirely different audiences. VetX now exists exclusively to help vets have great careers in general practice. And we've introduced a new flagship service called The Vet Career Concierge. This is a service where vets can come to us and ask us to help them find a role in a practice that cares.
Happily, we know lots of these through our transformational Leadership training programs!
In this, we have an absolutely immense advantage in that both vets and practice powers trusts us to make the right connections.
The other part of my work is now exclusively found on my Dr Dave Nicol website. This is the work of helping leaders grow sustainable businesses through our process called 'Culture Farming'.
In this process I help practice owners imagine what their practice could be, and step by step help them build (or rebuild) it, so they are running a practice they are excited about and they have staff who are not just happy... but proud to work there.
It's quite a journey, but the rewards are massive for those who are willing to do the work.
I've also realised that when the practices I work with get to eight figures in revenue, it's time for them to find a new coach to work with as they've grown out of my skill set. And that's not just ok, it's wonderful! Just like when a teammate leaves because they had the chance to grow and succeed in your practice. There's really no better measure of success in leadership than seeing others thrive.
Exciting news from the land of my practices as this month we opened up our second area for Roundwood Pet Hospice in Belfast. This will be a fun few months as we put into practice everything we have learned from our first area in NW London. And hot on the heels of Belfast comes our third area in September as we open in NE London.
What's particularly fun about where things are headed with both the brick-and-mortar practice and the mobile practice is the quality of the teams. It is so exciting to see people being challenged and growing into new roles as the businesses develop. At long last I feel like the mission to create opportunities for people to grow and develop is being achieved in all the businesses I operate. Watch this space. And if you are interested in learning more about what we do or working as part of the team then feel free to drop me an email!
My new book is moving forward (slowly), and I had the pleasure/honour of being invited to write a chapter for an up-and-coming edition of the prestigious Veterinary Clinics of North America.
I think a lot about the future of writing now that generative AI is here. It's a beautiful and awful time to be a writer. But I am confident that ChatAI cannot (yet) write something that my brain (and all its tangled weirdness) articulates in a unique way.
There is something so important about the process of creation that we cannot afford to use a chatbot to create, not if we truly wish to understand and produce new things. Not to mention avoiding our brains rotting to mush. Even a cursory glance at Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning reveals exactly why this is the case.
I love writing, losing my self in a subject, exploring, crystalising and articulating new thoughts or insights. It's productive and meditative. Deep work at it's finest.
Summer is upon us and with it, the racing season is well underway. Two races down and mission accomplished in terms of four basic goals:
1. Start the race.
2. Complete the race.
3. Post a time within 20% of age-group category winner.
4. Feel happy with the performance.
Number four is a bit wobbly, just like my legs after the first few KM off the bike on the run legs. Winter training is hard. Summer running is utterly draining and my legs often feel leaden. On the plus side, my bike upgrade has turned the bike leg from a weakness into a weapon.
Eastbourne Triathlon was a particular highlight. It had everything from jellyfish stings to a hill course that made the pulse race (up and down!).
Two more attempts to qualify to come this year and unless I were to finish top four (highly unlikely) then it'll be a tense wait to hear if I can scramble a roll down place on the team. So far though, things are on track.
Being a dad and co-parent takes up probably the greatest amount of my time. It is without any doubt the greatest source of both joy and guilt. Joy because being a father to my wonderful daughter, Marcia, is the best gift I ever got. Guilt because I'm also conscious that I don't always do the best job of balancing time or being present.
That said, I'm getting better at saying no to stuff that is fun but not a priority.
And with all of that said, it should be abundantly clear that I've got a boat load of work to keep me purposefully, joyously (and often stressfully!) occupied.
As such, I say no to a great deal of opportunities presented. So forgive me if I don't accept a work assignment.
I try my very best to live by the maxim of "If it's not a f*ck yes.... then it's a no." This, as with everything else in my life, is a work in progress.
Dr Dave Nicol
BVMS Cert Mgmt MRCVS