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Action inspires action in the new year



This year has been one of action for me.


‘Go!’ was the theme of my vision board in January, but at the time I wasn’t clear on what it meant.


Following a life-altering trip to Israel in May, I made a number of changes in my personal and professional life, all inspired by a need to ‘step out of the boat’ and allow myself to get uncomfortable again.



A vision board without a horse



For the first time in many years, my vision board this year had no horse on it. 


After having my ‘gentle giant’ thoroughbred horse, Slick (aka Sports Express) in my life for 16 years’ worth of weekends, I entered 2023 without him – Missing him, but grateful for the time we spent together, and how much he helped me heal though some of the tougher times in my earlier years. In the gap, came travel.


I felt as though Slick had released me into a new season of exploration.



Then came Israel



The Bible Tour of Israel with my church came onto my radar in January, but as soon as it did, I knew I needed to go. I didn’t know why.


Somehow, it all came together very smoothly, as it was meant to be. And so, the most remarkable group of 42 people went on a 10-day journey together, to a place I’ll never forget, that changed my life forever. While we were in a big wooden fishing boat, floating on the Sea of Galilee, I realised that it was time for me to ‘step out of the boat.’ I was comfortable, and heading towards retirement in the countryside. Or, so I thought.


I got home from Israel, carried on with my busy life, while processing all that had happened. Stopped. Paused. And then I took action on what I’d experienced.



One action led to another



By the time the word ‘retire’ literally fell off my vision board onto the floor at my feet one morning, I’d already taken the first step to explore an open door I’d known about for over a year.


That one step started a series of actions and responses to my actions. I saw more clearly than ever before that retirement was definitely not on the cards for a while for me. I still had so much to do, to experience, to give. For that, I’m grateful. I’m excited about the new opportunities and energised by the actions already taken. It’s not all easy, but it’s the journey I’m choosing to take.



Why does action inspire action?



Though we are all different, I think most of us like to find a comfort zone where we can settle for a while. Routines are definitely healthy up to a point, and so are roots, belonging and community. We’re not made to do life alone.


But when we stop growing, it’s a sign that perhaps we’ve become too comfortable, and we need to check ourselves for the signs of inertia, boredom and stagnation.


To me, there are no rules about retirement, in a personal sense. I love what I do, but I know I can do more with what I have, make a more positive difference in the world. And once I took that first step, the next one wasn’t so hard, and the next, and the next. I’m now in a far more energetic state of being than I was a few months ago. That’s due to action inspiring action.



What does this mean for Houseway Consulting?



I’m excited to be entering a new chapter with the business. From 2024, I will be working out of Newcastle, northeast of England, UK (yes, it’s chilly, but friendly!), offering online and in-person training and consulting on marketing strategy for independent schools, locally and internationally.


I will continue to service my South African clients remotely, and will be back in Johannesburg for in-person engagements for part of the year. I’m working across continents, not emigrating from my home country of South Africa but becoming a temporary ‘swallow’ – ‘those who migrate south for a warmer winter and return home with the arrival of the summer heat’. Except I’m doing the opposite, and it’s work-related rather than comfort-related!


My work in UK includes part-time teaching of commercial subjects at a local private school, as I have been doing in South Africa. I have no doubt that this experience will add value to my company’s offering at Houseway Consulting, in both training and consulting on marketing strategy for independent schools across all geographies.



What does it mean for you?



Firstly, I hope this piece inspires you to take action on something you have been putting off for a while, something that will push you out of your comfort zone into a growth trajectory if it is what you desire. One action is not enough, so keep going for at least a month taking small actions that support your first big step.


Most importantly, tell someone about it. I found it best to tell close family and friends, not posting it publicly until I had the details in place. But having a hedge around you of a trusted, supporting community really helps you through those first few weeks of change. I would like to especially thank my sister for her constant encouragement and long phone calls and voice messages and help along the way. These have really made a positive difference on my journey. 


Secondly, if you’re an independent school based in the UK and you’re needing some help on research-based marketing strategy for your school, you’re welcome to contact me via my website. I do offer free 15-minute Zoom calls to see if I can be of assistance to your school, wherever you’re based. You’ll find testimonials from clients on my website, and also a range of topics related to school marketing covered in my blog posts.


And keep a watch out for more posts and blogs about my journey. If we’re not connected on social media, please reach out on LinkedIn, or my Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter/X and YouTube. Let me know how you have found action inspiring action.


Exciting times indeed!

I'm Keryn House

I enjoy writing on my niche in marketing strategy for independent schools. I’m inspired by global trends driving change in this sector – from consumer trends to educational trends to market and macro trends.

I like to draw from my background in strategy across multiple sectors as well as my personal and professional journey to craft short conversational and topical pieces.

I hope you feel informed, inspired and supported as readers of this blog from wherever you are in the world. I encourage comments and suggestions on content. Please also connect with me on my social platforms.