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Two tips before I turn 50

Philippa Moss

Many people say they are going to do things and then never do them.

I am guilty of this as much as the next entrepreneur. However, I am about to turn fifty so I have written a large list of things I need to do before I get there. Decisions, intentions, choices and resolutions – there are so many!

Do you suffer from the paralysis by analysis? Or have too many things on the go at once? Need to make decisions but you are afraid they may not be the ‘right decision’. Are you a wantrepreneur not an entrepreneur? Scared to ask for support, advice or investment?

Nobody likes being wrong. Decision-making is a reflection of our values, beliefs, morals and intentions that not only shape our behaviour but also identify as a person in the world.

What, then, do we do in today’s world where there is so much information to navigate? I like to think of this as the human version of the information hamster wheel – going around and never getting off.

I’ve noticed that as soon as I decide to make a change or enact an idea I am hit with the inertia of reality, the brick wall of resistance. These blocks can be internal as well as external. In fact, the internal ones are harder to break through.

Here are two quick tips I have found useful in the past and words of wisdom which I’m sure I will find valuable in the future.

Remember: It is what it is

This statement is so powerful for me I had it tattooed on my arm as a constant reminder that everything is ok. I don’t think there is much that is totally right or wrong. Think about it – there is never only one answer; never one right way, never only one option, never only one perspective. I’m not referring to acts of morality but relationships, friendships and entrepreneurial pursuits. Even if people don’t mean to, sometimes things get over promised, taken out of context or lost in translation.

We are not all going to get it right all the time because often there is no right way. I’ve learnt I need to keep my eyes wide open and only trust myself – even I let myself down sometimes so most importantly I need to forgive and let go. This sits at the very core of my values but sometimes I need reminding and that is ok.

Embrace every opportunity…even if only for a while

There is a well-known expression “What’s for you won’t pass you by”… and though I think this term is normally offered as solace for romantic relationships, I truly believe it from a career and entrepreneurial perspective too. We subconsciously attract both people and opportunities and when people shine brightly others are attracted to them. Each opportunity, collaboration, ask, want, need, or demand has come to us because the person asking us thought we were the right person to ask.

However, try and always remember this: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Be mindful of why people want your time, your advice, your friendship. So make sure your investment in that conversation is worth it. Learning, growing, forgiving, evolving opportunities, relationships, friendships and networks are worth it.

Life really changed for me when I turned thirty and I feel strongly that fifty is another significant milestone. I am looking forward to more learning, growing, and cultivating ideas around my community.


Philippa Moss

Philippa Moss is a HIV activist, professional feminist and best known for her outspoken voice promoting healthy public policy and healthy urban development. Philippa has been a happy resident of Canberra for the past 17 years. Originally from Sydney, she came to Canberra at a pivotal stage in her life. She is a proud mother of two children, a son and daughter in their teens/twenties, who as a Queer parent has always felt a part of Canberra’s greater Lesbian, Gay and Queer community. She was recently appointed the Executive Director of the AIDS Action Council (ACT), after acting in the role for the past two years. In 2015 she was awarded the ACT Telstra Business Women’s Award for Purpose and Social Enterprise, along with the Australian Institute of Management’s Not for Profit Manager of the Year (ACT) award. More about the Author