Meeting Topic

How to Design Your Life with a Crystal Clear Vision By Jo Robertson


For the past couple of meetings, we’ve focused on designing our strategy for our businesses. This time, our article (contributed by Jo Robertson) is focused on how we can design the strategy for our lives! In this article, Jo shares the importance of creating a clear vision for our future, because when we are clear on what we want, opportunities become clearer as well. By getting clear on what we want, we also become clearer on what we don’t want – what isn’t serving us. In your 60-second intro, consider addressing ONE of the following thoughts:

  • Have you ever used a vision board to support you to create your strategy for business or life? If so, how did you find it?
  • Has creating your vision provided you with clarity around where to focus your time and energy – what is one of those things that ‘made the cut’?
  • Have you had a time where you needed to ‘clear out’ people who weren’t lifting you on your journey?


Ten years ago I mapped my vision. I was ready for a change of pace and a different lifestyle. I was feeling uncertain about what I wanted, or how to get started and I was ready to set a new direction, so I got to work to create my vision collecting images and words that would help create a big picture of what I wanted my life to look like and feel like. The exercise provided a chance to reflect on my skills, qualities, strengths and experiences, to tap into my dreams and aspirations, and to prioritise what was important.

I still have the large sheets of paper folded up and carefully stored, and every now and then I get them out, reverently unfold them and the content of those pages still resonates with me and gives me purpose today.

It’s worth taking this time to create a vision, to decide what you want to paint upon your canvas of life, so you know:

  • where to focus your time
  • which opportunities to pursue and seize
  • which to decline and
  • the sorts of people you want to share your journey with

Creating a vision for life and working intentionally towards it puts you in the driver’s seat, so instead of just letting life happen– living life by default – you intentionally set out to design the life you want to live.

This process is an opportunity for you to also look at what no longer fits or serves you well.  By clearing out, we make space so we can step back and see with more clarity. It can be really freeing and can give us vitality and space to move forward. Sometimes having a coach or support person to help do this clearing out is a good place to start.

Recently when guiding a group of women through the process of mapping their vision, I decided to take the opportunity to work alongside them to create a new vision board and to revisit my “vision”.  It was a magic experience of reflecting and sharing as we put together our “visions” each setting a direction for our future.

It’s important now that we have patience and understand that the miracle of progress can seem invisible. We will need to keep faith, feel gratitude for whatever turns up each day, and surround ourselves with people who will support us and help to bring our emerging vision to reality.

It can take some time to form your vision. Sit quietly with it, and revisit it. Treasure it. Your vision is a very special thing you can do just for yourself.

Forming a vision can bring a wealth of opportunities to your life, whether you are a person who normally sets goals or not. You move forward with a sense of purpose of where you’re at and where you’re going.

I have my own proof that the opportunities people often experience after forming a vision can be simply amazing. You may find that ideas, people and events come into your life to make your vision happen. When opportunities present themselves, check in with the strength you have within yourself to go with them. If it feels right, then run with it. It’s sometimes only afterwards that you see the benefits that come your way as a result of an opportunity. These opportunities can be stepping stones leading to greater things.

I know you want to create your very best life, and you’re on your way to doing just that.  I would love to provide you with a gorgeous tool to help you create your vision and set a new direction for your future. Go ahead and sign up to grab this FREE booklet to help you:  Map My Vision

You can find out more about Jo here:

Original blog here…

Next Meeting Topic

What’s the Right Structure for My Business?  By Lynda Smart

As we shift our focus from ‘Strategy and Planning’ to ‘Finance’, this article contributed by Lynda Smart struck us as a great ‘bridge’ between the two topics. Identifying what structure is the right one for YOUR business is a strategic decision but one that also comes with financial considerations. As you read this article and prepare for your 60-second introduction, consider the following:

  1. Is YOUR business set up in the structure that is best to serve you?
  2. If you’re not sure, what do you need to do this fortnight?
  3. Can you see a need to CHANGE how your business is structured in the near future – for what reason?


One of the strategic decisions that every business owner needs to consider is how to structure the ownership of their business.  For most this will be a decision as to whether they should operate as a sole-trader or whether they should incorporate a company.

In the 2020 calendar year 58,621 new companies were incorporated. Perhaps one of these was yours?

The primary benefit to be obtained from operating as a company is the ability to obtain limited liability. This means that your personal financial risk is limited to the share capital of the company. This principle is most clearly demonstrated in the operation of listed companies on the share market. For instance, if I chose to buy shares in Chorus, Fletcher Building or Ryman Healthcare, the risk that I take on – regardless of what might happen to the company – is limited to the money that I paid to acquire the shares.

The same principle of limited liability applies regardless of whether the company is listed on the stock exchange or is a small company with one shareholder and director; however, certain actions taken by the shareholders and directors can negate this benefit. I’ll list them first, then explain what they mean:

  • Providing personal guarantees to company suppliers or lenders
  • Advancing money to the company
  • Withdrawing money from the company, other than as dividends or wages
  • Breaching directors’ duties

Providing personal guarantees:

A personal guarantee may be requested by a supplier or lender to a company.  The grantor of the personal guarantee will then become liable for the debt should the company be unable to pay.

Personal guarantees are particularly common with lease agreements, bank loans and large corporate suppliers.  Suppliers will often incorporate these into their terms of trade which will require the director to sign twice, once on behalf of the company, and once as the provider of the personal guarantee.

The request for the personal guarantee will usually be made of the company director.  To this end, careful consideration should be given as to who the company directors will be.  *BE AWARE: Whilst there can be many positive reasons for including both yourself and your partner as directors, your collective wealth could be at risk if you are both then required to provide personal guarantees.  There may be benefits in having only one of you as a director of the company.

*TIP: Personal guarantees are also something that can potentially be negotiated with a supplier. Rather than signing a personal guarantee for a lease of five years without negotiation, for example, you could ask the landlord if they would consider removing this or limiting it – perhaps to the equivalent of three or six months’ rent. Similarly a supplier may consider waiving the personal guarantee if you agree to a lower credit limit.

Advancing money to the company:

Any money advanced by the shareholder or director to the company is an unsecured loan unless it is specifically documented as something different. *BE AWARE: Should the company fail, you will be included as an unsecured creditor and would only receive repayment from the company once other secured and preferential creditors have been paid.

*TIP: If you are considering advancing funds to your company, you should discuss this with your professional advisors and consider securing the funds that you are advancing by way of a General Security Agreement (also known as a GSA).

Withdrawing money from the company other than as dividends or wages:

There are a number of different ways that you can receive funds from your Company.

  • Declaring a dividend
  • Being paid as an employee with PAYE tax deducted and paid each month
  • Taking drawings which may (or may not) later be cleared by a shareholder salary

*BE AWARE: It is this third option, in particular, which can often leave company shareholders and directors exposed. Specifically, any funds that have been withdrawn prior to any salary being declared, or in excess of the salary, are a loan which is repayable to the company. This creates what is known as an overdrawn shareholders’ current account. Should the company fail, a liquidator will immediately issue a demand for its repayment.

Breaching directors’ duties:

Whilst it is a wonderful feeling to list “company director” as your occupation on your social media profile, the title comes with some significant obligations as set out the Companies Act 1993. The directors’ duties are listed quite simply as:

  • To act in good faith and in the best interests of the company
  • To exercise powers for a proper purpose
  • To comply with the Companies Act 1993 and company constitution
  • Not to trade recklessly
  • Not to incur obligations unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that the company can perform those obligations
  • To exercise the care, diligence, and skill of a reasonable director

Whilst these seem fairly simple and straightforward, their meaning and interpretation has been hotly contested in our courts, resulting in a wealth of case law guidance on what represents a legitimate business decision and what is a breach of directors’ duties.

Any person who is listed as, or who acts as, a director will be subject to these duties.  *TIP: I would suggest that no person should consent to being a director of a company unless they are prepared to actively act as the director and be responsible for the company’s decision making processes.

*BE AWARE: A breach of these duties can lead to a director being held personally liable for any losses suffered by the company.


Whilst a company structure offers some great benefits, care needs to be taken and consideration given as to how it should be structured and managed. This will vary from company to company.  What worked for your cousin, neighbour or friend may not be right for your business. Therefore, it is important that you seek professional advice from an appropriately qualified advisor.

The good news is that there are a number of these across the Venus network!

Lynda Smart – Director, Rodgers Reidy

Find out how Lynda can help you here:

The writer is a licenced insolvency practitioner typically involved at the end of the company lifecycle when the issue of limited liability comes to the fore.

*The material contained in this document is provided only as an information source and is correct at the time of writing.  The material is a generalised summary of the key issues and is not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice and should not be relied on for such a purpose.  Independent professional advice should be obtained before relying on any aspect of this material.

Orignal Blog Here

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