BlogA look back on 2019 with pure gratefulness

What a year! For once, this year did not seem to fly by. I felt like 2019 was at least 3 years’ worth of…

What a year!

What a year 2019 was!

For once, last year did not seem to fly by. I felt like 2019 was at least 3 years’ worth of growth, change, challenge, excitement, fulfilment, and pure joy!

I don’t believe that our lives are separated into compartments and, therefore, those words describe both my personal life and my work launching Oppida. All entrepreneurs out there are quick to tell you that there is nothing like starting your own company to challenge the very core of you! I couldn’t agree more. However, this blog’s purpose is to look back on Oppida’s defining moments and give our readers a glance into 2020.

2019 defining moments

1)    Turning down a client when money was tight: Just one month after Oppida was launched, I was forced to really apply one of our core values; “Embody an abundance mindset”. After 3 weeks of back and forth with a potential client (for a job only worth $3000), I was exasperated. I felt an all too familiar feeling in my gut that it wouldn’t matter what I said, this client wasn’t going to be satisfied. I made the decision to ‘let them go’ and suggested they look for someone else. The moment I pressed send on the carefully worded email my heart leapt… However, I knew it was the right thing to do.   

2)    Winning our first client over $20,000: This came at the exact right time and was wonderful validation that the demand is out there for what Oppida can do. It was one of those, “wow- I just won that on my own” moments and really boosted my confidence. I am forever grateful to this client and the continual work they have entrusted Oppida to deliver.

3)    Slowing realising how incredible Be The Change was going to be: I met Alice late November 2019 and we were instantly aligned. She had an idea for an online course and so in January, I arrived in Bali to meet her. The rest is history and I am so grateful to call her my business partner (as well as the wonderful Amy who joined our team in July). Be The Change launched just last week and we are already in negotiations with 3 schools about 2020 implementation! This is a product that is close to my heart as both an ex-teacher and a global citizen.

4)    Seeing the responses to our blogs and ways of working: I have been so humbled by the support shown by both strangers and my wonderful network of educators. I have loved writing and speaking about education on behalf of the Oppida brand and also bringing others into the conversation. I truly believe that if we come at the challenges as a community and from strength, we will have a better chance of solving some of the challenges our sector and society face.

5)    Finding and building a team of great humans with exceptional talent: The people you see in the Oppida team have all come into my life in different ways. I don’t believe in coincidences as each individual arrived in my life at exactly the right time. From meeting Lucy in the line at the bar for a G&T in Chiang Mai to being connected with Belinda by a fellow MBS Alum in the week prior to winning our 5th client. They, like all the others in our great team,  were right there when Oppida needed them!

Things we are excited about for 2020

1)    Growing our team to serve more clients and manage our products in the market: With Be The Change out in the universe and a strong pipeline of work coming to us, it’s time to scale up! Oppida aims to hire staff (in addition to contractors) early 2020 which is hugely exciting.

2)    Engaging Jonas Freeman to support sustainable growth: As my personal mentor and coach over the last 5 months, Jonas will be supporting Oppida in 2020 to:

  • Create a vibrant team, self-learning, self-developing and self-selling.
  • Building a business structure that supports growth and effortlessness in management and leadership.
  • Sharpen our market communication to enable a strong international brand long term.

3)    Building and launching the ‘Ed Tech Strategy for Higher Education’ course with CONNECTed: Now this is somewhat of a dream project. A collective of industry leaders, educators, and executives coming together to build a dynamic course in higher education. We need change in the sector. We all know this. Oppida is excited to lead the development of this course and mentor our future participants.

4)    Refining our services catalogue: These first 9 months have taught us a great deal about what clients need and want. We have many ideas on how to refine our value propositions and make it easier for clients to see how we can help! Stay tuned.

5)    Cultivating our creative geniuses: I want to be more intentional in bringing all the voices to the table when looking at new opportunities. Our vision of building a community of practice will be prioritised in 2020 both internally and to the wider educational community.

Phew… I think I could go on for pages, but I won’t.

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Many thanks to all our clients: Australian Computer Society, ANSZOG, Australian Medical Cannabis Service, Education Centre Australia, Australian Catholic University, FourthRev, Housing Industry Australia, Monash University, and NELSI.

Many thanks to the whole Oppida team, my family, and, of course, my friends from all walks of life for making this all possible! 

Wishing you all a restful, soulful, and fun Christmas period. See you in 2020!

Writer’s Bio

Bianca is an experienced educator in K-12 and higher education. With a passion for learning design and online learning—she founded Oppida in 2019. Follow her on LinkedIn or be sure to visit her website here.

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