Hard Lessons and Necessary Change, a Look Back at 2017
If I could describe 2017 in one sentence it would be this… Two thousand and seventeen was a year of discovering myself, intentionally and unintentionally.
I had some first, some last and even some milestone moments. I cried a little and I laughed a lot. I doubted myself and believed in myself. I quit in my mind and started again. I took breaks from work and I fell in love with my husband all over again.
It's not always about winning. Sometimes it's about growth through learning and life lessons. Even when we try our best and do what is necessary. In that moment some things can still get lost in translation and come to an abrupt end. Even if that was not your intention. Sometimes everything flows exactly how you would plan for it and you are blessed with more than you could have ever imagined. However, it comes for you accept that it did. The universe would make it so and so it is. Through it all, I appreciate every interaction and every moment that was apart of my life in this past season. Nothing is random and it all has a purpose.
Hmmm, what did I actually do this year? Well, Instead of recalling all of the many memories and moments I experienced I would rather talk about some of the lessons learned and recap on how I have grown, changed & gained new knowledge.
Nine Things I learned about myself in 2017
Communication is SUPER important! I need to communicate better, with everyone. Even when you think people get it, assume they don’t and explain anyway.
- Planning alone is NOT good enough! Even the best-laid plans fail due to lack of DOING! Stop starting and just do it!
- Niching down can be good! I want to work with people that value the service I offer and are seeking me just as hard as I am seeking them.
- Profit is not a bad word. Simply saying my goal is to earn than I did last year, leaves your goal too open and you still may be less than satisfied even if you did actually, earn more. You see, you can earn 5% more or 50% more but without a clear measurable target, you will never reach your full potential. You have to know what you are aiming at in order to hit the mark. Stretch yourself and create measurable targets.
- BE YE INTENTIONAL in everything that you do. Doing something that looks good or sounds good because this person or that person is doing it, simply is not a good enough reason to invest your time or energy in it. You have to ask yourself questions before diving into something new. Questions like; how does this thing fit into current goals? How will it help me grow? Is this a distraction or a necessity? Why am I doing this?
- It's MORE than ok to disconnect. Whether that means a full-on social media detox, or snoozing those that cause you to compare yourself and doubt your own work. Make a conscious effort to disconnect from time to time. Set your feelings aside, it's not about the other people, they aren’t the issue. It's about you and what you need. If the things you are doing, seeing or listening to don’t inspire you, motivate or encourage you then you don’t need it. If it causes you to further feed your own limiting beliefs or negative self-talk release it and only come back to it when you are strong enough to see it or hear it and not feel anything negative about your own progress or position. Clear the mental clutter and get focused.
- Show respect for the things you claim to value! If you value something, whether it is time, family, faith, communication, transparency, etc… whatever it is that you value, ensure that you are always respecting it from your end. I heard this from Siobhan of @BeFreeProject. If you say you value time as in you want others to respect your time then you need to act accordingly and get to places you need to be on time. Everything requires give and take, you get what you put out. Even in my 9-5 and my side hustle. If I want to be disciplined in my own business then I need to treat my 9-5 with the same discipline. You are creating habits in everything you do. Follow through on your job commitments and get organized and watch how these same habits crossover to your side hustle and business.
- Have Fun! Sometimes you have to come out from in front of the computer and leave room for others. Get out, be social and do you. Stop telling yourself I will be happy when… be happy now and practice gratitude regularly.
- You still have to do the work! Although a lot of us entrepreneurs are doing things that we are passionate about and we feel are our purpose, we quit when the fun stops and the true work begins. (this little message came to me from a friend that read this in a facebook group she is in) When I read that, it all clicked. I have done this on other side hustles that I wanted to make into a business. I loved the work I was doing but then business picked up and I stopped. It's that whole free spirit, I just wanna do things my own way personality. My pride in being spontaneous and just doing things my way. It gets me every time. I am vowing today, that it won’t anymore. Now that I am aware that I do this its time to adjust and treat my passion & purpose with the same amount of determination and professionalism that I have always given to my 9-5. You can do what you love and make a career of it, but you will have to change or adjust your mindset in the process. It's the difference between having a hobby and running a business. Nothing wrong with either but be real with yourself and figure out what you want. If you decide you want your passion to be your business then you have to adjust your thought process and make it happen.
Whew, that was a lot! Not all easy lessons to accept but here’s to gaining knowledge and making changes. My word/theme for 2018 is INCREASE. I will be applying this in many areas of my life. Stay tuned for my next blog post as I dig into my word a little more.