I know you’re all excited about what’s new and what’s coming for the new year but before I get to those juicy topics, I want to look back over the last 12 months and reflect on everything I learned in my life and business in 2021.
I have quite an ambitious goal last year. And I was determined to make it happen. But, life, as we know it happened.
I’ve had my worst bout of anxiety this year. Worse pain associated with hyperacidity and a trip to the ER because of chest pains caused by – you guessed it, hyperacidity. Who knew that this thing can really get you all worried and panicked. But it did.
Thankfully, everything else is ok. But I gotta tell you, it wasn’t as easy when you’re in the middle of it.
How do you show up despite all of these challenges? How can you become the person you want people to learn from?
I had doubts and fears and despite still meeting our 6-figure annual goal, it wasn’t the goal I initially planned.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of full transparency and integrity, I’m sharing all these experiences with you and the lessons 2021 has taught me in hopes that it may be helpful in case you’re going through or have gone through the same thing.
- Stop obsessing about other people’s progress – I thought I won’t ever have to experience this but I did. And every time I look at a friend who’s killing it in their industry despite the situation, I feel a slight tinge of guilt for not doing the same. Then I remember the time when I unfollowed letterers back in 2016 in order to hone my skills, I did the same thing. I unfollowed some of my friend’s posts – not because I don’t like them but because, no matter how inspiring their posts are, I came to a point where I was feeling the opposite. I had to shift my focus back on me, my business, my family, and my clients.
- Slow is smooth and smooth is fast – we’ve always wanted to do things faster and succeed faster. But the truth is, the more we chase getting there fast, the longer it’ll take us. Because we’ll constantly look for shortcuts or the newest methods instead of focusing on the one thing that’ll really help us get to where we’re going fast – taking it slow. And being more patient about the process.
- You have enough – stop looking for everything around you. What’s the newest and coolest app that everyone is using or I need to have that planner because it looks like everyone’s using it. Look around you more. You have enough and everything you need to start and grow your business is within your grasp.
- Know where to put your energy into – there’s so much noise out there and often we distract ourselves by participating in things that don’t really matter to us. Like a simple Facebook discussion over a crazy printer. You’ve got to be careful as to what you put your energy into because once you do, you could get absorbed in it and you’ll sight of what you actually needed to do.
- Write down your goals – whether it’s on a piece of paper or your notepad. Just write it down. There’s a certain amount of energy that goes into what you write. Your brain starts to think of ways to make it happen. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish just by writing your goals down.
- Plan – I hated planning. For years, I’ve never sat down and planned how my business year will go by. Until 4 years ago. That was the year I started making my first 6-figures. And every year thereafter, I’ve made 6-figures because I planned everything. When you plan, you run your business and life by design – not by default. And having that design will allow you to live life to the fullest (and better than just flying by the seat of your pants)
- Execute – because no matter how brilliant your plan is, if you don’t take action, nothing is going to happen.
- Post-It notes are cool – well I’m not here to promote post-it notes because this isn’t a sponsored episode. However, I want to share how brilliant and life-changing it was for me when I started using it. I’ve used apps and software like Evernote, Notion, etc but the one thing that really really helped me big time are my post it notes. And what I want to point out is that no matter what system you use, as long as it works for you – use it. And go for it. Doesn’t matter if some people think post-it notes are so 1990s
- Always be selling – Now, I’m not saying sell to the point of being creepy. I’m saying don’t shy away from selling because it’s how you’ll make money. Find a way to incorporate your pitch into your posts, your emails and whatever way you can that doesn’t make you desperate and pushy.
- Always be learning – this one is actually a given. However, not many people realize that it takes a lot of learning for us to continuously grow. So we have to make time to sharpen the saw. Sharpen our skills and knowledge so we can continuously serve our clients.
- Prioritize YOU – there’s so much noise around us, so many issues and so many things that people pay attention to. You don’t have to be one of them. And here’s the thing. Just because you don’t participate in issues that matters to many people doesn’t mean you’re ignoring them. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of choosing yourself. Because you can’t make an impact if you’re broke and suffering from your own issues. Help yourself first.
- Rest (even if you don’t need it) – most of the time, we only take a break when we’re already tired and exhausted. You don’t need to wait for your body to tell you that you need to rest. Make it a priority and schedule your breaks, your thinking time, your meditation time, exercise, time for your family, sleep well. Create your own space so you can show up as the best version of you every day.
- Practice Gratitude – be thankful for everything you have and everything you’re about to receive. Say a thankful prayer in the morning or write it on a journal. Being grateful allows you to become more receptive of the good things in life.
- It’s ok to play and experiment – business doesn’t have to be serious all the time. If you can infuse fun in your creation and process, business becomes less lonely.
- Love yourself more – give yourself grace when you make mistakes. Learn from every experience because it always teaches you a lesson that’s going to serve you well in the future.
- Coffee is not everything – I cried when I learned I can’t drink coffee and I mean the non-decaf coffee because of my hyperacidity. But we are blessed with so many different options. There’s ginger tea, for example. Something I never thought I’d learn and love to drink. You will survive even without it.
- Take Naps – this is something I’ve never done before. But last year, naps became a big part of my routine because of our inconsistent schedules. My son is a light sleeper and he sleeps with us. Taking a 30-minute nap in the afternoon helps me get through the rest of the day feeling refreshed.
- Celebrate the little things – you don’t need to wait for the next big thing to happen to celebrate. Inside Profitable Beginnings, we collect weekly wins. Big or small, every single win matters. Because when you make it habit to celebrate and collect your wins, it makes you want to do more. It becomes a habit. It’s like counting your blessings. The more you do it, the more you blessings you receive. Remember, you are what you consistently do.
- Hug your loved ones more and say I love you even more – give more of the kind of love you want to receive. Your children, your loved ones will thank you.
- Make MORE and SAVE MORE – business is not all rainbows and unicorns. Let’s get real for a while here. Life happens and you’ll never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow so you better be prepared for anything. Make sure that you have enough savings and enough money in the bank in case you need it.
- There will always be tradeoffs – They say you can do ANYTHING but not EVERYTHING. People like to talk about having work/life balance. In my years of trying to achieve the work/life balance that people preach – I’ve come to realize that there’s no such thing. There will always be tradeoffs and that’s ok. Because then you’ll learn what you need to prioritize. You’ll become aware of what needs your attention more and what doesn’t. This, then will allow you to focus better instead of trying to do a million things. You’ll have to say no to a LOT so you can truly say YES to what matters most.
And there you have it. 21 lessons learned in 2021. I hope that by sharing this, you learned something that might be helpful for you or your business.
There’s a bit of vulnerability in this episode but I’d like to keep it real. Things aren’t always amazing but it’s up to you how to make the most of what you have. Amazing days or not, you always have a choice whether to show up or not. You can choose to rest and give yourself space. You can choose to go through it. You have the power to decide where you want to go and what you want to do. Don’t let anyone dictate you.
Everyone go throught things differently and you know yourself better so enough of the comparisonitis and start focusing on you more.
And with this, I hope you’ll have a prosperous 2022.