Updated: Jan 23
Happy New Year babes!!
Since the end of 2019, we've all - as people and businesses - gone through a transformation. We've lived (and are still living) with a pandemic that has rocked the entire globe and nobody - convince me that I'm wrong - has made it through untouched, in one way or another.
It goes without saying that some have had it significantly worse than others - my heart truly hurts for those who have lost their loved ones, missed once-in-a-lifetime moments or seen the collapse of a business that they've spent their life building. Even if you are one of the 'lucky ones' who remain relatively unscathed, things have changed.
And just like that, we've entered another new year with the presence of coronavirus still lingering as a threat to our everyday lives and just generally hanging around like a bad smell.
BUT that does not mean that we need to put our goals and ambitions on hold.
Remember when, at the turn of a new year, everyone would flock to social media to post their 'New Year, New Me' declarations? In 2018, that felt like a total cliché, right? Totally, uncool. But, what if... what if it isn't totally uncool?
The feeling I've witnessed personally, from friends and clients, is the same - that this year is going to be different and it is going to be new and we are going to thrive.
And that's not because Covid-19 is going away or the government is going to be a saviour to small businesses. It's because we are learning how to live with this 'new look'. We have stopped waiting and relying on the media for good news and have started to finally feel confident in our ability to adapt to change at the last hour and make hard decisions. We've let go of the tension and are being super resourceful in our approach. We know what we want and have mapped out multiple routes and contingencies to get us there.
Ah, 2021 - you devil, you
This is may be a business blog but I am the person behind this business and I have no trouble admitting that 2021 was hard.
I remember vividly that, this time last year, it felt pretty bleak, business-wise, and I was struggling to find the beacon of hope that promised the new year would bring consistency, stability and “normality” (what we actually got was 4 more months of homeschooling - LOL).
Despite the constant anxiety that plagued me as a parent and also as a business owner, I do feel like I have a lot to be grateful for and hella lessons have been learned that are surely going to help me in this new year. And, upon closer inspection, there were actually so many wins that I overlooked amongst the craziness. This is why we take the time to reflect, the wins are always there.
My key wins:
I had the pleasure of working with 52 wonderful women in business and 6 amazing female-owned brands
I became a 'Sales' teacher for Alt Marketing School, a 6-week digital marketing bootcamp for marketers who want to do marketing differently and advance their career along the way.
I was appointed as a Non-Exec Director of Body Happy Org, a social enterprise dedicated to the creation of resources, products, education and training programmes to help boost body image, health and wellbeing in children - a cause close to my heart.
I launched a programme of free, quarterly workshops online - 90-day business plan. Through these online workshops I've connected with so many amazing women.
So whilst I thought I was stumbling through the year, my business stayed totally true to what is important to me - go me! If I ever needed validation that my business purpose is aligned with my personal values, beliefs and ethos - there it is.
2021 - Reflection
At a glance, when I look back 2021, here's 5 thoughts that come to mind...
1. Success is personal
It’s ok to not want a huge business with a huge turnover.
2. Don't believe everything you see
Everyone struggles with some form of imposter syndrome, self-sabotage or self-rejection even if they appear to be oozing confidence and success.
3. Together, we are stronger
This year has really shown me the power and strength that comes from having a community around you, a community that gets it. Without the support of my network and business buddies it would have been 100x harder.
4. Amazing things really do happen when women support women.
5. What a fucking year.
If you’ve made it with a business still in tact then you are winning. And even if you haven't, you are still here - more resilient and with a pHd from the 'school of life'. Your growth is empowering and inspiring babe.
How to process our learnings from 2021
When I learn lessons, I learn them hard. They are opportunities to grow after all. I always make sure that I give them the time they deserve with these 5 steps:
I have a list of prompts that I come back to at the end of every week, month and quarter. I ask myself these questions and see where the thought process takes me and, over time, if I notice any patterns. Examples of some prompts:
Did the work I complete this week make me feel good?
What got me feeling 'pumped' this week?
Do I feel well rewarded, financially, for my work?
Did I make myself a priority enough this week?
What learnings will I take from this week?
What does success look like to me, next week?
I've reflected on all that has happened, now I need to identify the 'sticking points' which are the areas of opportunity where I can grow, both personally and professionally.
I've identified the challenges - time to take a deeper dive and ask the hard questions; Why did this happen? What worked well? What would I change? What barriers did I face? Were those barriers within my control or not? Did the project require skills that I do not possess?
Acknowledging that we might not have performed as well as we hoped or that we could have handled a situation better can be distressing. As humans, our biggest fear is rejection, so, instinctively, we can find it hard to give voice our short-comings. I give myself the mental space to process this and accept it so that I can move forward.
I know what I did right, I know what I did wrong - let's apply this to future planning!
2022 - Goals, come at me!
Planning for this year looked a little different than the usual, I didn’t feel called to give myself grand 2022 statements or resolutions as such, more like promises to myself, personal aspirations and some collective hopes.
Maybe this is the 'hustle culture' finally ebbing itself out of me completely, maybe it’s a slight nervousness of still being out of control with what’s going on in the world or maybe its the trust within that's guiding me. Whatever it is, it feels good and it feels right.
Here are 3 things I hope I achieve in 2022...
1. An intuitive working style
What does 'intuitive' mean? Essentially, this is the ability to know or understand something without reasoning or needing proof.
Something that had really tripped me up over the pandemic was being too committed to seeing through a plan and not accepting when I needed to pivot quickly and make adjustments at the last minute. So, for 2022, my planning is going to much more flexible and adaptable and far less rigid.
Whilst I still have short-term and long-term goals, I'm accepting that my goalposts are probably going to move, for reasons that will likely be out of my control - and I'm ok with that.
2. Generating passive income within the business
What do I mean by passive income? A source of revenue that continues to generate income long after the work has been completed. Examples of passive income could be earning money from a renting out a property, or becoming a silent partner in another business. For service-led businesses, like mine, this could be creating products or resources that are available for purchase on the website.
Part of my accepting that, despite my best efforts, plans and commitments may not always go as expected, I want to put some contingencies in place. For me, this means putting more focus on ways to make money with more ease.
3. Enjoy freedom
There's a teensy bit of irony in the fact that we've never had to live with so many restrictions but, in some ways - call me crazy - it's opened up some freedom. This won't apply to everyone but hear me out.
YES, covid restrictions have made some business rituals nigh on impossible, and travelling abroad, just, well. You know how that's been 🤯. But has anyone else experienced some unexplainable, internal freedoms too? Like, during lockdown, being told that we could not leave our homes, actually alleviated some of the responsiblities that would normally stress us out. Instead of rushing out the door for long commutes to a business meeting or hurrying the kids off to 5 different clubs, we've kinda had to just shrug and say 'well, can't do that'. We had space to find our own flow and put a spotlight on what's important and what's essential to our wellbeing.
And, let's have it right - I do also mean this goal in the literal sense too. Any physical freedom we get, I fully intend to make the most of it whilst it's there. We've all learnt that it can be taken away at any time. For me, personally, I want more travel - across the UK and overseas.
Let's catch up
I'd love to hear how you're feeling about the new year, how you felt about last year and what your dreams and ambitions are for the year ahead. Book a free 20-minute Cuppa & Chat call with me and let's see how we can, together, make 2022 the best yet.
You can catch me over on these socials, come say hi!
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