The past year has been one with lots of growth for me, with growing pains to go along with it! Throughout this process I’ve tried to stay so open to the education that running this business has provided me– on every level. Even as I make mistakes (and I make lots), as long as I vow to learn from them I consider it a win. After reflecting on the business arena of my life the past year, I realized I have learned some really important lessons. I thought I would share them here with you today!
1. You Don’t Get What You Want If You Don’t Ask For It
I think a mistake a lot of people make (and I’ve made it too!) is that the “Powers That Be” in whatever job you’re doing have no idea what you’re thinking, wishing for, wanting, or needing if you don’t speak up about it. They have their own things they’re busy with, and frankly, they aren’t up at night wondering how best to award you for the hard work you’ve been doing. If you want healthy boundaries at work, YOU have to set them. And if you are unhappy with the way work relationships are going, YOU have to address that! It’s a bit overwhelming, I know, but so worth it. I had a couple of work transitions over the past year that I was extremely nervous about executing. But once I spoke up and got the ball rolling, I was in shock that I hadn’t done it sooner. You really never know how somebody is going to respond to something that you’ve built up so much in your head. At the end of the day, nobody wants your goals and dreams to happen for you as much as you do…so make them happen!
2. The Only Difference Between Success And A Great Idea Is Action
Every successful idea or business model has been thought up by hundreds– if not thousands– of people before a person achieves success with that idea. It’s about actually taking action and making your ideas in to reality. Nobody knows about the people who had that idea before if they didn’t do anything about it! I know it’s hard to imagine starting something from nothing, but if there’s one thing I learned the past year with my blog it’s that a person can learn pretty much anything. Don’t be discouraged if your idea involves a skill set you don’t have yet. Just take those baby steps, stay committed, ask tons of questions, and ask for HELP! You’d be surprised how many people are willing to take time and explain something you don’t understand completely.
3. Nobody Knows Your Brand Better Than The People Who Love It
I grew so much from listening to my readers last year! I had a few months when I was feeling super uninspired…and after feeling pretty anxious and shameful about it, I decided to ask all of you what YOU wanted to read about or see from me! It was so eye opening, because there were a lot of surprises! Things that I thought hadn’t been that successful were actually some of your favorite series, and other topics I didn’t think anyone was interested in turned out to be things you were dying to know. Another great way for me to find out what the readership wanted from Happily Eva After was to explore the search bar analytics. It’s really interesting to see what people search for organically on my blog. It was from those analytics that I came up with the “Conversations With Kyle” post series, since a huuuuge percentage of people were searching variations of “coparenting” or “parenting with husband”. Of course that is mostly applicable to a blog type of business, but I think the greater takeaway is that sometimes the audience for a brand sees growth for the brand that we are unable to see ourselves. It never hurts to get other people’s opinions!
4. Your Business Can’t Run Well If You Don’t Recharge Your Batteries
Oh boy, did I learn this lesson last year! It’s taken me most of my adult life to learn to slow down and be present (my anxiety never helped with that!), and I’ve found this to be especially challenging in my professional life. But last year I really saw how much better my performance was when I took regular time for myself to invest in self-care. Self-care is different for everyone, but I committed this past summer to really re-establishing my Joy Triggers and filling my own cup more so I can be there for others.
5. Connection Is Always Positive
A huge life lesson I learned last year is that connecting with people who inspire you, or make you laugh, or are interesting, or are talented at what they do, will feed you in many ways– whether it is apparent at first or not. Attending events, going to lunches, making connections, meeting friends of friends, or even attending panels and lectures on topics that have nothing to do with your business…it can all be fodder for a complex and interesting life that WILL come back tenfold to you. I’ve learned that being open, learning, really listening, and asking questions almost always leads down a path that ends up being beneficial for me in some way…and I grow as a person while doing it! Get outside your box this year and see what happens!
I would love to hear any amazing business lessons you’ve learned recently! Please share in the Comments below!
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Photographs by Julia Dags.