7 Lessons Learned in 2019 About Business

We’re into December and January is right around the corner. Where did the time go? When I was younger I always heard the saying, “As you get older the time goes faster.” Of course, I never understood how time could go faster because we all have the same 24 hours, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it is true.

As an adult, we’re faced with so many more responsibilities and so the time does seem to speed by. At least this was true when I was a kid but it could be completely different for our kids now.

As I thought about 2019 I realized that I only remember moments, when I’ve seen growth, when I’ve accomplished something or when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.

During my journey to owning my online business, there were many years that had no growth and for the most part, I don’t remember them at all.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – You Never Know Where It’ll Take You

I know that they were frustrating and stressful because I wanted to be my own boss so bad but I couldn’t find what my “thing” online was but this year is different.

In January, I stepped out of my comfort zone (A LOT!) and flew down to Los Angeles without my son, stayed for 4 nights and then spoke to a small group of people at an in-person event.

This was the first day. We went to Manhattan Beach, CA and walked on the boardwalk. The group broke up into smaller groups and we got to know each other.

I always told myself that I’d never do any public speaking but when the opportunity presented itself I didn’t want to turn it down flat because I wasn’t sure where it was going to take me.

While at the event I knew that it was going to change my life – I just didn’t know-how. It did.

Not in the way you might think but it led me to the mentor that I’ve been working with for about six months.

Focus Is Important For Growth

During the time we’ve worked together she has helped me become more focused. I’ve always considered myself an “ideas” person and to focus on one thing is really hard for me. Sometimes I feel like there is more out there for me or that I’m missing out on finding my one true passion.

Another huge part of business, that she has made me discover is that strategy is key. Since I started working online I’ve been so focused on the next product that I wasn’t focused on anything else.

Do you ever feel this way?

I think it is normal for some people. I believe that I’m multi-passionate and that is why I have such a hard time focusing. I always want to move on to the next project.

You’ve Got To Have a Strategy

My mentor has a strategy that helps her grow her business. I’ve seen her work the strategy for a while. I just didn’t realize that she was doing certain tasks with intention.

By being intentional she’s able to be transparent to her audience, share her work on the web through distribution and syndication and connect with other people through her networks (liked LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter) on a regular basis.

Consistency is so important when you do anything in your business. If you give something a try and it works or doesn’t – if you’re not being consistent in the efforts it is a waste of time.

Connie has an amazing training called Syndication Optimization that I recommend wholeheartedly. It will help you look at the way you do business and interact differently.

I’m still working on my own strategy but I know that once I get it down and I’m being intentional in my actions – I’m going to grow so much.

Small But Consistent Tasks Make A Difference

As I look back on 2019 I realize that I didn’t do anything big. I took small and consistent steps all through the year.

By doing this it has helped me create a team of people who help me in my business, it has made me more consistent engagement with my audience on social media, it has allowed me to write over 365 emails (some were daily broadcasts while others were part sequences), it has allowed me to create one or two done-for-you content bundles monthly and it has allowed me to start posting regularly to my Niche Starter Packs blog, as well as this one.

Separately these aren’t spectacular, but looking at them as a whole I’ve done a lot for my business in 2019.

Cheap (Or Less Expensive) Isn’t Always The Best Option

I know we all like to be frugal…or maybe it’s just me. 🙂 But there are definitely certain situations and times you need to go with something that seems expensive or step out of your comfort zone with the price.

The rate my mentor charges is right outside of my comfort zone. So why did I hire her? I did it for three reasons.

  1. She is doing what I want to do and making money doing it. So she knows what it takes and how to get there. She understands the growth, the self-doubt and the stages that go along with the process.
  2. She cares so deeply about people and I can tell that she cares about me and my business. She shares so much of herself and I like that she is thinking of ways for my business to grow even when we’re not on a call. I’ve had her email me and tell me she thought of something that I should be doing.
  3. Her price is outside of my comfort zone. That means each month I notice when her rates come out. I think because of this it makes me listen to what she says more than I would someone that didn’t charge as much.

I don’t regret my decision at all. I’m a strong believer in investing back into yourself and I do that by using a mentor in my business.

She is also the one that helped me see that it is okay to hire people who are worth what they ask. Before I was hiring inexperienced, cheap workers and I was stressed about paying them all the time because I knew they weren’t worth what I was paying.

Now I have some amazing people on my team all at different hourly wages. The more experience and niche their experience the more that they get paid but that also means they are very quick with their work and I’ll pay them less anyway.

Stop and Smell The Roses

I’m being metaphorical here, but the idea still applies. Don’t forget to stop what you’re doing, look up and really see what you’ve done in your business.

It is easy to get down on yourself because your list is always growing and it feels like you’re never getting anything done. So take a break and reflect.

What have you accomplished? Is there anything big? If not, that’s okay. Look at all the small tasks and projects you’ve done.

Maybe you’ve published 52 blog posts this year. Way to go! Or maybe you’ve connected with some amazing bloggers that are raving fans and turned into affiliates. Awesome!

Take a deep look and don’t discount what you’ve been doing.

Be Kind To Yourself & Don’t Expect Perfection

If I don’t think I’m doing things right or fast enough I know that I can start telling myself all sorts of things. Usually, they’re not really nice.

But the truth is that I’m being consistent and I’m growing my business AND that is only part of who I am. I am also a single parent who homeschools my son. I’ve got a lot going on in my life, as I’m sure you do as well. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you have to get help from your in-laws or you stop and get pizza for dinner a couple of times a month. It is okay.

Be kind to yourself – you deserve it. You’ve got a lot on your plate.

The second one is about perfection. I don’t think I expect perfection from me or anyone else, but I listened to a podcast where Amy Porterfield was interviewing Brooke Castillo and there is one sentence (or idea) that I still remember that they talked about.

“B- work changes lives.”

Brooke Castillo

They both talked about it. So you don’t have to be perfect and your products don’t have to be 100% perfect either because you’re still making a difference in someone’s life if you spell a few words wrong or put a few too many commas in your paragraphs. That isn’t what matters – the message does.

Looking back onto 2019 and these are the seven things that I’ve learned.

~April

P.S. I’d love to hear what you learned in 2019. Please share it in the comments below.

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