Now that 2015 is almost over and we are embarking on a New Year, I wanted to take the time out to visually list the entrepreneurial lessons I learned this year. For the past five years, I’ve been working for myself and learning as I go. And while being self-employed has been no crystal stair, it has afforded me a truly flexible life that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Add to that, while I have been experiencing slower growth than I have had in previous years, 2015 has been my most profitable year yet. There are a few things I would do over again if I could, but since I can’t, I am looking to the future to improve, grow, and evolve.
Are you ready for the 10 entrepreneurial lessons I learned in 2015? Wanna hear it—here it go:
In an industry where everyone is doing a lot of amazing things, it can be difficult to blaze your own trail without trying to do what everyone else is doing. And while it is important for us to adapt and try new things, you also have to do what works for you. You can do a whole lot of things well, or you can do two or three things exceptionally. This year taught me by doing the latter, I still could create an income with my business without being overwhelmed trying to do everything under the sun.
2. Be Selective
I said no more times this year to opportunities and campaigns that came my way so that I could focus on the big picture. Doing so brought less work but provided more profit. It’s okay to be selective.
3. When It’s Time, It’s Time
I co-authored a book this year (did you know that?—more on that soon but you can check it out here!), and while it was an amazing experience, it was also a grueling and somewhat slow-paced at times. We wanted to have the book out way earlier than its December 22nd release date, and we became frustrated with the process. In this, I learned that while we have our plans and goals, they happen when they are supposed to happen—and I’m okay with that. The end result was well worth the wait.
4. Fourth Quarter Awesome
For the first time since I started my business, my fourth quarter profits ended up being the best ever. I actually made more money this quarter than the previous ones, showing me that even though it’s year-end budgeting and holiday insane-ness, you can still make a strong showing. I will never count out the fourth quarter again.
5. Cliques Are Great, But…
I love to network and attend conferences and travel to events that help me grow my business, but I’m not into the clique thing. And in blogging and social media, it can be a really clique-ey place. As an only child, I’m used to being solo dolo and this year I learned that it is okay. You don’t have to be intertwined and in the know of all of the goings on in your genre. Be social and be an active member of the community, but don’t get sucked into drama. And don’t feel like you have to be a part of the crew to kick it.
6. Pop Culture Still Is My Thing
For about a year and a half, I steered away from pop culture topics, thinking as a Career and Lifestyle writer that people wouldn’t take me seriously. Boy, was I wrong. Some of my most popular and most clicked/liked content has involved pop culture topics. I even had a few posts that went viral. So, while I want to be the go-to Work Life Management and Working Parent blogger, I still have a voice when it comes to the light things going on in our world.
7. Build a Team
This year, I think I solidified my team when it came to my business. I allowed myself to trust someone to handle my social media, and she has helped me immensely. I also have a list of contributors who are some of the best in the business. I feel like I have a secret sauce now that is amazing.
8. Do Other Things
Blogging is my business, but adding additional streams of income outside of it is okay, too. I was able to get into real estate investing and management of my own properties, and it as been fulfilling, rewarding, and profitable.
9. Have a Life Outside of Blogging and Social Media
Can I get a hell yeah? I’ve had an epic year from detaching myself on the regular, and I am happier for it. I love to talk shop about the business, but not every moment.
10. Lose Epicly
You can’t win ’em all. You will fail. You will stumble. You will be overlooked. You will be defeated. You will be the bridesmaid and not the bride—-I was there this year many times. And it’s okay. Cheer and be happy for those who win. Be genuine about it. Raise a glass and toast. You will shine regardless.
Lessons don’t turn into wisdom unless we use them to make us a better person, at work and at home. Just call me the
MISEducation of The Cubicle Chick. I’m earning my stripes as I go.