At the conclusion of each quarter, I take some quiet time to myself to digest and reflect on how the last 3 months have gone in my business and life. The period of reflection can be an afternoon in duration or sometimes I go deep and it’s a couple of days.
I find this time vital to my growth as a business owner. We spend so much time in the day-to-day that it can be difficult to dedicate some time to a 35k view of our businesses. This is non-negotiable time to do just that.
The end of this month not only wraps the second quarter of the year, but also a business development program I’ve been dedicating my time and efforts to for the past 9 months to (have you noticed a few shifts?!?).
Our final challenge is similar to what I do each quarter; we’re making and sharing lists of what we’ve learned during our time in the program. This includes not only our wins, but our stumbles and aha’s, too.
And instead of just sharing it with my program peers, I’m getting honest and sharing it with you, my lovely, amazing, inspiring community.
What I learned about myself and business this year:
- I won’t speak in front of a general audience to pitch my business and what I do, unless there’s another reason, such as testing new materials, looking at new markets, the audience can directly connect me to my ideal client, getting paid, etc. Otherwise, it is a bad use of my time and energy. Lesson learned and noted.
- Being visible is uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying, but I’m still here the next day. If it isn’t challenging you, it isn’t changing you.
- I really like to connect with people 1:1 and although this takes a fair amount of energy out of me (as an introvert), which means I can’t reach as many people (ie. slower growth), I’m really enjoying it!
- The body never lies and when it needs rest, respect it and rest deeply. And when it screams ‘NO’ to an opportunity, listen!
- Writing is not only being of service to my community (thank you for the lovely emails I’ve been receiving, by the way), but has allowed me to put the concepts and tools I use every day, that swirl in my brain, down on virtual paper and free up space for more awesomeness to emerge.
- I need to hold my time sacred and even if someone is nice when asking for a quick chat, it’s okay to not extend the chat session beyond the allotted time.
- “No” is a full sentence.
- Everything I write won’t be top-notch and it’s okay.
- My abilities with follow-up and follow-through are really high, come naturally to me and have lead to new clients that I didn’t think we’re going to work with me. Keep it up!
- As nice as six figures would be this year, having more flex time to spend with my family is more important right now.
- Some ways of being visible just aren’t in line with my personality, so even if others swear up and down that a certain tactic, like being of service on social media, works, if I’m not bringing the right energy to the activity, it’ll likely never work for me. It’s okay to find another path.
- Enforcing my boundaries feels scary, but empowering.
- There is nothing wrong with asking for what I want if I do it from a place of love and kindness.
- I’m totally comfortable talking to someone in a casual or professional setting, to make small talk or ’network’. Two years ago, this was an almost petrifying action to even think about.
- When I focus on my to-do list and keep my routine ultra tight, I CAN get a lot accomplished without expending too much energy!
- Don’t wait too long to have a difficult conversation with a client. When you first feel a tinge of ‘something isn’t right here’, acknowledge it and ask to have that dialogue with the other person, instead of only internally with myself. This will save me loads of unnecessarily expended time, energy and mental overwhelm.
- Waitlists rock!
- My appearance and how I show up for myself each day has a direct effect on my motivation to bring my best self to my business and life.
- Gosh, I miss being around other people in a work setting at times.
- The more I align with how I want to run a business (even when scary or uncomfortable), the more ‘good’ comes my way.
- When I’m about to do something that feels terrifying, like pitch a guest post to a new site, it’s okay to have someone there to be my cheerleader for me.
Do the exercise with me and take whatever time you have available, be it 15 minutes or 2 hours, to put attention all that you have learned about yourself and your business during the first half of the year. Write it down as you go. You’ll probably be amazed at what you recall (I was!).
Next, get brave and share your list with us in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash