It’s January 2016. A time to reflect, exude positive energy and make plans for the year ahead. I don’t know about you, but this past year hasn’t been without it’s troubles.
Troubles? Who am I kidding? This year has been full of mess ups. Mostly my own doing. Because when you’re a business owner it’s always your fault. Right?
I’ll be honest. There were a few days (or months, let’s be for real) when I just wanted to give up.
After reading Johnathan’s post on Blavity titled, “16 Painful Lessons I Learned in 2015 While Trying to Be An Adult“, I was inspired to share my own year of struggles. A look back at things that happened and how I plan to improve them moving forward.
Learn from my mistakes.
I know I will.
1. I don’t give myself enough credit.
I’m sure I won’t be alone. When people see the accomplishments I’ve made over the last few years with building my brands, they are always so proud. I just wish I was proud of myself. I suppose it’s because I’m nowhere close to financial freedom. It seems like every time I reach a new milestone, I subconsciously push the end goal further and further away.
Moving Forward: Every time I reach a goal I will reward myself with something, even if it’s small. My favorite ice cream, a new pair of shoes or a new lipstick – just to make sure I acknowledge my successes.
2. Planning is my downfall.
I’ve lived my life on a whim. I do what I want when I want. I can change my mind in a second and make no excuses for it. This doesn’t work in business unless you want to drive everyone around you completely insane.
Moving Forward: Planning is the only way to stay on top of potential problems and track if progress has been made. I’ve purchased the Passion Planner to help me organize my life.
3. I love to learn and spend money on self-help products.
This isn’t a bad thing, by any means. But it can be a hindrance if not kept in check.
My name is Arsha, and I’m a serial shopper of info products and online courses.
I’ve bought courses from uDemy, ByRegina and Marie Forelo – just to name a few. I’m sure I’ve spent thousands of dollars by now. But I never really have time to complete them all. It’s the shiny object syndrome. The latest new buzzword or topic that becomes popular and I’m looking for a course that will help me learn about it. What can I say, I like to learn.
No. I LOVE to learn. I just don’t have time to complete them all.
Moving Forward: I’ll try to resist buying the latest and greatest courses. I’ll be conscious of the time I have available for completion and implementation. Unless something I really want is on sale. Don’t judge me. I’m a work in progress.
4. I like people and hate people, at the same damn time.
In general, I’m a people person that has recently transitioned into an ambivert. The more I interact with people, the more I hate people. It’s draining. By the time I’m done having various conversations, whether online or off I’m exhausted. When it comes to business, this is one of my many faults.
Moving Forward: Limit how much I give of myself and take needed breaks when being social is just too much. In addition, I’ll be hiring more people that can deal with customer issues and be advocates for resolution, when I’m unable to can.
5. Get better at saying NO.
When someone asks me to do something, especially family, it’s tough for me to say no. Even when I know I should. Even when I know I don’t have time. Even when I know I’ll forget. I. Just. Don’t. Say. No. I’m getting better and 2016 will be another year I can work on perfecting the art of saying NO.
Moving Forward: I’ll make no apologies for saying no and stand by my decision. #SorryNotSorry
6. If I don’t value my time, no one else will.
The only thing I hate more than wasted time is when other people waste my time. My time is valuable. If I’m not working on current projects I’m thinking about new ideas. Any time taken away from that is losing me money. Wasted time is wasted money.
Moving Forward: Make sure that anything I invest my time into has a purpose. Even if it’s for entertainment.
7. It’s okay to put myself first.
I’m a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, sister, and friend. But sometimes I forget to just be me. Unless I’m sick. I’m sure it’s my maternal instinct and just “how women are,” but I no longer have to subscribe to that ideology.
Moving Forward: Even if it’s just 30 min per day, I’ll take some time to stop, smell the coffee and just be.
8. Don’t be afraid of responsibility and growth.
I hold myself back from growth because I’m afraid of the responsibility. I’ve worked hard to achieve freedom from work and tedious schedules. So the idea of hiring employees, managing an office space and being “in charge” keeps me from building my brands into something totally life changing and amazing. The whole point for all of my hard work was to do less of it, not more.
Moving Forward: I’ll embrace responsibility. I’ll also try to understand that being responsible comes with the territory and while it seems like a ton of work, it will afford me the freedom (and finances) to take off and do nothing when I want.
9. Don’t let numbers scare you.
I’m on my way to having a company that sells half a million dollars in product per year. With no help, funding, guidance funding, or mentors. This scares me. I’m not only in a place where I never thought I’d be, but I’m in a place where I look around and no longer see people that understand my struggles. It puts me in a position where I must now travel outside of my current circles and comfort zone in order to grow.
Moving Forward: I’ll try to convince myself that growing larger is part of the struggle. One day I’ll look around and not see anyone I know or that looks like me and I’ll have to be okay.
10. Marketing will make or break my monthly sales goals.
One of the main reasons I was able to gain more success in 2015 than the year before was directly related to how much I spent on advertising. I went from spending $5-$25 on advertising per week, to spending $3k-5k. The more I practiced, the more I felt comfortable. But I can’t lie, it takes time to become accustomed to spending more on advertising than an average mortgage payment.
Moving Forward: Scared money won’t make money. I have to continually work on changing my mindset. If my money isn’t helping me make more money, what’s the point?
I hope this gives you insight on issues I’ve struggled with in 2015. I look forward to being on this journey with you and learning from my past mistakes in order to push myself even further in 2016.
What’s one thing that you’ve struggled with last year and how do you plan on improving it moving forward?
Awesome post Arsha! Thanks for sharing a sneak peek behind the day to day life of running the brands. As a newbie jumping into business it totally helps. I also like you have many of the mindsets I need to conquer and overcome, like ability to say no and be firm! And also learning to really plan more and stick to them.
Hi Sasha! Thanks for stopping by. It’s hard but I’m willing to give it a try. What else have I got to lose, right? lol
Oh Arsha! I can relate to sooo much of what you said. I can relate to #1,3,5,8,9,10 lol…almost all of it. Being a business owner is hard and as a newbie, there were so many times I wanted to give up too, but I’m keeping at it. Thanks for being a source of inspiration for me 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words Vashti!
Hi Bernetta! Thank you! I look forward to following you on your journey.
Thank you for sharing your struggles and I too can relate to many of the points you made. Like you, I LOVE learning and last year I got to a place where I was experiencing information overload. Towards the end of the year I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t but any more courses UNLESS it was something I absolutely needed to move forward. So far so good but the struggle is real. 🙂 Best wishes on a successful 2016.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ve already failed. I bought another course from byRegina. I don’t think that counts, since I was supposed to purchase it last year. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂
My anxious business mind somehow brought me here. This was great! I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone in so many ways trying to become a better entrepreneur. To think I’m starting with a ‘niche’ store and it’s giving me so much angst! Smh. I needed this test drive before I tackle my passion project hardcore. Thanks for sharing your reflections of 2015. Curious to see how they compare to 2016 and now in 2017.