By nature, I’m a forward thinker. I love to look ahead and see what’s next! This trait helps me to be a great planner! Whether it’s spreadsheets for projections (I know, a little dry and boring :) ) or making sure I have my events calendared, I like to be ready for the future. Growing up I was one of those daydreaming children that said “when I grow up….” It’s a part of my make up to look ahead. Sometimes it’s great! However, I confess, I can be all the way in 2017 while present day life is going on around me. I also understand the importance of hindsight at times. I’ve seen many posts, articles, tweets, etc. about the “15 best things you learned about 2015,” learning from this year’s mistakes, looking back in order to prep for 2016. All of these things are great! I wanted to put together a retrospective list myself! I thought it would be helpful to other entrepreneurs as well.
Another approach I’ve seen is to showcase all your accomplishments from the current year in order to prepare for next year’s challenges. As a small business owner, may times we are so “all in” at working in our business that we don’t get to work on our business like we’d like to. However, as I continue to talk to different people in various mastermind groups, social media groups and other local community organizations, I realize the indelible value of personal growth.
All of that said, I honestly didn't start out for personal growth this year. I DID however purpose this year to DO more. As a planner, I’ve been a little scared at times to DO, even though implementing the plan is vital! Making myself DO this year was critical and I’m glad I did it!
March 2015 –I attended my first business trip for my business! The majority of people I know that travel for work, travel for other people’s work. I traveled representing my business!!! I learned so much about stepping out to support my own dream and building my own empire!!! I attended a workshop called Weekend Start Up School. It was so much more than a weekend workshop! Besides the information I learned and the awesome people I connected with, this trip solidified my most valuable lessons –genuine connection with other business owners is necessary, sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone (literally) to stretch you, and pressing past any fear is worth it! Find out more about my trip in the April 2015 blogpost.
April 2015 –Two words….ONE SPARK! In short, it is an in person crowdfunding festival! “A real-life version of Kickstarter!” (CNN Money). Being surrounded by creators, inventors and entrepreneurs in a two-day festival was not only an opportunity to see what was the “next” business, but truly inspirational! People were in different stages of business and non-profit organizations, yet they came out for crowdfunding for their business! Find out more at www.beonespark.com.
September – December –I participated in the Fall Cohort for the Jax Bridges program offered by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. The program provided comprehensive information for working on your business! They delivered value with tools that I have incorporated into my business and look forward to assisting clients with in 2016!
November –All my planning turns into DOING!!! I hosted my first workshop! Although I presented a bit of a practice run earlier in the year for my women’s business organization, this was the first time I stepped out on my own and offered my own workshop! It was exhilarating, scary, rewarding and lesson-learning all at the same time. An opportunity to share my vision, help other business owners, and get over fear. Mission accomplished!
Throughout the year
I attended several seminars hosted by the Small Business Development Center in my local community. These workshops gave me an opportunity for continuing education, more networking with small business owners and more often than not, all it costed me was my time! 90% of the events I attended were FREE!!
I participated in, invested time, shared resources and learned from others within my local business association We Are Women in Business. I value the honesty, camaraderie, insight and information provided by these ladies! One of the things I share with my clients is that you need a support system! They are truly that!
Since the core of my business it to help others work on their business,
investing in my business was certainly worth it in 2015!