I wrote a blog like this last year and it really helped me reframe in my mind where my business was at. Long story short, my business did WAY better than I thought it had in my head. So what have I learned this year? Let’s see.
#1 - You’re almost always doing better than you think/check your numbers
I’ve talked about this on Instagram before but I’ve been struggling (juggling?) with have a full-time job and this business. This year I admittedly got frequently caught up in the comparison game with other brands that started at a similar time as me. Comparison is natural right but also can lead down a slippery slope. So, I went to the numbers.
I looked at my analytics from 2022 and compared it to this year and what did I find? A 20% increase! Like, what! I AGAIN did way better than I thought. That number truly blew my mind. I was convinced I didn’t do as well as last year but the numbers don’t lie.
Check your numbers! Did you do better than you thought? I bet you did.
#2 - Human connection is the glue in business
We live in a very digital world, there’s no avoiding that. But this year has made it clear that community and in-person connection is so vital.
I moved to Dallas about 2 years ago and have since met a wonderful group of fellow business owners here. On top of that I live alone so those connections are even more important to me. Being able to sit down with them and chat about life & business has been so vital for my mental (and business’s) health this year. When was the last time your left hanging out with friends in a terrible mood? Hardly ever right? That's what I mean. Every time I see one of these wonderful people I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next thing.
I went down an Adam Grant and Malcom Gladwell book rabbit hole this year and so much of what they talk about is how vital having in-depth, in-person conversations with others is to our long-term health, particularly our brain health. I really experienced that first-hand this year.
Another branch of my business is wholesale - selling my product to stores that they can stock their shelves with. While I’m not in as many as I would have like by the end of this year (*cough comparison game cough*) the one’s I’m in are because I had a true connection with that store’s team.
A personal story, a love for my style, whatever it was those people I connected with trusted me & my product for their shops.
Business is about people. Real connection with real people.
#3 - I finally came to terms with how I get in my own way
I took a Saboteur assessment test this year and the number 1 thing I got that prevents me from accomplishing things is perfectionism. I use the excuse of “it’s not ready” or “they won’t like it” as a way to get out or push things off and thus, I miss opportunities. Who was it that said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take? A hockey player? Well anyway, that quote is 100% true.
Earlier I mentioned that I didn’t have as many new wholesale accounts as I wanted by the end of the year, which is true but why is that true? Because I didn’t take the shot. Because I didn’t reach out consistently.
About half way through the year my mindset shifted to “done is better than perfect” and oh boy did that change things. Getting out of my own way and combing that with continued education from places like Proof to Product Labs and Lupe Prado Coaching, the last couple months of the year were filled with more and healthier productivity.
Will I reach my goal of 50 new stockists this year? No. But I’ve learned what was holding me back, which maybe is better long-term.
Do you have something similar keeping your from your goals? Are you avoiding it like I was?
#4 - Work smarter not harder for the long-term
Something that has been on my mind a lot this year is passive income. Towards the end of the year I made an initial set of digital downloads. Planners, lists, etc that you could use right on your computer, tablet, or print them out right at home.
Are they making me thousands of monthly dollars yet? No. But I only had to make them once. It’s not a physical product I have to spend time shipping to someone. Pure passive income.
Do I like digital-only products? Not particularly, y’all know I’m a paper girl at heart but they’re hopefully going to give me and this business a little financial buffer.
The same ideas applies in other areas. I’ve incorporated a more solid inventory system, a better wholesale outreach system, things that like that allow me to have a set process and not spend so much time & energy just getting started or figuring it out every time. I can sit down and finish the task. Those systems to good chunks of time to finalize but now that they are they’re saving me time all over the place.
What can you create a process for to save you time?
Okay I’ll end it there. I could go on with other, smaller things I’ve learned but I think these 4 things are the biggest and most important things. Business is hard. Having a life while having a business is even harder. But we can do it because there are other people out there experiencing the same thing.
I would love to know a big revelation you’ve had this year. Leave a comment or message me on Instagram!