I could sum up 2014 in one sentence it would be “out of control”. As a planner and control freak, the ups and downs unsettled me. By the end, it was a relief just to make it through the other side in one piece.
I haven’t made resolutions or huge goals this year. I’m wary of making them, simply because so much of what happens in life can’t be planned. Family members get sick and opportunities come your way that you can’t even imagine. Despite this I do think there is value approaching your life and business with intention. Part of that is accepting and reviewing the mistakes we’ve made so we can learn from them and move on.
Here are the top 4 business mistakes I made in 2014 and how I am going to fix them in 2015.
For the last few years I’ve struggled with focus. One minute I want to work on Happy Piece full time, the next I want to keep consulting and working on strategy projects. I love both and I’ve come to realise that will never change. I’m always going to be torn between them so the time has come to accept that and move on. I’m done with wasting another year trying to decide which one to focus on.
Solution: In 2015, I’m limiting myself to two main projects for my strategy business that will free up time to work on Happy Piece as close to full time as I can.
Let fear get the better of me.
Happy Piece is the passion project I started after a family visit to Rwanda. Over the last two years, the business has grown organically without me having to do too much. Last year, I decided to make some huge changes but I let fear get in the way of following through with them. I found myself making excuses about why it the changes would be too complicated or wouldn’t work around my family life. After reading Tara Sophia Mohr’s Playing Big, I realised that overcomplicating things is a form of self-sabotage and ultimately comes from fear of the unknown.
Solution: Simplify things and get moving. I can work towards the bigger changes one step at a time. I’ll start with a simple business model that I can implement right away. I’ll also try to be aware of when I am overcomplicating things unnecessarily and remind myself to keep things simple instead.
Took on too much.
Branding projects, a book project, Happy Piece, speaking gigs and trying to be at every school event meant I felt stressed most of the year. My mother was very sick and I spent a lot of time at the hospital then at her home while she recovered from surgery. I’m grateful that I have a job that ebbs and flows around my schedule, but I still stressed out about work when I should have been concentrating on more important things.
Solution: Take on less work or recruit my first employee so I can delegate tasks that don’t need to be done by me.
Compared myself to others.
When you work mainly on your own it is easy to fall into the comparison trap because there is no-one there to stop you. I spent a lot of 2014, trying to figure out what I want the rest of my career to look like. Despite knowing that looking at other people’s lives will not help, I still did it. I looked up people and companies I admire and without even realising at the time, I started to compare my reality with theirs. Before long, my goals changed into the type of goals I thought I should have instead of concentrating on my own personal strengths and vision for my career.
Solution: Create a supportive group of ambitious but heart-centred entrepreneurs so we can celebrate our small wins together and keep each other on track.
Now it’s your turn.
What business mistakes or habits do you want to leave behind this year? To help you, I designed a worksheet which you can download below. Simply list last years mistakes in the “business mistakes” column then brainstorm solutions for each one so you don’t repeat the same mistakes again this year. Good luck.