Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015 - The good, the bad, the ugly

I always like to reflect back on my business year, note the lessons learned and what I would do differently next year.

So here’s the good – (the brilliant actually.)

1.            An element of surprise wins the day.
People are still talking about Liz Radzick’s entrance to the Journey 2 Success conference (carried on a stretcher by four hunky firemen).  It was an amazing day and Liz set the stage.  Now who knows what she’ll do next yearJ

2.            Women want practical skills, delivered through hands-on training.
We started to deliver Yes You Can… one-day sessions on a specific topic where the women left with new skills, all set and ready to go.   

3.            When you let go and listen to new ideas, your business can soar. 
 We now have eight chapters and I am really wowed by my team this year.  They’re keen, capable women, all committed to helping women succeed.  Just watch this space for new stuff “coming to a neighbourhood near you.”

4.            Making soup is another way to network.
Who knew? What started as a casual conversation about making soup, turned into two classes on how to do it.  It was fun and the conversations fascinating as a diverse group of women connected over a meal they’d made together. 

5.            The brain cells are still working
I managed to get away to attend two conferences in the US.  Learning always fuels me, even if it takes me time to filter and implement what I have learned.

6.            I love, love, love interviewing and writing women’s stories.
Doing the interviews for the One Red Lipstick was for me a personal high. Not only did I enjoy hearing the stories, but I loved that I was able to help the women best articulate what they wanted to say.

The bad (well not that bad)

7.            Not practicing what I preach.
I’ve always said that we need to deliver what our customers want, rather than what we want to offer or think they need, and I still think it’s true.  But it struck me that I wasn’t strictly sticking to my rule this year. 

We haven’t offered as many evening events as in the past.  Why?  When I dig deep, it was because I didn’t want to work evenings.  There, said it.  My focus was on what I wanted, not the customers.  Wrong. 

8.            It’s not all about me
With my new team, that will change, because there’s another lesson deep in this, it’s not all about me.  I don’t have to attend every event (even if I could).

9.            We’re a last minute society
Late registrations are the bane of any event planners existence and cause endless stress, and it seems to be getting worse.  Just as you think you may have to cancel, the last minute gals sign up and suddenly you have a sold out crowd!    

The ugly (the tough stuff)

10.        Life is fragile.
On a personal note, we’ve had a sudden death and serious illness within our extended family, which makes everything else pale in comparison.  Unfortunately as we get older, there will be more of this, but you never get immune to the sadness it brings.

So what’s my main takeaway from the year?   I’ve built a business that doesn’t need me 24/7.  It can tick along beautifully with the team I have in place,  which enables me to turn more of my energies to writing and publishing books.

It’s been a year of transition, with key lessons on letting go, listening and learning.

So how about you?  What were the lessons, highlights, low points in your year?  When you take the time to reflect back, there are lessons to be gleaned if you are open to learn. And trust me, we can all learn.  I for one am a lifelong learner.

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