What I learnt in 2018 - 5 years in business.
What a tough year - isn’t that we were all feeling by October last year?
As much as I want to sit and divulge every last detail of all the hardships I went through in business last year, I know its not really an interesting subject for most. So I thought why not share some golden nuggets of things I learnt and ways I hope to improve in my business going forward.
The first and most important being:
If you don’t align, its not going to work.
My business has been going for close on 6 years now and this has been the hardest lesson for me. But this year (and the end of 2018) confirmed how utterly important this really is in order to be successful and to not disappoint anyone - even though it is unintentional.
I get many queries a week which I am so grateful for - like so grateful. And in most cases, they are always with businesses that I would LOVE to work with or feel totally aligned with. Other cases, they were with small businesses that I actually didn’t feel a connection with but wanted to help. Not just for another pay check, but businesses that I honestly and truly wanted to help. This seemed like the right thing to do for me but in turn, it didn’t end that way.
The small few that I took on but didn’t align with, in the end, we ended up signing off the project on mutual terms but always respectfully… knowing the we both didn’t ether know which way was forward with the design & that not enough planning was carried out so we didn’t see the end vision working for us. I am a very minimalistic and clean designer. I don’t like congested design and when I feel a design is leading this way, it blanks me and I physically can’t move forward from the concepts presented.
So my lesson for 2019 - only take on the clients that align with me and my business and my style. Even though wanting to help everyone is within my personality, when it comes to business - this rule can’t stick anymore.
Yes - its real and it creeps up on you in so many ways before it attacks and claims its glory.
I have learnt to listen! Be mindful! And not ever get this point again. I had many warnings which I just ignored. I had headaches most days, felt the need to sleep when I had only been awake for like three hours. And sadly, I lost my creativity. Its like writers block and you just don’t know when its going to come back. And there really isn’t much you can do about it other than find what makes your creative juices flow and for me - that’s reading freshly printed magazines, spending time writing in my journal in a coffee shop, going to the beach and on occasion, walking the malls and spoiling myself. Im not a huge fan of shopping though I must say. Ha ha. Shock alert. Of course spending time with my kids always inspires me and helps me realise how the small things can make all the difference in the world. My kids keep me focused and energised but because we are talking business, I am sticking to business related topics.
Trust your gut
We’ve all heard it before, we’ve all been told it many, many times in our growing years and we are all, aways reminded of it in some way or another. We sometimes just choose to ignore it or go with the flow and think everything will be OK or the “gut feeling” will be proved wrong. Never. I repeat never. It’s always right - errrrrrry single time. And I need to start acknowledging that and trusting it. Even it means saying no to a full paying client. Daft? No. I am sure many small business owners can relate.
I may sign off this blog post for now. I can either shed some good reading, or get too invested in it and start writing crap ha ha. So while my mind is fresh - I’ll leave this here and carry on adding to this post another time.
I hope these little snippets have helped you in your business journey and helped keep you on the inspirational train. Keep going - but only if you are not in burnout mode. Keep producing, but only if you align well with your client & keep persevering, just don’t push yourself too much - stick to realistic goals and expectations.