As 2021 rolls to an end I wanted to take some time to look back and reflect on this year as an entrepreneur. As a new business owner, it is important to look back and reflect each year while setting new goals. That’s why I’m sharing with you four lessons that I learned as an entrepreneur in 2021.
Remember Your Why
With the ever-evolving digital world, it is easy to lose track of your goal and priorities. Just because everyone else is launching a digital course doesn’t mean you have to as well.
If things are starting to feel foggy or hectic, look back and ask yourself does this align with my goals and values? Does this align with the reason I started ( or stayed) in business? If the answer is no, then you know it’s not for you.
You Get What You Put In
One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is you have no one else to lean on when it comes to your business. If you do not work, you do not get paid. There is no magical accounting fairy who pays you the same paycheck each month without all the hard work and hustle required.
If you have big goals it will take time and energy to help you accomplish them. Sometimes it may take investing in you and your business to help you accomplish these goals. This year I invested in a business coach and she helped me focus my energy to accomplish some of my top goals. Sure I could have probably accomplished them without her, but it would have taken me double the time and double the amount of effort to get to where I am today.
So, don’t be afraid to go all in and commit to success. If you never commit to scucess and are always worried about failure you’ll never know what you can accomplish.
Take Time For Bettering Your Business
One of the best things I did all year was implementing monthly CEO days. A CEO day is a day dedicated to completing tasks that are solely for your business. They can vary from month to month and business to business. The general idea of a CEO day is to accomplish those nagging always left on your to-do list tasks and task that will help you move the needle.
How I prepare for my CEO Days
Each month I schedule a date in my calendar that will be dedicated to my CEO day. If there is a possibility of this day affecting client work I ensure I notify my clients in advance that I will be out of the office for the day and help them prepare accordingly.
To prepare for the day itself I keep a continuous list of tasks that need my attention throughout the month. I find this list helpful if I have a few extra hours throughout the week. I then check items off as I work on them during the week, or save them for my CEO day. Some examples of tasks that I do on my CEO days include content planning, reel batching, newsletter drafting, banking, updating my systems & processes etc.
On the CEO day itself, you can either set an out of office for your email as to not get distracted or just not open your email inbox. Before heading into the day it is helpful to set up realistic expectations of what you will accomplish that day. I usually go into the day with a massive list and have to prioritize my top items.
My goal for 2022 is to implement CEO weeks (or at least more than one day) for each quarter. By having multiple days in a row I will be able to optimize my productivity and further push my business forward.
You Are Your Own Boss
This year was a much-needed awakening from the corporate 9-5 life.
After getting a taste of what it was like to be my own boss in 2020 I realized I didn’t ever want to go back to the corporate life. A fire lit within and I became motivated to work for myself and not have to return to a full-time position working for someone else’s benefit.
One of the perks of working for yourself is you can take as much time off as you want, as long as you are willing to work your ASS OFF for it. As soon as I realized this my work-life culture made a 360-degree shift for the better!
In past jobs, I only got around two weeks of vacation per year. Two weeks is not a lot of time to reset, recharge and take care of yourself. I realized that I need more time to focus on my mental health and healthy well-being. That’s why this year I took 38 days off. The majority of those days I still worked on my own business so it was not 38 days of complete relaxation but I was completely out of the office to my clients for all 38 days, and guess what… the world did not implode!
You may be thinking “wow almost 40 days of vacation that sounds nice”. As nice as it may sound, I can not begin to describe to you the amount of hard work, sweat and hustle that went into making this happen. From day one I knew I wanted to set up my business so that it would not implode if I needed a day or two off and I’m grateful to say I have accomplished that. From having INCREDIBLY flexible & understanding clients to many late nights and weekends working. I was able to set myself up for success whenever I needed a mental health day or wanted to take a long weekend.
Reflecting On 2021
As a full-time entrepreneur and part-time wedding professional, I have seen all the seasons of the year and the impacts it has had on the wedding and event industry. It is no doubt that 2021 was a rollercoaster year, filled with it’s ups and downs. In the end I am so incredibly grateful to have a job in an industry I love. Each day I get to work with inspiring wedding and event professionals who are crazy talented and have the most beautiful work to showcase. Their passion for the industry and dedication to their clients is just another reason I love my job.
We all have different experiences being entrepreneurs. If you have some tips to share with new business owners I’d love to hear them below! Pop that wisdom in the comments box and let’s start a conversation!