As I reflect on this past year, I realize how much I've grown as an entrepreneur. I learned a lot about myself personally and professionally, and my business really took off this year. It's still a "work-in progress" (much like myself), but as I think about what I experienced and what my fellow entrepreneurs experienced, I realize that a positive attitude as an entrepreneur can take you a long way. I definitely had my share of Negative Nelly thinking. I went through challenges with clients and projects, but I know it's all part of my growth and learning as a marketer and copywriter. As entrepreneurs, we're always doing that dance - what works, what doesn't work, etc.
I've always been lucky that the Universe aligns me with fantastic clients and colleagues. I can't say enough about the top-notch business professionals I've met through LinkedIn and through my social networks. I also want to thank my amazing professional mentors and business partners who have been my biggest fans and supporters: Ryan Chambers (Principal & Owner, Adapt Marketing & Design), Susan Malone (Malone Editorial Services), and Kathleen Torres, my amazing leadership coach.
I was also able to travel to Hawaii in August, and it was my first experience with the Hawaiian culture and people. It felt nice to kick up my heels, bask in the sun and just revel in the majestic, mystical beauty of Maui. My Hawaiian vacation also taught me a life lesson, and was a good reminder for me not to take life and work so seriously. Hawaiians move at a much slower pace and really take time to enjoy life; it's all about "ohana" (family)!
When I think about professional "resolutions" for the new year, it seems that most entrepreneurs come from a place of "I need MORE, I want MORE, etc." Who doesn't want more clients and money? But this insatiable desire to want MORE seems to be counter-productive. Goals are great to have and I have plenty of them, but owning and running a business is not always about the bottom dollar.
I offer a different approach to "boost" your entrepreneurial spirit. I do not have a miracle cure on how to "fix" or make your business successful, so take my words with a grain of salt. Only you know exactly what works and doesn't work for your business.
I definitely had my moments of "am I crazy to be an entrepreneur?" this year, but I also experienced clarity where it all made sense and I can't imagine doing anything else.
How can you boost your entrepreneurial spirit in 2012?
1. Be true to yourself. Don't mold your business, goals and objectives to fit someone else's expectations or ideals. This is YOUR business and you don't have to be a cookie-cutter entrepreneur. Give yourself permission to explore and discover your niche - what makes sense for YOU?
2. Follow your gut instinct and say NO! I love the word "no" -- it is a very empowering word. I recently turned down a project because I just wasn't feeling it. Could I use the money? Yes, but at what price? Time is precious to me and without taking time to relax, what good am I to my clients?
3. Don't be afraid to challenge other people's opinions, ideas and methods. There isn't a right or wrong way to run your business, and don't believe everything you read. This goes back to being true to yourself. There may be so-called experts touting off-the-wall, "drink the Kool-Aid" unethical ideas that don't sit well with you. Research, challenged and dig deeper, and don't be afraid to call someone on the carpet if you disagree. I'm not telling you to be disrespectful and rude and slam them on social media, but it's okay to agree to disagree with fellow entrepreneurs. Your ideas and opinions are just as important as the next person!
My yoga teacher ends each class with: "May you be happy, may you be well and may you know peace." This is my heartfelt wish for you all in 2012!