5 Lessons from Running a Business in 2018
By Sarah Deane
Wow, where did this year go? This one, I swear, went faster than the last! A couple of years back, I started writing about my yearly learnings from starting and running a business. At my company, EffectUX, this year was filled with highs and lows, as is often the way. While there were some disappointments such as a collaboration that we put a lot of effort into that didn’t pan out as we’d hoped, there were lots of highs that we are so grateful for! With 2019 rolling around, here some of my lessons from the past year that I’ll be carrying forward!
1: It’s all about patience, resilience, and belief.
The business owners’ journey is an emotional roller coaster on a daily basis, especially in the first few years. While there are many things that can keep you going, there are three that my business partner and I have found to be very helpful.
The first is patience. As much as you want the success to come tomorrow, the truth is, that for most businesses, it takes time to build your foundation, prove solutions, and build out your brand. Being patient, and setting your internal expectations of the journey, can help you tackle the first phases with much less stress! It can help you feel more patient with the journey when you celebrate your wins along the way. This is something that does not come easily to me, even though I know the importance of it. When someone congratulates me for something I have achieved, I usually respond with, “oh it was nothing” or “it was just […],” rather than simply saying “thank you”. I’m working on it–it’s one of my things for next year 🙂 However, what I learned this year was that while it may not be the million-dollar win, if you are trending in the right direction, you will have meaningful achievements along the way that deserves a moment. If you find it hard to acknowledge your achievements or struggle to see things as an achievement, you can try writing them down. To begin, try with simply writing down three ways in which your business is in a better place now than it was on the 1st January 2018. Personally, ask yourself, what three things are you most proud of this year and why.
The next is resilience. There are a lot of people, highly talented, with a lot of good ideas. Not all of them will start a business or bring their ideas to fruition. Some will, and then along the way maybe find it is not for them. Being able to persevere through challenging times, of which there are plenty, keeps you going. This is not to say blindly keep going–you also have to know when to pivot and when something is not the great idea you thought it was. This is where being iterative and trying out ideas can help. Being able to process your emotions, see the bigger picture, not ruminate, be grateful, and …read more
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