This year was a lot of lessons learned for me.
It was one of the most interesting. And to be honest, there were more downs than ups.
My 2020 was pretty awesome. Although we were at the height of uncertainty and the pandemic, it turned out well.
2021 was another story, though.
And today I will be sharing the lessons learned, the pains withstood, and the highlights that made me a better person.
Lessons learned about business
Not gonna lie. The business was tough this year.
Seven years as a freelancer has taught me that clients will come and go. Unfortunately, this year, I lost more than what I bargained for.
So here are the top lessons I learned about business and myself this year.
Your business doesn’t define who you are.
It’s normal for us to take pride in the achievements we get.
Of course, we worked so hard to get to where we are right now. And sometimes people use our status as business owners to gauge the level of success we’re in.
Somehow, this kind of thinking becomes a burden for business owners like me.
My goal was simple when I was starting out. I just wanted to have the means to help my husband with supporting our family.
I was willing to learn and spend so much time discovering new things. I wanted to see what I can do and explore my options.
But the time came when I couldn’t handle the work anymore, so I needed to hire and teach others what I do.
From one person, I became a team manager and a boss. Then I became an agency owner.
I was feeling pretty good about myself.
But then I started losing clients. I lost confidence in myself.
I let some people belittle my work and the effort I put in. And it cost me so much.
It was a huge mistake for me to let people define me according to my work. Even now I still feel as if I’m rediscovering my way back.
As business owners, it’s easy to lose yourself. You spend so much time, money, and energy building your brand that you forget that it’s just one part of you.
Let me remind you: your failures are not who you are. It’s part of the process.
And part of that process involves you picking out the lessons, noting them, and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
If you’ve tried everything and it’s still not working out, then you can always rebuild. Only this time, with more courage, knowledge, and wisdom.
Serve with purpose and intent.
One of the mantras I’ve believed in is coming from a place of help.
And while I see nothing wrong with it, it has led me to make some shitty decisions in the business.
See, everyone needs help. But not everyone is worth helping, especially those who won’t help themselves.
Instead, I’ve learned to go with serving with purpose and intent.
What’s the difference?
I’ve taken on clients who needed my help badly. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t a good match.
Sometimes we have a different belief system or it’s pride that gets in the way.
Other times, you just want to make it work for the money and the team that depends on you.
In the end, it still doesn’t work out.
That’s why wanting to help isn’t enough reason for you to work with someone. You need a good purpose and share the same intention.
This means as a freelancer, you need to define the people you want to work with and why you want to work with them.
You need to pre-qualify your clients and make sure they’re aligned with your intentions.
Your why’s will serve as your compass whenever things get hard. And your intention will remind you why you do the things you do.
Now and then, you need to check to see if you’re still on the right path. Doing this will make it easier for you to make smart decisions to get back on track.
Believe me, no amount of money can equate to the peace of mind you’ll get knowing you’re serving the right people.
That’s why I’m making it a conscious effort to serve with purpose and intent.
Lessons learned about love
My husband and I have been married for twelve years. And we’ve been together for sixteen years if you’re counting the dating stage.
I can’t say it’s been a smooth ride, but we have some pretty magical moments.
This year has been a roller coaster for us, and it definitely pushed us to our limits.
One thing’s for sure, though. Our lives may be many things, but it will never be boring.
And that’s a good thing, right?
Anyway, here it goes…
Choose the right person to spend your life with
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of the most popular poets of the Victorian era.
Her poems for her husband are thought of as the epitome of love for married couples.
I mean, how do you top someone who says this?
Yeah. Mic drop.
I used to believe that love was passionate, breathtaking, brave. Like you needed to fight for it as if your life depended on it.
In my younger years, I loved someone like that. Passionate. Spontaneous.
As I matured, I realized love wasn’t supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be calm, collected, constant.
I found that kind of love with my husband.
No, it’s not the boring love. In fact, it’s the opposite.
We’ve gone through so much early in our married life.
We dealt with the loss of our firstborn and other family members.
We’ve gone through bankruptcy.
And recently, we almost lost me.
All this time, we had three things we held on to; our faith, our family, and each other.
Of all the changes that happened in our lives, he has remained my constant.
He’s seen the best and the worst part of me, and I of him. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Therefore it’s essential for you to choose your partner wisely.
Life isn’t easy. And you wouldn’t want to spend it with someone who will break you because the world will do that eventually.
You need someone who will be your peace, not someone who will bring you chaos.
Choose someone who will choose you every day, every time.
Family isn’t always defined by blood
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.
What I’m trying to say is that the word is not limited to those you share blood with.
Everyone has issues, and mine is abandonment.
I’m so afraid of loving people and then being left behind. And sometimes that makes me an insecure person.
2021 may not have been good to me business-wise, but I’m glad to know that we have family and friends who are family.
I don’t claim to be a good person. But I’m thrilled to know that people have my back. I have well-wishers and prayer warriors who pray for us, and that’s a huge deal.
So you should invest in people. You should nurture relationships and also pray for others as well.
Those prayers may seem like it doesn’t work, but it saves lives.
Speaking of prayers, here’s another valuable lesson I got reminded of recently. You can love people from a distance.
There will always be people who hurt us in the past. While I’m all for forgiveness and moving on, letting them back in my life is a whole different story.
Some people are just meant to be prayed for and loved from a distance.
Sure, you can be civil and professional. But don’t let them disturb your peace again.
You don’t have to feel guilty about it. After all, you need boundaries too.
So cut people off, even if they’re family. Your heart will thank you later.
Lessons learned about life
Do you know the difference is between knowledge and wisdom? It’s the experience.
There’s a huge difference between knowing how to build a fire and actually building it. And this year, I feel like my soul went through a baptism of fire.
I guess that’s what happens when you stare death in the face.
My younger years were turbulent. I had to withstand abuse for so long that I became suicidal.
And that translated to the way I lived.
When you tried reaching out and no one came to help, you get used to doing things on your own.
It’s a trauma response that I’m currently unlearning. And this year made me realize how much times have changed.
I’m glad to say that I’m finally in a safe place where I am loved and cared for, and I will never be alone.
Don’t chase, attract.
I’ve had some bad things happen in my life. Some are so unimaginable, I don’t even have the courage to say it out.
But one thing is for certain. The Lord blesses all of us with abundance. And all the things, people, and situations that are meant for us will be for us.
This may sound woo-woo for some. But for me, I am speaking from the truth.
To me, it’s a miracle that I’m here with a family that loves me, friends I can count on, and people who pray for me.
I would have been gone for 21 years if not for the Lord’s intervention and Him sending angels to guide my way.
Yes, you read that right. He sent angels as people who come out of nowhere to send me words of wisdom and strength.
It’s the phone call you get when you feel hopeless, or the gift when you feel unloved.
They’re the strangers that come to your aid when you’re lost.
It’s the people who offer their help when you’ve got nothing left.
That’s why I believe that all things that are meant for you will find their way to you.
Whether it’s material things, projects, people, clients, it will come. As long as you do the work and walk in faith.
All the people that come into your life are blessings, whether they stay for a season or a lifetime.
And even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are also a blessing to others.
Don’t chase things, situations, and people who are running away from you. It’s that way because you’re not supposed to be stuck there.
Instead, let go and bless them for the lessons learned, and the experiences gained.
If things aren’t going your way, pray. Pray for others as much as you pray for yourself.
That’s how attraction works.
It’s the faith that brings you to move and act. And it’s the patience that will make you ready for the abundance that was meant for you.
Final Thoughts: Life is short. Live it with purpose
This one is a bit cliche, and I know I’m not the only one who said this.
But one of the most important lessons learned this year was to live life with purpose.
The past two years since the pandemic started have altered the way we live.
It has challenged even the best and most well-adjusted in us.
I remember one of my masterminds where we all were just crying because of the unknown. And till now it still seems unreal that the world has changed in just a blink of an eye.
The pandemic has shown us how brittle the world is and how quickly things can change.
But like everything else, this too shall pass.
Death is inevitable, and we’ve lost so many who had great potential.
So we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to find balance.
The wealth you’ve worked so hard for would mean nothing if you’re laying on your deathbed.
All the opportunities will come to you, but rest if you must.
Forgive people even if they don’t ask for it and don’t deserve it.
Get mad, but not for too long. Anger is like a poison that will kill you.
Laugh your heart out. Don’t lose your sense of wonder.
Love like a child, and if you get hurt, cry.
And even if things turn out for the worst, weather through it. Because this too shall pass.
Life is too short to worry about what people think of you. You’ll be surprised to know that no one really cares that much, so just do you.
That’s it! Thanks for reading my babbling here.
Things have been eventful in 2021, and I’m praying that everyone will have a bountiful 2022.
I’d love to hear from you, so if you want to share your lessons learned this year, drop them in the comments below.
And don’t forget to share =)