9 Things I Learned in My 31st Year of Life

I was going to write a full journal piece for my birthday as I have past years but this time I was drawn to a list of everything I had learned and experienced. So it turned in to something more that took me a bit longer to complete.

For me, my birthday is my new year so this will have some interesting lessons and be a bit personal.

1. Anxiety sucks but if you go to the right places problems are less likely to happen.

Social anxiety can be really hard to deal with. You want human interaction and connection but once you are gripped by fear your body will do things to stop you.

For example I will get fevers and nausea. Then I will cancel because I am sick. I also get motion sickness on the TTC which is another great excuse not to go out.

This past year though I was determined to start seriously working on my business and began pushing myself out the door to business events.

I have since come to the realization that there is less likely to be drama, scary weirdness or uncomfortable issues at business events. This doesn’t eliminate my anxiety but it does make it easier to push through the fear and get out to those events.

2. “It’s not about eliminating the fear but doing it despite the fear.”

I love seeing a counselor!! Some people think this means weakness or some bad stigma but honestly, who doesn’t need a neutral person to talk to from time to time?!

My awesome counselor, Marsha, has been a great comfort in getting to process my challenges over the past year and gave me the great line I quoted above. It may not be exactly what she said but you get the idea.

I was talking about getting rid of my fear in order to be able to get out there and move forward and she threw that line at me which caused deep thinking on my part.

How else do we eliminate fear if we don’t get out there and do it anyways to see that it isn’t that scary after all?

3. No one will ever love and devote themselves to your dreams (or business) as much as you will.

Some of you know that I tried to take on a business partner over the past year. I can honestly say that I learned sooooooo much from that experience! I can’t share all of it in this manner but I can say that as much as we want our ideas and dreams to be contagious to others it never will be on the same level.

We are the only ones that can wholeheartedly and truly see the future of our thoughts and actions and the purpose behind them.

We can put those in to words but we can’t share the feelings and images in our heads. We have to realize that it is our treasure to hold and cherish.

4. Ask lots of questions!!

This one covers so many areas of business and life.

From being an employee to talking to potential clients and of course mentors.

If you don’t know every thing you need to don’t wait for it to come to you, ask!

Don’t do something without knowing why, ask!

Don’t assume, ask!

I think you get the gist 😉

5. It’s not about selling, it’s about building relationships.

In the old days of hard core car and door to door sales selling was all the rage. The hard sell, the soft sell, just sell!

Now we have moved on to a relationship economy.

At first this was hard for me to swallow. I had been taking my cats and Bo to the vet often as all were sick and I was constantly pushing him to move forward with his online presence. I was frustrated each time he said not yet.

Finally when the time came I realized that over all the time I had been going there I had built up a relationship with him and his team. Which makes my work that much more rewarding and important to me.

I hadn’t really looked at it like relationship building though until I was parting ways with a client I wasn’t enjoying. Their new marketing director had taken to mentoring me and had pointed out this gem of a concept.

Now I realize that I won’t be happy with just any old job, it’s all about the relationship that comes with it.

Interestingly enough this was what I wanted from the time I seriously restarted my business. I just lost site of that.

6. Not having boundaries can be exhausting.

When you do jobs like social media management the world expects you to be available 24/7 for any client interactions.

This as you can imagine is exhausting.

It finally started to wear me down at the end of 2015 and the marketing director mentioned above pointed it out.

He advised me to create a schedule but I rejected that idea. I still do to a degree but I now take Saturdays off and turn the sound off on my phone. I also set project deadlines.

After just 4 Saturdays off I already feel much more rested and in control again. I highly recommend setting boundaries, even if you are just starting out!

7. “Everything is figureoutable” credit Marie Forleo.

I was only reminded of this one again last month but I am already planning on putting it up on my wall.

How many times do we hit a stressful situation and have the panic set in??

Yeah, too often!

It’s great to sit back and remember that there is a solution to everything. I wish I had this pasted to my forehead….ok maybe not, but it would have been helpful to remember throughout my life, not just this past year.

8. We are our greatest obstacle.

We hear this many times but how much do you actually let it sink in?

This past year I found it to be very, very true!!!

Are you afraid of success? Do you see money as evil? Do you have high expectations of others and even higher expectations of yourself?

How we feel about things like money, relationships, business and ourselves can really get in our way. We will build up subconscious barriers to moving forward and find anything to blame but ourselves.

This past year I have been working on getting out of my own way.

I have a long way to go but I would say I’ve come a great distance in the marathon!

9. Education is the best remedy to curiosity, ignorance, fear and more.

It can be so hard to make time to keep learning when we are starting a new business or rushing through life like we have a stop watch hanging around our necks.

As a pit bull advocate I have learned that education really can help so many problems. Not just breed ignorance but fear based aggression, hatred and blocks towards other challenging human issues.

Working in social media being on top of new trends, platform updates and customer interactions can be challenging but it’s a must if you are going to do your job well.

Education is also important to learning something new. We get bored with life if it’s always the same. So take the time to learn something new. Practice, try and even fail. Nothing will help you grow better than the experience of the learning curve!

Conclusion

I am certain I have learned a lot more over the past year and some of it will be saved for other posts.

What have you learned over the past year (2015?). Did you learn new things about business, life or your self?

I would love to hear what lessons you have learned that I can learn from also!!

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