2021 was a rough year for many people and brought about change, challenges, and opportunities for growth. Heading into 2022 is a great time to reflect on how we’ve changed and grown throughout the year.
The importance of community and people. Blake and I lived in the Bay Area for seven years and loved our home and the people around us. But during COVID, our community slowly started moving away, and we felt alone. So we decided to move to Southern California, where we both grew up and where our families still live. We never thought we would live here, but COVID showed us the importance of community. Since moving, we’ve connected with old friends and spent lots of time with family. I learned the importance of surrounding yourself with people to build you up. You can live in the nicest city and have the best job, but if you don’t have a community and people to rely on, there are a lot of challenges and struggles.
You can handle a lot more than you think. The idea of relocating during a pandemic felt overwhelming. But within 30 days, we put our house up for sale, donated a lot of furniture, moved to Southern California, and found a new house to buy. All while running three businesses and parenting two busy kids. Then, we had to live with my parents for three months until our home was ready. It was one of the toughest times in our lives—living out of suitcases, trying to figure out our new life, keeping our kids happy, and still running our businesses. But I learned that I can handle more than I thought. If someone had told me what it was going to be like in advance, I would have said there was no way we could do that. But in the thick of it, I realized that we could handle it. As an entrepreneur, you might be feeling like a lot is coming your way and that you can’t take it. But I can promise that you can handle more than what you think.
The importance of being able to adapt quickly.Blake and I are both professional speakers who travel worldwide, speaking at conferences and events. When COVID hit, we were scared about what it would do to our businesses. But we quickly adapted to a digital environment. And because of these quick pivots of investing in quality camera equipment, creating online content, and staying relevant, both of our businesses have grown tremendously during the pandemic. With all of the change and uncertainty in the world, it is crucial to know when to change direction and invest in new areas.
Context and putting things into perspective matter.There were a lot of ups and downs in 2021. I recently lost a big project when my client went in a different direction. I wanted to be frustrated and upset, but Blake helped me realize that it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Business is business—you’re going to lose some projects that you can’t control. But those challenges pale in comparison to larger issues in the world. Everyone in my family is safe and healthy. So what am I complaining about? Context matters. Put things into perspective; often, the challenges you’re upset about aren’t really that big of a deal.
Challenges are opportunities to grow. We’re all faced with challenges, but what separates successful people from others is how they face those challenges. Some people shy away from challenges, and other people view them as things to overcome. It’s all about having a growth mindset. Ultimately, what I learned from 2021 is that all challenges are really opportunities to grow and improve.
I learned a lot in 2021 and hope to continue learning and growing in 2022. What lessons did you learn this year?
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