It’s already the middle of January, and I just realised that I haven’t documented my 2020 Lessons Learned. In this crazy year, I’ve definitely had just as many personal learnings as professional ones. So, here they are:
- Good friends are very, very important! This is especially true for someone like me who doesn’t have any family in Australia.
- If you keep trying, it will always work out – just not the way you had planned. A year ago, I only had a faint idea that I would be starting a hair and bodycare brand to try to reduce plastic amenities in hotels. Covid got in the way, but we’re getting closer. In the meantime, Harvestcare was born for consumers.
- I never again want to work by directly trading my hours for money. Even when I do consulting work, it will forever be by the fixed price in the future.
- Products-based businesses are a bit boring at the beginning (at least for me) with the repeated make-sell-make-sell model. I can’t wait until my business has scaled enough to make it more interesting.
- If you’re willing to build a business slower, it may not be necessary to bring on investors. The benefit is the ability to maintain full control over the brand – something that I think many entrepreneurs undervalue.
- Start-ups can be expensive! In 19/20 I invested over $50k of my savings into the business. While I’ve made progress, the company is still a long way off from paying me a salary.
- Energy is the fuel for achieving everything – not time or money. Managing my energy needs must be a priority if I want to reach my big goals.
- Creating a podcast is a great way to learn quickly and meet important people, but they’re a lot of work. It’s also tough to grow niche topics especially when channels draw geographic boundaries that make it harder for new listeners in other countries to find you.
- I’m still not great with my hands i.e. making recycled plastic products for example. Yet, it’s amazing what I have been able to achieve despite this.
- The marketplace will always decide if your product is a winner or loser. No amount of effort or even lack of effort will change this. If the customer wants it, they’ll tell you.
- It’s better to be moving in some direction than not at all.
- “What would a guy do?” This is a question I learned to ask myself whenever I’m feeling self-doubt about a decision. This is definitely something that more women should ask.
- I actually like doing IT strategy work. When I left the industry years ago, I never thought I would go back. Yet doing consulting work, especially for not for profits, feels meaningful and is mentally stimulating. Plus it’s giving me a nice little niche to help pay the bills while building the business.
- My sanity is dependent on the ability to exercise outdoors. The 2020 bushfires taught me this more than the lockdown.
- It takes about 2 years of consistent effort to change a personal brand. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it will happen any faster if you already had a known brand.
I’m sure there’s a few more to add to this list, but certainly this was a pivotal year for me. My 2020 Lessons Learned were the result of my personal journey as an entrepreneur, but also the environmental impacts of the bushfires, hailstorm and pandemic.
I’m not sure that many others can say this, but I actually think overall I am personally better off because of what has happened in 2020. And I feel so grateful!