This is about the time when we all make New Year’s resolutions — whether we keep them to ourselves or declare them to the world. As I reflect on 2011, I am extremely grateful for my many blessings. Though my sales didn’t reach the level I had planned, I learned a lot through research, trial and error — and I’m continuing to learn. Here are some of my major takeways of 2011:
- Success takes time. What we usually perceive as the “instant success” of others is usually the culmination of hard work and time that we have not been privy to.
- Know when to ask for help. As I struggle with the challenges of single-handedly running a creative business, I realize that I can’t do it all (design and produce handcrafted jewelry, photograph and optimize it for the Web, conduct marketing campaigns, including social marketing, take care of packaging and advertising, etc.) by myself and do it effectively. Knowing when and how to utilize external assistance will be key to improved productivity.
- Seeking advice from so-called “experts” is important but it is equally as important for me to follow my inner guide, my “gut,” that ultimately serves as my compass.
- Regardless of the challenges I’m confronted with, it’s imperative to maintain contact with, and solicit feedback from, my clients. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and hence not make time to communicate with those I’m trying to provide services to; the key here is making communication a priority.
- As is true of many things, less is oftentimes more. In an attempt to maximize my social network, I became a member of a number of craft directories and third-party Web sites, often duplicative in nature. But too much of a good thing is not good — particularly if it diffuses my energies. During 2012 my focus will be on minimizing the number of sites that I sell on, while optimizing my own social marketing networks.
I can’t measure my “success,” nor the time it may take me to reach it, by others’ standards.
I’d love to hear what you’ve learned over the past year and how you plan to apply what you’ve learned to your business in the coming year. Please feel free to share your comments.
Here’s wishing you all much success, peace and blessings for the coming year.