I made a series of effed up choices toward the end of 2017. One after another, things I thought were excellent ideas turned out to be significant fails. In an attempt to hit some sort of imaginary reset button, I decided I need to document my blunderings. Plus, to try to find a silver lining, let’s see what I’ve learned from my decisions.
Learning Through Mistakes to Move Forward
Own It. The first step is admitting the fact that you made a crap decision. We all do it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t play the blame game. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s par for the course. Drop the pride and completely wear the whoopsie. Dissect it, extract all the lessons you can from it, and then move on. Self-awareness will get you a lot farther than pride.
Ideas. I feel like I have ideas flood in all the time. I also feel like I have to act on all of them immediately. Here’s the deal. Not all ideas are good ideas. However, it’s better to have iffy ideas than no ideas at all, right? Instead of diving into every thought that enters my head, I’m just going to keep a notebook with me at all times. I will write them down, talk them over with my sister, and sit on them for a bit.
Commitment. Every time you start a new business venture, it requires some sort of investment. Either time or money or usually both. Patience is also necessary to see results. If you start multiple projects at one time, it’s easy to get pummeled with challenges with very little wins in return to keep you motivated. It’s like dieting without a cheat day. Starting up new side hustles is mentally and physically draining. At least for me, it is. I am going to force myself to focus on one thing at a time. If something gains a little stability, then I will think about moving onto another.
Reality. We all get 24 hours each day. That’s it. I have days where I think I can manage everything that I want to do. Then I have days where I want to crawl into a hole. I’ve been quite transparent about my mental health struggles, but a lot of this is simply the lack of self-care. Everyone needs downtime. Even though my hobby is actually work, I need to take a step back and read a book, or binge shows every now and again to recharge.
Tunnel Vision. Drama and gossip are two things I will no longer waste time with at all. If it doesn’t involve me directly, I want nothing to do with it. Heck, even when drama does involve me I want to run for the hills. If I am sitting at my desk, I want it to be for work. Any socializing I do online will be with friends I genuinely appreciate and trust, or colleagues I want to collaborate with. If someone wants to PM me to tear down another person – not happening. As I said above, time is limited. Computer time is for planting seeds towards my goals. The more productive I am during those times equals the more time I can spend with the people and animals who mean the most to me away from the computer.
Pro Tip: The quickest way to turn a conversation into an argument is to use Facebook messenger. You cannot read tone, you have no idea what that person is dealing with when you pop up in their notifications, and everyone screenshots everything.
Forgiveness. To get over the face plants of 2017, I have to forgive myself. I call myself a stupid idiot way too many times in a day. I’m literally telling the universe that I am a stupid idiot and therefore, should keep behaving as one. Beating my past self up doesn’t make any money back or regain precious time; it just adds momentum to the downward spiral.
Be Quiet. I walk the line between telling everyone everything and keeping things closer to the vest. I’m pretty much an open book on a lot of topics. However, when I start a new project, for lack of a better word, I find it’s better to keep it quiet for a bit. Or, in my case, only discuss with my business partner/sister. Otherwise, out come the voices of doom. Very few people had a clue that I started a blog for years. Some that did know teased me about it, told me it was a foolish idea, and many other things to inject self-doubt into my already-paranoid brain. Thanks, but I’m good at freaking myself out all on my own.
I know this is very vague. I didn’t mention anything specific about what I’ve been up to. If you are at all curious, I’d be happy to document each new income stream I tried to start and how/why things went wrong.
In any case, this list applies to life outside of work, as well. Hopefully, if you feel like you’ve made some wrong turns this year, you can find a healthy way to reset this holiday season.