Gratitude. This is what I feel when I sit and look back at 2016.
For the last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on the happenings of 2016 and I am extremely grateful for all that I have been able to accomplish (big and little things) and for the lessons that I’ve learnt. There were some tough times, but I am continuing to choose to be grateful and focus on what matters.
First, I am grateful because after one year and two months, this blog is still up and running. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for over a year. I have lots more to share and other businesses to feature in 2017, once all goes well. The year was not at all smooth sailing especially having a full-time job and being committed to other activities. It was sometimes to big challenge to remain consistent with posts. Nonetheless, I managed to make it through, even if it meant taking a rest for a week or two and then getting back to the grind. I made sure that I did not stop.
I am also very very VERY grateful to you – Islepreneur’s audience. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, for your feedback. Besides having a passion for what I do, your support is what pushes me to continue and it definitely keeps me going. Thank you.
I also want to share a few things I learnt throughout 2016. It is important for anyone who is serious about what they do to sit and evaluate wins, losses and lessons learnt to be able to better plan and move forward to the next period. I tried my best to narrow it down to 10, though there are more, these I consider most important.
I am starting with this since it was what I decided I’d do for 2016. I made up my mind to invest in this blog. I invested time, finances and resources to make sure I kept this going and improving. Over time, I understood even clearer that in order to turn a simple idea into something great, you have got to keep building and you can build only when you invest in it.
2. Don’t wait until you have it all together to start.
This blog is the perfect example of this point. I remember when I had completed the first 3-4 posts before officially launching the site, which looked a lot different from what it looks like now. I messaged the only Grenadian I knew at the time, who was running a blog, Vashti Patrick-Joseph (VeePeeJay.com). I remember letting her know that I wanted to launch the site and I had done 3-4 posts (could be more, can’t remember). I don’t quite remember her entire response, but I certainly remember her saying, “just keep posting.” My pictures weren’t all that great, I hadn’t figured out just how to use WordPress that well, but I did it. I started without having everything down pack and continued and that’s what counts.
3. Even if you’re afraid, do it anyway.
This is easier said than done. On the other hand, it makes no sense to set goals (long or short-term), make plans and sit on them. That’s the story for many, but don’t let it be yours. Ask for help, if help is needed to get through, but don’t let fear prevent you from doing. Example: in the month of May 2016, I took on a video challenge and posted a few LIVE Facebook vids. Writing posts are easy, but video? That gets me shaky. Nonetheless, I did it and I am definitely a bit more comfortable doing video, which you will be seeing a bit more of in 2017.
— Istra Bell (@IslePreneur) May 18, 2016
4. Be grateful for your resources and use them to be great.
If I had waited until I ‘had it all together’ and had all the equipment and other resources I needed to do what I do, I would have never started. Instead, I found a way to make the best use of what I had until better comes.
5. Be consistent.
Whether it is a blog or a physical business, you need to be consistent with what you do. Be consistent with your message to your audience and most importantly, be consistently present. As I mentioned earlier, I had a few challenges with consistency but, I did what I could whenever I could and kept on doing which leads to my next point.
6. Go at your own pace.
It is easy to look at others and see how much they have accomplished, then look at ourselves and decide that we haven’t really done much. I used to be really bothered when I couldn’t complete my posts as often as I wanted, but I got to realize that sometimes, it is just not possible and that’s ok. I just need to take it slow when I have lots to do (other than blogging) and then go fast when I have more time on my hands. Live your own life and go after your dreams at a pace that’s best for you.
7. Be courteous.
This may seem really insignificant, but common courtesy goes a long way. Always be kind and considerate. Try your best to treat everyone with the same respect. You never know who they can turn out to be and what they may be able to do for you later.
8. Help someone along the way.
I never see it as a problem to share my knowledge. I think it is important to help others since, believe it or not, none of us got to where we are on our own.
9. Rest, don’t quit.
One of the best remedies to keep going is to rest when you need to. Rest is sometimes all you need to rekindle your passion and to go at it again. At times you just need to step away, rest, recoup and go again.
10. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
If it is one way to get motivated and get your ideas flowing is by surrounding yourself with people who are on the same page as you or who have similar interests. If not, you may constantly be listening to the wrong advice and find yourself questioning whether or not to pursue those dreams.
I hope these 10 lessons help you in some way and if it has, please comment below. Also, I’d love to know what you have learned in 2016, whether or not you own a blog or business.
Cheers for 2017!