Desi Jagger's Blog
My Story #20 – Top 9 lessons from 2017
There is a special energy towards the end of the year: holiday cheer, reward for the year just gone and the hopes for the year ahead. In the midst of all this excitement, I like to pause and reflect on my life and business over the past 12 months. So I paused. I reflected. Here’s what came up:
(This is a summary of the lessons. If you’re curious about the how and why, just reply to this email and I would be happy to share.)
Lesson # 1 – Focus on one thing at a time
At the beginning of the year, I made the tough decision to let go of training (more than half of my business at the time) and focus entirely on coaching. This enabled me to build a website in a week and to answer the question “what do you do?” in less than 3 hours.
Lesson # 2 – I can get used to anything
Working without a team, in the absolute silence of my home used to feel like a nightmare. Now it’s a routine I quite enjoy. After all, homo sapiens outlived all other human species thanks to our adaptability. Therefore, it is safe to assume I won’t suddenly undo millions of years of human evolution.
Lesson # 3 – Gratitude journals work
There has been a lot of hype about writing down the things you’re grateful for every day. I don’t believe hype so I tested out the gratitude journal. It worked for me. At the very least, it distracted me from thinking about negative stuff.
Lesson # 4 – Almost everything is outside of my control
The weather on my holiday, the delayed flight, what people say and do. Most things in this world truly are outside of my control. My mind is an exception. My mind is the master story teller, twisting and turning tales into tears, laughter, longing… The good news is that I am the editor so I get to choose what gets released and what gets canned.
Lesson # 5 – Health – physical and mental – trumps all other priorities
As a solopreneur, I am the CEO, operations director, brand manager, finance guru and coach all at once. This means that when the CEO gets sick, so do the operations director, the brand manager, the finance guru and the coach. This means there is no one to do the work and earn the money. There are few other things which could have such a drastic and instant effect on my business.
Lesson # 6 – It’s ok for relationships to end
I used to find it really hard to let go of people – friends, colleagues, even acquaintances. I believed the end of relationships was a failure on my part. I tried to fix them at all cost and the cost proved to be too high. My attention was divided amongst many, I was exhausted and had no energy for myself. Then I began to let go of people, mentally acknowledging the purpose we had served in each other’s lives and thanking them for our experience together. I felt light, focused, calm.
Lesson # 7 – Meditation doesn’t need to take hours
It can be a minute or three. To be effective, however, it needs to be performed daily. Meditation carried me through some very rocky times this year. The key was that I started meditating before I needed it. By the time the challenges hit me, I had developed a habit and it was easy to lean on it. I had a small set of meditations and voices that I already knew worked for me. Meditation was an investment in myself that didn’t pay off for a long time – but when it did it was totally worth it.
Lesson # 8 – “You want too much”
My coaching supervisor tells the truth directly, sans sugarcoating. I have a tendency to want things to be exactly like I imagine them, to happen precisely when I want them to and for everything and everyone (myself mainly) to be perfect. Oh, and this applies to all the one hundred things I take on at once. It has taken me a long time to see that I want too much. Now I try to be grateful for what I have and focus on the immediate next step. It’s work in progress.
Lesson # 9 – I am not an alien
Halfway through the year, I joined a mastermind group via my Fizzle community. The team is made up of solopreneurs just like me. They helped me stay motivated, kept me accountable, shared brilliant ideas and solutions. But there was a huge intangible benefit as well. Listening to their struggles, I realized I am not lazy or inadequate and my challenges are not unique. Now I am a little gentler on myself.
Looking through these lessons, I realized there is a recurring theme – focus. Focus on one business stream, focus on a few important relationships, focus on a few key projects, focus on my health. I’m curious, where in your life do you need to be more focused?
Share your top lessons from 2017 here.
I'm Desi Jagger
I help Changemakers to trust themselves and focus on what matters most.