As the clock ticks down towards the end of 2020, I am aware of the level of change that I have experienced this year and reflect on the lessons and learning that have come along with that.

When the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2018 and we entered into 2019 I was an employee, much as I had been for the 30 years prior and that is the biggest change this year. After quite a whirlwind of activity during the first quarter of 2019, I left full-time employment through a redundancy package. The timing for that was excellent, I had for some time been frustrated and fed up with the culture and approach of the company that I worked for and had created a plan for what I wanted to do outside of the company; the redundancy package made it happen more quickly!

Alongside the change in employment status, there have been a number of changes in how I spend my time, where I spend it, etc that have all been facilitated by now being in control.

So what are my biggest learnings?

  • With a plan, the right resources and focus I can achieve whatever I set out to do
  • There are a lot of talkers in this world… I have met a lot of people this year that talk a good talk but do not follow through with actions
  • Having freedom and choice over my own time can be a double-edged sword… I have noticed it is too easy to drift away from getting the important stuff done. The tyranny of choice! I am aware that I will achieve more with a focused approach and planning my diary and activities better.
  • Entrepreneurship can be a lonely place… if I choose it to be. I noticed that I have a pattern of slipping into the shadows when things weren’t going as well as I had hoped and that can be a lonely, lonely place
  • If I lean in, I get support, encouragement and help! When I started to share my ‘struggles’ and be open with people in my network it was amazing just how liberating it was. Getting the stuff off my chest or out of my head helped greatly anyway but then getting input, help and support from others really boosted my energy and feeling of wellbeing
  • Feedback from others is a really useful tool for growing. There are areas, which could be strengths or areas for improvement, that I was ‘blind’ to and getting feedback from others helped me to become aware of the gap between my own perceptions and how others saw me.
  • I get all excited at the start of something but once I have got it to a certain point that I start to look for something else to do… I need a completer/finisher in my life :)

These reflections are really useful for me and allow me to make some different choices in how I approach things as I move into the new year and next decade.

Looking back over your year, what might your reflections be? What learning and opportunities are available to you?