This special small business series is sponsored by Brother. Brother is committed to being “at your side” with the best in technology for small businesses from printing, scanning to labeling and more.
In my late teens and early twenties, I used to write long, detailed lists of New Year’s resolutions, and then feel like a failure when I didn’t live up to the unrealistic expectations that I set for myself. Now I’ve distilled it down to an essence, and I set a theme by coming up with my words of the year. Those are personal goals. However, I keep it more traditional for my business, Afrobella LLC. For my business, I find it beneficial to outline new year’s resolutions for myself as well as words of the year. Maybe mine can help you. These are the New Year’s resolutions I’m making for Afrobella.
Trust my gut/be more discerning – I decided to pivot my business in 2020 and launched the copywriting side of Afrobella LLC. In the early days of launching, I made decisions out of a scarcity mindset, based in worry and fear. It is not easy to do this, but it’s so important to recognize when those emotions are at the wheel. I can look back at some of the decisions I made this year, and I wish I could go back and tell myself – you knew better than that! In 2021, I intend to trust my own judgment more and stop looking to others for validation. Find that spirit of discernment that gives me the answers from within.
Learn to say “no” with confidence — A year of yes mentality can take you far but can also lead you down paths you may not have wanted to go down. This year I needed to stack paper quickly, and I found myself feeling like I had to say yes to EVERYTHING. I even said yes to a few things I knew in my gut I should have said no to (see above resolution, shoulda trusted my gut). After a few rounds of regret, I finally turned down an opportunity this year that I knew would wind up being grueling and not worth my time. I felt immediate relief! And you know what? That made time for the next opportunity that was actually something I wanted to do. It taught me a lesson and in 2021, I plan to be more judicious in my “yeses” and more confident in my “nos.”
Be more organized – This is an arena I’ve been needing improvement in for some time. In 2021, my intention is to create a real dedicated office space that makes less room for excuses and more space for focus. That means I’ll have papers to sort and files to organize. My new office will be large enough for my needs and equipped with storage space, enough to get my act together for real. I am trying to manifest this vision. But even before that time comes, to begin with I can sort, prepare, and label my overflowing stack of papers into something more manageable, using my Brother P-touch CUBE XP label maker to make sense of my piles and turn them into files. That’s a January project that will stand me in good stead as I kick off the new year.
Prioritize yourself – One thing that was truly reinforced this year, you can’t pour from an empty vessel. And I emptied my vessel down to the dregs in 2020. I found myself so frustrated with the events of this year that I buried my feelings in work. Then I found myself feeling utterly overwhelmed with back-to-back deadlines pretty much for the past six months. I put work first and myself, my health, my joy, the personal projects that shimmer in my dreams, all fell to the back of the things-to-do list. It’s OK to admit that you haven’t been prioritizing yourself. The important thing is recognizing what a priority you are. Add time off to your calendar, just for yourself. Even entrepreneurs need personal days off. I need to take the time to intentionally move – I know it will boost my health, my serotonin levels, my general feeling of capability. I need to take the time to make myself healthy food throughout the day as needed. In 2020 I learned how important it is to listen to your body. There can be consequences if you don’t.
Reclaim your time/set boundaries in your business — Part of prioritizing myself and recognizing that I need to function at my upmost abilities in order to be the best I could be for my business, is recognizing my own limitations. I started treating myself like I was a machine, an android – not a whole person with needs, who deserves kindness. I needed to reclaim my time. That began by setting some business boundaries. Self-employed peers, you know what I’m talking about. Work from home peeps, you feel me. It’s so important to keep an actual work routine when you work from home. Have a set start and finish time, don’t let work eat your whole life. And don’t be afraid to delegate, hire a virtual assistant, turn to an online freelance job marketplace to help get tasks completed. Make full use of tools available to you, whether that’s a hot editing app to create social media content, or Brother’s Creative Center for printable home and business templates.
The word of the year for my business is TRY. Short, simple, and to the point. This year I put myself out there significantly more than I usually do, and I saw the effects. Why not try? The worst that can happen is that they say no, and then what? Try and try again. Shoot your shot, 2021!
Those are my resolutions, words, and business goals for the year to come. What are yours? Let’s find ways to support each other!
On January 21, 2021, Brother in partnership with Main Street America will open applications for small business grant offerings. The application will be open to small business owners nationwide who have felt the effects of COVID-19 on business this year. Several winners will be selected and awarded grants starting between $5,000 – $10,000 each.
This small business series is sponsored by Brother, but all opinions are my own.