Year 5 in Review – Curating the business

Today marks the start of my sixth year as an entrepreneur. With 50% of small businesses failing in the first 5 years, it is a milestone I can give myself a pat on the back for!

I’ve really had a blast this year and am so grateful to my clients for trusting me and inspiring me to keep learning. Thank you so much for believing in me and writing such wonderful testimonials.

In Make March Matter, the online community supporting small businesses impacted by Covid that I founded in 2020 (now with over 300 members which is WILD!), we do a weekly review in our TGIF meeting and answer the same questions each week so I thought it would be a great practice to use this structure from the Productivity Planner for the Year in Review.

What are you wins? Big or Small?

Setting boundaries that feel right – embracing online work has opened me up to international clients and more executive coaching across APAC. I lost a few deals because I don’t want to commit to in person workshops. Feels like I am in a very privileged place to be able to say “no” in this economy and I am very grateful and aware of that

Testing my assumptions – I believed that you had to meet face to face to do business development but 25% of my contracts in the last year come from clients that I have only engaged with online. Time zones are the new geography! I think I can continue to develop this muscle and challenge myself with curiosity.

Hold it lightly – illustrating, writing and self – publishing a children’s book, “Can Giraffes Swim?“, in April 2021 helped me to practice the art of letting things go and having fun. It has been so motivating to see the joy that this little project brought to people and it was so great to get my first royalty check!

Ask for help from experts – I have an amazing team of people helping me. Jayne Nakata supporting my Podcast (Do Subscribe and leave a 5 star review on Spotify and Apple Podcasts) Sam Mack editing the YouTube Videos, Ann Maynard editing my Ikigai book, Sarah Furuya as my coach, the Points of You® Masters’ Group for supervision and learning. Being in a position to focus on what I am good at really makes a difference in how I can feel Ikigai every day and practically more projects forward that would get stuck in the weeds.

Community and Consistency – Make March Matter has helped me feel connected and brought a rhythm to working from home. Having the accountability and the companionship has been really inspiring. Weekly Art Classes with Kiro Tan are a mid week treat and thanks to David Sweet’s Shakespeare on Saturdays I’m now half way through reading the complete works.

What did you NOT do that you want to recommit to?

I didn’t make that many goals or commitments – Totally languishing in some regards but just wanting to show up and keep putting one foot in front of the other is a commitment in many ways.

I didn’t publish my book on Ikigai – BUT based on an agent’s feedback I started to interview people to get a better diversity of experiences. As I need to record the interviews for the transcripts, I figured why not launch a podcast…and a youtube channel. I hired an editor and that has really helped to get things into shape. Watch this space…

I didn’t get an opportunity to complete my Points of You® Master Journey yet. I’m offering English language Academy programmes online. I hope that in the next 12 months I can get to attend my second L3 and being the support roles to be a facilitator on the amazing 5 day programme

What have you learned?

Some of this is in the wins and about recommitting but really as a small business owner you need a great team around you.

And trust the process. Everything is OK… even when it does not feel like it. Take a breath, move your body and start again when you are ready

Next Year – What actions will you take to make the year productive?

Well, scandalous as it may seem, productivity is not my goal. I am looking for quality of experience – the clients I work with, my presence as a facilitator, coach, friend or family member. My word of the the year for 2021 is “Curate” so I want to continue carefully chosing what I do and looking at the motivation behind that.

As the world opens up again, it might be easy for me to get into comparison and FOMO so constant vigilance and an eye to what I want to curate into the permanent exhibition of my life, what needs to go into the archives and what might be worth featuring as a special, limited time, tickets only show!?

With that in mind, inspired by Sarah Furuya, I’m embarking on the ORSC Intermediate Training Course as something to inspire me and develop me as a coach and facilitator. I’m working slowly on an illustration project.

I’m going to keep thinking about my intention behind the projects that I take on. Can I be useful here? What will I learn?

How about you? As it is the end of H1 of 2021, why not try the 4 question review process?

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