Business Magazine

My Biggest Lessons of 2013

By Stacylrust

You don’t usually learn life lessons just once. Sometimes you learn them, then re-learn them, then learn them from another perspective, un-learn them, reject them, then circle back and learn them again.

Here are some lessons I learned and re-learned this year:

1. If something makes you happy, keep it around.

Sometimes I deny myself things I love because on some level I think I “shouldn’t like them”. I’m learning to let that go.

I love trashy magazines, cheesy sitcoms, inappropriate hip-hop, corny movies, and Reese’s peanut butter cups, so I’m going to keep them around.

Enjoy the things you love, and don’t let anyone tell you to get rid of them, or make you feel guilty about them.

There will always be people that condemn TV, junk food, video games, and rap music. Remember: the very best version of yourself will include the things that make you happy. Should you watch less TV and eat fewer pizza rolls? Maybe… but don’t forget to indulge once in a while. Don’t feel guilty about the things you love, they make you who you are.

2. The easier you are on yourself, the easier you will be on others.

There was a moment earlier this year when I realized that I was afraid to waste time.

I was taking my dog Charlie for a walk. The elevator was taking too long, and I found myself extremely frustrated. I had left room in my day for a walk exactly 45 minutes long.

“I have better things to do, I can’t be wasting time waiting for this elevator”.

How ridiculous. I was anxious over a 2-minute delay. (I noticed Charlie was pacing back and forth, I had even managed to make my dog anxious.)

I caught myself, and started looking for other moments when I was hard on myself about what I believed to be “wasted time”. Dozens of examples came to mind.

Those nights when I was too tired to work anymore, and sat down to watch a movie, I felt guilty.

“I should be working. There’s something sitting on my desk that I could be working on.”

I would beat myself up for every minute that wasn’t dedicated to business-related activities. How exhausting.

In these moments, I also noticed that I was incredibly hard on the people around me: critical, rushed, and judgmental.

So this is a lesson I learn and re-learn often: the easier I am on myself, the easier I am on those I care about most.

And, amazingly enough, when I am kinder to myself, and let myself off the hook, my work gets better, my relationships improve, and I can relax into my life.

Rushing around and burning out is for amateurs. No more. 2014 will be a year of ease.

3. Don’t be afraid to be dorky.

The other day I was talking to a good friend about a webinar that I really wanted to watch about business planning, and she said (as sweet and as genuine as ever), “Stace, I love that you’re such a nerd.”

Sometimes we hide the dorky parts of ourselves, and build up a wall around us of all the things we believe other people want to see.

As I get older, I’m learning to tear down that wall. And each time I say what’s really on my mind, I feel more cracked open and connected.

When I tell a good friend exactly how much she means to me, or I apologize for a silly, insensitive comment I made, I feel stronger for it.

When I share with others what excites me, I feel supported and charged.

It’s so easy to let those moments slip by, and not say what we really feel because we’re afraid we’ll be seen as dorky. Embrace your inner nerd, and allow the world to see more of you each day.

4 . Learning and creativity go hand-in-hand.

You can’t have one without the other, or you’ll be miserable.

Keep a balance between learning and creating, reading and writing, absorbing and sharing.

For me, learning is the fuel and creating is the outlet. Without learning, I lose momentum. Without creating, I feel restless.

When I remember to include both of these in my life, I feel more passionate and driven. My work gets better and my connections with others get stronger.

These lessons have helped me to enjoy my life, appreciate what I’ve accomplished, and plan for an even better 2014.

But these aren’t all the lessons I’ve learned… I also learned that giving up Diet Coke will give you headaches more painful than you ever thought possible, that money spent on a really good vacuum is never wasted, and that some natural deodorant brands are not all they’re cracked up to be… but I won’t go into that now.

On to 2014!!

This past year, I gave away 13 consulting packages, and it was an incredible year. Thank you so much to everyone who participated, I am so grateful I got to work with each of you. it was an absolute privilege to see your businesses grow.

I have taken some time in the last few weeks to tweak and update my consulting offerings. To serve more clients and make some space for upcoming products and services (stay tuned), I’ve decided to hone my consulting services. I’m so excited to now be offering private website reviews.

You and I will work 1-on-1 refreshing and upgrading your website to bring in more sales.

All the details are here.

If you’d like to have your website reviewed for free, I’ll be doing live reviews on my blog (about once a month). This is a great opportunity to get free website help, and to get business exposure.

Submit your website here for a chance to have it reviewed for free- live on the blog.

I’d love to hear from you!

What did you learn in 2013? Do you have big plans and resolutions for 2014? Leave a comment and let me know.

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