I am a big believer in self reflection. Not because I want to be self obsessed or dwell on my mistakes but because as a human being; a mother, wife, friend and business owner I constantly develop, learn new skills and thought behaviours and by the end of a year I want to reflect on how to live my life but also be grateful for all the things that went my way, and move forward and restructure the things that could have gone better. Maybe you do the same?
And if anything, 2016 was a huge learning experience for me.
It has to be said that it wasn't one of my favourite years. I don't need think I need to mention Trump or Brexit, because I think you already know where I stand. But I do think that Scandi Mini got a bit too big in 2016 for its own good. A bit out of hand for a small business. Too much work. A small team staff structure that collapsed time and time again. A shop we couldn't look after as a result. And a warehouse that we grew out of. I've said it many times before but running an online shop is part a dream job, part so much work, you want to give up from time to time.
But let me tell you something as well. When the going gets tough, you learn. You rethink your priorities, you adapt and you move forward. That's 2016 for me. I've learnt so much about running a business, even though this is year 6. I've learnt so much about myself. I've finally learnt that I need to take care of myself too. And that I kind of want to change my direction a bit, although it's too early to share what that means. All exciting stuff.
So with the below learnings in mind, I thank 2016 for being one hell of a learning curve and I can't wait to put my new exciting plans in place for 2017. And let's make 2017 better! Don't you think we can all improve a bit, learn to be more accepting in general?
1. Only say yes to things that you wholeheartedly believe in.
I've said yes too many times in 2016. I've always felt uncomfortable saying no, mainly becuase it goes against being a 'nice girl'. Saying no to things you don't 100% support is actually really empowering and it's the only way to be if you want to live your life your way. There are of course limitations and rules need to be followed but as a general rule of thumb, if your gut says no, or even just maybe, it probably isn't right.
2. Invest in yourself.
I suffer from full blown insomnia from time to time - it's both stress related and hormon induced - and even though I have huge energy reserve I am not superhuman. This year I've invested way too little time in myself, it was only towards the end of it that I started turning things around. Make sure you get your weekly dose of exercise, healthy food, the odd meditation and support from family and friends but also give support to the important things in your life, spend a lot of time with loved ones, and all will be good.
3. Don't be aifraid to fail.
Being vulnerable is one of the scariest things for me but if I don't put yourself out there, I will never move forward. I am not afraid of taking risks per se but I am way too perfectionist. Learning and accepting that things don't have always have to be perfect is key. This year I had very little time for consumer contact, marketing and maybe worst of all, ensuring we had a well functioning team, so I had to accept that I can't manage and direct Scandi Mini on my own anymore. It forced me to resstructure my business and who does what, and it forced me to give up some control too. And now that I have, I feel so much better for it.
So here's to a brighter future, a New Year filled with love, peace and hope. To health and happiness. To good friends, to the things that give you energy and to what's really closest to my heart: to my family, of course.
I wish you all, the very best for 2017. Let's make it better!
Photos: Philippa James Photography 2016