As we wind down 2019 and get ready to ring in 2020, I’m wondering about something. I’m sure you’re aware of the saying ‘hindsight is 20/20.’ The numerical alignment has me thinking. As I reflect on this past year on lessons learned, how can I apply this knowledge to help others in the coming new year?
According to the Grammarist website, this expression is a proverb meaning it’s easy to understand something after it’s already happened. It often references what one should have done versus what was actually done.
When it comes to your own life, where do you feel hindsight is 20/20? A work situation you worked through with either your boss or colleagues? A professional dream you pursued and the outcome wasn’t quite what you expected? Or maybe it’s more personal and applies to a relationship, challenge or journey. Tell you what. I’ll share on both fronts if you will.
Clarify your vision with research and coaching
For me, realizing I wanted professional fulfillment outside of a corporate setting took time. Furthermore, it was a collective of time. Time spent in buildings, in offices, in meetings. When I decided I wanted something different for myself, I chose consultancy. As a result, I saved a nest egg, starting networking and set my target as startups and small business.
When launching, here’s what I knew:
- It would take time to build the business and establish myself. I expected 3-5 years.
- It wouldn’t be easy. Yet, I could do it because I had the expertise and my target needed marketing and branding services.
Here’s what I didn’t know:
- I’d be split between networking to build leads, writing proposals to convert leads and doing the work the leads actually requested.
- Thus, the hustle of a 12-hour solopreneur is very different from a 12-hour day as a corporate team leader.
2019 was year two for my business and my professional coaching and client experiences woke me. Consequently, I learned consultancy doesn’t really exist, it’s more about being an entrepreneur and creating scale through webinars, eBooks, videos and public speaking. Furthermore, it’s about mass reach and a free or low cost entry point to establish authority. Read my post on a plan to scale to learn more about this business approach. As a result, my professional 20/20 hindsight is twofold.
- Gather research by talking with prospects about what they need help with and get specific with your product or service offering. Find a distinctive pain point and become the preferred problem solver.
- Hire a coach on day one. Day one ya’ll. School yourself on how to launch a successful startup and do it early so you work smarter and not harder. And then learn how to scale in a way that makes your brand distinctive.
Keep your head up
Now, how about the personal side of things? Allow me to share a line from the Netflix show, If Beale Street Could Talk – Unbow your head sister.
Ah. The moment I heard those words, they resonated. I readily admit my life experiences are vastly different from Tish, the narrator and protagonist of the movie. Respectfully acknowledging these differences, I do feel and understand these words layered within my life.
Running my own business is a personal thing. I’m the brand image behind the company. If you’re a blog subscriber, you’ve probably noticed my last three posts were a mix of personal and professional perspectives. My words are coming from the heart as a brand babe and a woman living life, curve balls and all.
When business is thriving, my identity is affirmed. Equally, when it’s slow, it takes a downturn. Sometimes, I struggle with learning how to separate my identity and worth from the business as it fluctuates. Any person launching or nurturing a startup will tell you this is normal. And it’s a tough divide to navigate.
My personal 20/20 hindsight relates to identity:
- Define a personal self outside of work. Nurture it; elevate it.
- Define success outside of work. Understand what aids your staples in mental stamina and relentlessly pursue them.
Your turn. It’s a package deal here! How can you apply 20/20 hindsight? What’s something you can better understand now that you’ve lived it?