Reflecting on the past year, my many relationships have taught me some valuable lessons, business and personal. First, I stopped judging myself and other people. We each grow at a different pace as we move through life: you can offer support and advice, but you cannot change someone who doesn’t have the drive to change himself. Rather than try changing others, find people whose goals and outlook align better with yours.
As we start a new year, I focus on how I can grow and become a better person based on what I have experienced during 2013’s journey. Don’t scrutinize what someone else is doing (or isn’t doing). Instead, refocus your energy on improving yourself as the new year unfolds.
Change things up: don’t just stick with what you are comfortable doing. Launch yourself out of your comfort zone, and you will discover smarter people who will inspire you and help you grow.
I celebrate and value the friendships that have started, as well as those that have naturally come to a close. Each one of these connections brings depth and perspective, fostering my growth, both in a spiritual sense and from a business standpoint. If someone has let me down, I remain grateful to them for the role they have played in my journey, helping me to learn resourcefulness and resilience.
We can view disappointments as insults, or we can choose to view them as lessons. As Charles Swindoll says: “[W]e have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”
For me, the key lesson of 2013 was to focus on how I choose to react in a given situation. I had an incredible year. Social media brought me unbelievable opportunities to meet and work with so many accomplished, inspiring people. I also had to learn to value my time and experience, and graciously decline requests to collaborate that would serve the other person, but which would not bring me closer to my own goals.
The connections I’ve built are valuable, but that doesn’t mean I want to extract value from them, or become a nonstop noise machine that clutters their feeds.
“Marketers would do well to instill the digital four Cs: Conversation, Collaboration, Culture, and Compensation.” (Zaid Al-Zaidy)
I love working with brands when their products or services interest me and my audience, but my expertise in creating a community was hard won, and my time has value. Collaborations I undertake should further the conversations I’ve started with connections about travel, inspiration, or other subjects we share an interest in. For those opportunities that uniquely benefit me and my connections, I am willing to work hard.
“There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in position where, if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it. I would also say it’s hard not to fool yourself. Everyone tells you how they are going to be “special”, but few do the work to get there. Do the work.” (Mark Cuban)
I am ready to push my limits in 2014, and challenge myself to work harder, achieve more, and experience the challenges and opportunities that this year will bring. I look forward to sharing and learning with you in this coming year!