3 Lessons from my Second Year in Business

I have time. I have time to sit and think about how the previous year worked from a business perspective. I don’t need to fall into the trap of plowing through tasks from one year to the next without pausing to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t. I have time to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses. I’ve already been through the numbers. Now it’s time to think about what I want to continue in 2017 and what I need to drop.

I had set out a number of goals for myself for 2016. They’re here if you would like a refresher. Based on them and the year I had, here are three things I figured out during my second year in business:

I am a slow creative person and that’s okay right now.

It will take me longer than an hour to write this post. It took me all fall to write 20,000 words towards my book. My snail’s pace is equally a result of me editing myself as I go along as how methodical I can be with projects. My numbers-based brain is stretching itself with all the words it has produced over the last couple of years. Something had to give though. In 2015 I spent more time on photography and not a ton of time writing. I didn’t take many pictures at all during 2016. I suspect this will shift to a more equal sharing of my brain space in 2017.

Be careful what you wish for.

I kid. I kid. Sort of. I set the goal for myself to “give more presentations (and longer ones)” at the end of 2015. I initially meant in the vein of the KW Canoe Symposium or on one of the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show stages. The universe has a pretty funny sense of humor though and it sent me teaching. I gave anywhere from three to seven hours of presentations a week for 12 weeks last fall. Thanks, universe!

It’s okay to spend some of my time as an employee.

A good chunk of my income came from being an employee of someone else in 2016, which was a change from the previous year. At first I was a bit uncomfortable with the change. I like setting my own hours, moving at my own pace, and working on what I want to work on. But when you’re working for an organization who is appreciative of what you bring to the table and you get a lot out of the relationship too, you don’t walk away from that.

With those lessons in mind, here’s what I have planned for 2017:

  1. Travel more. More travel means more photos in my book. More on this soon. I think I know where I’m going. Remember, the universe is funny.
  2. Develop a cohesive photo strategy for my business. I took a small step and started this point here.
  3. Finish writing the book (this spring). Edit it (over the summer). Start shopping it around (late fall).
  4. Consult a bit more.
  5. Guide canoe trips and a winter weekend.
  6. Teach as much as the College wants to give me.

All the best to you for a healthy and happy 2017! I can’t wait to see what this year brings us.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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