As I sit here on New Years Day writing this post out at 1:55 am, I can’t help but be amazed at how much can happen in a year. This year was definitely a lot to take in. It was also a major wake-up call for all of us. Pivot may be the word for most of you in 2020 but it sure wasn’t mine. Instead, mine was breakthrough.. let me tell you why that is.
So Much Can Happen In A Year
June 9th, 2019 was the day my life drastically took its turn. The day I got fired from my job.
I still remember like it was yesterday. It happened all so quickly. Months before, I had already taken the decision to stop giving a crap about my job. My motivation was at an all-time low and all I could think of every day while working was, “I can’t wait to quit this tedious job and start working for myself one day.” I was fed up and tired of building someone else’s dreams. I was craving a creative outlet and needed some sort of challenge in my life.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking whether or not moving to Toronto should be a possibility. It had crossed both me and my boyfriend’s mind a few times. But it came up nothing short of a joke or a simple statement that didn’t have much of a meaning to it. All we thought of at the time was,
It would be such a huge move…
And for a few reason:
1) It was one of the most expensive cities in Canada. How could both of us afford to even live there with each of us having no job?
2) It was far away from family and friends.. we wouldn’t be getting much support. We’d essentially be starting with a brand new slate.
3) We just bought a condo and lived in it for only a year. Were we really going to leave that all behind? Give up living in our brand new condo to live in a mediocre apartment paying thousands of dollars a month for someone else’s mortgage?
4) Start taking up landlord duties and rent out our entire apartment with our quality and prestine furniture to basically strangers?
5) Leave the Boss Babe Imperial community behind and everything I helped build and entrust Vimy and Nancy to take care of all the in-person events themselves?
It all seemed so daunting but we did it anyway.
The one thing that motivated us enough to take the plunge was the fact that it was a land of new opportunities. A place where English wouldn’t be considered a limitation for once in our lives.
It’s been 3 to 4 years now since I’ve taken an interest in personal development and entrepreneurship. I knew right then and there that no matter how rocky the path may be that this was the right one for me. I loved the challenge and the thrill of the unknown. For the past 3 years I’ve lost count of how many side hustles I’ve tried, hoping to find one that would stick.
To give you some context on how the past few years have been like, let’s rewind and talk about how my first entrepreneurial venture went. The time I was attempting to dropship luxury knock-off bags (which I didn’t even know were knock-offs until AFTER I created the entire store and wrote out all the product descriptions). That was what started it all and led me to web design. I tried it out for a brief period of time before I quickly gave up on after I realized the amount of time I was spending on it vs how much I thought I could charge at the time. What can I say? I was still a newbie and didn’t any know better.
I’m a multi passionate and have serious shiny object syndrome (though I’ve since suppressed that urge to keep starting new projects). Every few months I’d start something new hoping to see if it would be the one thing that would allow me to make enough money for me to quit my corporate job at the time.
It took me 3 years to figure out my zone of genius
It was only after I took the plunge to invest in my first mindset & business coach that everything started falling into place. It took three years of intense trial and error. After experimenting with different (some quite odd) side hustles and experiencing multiple mental breakdowns, I resorted to finally sticking to just ONE thing for longer than 6 months—design.
Who would have known I’d end up doing web design again after giving it up 3 years ago?
Had I just kept doing web design for an entire year, I would have learned so much more rather than jumping from project to project. Fortunately, it didn’t all go to waste. Due to the constant switching of projects, I now know how to manage social media for businesses, day trade with stocks, copywrite, do consultations, work with brands, plan events, build a community and so much more.
I’m beyond proud of how much I’ve accomplished within the past few years.
What This Year Has Taught Me
2020 was a year of serious ups and downs.
Everything felt like a movie. It still does. We still have a long way to go before the economy fully recovers and the virus goes away and we have no choice but to adapt to this new ‘normal.’
Getting on videos calls more than ever was no exception.
If you know me, for a long time I’ve never been a fan of getting on phone calls let alone video calls. I was always more of ‘the person who likes to hide behind a screen’ type of person. Forcing myself to get on video calls 2 to 5x a week was really pushing it.
This year forced me to get used to it and adapt to this new norm.
Zoom has now become the new slang.
2020 was a year of major shifts and abundant new opportunities for me to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s also been 2 consecutive years now since I’ve made the commitment to continuously do things that would instill fear in me.
And since I’ve made that commitment, life has been an adventure and I’ve never felt more alive.
But with growth, there is always some pain we need to go through and a set of lessons that need to be learned.
So without further ado, here are the 3 biggest lessons I experienced this year:
Lesson #1: Fill Your Own Cup Before You Try To Fill Anyone Else’s
For a long time, I tried to fill everyone’s cup but mine. I guess you can say I’ve lived witnessing it my entire life seeing my mom do it that I thought it was normal. For years, I’ve lived with the notion that I always had to put others before myself.
Living through it for so many years, I started to believe that this was what was to be expected of me. My coach finally snapped me out of it and into reality this year.
I had a lot of baggage I had been holding onto subconsciously throughout the past couple of years that I never knew I had. It was only until I started working with my coach that she helped me to identify and work through most of them.
The one question she asked that really got me thinking was, “Why do you like to inspire people?”
I thought it was an obvious answer until I found myself struggling to answer it.
I wanted to inspire others because it made me feel good doing it, which was actually a problem.
She made me realize that my job wasn’t to inspire people. That what I was doing was seeking outside approval and validation from others to simply make myself feel better.
I didn’t owe anyone anything. So why was I doing this for the past 2 years?
And when I finally let it go and started putting myself first, miracles began to happen and the road started to clear itself up in front of me.
“Peace and real growth happens when you do the hard work when no one is looking.“
It was hard to swallow but it was all I needed to hear to turn my life around.
Those few words changed the entire course of my year. For once in my life, I took the initiative to be selfish and look after myself. It was no easy feat but it became a start to something much bigger.
Lesson #2: Inspire People Through Your Actions Not Your Words
Simply being more intentional in everything I put out made the biggest difference in my life this year. As a result, my confidence really took its turn.
2020 was also my most expensive year to date. I invested thousands of dollars in not just one but 3 coaches in total. I even made the decision at the end of last year to move to one of the most expensive cities in Canada. I made a lot of moves this year without realizing and it’s brought me more results than I’ve ever imagined. Though a huge hit to my wallet, it was well worth the investment, making 2020 the most transformative year for my business.
Working with coaches truly empowered me. I learned how to dig within to ask the hard questions. Meditation and journaling are still two of my most effective tools that helped me seek out the answers I was looking for.
I developed courage, built self-awareness and became more intentional with everything I put out. I stopped posting multiple times a week and focused solely on putting out valuable content once a week.
I harnessed inner strength and took fear head on by showing up on Instagram stories, doing Instagram Lives and hosting workshops. I even somehow managed to close over 10 sales calls by the end of this year! One of my biggest wins to date considering how shy and low my self-esteem was at the beginning of the year.
Lesson #3: Don’t Let the Noise of Others Opinions Drown Out Your Own Inner Voice
If someone isn’t afraid to voice their opinions, why should you hold back and suppress your own? It wasn’t something that happened right away but over time as my buttons kept getting pushed, I finally mustered up the courage to speak my mind.
I worked with one particular person who really pushed me to speak up this year. It kind of reminded me of my grade 4 teacher who kept forcing me to speak up louder to the point where I burst into tears. That traumatized me for life let me tell you.
I wouldn’t say it was exactly like it but somewhat of a familiar scenario. One of the most effective affirmations I repeat to myself on the daily is, “I am no longer bound by my childhood traumas and experiences. From this point on, I am a new person.”
Affirmations are powerful. Use them to your advantage.
Even though we had our ups and downs, I can’t help but be grateful for all the lessons she’s taught me. I learned how to deal with a different type of person and to be honest, it was quite empowering.
For once in my life, I felt like I had a voice and I have to say this was probably one of my proudest moments.
My word of 2020 was breakthrough and I can proudly say that this still holds true.
This year taught me how to find my self-worth, build self-awareness and leadership skills, find confidence in myself and make self-care a major priority in my life. It’s also taught me how to set boundaries, say no and allowed me to put closure on my past in order to move forward as a new person.
Even though I’ve been freelancing on and off for the past 3 years now, 2020 was the year I actually felt like I was a real business owner. I learned how to deal with clients, manage projects, handle rejection, close deals and systemize processes.
It was the year I built my foundation and took my business seriously. I made the most revenue I’ve ever made in the last 2 months of 2020 than my 3 years of freelancing combined! I’m feeling absolutely blessed and so grateful for all the brands who put their trust in me in helping them bring their vision to life.
That being said, my new word for the year ahead is flourish.
This is only the beginning and I’m so excited for what’s to come for 2021!
Happy New Year everyone and I wish you a magical year full of new possibilities, abundance, happiness and of course, good health. Stay safe and healthy!
Such great learning and strength. Continue to inspire with your story ❤️
Thank you so much Dina for always supporting me in everything I do 🥰