Looking back for entrepreneurs this time of year is a productive item on your end-of-the-year checklist. I like to look back this time of the year to reflect on what I did right, what I can learn from and what I need to change going forward. There were many changes for me personally during the year, as we sold our home in Richmond KY and moved to Lexington KY. My office location has been in Downtown Lexington for almost two years, but I also opened a second satellite (or virtual space) in Downtown Richmond. That way, I can still stay connected to the community I started my business when I moved to KY and am still deeply invested in.
“DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR”
In all these changes, I realized you cannot put too much weight in other’s opinions of your life or your decisions. So stop putting so much stock in other’s opinions of you, in fact, do your best to tune it out completely, unless that person is someone who trust, sure of their love for you and share their values. And unless you have positive feedback for other’s people’s choices, choose to remain silent, because in the end it is none of anyone’s business.
I also learned when people show undue interest in your lives, they may be more curious than truly care about you. I believe discretion and privacy in each other’s lives are a rarity in this over-sharing, reality television, social media world. We share everything from what we eat, to who we eat with, to what we wear and how we feel on any and every subject. When we share so much about ourselves in such a public forum, are we not sacrificing (and possibly endangering) our privacy, well-being and possibly our safety? A lesson that was even the Queen of over-sharing realized this year after she was robbed.
Use discretion when posting on social media, share positive, upbuilding and educational content that engages your audience rather than reveals too much about yourself.
Also this year I realized how valuable time is, so not to waste it on invaluable endeavors. Many people and organizations will solicit help of those who are skilled in marketing and promotion. Like myself you may be apt to assist groups, but look more closely at the reputation, investment of your time and energy, and the cohesiveness of the organization and its board. Your reputation is your brand, I often quote, and your affiliations and partnerships can affect that brand, as they did mine inadvertently. So going forward I will research their reputation in the community and make sure their mission and goals align with my own.
I am also very proud of the work I have accomplished and the investment I have made this year in such organizations as Downtown Richmond Association, Women Leading Kentucky, Ellis Coalition, Commerce Lexington BOAB, and others. I have learned a lot from the board members, speakers and members, as well as appreciated the networking opportunities that have been achieved at these excelling groups.
A PRODUCTIVE TEAM
I also learned you are only as successful as your team. No one can do it alone, not for long. I am so thankful for the excellent loyal team I have with Alison, Sean, Tony, Rick and Christina, and am currently in the process of adding another. I congratulate Christina on her marriage and move out of the area, both very positive changes for her, but unfortunately for me meant a reduced role on the team. Take care of your team, nurture them, and let them do what they do best with the freedom to create. I choose people, based more on their positive outlook, willingness to work hard and to learn, discretion and responsiveness than on their skills and experience, although both are still important. Thank you to my team for all you do!
Public speaking has always been a challenge for me, but in the last few years as the number of workshops and presentations I’m invited to, I’ve had to overcome that and feeling more comfortable in that role. This year I presented the following:
- Presented to RYPA (Richmond Young Professionals Association) at their April 2016 meeting on “Building an Effective Web Presence“
- 2016 Women Leading Kentucky as Leadership Conference Facilitator for Breakout Session II: “From Passenger to Pilot: Empowering Women to Work Their Business“
- Presented workshop hosted by EKU SBDC and Berea EDC, “Social Media & Content Marketing Strategies” on November 15, 2016 (Berea KY)
- Presented workshop hosted by EKU SBDC and Berea EDC, “Be Found on Google Searches & Google Map” on October 4, 2016 (Berea KY)
Presented workshop hosted by the Bluegrass SBDC & Google during Small Business Week, “Be Found on Google Searches & Google Map” on May 4, 2016 (Commerce Lexington)
- Presented to Commerce Lexington’s BOAB Purple group, “Social Media & Content Marketing Strategies” on December 13, 2016 (Lexington KY)
And was very excited to present at the Selling to the World Expo on June 9-10, 2016, at the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College in Middlesboro KY, where I presented two workshops to fully booked classes:
- “Building an Effective Web Presence for your Business” workshop
- “Individual Web Presence Analysis” class, where we took the strategies in the first class and applied them individually to each business owner present.
2016 was an unprecedented year for new projects, adding nineteen new projects to my online portfolio this year alone, with four more near completion and will be live soon. As our slogan states, “A Professional Website is just the beginning“, we have worked with many clients beyond their initial website development, helping them promote their website with web content writing, blogging, social media management and marketing, pay-per-click ad campaigns, search engine optimization, and content marketing. We also have helped with various graphic design projects, email marketing, print ads and an artist’s illustrated calendar.
As my passion is for small business, I was happy to work for 54 small business clients and also excited to work with one large business this past year. As always, I’d like to take time to show appreciation for all who trusted in my company and our brand to not only use our services but refer us to others. Thank you for your continued loyalty and repeat business.
If you are looking for small business support, internet marketing or strategies for a more effective web presence, please follow and read this blog. I hope your business had a successful 2016 as well, and wishing all a year ahead of health, wealth and happiness.