10 Things I Learned in 2016


What a year, wasn't it? From politics to pop culture, this year is something for the books. But as with any year, good or bad, 2016 presented a lot of lessons I can learn from to make 2017 better. As with every end-of-year post, it's always good to reflect on what you've learned to move forward into the new year. Here are 10 things I learned in from this year.

1. 2016 is for your very best.

Wednesdays were my post days. Every Wednesday my readers would get a new post and it was going to be great and raise my SEO. But I over promised myself. For one, I have a 9-5. I had projects that came up where I was working until 3:30 am and taking a nap before work. My focus had to change for a bit, hence the lack of posts.

2. Stop trying to be like everyone else. It’s boring. 

I got exhausted feeling like I had to fit in with person A and person B. I wasn’t growing in my business and it became exhausting. So I let it go. I’m not like person A or person B, I’m person C, and that’s more than enough.

3. Not everyone has it together. 

Time and time again we have to remind ourselves those we look up to, admire, consider “goals” don’t have this picture perfect life. Social media is fake. We can alter what we want people to see to create a vision (you know, because we’re busy building a brand and what not). But the truth of the matter is, we never see what’s going on. I know I’ve been open about depression and anxiety, and I do that to help people realize it’s OK to not be perfect. You’re not and no one else is either, so you’re in great company.

4. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. 

2016 was about letting things go. Sometimes you try to forge relationships, business, friendships, or romantic, and it doesn't work. Sometimes you have business ideas and but they end up being a bust. Should you try again? Maybe. Is it time to let it go? Maybe.

5. 2016 is where I learned to be a fan of me.

Are you afraid to promote yourself? I get it because I am too. And it’s this weird thing of feeling like we’re better than everyone else or not being humble enough. Let me say, it’s OK to promote your talent. Are you a bomb ass photographer? Don’t be afraid to say it. You have a skill people are envious of.

6. Saying “no” is freeing.

I’m someone who feels like I have to say because I have to please people. Then I get overwhelmed or stressed out because it’s all TOO much. Sound like you? Learn to say no. No, I don’t think we’re a good match project wise. I’m sorry, while I appreciate you reaching out for web design work, I can’t do it at this time. No is a complete sentence and it’s perfectly alright to say no when you feel it. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

7. Learning comes from all over. 

Whether you’re on the job or taking a webinar, the opportunity to learn comes from all over. My 9-5 allows me to learn and train in areas I didn’t know about. I can tell you I know more about SEO in 2016 than I did before I started working there, and it helps me in how I design for the web. For 2017, take the opportunity to learn three new things: one that will help you directly in your field, one that is indirectly in your field with the potential to connect, and one just for fun.

8. Remember your why. 

Like I said earlier, I struggled feeling like I had to be like everyone but me. Then I remembered mine. Why did I feel the need to start FIVE12 STUDIO? What did I find missing? Now, take a nap so you can get to work (note: I was generally sleep deprived when I had these thoughts. Coincidence? I think not). When everything is chaotic around you, unplug, go for a walk and remember yours. Then center yourself around that why. if you feel like you don’t connect with it, that’s OK. Figure out the new why and develop from there.

9. Community is important. 

It doesn’t matter how Daria-like you think you are. Because I was going through a lot last year, I often felt ashamed annoying, so I closed myself off to other people. Maybe, it was the universe’s way of showing I had to rely on my own strength I didn’t know I had. Either way, I’m so used to being alone and doing things alone I forgot about community. However, my goal is to grow and reach an audience, I need to build that community. I lost out on a lot of building community in 2016 and I have mini regrets. I know I need to be around people who challenge me and hold me accountable. Next year, I am focusing on building a community to do that. I have to fight with the introvert side of me to build a community I know I want.

10. Most importantly, learn it does get better.

if 2016 was super rough for you, it WILL get better. It takes time. There might be a few more stings. I'm not going to say you'll wake up one day and it's better. But slowly, it will get better. One day you'll have the strength to handle the day. Then you'll be able to tackle the day. Then you'll have the strength to fight so hard and WIN. The days will turn into weeks and the weeks will turn into months. You'll look back and realize you actually freakin did it.

As someone who was choosing between train fare and groceries from Dollar Tree last year, I can’t imagine going through what I’ve gone through. It doesn't seem real, honestly. "Was I really hopping around the country trying to find a couch to lay on?" "How did I go from that to literally being able to build my life?" 

Keep going because you need to. Keep going because you are needed. Things fall apart, but you do have the power to put it together. You're so much stronger than you think.

If you need help in any way, feel free to inbox me. There’s no email list you need to be put on, no obligation, nothing. The only thing you need to know is you're not alone.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope it's safe and you YOLO the heck out of it!

Until next time, C