A great philosopher once said...
No lookin' back
Spaceships don't come equipped with rear view mirrors
They dip as quick as they can
- Andre 3000
Today however we are lookin' back on 2018. I know a lot of people pick their word of the year at the beginning of the year but when I look back on last year I would say the one word that describes 2018 for Oh So Paper would be: TRANSFORMATIVE.
Last year was a truly transformative year for Oh So Paper.
I feel like I finally found my footing in 2018.
2017 was more of a year of discovery and working out who we were while 2018 I was able to take what I discovered and use that to transform our company.
Here are my 3 key business takeaways from 2018...
You Get What You Give
I'm in a ton of groups business groups, personal interest groups, lots and lots of groups.
It never fails that these groups often bring out the people with the clouds over their heads. They come in and everyday it's about all the bad things happening and how nothing is working out for them.
What I have noticed is that their negative energy is like mold. It starts landing on others and before you know it you have a massive group thread of people all wallowing in their own self pity.
I see this quite a bit in business groups. In business it is totally unproductive. I have NEVER seen a business turn things around by sitting day in and day out and just complaining.
At the end of the day you get what you give. Business is hard and not all days are good days but it's about how you handle those days.
When business is slow I am brainstorming, working on new ideas, being proactive.
There have been months where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I acknowledged it then I got to work to get things back in order.
I was robbed 2 twice in 1 week.
If I had allowed those hard times to stop me I would have not have had the year I had.
Competition is a Good Thing
Competition is great for creativity and innovation.
I have found that healthy competition makes me work even harder even if that competition is just me competing against myself.
The beauty of lots of people in a particular industry is that you can clearly see what is missing or how you can put your spin on something that is already there.
I think that people tend get scared when it comes to competition when they themselves have gotten too comfortable.
An excellent illustration of this is Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. Nicki had gotten comfortable in her position with no real competition so Cardi came in and disrupted her status quo. We have all seen how that has played out.
My advice never get too comfortable and don't let competition scare you let it make you better.
You Can't Please Everybody
This is one of the hardest things to come to terms with as a small business owner.
The reason this is so difficult is that when you make a decision you immediately know how everyone feels about it because as a small business owner you are very accessible to your customers and the general public that wants to also voice their opinions on your choices.
Wanting to please everyone had me holding on to products that weren't selling for much longer than I should have held onto them.
However, in 2018 I gathered myself up and said "Danielle this is a business and you can't please everyone"
After I gave myself a good talking to I cut a number of our low performing products. Some people had something to say but at the end of the day those decisions were right for us.