As I’ve said before, I think one of the most important things we can do as professionals and people is taking time to reflect. Without it we’re bound to get stuck in a rut, lose perspective on what matters most, and miss out on remarkable opportunities to grow and evolve.
And a few weeks back I needed some time to do some of that by totally disconnecting from the world. I’d been going extremely hard for months and just needed time to reset my perspective and freshen up.
During that time I also took a second to reflect on all that 2017 had been for me as an entrepreneur and ATP as a business, and as Q4 winds down this year, I wanted to share some of those things.
I’ve been exceptionally fortunate this year to have worked with some truly amazing people who are doing exceptional things in this world, and I’ve learned so much through you and with all of you.
If I’m being real, it hasn’t always been roses either. So that said, here are the biggest lessons that I learned this year that are going to stick with me for the journey ahead. Perhaps they can help you too!
1. Unplugging is 100% necessary for every person in business.
I took my first mini-break sans laptop this year (a trip to the beach with my hubs) and when I did, I was riddled with guilt for doing it.
Would my business and clients still be there when I got back? Would the world collapse under my feet while I was gone? Would I be creating more work for myself while I was out? Was I leaving too much on my partner in crime Deb’s plate?
I think it’s easy to get sucked into the mindset that we can’t stop as entrepreneurs sometimes, because success is in our hands and ours alone. So naturally, I felt guilty about setting the business aside for a little R&R because of that.
Thankfully, none of those things happened and as always Deb took care of the details flawlessly to give me true peace of mind. And actually, disconnecting was probably the best thing I could have done with myself at that time.
After taking the leap and coming back to it, I realized that my fears were largely unfounded. Not only that, but the benefits of actually taking the time to recharge when I returned were totally apparent — I had new energy and a fresh perspective to tackle the work that that was on my plate, and honestly I think it helped me do it better.
The key takeaway for me was that our mental and emotional health as people in business is probably our greatest asset/tool in the bag. If we don’t take care of that, we’re not going to be able to perform at our best, and our businesses will suffer in the long run.
2. Communication is always king.
If you work primarily in the digital world, you probably know how easy it is for communication to go awry. Since text messages and emails limit our communication to just words (and remove body language and tone, which are statistically speaking 93% of communication) sometimes things can feel a little ambiguous.
On several occasions this year I realized that it’s best to not let that ambiguity morph into something that wears you down, and to proactively address the things that are eating at you when they arise without making assumptions (whether it’s clarifying something or just setting the record straight).
For someone as direct as myself, I needed the reminder that the little things tend to mound up to big things that didn’t have to be big things in the first place, and if you just give people the benefit of the doubt and take care of them before they erupt, it helps everyone involved!
3. There is such a thing as bad business.
I think it’s really easy to intellectually consume the idea that there are people out there who aren’t going to be a good fit for our businesses. But that said, being able to discern who is and who isn’t when your paycheck is on the line is much harder to actually do than say.
The salesperson in me HATES to turn down business. I truly wish I could help everyone who I cross paths with! However, there really are times when things just aren’t a good fit, and it’s going to do more harm than good to pursue them.
And after going through this a few times this year, I concluded that if my gut is telling me something is off after I clarify what’s bugging me (no matter how great a deal seems), it’s probably not worth pursuing. In essence, I think I trust my intuition now more than ever after this year.
What’s in store for 2018…
I’m so happy to say that 2017 was a big year for ATP (I have a huge grin on my face right now just thinking about it). It feels amazing to know that we made a difference for so many.
That’s largely due to the amazing folks like you I’ve had a chance to work with, so a heartfelt thank you to all of you who trusted us to help you build out amazing sales teams in 2017! We loved every second of it over here, and are looking forward to doing more in 2018.
And that said, 2017 has set us up to do bigger things in 2018. Here are a few teasers as the new year rapidly approaches:
- This is major people! We’re currently working on a new addition to the team — stay tuned for more information on this…
- We’re working hard to deliver even higher quality and more useful content across all channels. Helping startups and the salespeople that work tirelessly to crush it for them to deliver remarkable sales strategies is something we take very seriously — and this is one of the ways we can do that!
- New website launch — this is greatly overdue, and it’s in the works. Please keep the advice coming, your thoughts on what’s missing, what you’d like to see, why, etc is beyond appreciated and more than helpful!
- Continuing to connect wonderfully talented sales gems with the right opportunities — this is why we do what we do, and it’s not slowing down! We’ve only just begun…
That’s all for now. Once again, thank you to all of the amazing people who have crossed our paths this year and who have trusted us to help them do what they do better! I thank my lucky stars for you and look forward to a killer 2018 together.
Wishing you and yours a terrific end to 2017 and the happiest of holidays from the bottom of my heart at team ATP!!