written by Shae Bynes, founder of ChasingYourFreedom.com
December 31, 2012 — I’ve known this day was coming, yet it still seemed to sneak up on me so quickly. This year has definitely had its challenges, but it has also had many triumphs and I can honestly say that I’m grateful for all of them.
As we’re closing out 2012 and moving into a new year, I want to share a few things with you. Personal lessons that I either learned or re-learned (because you know sometimes you have to learn things more than once!) and I hope that it’s useful to you. Here we go:
#1: Recognize that plans change and being open and flexible to those changes can lead to the most amazing things.
This one is so near and dear to me. I spent some time last week reflecting on the year as a whole and realized that the most amazing things that happened to me this year were all unplanned. Seriously…like they were not even on the radar screen for 2012 at all. For example, I co-authored a book The Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur: Doing Business God’s Way with Antonina Geer and we started a new business. Our book came out in November is in over 2,000 hands and has a number of great reviews already on Amazon.com about how it has impacted lives and businesses. We have not solicited one interview or speaking engagement, yet the invitations keep coming. We even have a TV interview lined up in the new year. We’ve grown an amazing online community of entrepreneurs of faith that is growing daily. Antonina and I didn’t even know each other existed prior to March 24th of this year! I’m humbled and amazed at all God has done.
Bottom line: It’s good to have a plan and it’s good to be focused on your plan, just don’t be so stuck on your plan that your eyes are closed to new people and new opportunities. Please understand that I’m not saying that you should jump from one thing to the next. I’m simply saying that you can miss things when you’re unwilling to pay attention to anything not on your to-do list.
#2: You have to be willing to let some things go.
Yes, I started a new business this year but earlier this year one of my businesses was shut down. You’ve heard the song…you’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em? Well, I’ve never played poker before but I definitely understand that expression. Deciding to close Diva Money Club was a tough decision, yet it was such an important one to make for both myself and business partner (who is still a very dear friend of mine). We’re grateful for the hundreds of people we were able to provide value to and help grow their businesses and also grateful for the over 30 microcredit loans that we funded for women in Africa to grow their businesses as well. It was just time to let go.
Bottom line: Be willing to make tough decisions. When you let go of one thing you’re making room for something else.
#3: Without focus, it’s not going to happen on its own. Focus, get help, or let it go.
I think my father’s favorite thing to talk about is focus. For years, he has emphasized the importance of this simple word and I still get a lecture on it every once in a while. Umm…Dad, if you’re reading this I promise I mean “lecture” in the most loving and respectful way!
I can come up with a laundry list of examples of things I took focus off of (even if for just a short time) that led to either a loss in income, a loss in an opportunity, or some other result that I would’ve rather avoided. With each of these instances, the truth is that one of the following 3 things would’ve fixed the situation:
1. I needed to simply re-focus (prioritize)
2. I needed to get help to ensure it got done
3. I needed to let it go.
This may sound oversimplified, but it really isn’t. In most cases, getting help would’ve fixed things. I used to have a regular assistant, but I moved to more short term project-based assistance this year. Not a great move because it left a hole and sometimes it was gaping hole.
I wish you the absolute best for 2013 and beyond. God bless and Happy New Year!