4 Career Lessons 2021 Taught Me

2021 was a year filled with learning, relearning, and unlearning. As an entrepreneur, it was a year of getting my feet on the ground, hitting the nail on the head, and going all out for my brand.

The journey to getting it right as an entrepreneur is a tough road that only committed and dedicated minds get through. Like I always tell entrepreneurs, Success is in the process, not in the end.

The hours, days, weeks, months, and years you invest working on “your thing” are where you’ll find real success. It’s in the knowledge you gain, the mistakes you learn from, and the challenges you overcome. In a nutshell, EXPERIENCE is real success. It’s the only thing in your journey that can’t be broken, stolen, or destroyed. It’s all yours, a weapon you can use anyhow you deem fit.

However, Entrepreneurship is from different works of life. Different entrepreneurs with different career industries. But what we all have in common is the ladder we have to climb in achieving success, with many lessons learned along the way.

I was able to realize 4 significant career lessons in the year 2021 and they include;

1. Accept failure as part of the journey: A bit more than 50% of small businesses fail in the first four years. According to Failory.com, the failure rate of business startups by industry is:

42% – Finance, insurance, and real estate
44% – Education and health
44% – Agriculture
45% – Services
49% – Mining
51% – Manufacturing
53% – Construction
63% – Information

Hiten Shah, the co-founder of the hugely successful analytics platform KISSmetrics, launched many failed products. He states his biggest failure was spending $1 million of his own money on a web hosting company that never even launched.

Failure and wandering are part of success. If you’re afraid of failure and wandering in major gifts, you’ll do everything you can do to avoid them, and as a result, you will fail.

Accept that failure is par for the course, but accepting and learning from your failures is paramount. Don’t focus on the darkness. Focus on the light. And you will find your way.

2. Change can be scary, but it doesn’t need to be: Finding yourself under new circumstances, good or bad, can be overwhelming. The uncertainty of facing something without previous experience is a major source of stress.

However, a crisis can also be an opportunity, as long as you develop a “challenge mindset” rather than a “threat mindset”

3. Learning Never Stops: if you think you are at the peak of your career and you know it all, then you are so wrong. Regardless of how knowledgeable or business inclined you are, there is always something new to learn. As a matter of fact, this new discovery might come from the lowest person to you in the workplace or in life generally. Learning is a never-ending journey. From birth till death, we are in a continuous cycle of learning new things. It is a necessary part of our life.

4. Be Optimistic and Realistic: Stay informed to get a better idea of what to realistically expect. At the same time, develop your optimism and use it as a drive for change at your scale. Strategies to be more optimistic include:

Analyze your thoughts, giving yourself credit.
Think of how your strengths can bring other good things.
Minimize the negative, when it’s realistic to do so.
Avoiding over-generalization
Acknowledging your own contributions

There is no doubt that 2022 has much in store for us. But with the lessons we have learned from 2021, we can face it with more confidence and optimism. You’re capable of more than you may think. Use all the challenges, struggles, positives, and achievements you find when you look back on 2021 as tools as you head into 2022.

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