Each year, I conduct a review of my entrepreneurial activity to assess my progress, my successes, and my failures. After spending much of 2021 finding the famous (still at large) roster of pros, 2022 was a much more modest year in terms of business development. And for good reason, I didn’t set myself any goals. Even more than that, I did not make my work a priority. So here’s an unfiltered report on a year that oscillates between exploration and slowdown while maintaining confidence in my work…
Fake alignment task completed
The pursuit of professional fit has been the dominant theme of my entrepreneurial journey since I started. This search for professional development has led me to focus several times in my activity, but also to do introspective work imbued with personal development and various accompaniments (from business training to esoteric).
These accompaniments didn’t allow me to find the much needed “road”, but to realize that there would be many paths to explore at once or in succession.
Once the pressure subsided, my vision became clearer. This is how 2022 marked a turning point in this continuing problem of professional alignment by choosing to put my activism at the service of my personal life. In this context, I decided to put my work in the background and prioritize other personal projects as well as side projects.
Agree to background work
Putting your activity in the background is an aberration and even an unconscious act in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, this dip can come in handy when one is rocking for new projects.
For my part, I wanted to privilege my freedom: On an organizational level, I restricted my time constraints to what suited me, thus prioritizing aikido, but also my personal life.
So I invested time in aikido, which allowed me to get my black belt. I also devoted part of my energy to defining my living environment: Will I stay in France after 6 months of digital travel? Would the health restrictions have allowed me to stand out and settle in somewhere? Was my romance strong enough to make plans on the comet?
Thus, these uncertainties reinforced my need to develop a flexible business, without material constraints in the service of my personal life.
Explore new horizons to challenge myself professionally
This year was an opportunity to challenge myself professionally, by setting out to conquer new missions and types of clients. Having chosen in 2021 to no longer be a training organization, I opened up to other types of missions and clients, less driven by the “CPF credit” culture.
And so I found myself doing face-to-face assignments in rural areas of Flanders, but also leading a full-day workshop at a communications school. I paid to write content I was free to, and was contacted by aikido professionals for communication and marketing assignments in the service of aikido development on a local scale.
Not all of the assignments I’ve taken on have been successful, but they have opened up a field of possibilities for me on a professional level, by rekindling a flame that had been extinguished at the time.
Have confidence in a strong 5-year strategy
This year I have been faced with moments of doubt and fear about entrepreneurship. What if everything collapses tomorrow? What if I can’t earn a living from my activism without being a training organization? What if luck is the only explanation for my past success? What if, after all, I had to start mining and fill my schedule with client assignments? How can I make it clear that I still don’t have a financial vision at 3 months?
Despite the skepticism, I chose to see the glass half full thanks to tangible observations:
- Luck cannot explain 5 years of sustained activity;
- Luck can’t explain my absence from prospecting for 5 years.
Because for 5 years, I’ve been putting in place, without realizing it, a solid customer development system thanks to an inbound marketing strategy paired with a strong personal brand. To get out of the jargon of entrepreneurship, it’s all about bringing clients to me with relevant, authentic, and well-referenced content. This 5-year regularity not only allows me to have an accurate financial insight for each year, but it can give me confidence and serenity for the years to come.
The annual balance sheet is not only measured in terms of business volume. On a professional level, the latter certainly gives a year-to-year follow-up indicator, but the various fees associated with it must also be taken into account. This calculation, which acts as consciousness, allows us to see if we can pay ourselves enough to ensure the desired standard of living and thus restore the meaning of our lives as an entrepreneur.
The success of the annual report is subjective, it is important that it takes into account the priorities of the entrepreneur and thus the level of his achievement at the end of the year. And so I realized that my standard of living, just like the pace of my work, suited me very much and that my company was a playground to maintain my vigilance, face challenges, and create an experience of fail, daring, and success from year to year.