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Now that the year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on the past year’s learnings while also looking ahead to opportunities in the New Year

The year 2021 was an eventful one. Covid has continued to be a part of our lives, bringing numerous challenges to overcome. Several people lost their jobs, and some of them were unable to see their loved ones. Some took advantage of this time to build their dream businesses. Therefore, countless startups and small businesses emerged in 2021.

For me, it was purely coincidental. I am not a self-made digital marketer, nor have I founded Social Influence because I lost my job. That was a conscious decision I made before the pandemic. In the summer of 2020, I started my business, and in the year 2021, I accelerated, improved my processes, and learned more about clients, mindset and many other things.

Naturally, there were bumps at the start of the year. However, once I made it past that hurdle, I knew what I wanted. This included the type of clients I wanted to work with, how I wanted to work and my boundaries.

As a result, I have come to understand some key learnings entrepreneurs can follow to help ensure their businesses’ stability and peace of mind:

Learnings of the Year

1- Work on your mindset

There is a huge difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, one should always embrace a growth mindset that encourages one to overcome obstacles and view setbacks as opportunities.

It’s easy and comfortable to stay in your comfort zone and play safe, but the journey to your growth zone opens up new opportunities.

2- Take Mental Health seriously

You cannot work effectively if you don’t take care of your mental health. This impacts your ability to work with others. It’s no wonder that good mental well-being report higher productivity and sales, more creativity and customer satisfaction.

Entrepreneurs should remember that it is ok to take a break, and not be where they want to be in the first couple of years. Success takes time, and the most important thing is to take action toward their goals.

3- In order to succeed, networking is key

I have learned that networking is the key to success. And I’m not even referring to face-to-face networking. No, not necessarily. Due to the pandemic, many networking groups have moved their events online. As a result, we were able to connect with people from around the world.

Social media platforms have been great places to network with people too. Marketers started using social networking for building personal branding and to quickly find like-minded people from the comfort of their homes. However, this is a challenging endeavour, since the wrong approach on social media can easily drive people away.

Getting connected not only leads to new business opportunities but also allows you to surround yourself with people who share your values.

4- Learning and growth are essential:

You should make learning an integral part of your business, whether you run a start-up or a small business. This does not only refer to entrepreneurial skills but also to marketing skills to improve businesses. Although you might have the best product or idea in the world, if you don’t know how to market it to your target audience, your idea would be worthless.

Invest time in training, not only for entrepreneurship, but also for marketing, communications, and your core services. Keep up with the latest technology, keep up with the latest trends. It’s always better to get better at something than to stay the same, or your potential customers will find someone else who is better than you.

5- There is no one-size-fits-all approach:

I thought there was a lot to do when I first began! On all social media platforms and in entrepreneur groups, I gathered ideas and inspiration for what I could do for my business.

I created a Facebook group because they said it’s important. On the next day, they said it is important to work with project management and CRM tools like Trello or Dubsado, so I tried them. I don’t use any of these anymore. It’s important to realize that there is no one size fits all approach.

I created my own processes, onboarding and offboarding documents, forms and my own marketing strategy. What is important here is to do the things that work for your business and feel right.

Personal Reflections

On the personal side, I primarily stayed home aside from a couple of safe trips to Turkey and Spain. I worked a lot and tried to embrace this interesting year.

Although there were highs and lows during the first half of this year, the second half of the year brought me and my husband incredible news and developments for which we are so grateful!

Looking Ahead

I enjoy looking back on the year as Christmas approaches and another year is about to end. While 2021 had its ups and downs, it also had many highlights and achievements. I would like to close the yearly recap by saying THANK YOU to all of you. Thanks for following along, reading my blog posts, engaging on social media, taking the time to like or comment, showing up, and for just being here.

Sending lots of love and happy wishes for the holiday season and the year ahead!

Social Influence

Damla is the founder of Social Influence. She has spent over a decade working and leading digital marketing positions for some of the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking brands. She writes about digital marketing, websites, entrepreneurship and more.

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