I am not going to lie to you by saying that last year was amazing and that I’ve achieved an endless amount of stuff despite all the craziness that happened around all of us. It really wasn’t. Neither was the year before that thanks to life coming literally apart at the seems. But in between all of this mess there have been lots of beautiful moments that I will never forget and slowly but steadily things are falling in place – nevermind that it’s a place I’ve been at before, but if your dreams have ever come crashing down in your face, then you know what I mean.
Light at the end of the tunnel I guess.
But there are still SO many things remaining that I’m not happy with. Things that I’m just not good at and I don’t feel good about. The list is literally endless and I’m going to set out to figure out how to fix them. And I’ll tell you about it, if you wanna know.
And BTW if you’re looking to get help in your business, then you’re no longer in the right place 😉 We’ve moved over here, so for your techy VA needs, you can find us on Hustle Grounds.
What even happened?
Not many people know, because I’ve mostly talked business, but in the last 2 years pretty much every single thing in my life has changed. Relationship over, family messed up, Dad passed away, moved countries, business growth was on hold…
And there is no need to say that with all of this happening I questioned my past choices. A lot.
I questioned my beliefs and why I thought I needed that.
I questioned the people and things in my life.
I questioned my understanding about love and relationships and what is good and what’s not.
I questioned my upbringing and my Dad’s relationship with alcohol and how it’s affected me.
I learnt about how that means I will always go towards choosing certain relationships in my life.
I understood how this means that I am prone to overdoing a lot of things and I made a commitment to making a lot of changes on the personal front.
For the first time I understood that success in your work is NOT the be all and end all and that if you’re not happy right now, your work, money or whatever else you may get is NOT going to be the thing making you happy.
I started listening to myself and defining what I want my life to actually really look like rather than just going along with what everyone else wants.
2020 was a year of work for me – and not an easy one – and honestly I could have done without the added pressure of the pandemic freakout, 4 months locked in at home, no car, not allowed to stray from your house etc. but, I guess I learnt to just say “Alright, let’s roll with it”.
All this said I did a lot of the work, and although there is still a long way to go I am way closer to feeling like I have at least some things figured out.
So, what’s the challenge?
As I said above the general situation was extremely bad before. There were a lot of dark days where I didn’t feel like leaving the bed. There were days where I did nothing but cry. And it cost me a lot. Emotionally, physically, financially. (Mhh.. dry bread, cause it’s all you can afford kinda bad)
Now, like I said the worst part of it is over. And I guess an advantage of being forced to stay at home was that we were forced to think and focus on better days.
And that brought up a lot of interesting conversations at home and we realised that there were lots of things that we could be doing better. Things that we want to change for ourselves, for our families and friends and for the greater good.
We decided that sitting in 2 separate rooms doing the same work for different people was stupid. It was NOT playing to our strengths and we were not growing at all. We were just doing the same things day in and day out that we were doing before – and honestly there was no challenge left in it.
So we joined forces and started Hustle Grounds. We switched our whole setup and rearranged our team, we hired new people and things started to look up again immediately.
Now there is still A LOT of work to do here. We really want to grow this a lot in 2021 and offer more opportunities here in the local market, that involves recruiting, training (and that’s not just technical training but simple employment skills), maybe a local office and so much more.
For that we need to focus on marketing and growth and right now I am still too tied up in doing the work, training and supporting, so there is a better solution needed here to be built throughout 2021 – the thing is that I’m not quite sure yet what that looks like. We tried a couple different ways and we’re not quite loving any of them just yet.
We work from home, so needless to say our home is important, pandemic or not, and where we were living before wasn’t cutting it. So we just moved and settled in in a new place, more central, closer to the bars I like to work in, nearer to the shop etc. and it’s kinda important for me to be in a place that makes everything very accessible.
Now there are still things needed. I’m yet to get my office chair sorted so I don’t have to use the Albanian kitchen chair (read: uncomfortable), the place is lacking stuff in the kitchen, a place to dry laundry etc. We still have some paperwork left to sort.
The last 2 years have been rough. I’ve struggled a lot, with my thoughts and our situation here wasn’t exactly ideal. It involved a lot of pretending things and well, it wasn’t right, but it seemed the only way.
So that meant not being “at home” in my own house because I couldn’t be. Living at risk of “bumping into someone” and the pressure was a little too much for me. It felt dishonest and kept my thoughts occupied endlessly. That caused arguments that really neither of us wanted to have and legit it would have been the thing tearing us apart.
So, we’re starting 2021 on a clean slate, the pretense is cleared up and that makes room for growth and actual future planning that has some kind of permanence to it – for me anyways.
This has been overall a very supportive union and I’m glad that the thing that was constantly a source of anguish and anxiety has been resolved.
Now I want to shift my focus to figuring out what I’d like the future to bring and focus on being more present and less critical.
I mentioned the agency above, however that is NOT the only thing I want to be focusing my efforts on. I actually have lots of other interests and passions and I’ve neglected them for about 3 years now and it’s time for this to end.
The problem is that I have a lot of habits that don’t set me up for success here and I feel overall extremely disorganised at the moment, maybe it’s the time we spent in Germany followed by the move, but I cannot focus my thoughts, I’m tired after I wake up in the mornings, so I feel like my batteries are running a little empty at the minute and that is impacting my ability to focus, prioritise and make a plan that is actually achievable.
I need to manage my energy levels better throughout the day and week. I need to be clear on what I am working on and when. I need a way to organise my time/schedule/tasks (other than client work because that always happens first and is handled in Asana as I’ve shared plenty of times before). I’ve been reading more but I’m not retaining all of the brilliant aha moments I’m having because Evernote is no longer working for me, so lots of things are sliding. I’m taking courses, took notes in a notebook, then had to leave the country and couldn’t take the notes with me, so that’s basically useless. So I’m looking at better ways to manage my time and my energy, working with my cycle instead of forcing things etc.
HEALTH AND FITNESS (AND FOOD)
Anyone that knows me know that I’ve carried around too many kilos since I was 14. I love food, but I misused it for years. I got a grip on overeating and comfort eating a couple of years ago (remember when I said I had no money to buy food, yeah, has it’s advantages), I managed to stop smoking last year and it’s now been 7 months I think and I don’t miss it, so that has been amazing. But I still haven’t been able to get into a routine of exercising or focusing on not just eating less but eating good stuff, so that is going to be high on my priority list for this year, because my energy levels are definitely badly affected. I also drink way too much caffeine and I hate the typical girly self care but do want to do more of it because well once it’s done I enjoy it. I just forget to be honest. So there is some stuff here that really needs to get organised and pre-planned (eg. hair cut every 3 months, instead of realising it’s been 2 years).
And just at the thought of all of the above I feel like sticking my head in the sand, but I know other people manage to get stuff done, to procrastinate a bit less, to focus a little more, to control their thoughts and to look after themselves all at the same time. And I know they’re not super heros. So I’m going to focus on building systems for my life in 2021, so that I can spend less brain space on remembering to do stuff and more time enjoying what I do.