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What I Learned in 2006

    • 3 posts
    January 4, 2007 9:31 AM EST
    I learned the importance of being nice to the person who will hand walk your
    invoice through the different departments and get it signed off so I`d get
    paid in days, not weeks!!

    Without the help of Marie Ortiz, I would have had a lean holiday!!! But
    because we had a good working relationship she was willing to hand walk
    my bill through accounting rahter than have me wait for weeks or MONTHS
    to get paid.

    Receptionists, clerical staff, administrative assistants--it can be more
    producting to send them a little thank you of Godiva than send those
    higher-up the food chain the Sam`s Club size of popcorn!!!

    ---
    "Whatever you can do or dream you can--begin it." Goethe

    • 13 posts
    December 12, 2006 6:42 AM EST

    Wow...2006 was quite a year at the funcave.

    The short list:

    If I had to boil all the highs & lows into 1 thing I learned, it would be this...

    if you don`t believe in yourself, no one else will either

    chrisrue2006-12-12 12:43:16

    ---
    Christopher Rue MCSE, MCSAM / Black Warrior Technology, LLC / Solutions That Build Your Business

    • 184 posts
    December 19, 2006 10:26 AM EST
    I`ve learned that I must pace myself. No matter how fast the world around me is spinning, I operate best when I accept and respect the fact that I`m human and humans do get tired sometimes 

    I`ve also learned that you can find de-stressing exercises in the oddest places. I had no idea that the kitchen would be a place for me to unwind. Expressing myself through experimentation with cooking has been a great asset to my creative spirit and my physical health.

    • 184 posts
    December 22, 2006 5:09 AM EST
    I`ve thought infomercials were not really cost effective for quite some time now. I`d enjoy hearing what other people say about it, though. 
    • 10 posts
    January 2, 2007 4:42 PM EST
    2006 was a big year for me in many ways. I married the sweetest man and
    moved to a beautiful home in a even more beautiful place and then...
    decided to work smarter and not harder. I learned from my husband to take
    small steps each day instead of looking too far down the road. I learned
    from my niece to always remember what`s "nice about me". I learned from
    my best friends - my dogs - to run hard and sleep hard and set goals.
    So, I am beginning a new adventure with a graphic design company - a very
    talented designer - doing photography, marketing, design. We are so
    excited to be building this business and learning....

    Thank you for making this forum available.   I hope we be a positive addition
    and learn with everyone else on this journey. Thanks, Carolyn (at
    jwdesigncenter)

    ---
    Jen Walter
    Creative Director
    JW Design Center
    www.jwdesigncenter.com

    • 0 posts
    December 22, 2006 9:05 AM EST

    What I have learned in 2006:

    Being as a mom

    • Terrible 3 doesn`t really end when he turns 4, or 5 ... it`s endless!
    • it is such a blessing when my child is being taught by an inspiring and patient teacher.
    • It`s totally okay if I leave the dishes in the sink overnight.

    Being as Meitzi

    • It has been so much fun to write a business plan!
    • I can do so much!!
    • It builds up my self-esteem greatly when I treat myself as if I already am what I`d like to be. 
    • Being as an immigrant, people would back off when I make myself law-ledgeble.
    • Yoga does wonder! Both physically and mentally!

    Being as SuN Member

    • Thank God I found SuN! 
    • Don`t ever try to argue with CraigL 

    Being as a daughter

    • It doesn`t matter if I am close to 40 or I am a parent myself, in my parents` eyes I am still a young girl who needs to be scolded from time to time.
    • Don`t ever try to cook or offer to cook when mom is here.

    Overall, 2006 has been a wonderful year.  Way better than 2005, not to mention 2004! 

    ---
    Life isn`t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

    • 0 posts
    January 5, 2007 4:39 PM EST

    BrandAlchemy- I went through a year almost like the one you described - with four people passed away plus so many other dramas.  But you survived!! You didn`t give up! And with the very last statement you wrote I know 2007 is going to be one great year for you!!

    Meitzi2007-1-5 22:41:44

    ---
    Life isn`t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

    • 20 posts
    January 19, 2007 3:49 PM EST
    I learned that delayed gratification is ok. I also learned that climbing out of debt is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am really glad I didn`t start my business when I wanted to in 05, because we were having a hard time making ends meet. Now that we are almost out of debt and will soon be able to save up, it makes a new venture much less risky. It is not easy to be confident if I`m risking the well being of me and my husband. Now that we are on our feet, he is much more supportive of my business goals. It took all of 2006 to make that happen, and in 07, once that tax refund hits, I`m using it all for capital on my new career in art fairs!
    • 12 posts
    December 27, 2006 1:32 PM EST
    Have you watched, "The Secret"? www.thesecret.tv. I highly recommend purchasing it and watching it a bunch of times! You`ll love it

    ---
    Save more of your hard earned money.
    Get your money working harder for you.
    Protect all your money and assets.
    I`ll show you how!

    • 343 posts
    December 11, 2006 4:38 PM EST

    Great post Rich.

    I learned to be more curious. To be geniuely interested in people. It sank in my OLD head that we are all in the human relations business, the people business. I continued on my path that believes ATTITUDE is everything. It it`s not what I want, I won`t say it. Words are previews of things to come. And I learned it is EASY for me to change.

    I understand better this year that asking a lot of questions is a great thing. When I ask a lot of questions, I have an advantage. It sank in recently that people like to talk about their roots and their history. Once you get someone started with easy questions, they`ll usually find it easy to keep talking. Be curious.

    I learned (and it is sticking in my mind) that I need to make everyone feel important. Always.

    I learned that I actually do more for everyone I come into contact with when I do for me.

    I learned the importance of ACTION. Take some kind of action every day on your most important goal. Small steps, over time, turn into giant leaps.

    I learned that blogging is fun! 

    R@

    ---
    Richard Arnold · Key Concept Writers · Business Communication: The "Key" To Success· Law of Attraction Blog · Life Ain`t Brain Surgery Blog

    • 165 posts
    December 12, 2006 12:38 PM EST

    Rich,

    What a great post! I have learned soooo much this year...it is hard to put it all into a simple post...I will try to cut it down to the main points:

    1) I learned that absolutely anything is possible. I can become an executive director of my own non-profit, my son could ACTUALLY start getting better, and my life could generally start heading in a direction that FEELS RIGHT!!

    2) Like Chris said, if I don`t believe in myself...no one else will either.

    3) It is very difficult to move forward if you are holding onto the past!

    4) People can and do change.

    5) You can make some amazing and life long friends over the internet...without ever meeting face to face (thank you SuN).

    6) Like my parents always told me as a child...I CAN be anything I want to be if I just work hard at it!

    I am really looking forward to this next year! I can only imagine all the great things that I will get to do and learn and experience!

    ---
    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    December 19, 2006 11:01 AM EST

    Oww...I thought of something else the other day and you just reminded me of it...

    My head actually only fits one hat at a time...no matter how many hats I may carry...I can only really wear just one at a time. (Not to mention...cloning is still technically illegal!)

    Mommy hat = mommy time (this is a VERY big hat...includes buttons and safety pin decorations for nurse/doctor, chauffer, chef, monster fighter, artist, crime fighter, pony, punching bag, english teacher, math teacher, music teacher, singer, philosopher, etc. This hat DOES NOT include: engineering hat, wife hat, or nonprofit hat) 

    Wife hat = adult time (DOES NOT include mommy hat, engineering hat, or nonprofit hat) 

    Engineering hat = engineers time (Does occassionally include mommy/wife hat...have you ever worked with engineers)

    Nonprofit hat = nonprofit time

    Student hat = school time

    You get the idea! I can multi-task better than most...but I am not giving my all if I am always doing 40 things at once! If I spread myself too thin...I am no good to anyone! And somewhere in there...there is a personal time hat...I don`t get to wear it often...but when I do...I try to make sure I go somewhere special so it is worth wearing!!!

    ---
    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 4, 2007 10:26 AM EST

    Receptionists, clerical staff, administrative assistants--it can be more
    producting to send them a little thank you of Godiva than send those
    higher-up the food chain the Sam`s Club size of popcorn!!!

    As an administrative person for an engineering firm (my day job)...I would like to give major KUDOS for this particular quote!!!! You have NO idea how often the efforts and bending over backwards I do on a daily basis goes over looked. An occasional thank you would be nice from some of our clients. It is amazing how often you hear that the Admin/Recep/Etc. is the most important job in the company...and yet we get forgotten when it comes time to recognize! So thank you anika...I appreciate you comment very much!!!

    ---
    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 5, 2007 4:59 AM EST
    Hmmm...sounds a bit like a book we were talking about on another thread Craig....and yes...I would love to see that!

    ---
    Leah Tucker

    • 23 posts
    January 1, 2007 12:21 PM EST

    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments in this section.

    Frozen, I particularly liked what you had to say about slowing things down and learning to accept that things are not always going to happen just the way you want them to. My family took several hits this year with some serious medical issues, which has caused me to step back and examine what really matters most in life. I was guilty of taking life way too seriously before. Now, I am learning to roll with life`s punches and laugh at myself and my mistakes. I still learn from them, but do not dwell on them.

    Keycon, I liked what you said about taking a genuine interest in people and asking questions. I have learned to do more of that myself. The results have been very positive. I know so many people who are so completely wrapped up in themselves that a person cannot get a word in edgewise. It`s exhausting to try and talk with someone like that. Thus, I refuse to be like that. Plus, I think people are more comfortable with someone who is fully engaged in what THEY have to say. I think it earns you more respect, too.

    Mostly, though, I have learned to accept things just as they are. It`s difficult to do, when most of us usually have at least some notion of how we would like things to turn out. I truly believe that applying a more Zen approach to both my personal and business life has made me more productive and a far happier person.

    Thanks for all the insight. I look forward to reading more.

    And, Happy New Year to you all!

    • 23 posts
    January 5, 2007 4:08 PM EST

    BrandAlchemy,

    Wow, and I thought we had a tough year in 06`. Kudos to you for making it through everything you have an still being able to see the positive.

    As for moving to Boston, I`m glad it was the right thing for you. We lived in NH for almost 6 years and were all too happy to leave there. I guess we are Western or Mid-Western people at heart.

    I`m truly sorry that you lost so much in 06`. I hope 07` is a very successful and much happier year for you.

    Kind regards,

    Kim

    • 335 posts
    December 11, 2006 11:29 AM EST
    When I was in college, I remember an insciption in the frieze above the entry to the Natural History building. It said, "He who knows not his own history is doomed to relive it."

    So, as 2006 starts to wind down, we at StartupNation thought it might be a good time for fellow StartupNation entrepreneurs to look back and refllect on some of the most important things you`ve learned--or have done--this year.

    Some of the things you learned or did you may want to bring to life in the year ahead. But others you might prefer to keep reserved for history.

    Something I learned this year? Though difficult for a gut-instinct entrepreneur, I learned that business strategies and tactics based on customer feedback are far more powerful than internally generated strategies and tactics not based on customer input. What a tough lesson (but a goodie)!
     
    Something else I learned? You can be a better entrepreneur as a "significant other" than as a bachelor - my work has been more steady, more directed, more intense, and more balanced as a result of great dinnertime conversations and the refreshment of a stimulating relationship.

    Another thing? The combined power of thousands of people can massively increase the power of one person. Just look around here...

    What have you learned in 2006?

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    December 12, 2006 5:53 AM EST
    folks,

    these are great entries. thanks and please keep them coming! sharing this kind of wisdom (though seemingly very personal) could very well have a huge positive ripple effect for the SUN community as we all try to avoid pitfalls and attain  success in the year ahead.

    rich

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    December 19, 2006 6:28 AM EST
    another takeaway from 2006:
    • "make the call" decisively - even if it`s a tough call, instead of hemming, hawing, and delaying. being indecisive burns money, dilutes passion, cuts into progress, and leaves tons of opportunity on the table

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    December 19, 2006 9:08 AM EST
    great stuff, tammy! we could all  benefit from these lessons....

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    December 22, 2006 4:31 AM EST
    katherine,

    love the wisdom about focus. so true. thanks for contributing to this topic.

    these must be exciting times for you.

    but please note:

    What I Learned in 1996:
    • infomercials are very high risk and really expensive.
    would you folks like it if we brought on our radio program some people who`ve tried infomercials to share their experiences?

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 21, 2007 3:55 PM EST
    So glad to hear all of this - we`ll meet up this coming december and see what new wisdom we`ve each gained.

    Looking forward, have you each gotten your goals on?!

    Hope you find our series on setting goals useful for your best possible 2007.

    ---
    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 154 posts
    December 12, 2006 5:06 AM EST

    I`ve learned much this year about getting quotes and samples from china.  Been very interesting.  Much different then I thought and at times extremely frustrating.  I have had to learn a new philosphy and needed to redesign product to meet process capabilities.  Very much looking forward to launching product in 2007.  It`s gonna be a great year.  Also learned that nothing happens quick.  5 years into this venture and I feel as if I`ve done nothing.  Glad I didn`t quit the day job.  Onward and upward. 

    ---
    Travis Tschepen
    Hibachi Bros. LLC

    --My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.--

  • December 12, 2006 3:38 AM EST
    As I type I am putting into practice one of the things I learned this year -- that is to let go of perfection. My instinct was to go off-line, open a Word document, start typing. Then in my mind this turned into something I could use for my newsletter; which meant I would need to run it by an editor... all the sudden... it was a huge project.

    I can turn anything into a huge project. So two things really
     (1) let go of perfection (I do wish there was a spell checker on this forum)
    (2) do things in small chuncks (taking advantage of windows of opportunity).

    Sandra


    ---
    Sandra Ahten The Reasonable Diet Bringing you peace of mind with regards to your diet, body, exercise and overall wellbeing http://www.reasonablediet.com

  • December 19, 2006 1:28 PM EST
    These are great observations and insights. This week I read on a blog about doing an end of year inventory...and really looking for all accomplishment... because if you don`t... you`ll only focus on all that is yet to do.

    AND there is always more to do.

    I went from being a semi-successful artist/painter and semi-successful diet coach to a full time very successful diet coach. So my biggest lesson is to have focus, even if though it goes agains my nature.

    So, I`m going to put "inventory" on my to-do list to have a good look at all that I HAVE accomplished.

    Lesson I still need to learn: to work more "on" my business instead of only "in" my business.
    Sandra



    ---
    Sandra Ahten The Reasonable Diet Bringing you peace of mind with regards to your diet, body, exercise and overall wellbeing http://www.reasonablediet.com