Ten Lessons in 2018

2018 was not all rainbows and sunshine. I left last year with many lessons to bring into the new year. Check out my reflections below:

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#1 - Being an intrapreneur isn’t so bad…

In a time where entreprenurship is transforming the way people make a living, I was (and still am) on the badwagon. I can’t knock entretprenuriship because building a business from scratch, filling a need/void in society with your services is extremely necessary, and some folks work better when they can take creative control without jumping through hoops of decision-makers who came before them. The only problem is that I’ve lost my desire to be an entrepreneur. It doesn’t mean that I won’t stop being one (I’m an independent contractor as a film production manager,  still own a photography company, and make sales through book recommendations on this website), but to me I am looking for a little bit more stability. In 2016-2017 I had a taste of what it was like to get a regular paycheque. This cleared brain power for me to do a proper job and excel at my work as a project manager. I like working in teams, and entrepreneurship is a lonely road. I also realized that I’m an intrapreneur with an entrepreneurial spirit and that’s never a bad thing. Why? Every business needs at least 1 person to work in it. Without employees (even occassional upkeep), then a business cannot function.

I’m gonna say it loud and proud: I am NOT and entrepreneur.

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#2 - Self-Discipline is a long, hard road.

My health routine has been like the one boyfriend that I have a hot and cold relationship with. It wavered between on-and-off depending on what’s happening in my life. When life gets hectic, my healthy habits routine and my impulsive money spending also go out of wack. I spend a lot when I have free time or am too busy - I’ve found the happy medium, but it’s also a matter of self-discipline. I am more present about both of these things, so I am addressing how to deal with it by scheduling meal prep every week and having a second chequing account.

Once I get my shit together, Imma be THAT BITCH.

Related Book: You are a Badass at Making Money

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#3 - There is such thing as too much. Overloading my plate leaves me overwhelmed, unable to sleep properly, unproductive, and pushes me off of the healthy wagon.

I became a stress addict and to be completely honest, being busy increased your cool factor.

I like to work, especially when I get to work with creative teams. In 2017 and 2018, I said yes to many gigs and short-term contracts in order to stay afloat - maybe a little too many. There were a few moments in 2018 when I was overwhelmed with the amount of tasks that needed to get done, I felt like throwing my hands into the air and yelling “fuck it”, then hibernating in my bed, and turning off all technology for an entire week. In order to prevent moments like these, I am more aware of symptoms of burnout. I’ve learned to delegate better, pass on opportunities that are beyond my capacity, and carve out time for much needed rest.

One day, my dream is to be Donna from Suits - flawless execution, knows everything, and superhero.

#4 - I am wary of hearing the words “partnership” or “collaboration”.

At a panel discussion earlier this year, someone said “if they aren’t willing to put it in a contract, then it’s not a real agreement” - the people who SAY they agree to all the terms should also be willing to put back it up in writing. In the past, I’ve made a lot of verbal commitments that didn’t work out the way both parties ASSUMED it would work out (remember, assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME). Without laying out a contract or a written agreement, it isn’t real. In lieu of following this person’s advice, I have a variety of templates in my Google Drive. Film production deal memos, MOUs, contractor agreements, outsourcing contracts, etc. If I signed it, it’s real (plus, I prepare for future contracts by creating or editing templates from new contracts/agreements).

#5 - Recognizing moments where I didn’t feel heard or seen, where I disconnected from others instead of staying open.

Have you ever felt like you love someone less because they didn’t do something you wanted them to?
I have.
And that’s no way of showing unconditional love.

When I recognized this behaviour in myself, I saw it reflected in others around me - “We can only date if you maintain X, Y, and Z” or “We can only be friends if you do A, B, and C, but never ever do D”. If I choose to love a person, I should be able to love traits that I consider strengths, but also love them through traits that I consider are weaknesses. I have been intentionally growing my friend circle last year. When I mean intentionally, I am aware of their lifestyle, personality, needs/wants, etc.

I want to fill my life with people who are as abundant as I am, who are willing share and recieve love, who are growing to be a better person.

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#6 - I realized I don’t enjoy editing audio-visual media (and would prefer to hand off editing details to other people who love it).

There’s this interview project where so many wonderful people contributed their time, resources, and brain power to help me answer a few questions. I recorded the audio and video of each interview, but everything stopped there. Life got busy, I pushed personal projects to the back burner, and halted the project. Now, it is sitting in external harddrive limbo until I plant myself in front of a computer with an editing suite and get it done.

I admit, I am dragging my feet because I realize my brain checks out after the camera turns off, the wrap up details are done, and everything is ready to be edited.

Therefore, editing is a weakness and I would work best if I outsourced the work to people who love the process of cutting clips together to tell a story - simple as that!


#7 - I have a SHORT project attention span, so having me on a project for multiple years would be a delicate dance. Sprints or mini projects are best for me.

This year I finally came to terms with my short project attention span. At the absolute most, 24 months is how long I can stay on a project and be engaged (bye bye multi-year city infrastructure jobs, we would never be good to one another). Now that I’m aware of this, I can make sure I work with teams that have quick project turnarounds! Simple.

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#8 - I’ve cried more this year than any other year (maybe not as much as when I was in highschool - I was a hella moody teenager).

Two reoccuring topics of conversation throughout 2018 were VULNERABILITY and SHADOW SELF. During the summer and fall, I read a lot of personal development books. These books were my mirrors. I became more aware of my actions, the masks I had, how defensive I was, how little I shared about myself, and harmful actions I made to keep people away from my soft gushy love-filled heart. Seeing these behaviours also resulted in having tough conversations with other people and crying it out.

In the spring, I wrote in my journal “I felt like I was living my life without purpose - that I am going in the wrong direction, that my doubts were bigger than my direction).”

I have a secret. Don’t tell people, okay?
When I have very little funds in my bank accounts, I have an internal crisis. I ask myself questions like “What is my purpose?”, “Why am I even here?”, “How am I meant to help change the world?”, “What’s the point?”, or “Is this all there is?”. I might as well be having a mid-life crisis. But then, an invoice is paid or a new opportunity falls into my lap, and I’m my productive and motivated self again. This happens to the best of us - we stray from our path, but then find it again.

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#9 - In times of spiralling into darkness, gratitude journaling can help.

Are you a spiraler? If you don’t know what I mean, here’s a description of my spiraling process: When something bad happens, you fall into a pit of despair, thinking about the worst case scenario, beat up on yourself about your failures, succumb to patterns of blame and shame, and in the deep dark hole you dug yourself you sit and pout like a poopy head?

Yeah, that’s spiraling. Sometimes, I sit in this dark hole of shame for a few days (of course, I’m still able to function, but I still have an underlying depressed mode).

When I get into these life-sucking moods, I remember what Tony Robbins said “You can’t feel fear or anger while feeling gratitude at the same time”. When I sit down and do some gratitude journaling, I feel lighter, the world brightens, and I get enough motivation to watch inspiring speeches on YouTube. Check out my motivational video playlist here.

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#10 - My concerns about trust continued to show up in many ways

I started dating again (after a year or so of being intentionally single) and one of the first concerns that arose was that I did not trust people with my emotions. Look, I have a soft gooey heart centre, guarded by walls upon walls of protection. Just because I think you are attractive, it doesn’t mean you can dive right into the core of my heart - you have to earn that right. In the past I’ve trusted people extremely quickly and have been hurt. Eventually, both of us let down our walls and built some trust muscles.

Take some time to reflect on your past year. What were some lessons you learned? What were some tough times that you endured but made it through stronger?