What I learned in 2019

2019 to 2020

Happy New Year to all! I’ve always loved this time of year. Days start getting longer, there’s optimism in the air, and it offers an opportunity for a fresh start. I also like to reflect on the past year and lessons learned. 2019 was full of surprises, and it had its ups and downs – mostly ups.

Here are just some of the things I’ve learned in 2019:

It’s OK to take time off – Due to a hectic schedule, I took a break from blogging during the holidays, publishing some of the top posts from the past couple of years. Honestly, it made me a bit anxious, and I felt that I was letting down my loyal readers. But no one complained, and blog stats showed these top posts resulted in better engagement – more views and comments – than the originals. As a result, I was able to keep up with other obligations, and now I’m refreshed and ready with lots of ideas for blogging in 2020.

Virtual events can’t replace live conferences – There are so many opportunities to learn online, and virtual conferences have become quite popular. But, after attending the AIIP and OSMOSIS conferences and speaking at several others this past year, I’m convinced that taking the time to get out of the office and out of my comfort zone really pays off. While I still plan to participate in webinars and listen to podcasts, focused learning and face-to-face networking can’t be replicated through virtual events.

Less is more – At the start of the year, I took some time to review my client list and conduct an ROI analysis. I discovered that most of my income came from clients that I loved to work with. They took less time and energy away from actually completing their projects. Fewer phone calls, less back-and-forth. These clients told me what they needed, why they needed it, what they were going to do with it, and were pleased with the final product. So now I work with fewer clients, while making more money and having more fun.

Creating an online course takes much longer than expected – I’ve discovered that I love teaching, so I plan to create several online courses for Illumeo. My first course, however, took way longer than I’d planned. I found that what works for speaking on a big stage doesn’t necessarily translate to a small screen, and there was much to learn. Every step of the way, I stumbled and bumbled. Thankfully, by working with the patient professionals at Illumeo, I had lots of support , and I finally completed recording my first course just before Christmas . Now I look forward to moving at a faster pace with future courses and sharing my knowledge through this platform. (Note that the course is currently going through the CPE review process, and I’ll let you know when it’s live.)

LinkedIn connections rock – I’ve become pretty disillusioned with social media lately. Facebook is more for connecting with friends and family, and, so far, I haven’t seen the benefits of Twitter. But LinkedIn is another story. It’s come a long way since the days of just posting your resume, and it’s the perfect platform for making and maintaining professional connections. In the past few years I’ve met the nicest, smartest people, and, after attending a live conference, it’s a great way to stay connected. I’ve also learned a lot from others’ postings.

I’m always amazed at the mistakes and missteps I seem to go through each year, but that’s what keeps us sharp and moving forward. Now I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in the new year and discovering what else I need to learn.

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2020!

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