1 January, 16

2016 isn’t a “Fresh Start”, Don’t Buy New Stationary

So often we talk about a new year being a fresh start and forget how the tough times the year before have helped shape us. In business, as in life, all the knocks, wobbles and sometimes massive failures help to craft what comes next. This year, as I look out into 2016 I’m mindful that it’s about coming of age, rather than a blank canvas.

I once had a friend at college who hated written work. Whenever there was a new essay set, he would diligently pop along to WHSmiths and treat himself to a new stationary kit; folder, pad, new pen and sometimes a furry pencil case. He’d never get much further than writing notes on the first page, instead he’d end up pulling an all nighter before the deadline or blag a friend to let him copy their essay. This ritual was amusing, it’s something that has always stayed with me as a reminder to danger of the “fresh start” thinking.

As we all enter a new year, I’d encourage some time looking back before looking aimlessly forward. What didn’t work last year is almost more important than what did. What experiences made you feel happy, which gave you dread? What led to these moments? Who was it that helped you through? In 2016, I now feel my business is ready to come of age. I’ve had time experimenting, working with clients big and small. I’ve learnt the pitfalls of both and know which ones I want to work with more. I’m closer to knowing the right people to have around me, the ones that work for me as I build my business forward. I’m not so reliant on my historic experiences and I’m more willing to embrace the emerging structures through which I like to create.

Let your 2016 be built on the year before. When we embrace our foundations, instead of erasing them from our minds, we all have a much better chance of stabilising our growth and not falling straight back into the previous mistakes.

Happy New Year