Most world events would say 2016 was a crazy year. Trump became president, Gun violence hit the roof (literally), we lost Muhammad Ali, Prince & George Michael to name a few, We lost Harambe the Chimp and Cecil the Lion. But that’s on a global level. For all of you reading this, take sometime to reflect on all the lessons you learnt and how you grew as a person. Do you like yourself more now? Are you happy? Where are you now and where do you want to be?

For me 2016 was a great year for me. I had challenges, both internal and external, I had obstacles – work-wise and personally, I laughed, I cried, I nearly gave up, I celebrated, I soaked in some of the best moments of my life.

Here are 10 lessons I learnt:

Your Heart is Right – Your instincts can never let you down. Sometimes we second guess our heart with our head. Always choose your heart over you head. When you follow your heart you will have less regret and guilt because you are doing what your heart wants. This has made me the happiest in moments or decisions I was about to miss out on because I was second-guessing them for reasons that had nothing to do with my personal reasons, but mainly external fear or pressures.

Travel – My father once told me “The richness of life lies in the memories we make”. Our utilities of things dinimshes much faster than that of experiences. Memories last us much longer and it opens our minds and makes us cherish and experience moments with loved ones. Not that I don’t love nice things – I have a huge dream shopping list for 2017 for things I want but the ability to travel more is what I woudl love to do most!

Kiss Slow, Forgive Fast –  Marketers use a psychological terminology called Loss Aversion to show that us humans are more susceptible to avoiding losses than accepting gains. That means a loss or a negative affects us more than a positive of the same amplitude. Sometimes we focus on tiny issues and let the negatives override the positives. I know it’s not because we intend to, but we must be aware that the moment will pass and things will always get better.

Small Circle Large Network – As Tupac put it “The truest people have few friends” We waste so much time worrying what other people think of us. Surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with. Not everyone will want to be your friend or what the best for you, so don’t expect it. Instead, focus on you family and close friends to be your support system, and extend an almost-formal relationship with acquaintances you see yourself having a mutually-beneficial connection with.

It’s better to be Over-dressed than Under-dressed – I know I’ve felt this before, where you dress up in your own style and head to an event, and when you get there you’re trying to blend in but its hard because everyone is so dressed. And when you enter they all turn to stare. But hey, wear you crown and wear it proud. You would rather stick out than blend in – this refers to all aspects of life – with your career, with your style, with you opinions. Don’t be shy to be you!

Hire Slow, Fire Fast – We have come across a number of interesting characters over the past year. The one thing I learnt was there’s no point sacrificing your business trying to be patient with and teach people. Your business is not a school. If you don’t find who you are looking for, continue searching. (Its almost as hard as finding love.

You’re more important than you think – I remember going to so many meetings in anticipation of meeting someone I will able to look up to, has all the business ethics in the world, the experience and that skills. Many a time, I come back feeling disappointed. Not because I feel I am better, but because I undermined myself yet again. Always have confidence in who you are and what you are good at – because many a time, you will actually be the person that is better than someone else at certain things.

They’re just Glitter, You’re GOLD – You all know i’m not one to hate or cause a scene, but seriously some people have no shame and try to step on your toes, cause social media wars, try and copy you – but “Aint Nobody got Time for That!” Keep it real. As long as you are staying true to who you are, being genuine, honest and sticking to your lane, you’ll never be the bad guy. People may want to disrupt your happiness, unstabilize your momentum, but keep your head down, focus on the good people around you and keep you eye on the prize! At least I know I am genuine, authentic, have built whatever I have built from scratch with blood, sweat, tears and hard work.

Family – This December, my family got together for the first time in 15 years – the house was packed. Somebody asked me what was my favourite thing about the whole of December and I answered “The Chaos”. It was so nice to have such a full house, everyone running around, the rush when everyone had to get ready. And the ability to just be yourself. This made me realize that family is so important. Because we are bound together by blood, we are unconditionally there for each other. I have to give a huge huge shout out to my boyfriend as well – you are my best friend (as well as my business partner) and to me you are way more than Family. You are actually really a part of me.

Being assertive earns you way more respect than just being nice – In a recent blog I’d written, “The Power of No”, I talk about the having the guts to say No in certain situations. doing business for over 2 years has taught me to be more assertive. Starting out you always feel like you should go that extra mile, but theres a fine line between going that extra mile and doing way more than you’ve been paid to do. Of course we all want to maintain great relationships with friends, clients and loved ones. But we need to stop ourselves from being taken for granted, and when you show people that, they will in turn treat you with more respect.

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